We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Some Random Good Stuff


One of my readers pointed me to a pastor out in Texas, Dr. Randy White.  No, this is not the Randy White married to heretic Paula White!  I have begun looking over his articles and have found some good ones worth sharing, so these are the first three entries for today.

Why I Believe in Believer’s Baptism.”  I certainly have to agree with his reasoning.

Contrary to the teachings of so many cults, when the Christian dies, he goes immediately to be with the Lord.

Good analysis of a very disgusting picture supporting the social gospel of the liberals.

What does the term “only begotten” mean?

Steve Bricker posts a good commentary on Psalm 19.

I found another excellent article on the subject of judging.  I’m really tired of the trite claims against Christians by the public and against apologists by Christians with “judge not.”  Should Christians Judge?

Think about it, pastors:  Are You Chasing Goats or Tending Sheep?

A good article on early Christian beliefs.

I’ll leave you with a good bit of humor.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sin Must Be Punished


Any view of the cross and of the death of Christ which does not bring "the blood" to the very centre and make it an absolute necessity is a misrepresentation of the cross.  Christ is our Sin-bearer.  He died on Calvary's hill for our sins, to receive the punishment of our sins.  The just and holy God had to punish sin, and He punished it there.  A preaching of the cross which does not mention the righteousness and the justice of God, and the absolute necessity of punishment, is a complete misrepresentation of the doctrine of the death of Christ.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.262

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

What is it with the Pope who thinks he speaks for God.  Now he says that if you aren’t open to having children then you can’t be married.  I knew that Rome was big on not permitting contraception, but to give it as a condition of marriage is just bizarre.  Can someone please show me in the Bible where it says this?

And yet we have Catholic Relief Services helping Planned Parenthood and promoting abortion aside from contraception?!?!?

While on the subject of Romanism, Lighthouse Trails Research Project has a new tract booklet about The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ.

Another follow-up about the Perry Noble fiasco.  Then we find a good rebuttal to Christianity Today’s Astray’s defense of Noble.  HT to Erin

Another HT to Erin for this one.  I wonder where false teacher Jesse Duplantis finds this in Scripture?

One of the things I’ve always heard from many legalistic teachers is that the root word for pharmaceutical has to do with sorcery, and therefore it is wrong to use drugs of any sort, and also that is why using recreational drugs can be so evil.  Sola Sisters puts that claim to rest.

Still lots of brouhaha over the one “heaven visitor” recanting his tale.  First there is Tyndale’s justification for not pulling the book. Hip and Thigh has a good article about this “pestilence” of “Heaven Tourism.

A twist from the Cripplegate is how one discusses a real trip to heaven.

I found this old article while skimming this site to check out the teacher.  He has some pretty good teachings, and I can understand why he wants to make sure which Randy White he is!  Paula White is about as heretical as they get.

Until next time, contend for THE Faith.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Do You Know God?


You can be religious and know certain things about God, and believe certain things about God, and be interested in God, and read books about God, and listen to lectures and arguments about God.  Yet you may not be a Christian.  To be a Christian is to know God.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.183

Saturday, January 24, 2015

True Unity


To me one of the major tragedies of the hour, and especially in the realm of the Church, is that most of the time seems to be taken up by the leaders in preaching about unity instead of preaching the gospel that alone can produce unity.  The time is spent in talking and in conferences, endlessly -- conferences in which they "explore their difficulties".  You will never get unity that way.  It is the gospel alone that will produce unity.  And while there is disagreement about the gospel it is a waste of breath and of energy to be talking about any other possible way to unity.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.157

Friday, January 23, 2015

He made himself of no reputation.


“He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”  He regarded the insignia of His Godhead not as a prize to be held on to, to be clutched.  He deliberately decided that He would for the time being lay them aside.  Not lay the Godhead aside — He could not do that — He did not lay the Godhead aside, but He did lay the signs of the Godhead aside.

