1When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. 5The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
FROM PASTOR STOKES:
My message at EXPECTATION CHURCH this past Sunday dealt with the story told in Genesis 6:1-4. I focused on the very strange and ominous invasion of the demonic into the ultimate domestic relationship—marriage and family.
I chose to share a SPECIAL EDITION of our EXPECTAKEAWAY—and transcript of a talk I shared at our church on a Wednesday night back in 2010, one that meshes quite well with what I had to say on Sunday.
The following was part of my verse by verse, chapter by chapter, exposition of the book of Revelation. The series was called “THE PATMOS FILES.”
In that fascinating final book of the Bible we find a description of the ultimate doom of the beings we first find in the book of Genesis—an exceedingly wicked group of fallen angels.
Please note that this is a transcript of a live talk—so not edited and in rough form. But I thought it’d be a great supplement to what I shared on Sunday.
Enjoy! – DRS .....
The Patmos Files #39 Revelation 9
Let's open the Word of God to the book of Revelation, chapter 9 as we...another edition of what we're calling The Patmos Files. We continue to look at what could be on the surface, and I certainly think humanly speaking, is a discouraging portion of Scripture because it reminds us of things to come that are just as real as the things we hope for.
We, as people of faith, look for a city whose builder and maker is God by faith and in hope, but there is another side to that, and the other side to that is the world itself is facing a great time of cataclysm that is unspeakably horrific, something we haven't at all seen on any scale, any of the great, terrible things that have happened, not to minimize them, still cannot rise to the level of what is going to happen in the future yet to come.
All right, when we move into the ninth chapter of the book of Revelation, we are dealing with this continuing to unfold series of catastrophic things that happen on the earth that are either allowed or, in some cases, directed by God. What you see is the forces that are sort of unleashed here.
Moving into the ninth chapter, we find there is another trumpet that is sounded, and if anything was, you know, it's almost like relentless. Enough. Enough. Enough. When you get to the thirteenth verse of chapter 8 where it talks about, "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels."
You go into the ninth chapter, and you see this continue to unfurl. Now this is what is being released from this seven-sealed book that was described in earlier chapters, which is, in many ways, a title deed to the planet, and what is going to unfold.
Now I don't have all the answers on all this. I've been studying the book of Revelation all my life. I've been familiar with it, and I think it is deliberately cryptic in places. I think when you see somebody who is an expert on the book of Revelation run because I think there is an arrogance that comes with that...
But as I've studied it, what I come away with are a couple of large observations. One is of the grace and the mercy of God, but conversely of the very real coming judgment. Whatever else you get from this study, get that. All things are not going to be like they are. There is coming a time when it's going to get a lot better for the children of God. There is going to come a time when it's going to get a lot worse for people who reject God.
As we're going to see in this chapter, the rejection is not merely a benign ignorance, it's also something that's very fierce, even in the face of such obvious judgment. Someone said this years ago, "To the believer, the closest thing to hell you will ever see is this earth. To the unbeliever, the closest thing to heaven you will ever see is this earth." I think that's very true. God has given us so many blessings, but if you reject the evident grace of God, this is as good as it's going to get. For us, this earth and the ups and downs and cycles is as bad as it is going to get.
All right, verse 1 of chapter 9, "The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth." Now this is symbolism. A star could mean, as we talked about in the eighth chapter, some kind of astronomical anomaly, meteor, asteroid, whatever.
Or let's remember now, language is also used another way: something that is brilliant, something that is bright. We not only use the word star in context of something we see in the heavens, but when someone is very famous we call him or her a star. In this case, you might pay some attention to that definition because it says, "The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss." Very important terminology here. The deep place, the Abyss.
"When he opened the Abyss..." So this is a personality. This is not some rock. This is a brilliant star, something angelic. "When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads."
We've told you this is a point where salvation (and people will be saved during this period of time) is going to be the kind of witness, you're not going to be able to be a secret believer. You're going to be clearly marked. You're going to be labeled. If you have the seal of God, you're going to be exempt.
It's interesting there are certain things that are going to happen. If you remember your story of the children of Israel, and they were in the land of Goshen during the time of plagues, and by the way, if you see the sequence of some of the things that happen in this passage, you see almost some of the sequence of the plagues in Egypt. And they were protected in a land of Goshen from the things that were going around. So God has this capacity to protect.
