Isaiah 26:20, the Coronavirus,and That Day

As the Coronavirus (Covid 19) continues to spread around the world, many local, state, federal, and world governments have issued “stay at home” orders and have encouraged people to self-quarantine or keep their social distance. As with any crisis, many are taking the orders seriously and others continue to go out or have to go out because their job is considered essential.

Of course, the Coronavirus continues to be the main story in the media and on Social Media. It appears for a time the Coronavirus will change the way we live and interact with each other.

However, I have noticed a certain passage of Scripture continuously in my Facebook feed- Isaiah 26:20, which reads:

“Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation has run its course.” (NASB).

While Isaiah 26:20 speaks to our current times and deals with the topics of self-isolation and God’s judgment, what is the larger context?

I’m a firm believer in studying the whole of Scripture to understand the deeper meanings. I’ve never been a believer in taking a single verse and turning it into a doctrine. I began to read Isaiah 26 in its entirety.

Isaiah 26 deals with trusting God in the midst of impending judgment on the wicked. In fact Isaiah 26:1 contains a crucial phrase:

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security.” (NASB, emphasis mine).

According to Bible Gateway.com, the phrase “In that day” appears 114 times, scattered throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Book of Isaiah, the phrase “In that day” appears 43 times, or in 38% of the Scriptures listed.

Isaiah was a prophet whose ministry took place from 740 BC to at least 681 BC. Like many other Old Testament prophets , Isaiah spoke of current day judgments and events far off into the future or “the last days.” The judgments were directed toward Israel, Judah, Assyria, Tyre, Egypt, and others, but they can be important to our study.

I encourage you to study these on your own, but I would like to highlight a handful of verses which seem relevant to the current situation.

Economic collapse:

“In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship.” (Isaiah 2:20, NASB).

The desolation of cities:

“And it will growl over it in that day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, there is darkness and distress; Even the light is darkened by its clouds.” (Isaiah 5:30, NASB).

Judgment on world leaders:

“So it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth, they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; And after many days they will be punished.” (Isaiah 24:21-22, NASB).

Though it is easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom of judgment, especially if you are a student of the End Times, God is merciful. Even in the midst of His judgments, God gives us the chance to turn to Him in repentance through faith in Jesus Christ.  Isaiah also gives his listeners and readers the chance to turn to God.

“In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.” (Isaiah 4:2, NASB).

“Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse [Jesus], who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:10, NASB).

“Then you will say on that day: ‘I will give thanks to You, O Lord; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song.” (Isaiah 12:1-2, NASB).

Brothers and Sisters, we are certainly living in unprecedented times. There probably been a virus spread this quickly since the influenza epidemic of 1918. We must live cautiously, but do not give into fear. Take care of yourselves and your families. If at all possible, try to help those who are hurting from the fallout of this illness. Show the love of Christ and kindness to those you encounter. God bless.

Finding Comfort in our Repentance

It is a natural human desire to seek comfort in the midst of tragic or difficult circumstances. When we know of someone who has suffered a devastating event such as the loss of a loved one or is dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, we pray that God would comfort their hearts, souls, and minds. Comfort can bring us a peace that transcends understanding. We can also pursue comfort by seeking a certain financial and/or material standard of living.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 4th edition defines Comfort as “1. (V) To soothe in time of affliction or distress. 2. (V) To ease physically, relieve. 3. (N). A condition of feeling or pleasurable ease, well-being, or contentment.” The Bible, of course, has much to say concerning comfort in the sense of consolation and providing solace and support, but we will examine comfort in the sense of strength and repentance. For this post, I will be conducting this word study using the King James Version.

The Hebrew word most often used for comfort is the word, Nacham (Strong’s #5162), which means “to repent, comfort.” More specifically, Nacham means “to make a strong turning to a new course of action.” Repentance simply means going in a different direction. For instance, if you repent of a sin, you go in a different direction by not committing that sin. Comfort is derived from the words Com (with) and Fort (strength). Strong’s Concordance goes on to explain: “When one repents, he exerts strength to change, re-grasp the situation, and exert effort for the situation to take a different course of action.” Thus, repentance and comfort in this particular instance does not place the emphasis on God’s grace, but on our responses and the actions we take concerning our circumstances.

Before we go further, let me state that there are times when God allows difficult circumstances in our lives and what we go through is not always a direct result of our sin. Hence, I am not condemning anyone. We will examine biblical people who brought comfort by turning the situation around, examples of personal strength, and how God brought comfort to wayward ancient Israel.