Then after that first initial decision the second followed, and of necessity. “He made himself of no reputation.”  How superior the Authorized Version is here to the Revised Version and others, which say here “He emptied himself”!  No, He did not empty Himself, He did not empty himself at all.  He “made himself” — still remaining what He was — “of no reputation.”  There is no “kenosis” in the sense of evacuating Himself of His Godhead, for that is impossible.  It is something much more wonderful than that.  It is that He decided to “make himself of no reputation.”  Though still the eternal Son of God, He came down to earth, and He was born as a babe and He lived as a man.  He was still the same but He made Himself of no reputation.  We read stories of great kings putting on ragged clothing and going to work with their hands; nobody knew them, nobody recognised them.  What had happened?  They king had made himself of no reputation, he pretended to be an ordinary man, he did not take with him the trappings and the insignia of his regal position; in other words, he made himself of no reputation.  Or you can think of it in terms of a king traveling incognito.  That is the very thing that happened in the incarnation.  That is what happened when the Son of God came down on earth to dwell amongst men.  Though He remained exactly what He always was, He came as a Man and took upon Him the form of a servant.


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.123

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are You Heavenly-Minded?


Do you know the influence of the heavenly love drawing you and wooing you, and speaking to you?  Heavenly-mindedness!  It is a sad thing, but I have even heard evangelical people joking about this, saying of people, "They have become so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly use."  And that is thought to be a clever statement.  Oh, the tragedy!  You can never be too heavenly-minded.  The trouble with all of us is that we are not sufficiently heavenly-minded, we do not know enough about it, we do not dwell enough there.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.101

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Difference Between Christians and Unbelievers


One difference between the non-Christian and the Christian is that the non-Christian is overcome by the world, he is absolutely controlled by it.  There is no need to demonstrate this; the way in which people live is an absolute proof of it.  It is all depicted in the newspapers.  Non-Christians are entirely controlled by "the thing to do," and by "what everybody is doing."  Controlled by the world!  The Christian, on the other hand, is a man who has a victory over the world.  What a contrast!  He is taken out of that realm.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.97

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Update from my last report about Perry Noble.  A comment on the Hip and Thigh article is eye-opening:   I live in the same state as Noble and his “church” is casting a dark shadow all around us. His goal is to have 100,000 people attending his “church” and to take over the church as we know it. I have met many of his “converts” in doing street evangelism and they know nothing of the biblical gospel. They just think Noble is cool and hip and all and who cares about the Bible stuff anyway? Pray for God to help true disciples here in South Carolina to stand firm despite not seeing the pragmatic results that Noble does.

The Beth Moore interchange with a discerning woman has exploded on the Internet.  Beth doesn’t like people questioning her direct revelations from God.  CARM has done a good job of posting a synopsis of Moore’s teachings, and why she can’t be trusted.  What should we think about Moore?  I think Moore needs to confess her false teachings and start over! 

A hat tip to Erin for the next three:

A very sad aspect of the whole Beth Moore situation is that her followers behave as cult members, totally ignoring the fact that Moore has continuously been exposed in regards to her bad teachings.  I can speak from experience in that the most comments I have received over the past 7 years has been in regards to my articles about Beth.  I get some of the most hate-filled vitriol possible, with all sorts of attacks on my person.  And with that, I will leave you with one more article about Beth Moore.

Some more disconcerting information about David Jeremiah.

The pope’s visit to the Philippines demonstrates how much idolatry is in the Roman Catholic religion.  Jack Morrow provides more information.

Beware the horrible “but”-monster.   Good stuff.

All over the news this past week.  Meanwhile, this one remains steadfast in his lie.

Lastly, I received an e-mail this week from James Kieferdorf.  He was alerting me to a false teacher I hadn’t heard of — Anna Diehl.  Here is James’ e-mail:

Today I received my Christian Post via email. I see they still have no problem having Anna Diehl's anti-Trinitarian link still on their site.

How on earth can they have this women's articles/link on their page, when she VEHEMENTLY ASSAILS " the Trinity, the Bible and other Christian teachings.

Today I looked over her site, I could not believe what I was reading!

