The Divine Council: Satan’s Career: Fall, Temptation
Angelic Rebellion Lesson #11
December 15, 2020
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Father, as we come together this evening, we are continually reminded that what we’re studying relating to the fall of the angels, the angelic revolt against you, is being played out day in and day out in the culture in the world in which we live. We are living in the devil’s world. He’s the prince of the power of the air and the god of this age.
“We know that we are here for a purpose. That purpose is to carry out the mission of communicating the gospel to those who need it, to those who are spiritually dead and need to be responsive to the message of life and hope. Father, we know that the more we do this the more we are in opposition to the world, the cosmic system around us.
“Father we pray that you will give us strength, that you will give us a focus to recognize that this is part of what is essential in our spiritual life and our spiritual growth and our mission. Father, as we continue to study these issues related to this angelic revolt, help us to understand all that Your Word teaches. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
We are in our 11th lesson in this study on the angelic revolt. I started off saying it would be somewhere between 8 to 10 lessons, somewhere around there. It’s probably going to be 12, 13, or maybe we’ll finish Sunday so that wasn’t a bad guess considering all the passages we need to go through. It’s not an exhaustive study of everything, but there are still a few things I want to cover.
We’re dealing now with Satan’s career. We’ve talked about his fall. That word “fall” doesn’t mean fall from Heaven. It means fall into sin. This is a theological category. We talk about Adam’s fall. He didn’t fall down. He didn’t trip. He didn’t hit his head on the ground. He sinned. So that’s the idea. It is a fall from grace, so to speak, a fall from obedience.
We talked about Isaiah 14:12–14 and in Ezekiel 28. It’s easy to remember that. Isaiah 14 multiply that 14 by 2 and you get 28 for Ezekiel. Now you’ll never forget about it. It’s Ezekiel 28, 11, and 19.
We covered the fact that in these passages there’s a lot of debate by scholars. Part of the reason you have debates by scholars is that scholars like to be accepted by their fellow scholars. When most of the scholars in the world are not biblical but they’re liberal and you have seminary professors who go off and get their secular doctorates from the educational institutions that the world respects, well, they always bring back something they should not have in their baggage.
That leaks out in some way eventually and so what you see is that in contrast to fifty years ago you see the majority of study Bibles questioning whether Isaiah 14 says something about a fall of an angel or a man or if it’s mythological. They handle those issues or questions by going through what we discussed in the last two lessons. Also, you have the same problem in Ezekiel 28.
If you don’t have those two passages you don’t have anything that tells us about the origin of sin and evil in the universe. It’s so important to understand this because sin and evil have a beginning. They weren’t always here and that is part of a pagan worldview called dualism, where you have sin and evil co-existing with good and righteousness and you don’t understand the basis for it.
Modern man, on the basis of naturalistic worldview and on the basis of evolutionary thought, can’t explain evil. They try to attack us and ask how can we as Christians look at these horrible things in the world, the injustices such as social injustice, and on and on ad nauseum and believe in God? It’s the same old things just given new terms like they’ve been saying for centuries.
They ask how in the world can we believe in a God when we have all these horrible things? The way to handle that is just to say, “Before I give you my answer, how do you explain the existence of good and evil? If you don’t believe in a righteous God, the existence of a righteous God to begin with, then where do you get any ideas of good and evil? Who determines what good and evil really are?
“If you believe in evolution then violence and death and destruction and suffering and the domination of the weak by the strong, you have to accept the mechanism how one species involves into another species. Violence and evil seem to be necessary for evolution to go forward, so I’m interested in how you explain evil. You can’t use absolute terms if you can’t prove first and foremost, the existence of absolute truth.”
That puts the ball in their court, and they can’t answer this. The Bible gives us a starting point. I covered what I’m going to cover tonight very briefly on Sunday morning dealing with the question of when the angelic revolt began. When did it start? There are various views that are set forth by biblical theologians who truly are wrestling with some difficulties because there’s no passage that says this is when it happened.
You have to put things together by comparing Scripture with Scripture, so you have good men who come up with different answers. There are a lot of clues in the Scripture about this.
I just want to run through this and talk about these five different views that you usually find from those who are treating the text as the Word of God. None of these come from a liberal perspective. They come from those who believe the Bible is telling us about Creation. All of these views are held by those who hold to a view of a relatively young earth. By that I mean somewhere between four and six thousand years before Christ is when God created things.
This is not held by those who have compromised with evolution and the lengthy ages, that they keep figuring out that if time plus chance produced order and complexity, then we just need to keep adding more and more time to the formula and eventually we’ll get it. These five views are all within the realm of biblical orthodoxy and acceptability.
The first view is that angels were created sometimes before Genesis 1, sometime in eternity past before God created the heavens and the earth. So the angels are created before there’s a universe. It’s God first. Then you have the creation of the angels. Then you have the creation of the heavens and the earth and then you have the creation of man.
