May 29, 2011

Touched by an Angel

fallen angels


The Second Dispensation failed because the people of that time justified themselves over God by choosing to rely on their own knowledge instead of God.  They did not have faith, so they did not believe in God.

God ended the dispensation by sending the Great Flood which destroyed all the people and land animals of that time except for Noah’s family and a representative sample of earth’s animal life.

Talk about “overkill”

At first glance, this seems just a teensy bit extreme.  When the First Dispensation failed, Adam and Eve got an eviction notice, but they were allowed to live out their lives.  Why did the people of the second dispensation have to be exterminated?  And what was it about Noah and his family that made them exempt?

The answers to this dilemma involve one of the strangest and most controversial narratives in the Bible.

To be honest, this isn’t a subject that I wanted to get into right now.  Not because of the controversy, but because the explanation necessarily touches on certain subjects that have not yet been fully defined and that I planned on introducing a bit later, and one of the goals of  this blog is to do a systematic examination of new subject matter.

However, if I just moved on to the Third Dispensation without giving a reasonable explanation for what, on the surface, looks like (and to a certain degree was) genocide,  I would be doing a disservice to the readers as well as the spirit of this blog. So here we go.

Why was The Flood necessary?

The first 8 verses of Genesis chapter 6 give the reasons for the liquidation (pun intended) of the “human race” in the second dispensation (the quotes I put around the words “human race” will make sense in a bit).

1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them,

 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.

 3 And Jehovah said, My spirit shall not strive with man for ever, for that he also is flesh: yet shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.

 4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

 5 And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 6 And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

 7 And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. – Genesis 6:1-8 (ASV)

Because the passage is short relative to its impact, and because the language is not terribly obvious at first glance, people tend not to pay much critical attention to what’s going on here in a casual read.  But the events are significant. The key that unlocks this passage is the definition of the “sons of God”.

Who are the sons of God?

Although it’s quite common to hear the self-affirming (or self-apologetic) bromide that “we are all God’s children”, that phrase is just a euphemism without any Biblical backing.  Nowhere in the Bible does God refer to the sundry whole of humanity as “His children”.

Lest we think this means that God has more unwanted children than Shawn Kemp, it’s important to note that, Biblically speaking, the only beings that can be accurately considered children or “sons” of God are those who are either direct creations of God, or those whom He has made His legal heirs.

In the first category are Adam and the angelic beings.  In the second category are Jesus, Covenant Israelites, and Christians.  (No one is “born” a child of God; however we can become children of God via adoption in the Sixth Dispensation).

So which of the above are the “sons of God” of Genesis 6?

They can’t be Christians or Jews, because they didn’t exist yet.  It isn’t Adam because “sons” is plural. And it can’t be Jesus because Dan Brown didn’t write the Bible.  That leaves Angels.

The angels did what?

Aside from the process of elimination, there are Biblical references to the idea that angelic beings with dubious intentions left Heaven and committed acts of evil on earth in Jude 6-7, and 2 Peter 2:4-5 (which relates these events directly to the Flood.)

Another proof point is the existence of the beings referred to as “the Nephilim” in verse 4, which were the results of the union between the sons of God and human women. “Nephilim” means “the fallen ones”.  Whatever they were, they were something beyond normal humanity.

It admittedly sounds similar to many other ancient myths.  But I think that actually serves as another proof point.  Just about every ancient culture – Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Sumerian, Asian, Native American, etc. have in their mythology stories of how “gods” came down and had sex with human women who then birthed demi-gods.  Genesis 6:4 literally references the fact that the Nephilim were the objects of human legends!

Can’t there be another explanation?

As I said, this view is very controversial and it makes people uncomfortable.  So much so that many good scholars try to come up with various alternatives to who the sons of God were in order to try to make Genesis 6 more palatable.  Some say that the “sons of God” were Holy men who remained faithful to God during the second dispensation, or some type of God-ordained royalty or leaders.  They then contrast them with the “daughters of men” who were evil.

There are many problems with those views, not the least of which is the fact that they force you to read evidence into the text that isn’t there.  Furthermore, why would the idea of believers and non believers having children justify genocide? And if these guys were so holy, why did they mess around with the evil women in the first place?  (Were the holy women really ugly?) And if the sons of God were regular men, why would they have these strange offspring called Nephilim?

No, the only non-contradictory way to interpret this passage is the literal one.  Certain angelic beings (fallen angels obviously) took on human form (which they show the ability to do throughout the Bible), and had sexual relations with human women which resulted in the births of hybrids – the Nephalim.

Does that sound weird?  Hell yes!  But to use one of my least favorite modern clichés, “it is what it is”.  It’s what the Bible says happened.

Those who object to this view are quick to point out that Jesus Himself said that Angels do not marry nor are they given in marriage.  But it should be understood that the context of the verse is speaking of behavior, not ability.  Jesus gave that answer to a question about how people will relate to each other in Heaven.  He used how Angel in Heaven relate to each other as an example to illustrate his answer. The question itself had nothing to do with the “biology” of Angels.

Polluting the gene pool

But even if we accept the idea that fallen angles used the earth as a pick-up bar in the second dispensation, we still need to know why they did it.

The main motivation of fallen angles (and the leader Satan) is to thwart the plan of God, and rule over creation. (The reason behind this constitutes the stuff I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I plan to examine in the future).

The redemption of man is a key part of Gods plan, and as we’ve seen, redemption requires the sacrifice of an innocent man to correct Adam’s mistake and pay the penalty of Original SinThe Redeemer has to be born a human being like Adam.

What’s a good way to insure that no future human being born will be the Redeemer, and that the inhabitants of the earth will be compliant to the rulership of fallen angels?

How about polluting the entire gene-pool of the planet with human/fallen angel hybrids?

It sounds crazy (really crazy), but it almost worked.  Genesis 6:9 points out that Noah was “perfect in his generation” – had an unaltered or unblemished lineage.  It’s strongly implied that after hundreds of years of interbreeding, Noah and his family were possibly among the few, if not the only “pure” humans left on the earth.

If this is true, it makes God’s decision to exterminate that population while preserving Noah and his family much more understandable.

So far, two dispensations have failed.  In the First Dispensation, innocence did not lead to man choosing God.  In the Second Dispensation, an abundance of knowledge and experience gained through extremely long lives did not lead to man choosing God. What if man’s lifespan was significantly reduced?  Would their impending mortality and increased sense of urgency lead men to seek God to help them answer “What’s the point”?  That’s the situation that is addressed in the Third Dispensation.

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