Heavenly Father, but thank you, God, for this morning, for the opportunity to worship together, to sing these great hymns of faith, to hear the testimony of Daniela and Paythra and the work that you’ve done in their lives and the work that you’re doing in their lives today. And we ask for your continued strength to sustain them. And we pray for health that and healing for Daniela, knowing only you can do it. God that.
His situation with the brain tumor is such that there really is no hope for healing with in his body without your intervention. And we pray that you would do so knowing God that your will is supreme, and praying God always in submission to that which will bring you the greatest glory that you will accomplish that and in the lives of those who love you and are called according to your purposes. And now God is.
We open your word as we contemplate demons, as we contemplate Christ’s work among men, His authority, who he is, what he’s done and is doing for us. We asked that you’d open our eyes and help us to understand the truth according to your word, not according to what men would make it be, that we would be submissive to that, that we would embrace what can be known.
And God maybe hold loosely ideas that we can’t know for sure and yet still strive diligently to understand the truth as as much as you will reveal to us. Please keep us from error, God, that we would not be led astray and help us God to to be vessels of honor that bring you great glory, work in our hearts, that we would walk in faithfulness. You know we we continue to.
Ask you to be with the the rescue workers, that the helpers, the relief workers down in the states that have been affected by these recent storms that you would give them relief. Give the families that are struggling right now, give them relief physically and God through the ministries of the churches there, through the body of Christ as it works among these workers to bring them relief spiritually.
That they would know Christ Jesus. They’d be comforted as only you can comfort. And we pray these things in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen. Only one speaker right now fella. He doesn’t understand that yet. I don’t think. Well, we’ve talked a lot about the tendency that we all have to to kind of polarize. We tend to gravitate towards extremes and we tend to.
To overcompensate, when we see something that’s really wrong, we see one or more in teaching, and we tend to react to it, rejecting anything that might be similar to it. And the problem with that is, Satan can disguise himself as an Angel of light, and in doing so he brings a lot of truth into the picture to try to convolute it with a lie. And sometimes the lie is just enough to depart us from the truth, but we will respond to that lie.
In such a way that we’ll throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. So we want to be careful that we that we don’t do that. One of the the ways that that can happen easily is in the work of the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, there are those that claim that clear manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit has to be evidenced in the form of speaking tongues or one of the other sign kit sign gifts.
As some sort of sensational verification of salvation. Now, of course, this kind of teaching is wrong. It adds to God’s Word. It imposes upon believers, or at least professing believers, a conditions for salvation that God hasn’t. In fact, it adds specific works performed by the one supposedly saved in order to affirm their salvation.
Now of course there are works that result from salvation, but this puts a specific thing that we have to do in regard to our salvation that is extra biblical. It’s not true, but it’s easy for us to to overreact or overact in a sense to these sensationalists, the charismatics we call them. Although even within charismatics, charismatic circles the the.
There are variations of this and some are are much more responsible in regard to this than others. Now this reactionary response is to to deny the Super supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and anything more than giving us understanding of scripture. To suggest that someone might hear in their own language as someone proclaims Christ in a foreign tongue is considered impossible to some. Does it happen? I don’t know.
Can it? Why not the idea of the Spirit prompting us to pray for someone at a given time? Maybe a missionary, that all of a sudden comes to our mind and we desire to pray for them at that moment. Someone consider that to be superstitious. Not actually a prompting of the Holy Spirit, but just us thinking and walking in obedience. I’ve had discussions with people along these lines.
We’re very adamant that the Holy Spirit does not do these types of things, and though they might not deny that God can and still does do miracles that would separate this from personal spiritual experiences, as in most things, when it comes to these types of discussions, the truth is probably somewhere in between. And where that line is, we don’t know.
It’s clearly not with its sensational charismatics such as the likes of Benny Hin, and though evidence is largely subjective, it’s likely not on the hardcore cessationist either. Somewhere according to God’s decree, the truth lies and very godly men disagree. And to where this these lines are?
Now I bring this up because it’s we’re entering into an interesting passage here in regard to demon possession, and we’ve talked about demon possession a little bit, but I wanted to take some time now to really focus on it a little bit more deeply. I try not to get too systematic in the teaching.
But, but I thought this time the opportunity was there and and maybe we should just seize upon it. In many ways, the message today is more about learning how to think. Yeah, that would be great. Thanks, Dan. In a lot of ways, the message today’s more about teaching us how to think, contemplating how we think about God’s word, how we handle God’s word, the way our our thoughts form and how things are are handed down. Then it is about what we need to know.
And that’s very important because we tend to gravitate towards what we’ve been taught without actually contemplating whether or not that’s what God said. We can get caught up in these things very easily, and we see it all around us very easily when it’s different than what we know is in Scripture. But it’s a lot harder to see it within our own minds, to understand that we too grasp ahold of these preconceptions.
We have presuppositions, we have pre understandings that we bring to the table and everything we kind of fit it within that. And so we want to challenge ourselves as we go through this study. That part of the goal is to challenge ourselves, to learn how to think more clearly in light of what God says, not in light of what tradition has told us to think or what theologians have told us to think. Not that they’re always wrong, not that they are wrong, but we want to always be thinking from a biblical sense and to.
To verify things according to scriptures, whether they’re true or not. And some of the things that I’m going to present to you as we go through this will stretch conventional theology a little bit. And it’s not without intention. I want to stretch us. I want us to be thinking. And honestly, there are aspects to this as we go through.
Where you’ll likely disagree with my conclusions, and that’s OK, I don’t have this nailed down. There are things here that we’re going to be discussing. Again, it’s it’s an exercise in thought and you know, a lot of stuff. We’re just not given clear lines in what exactly God’s words is teaching us or what exactly is true. Sometimes God’s Word doesn’t teach us the the depth of God’s knowledge is so far beyond ours that we can’t grasp at all.
And he’s only given us what we need to know. That’s what we have to rest in regard to God’s word. Now, before reading our text here, there’s another aspect, or maybe phenomenon in Christianity that I wanted to bring up. And it’s not that Christianity has a monopoly on this, but rather we too are guilty of it. And this is a propensity to follow the crowd.
It’s called, in many circumstances, the mob mentality, although that might be a little bit of an overstatement in regard to this. The mobs seem to take on a life of their own, like lemmings. They start moving together and it’s not really so much about where they’re going, is that everyone’s going in the same direction. Individuals can get caught up in this, and in doing so sometimes start thinking or acting contrary to their own convictions.
I think all of us have experienced this at one time or another, getting caught up in something and then realizing, you know what that was really, that wasn’t right. So unfortunately, this is true of us as Christians as well. One group thinks that something’s true because that’s what they’ve been taught. They don’t see any reason not to think it’s true or perhaps false, depending upon the doctrine.
So they simply just take it by faith. And really, that is a sort of blind faith. We don’t espouse a blind faith, We espouse an informed faith, a faith that’s based on the truth that God has presented us. We don’t have to be blind in our faith because God’s given us the truth. It’s it’s subject to reason. It’s not subject to fantasy or blindness as as some would say.
So, So what does all this have to do with the passage before us? Well, one area in which most of us have likely done this is in regard to fallen angels and demons. Generally speaking, it seems the Christians consider demons to be fallen angels. Are they? Why do we think that? It’s what we’ve been taught through the ages.
In general, theologians we most respect agree on this issue and in light of the the lack of biblical evidence contrary to the position the church embraces it with, often without considering whether there might be other viable options. So it’s it’s not a hot topic as far as as or a debate in the church at all.
There are those who have different ideas, and some of them are really quite out there, but it’s something for us to contemplate as we enter into this passage here. So with this in mind, let’s read today’s passage in order to grasp the import of what we’re considering in context. Jesus and his disciples remember they they’ve been ministering, and then they got into the boat and they’re crossing Galilee, and the storm came up and Jesus has calmed the storm. This has been a busy day.
And and now they’re on the other side of Galilee. They’ve landed on the far shore of Galilee here, as we begin reading here in Luke 8 verse 26. Then they sailed to the country of the gatterines which is opposite Galilee, and when he stepped out on the land there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time.
And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me, For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.
Had often seized him and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying what is your name? And he said legion, because many demons had entered him and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now I heard of many swine was feeding there on the mountain.
So they begged him that he would permit them to enter them, and he permitted them. And the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened and came to Jesus and found the man.
From whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed in his, in his, and in his right mind, and they were afraid. They also who had seen it, told them by what means he who had been demon possessed was healed. Then the home altitude of the surrounding region of the gatherings asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear, and he got into the boat and returned now.
The man from whom the demons had departed begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you. And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. So as you can see, this is, there’s a lot of stuff here. There’s a lot of stuff for us to contemplate.
As we go through their study today I’m going to do a kind of an an overview of what we’re looking at and and next week we’ll dig deeper in into the passages themselves. There are going to be several passages I’m not going to read we’re not going to turn to but you might write them down if you want to study on your own so you can and and I didn’t prepare a list for you I really should have but if you just write down the passages you can check them out later on and.
Maybe try to come to some of your own conclusions in regard to to next week. It will prepare your mind regardless so that you can soak up what we do next week a little better. So as we work through this passage we really need to consider a lot in relationship to Christ and the reality of the Kingdom of God, the reality of the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God and and the battle that really wages and and and rages around us.
We don’t sometimes give it much thought. We take things for granted and in our society it’s really downplayed a lot, the spiritual aspect of our walk and it’s led us to a certain complacency. I think that it can be very dangerous. So, so we’re going to do this kind of exorcist here and we’re going to, we’re going to just follow a line of thought here in regard to demons and who they are and what what have you.
One of the questions that I thought of was kind of a spin on when we were doing the Truth Project. Do you really know that what you believe is really real? And that’s kind of the question we’re asking ourselves here. And one of the first things I want to do here is just what are the perspectives, what are the different positions out there?
One of them is that all all wicked or fallen angels are demons. That’s where demons come from. It’s very theologically credible. It has a tradition on its side and is overwhelmingly favored among theologians. Another perspective is aliens of some sort. I don’t know if you guys have heard that one. Not that many embrace it, and it’s tough to back up biblically.
And another one is the demons are a product of some type of angelic cohabitation with humans. And that one’s a little interesting. It lines up with biblical testimony. There’s nothing to oppose it scripturally. It doesn’t really line up with the theological tradition very well. There have been few through the years that have upheld it. It lacks clear teaching to support it.
However, it does relieve some tensions in Biblical theology. So we’re going to look at these different things and see where we end up at the end of our study. The linchpin to this really, if you look at these, actually falls back on Genesis 6. So we’re going to take a look at Genesis 6 today. We might not think of that at first, but.
But in order to either debunk or support these this is this really has to be considered because it has a bearing on where we end up in regard to what we think demons are because of the references made throughout Scripture and even particularly in the New Testament. So if you would flip over to Genesis 6 if you haven’t already and.
Ultimately at hand here is is who exactly are the sons of God? Maybe you haven’t ever really contemplated that and and maybe in some sense you’re really not that worried about it. And in regard to salvation, we don’t need to be, but it is something we want to contemplate. Now the positions in regard to to who the sons of God are, that there are several of them, but there really are four main ones. One would be that they’re Sethites. They’re they’re of the lineage of Seth.
Another would be that there are some type of despotic rulers, perhaps demon possessed despotic rulers. Another would be some type of alien activity going on there. And then fallen angels is another perspective in regard to that. So with that in mind, let’s go ahead and read in Genesis 6. Let’s just go ahead and read Genesis.
We’ll read one through 1 through 8. Now it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of gods saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And Yahweh said, my spirit shall not strive with men forever, for he is indeed fleshed, yet his days shall be 120 years.
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. Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually, and Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth.
And he was grieved in his heart. So Yahweh said, I will destroy men whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beasts, creeping thing and birds of the air. For I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. So we’re going to look at these different proposals, and we’re going to look at some of the problems with them today.
As we we set ourselves up to try to discern what the the truth may be. First let’s consider the aliens for a moment. I see you kind of weird that I would even bring that up but but the reason I I mentioned you this to you is because it really it is something that’s proposed and you need to be aware of it in case you run across the teaching. Tied with this view very often is the belief that that there was a gap between days 5:00 and 6:00 during which.
Some strange race lived. I’ve not read a lot about this. I haven’t studied it deeply, I just kind of surface studied it. But such a view really denigrates the creation account. It puts a time in between days of creation that creation doesn’t, and it it could lead lend itself to a host of errors. There’s really no biblical evidence of this happening, or or of aliens somehow affecting Earth at all.
Or that they exist for that matter, except in a spiritual sense. So So what? We want to be careful not to to throw out any possibilities. We just have nothing to work with in this regard. There’s nothing in God’s word to inform us in regard to this, and any proposals along these lines work from a purely philosophical or at least a hypothetical perspective. There are amazing schematics people have drawn up and and books written on this.
And people fall for it. I’ve encountered people. You know, you’re talking to them about the faith and you’re talking to them about Christ. And this becomes such a foundational issue for them as they start talking about this and telling you who teaches this stuff. And if you don’t agree with them, then they start shunning you as though OK, you’re just not willing to embrace the truth. Like it’s a matter of faith and practice to embrace what they’re teaching. So you want to be aware that it’s out there and.
You want to have some type of intelligent means of being able to to converse with people who take this perspective. We’re really not going to talk about it anymore. As far as I’m concerned, it’s dismissed as a possibility. It’s really not something that the Bible, the Bible would record, but we want to be aware that it’s out there. The other one is Another one is despotic rulers.
The proposal here suggests that these rulers, perhaps demon possessed, took many wives, so the sons of God here would represent them. And sons of God in some common ancient Near East terminology did refer to royalty on occasion. So in other words it would these were were kind of royal harems that were brought together and and they would say that these would result in.
In men of renown and part of the reason they would say that is because of demon demonic possession that the these despotic rulers were under. So the application of the flood here in this account here would would serve as a warning to later rulers who might see themselves as deity. You can’t see yourselves as being God. It reveals the futility of such a presumption and it warns them of God’s judgment on such men.
This view, of course, is not without problems. One would be, why would such a union develop Nephilim or giants or men of renown? We don’t see any reason why that would happen. It doesn’t seem to fit the text. And never in the Old Testament are kings referred to as deity at all. It just doesn’t fit. This was a Pagan practice in some areas, and it’s not even referred to in scripture at all, and in fact there’s a severe lack of evidence that sons of God was.
Was possibly borrowed by any contemporary from any contemporary literature at the time. And we want to be really careful here too as we contemplate the Bible, because there’s this, there’s this tendency to take contemporary culture and say that the the teaching of God adapts contemporary culture to Scripture because it’s really not that way. Whatever was out round at the time that is used in Scripture was there because of the the sovereignty of God. It was a means by which he’s using to communicate.
And we need to understand it from God down, not God reacting or using what’s already there. He has established everything that is there. And in addition, there’s never ever an instance of someone who’s demon possessed being called the Son of God in scripture. In addition to this, there’s really no evidence of any hierarchy of rulers being established in the lineage of Cain, and this would embrace that.
That there was some type of lineage there with the descendants of Kane. Now another view here that we mentioned a little bit is in regard to Seth, The lineage of Seth, and this is the most common position by far. The proposal is that Seth’s line is considered a godly line.
The the the phrase sons of God would be equated with Deuteronomy 14 one which refers to people belonging to God and walking and righteousness. And back. In Genesis 426 and into chapter five, we see Seth’s line as as a calling upon as they call upon the name of Yahweh. So such an argument claims that.
As one commentator says that the sons of God in Genesis 6 two are men who are righteous in their imitation of the character of their heavenly Father and the the daughters of men are ungodly wives whom they marry. So the the daughters of men in this case would be the ungodly descendants of Cain. More evidence would would come from John D Davis who points out that.
Perhaps the most ancient known, specific interpretation of Genesis 6, two, that of the Samaritan version of the Penituke, equates the sons of God as being men rather than angels. And these are all very good arguments. They’re very persuasive, they adhere to biblical teaching, they adhere to biblical tradition, which needs to be considered. But are they conclusive? And that’s something we want to consider.
