Wednesday, September 18, 2013

“In the Days of Noah”

What Scripture teaches about Noah & Enoch

But as the days of Noe were,
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the Flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came,
and took them all away;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 
(Matthew 24:37-39) 

And as it was in the days of Noe,
so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
They did eat, they drank, they married wives,
they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot;
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold,
they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom
it rained fire and brimstone from heaven,
and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop,
and his stuff in the house,
let him not come down to take it away:
and he that is in the field,
let him likewise not return back.
Remember Lot's wife. 
 (Luke 17:26-32) 

When Jesus Christ was describing the last days to his disciples, He said that the times to come would be as “in the days of Noah.” He described these days in specific terms, as recorded in the verses above.

Jesus did not say “as in the days of Nephilim,” He stated “as in the days of Noah – a clear reference to Noah, the man, and the days in which he lived. Why didn’t Jesus mention “Nephilim”? Why didn’t He say anything about them: past, present or future? Perhaps because these giants (as they were real and as they are imagined) aren’t the real issue in these last days. The real issue has always been man and his worsening sinful behaviors, just as he was in the days before Noah’s Flood.

The Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) teachers almost universally teach a new version of the old Noah story in the Bible.[1] They teach that the early earth was judged by God with a Flood, not because of the seriousness of mankind’s sin, but because of an incursion of half demon, half human, space alien creatures who corrupted mankind’s DNA. These prophecy teachers

say that the Nephilim (demigod giants who are the offspring of fallen angels and human women), proliferated at such a rate during Noah’s day, that it resulted in an almost complete destruction of the human race through genetic corruption with Nephilim DNA. This demon seed corruption of the human race, they say, rather than profound sinful human behavior, provoked the Lord’s anger into sending the Flood.[2]

The postmodern version of these sensational teachings about Nephilim demigod /demon-human creatures has been taken from fallible and highly questionable outside sources, ancient manuscripts excluded from the biblical Canon, especially including the apocryphal Book of Enoch.  Extrabiblical apocryphal and pseudoepigraphical sources must be brought in to buttress their Nephilim scenarios, but this creates innumerable, sometimes insoluble, problems with the biblical narrative.[3] Ultimately, the inclusion of extraneous non-canonical material challenges, even alters, the very substance of the biblical message about Noah and Enoch.

It is the contention of this article that the stories of Noah and Enoch are inextricably tied to the Gospel message, and that tampering with their stories effectually truncates and corrupts that message.

What does the Bible text alone say about Noah and Enoch and their days? Why are Noah and Enoch important to us now in these last days? The Bible tells us the Lord Jesus Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross to deal with mankind’s sin once for all. His payment for our sin forms the backbone of the Gospel. There is no salvation apart from God’s dealing with our sin problem and our recognition and surrender to that vital truth. Both Noah and Enoch are mentioned in the New Testament in the context of this Gospel truth. These New Testament accounts of Noah and Enoch serve to shed additional light of Gospel truth on the Old Testament stories. This study of Scripture is profitable to us because “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11).

“By Faith”
Both Enoch and Noah are mentioned in a similar context in the book of Hebrews, in the opening verses of the “hall of faith” chapter, Hebrews 11:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” 
(Hebrews 11:1-7) 

A noted commentary on the book of Hebrews, identifies the similarities of Enoch and Noah in their generations, especially in the “efficacy and operation in them that are justified”[5] by faith:

…it is faith alone which, from the beginning of the world, in all ages, under all dispensations of divine grace, and all alterations in the church-state and worship, hath been the only principle in the church of living unto God, of obtaining the promises, or inheriting life eternal; and doth continue so to be until the consummation of all things.[6] [emphasis added] 

The following is said about the condition of mankind in the world before Noah’s Flood:

In… Enoch we have a representation of the state of the old world before the Flood. There were two sorts of persons in it; —believers, and such as believed not…. Some of them were approved of God, and some were not. Hence arose persecution on the part of the world; and in the church, the wicked, scoffing, persecuting world, was threatened by predictions of judgments and divine vengeance to come, as they were in the preaching and prophecy of Enoch. God in the meantime exercised patience and long-suffering towards them that were disobedient, 1 Pet. 3:20; yet not without some instances of His especial favour towards believers. And thus it is at this day.[7]

The world before the Flood, then, was marked by a stark contrast. Noah and Enoch, who preached repentance before an impending judgment, were noticeably different from the rest of mankind, who were wicked and sinful.