Noah

From Adam to Noah, humanity grew excessively wicked and God sought to cleanse the world with the Flood. God chose Noah to bring repentance to humanity.

“And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying ‘This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” (Genesis 5:28-29, KJV, emphasis mine). Here is the first instance of the link between repentance and comfort.

Joseph

If anyone had a right to carry a chip on their shoulder, it would be Joseph. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, falsely accused of attacking Potiphar’s wife and subsequently falsely imprisoned.  Joseph was forgotten about in prison and stayed there longer than he should have been. However, God brought Joseph to prominence and placed him in a position of authority to save countless people during a famine. This famine was used to unite Joseph with his brothers and his father, Jacob. After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers feared for their lives, that Joseph was biding his time and would take his revenge after their father died. Joseph’s brothers repented before him, pleading for mercy. Joseph, showed strength and comforted his brothers and explained to them the greater good of what happened:

“And Joseph said unto them, ‘Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.’ And he comforted them, and spake kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19-21, KJV, emphasis mine).

Comfort and Repentance in the Psalms

The Psalms, for me, have always been a source of hope and inspiration. Though some of the Psalms deal with Israel as a nation, the vast majority of the Psalms are personal reflections of people as they dealt with the harshness and trials of life. The writers of the Psalms gave an honest acknowledgement of their sins and the comfort brought on by repentance.

“He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:3-4, KJV, emphasis mine).

“Thou, which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.” (Psalm 71:20-21, KJV, emphasis mine).

“Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.” (Psalm 119:49-50, KJV, emphasis mine).

“I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.” (Psalm 119:75-76, KJV, emphasis mine).

Comfort and God’s Judgment of Israel

From the Book of Judges on, a pattern is established in the Old Testament where Israel would fall into sin and idolatry, then God would raise up a prophet, judge, or king to urge Israel to repent of their sins and avoid God’s judgments. There were times when Israel refused to repent and God’s judgments came in the forms of invading armies such as the Assyrians or Babylonians. In the words of the Prophets, you can hear the heart of God, pleading to bring comfort to his suffering children. God would bring comfort when his people repented of their sins, thus, placing the onus on Israel and Judah to change their ways.

“And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-2, KJV, emphasis mine).

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1, KJV, emphasis mine).

“What thing shall I take to witness for thee? What thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?” (Lamentations 2:13, KJV, emphasis mine).

“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31:13, KJV, emphasis mine).

In these words, we have covered only one aspect of comfort, with the emphasis on repentance. There are numerous examples of Nacham being used in the traditional sense of comfort, which I will cover later, Lord willing. If you are going through a painful season, please keep in mind that God has given you all of the tools and opportunities to start anew. Although it cannot change what happened, we do not have to stay where we are at and we can go forward with grace and strength. God bless you all.

Be on Guard Against False Promises of Peace

Inscribed on a wall at the United Nations building is a quote taken from Isaiah 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” However, the verses proceeding Isaiah 2:4 are left out which state:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  (Isaiah 2:2-4 KJV, italics mine).

Micah 4:1-3 has a parallel account to Isaiah’s writings. Though the United Nations uses the quote to emphasize its good intentions, true peace will not come from world government or by any means of man, but only by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will rule in His millennial kingdom and forever after.

The United Nations is the second attempt to form a global government after the failed League of Nations. Formed in the aftermath of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the United Nations has not prevented any wars from happening, as countless millions of people suffered and died at the hands of such dictators as Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein to name a few. During the 21st Century, we have seen the global rise of terrorism, with such groups as Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and Isis, who have tortured, oppressed, and killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. The United Nations does not seemed poised to stop the unrest in the Middle East, the rise of a soon to be nuclear Iran, or Russia beginning to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant so called super power, as of this writing Russia is taking the lead with the crisis in Syria and seized Ukraine without opposition.

Jesus warned us that we would live in such times before His return:

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”  (Matthew 24:6-8, KJV).

As the Church, we must not be fearful of the times that we live in, but we must be on our guard against deception, whether it is from promises of peace and false teachers and messiahs. We must not grow weary from the trying times ahead, but we must keep our focus on Christ.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 3:3-6, KJV).

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my Name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many…And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:4-5, 11-13, KJV).

I believe our world’s current state of war and lawlessness is setting the stage for the final world dictator, the Antichrist. It is pointless to try to speculate as to the identity of the Antichrist, or the son of perdition, but we must be on guard in these Last Days. The Book of Revelation speaks of the apostate church at the time of the Antichrist, but now is the time for the true church of the Living God to rise up and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus warned us of tribulation, but our Lord has overcome this world. We have overcome because Christ has overcame sin, death, and hell. Now is the time to be watchful of the signs of Jesus’ coming and to rejoice in our salvation.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-28, KJV).