There are some some holes here that we want to consider. There are some challenges as we consider this one. Biblical testimony on this is not dogmatic. For one, we have no biblical testimony that the daughters of men refers exclusively to Kane’s lineage. There’s no reason for us to embrace that, or that they somehow must be wicked because they are the lineage of Kane.
Sons of God as it appears here, which is Ben Elohim as it appears in this passage, never means anything other than angelic beings anywhere in Scripture. Now, the argument that there’s a referral reference to children of God elsewhere. We’re going to discuss that more next week. The Dilemma of the Giants Why would this union just like in what we were considering earlier, Why would this union?
Produce giants? Why would it produce men of renown? What? What is the import there? It seems like there would just be more people. Why? Is there something special about these men of renown or giants that come along, and perhaps the most persuasive argument against this or or challenged put in front of it? It would be that if the descendants of God of Seth are so godly, what are they doing marrying ungodly women?
Were there no godly women available? In fact the claim that godly men took ungodly women unto themselves is self contradictory. So there’s that challenge needs to be met. Another question is in Second Peter 24 we read if God did not spare the angels who sinned but cast them down to hell and delivered them into the chains of darkness.
To be reserved for judgment. So the context there in Second Peter 2 is the flood. So if they were put into judgment, what do you do with that here? How does that, what does that have to do with the flood? And if that’s the case, does that mean there’s no demonic activity after the flood? So how do demons?
How do demons account for imprisonment of fallen angels? And the same basic question could be asked of Jude Six and Seven, the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode. He has reserved an everlasting change under darkness for the judgment of the great day as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in similar manners of the to these having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.
Are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. So again, we have a challenge here in regard to angels, fallen angels being put into chains and the context seems to have something to do with the flood. So we’re going to dig a little deeper into those next week and take a closer look. But I invite you to look at those during the following week to prepare your minds for that. The other view here that we’re going to we’re going to consider is the fallen angels view.
In regard to Genesis 6 and the sons of God. And this view would say that the these fallen angels took daughters of men as wise, resorting in a sort of superhuman race. Now the the to support the proposal here is a statement well the sons of God for instance.
That exact statement always refers to angelic beings in the Old Testament. Like I said earlier, it’s Ben, elohim, elohim, and you know then the word Ben means son, and then elohim is the generic word for God. Another thing is that a simple reading of Genesis 6-1 and two if you just read that, it most naturally lends to some type of supernatural occurrence.
Or at least superhuman beings cohabitating with these human women, and that would fit the ancient Hebrew context and just reading it in English as well. But this isn’t without some challenges that need to be met too, and there are a list of them, one of the.
None of the the things that we’ve we’ve presented here without challenges. That’s why there’s a debate. There’s not universal consensus on it. As with a lot of things that we we strive to understand. Here’s some of the things we need to deal with in regard to this one though. In Matthew 2230, Jesus tells us that angels are not given in marriage. Many would take this to mean that angels can’t marry and assume that angels are incapable of procreation because of this.
Some note that it’s irreverent to call fallen angels sons of God. Angelic interpretation here is is foreign to both Hebrew and Biblical thought is what some have presented as well. In Matthew 24 versus 37 through 39, and also in Luke 17 we see that conditions in in the last days of Loa Noa.
Are the same as they’ll be when Christ returns. There’s a reference to that there. So that passage informs us a little bit too, and is something that we’ll have to deal with. The the idea that it it just seems unjust for humans to be punished for the sins of angels is presented. The fact that angels are not mentioned in this passage isn’t isn’t a challenge to this perspective.
There’s no clear record of angels marrying human anywhere in scripture even, or in the world today for that matter. So that would be an argument. The Septuagint gives testimony to the interpretation that sons of God is equated with men. We mentioned that earlier. It’s something that we’ll want to take a look at in Revelation 9. How come we don’t see these angels resuming sexual relations when they’re released?
If these were angels that indeed cohabitated with women, why doesn’t Jesus mention angels marrying before the flood in in Luke 1727? Since the nephalem are mentioned after the flood like in Numbers 131333 specifically, how could such unions have ended with the flood?
Genesis 6-7 refers to the punishment of men, not to angels or some type of hybrid. And of course, if the women were marrying angels, then who were the men marrying? Which is a question that’s brought up if these angels were gathering harems around themselves. And the last one here is the is the idea that.
The sons of God would be angelic, be angelic. Being seems associated with Greek mythology more than really a biblical testimony. And maybe you know this last observation, this last point here makes a great point for us to ponder as we close our thoughts today. This idea that that this seems to borrow from ancient Greek mythology. We mentioned this tendency earlier.
Judging our perspective on scripture according to contemporary sources, that can be dangerous. Deriving biblical principles from Pagan religion really isn’t in keeping with with a doctrine of inspiration. So we really don’t want to embrace that idea. But part of the problem is that people will see where that is a possibility. So they will will. They’ll dismiss a view.
Because it seems to borrow from a contemporary Pagan belief. But there are a couple points here to consider in that. First, of course, it’s a very valid concern. God doesn’t need to borrow from other religions. He is truth. He proclaims truth. He’s not reliant upon anyone in order to establish that truth and inspiration is not dependent upon contemporary culture or religion.
Inspiration comes from God. It doesn’t come from the culture men of God removed by God to reveal God. But on the other hand the conclusion drawn in regard to this is really not necessary. We we we don’t have to say that just because a contemporary culture at the time it was worshipping Pagan had a Pagan religion that did this because that.
Mirrors something that’s going on within true religion or what we claim is true religion. That doesn’t mean that it borrowed from that. Can it be that that’s copying the truth? I mean, isn’t that the way of Satan, to copy the truth and to twist it into a lie so that we’re let astray? So we want to be careful here in the way we think.
Some have used ancient Near East practices as the reason why God did certain things, and the reaction to this is to refute anything that that may embrace it. So again, you know, we see this overcompensation propensity that that we have now. Just because some have been irresponsible in supporting perspectives doesn’t mean that that perspective is wrong either. And this is something we need to be careful with.
An example would be what if I said the that the sky appears blue because space is actually blue, or because your your eyes adjust with a blue tint when you look up. You know, something like this that I come up. You’d think I was nuts. However, that doesn’t mean that the sky doesn’t appear blue. It doesn’t negate the truth. It just means that my idea of what the truth comes from and how I associate with it is wrong.
Arguments. Flawed and irresponsible. So the lesson here is that we have to receive scripture as it’s given. We need to remove our personal biases, assess our presuppositions and our pre understandings and just submit to what we can know and deal with That we want to be cautious as we do so. We want to be gracious with what we can’t understand.
And we want to be very careful no matter what we do, to ever do anything that denigrates the character of God, because if it does, then we’re wrong. So next week, we’re going to dig more deeply into the arguments against the idea that these sons of God could be angels, and into the arguments that that they against the idea that the line of Seth.
We’re going to try to assess these and try to see it more clearly. We’re not going to deal with the alien idea, and these will be the two main ones we focus on. You know, it’s easy for us to dismiss things, dismiss some things as though they’re really not very important. We can read through an account like what happened with this Demoniac and just kind of see the facts.
Without really seeing, remember the condition of this man. He showed up in front of Jesus and the disciples. He was naked. He had no clothes on. He was filthy. He lived in tombs. He’s certainly what would have been considered.
Especially to a Jewish mind as being unclean, he was often seized by these unclean spirits, and when they bound him, he broke the bonds with superhuman strength, and then the these unclean spirits would drive him into the wilderness. It’s easy to just kind of dismiss him though. This guy’s wacko.
Who is this guy? He’s somebody’s father, Maybe a mother, a child, a son, a daughter, brother, sister, close friend. Why not see how easy we just dismiss it and don’t really think about it? We don’t even think this is real. I mean, really?
We don’t see it in our culture, just we don’t see it around us. And we just that happened then. We want to think about that as well. This man has no less dignity than we do as image bearers of God. The demonic presence here is real and it exists today.
We need to be really careful not to fall into the fallacies of modern science and reason. They’re religions of their own, and they deny God. They deny the reality of the supernatural, and in doing so they kind of make up one of their own. When you have scientists saying no aliens are more probable than God, or yeah, there might be ghosts, they’ll give that a that A twist.
Anything but had being accountable to a creator, perhaps? You’ve read this if you’re familiar with CS Lewis’s Screw Tape Letters and letter #7 to Wormwood. From Screw tape we read, I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. If you’re not familiar with this, this is basically a a demon uncle.
Tutoring his demon nephew and how to steer people away from the enemy, which would be God. So here’s the patient here, of course is a human that he’s trying to influence. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that devils are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you.
If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that, it is an old textbook method of confusing them, he will. Therefore he therefore cannot believe in you. It seems Satan’s done his work very well.
But having said that, there’s nothing for those in Christ to fear. There are those who avow some a type of exorcism in which they address the symptom, but they don’t really address the crisis. And the crisis is a crisis of the soul because where Christ dwells.
Demons cannot. If we belong to Christ, then he dwells within us. The only really hope, the only real hope for any of us is Christ. The only real defense against demonic persuasion, possession, anything, is Christ. And isn’t that wonderful?
We can rest in that because He’s more than eight. He’s more than sufficient, and in Him we’re secure for all eternity. Let’s pray our Heavenly Father, we thank you for Christ Jesus. We thank you that in Him is everything we need, that He is all, and in all that He is fully sufficient, more than sufficient.
That he is the author and finisher of our faith. For we know God that if it was up, left up to us, we would fail. Thank you for the great work you’ve done on behalf of sinful men that we would know you. And if there are any here God that do not, that are not truly yours, please break their hearts and help them to see it that they fall on their faces and worship the one true God.
In Christ Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank you God, for your word. Thank you for the things that you’ve given us that we can know about Christ and and our condition before you and our need for you, the salvation that you have provided in Christ Jesus, for revealing yourself in such a way that we can know you. And we pray God that through that through that knowledge that we would be instruments for your glory.
That others would see a reflection of your majesty in our lives. And we pray God that you would give us hearts and minds that would have a weight, weightiness of thoughts to them. So that these would be the things that we pursue God as we study demons, as we study you the sons of God and at the time of Noah and what that means.
And and how that may affect us today we ask that you would give us eyes that would see help us not to make a mountain out of a molehill. And yet God please help us not to fail to be diligent and in our understanding and what you’ve given us in your word we pray these things. God in Jesus name, Amen.
So as we continue through Luke, the reason we’re looking at demons right now is because of the demoniac of the gatherings and the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has just crossed the sea and been confronted with this man who is obviously not in his right mind. In fact, in a sense, he’s not in his own mind at all. He is possessed by this legion of demons.
Last week we kind of took a look at an overview of the discussion, but today we’re going to consider 2 main perspectives in regard to the sons of God in Genesis 6 a little more closely. We won’t be able to wrap it up completely because of the the amount of material that I’d like to bring into the discussion from the Old Testament here, So we should be able to do that next week. First, a little refresher on the perspectives on the origin of of demons.
One is that all wicked or fallen angels are demons. This is a very common position. It’s very theologically credible and really overwhelmingly favored. Among theologians, this would be the predominant view. In fact, it could be the only view that you’ve really been exposed to. Some would claim that they’re alien beings of some sort. There really aren’t many that embrace this, but if you look it up on the Internet, you can find plenty of material to read.
I found places that despouse things like this and I really didn’t bother reading them. You when you get to them you kind of see why. But I would invite you to go ahead and and be and be aware of that. Maybe look at a couple of them so you’re familiar that of what the arguments are, what the what their thoughts are. And as a little side note to that, I don’t know if it’s true anymore but.
As of several years ago, you know you people claim once in a while to be abducted from aliens. But from what I read a few years ago, nobody who was a born again Christian had ever claimed to be abducted by an alien, which might point to some type of demonic activity going on in that regard. Deceiving men. I don’t know, I just offer it as a thought. Another view would be that.
Demons are the product of angelic cohabitation with humans, and and this does line up with some biblical testimony, it has a lot fewer supporters. It kind of seems fantastical or mythological, which causes many people to dismiss it, but it also relieves many tensions in theology, so we’re going to take a look at that as well. So as we consider this, please turn in your Bibles to Genesis 6.
As we take a look at the sons of God in Genesis 6, because this is foundational to our study, we have to to at least understand the discussion here in regard to Genesis 6 and the sons of God in order to to go on. And you’ll see why even more so as we as we go along, especially when we get to to what exactly demons are and.
We have to wrestle with things. Are the Nepheli the the sons of God? Are they the same thing? Are the sons of God angels? If they are angels, are they? Do they still roam the earth after the flood? And if so, for how long and why? What is what does the Bible say about these things? If they’re not, then again, you know where do they fall? What are they come into things. What is? What is a demon? How does it fit into the scheme of things?
And I know that a lot of the questions I’m even answer asking right now in the sense might not, you might not understand why would even ask them. But as things go along, and as we continue to explore this, hopefully that will become more apparent to you. Now that the nature of the sons of God in Genesis 6 has four main proposals, there are variations of these. One of them is aliens. Again, the Seth fights that they would be of the lineage of Seth.
Would it would be the predominant view today. I think historically it has been in the history of the church. Despotic rulers is pretty common one as well. It mostly comes from Jewish influence. Some of these would say it’s simply kings or Princess that fell in love with their power too much. Some would say they’re they’re demon possessed men who embrace their power too much in in.
Took on for themselves beautiful women among the the the men of the earth, that the daughters of the earth. And then the other view that we’ll be looking at again will be fallen angels because of the things I talked about before in regard to the the origin of demons and this passage itself. And what is it telling us in regard to that? If if indeed demons are fallen angels, then we need to understand their relationship here with man and.
With the flood and stuff. So we’re going to look at all of these things. So with that in mind, let’s go ahead and read in Genesis 6, beginning in verse one. Now it came to pass when men begin to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And Yahweh said, my spirit shall not strive with men forever, for he is indeed flesh.
Yet his days shall be 120 years. 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. Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And Yahweh was sorry that he made man on the earth and he was grieved in his heart. So you always said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air. For I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. Really our main focus is on the 1st 4 verses here.
Some of the challenges and answers to those challenges, just as a little bit of an overview here. Aliens, as you might recall into both demons and the sons of God. We’ve really kind of set them aside because they really there’s no biblical evidence. There’s really nothing to study in the Bible in regard to that. The evidence is is comes from the world, it comes from philosophical perspectives, it comes from external evidence. So it’s it’s hard for us to do a biblical study in regard to that.
I would just again, I bring it up so that you’ll be aware that some espouse this view, and you might want to familiarize yourself with the discussion on that a little bit if you’re interested in doing so. Despotic rulers, this one has been very common. It suggests that these rulers, perhaps even possessed took many wives. The sons of God was a common ancient Near East terminology referring to royalty, but it was not used in the Bible and it was not used by the Jews.
It’s interesting that this was a dominant view among Orthodox Jews not too long ago. I’m not sure about today. But in ancient Judaism, this wasn’t a view at all. It’s it’s fairly new in the scheme of things, and there’s just nothing in the Bible that addresses this whatsoever. Again, there’s nothing to study in Scripture in in regard to this.
And another question of course is why would such a Union develop these Nephilly and the Giants men of renowned? We really don’t. We don’t know why they would. And it’s a question that that constantly is nagging us as we consider these different perspectives. Why would these men be set aside, these, these giants? Another perspective is fallen angels.
The fallen angels took daughters of men as wives, resulting in a sort of superhuman race. As I studied this, I was surprised to find a lot of historical support for this view. I didn’t realize that there was so much historical support for this view. The subtuagent favors it in the in its translation, Josephus writes of it taking this position. The Apocryphal Book of Enoch actually discusses it and and brings it forward.
The ancient Jewish interpreters espoused it, and the earliest Christian writers do as well. Now, the first couple of centuries, this is the position that was predominant among Christian writers and our our early church fathers. So we’re going to take a look at that more closely later. The the next view is the descendants of Seth. And again, this is the most common position by far, especially in the the.
