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Revelation by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:55 mins 27 secs

Sons of God; Nephilim; Demonic Attack

 

1 Peter 5:8 NASB "Be of sober {spirit,}…" This refers to stability and objectivity in our thinking. "… be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] But resist him, firm in {your} faith…" That is, in the body of doctrine. It is in the body of doctrine that we learn and apply that provides a fortification in our souls that protects us and defends us from the onslaughts of the devil…"

 

The imagery of the devil prowling around like a roaring lion is not unique to the New Testament but it is also seen in the Old Testament, e.g. Job chapter one. We are told several times in the first two chapters of Job that Job was blameless. The Hebrew word means that he was a man of integrity and this is the divine viewpoint analysis of his life—"that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil," verse 1. We are told this to make sure that people understand that despite the claims of his so-called friends in the next several chapters that what befell Job had nothing to do with any behaviour of Job's part. It was not that God was disciplining him but that he was being disciplined in another sense, the sense of training. Then we are told what is going on behind the scenes and we always have to remember that Job didn't know what we know. Job is not aware of what is happening in heaven but for our edification the curtains are drawn back so that we can see into the heavenly thrown room and understand the spiritual dynamics that lie behind the world of empirical reality.

 

Job 1:6 NASB "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. [2] The LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.'" Even as far back as 2021 BC Satan was cruising the earth "like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." He came across Job and decided he was going to make an issue out of Job because Job is the wealthiest man of his generation and has been blessed by God in untold ways, and he is a man of great strength and Satan is going to challenge his integrity: "The only reason that Job worships you is because you have given him all this. Take it away and see if he doesn't curse you." But that is another story and this is to simply point out that there is a pattern that extends from the garden of Eden to Satan's ultimate destruction and confinement in the lake of fire concerning who is consistently targeting the human race in order to assault our spiritual lives and our relationship with God.

 

There are four things that seem to be the aim of Satan in attacking believers, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament. The first is that his goal is to distract us from our spiritual life, our relationship with God, to create some sort of breech in our life. There are things that happen such as what happened to Job that people often react to, and unlike Job they curse God and blame God for allowing these kinds of things to happen in their life. So that creates a breech in their life and instead of having a rich life of humility and obedience they give in to anger, bitterness and resentment, and all sorts of mental attitude sins. This leads to the second aim that Satan has which is to destroy our testimony regarding the grace of God. Every believer from the Old Testament to the New Testament is to live a life that produces a visible testimony to not only God and the angels but also to the human race, and that as we walk with the Lord through life the ultimate goal should be to glorify God in all that we do. Because we are building a body of evidence for the grace of God in our family lives, in our businesses, and everything we do in life relates to this and if Satan can get his foot in the door and destroy that then that evidence that we provide in the scope of this angelic conflict is destroyed and corrupted. The third goal of Satan is to attempt to destroy God's plan for the church in this present church age as the Lord Jesus Christ is building His body. He seeks to distract us from evangelism, from spiritual growth and spiritual life, all in relationship to what God is specifically doing in this dispensation. Fourth, he wants to prevent us from reaching spiritual maturity and having an impact on the world around us. It always amazes us that people actually watch us. We don't realise this but that is part of our visible testimony and part of our impact on the world around us as we grow to spiritual maturity. The decisions that we make in our sphere of influence have an impact and if Satan can destroy that then he has gained a tactical victory. 

The focus at this point in our study is on how Satan has had direct assaults in history. There are direct assaults and indirect assaults and ultimately our protection comes from our mentality. Spiritual warfare doesn't take place between us and the demons, it takes place between our ears. It is a battle for the mind. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASB "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, [4] for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. [5] {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." We mustn't restrict our understanding of the application of this to just not having mental attitude sins. This involves thinking according to the reality of God's creation, so it involves every dimension of human intellectual activity. Most of us face indirect assaults rather than direct assaults. We have the initial direct assaults in Genesis chapter three in the garden of Eden. Then as time goes by there is another assault which is the invasion of demons known as the sons of God and they intermarry with the daughters of men. This results in the cataclysmic judgment which is the Noahic flood. Then for most of the Old Testament we do not have direct assault on the human race as a whole and the next come with the personal direct assault by Satan on the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter four, a period of increased demon possession during the time of the incarnation and then the assault on the cross. We are now living in the present church age when we do not have direct Satanic assaults in the same way as previously, but during the future Tribulation there will be three demon assaults that we will studied during the course of Revelation that almost sound legendary or mythical, that kind of a thing. Mythology and science fiction is merely a distortion of what is actually happening in this angelic realm. Satan is released at the end of the Millennium and leads a portion of the human race into rebellion against God at the Gog and Magog revolt. There will be millions of human beings who have not trusted Christ during the Millennial kingdom and will join Satan in that rebellion and God destroys them with fire and brimstone at the end of the 1000 years.