Verse 5, "They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion..." When you see like and as, you know you have to understand it is language that is used to describe. "...when it strikes a man." "During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them."
I'm just going to read through this and then go back and make some comments. "The locusts looked like..." Now again, if you're hearing some of this and maybe you're new to this, you're John the apostle. You're on the Isle of Patmos, and through some kind of miraculous presentation, you're given a chance to see the future.
God stands outside of eternity and basically what John is seeing is what is going to be things to come. It's not too hard for you to understand if you're familiar with Dickens' work, A Christmas Carol, you know the whole Ghost of Christmas Past. You can't improve on some of the dramatic mechanisms in Scripture. So he is given to see.
Now he writes it faithfully, but remember, he is a first-century person. He is observing things that haven't happened yet, and then guess what? Haven't happened yet now. So he is observing things and writing them in his primitive description faithfully, "This looks like this. This looks like that. It is as that." And we can maybe look back and say, "You know what he is saying, that's sort of interesting. Maybe that looks like an aircraft, or maybe that looks like this, or maybe..." Well see we have that kind of capacity to look back and see this through the prism of some of these things we've seen.
But he is writing and he says, "Their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses." Do you see maybe things like aircraft and other things here? It's possible.
"They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come." All right so we got through these first 12 verses. What are we talking about here?
Here is the scene. There is a being given permission to go to the Abyss. What is the Abyss? Well the Abyss is the abode of some very, very strange creatures, and they've been there for a long time. Now if you understand Scripture, the Bible says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places."
You have various places evidence of a great spiritual conflict that is beyond the capacity of the human eye to see. If you know, for instance, the story of Lucifer, the story of Satan, you know Lucifer was a created being, a high angel, and he was corrupted by his own pride and his own ego.
He was cast out, and the evidence is he took a third of the angels with him, and they became fallen angels. Demonic activity is supernatural activity that has an angelic component to it, but there are good angels and there are bad angels. Now I'm going to take you to some Scriptures. I don't have these up here, so you're going to have to actually crack your knuckles and go into your Bible here a little bit.
Let me show you some Scriptures. We're going to come back here to Revelation, chapter 9. Let's go first to the book of 2 Peter, just a couple of books over, chapter 2, and we see what Peter writes about. He makes a reference to these beings. Let's begin at verse 4, and he is talking about the past. Now Peter says, "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell..." What is he talking about? This is the rebellious heavenly host. "...sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment."
Now I want you to think about that. What does it say? Way back then, God judged some angels, sent them to hell, put them in a gloomy dungeon awaiting judgment. You go back to Revelation 9 (don't go there), but remember what we saw? We saw an opening of the Abyss, and we saw some things that are coming out of it, unprecedented demonic activity. There has always been demonic activity in this world. There are demons in this world, and we know that.
We know one of the marks of abhorrent behavior, not all abhorrent behavior, is demonic, but certainly the things that are hard to even reconcile with anything human, the sociopath, the psychopaths that we see, there is a demonic element in that, I believe with all of my heart, if you study Scripture. There are some demons that are very much active in this world.
Then there are some demons who are not even in this world. They're in hell because they were so bad they were already put into judgment. These are the ones; it's like the most ferocious, pent-up evil, wicked beings being reserved until the last time. A lot of the things you see playing out in the book of Revelation, these terrible, horrific things are exactly the work of these demons, all right?
Now go to the book of Jude. It's the next to the last book. It's right before Revelation, a one- chapter little book. We find another reference to this. The book of Jude, let's look at verse 5. Single chapter, the book of Jude, "Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day."
Now the great Day would be the day of the Lord. Now remember the Day of the Lord is not just a day of judgment but is a period of time. The Day of the Lord is what we're seeing unfold in the book of Revelation. It's a time. It's a period of judgment. Here we have another reference to these angels. These angels were cast out and put in hell. These are bad beings, and they're going to be released and given permission to do some terrible things in the future.
Now, who are these people? What's the deal? I want to take you into some real esoteric stuff, all right? We're going to go through the looking glass a little bit here, like Alice. We're going to go down the rabbit hole, and I'm going to just give you some theory and I'm going to show you some Scriptures here. I want you to go all the way back to the book of Genesis. I want you to go all the way back to the book of Genesis, chapter 6.