Centuries about the 3rd, 4th century forward up to through the Reformation. This would be the predominant view as far as anything that I’ve been able to find so far that it also has a lot of historical support from people like Chris Austin and Augustine. They they were the one first ones to write about it and it was followed since from their time on through through many men writing about the.
Theological perspectives on the sons of men. It’s certainly more comfortable position than the more supernatural perspective. Angels cohabitating with women, That is something that makes some people rather squeamish, for understandable reasons. In fact, Calvin writes that that ancient figment concerning the intercourse of angels with women is abundantly refuted by its own absurdity, and it is surprising that learned men should.
Formerly have been fascinated by ravings so gross and prodigious. So obviously Calvin has an opinion and he’s not afraid to express it. Thomas Scott, if you’re familiar with Thomas Scott, wrote an extensive commentary. It’s basically.
Huge study Bible. When I say huge, I mean 5 volumes as big as our Bibles. So it’s very extensive. He doesn’t even.
Address any view except the Sethite view. He has nothing to say about it. So there’s a little historical overview they were going to. So we’ll be considering mainly the Sethite view and and the the Angelic view. And I shared recently about how when I was teaching Zach, I was trying to impress upon him the importance of context.
And the example I gave him, I can’t remember exactly how I asked the question, but it was something along the lines of what if we were talking about something and I said Ben has a huge bill. I asked him what would you think I meant by that? And his first answer was it was, it would be a bill of a charge for a certain amount of money. That would, that would make sense. And I said, well, what if we were talking about hats at the time? Oh.
OK, well that changes things. You got hat could have a big bill. Yeah, well, what if I had a duck name been Now we’re talking about a completely different thing. Context demands that this word, just a simple word like bill, means something different. So, so these these these conclusions in regard to how we use words without clear context can be ambiguous.
Some common words that lend themselves to this are those that sound alike, that are spelled spelled differently, like there or one meat even with even with meat you can you can have one WON or ONE. In case you missed that one Meat. You can have MEAT we’re familiar with, but you have also have ME.
ET and you can use that two different ways. So we can be.
We can become confused easily if we don’t understand the context of how words used. Clock can be used as a verbal renown and it has two totally different meanings. Same with doc, list, fly a lot of.
These words without context, it’s just a word we don’t understand. It’s ambiguous without a context to fit it into.
And yet, even in the immediate context of a given statement, we have other considerations. There are cultural considerations such as.
As we discussed in our Bible study this last week, words such as lorry, flat or boot were lot brought up as being used in the UK for things that are totally foreign. That’s not that the objects are foreign, but those words meaning what they do are foreign to us. A lorry for someone in the UK is is what a truck right flat would be where someone lives to be their home and a boot.
Yeah, it’s a trunk on your car. We just we don’t talk that way. So the context does does demand that we look at things a certain way and then there’s there the ever morphing words that we have in our vocabulary that can just drive you nuts.
You know, like I remember my cousin when I was a little kid telling me that something was bad and I just had no clue why he would say that because he really seemed excited about it.
I was remember with the boys when we were in California, I took a turn and I said wow, this corner is tight and they just started laughing. They thought that was funny. Tight apparently means that something’s cool. And so they just thought they got a kick out of that.
Then sometimes we hear something and the meaning is harder to understand. There may be rings of context that change our perception and.
In fact, in a given context range, it may be that that certain perceptions are actually impossible, even though our initial thought might be that it means something a certain way. And a good example of that many of you are familiar with because you were just in Hawaii. Suppose you’re in Hawaii and you hear someone say that little snake stole my eggs. Well, in a Hawaiian context, you know right away that it wasn’t a literal snake, right? Because there are no snakes in Hawaii.
But now think of it on a in a bigger context worldwide. If you heard that statement from your context where you live, most people in the world would think, well, that could be a literal snake because there are snakes and snakes like eggs, right? But then from a Geo historical perspective, making sure that we’re keeping that in context, in the context of Hawaii and studying what that would have to mean, we would have to submit to the reality that it cannot. It is impossible for that to mean snake.
Unless something else is brought into the picture, like someone brought us pet snake into the house or or something along those lines. So as we do our study here in Genesis 6, we have something something similar in our consideration of the context. We have a term here that divides scholars and theologians in their effort to understand exactly what God is telling us. So in our effort to understand, we’re going to we’re going to peel this back.
And consider different rings of context, so to speak. First we’ll consider the closer context. Then we’ll consider the broader theological context, eventually working our way out to the Scripture as a whole. And then a systematic theological perspective on it too, as how these things can meld together according to God’s word. Now, as we do this, try to keep in your mind that that we’re here to discern what demons are. This is what this study is is leading us to. So you want to.
Kind of be playing with that in your mind as we’re going through it. How does this fit? Maybe you’ll come to your conclusions. Maybe you already have. Maybe you’ll come to your conclusions before we get there. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just try to to be discerning these things as courting to Scripture, not because of our comfort zone or what we think or what we’ve been taught in the past.
And remember, I’ve admitted that we need to be careful in our considerations, that that godly men are divided on this, that Scripture isn’t necessarily definitive in all this information. So as we conclude the study, we there are goals that we want to achieve. We want to be better at handling God’s Word. This is a lesson in handling God’s Word. We want to have been humbled by the realization that our understanding is necessarily limited by our own finitude, by our finiteness we are studying.
An infinite God, we have limitations in our capability of understanding. We’d have to embrace that and just be humbled by that fact and and grateful for what he has given us we become. If we study this rightly, and we studied study with humility, we should be more gracious in regard to differing, differing perspectives on matters that aren’t central to salvation in the character of God. Just as we have rings of context that we have to look at as we study a given passage, there are also.
Rings of orthodoxy, if you will. There are certain things that we cannot compromise on. You can’t tell me that Jesus is not God, because if you do, then you have no salvation. You have nothing to offer me. If Christ is not God, if he was not fully human, you have nothing to offer me. These are things that are central to our faith. We cannot capitulate on them at all. There are other things that that are a little less so. Perhaps creation would be 1.
You don’t have to believe in a literal 6 day creation to be saved. However, your understanding of the gospel cannot be complete unless you do. So this is another, it’s another layer, it’s further removed. It’s not necessary for the gospel, and yet there’s a sense in which it supports the gospel so fully that we would say, you know what, you really need to understand this. We would challenge people on it. Then we get to something like this where we say, well, the sons, I think the sons of Gods are setheites and I I think they’re aliens and I think that they’re.
They’re angels. And I think this and that. Well, we can have really rich discussions on it and we can be edified by those discussions in the fellowship that we share around these types of discussions. But we really should never be so concerned about it that we would break fellowship over things like this and we definitely shouldn’t be proud in regard to it. Hopefully we’ll understand the issues in regard to the sons of God in in Genesis 6 better and we’ll understand the roles of angels and demons better by the end of this study.
So, and then in the end, you’ll know my perspective, if you don’t already, but hopefully I’ll present it in such a way that that you’ll be able to discern the facts and make up your own mind and come to your only own conclusion, and you’ll understand the different perspectives well. Again, try to stay focused in this because because you’ll be surprised how often you’ll read a passage and realize that it’s at least indirectly related to this study. A friend of mine and I were were talking about this one time, and.
And I presented my perspective and his was different. But it was really interesting because in subsequent studies that we would do together, in subsequent discussions we would do, it would come up again and again. You know, I can see how what you said actually fits this, this, whatever we were studying in the Bible, it was different places. I can really see how that would actually fit theologically better than mine. Or maybe the other way around it was.
It was interesting how that would come up at times when you really wouldn’t think that it would. So be aware, these things do fit together in different studies that we do throughout our lives, so we’re immediate. Context is our first consideration. Genesis 6-1 and two is the is a sentence. Now it came to pass when the men begin to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful.
And they took wives for themselves of all whom they choose chose so. So we we look at this sentence all alone, not because we want to divorce it from the rest of Scripture, but because we want to start peeling back the layers of context. What are we being told right here? What is it? What is the first impression here? We want to try to get the first impression we would have as a Hebrew, reading this in its original context. But that’s.
That’s hard for us to do, but but to the best of our ability, let’s just look at it. What is the, what is the surface level say to us here? So taking a look at this statement alone, it appears to reveal this contrast between the sons of God and the daughters of men. There’s something different about them. Just the sound of the the sons of God has a significance, especially as it relates to to the daughters of men. And we see that they saw the daughters of men. There’s there’s some type of time frame going on here it reveals.
And awakened awareness, it seems. And the time frame seems to be set around when men begin to multiply on the face of the Earth pretty quickly. There were a lot of people on the earth. If you stop and think about it, we replace ourselves to a certain extent. We’re growing in population, but there’s a sense in which if you have two kids, you’re basically replacing yourself. And the only reason there would be more people is if you live longer.
Bigger families, of course, mean that the population is going to be growing faster. Well, in this case, people are living 900 years and they’re having babies along the way. You’re having a major population explosion. Immediately you’re seeing the results and you get to a certain point and all of a sudden people go from this many and, you know, 30-40 years to this many just because there are so many having babies and they’re all living, none of nobody’s dying, nobody’s replacing anybody.
You know, at least not in in the short term. So you would see how all of a sudden there’d be all these women and these sons of God would be seeing the daughters of men. And there’s something interesting about just the statement that they took wives for themselves, of all whom they chose.
Doesn’t seem like something that men generally are given the ability to do. Now, if it’s a despotic ruler, he would have the authority to do that there. So there’s something here about these these beings, the sense of men that it, that is significant. Now if you’re familiar with the commentary Keel and Dielich, you’ll know that they are. They’re Old Testament scholars and they they disagree. Sometimes when you’re reading through their commentary once in a while they’ll take different perspectives.
And this is one of the areas that they’re divided. Dielich claims that the sons of God are angels. He’s not given a whole lot of space. In the commentary, Keel takes up the the abundance of space. In regard to this. In fact, all he just references what Dielich teaches. He doesn’t. Dielich doesn’t really say anything for himself, but even in disagreeing, Keel makes this interesting observation regard to the immediate context.
Apart from the context and tenor of the passage, so he’s going outside of of this verse here these two points, sons of God elsewhere referring to angels and the antithesis of sons of God and daughters of men. These two points would lead us most naturally to regard the sons of God as angels and distinction from men and the daughters of men. So in our immediate context.
It appears that these sons of God need to be other than men. It appears that they would be angelic beings would make a lot of sense, simply not knowing what else to think of them as in this in our first perspective here. So now we want to go to a slightly broader context versus one through 4. There’d be our immediate passage here and here what we.
See here. It appears to be a strengthening of the idea that the sons of God are super beings of some sort. This consideration is heightened when we see the result of their union in verse four. There were giants on the earth in those days. The word giants here you If you have a different translation you might have nephalem. I don’t know what else you might have there, but those would be the two predominant translations that would be here Nephalem.
And giants. Nephilim is the literal Hebrew word. There were giants on the earth in those days and also afterwards, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old men of renown. There appears to be something unique about the offspring of this union. Somehow the sons of God joining with the daughters of men Results.
In Nephalem and Giants and mighty men, men of renown, and as you do word studies on this, it’s really challenging to find anything conclusive. The word for mighty, The words for mighty and renown really weren’t so hard. Mighty is just a common word in in Hebrew and carries the idea of strength and power, simple translation. Renown is even more common and carries an idea of fame and notoriety.
So we can grasp those pretty easy. And then you come to Nephalem and you kind of hit the brakes real hard because you’re not sure what to do with this word and that. And that really is central to our challenge here. This word is only used twice in the New Testament. It’s used here and it’s used in numbers 1333. Interestingly, that means that the nephalem are referred to both before and after the flood.
We have to keep that in our minds because this affects our discussion, and the rarity of this word really kind of makes it hard for us to understand exactly what it means. We don’t know exactly what its root is. The MacArthur study Bible will tell you that it’s fall, and it very well could be. That does fit giants, as in the new King James would be supported by the Septuagint, but.
That’s it. There’s really no other reason for us to put giants in there. It’s just when they when they did their translation work, they must have considered the Septuagint here. Others simply leave it as Nephelene because of the difficulty, and in trying to translate it, a possible view sees them as those of untimely birth because a possible root of Nephelene has to do with miscarriage or or or born out of their time.
It’s closely related to the the word for fall, as I mentioned earlier, which can kind of relate to miscarriage in a way, as well as as the the baby falling early. The eme at the end. In Hebrew, eme at the end of a word is plural. You know of the serif eme in Isaiah 6, serif means burning, Eme means plural, it means actually means burnings or burning ones.
If you will. So these would be the fallen ones, possibly, or the ones born out of due time. The ones of untimely birth could be any of these things. It could be fallen ones which would point to fallen angels if if someone took the view that the Nephelene somehow were fallen angels. There are all sorts of possibilities here, but they all seem to be centered in this idea of fallenness or or or possibly born.
Out of their due time. Now the verse here specifically seems to point to the nephalem as being the offspring of the sons of God rather than synonymous with them. If you if you look at the way it’s it’s written so. So with this in mind, maybe miscarriage or untimely birth would be more accurate. It’s really not definitive.
Now and now in order to try to understand this, I’m going to step into a broader contextual category because we’re going to take a look at numbers 13. If you haven’t turned there yet, you might. If not, I’m going to go ahead and read it to you now. Now remember, this is being used here after the flood. So numbers 13, verse 31, the men who had gone up with him said we are not able. Now remember the the context here is we have.
Israel has been freed from Egypt. They’ve come to the promised land and been told take it. And they’re scared because they’re big guys there that are going to do mean things to them if they try to take the land that God has promised to give them. So, So the men who had gone up with him said we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land, which they had spied out saying the land.
Through which we have gone as spies, as a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people whom we saw are saw in it are men of great stature. We there we saw the giants. This is Nephelene. The descendants of Anak came from the giants, the Nephelene. And we were like grasshoppers in our own site. And so we were in their site.
Now this is challenging because this, this whole passage here, they’re kind of blowing things out of proportion. They’re seeing things from a certain angle. So we’re it’s hard for us to work through it and discern what’s really true here and what’s just because they’re scared what’s based on their fear rather than their faith. So we need to try to work through this. Now remember back in in verse 4IN in Genesis 6, the Nephilim are both in those days and also afterwards.
Remember, we read.
That in that, and furthermore, when in verse four seems to embrace the same context, there were giants in the earth on the earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men. So we have before and afterwards. And when the sons of God came to the daughters of men, they bore children to them. So there seems to be something going on before and after the flood here that we need to try to discern.
So if this is the case, and the claim here would be that angels copulated with women prolifically before the flood and at least to some extent afterwards, and the reason is because there are no men that live through the flood, There are no despotic rulers that live through the flood. The line of Seth lives through the flood, but the line of Cain doesn’t. Noah is of the line of Seth, as we see in in.
Chapter 5 of Genesis there there is no more lineage of Cain, so so contextually it fits for the Nephelene to be resulting offspring of this union between the sons of God and the daughters of men. So at this point, the natural reading in the context of the passage supports the idea that the sons of of God, or at least superhuman, they’re not human, they’re in some other category.
Now we’re going to take a look at the larger context of Genesis, because this is where people like Calvin are coming from now. Just a casual coming thumbing through of the preceding chapters of Genesis reveals something to us. We have the early creation narrative. We have creation. We have the Fall. We have the curse, which is pretty much sets up history, right? Then we have the genealogy as of both Kane and Seth. In Kane, we have the genealogy.
We have Keynes geneology in chapter 4, verses 16 through 24, and then at the end of chapter four, we have the birth of Seth. And there’s this, this promise that comes with the birth of Seth. This, and it’s punctuated by his first son, Enosh, and by the fact that men begin to call on the name of Yahweh. It’s right there in in verses 25 and 26 of chapter 4. This is when men begin to call on the name of Yahweh.
Why it said a part like that, I’m really not sure, but there’s an emphasis on it here. So we see this godly emphasis on Seth’s line. Then the focus rests on the lineage of Adam through Seth up until the time of Noah. So we see the sin and debauchery of of the line of Cain on one hand, and we see the godliness and blessing of the line of Seth on the other, which sets up a context for us as we come into Chapter 6.