The Pursuit of God
Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Scroll down some and read "Why Did Yahweh Lie About Being The Only God In Existence?”

Her blog for Jan 11 is "BLASPHEMY" Christianity Monotheism Or Polytheism?

She states many disparaging remarks about the Trinity and Christians who believe/teach this cardinal teaching of the Christian faith.

"The Trinity, now there's a pesky little doctrine that has led us totally astray"

"When Jesus came, he changed the rules and said there were actually three Gods..."

"Christians are rebelling against God..."

I am going to voice my concern!
James
=========

You’ve been warned.


Friday, January 16, 2015

About as Weird as it Gets


I certainly have to agree with what was said at the Museum of Idolatry:
This video is one of the greatest arguments against Roman Catholicism that we've seen.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Believe in God?


You say, I know many people who are not Christians but who say that they believe in God.  No, they do not!  They believe in a figment of their own imagination; they do not believe in God.  If they believed in God they would believe in His Christ, as our Lord Himself argues in John 8:30-45.  But they do not.  They believe simply in what they think and imagine God is, the god that they have manufactured themselves.  That is not God!

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.29

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Let’s just start with New Spring Church and the Perry Noble fiasco and his claim that there is no Hebrew word for “command,” along with his re-interpretation of the Ten Commandments.  The Cripplegate was the first I read critiquing Noble’s claim.  Then one of the sites I follow (I forgot which one I got the link from) pointed me to this article which is a round-up of links to responses against Noble’s poor teaching.  Then, of course, Noble “apologized” for his teaching; Hip and Thigh did a great examination of Noble’s “sorry.”  Suffice it to say that Noble is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  He appears to be a goatherd with followers who are seeking to have their ears tickled.

Maryland’s first female Episcopal “bishop” is on administrative leave due to various criminal charges stemming from drunk driving.  Jack Morrow had a pretty good article about the issue.  Of course, biblically-speaking, she should never have been a bishop anyway.  Since the Episcopal Church is an apostate body, I sincerely doubt that she will be given church discipline and defrocked.

If anyone ever had any doubts as to whether the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate organization, then the fact that their pope wants all religions to work together should eliminate any doubts remaining.

The Mennonites have also gone the apostate path with same-sex fake marriage.  I realize that Mennonites, as a religious body, are quite diverse, but I have been seeing more and more movement in the USA in this direction, as well as movement into the whole contemplative/mystical arena.

An article in Christianity Today Astray promotes false teachers Beth Moore and Christine Caine.  I agree that it is good for women to be teaching the Bible to other less mature women in the body of Christ, but this should be done by women who actually know what they are talking about and who don’t claim direct revelation from God!  The women this magazine puts on a pedestal have long been exposed as false teachers, and yet CT is promoting them.  Just another example of what is wrong with that publication!

As for women teachers in general, there are some poor teachings being promulgated which are really subtly harmful.  Elizabeth Prata did a four-part examination of “She Reads Truth.”  This link goes directly to part one, from where you can link to the rest.  There is a lot to peruse, but I hope women especially will take heed of what Elizabeth says in her critiques.

Can you believe that a Catholic bishop thinks same-sex relationships can be marked” by “holiness?!?  Will the Pope correct him?

The assembly at where we’ve worshiped the past 13 years brought in a “Pastor of Worship” who is more of a performer than a worship leader.  Some of the material he’s been having us learn leaves a lot to be desired.  I know from information I’ve seen about him prior to arriving late last summer that he has even written his own songs, although so far he hasn’t brought them in our assembly.  Because of this issue, I’ve read quite a few articles about what should or should not be used in corporate worship because, after all, the songs we sing are actually teaching us.  I have previously linked to some of these articles, but this week I was looking through an old Christian Research Journal and came across this excellent article by John MacArthur and decided to see if it was available on the ‘net — and there it was.  I think a main point worth mulling over is this statement:    “Like it or not, songwriters are teachers as well. Many of the lyrics they write will be far more deeply and permanently ingrained in the minds of Christians than anything pastors teach from the pulpit. How many songwriters are skilled enough in theology and Scripture to qualify for such a vital role in the catechesis of our people?"