The Rulers of Darkness

Politics is a divisive issue in our world. Regular people and politicians alike take extreme viewpoints on the issues with seemingly no middle ground. Just a cursory scroll through your social media accounts can reveal the political stances of your family, friends, and followers. Behind every political party and political issue lies an agenda of a particular group of people. Though people speak out for and against the visible people of the political causes- elected officials, activists, celebrities, protestors, etc., do you consider who is really “pulling the strings” behind the scenes?

Luke chapter 4 (also Matthew chapter 4) tells the story of Jesus’ temptation by Satan. It is the second temptation that will be discussed.

“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” (Luke 4:5-8, NKJV).

Notice when the devil, speaking of the authority of the world’s governments said, “for this has been delivered to me,” Jesus did not correct him, but rebuked Satan when he demanded to be worshipped. When people and governments choose not to live under God’s authority and Word, they give Satan the right to rule in their lives, whether it is through habitual sin or flat-out worship of the devil. When this happens, the door is open to rampant immorality and open rebellion to God’s Word.

In 1 Samuel chapter 8, Israel rejects Samuel’s leadership and asks for a king to rule over them. Samuel goes to the Lord about Israel’s request and the Lord informs him that the people are not rejecting Samuel’s leadership, but God’s leadership. However, God sends Samuel back with a warning to the people concerning a king- their children would be enlisted in the king’s service, their property would be seized, and the people would face heavy taxes.

When Jesus went to the cross, died and was resurrected, the penalty was not only paid for our sins and the whole of humanity, but judgment was also pronounced on Satan and his kingdoms. Though Satan’s final judgment will be carried out after the millennial reign of Christ, he still has influence over the world’s system of government. Several times throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Satan as “the prince of this world.”

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:31-32, KJV).

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (John 14:30, KJV).

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:11, KJV).

The Apostle Paul also spoke of Satan’s influence in the world’s system. “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, KJV).

Paul spoke concerning of the past lives of the believers at Ephesus and the spirit at work in the world: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2, KJV).

As Christians we live in the world, but are not of the world. Christians must be mindful that the battle is not against other people or against political leaders, but against evil spiritual forces.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12, KJV).

The prophet Daniel had such an encounter with such principalities and powers. Daniel chapter 10 describes how Daniel sought God, praying and fasting for three weeks. Daniel had a vision and was told by an angel that God had heard his prayer on day one, but the angel fought with “prince of the kingdom of Persia” for twenty-one days and defeated the prince with the help of the archangel Michael. (Daniel 10:12-13). This same angel tells Daniel that after the prince of Persia, the prince of Greece will come. (Daniel 10:20). From a study of secular and biblical history, we know that the Persian Empire ceased to be the dominant world empire when it was defeated by Alexander the Great of Greece. The Bible shows us that Satan has influence in both ancient and current world affairs. Revelation 13 speaks of how Satan will give the antichrist the authority to rule.

Though we truly live in perilous times, I believe the world and its governments will grow more and more morally corrupt and will turn away from God even more. As the church of the Living God, we must be mindful of the times and remain steadfast. We must not let our hearts be troubled, no matter what laws are passed or what the courts decide. Satan desires to be worshipped and he will find any means necessary. Persecution will come, but we have overcome the world because Christ has overcome the world. Jesus is coming soon and all things will be made right.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.’” (Revelation 11:15, KJV).

When Your Dream has been delayed

Dreams can motivate and inspire us. When coupled with the grace of God, dreams can give us the hope to rise above our circumstances. Dreams can inspire others. However, in our fallen world, our dreams can be delayed or denied. The opening of a new business fails because of a downturn in the economy. A promising athletic career is sidelined because of injury. A retirement nest egg is depleted due to a catastrophic illness. A couple wanting to start a family finds themselves in the pains of infertility. All of us, in one form or another, have faced setbacks that have delayed our dreams or stopped them dead in their tracks.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (NIV).

Two such men who faced a delayed dream were Zerubbabel and Joshua in the Old Testament. Ezra chapter one tells of a decree issued by the Persian King Cyrus that allowed the exiled Jews to return to Israel. The return of the Jews brought an end to the seventy years of Babylonian captivity and fulfilled Bible prophecy. Ezra chapter three describes how Zerubbabel, the governor of Judea and Joshua, the high priest, led the people in the rebuilding of the temple. Zerubbabel and Joshua begin by rebuilt the altar, restored worship and burnt offerings

Our Dreams can bring God Praise

“In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priest and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work…When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priest in their vestments and with their trumpets, and the Levites ( the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel, With praise  and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; His love toward Israel endures forever. And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (Ezra 3:8a, 10-11, NIV).