So with this in mind, the emphasis in chapter 6 seems to be on the sinfulness of man. Men begin to multiply. They had daughters, they were beautiful and Seth Slime began to to lust for him. It would be what the argument would be and this would show a degradation of God’s chosen people and their subsequent caving in to Kade’s lineage influence as the daughters of men were beautiful around them and and lured them in.
So in in this argument it would be said that Seth’s line is godly. They’d be sons of God. They called on Yahweh, so they were calling on God and and Cain’s line had departed from God that just the daughters of men. So the contrast is being made between godliness and worldliness when you say God sons of God versus the the daughters of men.
So in light of this, God’s spirit wasn’t willing to strive with man forever. The wickedness of man had grown. It was It was consuming man, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, we’re told. So Yahweh was sorry that he had made man, and he grieved in his heart. And so God set out to destroy man.
And such was his grief over a man’s condition. He even desired to destroy the creatures. Now remember that this would fit because man was a tender of the garden. It was man’s responsibility to take care of the garden. And it was because of man that death came to the garden. It was because of the sin of man that the death came to the Garden. So we need to make sure we’re keeping all of all of this in our minds as we come to this. And again, we’re going to turn to Calvin.
And he says now, since man has defiled the earth itself with his crimes, and has vially corrupted all the riches with which it was replenished, the Lord also designated that the monument of his punishment, should there be placed, just as if a judge about to punish a most wicked and nefarious criminal, should, for the sake of greater infamy, command his house to be raised to the foundation. And this all tends to inspire us.
With a dread of sin. For we may easily infer how great is its atrocity when the punishment of it is extended even to the brute creation. So we see the following flood. See that? I’m sorry. See that? Following the flood, man grows in corruption as well, without the aid of supernatural beings.
Even know his own son, Ham incurs God’s anger when when he sees his father’s shame. And it’s not long before we see man’s pride elevated to new heights on the Tower of Babel. So. So time and time again the depravity of man is magnified for us to see. And it’s always applicable because we see our own depravity reflected in this as well.
So the broader context here within Genesis seems to lend to the idea that that these sons of God are actually Seth’s line. But we still have a nagging issue. Remember, what do we do with six, four. We’re told that the Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also afterwards. But but the nepheme?
Have been wiped out and and how do the the sons of God being obsessed line come into the the the daughters of man being of Kane’s line after the flood we’ve we’ve got to deal with them. How would they if they’re simply men how would they survive the flood. Now I wrestled I I I tried to to wrestle with this from the perspective of trying to prove.
That it is Seth Lyon. So I went to Numbers 1333 and attempt to answer this from that perspective. One of my one of my questions I had to ask myself was, well, maybe the reference, the perspective it’s a the reference doesn’t actually refer to the same beings. Not maybe it’s not referring to the same beings here as it did there. Maybe their understanding changed.
Or maybe it’s a perspective issue because of the lack of faith of the Israelites, as I mentioned before. So I went through and read it again. But the men who had gone up with him said we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out saying. The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great stature.
There we saw the giants. The descendants of a neck came from the giants and we were like grasshoppers in our own site and so we were in their site. So I could try to come from this from the perspective of OK, well maybe nepheline here means something different than what it did in Genesis 6. I mean, language has changed. Maybe that’s what the the case is, but.
The nature of this parenthetical statement here doesn’t lend itself to hyperbole or exaggeration. It’s it’s just a statement of fact. The descendants of a neck came from the giants. What do you do with that? You’re kind of stuck with it. It’s a historical claim. It offers clarity in the narrative. Here, giants here refers to Nephelene, and it’s clear that that later the Annakene descend from the Nephelene.
And that’s what the point of of this parenthetical statement. Therefore, the Nephele must have somehow survived the flood or been reinstituted after the flood. So at this point, this really is our greatest unanswered question. How does the existence of the Nephele before and after the flood fit with the differing perspectives? What do you do with that?
And in order to propose a solution to to the question what? Who are the sons of God? This is going to have to be answered. We can’t just gloss over it now. Now, both views that we’ve take a look, taken a look at it, have weight behind their arguments. But we have to remember the things that we’ve been learning on Wednesday nights.
Scripture doesn’t contradict itself. There’s a tension here and we want to relieve it. Any perceived contradiction in Scripture is our problem, not scriptures. We can’t blame God, so we have to examine our understanding. It’s us who have to be judged by Scripture.
And we can only be right. We can only what we believe can only be true. And so far as as we agree with God’s Word, be because of God’s Word, always agrees with God. And where we are at odds with God’s Word, we are at odds with God. And where we say God contradicts Himself, we’re fools.
Today, we simply don’t have time to finish our consideration of the Old Testament and the various arguments in regard to this. There’s more information we need to bring in, and I was hoping that we would. But as I looked at my notes and the amount of information before me, it probably came as no shock to you that it wasn’t going to happen. Yeah, so turn in next week.
So next week the goal, the the goal will be to finish our study on the context here as far as the Old Testament goes. And I really do think that we’ll be able to to to dig deeply into what the New Testament tells us as well. I think that the, I’m pretty confident that we’ll finish our investigation on the sons of God next week and move on to to what brought this on and that’s our study of demons.
And I do think it’s important for us to have this understanding, even if if you don’t even come to a conclusion understanding the discussion, I think it’s very important. And there are a lot of reasons for that. One is just so we understand God’s Word better, which is probably the best reason, because understanding God’s Word better helps us to understand what people mean when they say things. There are all sorts of teachings you can hear out there.
I don’t know where any of us are going to be in 10 years or 20 years. We could be anywhere on the planet. We just don’t know what God’s going to do. So you could end up sitting under anybody’s teaching, at least for a moment. And you want to have this discernment. And you want to recognize when somebody says something, you know what, Even if you don’t know the truth, you know that what they’re saying is wrong because you know how to handle God’s word. And you know there are certain things that God’s word says.
That that would refute what they have said, because people will build some wild doctrines from this stuff. I mean really, really strange things with with bringing in the aliens, with this, this race that existed between day five and day six before man was created. There’s just this whole theological grid that has this time that existed before day six in which this race of beings existed and they failed and God.
Wiped them out and then started the humans and and you’d be surprised at some of the names that espouse this, because they’re people that you’ve probably heard and and heard quoted respectively, respectfully. So be be aware, be absorbing all you can from this discussion. And as we scratch our heads in some ways in regard to this, remember Jesus didn’t.
This wasn’t confusing to him. It’s not confusing to him.
He wasn’t confused in regard to who the sons of God were. He had has never had any lack of understanding of the nature of demons. There hasn’t been a challenge for him at all. Even the demoniac horde cried out to him. What have I to do with you, Jesus?
Son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me. It’s incredible that they recognized him for who he was and bowed before him. They begged him for mercy. But it might be even more incredible in some ways that men are so reluctant to do so.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your word. Thank you for the opportunity to to dig as we have. Please help us not to be frivolous in our study. Help us to submit to the truth, no matter how challenging it may be to our sensibilities. Recognizing that with you nothing is impossible, help us to submit to.
You, as you’ve revealed the truth to us in Scripture.
Help us to know what we can know. God we desire to know more. Give us discernment. Give us wisdom. Give us understanding.
Give us eyes.
That can see ears that can hear in God. We pray that as we continue this study that our strength would be bolstered, our faith would be bolstered and strengthened, that we would be humbled.
Thank God. Please help us to be reminded over and over again of our own depravity, of our own lack of your complete sufficiency, and that we are wholly dependent upon your mercy, even as these demons were. It’s in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for another morning. When we get to come before you, and we get to open your word, we get to contemplate what you have done. And we ask you to, to help us to see things as they really are, God as you have truly done them. Not to impose our ideas, but to embrace you and your truth, to hold loosely the things that are not clear, to put away the things that are clearly not true.
And to embrace those that are clearly true, God help us that our minds would be conformed ever more to your thoughts, that we could think your thoughts after you for your glory. This in Jesus name we pray. Amen. So if you would let’s go ahead and flip over to to Luke 8 as we continue this study and in our our study is on demons. And because this passage deals with demons, we wanted to.
Or at least I wanted to take a detour and contemplate what is what is a demon? Where do they come from? How do they fit in creation? Different perspectives on that would be that it all wicked or fallen angels are demons. So the demons are actually the angels that have fallen from grace. If you are from from heaven been cast out because of the rebellion against God.
There is a perspective out there that they are aliens of some sort, and then another perspective is that they are the product of this angelic cohabitation with humans. And so in order to try to understand the root of this study, we’ve dropped back to Genesis 6. So before going to Genesis 6, let’s go ahead and read our passage and Luke again to bring it back to mind. And then we’ll continue our study on the sons of God, specifically in Genesis 6.
So beginning in Luke 826 then they sailed to the country of the Gatterines, which is opposite Galilee. And when he stepped out on land, there met him a certain man from the city, who had demons for a long time, And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out.
Fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me. For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, for it often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name?
And he said legion, because many demons had entered him, and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now I heard of many swine was feeding there on the mountain, so they begged him that he would permit them to enter them, and he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned when those who fed them saw what had happened.
They fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed in his right clothes and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also, who had seen it, told them by what means he who had been demon possessed was healed.
Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the gatherings asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear, and he got into the boat and returns. Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged him that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you. Then he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city where great things Jesus had done for him.
So again, this reminds us of of the demon activity that Jesus has confronted here, specifically legion, a group of demons who’s in who have inhabited this man. And then we see them drive this the the herd of swine into the lake. So we’re in our contemplation, we’re we’re dropping back to Genesis 6 and we’re really trying to figure out here.
And do a study on who these sons of God are. And I’m going to do a quick review here of of where we have been. Remember the proposals that we’re focusing on specifically, or Seth fights or fallen angels? Those are the two dominant proposals the idea of despotic rulers has been popular among Orthodox Jews for.
Period of time. Now and then there are those who also would embrace the idea of aliens. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and flip back to Genesis 6. We’ll be reading that here in a moment. Within Genesis 6, we’ve been examining specifically spheres of context. We’ve been doing a sort of exegetical exercise here, hermanutical exercise, trying to to sharpen our skills in handling God’s Word.
So let’s go ahead and read the passage here, and then we’ll go ahead and look at the contexts that we’ve looked at so far. Now it came to pass. Genesis 6/1. It came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth. Remember men there is man. It’s singular. When man is in, mankind began to multiply on the face of the earth. That daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of man, that they were beautiful.
And they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And Yahweh said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be 120 years. There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, and bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old men of renown.
So this is the focus of our study, just these 4 verses really, and we see what comes later and it is pertinent to our discussion, but we’ll dig into that a little further later. So we have our immediate context. Is the first sentence here being verses one and two where we see the sons of God introduced and in contrast with the daughters of men and our conclusion as we studied.
That was that the natural reading of the sentence pointed to a supernatural aspect to the sons of God. Now as I say that that was the conclusion that I found as I was reading and it seems the natural conclusion to me. And even those who who argue against the idea that these are angelic beings will agree that that that is the natural conclusion to just the reading of that sentence alone and or even verses one through 4 alone outside of the context of.
Greater context of Genesis. But I did want to mention this this morning as we’re studying this, I draw conclusions as I go along according to the study, and I’m drawing you along in my thought process. If I say something and you see a hole in it, or you think of a verse that refutes the conclusions that I’m drawing or something that I’ve stated.
Please let me know. Don’t raise your hand in the middle of the message, but please let me know later. Write it down and give me these things because we want to button this up as much as we can as we go along. We want to entertain different ideas and different thoughts. A couple weeks ago, Keith said yeah, but what about this? And so it was something that in regard to the Numbers 13 passage. And so we have been working on that as well. I don’t have all this nailed down from my perspective as I’ve studied.
I think that it’s getting tighter and tighter and and it’s it’s more clear but a lot of godly men disagree so we want to be careful that I want to open that up please bring me your comments your your your thoughts in regard to these things so we can we can entertain those as well and and in case I’m I’m airing in something or missing something we want to make sure that that that’s brought to light. So our conclusion on the first sentence was was.
That it would be the sons of God were somehow superhuman. They were. They were. There’s something beyond just being men here or mankind, a supernatural aspect of the sons of God. And then we looked at a slightly broader context, and that would be the immediate passage here, particularly versus one through 4.
And here we see what appears to be a strengthening of this idea that the sons of God are superhuman beings of some sort. And and this was heightened when we see the result of their union in verse four, these these men of renown, these nephalem. And in this study we focused particularly on giants or nephalem and which brought us to the to what I mentioned earlier to numbers 13, the only other location where this specific word nephalem.
Is used. Now there are other other references to giants and we’re going to look at that in more depth next week. But right here we see that these men, these, these nefaleme are mentioned after the flood. So that it gives us a little bit of perplexity on how does this fit together for these Nefalene to exist before the flood and after the flood, Is that a specific race?
Is it a specific species? What is going on here is something that we want to contemplate as we go through and and we’re going to bring more light to that as we go along. Specifically next week. My intention is to look at that, that aspect of things even in more depth. So then we looked at the larger context of Genesis and when we did that, we saw these genealogies of Seth and of Cane.
And this seemed to give the ideas the sons of God might be of Seth’s line that that there’s this, this perspective of looking at man as he was developing up until the time of Noah, and that that maybe this is contrasting Kane Kane’s line with with Seth’s line. But we still have this nagging issue that’s that comes before us in six, four. We’re told that the nepheline were on the earth in those days and also afterward.
The text in verse four seems to clearly point to the result of the sons of God and union with daughters of men being these men of renown in these Nephelene. If it’s a Nephelene before the flood, and they were destroyed in the flood, then how could they be there after the flood? So it leaves us with a little bit of perplexity here in regard to that. If they’re simply men, how would they survive the flood?
So we stepped back again and we looked at the, the, the verses again. We started at the beginning and went through them again and and we this time we broke it down a little more narrowly. If you, if you remember now, some of this has been lost in our recorded messages because we lost Sermon 3 to a lightning strike. That’s kind of ominous, isn’t it?
We examined the word types. We were looking at repetition. We were looking at at the time element. We tried to answer the questions regarding who, what, why, where, how, when and and when. We saw that this is the head. This is happening when man began to multiply. That’s part of our context here. The daughters were born to them. That’s part of our context. And what happened these sons of God saw them, that these women, that they were beautiful and then they took.
The women for themselves. And we saw it appear what appears to be an emphasis on on man, and then the daughters of man, and then the Son of God distinction here that causes that there’s an effect of the union there. And we also considered the viability of the sons of God being men according to exegetical evidence in our passage here. Remember that many of our translations have men here as plural.
In one through 6, when it’s actually singular referring to mankind, we took a closer look of that and had a man multiplied. And we have the daughters of man. And you always said my spirit shall not abide in man forever. And we noted also that according to Genesis 5-6 Death Seth also had daughters. So. So we’re not looking at necessarily a situation where Kane had daughters and and Seth had sons and they got together and caused problems.
We’re not looking at a situation where Kane didn’t have sons, because we see clearly in his genealogy that he did have sons as well, although there tends to be more of a wickedness as we watch his line compared to to Seth’s line. And we noted that while angels in heaven aren’t given in marriage according to what Jesus said, that that that these sons of God aren’t in heaven.
And they’re not necessarily getting married. They could be, but they’re not necessarily getting married. But they clearly are in rebellion against God. So it really isn’t a matter of being given or not. They’re they’re doing what they want to do. They’re doing what’s right in their own eyes. So this brings us to sentence 2. The Lord said, my spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be 120 years. So man’s days being 120 years here was seen.
As the time before the flood, That’s what we discussed before for a couple reasons. One is man generally doesn’t live even to be 100 years and in Psalm 90 we read that are the days of our lives are 70 years and if by reason of strength they are 80 years yet they’re boast is only labor and sorrow for the soon cut off and we fly away.
But there was also that another reason for us to consider that this the the time until the flood. And that’s found in verse 4, which is our 4th sentence. There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterwards when the son of God came came into the daughters of man, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old men of renown. And here we saw that there was another word related to time. It was those days, remember, and we talked about that and it’s nearest antecedent.