How can a church call themselves “Christian” while fighting to have a monument removed because it depicts a soldier praying?  Americans United for Separation of Church and State is led by a “minister” of the United Church of Christ, and they got the memorial removed.  Of course anyone reading about anything this group does should realize that this group has no idea of what the Constitution of the USA actually says in the First Amendment.  The UCC is probably the most apostate and heretical body to still claim to be a Christian denomination, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when one of their members leads a crusade to rid public displays of faith.

Did you know that “God is waiting on YOU!”?  Neither did I, but Jesse Duplantis says so.  Perhaps he should read his Bible a wee bit closer.  (HT to Erin Benziger)

David Jeremiah is getting to be more and more of a concern to me.

Finally, if you thought that the Seventh-day Adventists as a denomination were giving up on Ellen G. White’s false teachings, you are going to be disappointed.  The SDA is still a cult.

Mankind in Sin


[T]he man who is not a Christian is a man who is simply governed and controlled by the world, its mind, its outlook, its mentality.  I know of nothing which is more sad about man in sin than just that.  You see it in all your newspapers.  Is it not sad to see the way people are governed entirely by what other people think and say and do?  They are sorry for those of us who are Christian.  They say, ‘Fancy shutting themselves down to that one Book, those narrow miserable Christians!’  So speaks the so-called broad-minded man of the world.  How subtle the devil is to persuade people of that!  For their little life is entirely controlled by the organization of the world.  They think as the world thinks.  They take their opinions ready-made from their favorite newspaper.  Their very appearance is controlled by the world and its changing fashions.  They all conform; it must be done; they dare not disobey; they are afraid of the consequences.  That is tyranny, that is absolute control — clothing, hair style, everything, absolutely controlled.  The mind of the world!  There is no time to elaborate on the subtle, almost devilish influence that is displayed often in its fashions — sex rampant.  This is a sex-ridden age.  It comes out everywhere — photographs and pictures and placards suggesting it.  Most lives are controlled by it and governed by it, all their opinions, their language the way they spend their money, what they desire, where they go, where they spend their holidays; it is all controlled, governed completely.  Surely all this was never more evident in the world than it is today.  When people talk so glibly about their emancipation they are giving a very clear proof of the fact that they are governed and dominated and controlled by this world, the mind of the world, the age of propaganda, the age of advertising, the mass mind, the mass man, the mass individual, without knowing it.  Is it not tragic?  But that is man in sin.  He is spiritually dead, because he is controlled by this mind of the world.”


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.21-22

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Context, Context, Context


Ignoring the context of a verse to support the principle or point, even though it might be a good one, teaches listeners or readers that this is an acceptable practice.  This mishandling of Scripture not only sets a bad example, it damages the church's ability to criticize, or even recognize, the faulty interpretive methods of cults and aberrant teachers.  The fact that a principle or point being taught happens to be orthodox does not justify using a faulty interpretive method to arrive at or support it.  The end does not justify the means.

Steve Bright, "What Are We Teaching About How to Handle Scripture?" Christian Research Journal Vol. 28/No.3, 2005, ""From the Editor"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Popular Jesus?


When Jesus gets popular in the mass media, watch out -- it's not the real Jesus.  The church popular is the church polluted, and the church persecuted is the church pure.


Norman Geisler, cited by Douglas LeBlanc in "The Mass Media's Quest for the Historical Jesus," Christian Research Journal, Vol. 27 / No. 3, 2004, "News Watch"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Outside the Life of God


The way of the world, with all its changes, its constant changes, is a proclamation of the fact that those who follow it are profoundly miserable.  That is why they have to go on changing.  They get tired of everything, they must always be seeking after something new.  They are always looking for thrills and they run after them.  Why?  Because it is intolerable to them to spend a few hours with themselves.  They find their own company so miserable that they spend their lives in running away from themselves.  That is the measure of the misery of a life of sin: no resources and no reserves, because they are outside the life of God.