You put it in that order because in Job 38:4 God asked Job the question where was he when He laid the foundation of the earth. Foundation is the first thing you put when you’re developing anything. First you establish the foundation and then everything is built upon that. God says, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth; when the sons of God shouted for joy?”
That tells you that the sons of God, which is a term we’ve already looked at extensively as a term for angels, were already present, already in existence when God creates the heavens and the earth. There is angelic rejoicing over this creation.
This view is that angels were created and they also rebelled during that time. I have a problem with that view because when you look at Job 38:7 it says all the sons of God shouted for joy. That would indicate that there isn’t a split between the holy angels and the fallen angels yet. They’re still unified so that’s why I think we have to have their creation before the heavens and the earth, but when the earth is initially created there is not yet a division between the holy angels and the fallen angels. So, the angelic revolt has not yet begun.
The second view is that angels were created before Genesis 1:1 but they rebelled sometime after God created the heavens and the earth and before He began to restore the earth in those six literal 24-hour days that are described in Genesis 1:2–2:3. I’ll get to the details of the rebellion when we get there. That’s the idea of this view.
This view has been called the Gap view because it holds to a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. We’ll talk about that in more detail as we go along.
The third view is that the angels were created before Genesis 1:1 but the revolt was sometime after day 7. So the angels are created before Genesis 1:1, but the revolt doesn’t occur until after day 7. The reason they argue that is because God said at the end of each day that it was good and when He completes the 6th day He said it was very good. We have to look at that word good and the phrase very good to see if that has a moral connotation.
Can this carry the load of God saying everything was perfect because there’s no sin in the universe? That’s how that’s interpreted.
The fourth view is that angels were created on day 4 and at the end of day 4 when we look at verse 16, “Then God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day;—that would be the sun—the lesser light to rule the night.” In the Hebrew it says, “And the stars also.”
That’s kind of an afterthought but because angels are often associated with stars and they are identified as stars as in Job 38:7 and various other passages we have looked at, there are many that take the view that this is when God created the angels.
I had a seminary professor who took that view and I have a good friend, Tommy Ice, who used to not hold that view, but that’s what he has in his chart book. He did that book with Ed Hindson so maybe that was Ed’s view. That’s the idea of this view that angels were created on day 4 when God made the stars. Then the revolt occurs after day 7.
The fifth view is that Satan sinned and the revolt began the same day that he temped Eve in Genesis 3:1.
I think that pretty much covers the territory. Those are the views.
Slides 5 and 6
Let’s look at this slide I created to make this look somewhat graphic. Here we have the seven days of Creation. The first view is that the angels are created in eternity past and they rebelled in eternity past. The second view is that they were created in eternity past. You have a period of time represented by a blue block that is a period of time between the creation of the heavens and the earth. It is perfect with no sin on the earth. Then there is a rebellion that occurs at some time in eternity past so that, remember the passage in Ezekiel 28 where it says this anointed cherub was in the Garden of God, in Eden, the Garden of God. That would be a reference to this time period when the earth was the Garden of God.
It tells us a couple of things. It tells us that God is on the earth. It tells us that the anointed cherub is on the earth and it tells us that this would be the home of many of the angels. This would be their headquarters, as it were, on planet Earth. That explains different things that are going on in relationship to planet Earth and why Satan is called the god of this age and the Prince of the Power of the Air and the god of this world. He lost it when God created Adam because Adam was created as God’s representative and from that point on, man was the head of the earth. He was the authority on the earth until he sinned.
Then when he sinned, he lost that authority and Satan gained it. So the first view is that Satan was created and rebelled before the heavens and the earth are made. I’ve pointed out the weakness with that is that they’re all united when God creates the heavens and the earth.
The second view is that when God creates the heavens and the earth all of the angels are united during this period. And the pre-Genesis 1:2 earth is a perfect earth and we know little about it. It doesn’t mean there were any creatures there.
This view is called the Gap view, but there are two different versions of the Gap view. There is a version that has existed since at least the 2nd century that is found in the Midrash of Jonathan. It’s a Jewish commentary where there is this gap.
It’s held by people in the middle Ages, by an early Church father by the name of Episcopius. It is held by people like John Milton who wrote the epic poem, Paradise Lost, which describes the fall of Satan and man. They all held the view of a relatively young earth.
They’re not saying the earth is thousands upon thousands, tens of thousands years old. They’re not taking a view that it’s millions or billions of years old. They had a relatively young earth belief because they understood that all of this fits within a relatively short time frame.
Then what happened was you had historical geologists who came along in the 18th century who began to date the age of the earth according to the kinds of rocks that were stratified in different layers and the kinds of animals that are fossilized in those different layers.