Now if you know your Bible, Genesis, chapter 6 is a passage that starts to give us the story of Noah and the flood, but why was there this flood of judgment? Because the earth was wicked. Why was it so wicked? I mean how many chapters have we had of human history since Genesis 6? Well we've had all Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, all the Old Testament, all the New Testament, and all these centuries since then.
How much time was there between creation and Genesis 6? We really don't know. There are people who have tried to calculate. I told you a few weeks ago I don't believe in an old earth, but at the same time the period of time before the flood is a mysterious period, and there is a lot you can place in that mystery that is unexplained, but there is some cryptic stuff that's really sort of mind boggling when you read it.
Genesis, chapter 6, verse 1, now I don't have this on the screen, but look what it says in verse 1,
"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, 'My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.' The Nephilim..."
This is the NIV. If you have a King James, what is the word there? The giants. We're not talking about the San Francisco Giants, or if you're a purist, the New York Giants. "The Nephilim (giants)..." Really, Pastor? "...were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown."
Now what do you make of this? This is a wild passage. People have tried to explain this away, "Well, the sons of God were the sons of Seth." I don't think that's what is happening here. I don't know everything it means, but I think what was going on before the flood is there was some kind of demonic interaction with human beings that resulted in a genetic anomaly that created a super race.
I know you're going, "Pastor has just turned the corner. Good thing there aren't that many people here tonight because he has gone crazy." Created a mysterious race, they're called Nephilim. They're called giants, and they're called heroes of old, men of renown. Where do you think mythology comes from?
Well you say, "People are incurably religious." Where do you think some of these stories that come out of the various cultures... Did you know most ancient cultures have some kind of flood metaphor there? Now a lot of people turn it around and try to use it against the Bible. See the Bible is just like one of those flood metaphors. What if that's not the case? What if they're the ones who are the metaphor talking about the real thing that happened?
Here we have this incredible situation. Who are these sons of God? Who are these sons of God? That's very interesting. Well, let's find out. Go to the book of Job. (The book of Job, right before Psalms.) By the way, Job is the oldest book in the Bible. We don't know who the human author is, but it was written before Genesis was. It is a book that has this antediluvian...this story happened in the days likely before the flood.
We don't know how many people there were on the earth. We know there were cities, but when you have things they dig up and they try... Where did dinosaurs come? I told the others a couple of weeks ago I don't know if I believe in them or not, but if there were such creatures, and there were creatures who are extinct upon the earth now, what created this extension?
So you go to the Discovery Channel or National Geographic and they talk about an asteroid hitting the earth and so forth. No, no, no. The great dividing line between ancient civilization, or what is called the antediluvian civilization, would be the catastrophic flood. A flood that encompassed the entire earth over the tops of mountains would certainly have the capacity and the power to make all the various geological changes that separate what we might think of an ancient world and the world we know now.
Now in the book of Job, we're introduced in verse 1 and following to Job. He is a blameless man, in verse 1. He fears God. He shuns evil. In verse 2, he has seven sons and three daughters. He has a good family. They own a van. He doesn't really own a van. I made that up, all right?
"He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them," and so forth. So he was a great godly man.
Look at verse 6, "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?'" They get into this discussion, and then unfolds the book of Job. And what I want you to see is in verse 6. In the NIV, what I've read it says, "Angels." In the King James it says, "The sons of God." These are the same creatures that are in the book of Genesis, chapter 6.
Have I ever thought of the Bible as boring?
What kind of things are demons involved with in today's world?
How is Jesus like the Ark built by Noah?
Pastor Stokes' Sermon notes
Series: “STRANGER THINGS”
Today: “HUSBANDS FROM HELL”
See: Genesis 6:1-8 (New King James Version)
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.
“There were giants 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.”
nGenesis 6:4 (NKJV)
GOD CALLED A MAN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” – Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)
See: Hebrews 11:7 (NIV)
JESUS CONNECTED THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE.
See: Luke 17:26-30 (NIV)
THIS STORY POINTS TO JUDGMENT & SALVATION.
See: II Peter 2:4-9 (NIV)