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians 2, p.20

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I guess a good place to start with this report is examining the reviews about the latest Hollywood depiction of biblical events.  You just know it has to be bad, don’t you?  The movie is, “Exodus: God and Kings.  I never bother attending these sorts of movies, since they will always be nothing more that leftist, liberal nonsense.  Of course my suspicions are always proven correct when I read the reviews.  There were many reviews out there, but I’ll point you to just three.
Answers In Genesis was about the first non-secular review, and just this review was enough for me.  The Gospel Coalition showed us How to Ruin a Moses Movie.  The last one worth sending you to is in “Bible History Daily”; they thought the movie was “excruciating.”

Mark Driscoll is back, un-biblically claiming to be a pastor.  His web site looks to be quite narcissistic, and he could really use your money.  I think the apologetics world has provided more than enough evidence proving that Driscoll is unqualified to be a church leader, and it doesn’t matter if he’s in a church on on a web site!

More apostasy with James MacDonald — he’s even built a facility for the heretical station TBN!!!

Sola Sisters has a good examination of Sarah Young’s "Jesus Calling".  Then you can read a new interesting booklet available from Lighthouse Trails Research Ministry — “The New Age Implications of ‘Jesus Calling’.”

The atheists, as well as the rest of the non-believing world, do their best to make sensationalistic claims against the Christian faith.  It is usually best to just ignore such foolishness, but this latest example just really got my head shaking.  A very liberal feminist says that God raped Mary.  This is a person who really doesn’t believe in God or the Bible, and yet she makes such foolish claims about that in which she has no belief!  A truly Romans 1:18-32 moment.

Of course by now you have probably read about or have seen the Newsweek article about how the Bible is so misrepresented.  The only misrepresentation is by NewsweekAlbert Mohler responds to the article, as does “canon fodder” (be sure to catch the link to part 2), and Daniel Wallace.  Of course, none of these rebuttals will be published by Newsweek — truth is not allowed.

Elizabeth Prata had a really good article about the SIN of listening to and following false teachers.  She then had an article about Billy Graham, a false teacher who has been used by the Lord but is a false teacher nevertheless, with some really dangerous ideas!  (In the comment section you can read about some similar problems with his son, Franklin.)


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Who Were the “Sons of God” in Genesis 6?


This article will attempt to answer the question, “Who were the 'sons of God' and the 'daughters of men' of Genesis Chapter 6:1-4?"  Bible passages will be from the Holman Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.

When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.  And the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because the are corrupt.  Their days will be 120 years.’  The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them.  They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.”

According to all the commentators I've read, the Nephilim were the offspring of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of man."  Although the text in English doesn't specifically state this (it only says they were around at the same time), I have always accepted the view of the scholars.

Let’s look at the phrase “sons of God” and see where it appears in the Bible, and what the Hebrew actually says (from Wikipedia):
Gen. 6:2  bənê hāʼĕlōhîm — the sons of Elohim
Job 1:6, 2:1    bənê hāʼĕlōhîm — the sons of Elohim
Job 38:7   bənê ĕlōhîm — (lacking the definite article) sons of godly beings

Now let’s look at them in context:
Job 1:6, 2:1:  "One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them."

Job 38:6-7:  "What supports its [earth's] foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

In Job 1:6, we can easily see that the “sons of God” are heavenly beings, i.e. “angels” of some type.  It says that when they came to God, Satan was with them.  This seems to be saying that Satan is one of the “sons of God.”

Job 38:6-7 is an example of Hebrew parallelism, where the “morning stars” are the same as “sons of God.”  The allusion is to angels who watched God creating the earth, and therefore had to be created first.  

So, with the two passages in Job it appears that the term “sons of God” refers to angels.

In Daniel 3:25 the person in the furnace [angel] is described as looking like “a son of the gods” (HCSB) or “the son of God” (KJV).  A similar term is “sons of the mighty” (or “heavenly beings”) in Psalm 29:1 and 89:6.