You can open up any geology book and it’ll give you a chart of the Geological Column and where all the animals go even though it doesn’t show up anywhere in the world. It’s just what they have put together. If you want to hear more about that I suggest you go back to the 2010 Chafer Conference and listen to the three talks by Dr. Steve Austin who will explain a lot of the dynamics of why we believe there’s a young earth.
There’s no evidence of an old earth. All evidence of an old earth is a misrepresentation, a misinterpretation of scientific data. There’s no rock out there that if you turn it over it says, “created in 5 million B.C.” It is assumed to be that because of the kind of strata layer it’s found in and that strata layer is dated by the kind of fossils that are there. The fossils that are there are used to date the rock they are found in and the rock is dated by the fossils. Do you get the point? It’s circular reasoning.
The only reason long periods of time were ever rammed, crammed, and jammed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is because they thought science had it right. Back in the late 1700s and in the 1800s people had a high view of science and thought science actually solved problems and would lead man to a much better life. That is only partially true.
In this view the gap that occurs between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is this whole time period where you have the angels on the earth and Lucifer the anointed cherub that is sort of the high priest for the angels on the earth and we don’t know anything about what is going on during that time period, except at some point Lucifer sins. As a result of that, there is a judgment, and that judgment is indicated by three words in Genesis 1:2.
Those three words resemble a musical chord. You can play one note and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. You can play a bass note and just one bass note doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But if you’re listening to an opera or you’re watching a TV show, such as Star Wars, and all of a sudden you hear those bass notes with the theme of Darth Vader (you’ll notice Darth Vader doesn’t come on the scene to an alto or to a soprano because the villain is always depicted by bass notes). As soon as you hear Darth Vader’s theme, you know the villain is on the scene. It’s not just one note. It’s a combination of notes.
What we have in Genesis 1:2 is three different statements: darkness on the face of the deep, which is tohu vebohu. This is a Hebrew phrase that indicates chaos. Isaiah 45:18 God says, “I did not create the earth tohu. Tohu and bohu are used to describe scenes of judgment.
After the Babylonians came in and destroyed the land of Israel, it’s a tohu so it has this sense of judgment. It can also mean simple chaos, but it’s combined with the word darkness. We know from reading through the Scripture that darkness has a symbolic value. Darkness indicates there is sin. As believers we’re to walk in the light and not in darkness. Darkness often has that sense in Scripture, but not necessarily when it’s just by itself.
Then you have the word tehome, the deep. That word also indicates chaos. It’s not the deep in terms of deep fresh water. It’s deep salt water, the deep ocean way out where it is thousands of feet deep. It is chaotic. It is dangerous. It is uncontrolled.
So you have these three notes brought together and when those sound in Genesis 1:2, you think something’s happened here. In between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 you have Satan’s fall and the beginning of the angelic revolt.
In the early 19th century you had this man, Thomas Chalmers. He is a Scottish pastor of a Scottish Presbyterian Church. He’s a professor of theology. He was also a well-known economist, highly respected, and he was a leader in both the Church of Scotland, which was Presbyterian, and the Free Church of Scotland. He has been called the greatest theologian in 19th century Scotland.
This is what he says commenting on Genesis 1:1, “My own opinion, as published in 1814, is that it [Genesis 1:1] forms no part of the first day but refers to a period of indefinite antiquity when God created the worlds out of nothing. The commencement of the first day’s work I hold to be the moving of God’s Spirit upon the face of the waters. We can allow geology the amplest time … without infringing even on the literalities of the Mosaic record.”
How old did they think the earth was in his time? Historic geology of the 18th century it’s about 40 to 50 thousand years before Christ. That’s not a big number. Well, it is a big number, but compared to two to three billion it’s not a big number. They thought those years could be put between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 but within two or three decades the numbers grew exponentially to hundreds of millions of years and now you’ve created a problem. All of this, as he says, is to allow for geology the time it needs to explain the evolution of the planet.
It was designed to compromise with what they believed science was saying.
The third view comes along and it doesn’t believe there’s really a gap there at all. It says that before Genesis 1:1 the angels are created based on Job 38:4 and Job 38:7, but they don’t sin and you don’t have the rebellion until after the seventh day because God said it was very good. That means there must not have been any sin yet in the universe. That’s the assumption.
Then we have the fourth and fifth views. The fourth view as I’ve mentioned earlier is that the angels are created when God creates the stars. The problem with that view is Job 38:4 and Job 38:7. If they sing for joy when God lays the foundation of the earth, that’s way back here in their view in Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. So how could the angels rejoice when the foundations were laid if they are not even around in that time period? So in this view they’re created here and the revolt occurs after the seventh day.