Our Dreams will face opposition from Satan and from other people

Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the returning exiles were off to a great start. The altar was built, worship and the sacrifices were restored and the foundation of the second temple was laid. However, the return of the exiles was not good news for the hostile neighboring enemies of Israel. After a failed attempt to physically infiltrate and stop the work on the temple, Israel’s opponents set about discouraging the people and wrote letters of opposition to the Persian kings Xerxes and Artaxerxes, the latter of whom commanded the work on the temple to cease.

A Dream delayed can be a Dream restored

The work on the second temple was halted for fifteen years, until the reign of the Persian king Darius, who discovered the previous decree of King Cyrus and issued his own decree in the process allowing the rebuilding of the temple. Those fifteen years must have devastating to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the rest of the people. However, God encouraged Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah.

“But now be strong, Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord and work. For I am with you declares the Lord Almighty. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.” (Haggai 2:4-5, NIV).

“The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.’” (Zechariah 3:6-7, NIV)

“So He said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to the shouts of God bless it! God bless it! Then the word of the Lord came to me: The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hand will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.’” (Zechariah 4:6-9, NIV)

Ezra chapter six describes how the temple was restored and dedicated and Passover was celebrated.

Brothers and sisters, how long have your dreams been sitting on the shelf gathering dust? Have you given up hope that your dream will ever come to pass? Have you allowed the voice of the enemy or negative people in your life to deter you? As long as the Lord gives you breath in your body, you have a reason to hope. You can still dream. You can still seek the Lord and find encouragement in His Word. As it says in Zechariah 4:10, “do not despise the day of small things.” (NIV). Start where you are at with the Lord. Maybe one dream has past, but God wants to give you a new dream, He wants to do a new thing in your life. Do not dwell on what could have been, dwell on the Lord and His goodness.

An Introduction to the Nephilim

I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I also believe that the Bible is a supernatural book, which describes events that defy our understanding of the natural world. The Bible tells of a ninety-year-old woman having a baby, a talking donkey, the sun not going down for a day and a half, the parting of the Red Sea, a floating ax head, and giants. Yes, giants. The biblical story of David versus Goliath serves as a sports analogy whenever a smaller or perceived weaker team defeats the more formidable, stronger, heavily-favored team. However, what if Goliath was not the only giant mentioned in the Bible? What if all of the legends and myths of giants had a common origin? Could the answer be found in the Bible?

Genesis 4:16-5:32 contrasts the wicked genealogy of Cain’s descendants with the godly line of Seth. However, by Genesis 6, all of humanity, including Seth’s line, has become wicked and deprived.

      “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them. That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all of which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he is also flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-4, KJV).

The above passage describes fallen angels coming to earth and having sex with human women to produce a race of giants. Theses verses may be difficult to swallow or understand, but they cannot simply be explained away by stating “sons of God” refers to the line of Seth interbreeding with the line of Cain.

Before we go further, we need to clarify what is meant by the term “giant.” The word giant, Strong’s #5303 is the Hebrew word Nephiyl, which means “a feller, bully, or tyrant.” Nephiyl comes from the Hebrew root word Nephal (Strong’s #5307), which means “to fall.” So these beings are “the fallen ones,” and are often referred to as the Nephilim.

The Book of 1 Enoch goes into further detail about the union of fallen angels and human women, and the Nephilim offspring. Let me be perfectly clear, I do not consider the Book of 1 Enoch to carry the same authority as Scripture, I am citing the work to give further details concerning the topic of the Nephilim.

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born to them beautiful and fair daughters. And the angels, the sons of heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose wives from among the children of men.’” (1 Enoch 6:1-2).

First Enoch goes on to describe the giants in more detail and the wickedness the fallen angels taught humanity:

            “And all of them together [the fallen angels] went and took wives for themselves, each choosing one for himself, and they began to go in to them and to defile themselves with sex with them, And the angels taught them charms and spells, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And the women became pregnant, and they bare large giants, whose height was three thousand cubits (ells) [Some convert this unit of measurement to 450 feet]. The giants consumed all the work and toil of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drank the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.” (1 Enoch 7:1-6).

The Jewish historian Josephus confirms the biblical account by stating in Antiquities of the Jews, “For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.” (From The Complete Works of Josephus, Kindle edition).