There have traditionally been four main theories to who these "sons of God” of Genesis are:
1.  Fallen angels
2.  "Godly" descendants of Seth.
3.  Kings or rulers described as "gods."
4.  Humans possessed by demonic fallen angels.

1.  Fallen angels.  This is the theory I subscribe to, since other uses of the phrase refer to angels. According to Gary Bates, in his book, Alien Intrusion, this view was held by the translators of the Septuagint . .  ., ancient Jewish interpreters, the historian Josephus, the earliest Christian writers, and by many modern notable Christian apologists today.
The main objection to this happens to be based on Jesus’ statement that, like the angels, there won’t be marriage or marrying in heaven in the resurrection.  That does not say that angels were never capable of marrying, or that they were not capable of sexual unions with humans.  In every event with angels in the Bible, they appear in physical bodies in the form of men, and in Gen. 18 even ate food. 

In Jude 6, he says, “and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling.”  This has been explained by many commentators as pointing to the incident with the “sons of God,” as well as other fallen angels (demons).  Likewise, 2 Peter 2:4-5 says, “For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned, but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment…”  These are most likely the same angels Jude is referring to.

Remember, the passage in Genesis said that the sons of God “took” the women they wanted — the implication being that they had the power to take what they wanted without question.  And the fact that their offspring were powerful, and were part of the reason God wanted to destroy the entire population of the earth, suggests there was certainly something very unique about these “sons.”

2.  "Godly" descendants of Seth.  This really doesn’t make sense.  This claim makes the only “godly” people those who descended from Seth.  This view also (usually) says that the “daughters of men” were descended from Cain — as if everyone who descended from Cain was evil!  The Hebrew literally says “daughters of Adam,” which refers to all women.  If all the descendants of Seth were so godly, why weren’t anyone but Noah and his family saved?

3.  Kings or rulers described as “gods."  While some ancient rulers declared themselves to be gods, the context does not allow for this interpretation.  Also, if this was the case, they would certainly have daughters, but Nephilim are always referred to in the masculine gender, according to Bates.

4.  Humans possessed by demonic fallen angels.  This is similar to idea number 1, but in this case the possessed human would have normal human material for sexual relations, and the offspring would be normal humans, even if possessed.

As for the term “Nephilim,” Bates says the Hebrew comes from the root word “naphal,” which means “to fall or to be cast down.”  And he asks the question,Why were these offspring, if they were the progeny of human parents . . .  automatically condemned by God and regarded as fallen?  Being born into an ungodly family by unbelieving parents does not mean that one is excluded from the promises of God that arise from faith in Him.

To be fair, I must point out that while many scholars I’ve read agree with this origin of the word “Nephilim,” there are others who disagree.  So this term in and of itself should not be a hinge point as to who the “sons of God” are.

At any rate, I believe that the only theory about the “sons of God” which makes sense is that they were fallen angels.  Well-known theologian John MacArthur subscribes to the fallen angel view, although from reading his commentary I think he may subscribe to the human-possession view.  The NKJV Study Bible subscribes to this first view, as does Henry Morris in his study Bible (he even points out that this was the view in the apocryphal book of Enoch).  Additionally, the fallen angel view is also claimed by the footnotes in the NET Bible (New English Translation), by the Ryrie Study Bible, by Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s commentary on Genesis, et al.

I believe the case for the “sons of God” being fallen angels is the strongest case for their identity.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Adam and Eve and Their Children

The age-old questions about whom Cain married, and who were the “sons of God” in Genesis have always piqued my curiosity.  Over the years I have studied the issue quite thoroughly and have never had a problem with understanding what the Bible actually says, as well as what the traditional teachings were from the Jews and Christians throughout history.

Due to a discussion on another blog, I decided to write articles about my understanding of these issues, and then have it as an article I can always link to!  

Today I’m just going to address the first question.  References I make to the Hebrew language or Jewish writings come from “Ariel’s Bible Commentary: The Book of Genesis,” by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D.

In Genesis Chapter 1, on the sixth day, God created Adam & Eve.  Chapter 2 merely goes back and gives the details.  But at 1:28 God commanded them to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.”  This would certainly imply that once Eve was presented to Adam as his wife, they would immediately set about “knowing” each other in order to start the population.