Here’s our verses, Job 38:4 and Job 38:7. God asks Job where he was when He “laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
The fifth view is that Satan sinned after the seventh day and tempted Eve the same day. That seems to squash a lot of time. It’s true the Bible doesn’t give us any time markers in there but when you look at it in light of Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, there seems to be a need for time for the anointed cherub of Ezekiel 28 to be a high priest. He’s carrying the worship. He’s trading on the worship of the angels to God. All of this takes time. It seems there’s activity that takes place there for a while. You can’t have the angels just created and all of that activity taking place in three days and then there’s the fall.
Slides 11 and 12
Put it together this way. First of all, God created the heavens and the earth. What do you see in your mind’s eye when you think of the heavens? What do you think? Are there stars there? There aren’t any stars yet. He doesn’t create them until the fourth day. The heavens is just like a big black box, finite. It’s not infinite. It’s just a place.
When I was in the 7th grade my parents got a new refrigerator and it came in a huge box. About that same time I had to do a science project so I thought, “I’m going to do something on astronomy.” At that time I was really into that, learning about all the planets, etc. I decided I was going to make that box the universe.
I painted the inside of the box black. At that stage there’s nothing there. Now if I had hung the earth, a Styrofoam ball that I had painted like the earth, then we would have a space that was the heavens and planet that was the earth. That’s all there is. That’s what Genesis 1:1 gives us.
Then in Genesis 1:2 you see that the earth is covered with water, the deep, and the Holy Spirit begins to move on the water and there is a transformation that begins to take place as God restores the planet. I don’t know if you’re Star Trek fans, if you ever watch any of the Star Trek movies. I’ve watched them all.
One was called The Wrath of Khan and another The Search for Spock. This is all a story about these scientists in the future who created some whiz bang ray that you could shoot at a dead planet and all of a sudden all of these things would happen and all of a sudden it would make this planet alive. Of course, accompanying all of this there were earthquakes, storms, and all of these things happening as this planet goes from just being a rock to having plants and animals, and it was speeding up evolution, in their view, and all sorts of things.
That’s sort of what happens when God takes this planet, which is in absolute darkness, covered with water, and then the Holy Spirit begins to rejuvenate it. Over the next six days this planet is reshaped into something that wasn’t there before.
This is the first part where you have Eden, the Garden of God, and then there’s a judgment that occurs with the fall of Lucifer and the earth just becomes chaos, tohu vebohu in Genesis 1:2 and then God begins to rebuild the planet and on the 4th day He adds the stars. Now you have the present universe.
One of the interesting things here is on the 4th day God created the greater light, which is the sun, and the lesser light, which is the moon, and the stars. What existed before was a planet which was illuminated by the glory of God, the only thing we can assume, because there is no sun or stars. You cannot make the word asah which is the word meaning to make something into the meaning of turning it on. Some have tried that.
On the fourth day, it says “when God made” the sun and the moon. It doesn’t say he makes them out of nothing, which would be bara’. It is simply God made and fashioned the sun and the moon and the stars.
If we go to Revelation 21 what we discover in the new heavens and earth, God will make His abode on the planet. I think He made His abode on the planet back in Genesis 1:1. He makes His abode on the planet so that His presence illuminates the New Earth. The text specifically states there will be no sun and no moon.
Now the sun is a star, so if there’s no sun, there’s no stars. It’s going to be like the original creation. No stars, no sun, no moon and everything is illuminated by the glory of God. This is how we get to the present heavens and earth. It is God’s plan for mankind and it comes after the angelic revolt.
That’s the first stage. One other thing I want to address before we move on is this statement that God makes at the end of every day. He looks at what He did that day, and He says that it’s good. Then at the end of the week He says it’s very good.
This word “good” as I pointed out Sunday morning is a word that people have said indicates that there’s no sin or evil yet. They say it has a moral sense to it, a righteousness sense to it. They think God is really saying there’s no fall and there’s no sin and everything is good in the sense of righteousness and perfection and sinlessness.
The problem with that is that in doing a deep dive word study for the word that’s used a lot in Scripture, while in some passages it can have a secondary meaning, such as that which is righteous, but you get that from the context and not from the word.
Let me give you a parallel. The word kadosh, the noun for holy is used when Isaiah appears before the throne of God in Isaiah 6:3. He sees and hears the seraphim singing “holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty”. They’re talking about God as being distinct and unique. That’s the core meaning of the word kadosh. Unique, distinct, set apart. That’s the core idea. It doesn’t have anything to do with morality and righteousness because the feminine participle describes the temple prostitutes in the fertility religions of Baal and Asherah.
That’s not righteous. So many people say holy means righteous and just. No, it doesn’t. It means set apart. God is unique. God is distinct. Then something happens. As the seraphim are singing, “holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” what happens to Isaiah? He says, “oh woe is me, a man of unclean lips.”
In the presence of the unique, distinct God, one aspect of His character is that He is uniquely and distinctly righteous. Isaiah recognizes that he, as a sinner, is in the presence of the righteous God and he is unclean and needs to be purified.