Appears to be 120 years. Now the overall context would include when men begin to multiply and then that the daughters being born to man. So this would be a natural implication in light of the depravity that that is magnified in this passage that this was happening. And so so those these would be those days in which man’s depravity was lifted forward forth, and that this is what leads to the flood.
So, so it at this point I’ve pretty much offered this as as a position or a perspective on what we’ve been studying so far. Man is elevated as depravity to to heights of rebellion that has to be dealt with by God. And this is exasperated even more by the fact that angels are procreated with women, bringing a about a superhuman race of depravity in a sense.
And so God is stating you have twenty 120 years to repent and and then I’m going to wipe out man. So I’ve, I’ve taken a position in regard to that. Again, I invite your your discussion on this afterwards or during the week shoot me an e-mail or give me a call or or whatever we can talk about it after services today. But but that is along the lines of the conclusions I’m drawing as I’m going through this.
So having taken that position last time, I said we’d take a look at more reasons why the sons of God should be considered to be angelic beings. And so in doing so, we’re extending our context to the Old Testament now. Now, there are two aspects to the phrase sons of God that we want to examine. One is the claim by others that God’s children are referred to throughout Scripture, usually usually referring to the Israelites.
That can’t be refuted that that happens. But we want to take a look at that and two is is how the exact phrase sons of God is used in scripture. So let’s start with that thought sons of God. It’s only used a few times in scripture. The the Hebrew would be Binet, Elahim, Binet being the plural of son, sons Elohim, you know being God. It’s kind of a generic term for God. It’s a.
It can also be translated gods if it’s referring to pagans, God, Pagan gods. And the only places that this exact phrase is found would be in Job in Job 21 and in Job 38 and two one we read in it again, there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.
We know that that refers to angelic beings. We’re familiar, if we’re familiar with the passage and Job at all. Here’s Satan coming among the angels here as they array themselves before God in heaven. And then the other one would be in Job 38 versus 4 through 7 when when God is chastising Job.
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who determined its measurements? Surely you know. Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone? And in verse 38, seven, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, so here we again we see a.
Reference to the angelic realm. These clearly are not men. So the only uses of this exact phrase point to point. These uses point to angels specifically. Now we have another word that’s close to Elehim and that’s Elim. It can mean Ben. Elim can mean son of God or Benet. Elim could mean sons of God. In one place we have it is Psalm 29 one.
Where it says Ben Alim, but that is clearly a references to to angels. Here. That’s been historically how it’s been received to be a reference to angels. And the same can be said for Psalm 89 six. You can look those up if you like. Psalm 89 six and Psalm 29 one where it’s the wording is bell Ben Alim. So it’s not quite the exact phrase in anyway.
These are taken to be angels as well. We see in Daniel the phrase Son of God, but it isn’t helpful anyway in regard to the context here. Look, he answered. I see four men loose. You remember, this is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Here. They’ve been cast into the fire and they look inside the furnace and they’re these three men. They’re they’re loose. But there’s also a fourth one.
And and so he says they’re not hurt. And hurt in the form of the 4th is like the Son of God. So we have Ben Elahim here. But it is is clearly not a reference to a human man. It’s a reference most believed to the second person of the Godhead Trinity. And then we have Ben LL is another form of saying God, and we see that in Hosea 110.
That the number of children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured, were numbered, and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are my people, there it shall be said to them you are sons of the living God. So we see a reference here to the Israelites specifically being sons of God. The term is they’re all tied together has been an L But again, it’s not the exact same phrase.
And I mentioned this one because it is similar and it’s the only similar wording that clearly refers to Israel as a as a specific phrase. It stands alone it this specific phrase, Bennett L is not used anywhere else in the in the Old Testament. So we see again we were seeing again this the strengthening of this idea that Bennett elahim sons of God.
Refers to angels specifically, as far as the grammar goes. Now the argument against this is that God’s children are referred to throughout Scripture and that cannot be denied. We are going to look at that in the New Testament more next week. We’ll touch on it a little bit this week, but next week the plan is to look at that more closely. We’re going to focus on the Old Testament for now.
For a lot of reasons, which which I think will become more clear as we move along now, the most substantial biblical argument against the Son of God being angels focuses on the fact that God refers to his children throughout Scripture. Now we see this over and over again, and in fact we cling to this as a precious doctrine. It’s a promise that we hold on to There there really is no greater privilege or honor than being a child of God.
So we definitely want to embrace that thought. There’s there’s no greater blessing than being a child of God, and our greatest aspiration is to be pleasing to our Father in Heaven. We want to hold on to our thought of that relationship. However, with all of these statements, not one of them says the exact phrase sons of Elohim. Some of the stronger examples include Psalm 7315, if I had.
Said, I will speak thus. Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of your children. So the reference to children of God here again the same. The context here doesn’t demand that this would say Sons of God specifically, although it does refer to God’s children. Deuteronomy 32. Five beginning in four. He is the rock. His word is perfect, for his ways are justice. All his ways are justice.
A God. It’s L of truth and without injustice, righteous and upright as he. They have corrupted themselves. They are not his children. So it’s referring to not being children of God. And here that’s looking at the argument is it’s looking at the diversity here between those who have corrupted themselves and are not his children, those who are following him and are his children. A legitimate argument here, but again.
It’s divorced from the context of Genesis and what we and it does not use the the same phraseology here. So next is Exodus 422. Then you shall say to Pharaoh. Thus says Yahweh Israel is my son, my first born. Again, a wonderful statement here we see it and it’s critical time in in the history of of Israel and it’s precious it’s wonderful to to.
To see these things, but we’re talking about Yahweh here and we’re talking about a covenant relationship between man and and God specifically in regard to Israel. This isn’t the same as the context we have in Genesis pre Israel. So we have a different context. Then we have Deuteronomy 14. One and two, you are the children of Yahweh, your God.
You shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead Again. This is Deuteronomy 14 One and Two. For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Again, this is a precious, precious promise. This is a precious statement. He is affirming them as his children, and we don’t want to take away from that. But again, this is a covenant relationship between Israel.
And God, between the people he has chosen that he has built up in Egypt. This is long after the flood, the circumstances of the flood there they’re the the context of the two are divorced from each other And and again it’s not saying Vinay Elahim. It’s not focusing on the sons of God. And there’s no contrast here between the the sons of God and the daughters of men to give us the the contextual evidence that we see in Genesis 6 now.
Is that necessarily conclusive? I don’t know that it is, but the evidence is being compiled and it’s being structured together and we need to look at at all of it as we as we go along. So so as we do because the term sons of God refers to angels only elsewhere in Scripture. And these others have a different context where they say where where God’s children are referred to the weight.
Would would appear to be on on embracing the sons of God as being angelic. Now some other considerations that I’m just going to kind of throw out there because they’re talked about and I just want you to be familiar with it and we’re not going to dwell on it. But it is interesting One of them is math mythological.
Considerations and this is just kind of interesting because I hadn’t thought about this. I ran across somebody was talking about it. So I just wanted to share it with you. It is theorized that before the flood man was taller and we do have in the fossil record that of old men, older generations being very tall, bigger than we are and it’s possibly due to many factors. Could be the ultraviolet rays, could, could be the better food, could have been better food sources.
Before the flood. Circumstances before the flood were just vastly different than they were after the flood. So, and we see this with animals as well, you know, we don’t see the Saber tooth tiger today. We don’t see the mammoth today. We don’t see these creatures that obviously were bigger at the time. There are fossil records of crocodiles that are just humongous.
Now what we have are they’re big from our perspective, but they’re they’re much smaller than their predecessors. So. So we see that that this could lead to a mythological understanding if these creatures coming out of the Ark were larger at that time, including mankind, we can see where some mythological perspectives making and they were longer lived as well.
Remember the first generations after the flood lived longer than the generations that that followed them, So that by a few generations in fathers were dying at the same times as sons, just because they lived longer than than their sons would live. Relating back to the the condition of man before the flood. And so some of theorize that these were. This is where our ideas for being such as elves being long lived and tall.
The the Nephelene being like ogres or trolls, that type of thing. And whether the any of these myths come from this type of thing, I have no clue. It’s just I just thought it was interesting, so I thought I’d I’d throw it out there. Strength, men of renown. We’re obviously strong. Some again have wondered if this was legends of of ogres and trolls.
And we have to ask ourselves, could there be a link? Oddities, 6 fingers and six toes. And we hear about other amazing tails as well. I don’t know that I give it any credibility. I just thought it was kind of interesting, so I thought I’d share that with you. No. And Debbie brought this up a couple, 3 weeks ago, apparently hurt and Kurt had been discussing the fact that.
All we have are sons of God here. They’re no daughters. It doesn’t say anything about daughters of God in the angelic realm. We are not ever, ever confronted with any idea that there is a female Angel ever. You know, we see pictures of them. When we get this idea, they must exist. We see the beautiful pictures of them blowing their trumpets and their with their beautiful wings and gowns and stuff. Oh, isn’t that nice?
Thoroughly unbiblical. There is no such thing in scripture as a female Angel. They’re always masculine and all of them that are named have masculine names are referred to as He. In Scripture we have Michael and Gabriel and who else? I don’t even know right? Offhand, of course, we have Satan as a fallen Angel. All of them are masculine though, and in our text here.
Being born to the sons of God and daughters of men are only men. We are not told of daughters of renown, of women of renown. We’re told of the these Nepheli. We’re told of giants. We’re told of men of renown. Now there’s some some theological considerations we want to tie this into as well.
The idea of an Angel mating with a human just doesn’t sit right with us. It it it, it goes against the natural order of things. And then there’s no denying that there are people that just just based on that. They just shy away from contemplating. Could that have happened? But.
That’s not a reason to deny a possibility just because we’re uncomfortable with it, because it bothers us. There are a lot of things that are done against the natural order of things. Look around us. Our sin is against the natural order of things. We were created to bring God glory to to represent Him without flaw. Obviously we fail in that.
There are horrendous sexual practices that go against the natural order of things. All sorts of pornography and bestiality and homosexuality and prostitution, you name it. If you can think of it. It’s been done, kind of. It’s kind of easy to look at those, but we can also look a little and go, yeah, yeah, those things, they’re horrible, but we can look a little closer to home as well. What are we doing that goes against the natural order of things? How about.
Children disobeying parents. Women disrespecting their husbands. Parents killing their own children or neglecting them. Men abusing their children instead of nurturing men, Failing to lead and love their wives. That all goes against the natural order of things. It’s rebellion against God. Anything that embraces, embraces the ways of the world over the ways of God is rebellion. Again, it goes against the natural order of things, the.
Order of things as God has established them. It’s just we look at those things as being too sensational and we fail to examine the sin in our own lives and recognize how awful the rebellion really is in our own lives. Now the argument argument is also that there couldn’t be children even if the angels could know women know women in a biblical sense if they could engage in intercourse, so.
What? What does that mean is that it couldn’t happen? Can there not be production between animals? That just doesn’t seem natural. I mean, we see it in the the plant Kingdom where they they make hybrids, but what about in animals? Actually, there are verified hybrids between species. Have you ever heard of a Liger That’s a lion and a tiger?
A source. A zebra and a horse. A comma camma. I don’t know how you say it. Cama, a camel and a llama. Beef below. You’ve probably heard of cattle and beef below, but there’s also a yakkalo, A yak and a Buffalo. A wolfin, a whale and a dolphin.
This one was unique because there’s only one recorded instance of it ever happening and living. They called it a toast. It was a goat and a sheep. They have found polar bears and Grizzlies interbreeding with each other. These are two different species. We know that there are similarities, but there are two different species. Let’s consider one that we’re really more familiar with though, and that’s a mule because.
There’s a big difference between a donkey and a horse. I mean, we look at him go, yeah, they’re similar, but you know, when you get a mule, all the males are infertile. In fact, they Guild them because they don’t want them to have all the hormones because they’re more difficult to to handle. So they just will Guild them. But all the males are infertile and most of the females are as well.
Generally speaking, it’s a male donkey with a female horse, although it is the other way around. Once in a while. And it’s not a mule, it’s a henny. If the if the stallion mates with a female donkey, it’s called a henny instead of a mule. But anyway, mules have some desirable traits from this union. They tend to have more even tempers than either side, They tend to be more stable, they have more endurance.
They have more sure footedness than a horse, but they have the strength of the horse. They tend to be very courageous like a horse and and they’re considered to be much more intelligent than either of their parents. This isn’t just because it happens, they’re actually scientific reasons for some of what we we see in regard to breeding mules and and part of this is the chromosome makeup.
Horses have 64 chromosomes, Donkeys have 62. Can you guess how many mules have? Yeah, they have 63. The the different number and structure prevents chromosome pairing beyond that so that the the having a mules be able to breed is very very rare. Once in a while a female mule can be bred by a male horse.
And they can have offspring, but it is very rare. Now considering all of this stuff, couldn’t couldn’t these same influences produce men of renown between the daughters of man and the sons of God? Another theological consideration is just the term son of God.
If we contemplate that from a theological perspective, just Son of God, it refers to something rather specific and refers to a first, a first being, an only being that can only be created because there has to be an initial initiator. For mankind. That would be Adam. Adam is the Son of God. He has no father outside of God.
God is His only Father. He is created directly by God, not through procreation. Now the angels, they are all created beings. There is no birth. They are not given in marriage, There are no females among them that we are aware of at all. And Jesus made it clear that they’re not like us. They’re not given in marriage, so.
There’s there’s no procreation that we’re aware of among the angels. They are all sons of God. They’re all created specifically by God. That’s that’s really interesting. God breathed life into Adam, then created woman from him, and together they beget sons and daughters. God created angels.
Sons of God only males. And it’s interesting that they came among the daughters of man and further corrupted the line these fallen angels. Anyway they so man was given life and the interbreeding of God. The sons of God and man would corrupt this life and bring these giants and men of renown.
And no daughters. What happens to a species if there are no daughters born? So we can see this really self defeating aspect of what’s going on before the flood in light of this perspective. In closing, there is another that is the Son of God.
He makes it all right. He fixes everything that we mess up. He is the life giver. He is the judge of all life, and he’s the Redeemer. He’s the only one that can give us true life. Restore Not just restore our life to what it was before Adam, but give us a new life and a life abundantly as fellow heirs.
In Him. And that’s so glorious. As we contemplate these things, we need to be careful because we’re training ourselves right now in this study, but we don’t want to get caught up in the minutiae and miss what’s important. And that’s the Son of God came down to redeem men that have rebelled against him so that we could be children of God.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank you again for this study. We thank you for the time that we’re able to spend contemplating your word, training our minds to see things as you’ve revealed them. And God, please help us that we don’t hold on to things that are not true or that may not be true too tightly.
But that we do cling to that which is important, the truths about Christ Jesus, the truths regarding our depravity, the salvation that we can know for sure, that has been secured even as our memory verse stated this morning, The death has been defeated. So God, please keep us on the straight and narrow, protect us from error.
Help us to be lovers of you, lovers of your people. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
For the opportunity to open your word, to to strengthen our ability to open your Word and discern the truth and and God. We pray that you would use these times as we go through this particular series to help us to be better, more responsible in handling Scripture, that we would be more submissive to the teaching of your word, that God, we wouldn’t impose our ideas.
And our thoughts and and the things that we would want to maybe accomplish or push on others but God, that we would submit to what’s true. Even when sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it goes against what we think we know to help us, to be humble and to embrace the truth of your word with graciousness, with loving kindness, and to proclaim it boldly with humility to those around us.
We pray these things for your glory in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen. Now as we continue this study here in Genesis 6, particularly verses one through 4, I want to keep bringing us up to speed with the summary of where we’ve been, but it’s it’s kind of.
Getting to where we have so much material that I can’t do that as well as I would like to and it would become for the whole message would be a recap of where we’ve been. So I’m going to give a couple of points before we jump in again just to kind of bring us up to speed. But I won’t go into it as much detail as I have been. We want to remember where we are in our study and why we’re doing what we’re doing. We talked about that just a moment ago, but.