Before we go further, we must answer the question as to how long Adam & Eve were in the Garden prior to the Fall.  Since all of creation was “good” on the seventh day of Creation Week, Satan could not have existed as Satan.  There are many theories about how Satan fell from being a “good angel,” but one thing we must get straight is that the “Gap Theory” — which says there was a previous creation destroyed by a war in heaven — is totally untenable, and has been solidly debunked by many scholars.  The “Gap Theory” was developed to fit evolution somewhere in Genesis, and that is a totally unnecessary objective!  At any rate, we have no idea how long Adam & Eve were there prior to the Fall.  Since standard theological doctrine has all of mankind born in sin, we have to say that the first child of Adam & Eve was born outside the Garden after the Fall.  (Some use David’s claim of being conceived in sin, in Psalm 51:5, to say everyone is conceived in sin.  However, the psalms are poetic, and are not always literal but are often from a personal, human viewpoint.  And even if David was conceived in sin, it does not follow that everyone else is!  There are just too many views about that phrase to be dogmatic.) The only way Eve could not have conceived prior to the Fall is if it happened before they had sexual relations, but since they were commanded to multiply, it is inconceivable that they would have remained abstinent, and it is also inconceivable that she would not have gotten pregnant from the first time.  The only thing I can concede is that all children would have been born after the Fall.  (Chapter 4:1 just says that Adam & Eve had sexual relations, but doesn’t say when this took place.  The implication would have to be, for reasons noted, that their first sexual relations were while still in the Garden.)


Now, an important thing to remember is that God told Eve that there would be hostility between her seed and Satan’s seed (3:15), a statement known by Christians as the protoevangelium.

There is much scholarly discussion as to whether Cain was the first child or just the first male child.  Because of the promise of God in 3:15, Eve was looking forward to the Messiah; that is why she was happy about the male child.  The Hebrew literally reads, “I have  gotten a man: YHVH.”  Eve understood the idea of the Messiah being the God-man, and that is who she thought she bore (when it really didn’t happen until Mary in the N.T.).  Jewish Targums also translate this as “I have gotten a man, the angel of Jehovah,” or “...the angel of the Lord.”  (The son of God was often called “the angel of the Lord” or “the angel of Jehovah” in the O.T.).  Other Hebrew in this passage implies that Cain had a twin sister.   So, we now have the firstborn son and daughter.

Genesis 4:2 says that Eve “also gave birth to his brother Abel.”  The Hebrew language used about Abel’s birth implies two twin sisters - triplets!  Also, the Bible doesn’t say how many children were born between Cain and Abel. There had to be quite a large number since Adam and Eve were to be busy “multiplying” and Cain and Abel were full adults at the time of their altercation. 

Another aspect is that as these children reached puberty they would naturally be marrying each other, since they are obeying the command to multiply.  Therefore, as adults when their altercation occurred, Cain and Abel were certainly married with children.  The fact that Cain had many brothers and sisters by now, as well as nieces and nephews, would make him fearful of being punished by his close relatives when God marked him and sent him away.  (Answers in Genesis has an interesting article about average population growth numbers.)

The point is that if Adam & Eve were obeying the command to multiply, then Eve would be pregnant as often as possible.  With bodies that were created perfect, and with the need to fill the earth with people, there is no reason not to think that they would have had twins or triplets in multiple births.

Seth is the next child we are told about, and Eve saw him as a replacement for Abel.  We DO know that Seth was born when Adam and Eve were 130 years old (Gen. 5:3), so one can imagine how many children Adam & Eve had by then.  We are also told that after Seth was born that they had many more children (Gen. 5:4).  Genesis does not tell us about any of the children except Cain, Abel, and Seth, because these three all play pivotal parts in history:  Cain was the first murderer, Abel was the first murdered, and Seth was the ancestor of Noah (and hence the rest of the world after the Flood).

(photo from the Creation Museum's booklet)