What happens? A seraph flies to this censor that’s filled with coal, picks one up, takes it, and burns Isaiah’s lips so he becomes purified. That gives up the idea of moral purity and righteousness in Isaiah 6:3, but it doesn’t come from the word “holy”. It comes from the secondary context in that passage.
When we look at words, we have to understand that there’s the core semantic value or meaning of a word and then, often, it has different baggage that it picks up depending on the context. But it comes from the context. It doesn’t come from the core meaning of that word.
This is what we have with the word “tob”. We’re told that God said it’s not good for man to be alone. Now when did Genesis 2 take place? It takes place during the sixth day of the week so it’s still within that context of everything that God is saying is good, good, good, but God is saying that it’s not good for man to be alone. What God is saying it that “it’s not what I planned.”
One of the core meanings of the word good is according to plan. So, God is saying that being alone is not good and He’s going to point that out to Adam and He’s going to create Eve so there was his counterpart. There was male and female.
So if tob has the idea that is immoral and imperfect and unrighteous then you have a problem because the man is single and that would be saying that’s unrighteous, that’s immoral, that’s morally wrong. You have to be consistent with how you handle words. Look at the context.
There’s another thing that occurred to me today. In all the years I’ve done this I’ve never run this study, but I ran this study today and that was on the phrase “very good”. Tob is the Hebrew word for good. “Very” is the word me’od. When you say thank you very much, you say todah raba or todah me’od. So tob me’od means very good.
How is that phrase used in the Bible? The first thing I did was I ran a search just on that precise phrase, tob me’od. I came up with about seven passages. I thought, “Oh, sometimes you have another word. Sometimes you can reverse the word order so I’m going to do a search and look for every time you have me’od used within three verses ahead or behind of tob.
I came up with about eleven verses. I’m going to read some of them to you and you tell me if this is something that has a moral sense to it. Genesis 24:16, “Now the young woman was very beautiful.” That’s tob me’od. It goes on to say she was a virgin and no man had known her. She went down to the well and filled her pitcher, so this is talking about Rebecca when they’re looking for a bride for Isaac.
She was very beautiful. Does that have a moral sense? No, it has an esthetic sense but not a moral sense.
Numbers 14:7 tells us about the spies. The spies come back to the Israelites and speak to the children of Israel about what they’d seen. “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.” That’s tob me’od. Does that have a moral sense to it? The Canaanites live there. It’s an immoral place. They’re sacrificing babies and their daughters and all kinds of horrible things, which is why God is going to mandate that they all be killed and annihilated by the Israelites. So it’s certainly not. It’s just talking about the physical land and of course, land can’t be good or bad, moral or immoral, righteous or unrighteous.
Judges 18:9, “They said rise and let us go up against them for we have seen the land.—This is a quote going back to quoting the spies—It’s very good. Would you do nothing? Do not hesitate to go in and enter and possess the land.” That’s just repeating Numbers 14:7.
Jeremiah 24:2–3. Using a parable, the Lord is convicting Israel of their sin and talks about figs. “One basket had very good figs.” Can figs be moral or immoral? No. So, tob me’od means very good figs. “And the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten. So the Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah? Good figs which are very good and bad figs so bad they cannot be eaten.’ ” Here is another example and it has nothing to do with morality or righteousness.
1 Samuel 19:4, “Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul, his father and said to him, ‘Let not the king sin against his servant—against David—because he has not sinned against you.’ ” This is the only place where there is a hint of morality in those phrases and that’s covered by the word sin. “And because his works have been very good towards you.”
If you look at the context what are those works? He’s gone out and killed Philistines. He has defeated the enemy for Saul. He has performed the tasks that Saul has given him to perform. It’s not talking at all about something that is moral or immoral. It’s talking about David has done what Saul has told him to do. He’s a good, obedient servant.
1 Samuel 25:14–15 has to do with that episode with Nabal, who is just a horrible husband and he’s abusive toward his wife, Abigail. One of the servants had told Nabal’s wife, Abigail, that David had sent messengers to greet our lord, but your husband screamed with them and treated them with disrespect. These men have helped us and protected us and they did not insult us nor did we sustain any loss during the entire time we were together in the field. That’s not talking about moral righteousness or justice or anything like that.
1 Samuel 25:16 says, “Both night and day they were a protective wall for us, the entire time we were with them tending our flocks.” That’s what good meant.
Then you go on to a couple of passages. 1 Kings 1:6 describes Absalom. He’s good looking. He’s tob me’od. That’s it! That’s all the passages in the Bible where tob and me’od are used closely together. Not one of those has anything to do with morality or righteousness or anything even closely resembling that. It has to do with people doing what they’re supposed to do in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities and carrying them out.