The Testimony of Enoch
Enoch’s testimony recounted in Hebrews 11 is one of exemplary faith, that “he pleased God.”[8] So much so that in a divine act of sovereignty God “translated him,” meaning he didn’t experience death (“and he was not; for God took him,” Gen. 5:24).[9] It is likewise said of Enoch that he “walked with God” (Gen.5:22, repeated – perhaps for emphasis – in verse 24). “Walked with God” and “he pleased God” seem reiterative. What does this say about Enoch?

He lived as one whose eye was continually upon God; whose care and constant course and business it was to please God, and to imitate Him, and to maintain acquaintance and communion with Him; as one devoted to God’s service, and wholly governed by His will.[10]

What did Enoch do to receive such unique treatment and special commendation from God? Jude explains that Enoch was a prophet who warned not only of judgment before the Flood, but also of the judgment to come. Enoch is specifically commended in Jude for his noteworthy preaching, warning sinners that judgment was coming for their ungodly deeds:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 
(Jude 1:14,15) 

Note: Lest the reader at this point confuse the apocryphal Book(s) of Enoch with Enoch the man – the man that the Bible bears record of – it must be pointed out that Jude uses the term “prophesied”:

He doth not say wrote, and therefore from hence it cannot be proved that there was any such book as Enoch’s prophecies, received by the Jews as canonical Scripture; but rather some prophecy of his delivered to them by tradition, to which here the apostle refers, as a thing known among them; and so argues against these heretics from their own concession, as ver. 9.[12] [emphasis added] 

A significant difference is noted: “The apocryphal book of Enoch interprets Gen. 6:2… But though Jude accords with it in some particulars, it does not follow that he accords with it in all.”[13] Concerning the Jude account, another commentator has also testified of the sufficiency of Scripture alone:

I am fully satisfied, from the prophecy of Enoch, recorded by Jude, that he had a great contest with the world about faith, obedience, the worship of God, with the certainty of divine vengeance on ungodly sinners, with the eternal reward of the righteous.[14]

Enoch lived 365 years and for 300 years he “walked with God” (Gen. 4: 22 and 24) in such a manner that was noticeably separate and not in conformity to the evil ways of mankind in those days. The “godly walk with God, which presupposes reconciliation to God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3).”[15] This context is further explained in Hebrews 11:5-6 where it says Enoch’s testimony pleased God, noting that without faith it is impossible to please Him. One writer has observed:

[Enoch] walked not with the men of that wicked age, or as they walked, but being a prophet and preacher, as may be gathered from Jude 14,15, with great zeal and courage he protested and preached against their evil practices, and boldly owned God and His ways in the midst of them. Compare Gen. 6:6; Jer. 12:3; Micah 6:8.[16]

Observe further that this exemplary walk of Enoch was a close communion with God:

Executing the priests’ office is called walking before God, 1 Sam. 2:30, 35, and see Zech. 3:7. Enoch, it should seem, was a priest of the most high God, and like Noah, who is likewise said to walk with God, he was a preacher of righteousness, and prophesied of Christ’s second coming. Jude 14, Behold, the Lord cometh with his holy myriads. Now the Holy Spirit, instead of saying, Enoch lived, says, Enoch walked with God; for it is the life of a good man to walk with God. This was, [1.] The business of Enoch’s life, his constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. [2.] It was the joy and support of his life. Communion with God was to him better than life itself. To me to live is Christ. Phil. 1:21.[17]

What can we learn from the life of Enoch in these last days? That walking with God surely pleases Him and edifies us, and that our walk must be “by faith.” Enoch – far from being the stuff of legend, tradition and myth – was a man like us, who lived in a time of great and terrible sin, and who zealously preached a Gospel message of repentance from sin and impending judgment. Enoch’s message and his life of faithfulness to God is an example to those of us “upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Cor. 10:11b). To alter these biblical factual accounts of Enoch’s life is to contaminate the Gospel testimony of his living and walking “by faith” that so pleased God.

The Testimony of Noah
Noah’s staggering faith is juxtaposed against the rampant unbelief and violence in the world before the Flood. The writer of Hebrews recounts Noah’s obedience when he was warned by God of what was yet unseen (calling to mind Hebrews 1:1). Noah was “moved by fear,” i.e., “reverential fear”[18] – he was careful not to offend God, and feared God more than man.