The second assault in history focuses on the events in Genesis chapter six. In this angelic revolt against God there were a group of angels who had fallen and who interfere with the human race in a bizarre sexual invasion that is described in Genesis six. Genesis 6:1 NASB "Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them." The idea from the Hebrew syntax is that this had been going on for some time. It takes us back a little into the genealogy of Adam's and Cain's descendants when this invasion began. [2] "that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose." What exactly this means has caused quite a bit of discussion throughout the ages as to exactly what this means. The view that holds most water is the view that deals with the terminology here in terms of how it is used throughout Scripture. The terms "sons of God" is a Hebrew term, bene ha elohim. This is a technical term found several times in the Old Testament and it always refers to angels, often not just to the holy or elect angels but the angels as a whole, both fallen and elect. But there is another term that is reserved for elect angels and there is no example of it ever being used to describe a demon or fallen angel, so the term "sons of God" clearly is used to refer to this class of angels that has fallen. It may include all of the angels but its emphasis on the fact that it is a term for their derivation, that they were created by God. In extra-biblical literature there are similar expressions used for supernatural beings or the assembly of these beings.

The question that is asked is how in the world is an immaterial spirit being, an angel, going to have sexual intercourse with a human being. They will often go to a passage like Matthew 22:13 where Jesus is asked by the Pharisees a sort of set-up question about a woman being married to a man and he dies, she marries again and he dies, etc., until she has had seven husbands, so whose husband is she going to be in the resurrection? Jesus responds by saying that in the resurrection they neither marry or are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. So the indication here is that angels don't marry and procreate and have baby angels. So people ask if angels don't marry how then can we say that is what is going on in chapter six refers to angels? First of all, the term sons of God always refers to angels, so we have to find compelling reasons why that would be different in Genesis chapter six. Our starting point is that angels are immaterial beings. AS we go through the Scriptures we find evidence of angels taking on human physical, material, human form where they engage in normal biological activity and it doesn't seem as if there is a problem. There are passages like Genesis chapter eighteen where the two angels accompanying the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ come to visit Abraham. The text says they are tired, they lie down and rest, they eat food, they drink, and they have their feet washed. So there is obviously precedence in the text for angels being able to transform their bodies into a physical, material body that has physical properties and biological capabilities. So when the text says that the sons of God took the daughters of men as their wives, we may not understand all of the physiology and biology that took place but the text says that is what took place. There was a biological attack on the human race to destroy its purity.

Why would that happen? We go back to the first assault in Genesis chapter three when Satan tempts the woman to eat of the fruit. She east first and she gives it to Adam and Adam eats and then they have fallen. They try to solve the problem on their own with garments of fig leaves and then God addresses them as to what the consequences of this sin is going to be. In the midst of that as He is addressing the serpent He makes first indication of the gospel. He says: "Your seed will attack the seed of the woman; you will bruise His heel but it (the seed of the woman) will crush your head (fatal wound)." So this is an indication, a foreshadowing of how God is going to solve the problem of sin that began in the garden. It is directly related to this very unusual term "the seed of the woman." Satan understands that it is through here descendants that somehow God is going to rescue, deliver the human race and provide this plan of salvation, so his assault plan is to destroy the seed of the woman and prevent this from happening. In this assault in Genesis chapter six there is this physical-sexual attack to destroy the purity of the human race.