Slides 12 and 13
Genesis 1:2 is the first time we see any hint of Satan and then he shows up in Genesis 3. We all know the story that he first tempts Eve. He shows her this fruit and he tells her to look at it and asks her why God doesn’t let her eat it. She looks at it and sees that it’s good to eat and pleasant to the eyes.
Satan asks if God is jealous and doesn’t want Eve to be like Him and know good and evil like He does, so He’s just trying to keep something from her. She looks at it, buys into his line, and eats the fruit. That is her sin, her fall. But then she takes it to her husband, Adam, and he eats it. Therein lies the moral fall of the human race in Adam’s original sin.
Then God shows up later in the afternoon as He normally did. He is walking in the Garden to have fellowship with Adam and Eve. It always has that connotation of fellowship when God and humans are concerned. He can’t find Adam and Eve. Not that He doesn’t know where they are because He’s omniscient.
He asks where they are. It’s interesting to note that we jump in and say “I see you over there”, but God wants to make points. Jesus is the same way. He doesn’t just jump in and tell everyone what He wants them to recognize. God asks, “Where are you? Why are you where you are?”
Adam explains, going through the whole process. Because Adam has sinned God begins to lay out what the consequences are for their sin. The first creature He talks to is going to be the serpent because when God asks Adam who told him that the fruit would make him wise like God.
Adam says his wife is the wife God gave him. It’s a well-crafted line. He blames both Eve and God in the same breath. It’s the woman You gave me and so then God is going to walk through what the consequences are going to be for the serpent, what the consequences are going to be for Eve, and what the consequences are going to be for Adam.
In verse 14 we read, “For the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this you are cursed more than all the cattle.’ ” See, because he had done this, he was cursed more than all the cattle. It tells you that all the animals are cursed, but the serpent more so. “And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
The word there for serpent is the word nachash. There are people, theologians, that say you have to interpret everything only in terms of what the original readers would have understood at the time and they would not have understood that the serpent was indwelt by Satan or Satan had taken the form of a serpent. They claim you can’t say this serpent here is Satan.
This is very popular today. It’s a wrong application of what is called biblical theology which is looking at each book, and you should initially, in isolation. What does this book teach me about God? What does this book teach me about grace? What does this book teach about sin? What does this book teach about salvation? You go through that, but then you go to the next step and you put things together.
We live in a world where there’s a reaction among a lot of theologians. We used to have a Greek professor at Chafer Seminary like this. He just balked at the idea of taking what Paul said in one epistle and putting it together with what Peter said in another epistle and putting them together and coming to a theological conclusion. This happens, though. It’s not fresh with this generation. You go back and you read John Calvin. He said about Genesis 3:1 and Genesis 3:15 that the serpent was just a snake.
There’s a professor, been there for a long time now, thirty years or more, in the Old Testament Department at Dallas Seminary who takes the same view. They think it is totally wrong to go to Revelation 12:9, which clarifies things for us. The Jews of the Old Testament understood, but God makes it very clear and on the basis of Revelation 12:9 we ought to be able to interpret accurately Genesis 3 and the serpent.
In Revelation 12:9 we read, “Though the great dragon—this is talking about when Satan is evicted from Heaven—was cast out …” He’s identified further, “Called the devil and Satan.” That’s pretty clear that the serpent was Satan who deceives the whole world just like he deceived Eve.
Genesis 3 is the second time we see Satan show up. You don’t see him again in chapter 3 or chapter 4. Now the problem isn’t Satan, the problem is sin. Because when Cain gets angry at Abel and he’s all depressed and his face has fallen, God shows up and tells him that he needs to take care of this because sin is crouching at the door and wants to devour him. He doesn’t say “the devil made you do it”, or the devil is waiting at his door. Cain’s problem was his sin nature and he needed to deal with it.
Slides 15 and 16
The next time we have an issue with the demons and Satan shows up in Genesis 6:1. It says, “Now it came about when men …”
The Hebrew word here is adam, which means mankind, humanity, the human race; the reason it’s called mankind is because Eve was taken from the side of the man and everyone in the human race traces their origin back to the male. So it’s correct to call it mankind. One of the things that happens today in all of the silliness of the leftists and radical feminists and all of these others, is that they want to redefine everything.
By redefining words, they change the way you think about things. They have done a number on us so that when you sit down and you say something and you call us mankind they say you’re a sexist, you’re a racist, and all this other nonsense.
The reality is that you’re coming from a biblical worldview, but they want to make you ashamed of it. They want to make you feel little and that you’re an enemy of modern times. But the reality is that we have to use God’s words. God the Holy Spirit picked the words and God the Holy Spirit is perfect, so there’s nothing wrong with calling the human race mankind.
There is a reason for that and it’s to emphasize that all of the human race is genetically related so one other Member of the human race, Jesus Christ, who is fully human, can die for everyone else in the human race. He can’t die for any angels and angel sins because He’s not organically, genetically related to angels. He is, however, genetically related to every single human being, just as you and I are related to every other human. We all go back to the man, Adam.