A reverential fear of God, as threatening vengeance unto impenitent sinners, is a fruit of saving faith, and acceptable unto God.[19]

Noah believed the utter truth of God’s warning of a literal coming destruction, and then acting upon that belief “prepared an ark” – a ship of tangible substance and specified structure worthy of carrying a precious cargo of life from the old world to the new. What of Noah’s faith is noteworthy? In between the Hebrews 11 verses on Enoch and Noah, there is the insertion of an interesting verse that describes what sort of faith they had (and that we must have):

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” 
(Heb. 11:6) 

This verse indicates that it is by faith alone that we please God. We must believe that He is, that He exists and that He is God, apart from our natural reason, but rather “by faith.” These men testified that God is a “rewarder of them who diligently seek Him” by walking with Him in the fellowship of obedience, and by experiencing God’s miraculous deliverance.[20] Noah serves as our example:

The same Divine faith in Noah and in Christians maketh them to obey God’s precept, retire to and enter God’s ark, and so enjoy His salvation.[21]

By such faith, Noah saved his family from perishing in the Flood – a faithful remnant was separated apart and preserved from judgment and universal destruction. Noah illustrates the life of a true believer who is “saved by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8) in Jesus Christ and thereby preserved from the wrath to come. How was it possible that Noah “condemned the world”? He did so “virtually by his word and doctrine, judicially by declaring God’s sentence on them.”[22] Furthermore,

what he gave them an example of in himself… greatly aggravated their sin…. He condemned the world, by leaving it utterly without excuse…. He left them no pretence that they had not been warned of their sin and approaching ruin; so as that they had nothing to plead for themselves….[23]

Noah thus became an “heir of righteousness which is by faith.” This is the same Gospel message of salvation recorded in Romans 8:13-17, that we who have mortified the deeds of the body, shall live, and are the children of God: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” 

Preachers of Righteousness and Judgment 
Noah is called a “preacher of righteousness” in 2 Peter 2:5, a testimony which stands against the licentiousness of the false teachers mentioned in verses 1-3 in this same passage.[24] God ordained Noah to be “a preacher of righteousness.” 

“…spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person,
a preacher of righteousness,
bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” 
(2 Peter 2:5) 

Noah is also specifically cited by God in Ezekiel 14:14 and 20, along with Daniel and Job, for his “righteousness.” The context of the Noah references in Ezekiel? The sins in idolatry and a message of impending judgment. How was it that Noah could be considered a “preacher of righteousness”? He preached the righteous judgments of God, by warning that God was about to destroy the world for its sinful wickedness. Noah also looked far ahead for the coming of Jesus Christ and His righteousness:

It is not to be doubted but he preached the same righteousness whereof he himself was heir, and that was the righteousness of faith, Heb. 11:7; and this he did not in words only, but in his actions.[25]

Noah’s preaching of righteousness also included sanctification, “in his exhorting the men that then were to repentance and holiness, if possibly thereby they might prevent the approaching deluge.”[26] Enoch also “prophesied” that the Lord was coming with judgment. This prophecy warned of the imminent doom of the pre-Flood world, but he also looked far ahead, warning of the ultimate destruction of the world when the Lord Jesus Christ returns with his saints and angels (See Zech. 14:5; Dan 7:10; Matt. 16:27; 2 Thess. 1:7). In the passage in Jude we get an added glimpse into the obscure life of Enoch, the man, who was also a preacher of righteousness and prophesied Christ’s second coming in judgment. Enoch’s “translation,” rather than physical death, is further testimony to those of us in this age that:

Those whose conversation in the world is truly holy shall find their removal out of it truly happy. Enoch’s translation was not only an evidence to faith of the reality of a future state, and of the possibility of the body’s existing in glory in that state; but it was an encouragement to the hope of all that walk with God that they shall be for ever with Him: signal piety shall be crowned with signal honours.[27]

Similarly, Noah’s preaching is commended in 1 Peter 3:18-22, in a very interesting and lengthy passage that sheds more light on the Gospel message inherent in the story of Noah:

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him.” 
(1 Peter 3:18-22)

The first verse speaks of the perfection of Christ’s suffering and dying on the Cross, His expiation for our sins, and “that Christ by His sufferings hath taken away the guilt, and freed us from the punishment of sin….”[28] This hearkens back to Peter’s exhortation on the suffering of believers in verses 3:12-17. Then in verse 19 Peter teaches that Christ came from heaven to preach unto the “spirits in prison,” i.e., those bound in sin. This is the ministry fulfilled by Christ: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1, see also 42:7). Jesus read this verse in the synagogue in Nazareth as He launched His ministry, saying, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:17-21). John 8:32 proclaims our liberty from the bondage of sin, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 