Just a little refresher that this study originates in Luke 8 regarding legion and demons and we see the possession there of the the man there in Jeness Rhett. So in trying to discern where the the demons come from, we’ve ended up in Genesis 6 because because of the nature of the views on demons.
Fallen angels are involved one way or another. Regardless of where what we conclude, we have to deal with what are fallen fallen angels, and since Genesis, Genesis 6 necessarily deals with that one way or another. We’ve gone here to try to understand and discern more clearly where demons might come from. And the reason being is some would take this to be fallen angels here, others would say they’re not. If they’re not, then our study has to develop elsewhere if they are.
Than it needs to originate here. So we need to discern here what our perspective is going to be in regard to who these people, these beings are, these sons of God. And as our study continues, especially especially in the next couple of weeks, we’ll see more clearly why it’s been necessary to try to really grapple with the sons of God and who they are in order to try to understand demons better. And there’s a link here.
From an Old Testament perspective, that might not be obvious. But in New Testament, as we continue to study, there’s going to be more information that comes in and will add to the equation to help our study. In fact, depending on what your perspective is, it might really throw a wrench in the works for you on what you think is true.
And we have to remember a lot of what we think is true is based simply on what we’ve been taught, not what on God’s word, on what God’s word actually says. So today I was hoping to get into the New Testament more today, but we’re really going to expand on the Old Testament, where we’re going to look at more Old Testament passages to shed further light on the sons of God and and and bring us to the point where we’re we’re ready to start focusing more wholly on New Testament passages.
So without going into detail, then let’s let’s just give a quick overview, a concise summary on where studies taken us. Again, there are the two perspectives on the origin of demons that we are focusing on, that all wicked or fallen angels are demons, or the demons are the product of angelic cohabitation with humans. Now there are a couple other views, the despotic rulers that we talked about, and then I told you about Missler’s perspective on that as well.
That we’re not digging into deeply because there just isn’t much to dig into in regard to that these two seem to be the predominant views that Scripture would present us with and and we’ll see why more next week in regard to that. But this this obviously like I just we just talked about a moment ago brings us to Genesis 6 and contemplating who these sons of God are because it will affect our study. It did the conclusion here affects our study necessarily.
And the proposals that are presented to us, the most common proposals are that the sons of God in Genesis 6 are either Seth fights or fallen angels. If you’re not there yet, please turn to Genesis 6 and we’ll we’ll read these first few verses again to reorient ourselves. As we’ve been doing this, we’ve been looking at spheres of context at the the first sentence in Genesis 6 and and what that entails, and then broader the next 4 verses and then.
The chapter as a whole, then the book as a whole, and then broadening from there. Remember this is the book of beginnings. There are many things that were presented in Genesis 6 that especially before the flood that we can’t really relate to. Conditions on the earth were so different before the flood that we just don’t comprehend it. There was number rain. It did not rain before the flood. The flood was the initiation of rain on the earth.
There were creatures on the earth that were destroyed utterly that did no longer existed. Creatures from the fossil record and and we get a hint of that it seems like from scripture as well, seemed to have been bigger. All of them seemed to have been bigger before the flood than after the flood. Lifespans were longer before the flood than after the flood.
There’s just so much that’s different there that we can’t completely, you know, clearly relate to the conditions before the flood. So we need to understand that we, we need to realize that there are things that we can’t comprehend in regard to these things. So we wanted to comprehend them as well as we can from what Scripture has to tell us. Let’s go ahead and read in Chapter 6 of Genesis here, the first few verses. Now it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them.
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And Yahweh said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be 120 years. 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. Getting a little help here from the grandson, huh? So our immediate context this first sentence here give us gives us the conclusion, if you just read that in isolation versus one and two, the sons of God appear to be superhuman of some sort. Not not human as we would understand human, some type of super being.
And the verses one through 1 through 4 tends to to agree with that as as we as we look at the 1st 4 verses there it appears to be a strengthening of the idea that the sons of God are some type of super beings. But then as we took a look at the larger context of Genesis, we see these genealogies of of Kane and Seth specifically preceding the chapter 6.
It lends to the idea that maybe the people that say that these sons of God are of Seth’s line have something to stand on. But there was this issue in verse 4 here that that keeps nagging at it. It keeps coming up over and over again because we’re told that the Nephelene were on the earth in those days and also afterward and we have other texts where it seems that giants were on the earth. We’re going to look at those in more depth today and.
And show how there’s a tying together of of this in ways that maybe you had missed before. I know I had missed some of this before. It’s kind of exciting to see how some of this ties together so so if the if the nepheline here, the giants in in chapter six were simply men, how could they exist later? How would we see them in in numbers 13 for instance which we’ll be turning to again here shortly.
How would they survive the flood? How would we have them before and after the flood? Because we we met this challenge and and we hadn’t answered a lot of questions. We step back and and went through the the passage again, looking at who, what, why, where, when, how, asking these really hermeneutical questions.
And in doing this we considered the viability of the sons of God being men according to exegetical evidence, exegesis being when you you, you look at the grammar and the the context and everything right before you. So at this point I offered a position in regard to our study that the man has elevated his depravity, the heights of rebellion that must be dealt with. God is is going to put out his wrath on the decadence of the earth.
And this was exasperated by the fact that angels have procreated with women bringing about kind of a a superhuman race of depravity. And so at this point God is giving man 120 years to repent before he brings the flood again. This is my I present what I’m seeing here in scripture and if if there is if you see a reason that.
You think I might be wrong then? Then please bring that to me later. Let me see it so I can examine that in regard to this study and maybe bring it out for us in the following weeks. Next we looked at the broader context, Old Testament context, and we noted that the phrase sons, sons of God. Nowhere in the Old Testament, that exact phrase nowhere means anything other than angels. It was very clear that it only means angels.
And while it’s evident that God refers to as children often context is clear that that elsewhere that that those who are his children are that this exact terminology is not used in regard to them in the context makes it clear that they are the children of God where by relationship, not by created order. And we talked about how the angels are created.
The Son of God. We see Adam called the Son of God the angels in in the New Testament we he’s referred to as a son of God in the genealogy of Christ. And we see that the the angels are referred to sons of God and that Christ himself is referred to sons of God. All of these coming into being directly by the hand of God, not through procreation, which was another part of our thought process last week. So now we’re going to continue.
In what’s called in theological circles as the analogy of faith. And it’s just a a fancy way of saying that scripture interprets scripture or informs scripture. And so we have a few rules that we try to follow that that we call hermanutical principles when we try to understand what scripture is actually saying. And these guide us and and keep us from straying far from God’s word from what.
Scripture really says it’s easy to impose our idea on scripture. We see that over and over and the dangers are apparent in that we have a propensity if we don’t keep ourselves within certain bounds of of letting what’s supposedly scientific evidence dictate biblical truth. Evolution is one of the clearest anti Christian teachings out there that it goes in direct opposition.
To Scripture, it starts on the wrong presupposition that there’s a neutral position, instead of starting on the right presupposition that God is in trying to understand everything from the perspective of the fact that there is a Creator we want to let.
We also have a propensity to let humanistic reasoning dictate biblical truth. We see this in psychology where it is brought in and and God’s word is judged from the perspective of a psychologist and all sorts of nonsense is brought in from that. Phillip philosophy as well. We’re doing a study on philosophy right now. Men think and therefore think what they think is true and then try to see scripture in light of what they think is true and it just gets everything all backwards.
And there’s an aspect of this we want to be aware of, that when we say something that we think is true, it solidifies, as in our own minds, that we think it’s true, even more so simply because we said it. It’s an interesting dynamic to the way our thought process works and even things such as public policy.
Can impose on our perception of what’s true about God’s word. We want to be aware of these things. These things can be subtle. They can intrude upon our thoughts of what Scripture really says. So we want to be aware of that and be ready to to conform our minds ever more to the mind of Christ rather than than trying to inform Christ in regard to what’s true. Here are a few of the these principles, these harmonical principles that we want to.
Use or that we’re striving to use as we go through this study. One is what’s the simplest meaning? What is it that you see when you read just that text? What does it mean as you read it? If you just read it, what do you think? That isn’t conclusive, but it’s it’s a starting point. That’s where you are. And so we want to know what’s the most natural meaning in context as we’re reading through a passage.
That can inform us a lot, because often we’ll take our ideas from elsewhere and try to make impose them on a given passage. Now, of course we’re applying grammatical and historical influences in this all the time as we’re going through, and we apply. What I referred to earlier is the analogy of faith. Scripture never contradicts scripture. Scripture informs Scripture.
Scripture builds up Scripture. It never contradicts Scripture. And any apparent contradiction is due to our limitations, not Scriptures limitations. So any understanding we have of any given passage can’t be refutable by any other passage. And if it appears to be so, then we’re wrong in our conclusion. And that’s where we need to look. We need to examine ourselves. Excuse me?
Now, following these principles does not necessitate that we’re always correct in our conclusions, but it does necessitate that we’ll have a biblical basis for the position that we take, and that’s how we want to work through our God’s Word and our understanding. We want to have a biblical basis. We want to be able to say. Thus says the Lord.
This is why I understand it from a biblical perspective. So we’re not arguing from a philosophical perspective, which is always dangerous when when we start a theological debate or discussion with, I think there’s a good chance we’re in trouble already. We want to start with God says, and based on what God says, this is my understanding. That’s the humble way to do it. That’s the godly way to do it. That’s the submissive way to do it. That’s.
And that’s where we want to be. We want to be underneath God’s word, submitting to God’s word. Now, now in in digging more deeply, we’re going to have to consider a question that we’ve asked often throughout our study and I brought up just a moment ago. And that’s the the tension regarding this question has influenced our study for the whole time. And that is again, how is it possible to have Nephelene after the flood? Are they indeed the same? Excuse me.
Are they indeed the same? When we see them in Genesis 6? Is that the same as what we’re seeing in Numbers 13? We we see them in Genesis 6 as part of the decadence that the flood judges, but then we see them again in Numbers 13, which is well after the flood. So. So what are the possible solutions to this? I might have missed some, but a couple that came to my mind. Is that the nepheme?
In numbers is is not referring to the same thing as Genesis 6. Someone in in Noah’s family maybe was was a descendant of Cain. If if the Seth position would be perceived as being right, that would necessitate that Noah’s grandsons would be Nephelene. That’s something to struggle with because we see no reason to to believe that that the the.
The wives of Seth’s sons were canites. The nepheme are indeed the spawn of fallen angels, procreating with the daughters of man. That would mean that the Nepheme would have been wiped out in the flood. But then the sons of God, if they’re angelic beings, would would not be subject to the judgment of mankind. So they, being spiritual beings, I guess, wouldn’t drown.
And then, you know, if it’s an interesting question is as I pondered this, I had to ponder whether it was possible at all for angels to drown. Are they subject to the deprivation of oxygen? No reason to believe that they are. So let’s go ahead and go to numbers 13 and ponder this a little bit. We’ll bring up some passages here that that the.
They come into play and help us think in regard to these nephalem and and I think you’re in for a few little surprises as we go along. So. So there’s a clue for us here in Numbers 1333. Now remember, this is, this is the Israelites coming into the promised Land. God said take it and what do they say? There we saw giants. This is the nephalem.
The descendants of a neck came from the giants. Remember that the descendants of a neck came from the nephalem. They are descendants of the nephalem. And we were like grasshoppers in our own site. And we were, and so we were in their site. This statement here that the descendants of of a neck came from the nephalem really tells us a lot.
And and we really can’t help but reflect on the words of Genesis 64 here, that there were giants on the earth in those days and also afterward the giants here is nephalem also. So if we have the nephalem here in the context of this, with those days and six, four appeared to be 120 the 120 years until the flood. So also afterward, if that was the case, would be after the flood.
And then obviously here we have numbers 13 is after the flood. So we see where there’s there were this all fits together as far as a chronology goes. So how would this be that the Nephelene were before and after the flood? Now, now there might be an argument that that this is simply an exaggeration because of their fear and that would be granted. It could be because they were afraid they of these people they might exaggerate in this.
Situation. But note that the descendants of Anak doesn’t really fit this thought. It’s a historical claim of relation here. It’s not an excuse for refusing to enter, and it’s not isolated here. In fact, look at verse 22 and in in numbers 13. We see in verse 22 they went up through the South and came into Hebron, Ahiman, Shashai and Talmai. Where?
The descendants of Anak were there, so we see that there’s a tying together here. It’s also down in verse 28. Nevertheless, the people who dwell on the land are strong. The cities are fortified and very large relating to the size here. Moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak here. So we’re seeing more of this building, of this idea of this people, this.
People that there’s something different about him 1322 and 28 were the ones I just read. If you would go and flip over to Deuteronomy 1. Deuteronomy 1. Furthermore, we’re given more information on the descendants of Anak, or the Anakheem, as they’re called. 40 years later, Israel encounters the Anakheem again.
And and this is interesting as we continue our study here, you remember Deuteronomy being the second law. This focuses on the end of their their time out in the wilderness. So, So first we read the accounting. First we read here the accounting of what happened in numbers 13 in verses 26 through 28 of Deuteronomy 1.
Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of Yahweh your God. And you complained in your tents and said, because Yahweh hates us, he has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Up Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying the people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven, moreover.
We have seen the Suns of the Annakeem there, annakeem being plural for anak. So we see the Annakeem here in Deuteronomy 126 through 28. If you would flip over to Deuteronomy 9 and look what God says about them in Deuteronomy 9 verses one through 3 here. Oh Israel.
You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go into dispossessed nations, greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Annakeem whom you know and of whom you heard it said. Who can stand before the descendants of Anac?
Therefore, understand today that Yahweh your God, is he who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you. So you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as Yahweh has said to you. And you know what? That’s exactly what they did. And we see that in Joshua 1122 or 11.
21 and 22 And at that time Joshua came out and cut off from the Annakeem from the mountain, and cut off the Annakeem from the mountains, from Hebron to de Bear, from and Nob, from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them in their cities. None of the Annakeem were left in the land of the children of Israel.
They remained only in Gaza, in Gath. And there’s Dodd again. Somebody got on right there. So we see God judging the anachim here. Now go ahead and flip over to First Samuel 17, if you haven’t already thinking ahead here with me. No, now.
The Ennekim only remained in Gaza Gaff and in Ashdod. And remember, we’re studying the Nephilim here. We’re seeing a thread here, this thought process. Now Gaza, Gath and Ashdod should remind you of something. Ashdod is mentioned in First Samuel 5 as part of the land of the Philistines. The Philistines being an enemy of Israel. We see that repetitively and perhaps.
As obviously, Dan, did you remember someone else from Gaff? If you would read here with me in First Samuel 17, let’s just read verse four and a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines named Goliath from Gaff, whose height was 6 cubits and a span. Anybody know how tall that is?
It’s about 9 foot 9, pretty tall. See where someone of that height would be called a giant. Now, champion here means a man between great men. A great man of great men, if you will. And we know that this it wasn’t. We know what happens here. This is the story of David and Goliath. And David goes out and slays Goliath. But but we also know that this wasn’t the end of the family of Goliath. In fact, if you would flip over to Second Samuel 21.
Because we can gain more information from there as well, and and in reading this, we’re embarking on even further of a trail here. So try to keep or or we’ll try to keep our thoughts ordered as we go along here. So Second Samuel, Chapter 21, verse 15.
When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants went with him. His servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines, and David grew fate. This is later in in David’s life. He’s he’s not as vigorous as he once was. Then Ish B Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant order Rafah is the word here the the weight of of whose bronze spear was 300 shekels.
Who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David, but Abishai the son of Zuraiah, came to his aid and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel. Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines and Gob. Then Civakai the Hushathite killed Saf.
Who was one of the sons of the giant? Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Al Hanan, the son of Jar, or Regime, the Bethlehem, Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gettite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, again Gath there where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, 24 in number.
And he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shame, David’s brother, killed him. These four were born to the giant in gas and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. So. So we pick up a few keys here to help us dig more deeply, and some of them aren’t really apparent as we read here.