The fallen angels further corrupted mankind by teaching them how to make weapons of war, astrology, and other occult teachings. The Epistles of Jude and 2 Peter cite 1 Enoch when describing God’s judgment upon the fallen angels and the pre-Flood world.

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6, KJV).

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eight person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly…” (2 Peter 2:4-5, KJV).

In Genesis 3:15, God pronounces a curse upon the serpent, stating that the seed of the woman will bruise the head, which is the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible. I believe the Nephilim were Satan’s attempt to corrupt the DNA of the human race so that God could not use the seed of the women to bring forth the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all humanity. Both the Bible and 1 Enoch speak of Noah’s righteousness, thus Noah’s bloodline was not corrupted by the Nephilim.

Though I have covered a lot of ground, this entry serves as only an introduction to what I hope will be an in-depth series. Though this will not be the definitive discussion of the Nephilim, there are a lot of good resources and teachings on the subject of the Nephilim. For further study, I would encourage you to look up L.A. Marzulli, Rob Skiba, and Chuck Missler.

One World Government- The New Tower of Babel

The first decade and a half of the 21st Century has been eventful. Beginning with the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the last fifteen years has seen the rise of global Islamic terrorism, the collapse of the American economy, the “Arab Spring,” ISIS, and as of this writing, the rise of Iran on the world’s stage coupled with strained American-Israeli relations. As these problems become more and more global in nature, there will be those who will cry out for a global solution to these problems or a one world government.

The Bible prophesies that a global government will be in place and will be ruled by the antichrist before Jesus returns to rule and reign on this earth. There are prophecy students and teachers who pore over the day’s headlines and events to see where they fit into Bible prophecy. What if the pattern for the End Times global government is found in the Old Testament?

Since the Law and the Old Testament teachings served as a type and shadow of Christ (Colossians 2:17, Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1), what if the Old Testament could give us a type and shadow of the End Times one world government? Genesis chapters 10 and 11, though often overlooked, serve as a transition from the post-Flood world of Noah to the time of Abraham. Genesis 10 outlines the genealogies of Noah’s three sons- Japheth, Ham, and Shem. One of Ham’s sons was named Cush, who had a son named Nimrod. The Bible tells us of Nimrod:

“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Genesis 10:8-9, KJV).

The Bible also states that Nimrod was a king and that he built the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh, Asshur, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen (Genesis 10:10-12). A simple online search will reveal that all of these cities are located around modern day Iraq. From this same geographic area, came the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms, both of whom play pivotal roles on the world stage during biblical times and are on the rise in our time.

Genesis chapter 11 transitions into the Tower of Babel. Though Nimrod is not named specifically in chapter 11, the events in question take place in the land of Shinar, one of the cities founded by Nimrod, thus his stamp may be on the Tower of Babel. After the Flood, God told Noah and his family to repopulate the whole earth, but it appears that the post-Flood world stayed in one area.

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech…And they said to one another, ‘Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they said, ‘Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’” (Genesis 11:1,3-4, KJV).

What you have in this chapter is that the whole world, possibly under the leadership of a charismatic leader,  has defied the commandment of God to scatter out all over the earth, and they built a tower as a symbol of their defiance. The Bible goes on to say the Lord “came down” to view the tower. The Lord then confused the languages of the people and scattered them all over the earth (Genesis 11: 5-9). The place was called Babel because of the confusion.

Though the Bible spends numerous chapters on the physical place and kingdom of Babylon, Babylon can also be symbolic of the world’s system. Global communications and technology have made the world a smaller place. In fact, we can take a look at recent history and see tests of a world government, with the first Gulf War of 1991 being an example of a global coalition of nations coming against a common enemy, i.e. Saddam Hussein and his invasion of Kuwait. There was the U.S. led coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current conflict with ISIS is located in Iraq.

Just as God put an end to the Tower of Babel, so too will He put an end at man’s latest attempt at world government and the reign of the coming antichrist. In fact, Revelation chapter 18 describes the fall of Babylon the great in detail:

“And he [an angel] cried mightily with a strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” (Revelation 18:2, KJV).

The chapter goes on to detail judgment that will come upon the nations that partook of Babylon’s riches. The Bible speaks that the judgment will come quickly, in an hour. As Christians, the time has come for us to flee this world’s system. We must surrender fully to God and commit our lives to Him. We must not defile our clothes with the filth of this present world nor should we live in fear of the world’s state. We must heed the Bible’s warning:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’” (Revelation 18:4, KJV).