Some old commentators believe that Jesus went to those captive of sin, “He preached in Spirit through Noah to the antediluvians,” and He “heralded [ekeruxe]” the Gospel, “thereby declaring the condemnation of the antediluvian unbelievers, and the salvation of Noah and believers.”[29] This is not a literal view of the passage, however, which would be the preferable interpretation. Nevertheless, we can glean that

The same Spirit of Christ enabled Noah, amidst reproach, to preach to the disobedient spirits fast bound in wrath. That Spirit in you can enable you also to suffer patiently now, looking for the resurrection-deliverance.[30]

Noah, thus filled with the Spirit, was “a preacher of righteousness to warn a wicked generation of approaching judgment, and exhort them to repentance.”[31] These men

Were disobedient; would not believe what Noah told them in God’s name, nor be brought to repentance by his preaching. 
When once; not always, but for a determinate time, viz. one hundred and twenty years; which they should be spared. 
The long-suffering of God; i.e. God in His patience and long-suffering. 
Waited; for the repentance and reformation of that rebellious generation. 
In the days of Noah; till the 120 years were run out, and the ark, which was preparing for the security of him and his family, were finished.[32]

In fact, Noah’s testimony is so surpassing that we learn an additional lesson – one about baptism – from this same passage in the New Testament. This, “the like figure” story of Noah, is a type, pattern or example (Greek: antitypos) of baptism – “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.” In the days of Noah the filth of the flesh of the earth was quite literally washed away in the Flood. “‘Flesh’ is emphatic.”[33]  

...and that not only as it is a sign, but a seal whereby the Spirit of God confirms in the hearts of believers the faith of their justification purchased by Christ’s death, and witnessed by His resurrection, Rom. 4:25, [“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”]…. 
A good conscience; a conscience purified by faith from internal and spiritual defilements,… 
By the resurrection of Jesus Christ; …the answer of a good conscience toward God is, by the resurrection of Christ, as the foundation of our believing the promise of forgiveness and free grace, inasmuch as it testifies God to be fully satisfied for sin, and Christ to have fully overcome sin, the devil, etc. For where this faith is not, there can be no good conscience, nor any sincere answering what God requires of us in baptism….[34] [bold added]

The Flood was for Noah a baptism, as the passage through the Red Sea for the Israelites. By the Flood he and his family were transferred from the old world to the new; from immediate destruction to lengthened probation; from the companionship of the wicked to communion with God; from severing all bonds between the creature and the Creator to the privileges of the covenant: so we by spiritual baptism. [35][bold added]

The 1 Peter New Testament passage about Noah concludes with a remarkable verse that depicts Christ in heaven, on the right hand of God (See also Romans 8:34, Heb. 1:3). Here is it stated that “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him,” as it similarly says in 1 Cor. 15:27, Eph. 1:22, and Heb. 2:8. The believer is wonderfully reminded of Christ’s supremacy and God’s sovereignty over all of creation.

“In the Days of Noah” 
What exactly was happening in the days of Noah? Why does Jesus warn that it will happen again? We are informed in 1 Peter 3:20 that “the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing.” So God waited. In fact, considering what the Bible says about the ministry of Enoch, God’s longsuffering was evident for many hundreds of years prior to the Flood, not just the 120 years of Noah’s preaching ministry. Why was God being so longsuffering? Genesis 6:5 informs us that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Elsewhere in Scripture it ascribes all of men’s wickedness to the heart (Ps. 41:6; Prov. 4:23, 6:14,18, Jer. 17:9; Matt 15:19; Rom. 3:10). The corrupted sin nature resulting from man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden was so rampantly evident on earth before the Flood God’s own heart is revealed to us – it was filled with grief: “it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” (Gen. 6:6) This provides an amazing contrast between man's corrupt heart and God's loving heart.

The New Testament informs more about the nature of man’s sinful activity going on before the Flood, accounting for why it so greatly grieved God’s heart. A statement is made by Christ when he refers to the “days of Noah” being like “the coming of the Son of man,” i.e., His second coming. He told his disciples that “before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage”(Matt. 24:38). Luke 17:27 also records the Lord’s statement that in the days of Noah “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage.” In our modern society this seems like quite normal activity. What was wrong with this? Reading a bit further in the Luke passage, the Lord also mentions the story of Lot, saying that “likewise,” just before “it rained fire and brimstone” on Sodom, “in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded” (Luke 17:27-29). Normal-sounding activities. Except that we know from Genesis 19 that Sodom’s “marriages” were not normal but sinful fleshly unions. The moral decay was evidently rampant, not restricted or constrained.