Genesis 6:1, “Now it came about, when mankind began to multiply on the face of the land—that’s described in Genesis 5’s genealogies—and daughters were born to them that the sons of god saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.” That’s a pretty common phrase all through the Scripture. We read that Abraham took a wife and Isaac took a wife. It doesn’t involve rape. It doesn’t involve any kind of fake manipulation or deception or anything else. It’s just a normal word for marriage.
Just like most everyone who is here that is married, you married someone you chose. Somebody asked you to marry them or you asked someone to marry you and they said yes or no, but it was their choice. There’s nothing about these two lines that is nefarious. You’ll find people who come along and say they came down and raped these women. No, they didn’t. Do the word studies, look at the everyday use of the language.
Now we have to understand who the sons of God are here. This is the Hebrew phrase bene haElohim. We studied this a lot, and it refers to angelic creation, fallen and holy, the elect angels as well as the fallen angels. I think they’re called the sons of God for two reasons. In Hebrew you have an idiom usually not translated this way, so you can’t find it in most English translations. But if someone is a fool, they call them a son of a fool. This means they manifest the characteristics of a fool just like a son will manifest the characteristics of his father.
I don’t know about you, but I get up in the morning a lot of times and wonder why my dad is looking back at me. These things happen. The sons of God are not the result of procreation of God, but each were created individually by God. So they’re sons of God in that sense, but they’re also a son of God in the sense that they live in the realm of God in the unseen realm, in the invisible realm. That’s part of it as well. They are the sons of ’elohim and they’re called that many times in Scripture.
There are three interpretations offered for understanding what happens in this episode. When I grew up I was always taught that the sons of God were angels, and that this is an episode where demons at some point in the past were able to take on human form. Later on, angels did this in Genesis 17 when Abraham saw three men coming toward his tent and they’re a long way off.
He recognized they were special, so he runs to slaughter a calf and to skin the animal and to butcher the animal, to eviscerate the animal, all of these things take a lot of time. He’s preparing for these visitors who are coming and he’s going to honor them. We learn as we go through the story that one of them is God, probably the pre-incarnate Christ who is appearing because the Father doesn’t appear, but the Son does.
Then the other two are angels. They’re going to be sent to warn Abraham’s nephew, Lot, in Sodom. They come and these two angels had human bodies and they sit down. They eat. They drink. They sleep. All of the normal functions of a human being. This is a great insight into that.
Now the first interpretation of this is that the terms, sons of God and daughters of men, relate to two classifications of human beings. Sons of God relate to the spiritual line. They will say this is the line of Seth. Then the other line, daughters of men, are the apostate line, the carnal line. These are the unbelievers, descendants of Cain. They’re dividing the whole human race and saying that all who descended from Seth are believers and all who descended from Cain are unbelievers.
There is a lot of problems with that. I’m not going to go into all of that, but one of them is that if you work out on the basis of genealogies where people were living for over 900 years, then you would have approximately twenty to thirty generations living together at the same time. Just think, everyone who was born since 1000 AD were still alive. We wouldn’t have a population of 6 billion on the planet. We’d have a population of 60 billion.
People have worked out that if you had a population just on the conservative estimate that each couple just had two children and those two had two and so on, then the population at the time of the flood was somewhere between three and four billion and that’s on the conservative side. My guess is that it was more like what it is today. It was probably more like 6, 7, or 8 billion on the planet.
You can’t go around and just divide everyone, all the descendants of Cain over here and you’re all unbelievers. And the other half are all believers. That just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The problem then would be that the descendants of Seth are intermarrying with unbelievers. Why would that cause God to want to judge the entire human race and kill everyone except for Noah’s family? That just doesn’t make sense at all. We have problems with believers marrying unbelievers all through time, all through history. All through the Church Age. All through Israel. They married a lot of unbelievers, but we don’t see God destroying everybody because they did that.
Here are the problems:
- It’s a one-way problem of only saved men marrying unsaved women. You don’t have saved women marrying unsaved men. It is a gross oversimplification.
- The context shows only eight survived, which means that by the time of the Flood, there were only eight believers and everyone else on the planet would have been a daughter of men, so you couldn’t have divided them between the descendants of Seth and the descendants of Cain.
- “Daughters” is made to refer to descendants of Cain, but contextually daughters were never mentioned in that line, only the men. There were daughters, but they’re only mentioned in the Seth line where they are mentioned nine times. This is another problem.
- Sonship outside of Genesis relates to the privileged position of Israel as a theocratic covenanted nation.