We see the nature of these giants. They’re taller, the six fingers, the great strength. But as I mentioned earlier, giant here is not Nephelene. It’s a different word. If you would flip over to me the to the parallel in the First Chronicles, we have A Parallel passage and First Chronicles 20.
So, so clearly we have here a relationship between giant and nepheme of numbers 13 through the Annakeem, the son of Anak. Now read with me in First Chronicles 20 versus 4 through 8. Now it happened afterward the war broke out at Gazare with the Philistines, at which time Sibakai the Hush.
Hush at the height killed Sappai, who was one of the sons of the giant, and they were subdued again. There was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jer killed Lami, the brother of Goliath the Gettite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weavers meme. Yet again there was war at Gaff, where there was a man of great stature with 24 fingers and toes, 6 on each hand and six on each foot, and he also was born to the giant.
And when he defied Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. Now, if you would flip back to Deuteronomy, Yeah, we’re doing a little bit of a Bible drill here. I know. It’s good for us. Now, this word for giant here is Rafa.
It’s really not a proper name. It could be, but it’s more of a designation, and I’ll show you why here in the Deuteronomy 210 and Deuteronomy 210. Reread the A meme had dwelled to there in times past a people as great and numerous and tall as the Annakem. They were also regarded as giants.
Like the Annakeem, but the Moabites call them a mean. The Hoa rights formerly dwelt in Sierra, but the descendants of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and dwelt in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession in which Yahweh gave them. So we have 3 words here. Now we have a meme Annakeem.
And of course, refaem. Now now, now a meme means terrors and Akeem means long necked. And in in verse 11 here in Deuteronomy 2, the word here isn’t nepheme for giants, but it’s refaem that’s related to Rafah that we talked about earlier, but it was just a plural form of it. In fact, if you have the ESV, you have the word refaem here I believe.
And remember, the word for giant in regard to Goliath’s father was Rafah, so this is the plural form of that he and his brothers were sons of the giant. And here we have giants the ref aim and ref aim means stitched together ones. Not very flattering, is it?
Now as you in case as you’ve probably noticed these groups are are very intricately associated with one another. We’ve see we’re seeing this threat of thought that that necessarily ties them together. It would appear that they’re synonymous or or at least almost so as we see the Anna Chem or descendants of the Nephelene, it would stand to reason that that all of these beings.
Are descendants of the Nephilim. Perhaps they all fall into the category of the Nephilim. Nephilim. Remember, are the fallen ones, or the ones born out of due time or out of time, and from them we get the Annakem, or the long necked ones, and the refaem, or the stitched together ones, and the Ameem, the terrors, the sons of the giant Goliath and his brothers men of renown.
Now all of this is only possible if the sons of God took daughters of man after the flood as well. In our minds, we tend to think that this is impossible because all flesh was destroyed in the flood. It was. God’s word says so. There’s no debating that.
If the sons of God are indeed Sethites in contrast to the daughters of man being canite, then that’s true, the Nephilly were completely wiped out and couldn’t be revived again after the flood. But if the sons of God are fallen angels, then we have to embrace a new thought pattern. The sons of God then would not be flesh. They would not be subject to the punishment of man in creation.
Remember in Job how the sons of God shouted for joy is the foundations of the earth were set by God. They were there. They are not subject to the same rules as creation as we know it. And in thinking about that, keeping context here as you think about a time frame, the book of Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible. It’s not the IT doesn’t account for the things that happened first, it’s just the oldest recorded book that we have is what scholars think.
So and some think that Moses actually wrote Job. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but that’s presented out there. So our time frame here is the beginning still we’re in a beginning time frame and so our thought process has to to embrace that.
So these sons of God, if they are indeed fallen angels, are not within the realm of creation as it pertains to man. Unlike the earth and all that inhabitants, they would not be directly affected by the fall of man. Remember, they are each created individually. The fall is, is, is separate and individual, not all inclusive and imputed for them.
In other words, their fall is separate and individually each one of them fell. Individually they wasn’t inclusive. Our fall is imputed us through Adam, and there’s wouldn’t have been. They each made their own decision to fall, which means that they were. There’s no reason why they wouldn’t survive the flood, meaning that they could have procreated with the daughters of man after the flood.
I can’t tell you that we have scripture that says that they did, but we’re trying to reason through and understand with what Scripture has actually given us and tie these thoughts together. So in doing so, they would have been reintroducing to the world the nephaleme, the fallen ones, the refeme, the stitched together Ones, the me and the Terrors. Then it came, the long neck now.
All of the books that we are studying, with the exception of of let me go back these these places where we’re finding some of these words, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Genesis, where we find where some of these are tied together. Now there are references to them later in in Kings and Samuel, Chronicles and Joshua. But remember, these first five books were all written by Moses, and he’s using these different words to describe these giants.
So Moses would know who these people are. Now, of course, we would rather have some scripture to state plainly that angels cohabitated with women and produced Nefalene both and before after the flood, in order to draw our conclusion. That would kind of make it so. This study was necessary so we wouldn’t have to even think through all these things. But.
It’s not that clear. We’re not giving it. It’s not giving it to us that clearly. But I would submit that based on our studies, the sons of God being angels is very strong, almost clear, but they’re cohabitating with women after the flood is less so and perhaps we can find more illumination from the New Testament in regard to this, but that’s going to have to wait till next week.
Between now and then, I’d encourage you to read the following passages. If you have a pen handy, you can write these down so you can be thinking about A couple of You have brought these passages to me, so I know some of you are noticing things in your reading that affect our study here. And again, please feel free to point out any discrepancies you perceive and where we’ve gone. Bring verses in that you think affect this study as well, and see what you can turn up in reading these and ask questions.
These passages are First Peter 318 through 22, first Peter 318 through 22, Second Peter 2, four through 11, Second Peter 2 four through 11, and Jude 5 through 7, Jude 5 through 7. And if you ask me what’s chapter, we’re going to have to have a talk.
You know, we’ve read of how the angels who rebelled against God were were. We read in these passages. You’ll see in the in the New Testament passages here how the the angels of God, who the angels who rebelled against God were chained. And they were not a change. They were not chained for eternity, though they have everlasting chains, but they were not chained for all eternity. They were chained with a view for a specific day. They were chained.
For judgment, if you would flip over to Revelation 9, Revelation 9. Now this judgment from scripture seems to have a couple of aspects to it. It seems that one is that in saving them for judgment, chaining them for judgment, keeping them in chains for judgment.
Is that they will take them out and use them to judge the earth. There’s also eventually that God’s judgment over them. But but we see how these these, these angels are released for judgment. Let’s read in in Revelation 9. We’re going to begin here in verse one. Then the 5th Angel sounded and I saw a * falling from heaven to the earth to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.
And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth, and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And they were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. And those days men will seek death and will not find it. They will desire to die, and death will flee from them. The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lion’s teeth.
And they had breastplates, like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of Chariots, with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men. Five months, and they had his king over them, the Angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abadon, but in Greek he has the name of Polyon. 1 Woe is past.
Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things. Then the 6th Angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God saying to the 6th Angel who had the trumpet released, the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. So the four angels who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year were released to kill 1/3 of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was 200,000,000.
I heard the number of them, and thus I saw the horses in the vision. Those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulphur yellow. And the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. And by three plagues 1/3 of mankind was killed by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
For their power is in their mouth and in their tails, For their tails are like serpents having heads, and with them they do harm. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship the demons and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk, and the night they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries.
Or their sexual immorality. Or their thefts. See, we can’t know everything about fallen angels and demons at this point. Even if our conclusions in regard to our study are spot on, we still can’t understand everything. We don’t get it. We need to not pretend to. But God has given us all that we need to know.
Christ has completed the work necessary for our salvation. He will return and He will judge the earth. And we’ve just been given a glimpse of the horror that that will entail. But remember, that’s a glimpse of what we all deserve. It’s a glimpse of the wrath Christ endured in our stead.
And the opportunity is given us for wide eyed recognition of God’s graciousness and sparing believers from this judgment. Are we a grateful people? An ungrateful Christian is a contradiction. And so in this we can surely rejoice in Christ Jesus.
Amen. My Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us all we need to know about angels. We ask you to help us in our study, that we would understand your ways better, that we would be more responsible with your word as a result of our study. That’s you would be glorified God, that we would be edified, and that we would be an encouragement to one another.
In God’s Word, ministering to one another because you have equipped us God to be more faithful. We pray these things in Christ Jesus Name. Amen.
Why are we here today? Yeah, you might have cut cut it in the prayer just now. We really want to be careful because these studies can be fun, but they can kind of take on a life with their own and become their own purpose, if you will. I find myself studying sometimes and it could become study just for the sake of study. I’m enjoying the knowledge.
And it’s easy to lose perspective if we’re not careful when we’re involved in any type of study, but particularly studying God’s Word, I think we can easily fall into worshipping the study rather than the source of the knowledge that we’re pursuing.
And in my study this week, something came up interesting that made me ponder this even more so. Did you know that there’s not one single incident of casting out demons until Jesus does it? We don’t see it in all of scripture. In fact, we don’t even have a clear record of anyone being demon possessed until Jesus’s ministry. Why is that?
I don’t know. I wish I knew. But anything other than a clear observation that Revelation is progressive would be speculation, just not positive. Could it be because nobody even knew demons could be cast out before Christ? Could it be they didn’t recognize such behavior as demon possessed until the time just before Christ?
It would be the Satanic forces increased to their activity during the advent of Christ. Could be, but we don’t know. But we do know the fallen angels and demons, just like everything else that exists, fall under Christ’s authority.
They have no sway over him, they have no claim to him, and they are completely subject to him. They tremble before him, as James writes, they believe in tremble, and even though God’s angels outnumbers those who fell from heaven.
According to our understanding of Scripture, his support superiority isn’t based on numbers, but based on his own infinite might. Though the entire host of heaven and earth turned against God Almighty, his position would not be threatened in the least. He would still sit rightfully upon His throne. He would still be unshaken.
He would still be absolutely sovereign, and all things would still work for his greater glory. As we study, we have a responsibility before our creator to handle his revelation responsibly. There are things we can know for certain, or there are things we can know almost for certain. There are things we can get a pretty good idea about, and there are things that we’re just simply given no clear understanding about.
That fall into the realm of speculation, perhaps, or philosophy, or just trying to reason through to understand the truth. And in all of this God’s Word remains profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness, that we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work as we read in Second Timothy 3.
So for the most part, these past weeks have been an effort to grow in our understanding of how to handle God’s Word. I think there have probably been at least a few little surprises for all of us. I know there have been for me, and there might be a couple today as well, maybe more so next week.
But today I want to go about this a little bit differently. I’ve been I’ve been teaching how to study God’s Word for the most part in in our study. But today I’m going to, I’m going to use those methods that I’ve been teaching and I’m going to share what I’m doing. But my my focus will will be more on presenting what I think is true based on the evidence that I’ve been presenting now, like I said.
Earlier, nobody’s really offered any thoughts on this. Nobody’s Only a couple of you have mentioned verses that you saw and asked questions in the previous weeks about this, and I’ve tried to address those in the messages this last week. Nobody really had anything to offer, nobody had any challenges. So I’m just going to continue on with what I have presented so far. I’ve already stated that I’m pretty confident that the sons of God in Genesis 6 or fallen angels.
At first I tried to be very ambiguous about that and weigh all the evidence, but as I continued studying, I think it became very clear where I stood. I’ve shown why from an Old Testament perspective, and though I’ll avoid some of the nuances, I’m going to present an overview of my position right now, followed by some New Testament evidence that I think will strengthen what I perceive to be the truth and lead us into some thoughts about demons as well.
Which, if you recall, that was the precipitator of our study to begin with. What are the perspectives on the origin of demons? Where do demons come from? And we’ve titled the whole series on this The Dawn of Demons. Where where are demons from? And so we have been studying the sons of God in Genesis 6.
And my position again has been that the sons of God and Genesis 6 are fallen angels. And I would propose that Genesis 6 presents a clear case for them at least being superhuman beings. Let’s read those first few verses there in Genesis chapter 6. And now it came to pass when men begin to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men.
That they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And Yahweh said, My spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be 120 years. 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.
Now, as we studied through this, there were a few little interpretation issues that we discussed. I’m going to go back and I’m going to read through this again trying to deal with those. I’ll just change them as I go. Hopefully I’ll remember all of them here as we go through. Now it came to pass when men begin to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them.
That the sons of God saw the daughters of man, that they were beautiful, and took women for themselves of all whom they chose. And you always said, My my spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, but his days shall be 120 years. There were Nepalene on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man, and they bore children to them.
Those were the mighty men who were of old men of renown. And you see, there’s a little bit of a different nuance when you plug in the different words, more literally from the Hebrew. Now we see here the a contrast between the daughters of man and the sons of God. It seems to be clear. It seems to be presented and thrown out in front of us. The daughters were born to mankind. They were beautiful. They were plentiful.
And these sons of God saw them and in seeing them and seeing that they were beautiful took all of whom they chose and and and God responds to what’s going on here and gives man 120 years to repent. I’m giving an overview of of what I’m seeing here. And the the result of this union is given as the reason that God is doing this.
There were Nephelene, these ones born out of time or these fallen ones in those days we see in the those days these Nephelene existed. Those days referring, we looked at the antecedent to that being 120 years or the days when men multiplied and had daughters. So it’d be we were looking at this as the 120 years before the flood and then we see this and also afterward that we have to to work with.
These, Nephelene, were the result of the union between the fallen angels and the women. They were of old. They were men of renown. There was something different about them. And so God will destroy man from the face of the earth along with all flesh. And in that consideration we’re reminded that.
Angels don’t fall into this realm. They’re not part of the created order of the earth. They’re created separate from the creation of the earth. They didn’t fall under the domain of man. Man was a tender of the garden and of the earth, and that aspect of creation fell with man. But we don’t see that as being part of what happened with the angels. They fell independently, each one independently, and we noted that each one of them is a man or male. Not a man, but male.
We see no reference to female angels. We see no reference to procreation among angels whatsoever. And we also noted that all of the the children born to the that are referenced to to this union between the sons of God and the daughters of man are male as well. And then we looked at the genealogy in in chapters 4 and five, and I proposed that.
It actually in the in the end affirmed the position that the sons of God were angels. King’s line is shown to to highlight depravity sinking lower into sin, and then Seth’s line is shown to honor God. Noah is of Seth’s line and there are many women we see born in the Seth’s line as well there. Seth’s line has daughters and we see these being brought forth as well in in his genealogy.
Which would render the idea that these these daughters of man would be canine and also the term sons of God Binet Elahim. We studied that, and it only refers to angelic beings and elsewhere in the Old Testament. Though it’s not used very often, it is clear, especially as we see it used in Job, that these are angelic beings. They were in heaven.
We see them, and then after the flood we see this return of the Nephelene, just as it stated in Genesis 4 that it would happen in the days afterward. We see them referenced specifically by Moses in in Numbers 13132228 and 33. And here we learn about the descendants of Anac who who came from these Nephelene.
Then the same account is referenced again by Moses in Deuteronomy 9. And here again we see the Anna Keem. But this time Israel will take them on. He will take the some territory from them as they return after their eggs after the wandering in the wilderness. And in Joshua we see the fulfillment of this promise.
And it’s here that we we see that some still remain, though not all of them are wiped out. And it’s here that we see that they remain in Gaza, Gath and Ishdad. And as you probably recall, we went to First Samuel 17 to remind ourselves that Goliath the giant came from Gath. And in Second Samuel we saw that these descendants of an act were the sons of Rafah. And upon exploring more, we found that Rafaem.
Again referenced in Deuteronomy 2 along with the a meme all of these being tied together as giants as being men of renown. So from this it appears that the fallen angels did indeed return and take at least some of the daughters of man. After the flood, Nephelene, we see, after the flood the descendants of the Nepheleme. After the flood the Annakem or the long necked ones the Refaeme, or stitched together ones, the meme the Terrors.