Genesis 6 provides more information about these marriages in the days of Noah:

“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 which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an 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. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” 
(Genesis 6:1-8) 

What was wrong with these marriages in the days of Noah? According to Genesis 6:2 men who professed godliness took heathen wives. The term “sons of God” in this verse “manifestly relates to Genesis 4:26, where the same persons are said to be “called by the name of the Lord, i.e. to be the sons and servants of God.”[37] This verse speaks of the days of Enos, son of Seth, “then began men to call upon the name of the Lord,” which can also be translated (in the margin) “to call themselves by the name of the Lord.

Then when the world was universally corrupt, and had forsaken God and his service, good men grew more valiant and zealous for God, and did more publicly and avowedly own God, and began to distinguish and separate themselves from the ungodly world, and to call themselves and one another by the name of God, i.e. the sons, servants, or worshippers of God as they are expressly called, upon this occasion, Gen. 6:2. And in this sense this phrase is elsewhere taken, as Is. 43:7; 44:5; 65:1.[38]

These so-called “sons of God”[39] intermarried with unbelievers. This is a recurrent problem of man throughout Scripture. Mixed marriages tend to wreak havoc on the next generation since the godly calling of parents is to train up their children in the true faith (Deut. 6:7; Prov. 22:6). A godly marriage is compromised by a partner who is not in agreement, and possibly living in idolatry or sin. Furthermore, Christ’s statement about “marrying and giving in marriage” may be a reference to the problems inherent in multiple spouses, divorces and remarriages, and other ungodly deviations from the biblical family norm of one man and one wife in holy union for as long as both shall live. The Bible context tells us much about these marriages in the days of Noah:

These unequal matches with persons of a false religion are every where condemned in Scripture as sinful and pernicious, as Gen. 26:35; Exod. 34:16; 1 Kings 11:2,3; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 13:23, etc.; Mal. 2:11; 1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14, and therefore are fitly spoken of here as one of the sins which brought the Flood upon the ungodly world…. They did promiscuously choose wives, without any regard to their sobriety and religion, minding only the pleasing of their own fancies and lusts, not the pleasing and serving of their Lord and Maker, nor the obtaining of a godly seed, which was God’s end in the institution of marriage, Mal 2:15, and therefore should have been theirs too.[40]

Proverbs 29:16 says, “When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth. The more sinners the more sin; and the multitude of offenders emboldens men…. The bad will sooner debauch the good than the good reform the bad.”[41] There are therefore many spiritual complications in these ungodly marriages.

The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain. They took them wives of all that they chose. But what was amiss in these marriages? (1.) They chose only by the eye: They saw that they were fair, which was all they looked at. (2.) They followed the choice which their own corrupt affections made: they took all that they chose, without advice and consideration. But (3.) That which proved of such bad consequence to them was that they married strange wives, were unequally yoked with unbelievers, 2 Cor. 6:14. This was forbidden to Israel, Deut. 7:3,4. It was the unhappy occasion of Solomon’s apostasy (1 Kings 11:1-4), and was of bad consequence to the Jews after their return out of Babylon, Ezra 9:1,2.[42]

In all types of mixed unions with the world the church becomes stained by the world. It loses its salt and light. It is rendered unable to stand prophetically, and is no longer able to boldly proclaim the Gospel with clarity. It begins to accommodate sin, even justify sinful behaviors. This must be what happened in the days of Noah, because Scripture records that he alone, along with his immediate family, were the only ones that God preserved from destruction. When Scripture says that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8) it means that God must have “strictly examined the character of every person in it [the world] before He pronounced it universally corrupt.”[43] Noah, on the other hand, “was made a vessel of God’s mercy when all mankind besides had become the generation of [God’s] wrath.”[44] Noah must have stood out, he would have been noticeably separate. He was a courageous man of obvious character and integrity. Would that God would give us men such as Noah in these last days!

Genesis 6:4 notes that “There were giants” (and here is where the reader encounters the Hebrew nephiyl, i.e., Nephilim) “in the earth in those days,” i.e., in the days of Noah. These giants filled the world with violence (Gen. 6:11,13), especially through their brute strength and superior physical stature and prowess.[45] We encounter the phrase “mighty men” frequently in the Old Testament (Hebrew: gibbowr) where men are often described as warriors “of valour.”[46] We can infer that in the days of Noah these gigantic men were frighteningly big bullies! In fact, the violence of these men is listed as a key reason why God said the earth was corrupt – “for the earth is filled with violence through them.” (See Gen. 6:11-13.)