Passages that reinforce this, correlative passage that talk about sons of God and use that in relation to angels: Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. In the New Testament, Jude 6, 7 NASB "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, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." Jude is talking about the judgment that God is going to bring on false teachers and he uses illustrations from history. One is the angels of Genesis 6 and one is the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. This is to illustrate the certainty of divine judgment.

First of all he talks about the angels that did not keep their own domain. In relation to this passage and passages in Peter's epistles there are people who come along and say this is referring to the original fall of the demons when they followed Satan in his rebellion. The problem with that is that if this is describing all of the angels that followed Satan then they would have been confined and imprisoned as these passages indicate long before the Lord Jesus Christ appeared on the earth, so where did those demons come from? You can't have it both ways. This can either refer to all of the demons, which means that there cannot be any other demonic activity in history, or it must refer to a sub-set of the fallen angels that got involved in some kind of mischief for which they are punished severely until their ultimate judgment. They are described as "angels who did not keep their domain." This is the Greek word arche [a)rxh] which indicates their sphere of influence, their power; it is a word which often indicates that which is first in priority or to their initial position. So the first thing that is said about them, they did not keep their domain, their initial place, indicates they did not remain in the initial state which God had created them. That wouldn't be their initial state as a holy angel but their initial state as a fallen angel.

Then we are told that they abandoned their proper abode. The word here is oiketerion [o)ikhthrion] which has the idea of a habitation or dwelling place. So what Jude begins with is that they didn't keep their initial state, whatever that was, as an angel. Then they abandoned their initial dwelling place which would be heaven. The third thing we learn is that they are kept in these bonds of darkness for the judgment. So they are banned. We learn something else about them: that their sin, that which caused them to be judged and bound in chains of darkness is that they committed a sin which is compared to the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah—"just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them [feminine plural], since they [the cities] in the same way as these [masculine plural] indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh…" So "these" has to refer back to the angels, it can't refer to the cities. It is saying that the sin imitated in kind the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them. This is then described as indulging in gross immorality and "went after strange flesh." The word there for strange flesh in the Greek is heteros [e(teroj] meaning a different kind of flesh than that which God had intended. So they had indulged in gross immorality and "are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." That is all describing the sin of these angels. So who in the world are these angels? They must be those from the time of Noah.

2 Peter 2:4, 5 NASB "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell [Tartarus] and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly." Again, some people say this refers to the original fall of the angels but it doesn't quite fit. It cannot refer to all the angels. In the ancient world Tartarus was understood to be a different compartment of Hades, and in Greek mythology was the place where demagogues were punished. In extra-biblical literature, like the book of Enoch, Tartarus is said to be the place of punishment for the fallen angels. So this class of angels when they sinned were cast into Tartarus reserved for a future judgment. Verse 5 links that to Noah: "but preserved Noah." The "and" links these two events. There is a connection between the sin of the angels in verse four and the time of Noah in verse five.

1 Peter 3:18-20 NASB "For Christ also died for sins once for all, {the} just for {the} unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits {now} in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water." The context of all of these passages is on the certainty of divine judgment. His proclamation to the spirits in prison was that He had sealed their doom by His death on the cross. These spirits are described as "who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark…" So what we see here is that there is a specific connection between this sin of this group of angels and the time of Noah, and that this sin of these angels is defined as a sexual sin in Jude 6, 7. When we connect that to Genesis chapter six we realise that this describes what indeed must have been a bizarre episode because there were demons who were able to make themselves material and appear to man and walk the planet in ways that would just seem like something out of science fiction to us, but this is the historical reality and the origin of much mythology.

Genesis 6:4 NASB "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." This is what hangs around in residual racial memory in the human race and becomes the foundation for these later distortions in mythology. The truth that lies behind these myths is what is described in Genesis 6:4. So we see that Satan attacked the seed of the woman. That is his focus, he is trying to prevent the cross because it is at the cross when the Lord Jesus Christ who is true humanity as well as genuine undiminished deity in hypostatic union goes to the cross and dies for our sins. He must be a true human being to die as our substitute, to be there in our place, the just substitute for the unjust. That is the last great assault in the Old Testament and the next assault that will come in history has to do with the time of Christ when the seed of thew woman is in the flesh, incarnate.  

Illustrations