The second view is probably one you have never heard of and that these are ancient despots, autocrats, who have taken positions of tyranny over others and they are forcing these women into their harems. I have known some wonderful Old Testament scholars who have taken this view. In many other areas they were right but not here. This second option is that the sons of God are these dynastic dictators or autocrats who force these young, beautiful maidens to marry them and develop huge harems.
Again, you have a lot of problems.
- Sons of God is never used for tyrants.
- In the alleged support for this view, the judge, going to this idea that some humans are called judges and they become tyrants, never happen. A judge is always seen as a representative of God, but here they want to make the judge or the leader a representative of Cain as a reprobate ruler. To get around this they try to make it a genitive of description for a class, but they also want to use ’Elohim in a positive sense. See, if you are one of the sons of God, you’re bad. You’re a dynastic ruler. Then again, we’re going to talk about ’Elohim and He’s good. So it’s just got many problems.
Neither of these first two interpretations address these two issues:
- Why is it necessary to wipe out almost the entire human race? There’s no reason in those first two interpretations to wipe out the entire human race.
- This ignores the evidence from the New Testament Epistles of Peter and Jude.
So, the third view is the view that the term sons of God is a technical term for angels, and in this case fallen angels or demons who seduced these young women and married them in order to produce a genetically defiled offspring.
One objection is Matthew 22:30. Jesus says, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.” You usually get someone who comes along and says Jesus said that angels don’t marry, but the marriage doesn’t say angels can’t take on human bodies and have sexual relations. It doesn’t say that. Remember these are disobedient angels.
Mark 12:24–25 expands on what Matthew 22:30 says, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Are you not therefore mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” The context is important here because he’s talking to these Sadducees who are just trying to trap Jesus. They tell Him about a woman whose husband died. Because of Levirate marriage she is to marry one of the brothers and raise up children to her first husband. Then the second one dies so she marries the third brother. Then he dies and the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh husband all die. So they ask Jesus who she’ll be married to in the resurrection.
We have several problems here:
- Why isn’t she under suspicion of murder because she’s gone through these seven men?
- The Sadducees don’t believe in resurrection or angels.
This is just such a bogus setup that you have to understand that Jesus’ answer is really tweaking them. He’s going to make fun of them.
Jesus says, “Are you not therefore mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God for when they rise from the dead—when resurrection occurs in the future—they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.”
That seems a little obscure, but Jesus is saying that among the angels we don’t have the divine institution of marriage, because they’re immaterial beings and in their natural state they do not procreate and have baby angels.
Luke 20:34–36 gives us even more information. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage but those who are counted worthy to attain that age,—the Sadducees didn’t believe in a future after death; they don’t believe in resurrection, so Jesus is really tweaking them here—and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and the sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.’ ” He’s telling them that they aren’t worthy because they don’t even believe in the resurrection. In this whole situation here, Jesus isn’t saying that the angels can’t take on human form and have sexual relations. They could take on human form and do all kinds of things, so they could do that as well.
Job 1:6 clearly states that these are the sons of God. Job is the first book in the Old Testament and “sons of God” refers to angels in Job 1:6 and in Job 2:1 as well as in Job 38:7.
Now in Psalm 29:1, which we’ve gone through in the first passages, it says, “Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, give unto the Lord glory and strength.” “Mighty ones” is a short form, not bene haElohim but bene ’elim.
This is talking about these sons of God, the angels. Psalm 89:6, which is the prayer based on the Davidic Covenant, says, “For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord?” Here you have the use of that phrase I’ve been talking about, bene ’elim.
They’re called qadshim or holy ones in Psalm 89:5 and that’s in parallelism to what we find in Psalm 89:6. They are the sons of the mighty, literally bene ’elim, sons of God.
Psalm 89:7 talks about God in the council of his holy ones, so all through this you see this emphasis on this phrase and it always means angels.
Then we look at Genesis 6:4. Actually I deceived myself into thinking I could make it through all of this. I’ve got 30 more slides and we’re only on 33. We’ll come back on Thursday night and deal with what the New Testament says about nephilim and some of the stuff going on today is just really bizarre.
I don’t have time to do this, but I have pastor friends who are studying this. You can go out on the Internet. I suggest you not do that, but you can just type Nephilim into YouTube and you will get the most egregious science fiction you’ve ever seen about how all of these are still alive on the earth. They’re hidden and they’re secret and they are conspiring to take over the world. Let’s just stick with the Word and ignore the world. Remember the only difference between the Word and the world is “l”. Think about it. Let’s close in prayer.
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word and to understand that there is a lot going on in this universe, relating to the angels and this Angelic Revolt that is far beyond our experience, our ability to perceive it, and to understand it or comprehend it. God has given us this information for a reason because we are to demonstrate His grace to the principalities and powers who are these angels and that’s our mission. It’s directly related to our mission as described in Ephesians 3:9–10.
“Father, we pray You will challenge us with what we’ve studied. In Christ’s name. Amen.”