But is this section of Genesis 6 talking about Nephilim half-breeds, a union of demon and man? In verse 3, the Lord clearly says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man (Hebrew: adam), for that he also is flesh” (Hebrew: basar, Strong’s H1320, meaning the flesh of both man and beast). This means that “man, all mankind, the sons of God not excepted, is flesh.”[47 This same word “flesh” is repeated throughout Genesis 6. If it is singularly reinterpreted to mean a hybrid demon-human creature, the other references to God destroying all “flesh” do not make sense in this passage. We know from the whole counsel of Scripture that man’s flesh is “incurably corrupt, and carnal, and sensual.”[48] This is the same “flesh” that is spoken of man in the New Testament:

not only fleshly in part, or in some actions, but altogether, in regard of soul as well as body, minding nothing but making provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts, Rom. 13:14. Not having the Spirit, Jude 19, nor heeding its good motions, but suppressing and resisting them. Flesh not only in the condition of their nature, but in the baseness and corruption of their hearts and lives; as the word flesh is commonly used when it is opposed to the Spirit, as John 3:6; Rom. 7:18; 8:5,7; Gal 5:17.[49]

The Lord tells Noah that He “will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” (Gen. 6:7). The word “man” is again the Hebrew adam, and God carefully specifies that it is “man (adam) whom I have created,” thus bringing to mind man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden. Man, Adam. It can be no other reference. If a half-breed human-demon creature is inserted into this point in the narrative, it cannot fit the very precise language used by God in this text. A demon by definition cannot be man, i.e. a descendant of Adam. Further, this is a clear reference to the sin nature of man who had just been created, and who had fallen so greatly. Here in the Noah story can be seen man’s rapid deterioration and degradation. His sinful nature is utterly wreaking havoc on the earth, filling it with violence. And these men, descended from Adam, had his nature: “by one man’s offence death reigned” (Rom. 5:17, also see verse 14). Thus, these ungodly men were operating fully in the flesh in the days of Noah, exerting brutality and violence upon others. In fact, these bullies were renowned, i.e., they were esteemed, and famous for their unrestrained and deliberate evil. “The wickedness of a people is great indeed when the most notorious sinners are men of renown among them.”[50]

The earth was said to be “corrupt before God” as it became “filled with violence.” Man’s violence. God pronounced that “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” This means that wickedness prevailed to such an extent that it contributed to the breakdown and ruin of human society. “Take away conscience and the fear of God, and men become beasts and devils to one another.”[51] The inhabitants of earth “sinned openly and impudently without shame, boldly and resolutely without any fear of God.”[52] This “corruption” was most likely superstition and “idolatry, which is also called corruption, Exod. 32:7; Deut. 32:5; Judg. 2:19….”[53] When it says “all flesh had corrupted his way” this is a clear reference to man, as in Ps. 78:39 and Is. 60:5.[54]

The Hope of Noah 
There was no hope. Except for Noah, upon whom God magnified His grace. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen 6:22), exemplifying sanctified obedience and surrender to God’s will.

In Noah God found a “just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” Gen. 6:9). We already know what sort of man Noah was by his description in Hebrews 11:7, but here we also learn that he lived “perfect” – i.e., “upright and unblamable in the course of his life among the men of his age.”[55] And we know that he also must have “walked with God,” as did Enoch:

He lived as one whose eye was continually upon God; whose care and constant course and business it was to please God, and to imitate Him, and to maintain acquaintance and communion with Him; as one devoted to God’s service, and wholly governed by His will. He walked not with the men of that wicked age, or as they walked.... [56]

Further illustrating the contrast to the ungodly violent generation, God welcomed Noah into the ark by saying “for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation” (Gen. 7:1). Once in Genesis 6, and thrice in Genesis 7, Scripture states that Noah did “as God had commanded” him, thus illustrating his holy life of obedience and faith.[57]

Into this story we could also bring the example of Lot, which often shows up in the same context as Noah in the New Testament scriptures. Lot is another example of God’s deliverance before imminent judgment. Peter gives us a glimpse into the heart of this man Lot, who was “vexed with the filthy conversation” (i.e., behavior, manner of life) “of the wicked.” Might not Noah and Enoch have felt this same way? Peter describes Lot’s grief over the sin that surrounded him: “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” (2 Peter 2:7-8) How grievous to live in the midst of such terribly manifest sin. Much more could be written on the story of Lot and how it also sheds light on these passages concerning Noah and Enoch.

These stories all point to the Gospel message: “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21) “By faith” these men “walked with God” in exemplary lives during times of great turmoil, trials and tribulation. They did not slack, they did not veer off course, they did not disobey. They surely must have counted it all joy (James 1:2). Of Noah, a commendation has been written, which says in part:

God here makes Noah a great blessing to the world, and herein makes him an eminent type of the Messiah, though not the Messiah himself, as his parents expected, ch. 5:29 [Noah signifies rest, ed.]. 1. God made him a preacher to the men of that generation. As a watchman, he received the word from God’s mouth that he might give them warning, Ezek. 3:17. Thus, while the long-suffering of God waited, by his Spirit in Noah, he preached to the old world, who, when Peter wrote, were spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-20), and herein he was a type of Christ, who, in a land and age wherein all flesh had corrupted their way, went about preaching repentance and warning men of a deluge of wrath coming.[58] 

Those that keep themselves pure in times of common iniquity God will keep safe in times of common calamity….[59]

To conclude, it is deemed impossible to separate the biblical message of Noah and Enoch as given in the New Testament from the text of the Old Testament. The similar circumstances of their days to the end times, and their warnings of impending judgment, indicate the seriousness and urgency of the salvation message today.

But, deprived of a clear message of man's utter sin, Christ's salvation and God's judgment, Noah's and Enoch's stories lose their Gospel impact. Their stories become impotent, mythological in character. Both Noah and Enoch – and their distinctive walk with God and holy separation from a world gone utterly apostate – are held up as New Testament examples unto us who live at the time of the end.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them,
and embraced them, and confessed that they
were strangers and pilgrims on the earth….
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us,
that they without us should not be made perfect.”
(Hebrews 11:13, 39-40) 

Is it any wonder that the Gospel story of salvation – embedded in the Noah and Enoch accounts – should be corrupted by false teachers? The insertion of extrabiblical material corrupts this pure Gospel message of grace and faith, redemption and deliverance from the judgment to come. Interestingly, the false teachers who do this are described in 2 Peter immediately before the passage about Enoch and Noah. Peter 1) warns believers about them, and 2) he warns them of their impending judgment:

“But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they
with feigned words make merchandise of you:
whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not,
and their damnation slumbereth not.

(2 Peter 2:1-3) 

  • It is not too late to preach righteousness to the prisoners bound by sin: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” (Acts 26:18) 
  •  It is not too late to repent and believe, by faith: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal. 3:22), “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). 
  • It is not too late for believers to be encouraged by faith to wait for the hope of His soon coming: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Gal. 5:50). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). 

1. Recently on Herescope we have run an entire series of articles about these Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm teachers. In fact, we are in the midst of one series and will return to it shortly. If the reader will look to the listing of current articles on the right column of the blog under Previous Posts, simply clicking on some of these articles will take the reader back to earlier articles, and so forth.  
3. For a thorough overview of this topic, see Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s excellent article “‘Babylon Rising’ and Canon in Crisis: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Fresh Revelations, and an ‘Open’ Canon,” See also Dr. Martin Erdmann’s scholarly review under the subtopic, “The Original Apocalyptic Source Material,” in the Herescope article “The Rise of Apocalyptic Paganism in the Church: Bible Prophecy in Crisis,” 
4. John Owen, D.D., An Exposition on the Epistle to the Hebrews: With Preliminary Exercitations, Vol 23 (Johnstone and Hunter: Edinburgh, 1855). This article will quote specifically from Owen’s Exposition of Hebrews, Chapters 11:1 – 13:25, Vol. 7, reprinted by Banner of Truth Trust (Carlisle, Penn: 1991). 
5. Ibid, p. 5. 
6. Ibid. 
7. Ibid, p. 36. 
8. Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. 3 (Hendrickson Publ.), p. 567, commenting on Hebrews 11:5, note that “had this testimony” means literally “had had this testimony—viz., of Scripture [Memarturetai (perfect: ‘he has been testified of’) implies that this testimony continues still.].” 
9. Owen discusses what this translation means on pages 2-3. 
10. Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, Vol. 1: Genesis – Job (Hendrickson Publ.), p. 15-16. 
11. Many examples of these writings have been documented on numerous Herescope posts concerning the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) teachers over the past two years. See footnote 1.
12. Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, Vol. 3: Matthew – Revelation (Hendrickson Publ.), p. 946. 
13. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (from now on designated as JRB), Ibid, p. 651, commenting on Jude 14-15. 
14. Owen, p. 34. 
15. Henry, Vol. 1, p. 40. 
16. Poole, Vol. 1, p. 15-16, commenting on Genesis 5: 22. 
17. Matthew Henry, Ibid, p. 40. 
18. JFB, p. 567, commenting on Hebrews 11:7) note: “moved with fear –not slavish fear, but, as in [Hebrews] chapter 5:7 [eulabetheis, reverential fear: opposed to the world’s sneering disbelief of the revelation, and self-deceiving security.” 
19. Owen, p. 50. 
20. Helpful insights were gleaned from Owen’s commentary on this verse, pp. 36-46. 
21. Poole, Vol. 3, p. 861 commenting on Hebrews 11:7. 
22. Ibid. 
23. Owen, p. 53-54. 
24. JFB, p. 623, commenting on 2 Peter 2:4-5, take note that church age “false teachers.,.. have no prospect but destruction, even as it overtook the ungodly in Noah’s days.” 
25. Poole, Vol. 3, p. 922, commenting on 2 Peter 2:5. 
26. Poole, Ibid. 
27. Henry, Vol. 1, p. 40, commentary on Genesis 5:21-24. 
28. Poole, Vol. 3, p. 910, commentary on 1 Peter 3:18. 
29. JFB, Vol. 3, p. 611, commenting on 1 Peter 3:17-22. Jamieson, Fausett and Brown do not give credence to the teachings that Christ visited Hades to preach to these antediluvian believers. See their commentary for their explanation.
30. JFB, Vol. 3, p. 611, commenting on 1 Peter 3:17-22, noting particularly the context of Peter’s exhortation to suffering believers in verse 17. 
31. Poole, Ibid, commentary on I Peter 3:19. 
32. Poole, Ibid, commentary on 1 Peter 3:20. 
33.  JFB, Vol. 3, p. 612, commentary on 1 Peter 3:21. 
34. Poole, Ibid., commentary on 1 Peter 3:21. 
35. JFB, Vol. 3, p. 612, commentary on 1 Peter 3:21. 
36. Cross-referenced verses cited by Poole, Ibid, p. 912, in his commentary on 1 Peter 3:22. See also Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s Herescope article, “The Supreme Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ: Christ before Cosmos” for a discussion on the relevance of this refutation of postmodern prophecy heresies. 
37. Poole, Vol. 1, p. 16, commentary on Genesis 6:2. 
38. Poole, Vol. 1, p. 14-15, commentary on Genesis 4:26. 
39. Poole, Ibid. Other examples of this same phrase can be found in Deut. 14:1-2; 32:19; Is. 1:2; 65:11; Hos 11:1; Luke 17:27. 
40. Poole, Ibid. 
41. Henry, Ibid, p. 42, commenting on Genesis 6:1-2. 
42. Henry, Ibid, p. 42, commenting on Genesis 6:1-2. 
43. Henry, Ibid, p. 44, commenting on Genesis 6:8-10. 
44. Henry, Ibid, p. 44, commenting on Genesis 6:8-10. 
45. For solid scholarly and biblical reading about the giants in Scripture, see the following articles at Answers In Genesis:,,, 
46. For a listing of the verses that use this term, see the Blue Letter Bible page: where you can see how often H1368 (Strong’s) gibbowr is used, and the context. 
47. Poole, Ibid, p. 17, commentary on Genesis 6:3. 
48. Henry, Ibid, p. 42, commentary on Genesis 6:3. 
49. Poole, Ibid. 
50. Henry, Ibid, p. 42, commenting on Genesis 6:4,5. 
51. Henry, Ibid, p. 43, commenting on Genesis 6:11-12. 
52. Poole, Ibid, p. 18, commentary on Genesis 6:11. 
53. Poole, Ibid, p. 18, commentary on Genesis 6:11 
54. Poole, Ibid, p. 18, commentary on Genesis 6:11. 
55. Poole, Ibid, p. 17-18, commentary on Genesis 6:9. 
56. Poole, Ibid, p. 15-16, commentary on Genesis 5:22, but referred to in 6:9 with Noah also. 
57. Genesis 6:22; 7:5,9,16. 
58. Henry, Ibid, p. 46, commenting on Genesis 6:13-21. 
59. Henry, Ibid, p. 48, commenting on Genesis 7:1-4. 

Ed. Note: In all quotations, minor updating, such as removing Roman numerals and capitalizing pronouns referring to God, has been done to make it easier on the reader. Quotes may have been slightly reformatted for blog posting.