And now we’re going to take a look at some New Testament references that I would propose reinforces this view as well. Now, last week I asked you to consider 3 passages. I don’t know if you remember them or if you wrote them down. First Peter 318 through 22, second Peter 2, four through 11, and Jude 5 through 7.
Let’s begin with Jude. If you would turn over to to the book of Jude, there’s a lot going on in the context of Jude. To bring us up to speed on this a little bit. Just a quick statement here. This is a book focused on confronting apostasy. From the first few verses, we’re encouraged to contend and we’re warned about heretics.
And it seems that even angels are not immune to this. We read in verses 5 through 7. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe, and the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode. He has reserved an everlasting change under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. So what does this tell us? It tells us that God’s judgment is sure. It tells us that even the angels are judged.
We see that their sin seems to be tied in some way or or in some nature, maybe to the sin of God, Sodom and Gomorrah, that there there seems to be a sexual connotation to the passage here, but we won’t want to read too much into that. They did not keep their proper domain. They did not keep their own abode. They did not remain in heaven, but they rebelled. They rebelled against God.
And in response to this, God has reserved them an everlasting change under darkness until a specific time until judgment. And we looked at that before a little bit from Revelation 9, when angels are called out for the judgment of the world. If you were to go ahead and flip over to Second Peter 2, digging into Jude doesn’t quite make it clear, but it gives us a little hint.
Let’s see what we can get here from Peter’s epistle, Second Peter, chapter 2, verse four. For God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down into hell or Tartarus and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment, and did not spare the ancient world but saved Noah.
One of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly, and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly and delivered righteous lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked. For that righteous man dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day-to-day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.
Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust under judgment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh and the lust of the uncleanness, and despise authority, their presumptuous self willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
So again, here we see that angels are judged. Again we see them in chains, again we see them reserved for judgment. And again we’re given a glimpse, but it it still seems inconclusive. But there’s another clue here too. We see that what could be two judgments slash, grace, historical references, One would be the flood and other would be Sodom and Gomorrah.
During the flood, the angels who sinned were cast not during the flood, but the angels who sinned at the time of the flood were cast to Tartarus, delivered into chains of darkness, and reserved for judgment and and and the ancient world was not spared. But Noah, one of eight, was. And then with Sodom and Gomorrah we see that all of Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned to destruction, except Lot, Lot being delivered from that.
Don’t know how much that really concludes for us as well, but there seems to be a reference to there has to do with the the flood and the angels. So let’s go ahead and flip over to First Peter and see if First Peter 3 brings anymore light to this First Peter 3 verse 18 for Christ also suffered once for sins.
The just for the unjust that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit by whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who were formerly disobedient. When once the divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared, in which the few, that is 8 souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us baptism.
Not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him. So who is this that that Peter says Christ preached to? We see these spirits in prison, the only spirits we’re aware of that are imprisoned.
These formerly disobedient ones are are these angels who fell from their proper abode and we’re given a time referent. God was long-suffering and and waited in the days of Noah. He waited as we’ve been studying for 120 years. But what’s interesting here is we’re really not given a date of imprisonment. We’re not told when it would have happened.
Which which kind of leaves a question mark there for us. I would submit to you that these spirits are the fallen angels, but I don’t know when they would have been imprisoned. We might have a clue. I’m really not sure. It’d be found in Matthew 12 where Jesus said how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunter his goods unless he first binds the strong man?
And then he will plunder his house. That’s often considered to be Satan. I don’t know to what degree Satan was bound during Christ’s ministry other than by his will that he told him to be gone. And but Satan continued to try to to influence Christ’s ministry we see throughout. So could this be a reference to the fallen angels? It could be.
But even if it does refer to the binding of the angels in Jude and Peter’s writings, it only tells us that the time is before Christ comes. It doesn’t give us a clear time as to when it would have happened. So we’re always in this study, it seems like left with questions. As our study continues and we try to find answers, it seems the questions continue to rise up so that we can’t quite nail it down.
At this point, the perspective that the sons of God are fallen angels fits well. It harmonizes with what we’ve been studying, and contextually, it harmonizes. Grammatically, it harmonizes it. It fits within the hermetical principles that we’ve been pursuing. And we see that harmonizes with New Testament passages as well as Old Testament.
But there’s always there, always these nagging questions. And Jude, it says that the fallen angels are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great Day. We consider the great day generally to be Speaking of the return of Christ. Well, he will judge the quick and the dead. And second Peter, we say that they’re in chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment.
In First Peter 3, reread that Jesus preached to spirits in prison. If these fallen angels are imprisoned and what are demons? How could imprisoned angels possess people? Doesn’t that kind of leave us with a dilemma?
It does for us. It’s a challenge for us to try to understand these things, but it wasn’t for Christ. In First Peter 321 we read there is also an anti type which now saves us baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh.
But the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. Christ is the absolute authority over all these things. Whether we understand it rightly or not, we can understand that. That’s made clear.
This is what God has given us to know, to rest on, to be sure of. If we don’t understand who the sons of God are, we can still go to heaven. If we don’t understand who Christ is, there’s no chance whatsoever. He has absolute authorities, authority over the angels in heaven, over the fallen angels over.
Demons, principalities, powers your boss, politicians, economics, the weather, your health, everything. He is the anti type who now saves us.
As the ark was a picture of Christ saving Noah from the flood, Christ is the reality of salvation. He is the ark for all of us to take us through the flood of God’s wrath, and he does all things for the good of those He saves. Next week we’re going to study more intently on demons themselves.
But I want us to rest in in this thought, because this is all about Christ, and he does all things for the good of those he saves and for all the rest he’ll eventually join these fallen angels. Praise God for the salvation we can know in Christ Jesus. Let’s pray our Heavenly Father, we thank you.
For Christ Jesus, thank you for the contemplations you’ve given us for the time you’ve given us together for a day that we can set aside to worship together. And the freedom to be able to to worship, to fellowship, to encourage one another in Christ, is in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Now get to sing another wonderful Getty hymn. Oh, Church arrives. It’s in your insert, in case you didn’t know that. Please.
So we’re going to continue this study looking at demons, and we really have to ask ourselves what do we really know about them? We hear all sorts of things. Sometimes it’s hard to separate truth from fancy. There are some books out there that give us all sorts of information, some of it really good, some of it really pad.
People have developed doctrines that are just amazing and are highly speculative. Some of them are possible, some of them fly in the face of of the biblical testimony. So we’re going to strive here to to expose ourselves to some of this and to try to discern what is true, what is right, what do we really know about them? As we discussed before there, there is very little information on demons in the Old Testament.
In fact, it’s possible that demons aren’t specifically mentioned one single time In the Old Testament, we see the word demon used. We’re going to take a look at that today. It’s kind of illuminating to take a look at how they’re used, what context it is, and what the words really are. So we’re going to take a look at that today. What we can truly know about demons is really based on the New Testament, though there is a lot of information about demons.
In the New Testament. But there’s one thing lacking in the testimony of the New Testament, in the testimony of Scripture. And that’s the one thing we’ve been pondering and and asking ourselves throughout this study, is what exactly are demons? What are they? Who are they? We’re given a lot of knowledge about what they can accomplish. We know that Christ has authority over them and that they recognize His authority over them. We know that they can control some people by possessing them.
And we know that they can be forced out by the power of God. And in all of this, we’re still not told exactly what they are. Now, you might think you know what they are. And and a lot of people do. There is a lot that we assume in regard to just what we’ve heard and read. So we’re going to explore a lot of those things. But we’re going to start today in the New, Old Testament. We want to look at what the Old Testament does say.
And just to reflect on that, this is kind of an exercise of showing silence from Scripture, though, as we go through it. So we need to be aware of that as we approach this one thing about the Old Testament, the character of the Old Testament doesn’t really deal with the metaphysical very much at all. We’re told about angels, for instance, but and we’re told about Satan some.
But we’re given very little information, specific information about these beings. The the Old Testament focuses more on good and evil from anthropological perspective, focused on man and man’s relationship with God and the battle that rages there. Man is falling, God is good, and and even when God reveals himself in the most wonderful waves ways over and over again, man’s depravity is evident. It manifests itself clearly.
Even when God’s grace is poured out abundantly, man’s depravity is evident. And even when God gives absolutely clear instruction in regard to how man is to worship, of worship into worship rather than an expression of worship. And this can happen on many levels. For instance, do you worship by coming to church, or do we come together to worship?
It seems like a subtle question, and it kind of is, but it reveals something about hearts. And then we see this over and over again. In the Old Testament, when God tells man exactly what he expects expects of his image bearers, man attempts to obey through rigid rules rather than through the love of God. What compels him is is this pursuit of righteousness. We see this developed specifically in the Pharisees, this pursuit of righteousness.
But it’s self righteousness. By obeying all the rules instead of righteousness in God, God’s righteousness permeating them and therefore they obey. Out of a love for God, it takes God’s commands and makes God’s commands into a system of legalism, failing to obey the this blessed knowledge that God has given us. And all of this is is central to our study.
Depravity is brought to the foreground, God’s glory is seen in brilliant contrast, and man’s need is illumined repeatedly over and over. But throughout the Old Testament, we do get a few brief glimpses of what people think is demonic activity. There are some that might be, and some that really don’t seem to be.
If you do a word search in English for the new King James, you’ll come up with a a few instances where the word demon is used, but none of them are really definitive. One of the words that’s used for demons is Sawyer. Literally. It simply means a goat or a goat idol or a male goat. It isn’t a demon in the sense that we understand it. We see this word in Leviticus 17/7.
We see it in Deuteronomy 3217. We see Isaiah uses the same word in Isaiah 1321 and 3414. Incidentally, it’s the same word that’s used in regard to the hair that has to do with when Jacob fools. Or is it? Yeah, it’s it’s used in the sense of goat hair. It’s just not a.
It’s not definitive when it comes to demonic activity. The other word is shade is it’s pronounced similar to that. I’m not sure if I got the pronounced exactly right, but it it’s kind of fitting because in English it it kind of fits as well that it would be a shade of what’s real and it really only appears a couple of times and even here we don’t have a focus on the demonic realm as as the.
One commentator puts it when the gods of the nations are called shadem. It is not meant that they are evil spirits, but they are in substantial shades, not gods with neither divine nor demonic functions. In other words, it’s focusing on the fact that they they’re nothing. They they have no substance. These idols are the people are worshipping nothingness. You’re worshipping something you made with your own hands. It has nothing.
But we do know that that some of these take on a demonic characterization. So we have to, we have to wonder, you know, exactly how much this is related. As we’re reading scripture and we can see this word used in a couple of verses here we see a sacrifice of children to idols in Psalm 106, the other places. Second chronicle is 11. In Psalm 10634 through 39, we read they did not.
They did not destroy the people’s these are are the Israelites. They didn’t do what God told them to do when they took the land concerning. They did not destroy the people’s concerning whom the Lord had commanded them. But they mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works. They served their idols, these not gods, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.
And shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters whom they sacrificed to idols, the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works and played the harlot by their own deeds. So we see here that this word does not necessitate meaning, the meaning of demon as we know it from the Old Testament to this demonic being. They’re just sacrificing their sons and their daughters to the gods of the the the Gentiles.
Which could have a lot of different meanings. It could there could be a demonic influence there. There could not be. It could just be the depravity of man striving to understand his creation and and creating gods in his own mind. Some type of mythological being here that doesn’t really have a a demonic reference. We just don’t know. We’re not told and the word here doesn’t necessarily mean as spirit in Second Chronicles 1113 through 15.
And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel, took their stand with him. For the Levites left their common lands and their possessions, and came to Judah and Jerusalem. For Jeruboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. Then, if you remember this is what happened in Israel, the northern Kingdom, Then he appointed for himself priests, for the high places, for the demons.
And the calf idols, which he had made. So again, this is a reference to idols that are being worshipped. It’s not a reference to the demonic realm in particular. So we don’t have something out of these verses. We really don’t have something that’s definitive in regard to demons. Another thought that was brought up last week was the reference to, and This is why we’re in first salmon, because we want to look at that was, it’s a reference to distressing spirits.
We see this most notably in Saul one in Saul in First Samuel, If you would go ahead and flip over to First Samuel 19 We said start see several times this Saul is given this distressing spirit.
It’s not defined clearly and it kind of read leaves room for ambiguity as we ponder what that means. And some have looked at this and thought, well, perhaps this is a demonic activity and because of the the lack of clear demonic teaching in the Old Testament, we we tend to wonder if this if this is true. So in First Samuel 19, six through 10, we read.
So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore as the Lord lives he shall not be killed. Then Jonathan called David, and David and Jonathan told him all these things. So Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past. And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines, and struck them with a mighty blow, and they fled from him. No.
A distressing spirit, see, Saul is threatened by David’s successes. Now a distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing music with his hand. And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear. But he slipped away from Saul’s presence and he drove the spear into the wall. So David fled and escaped that night.
Now, pondered alone, this brings up some interesting challenges. Did God send the demon to Saul is what some are asking, Or is this something else? And we do have answers to that question actually in First Samuel as well. Flip over to Chapter 16 if you would, and we’re going to do a little word study on the usage of distressing spirits as well.
We consider here First Samuel 16. Beginning in verse 14, the spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from Yahweh troubled him and Saul’s servants said to him. Surely A distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who was a skillful player on the harp.
And it shall be that he will play it with his hand, when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well. So Saul said to his servants, Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me. Then one of the servants answered and said, Look, I have seen the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech and hand, and a handsome person.
And Yahweh is with him. Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, send me your son David, who is with the sheep. And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. So Saul So David came to Saul and stood before him, and he loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying.
Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight. And so it was whenever the Spirit of God was upon Saul that David would take a harp and play it with his hand, then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing Spirit would depart from him. So this, and so it was. Whenever the Spirit from God, I think I said of God, a signal from God was upon Saul. So we see the Spirit sent.
From God. And we have to ask ourselves, would God send an evil spirit in the sense of a demon to possess Saul in this instance? So let’s go ahead and flip over to chapter 18. We see reference to this as well, 18 beginning in verse 6. Now it happened.
As they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him. And he said they have ascribed to David 10 thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands.
Now what more can he have but the Kingdom? So Saul I David from that day forward, and it happened on the next day, that a distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times. But there was a spear in Saul’s hand, and Saul cast the spear, for he said, I will pin David to the wall. But David escaped.
His presence twice now. A question we have to ask as we look at this is, would a demon sent by God result in prophecy? Would Saul begin prophesying because he received a demon? And this terminology of a distressing spirit really isn’t used very often in scripture?
But the the word distressing is it’s it’s a very common word. It’s it’s translated many ways, depending upon the grammar and the context. It’s it’s raah it it’s simply it means bad. It means adversity, evil, misery, distress, injury, wickedness. It can mean any of those, depending on the context. But there’s a permeating theme here that has to do with a contrast with good, but not in a moral sense.
Not as we would think it, not as as in a good versus evil, but more as a as a good as in benefit versus adversity. This is why distressing is such a good translation here. God is bringing distress to bear down upon Saul. He’s bringing adversity into his life.
It’s it’s used in it’s use in Judges 9 kind of helps to illustrate this meeting and judges 922 through 24 we read about Abemelech who who was reigning over Israel for three years and God spent sent a spirit of ill will between Abemelech and the men of Shekam. And the men of Shekam dealt treacherously with Abemelech and the crime done to the 70 sons of Jeraba Jaraba. All might be settled in their blood be laid upon.
Laid on Abemelech their brother who killed them, and on the men of shekum who aided him in the killing of his brothers. So God sends this spirit of ill will. It’s the same type of terminology, this distressing spirit, to drive a wedge between them so that they turn upon one another. It’s the same, same.
Terminology here in Hebrew, this is a spirit of distress, the spirit of adversity. They’re adverse to one another. In fact, the theme of blessing versus adversity permeates the Old Testament and often we see them when when we see words such as wicked or evil. It’s a it’s a good theme to keep in our minds as we’re reading the Old Testament. So I think what we see here is that it’s highly unlikely that that.
That God has ever sent demons into men, and logically it seems incongruous with the character of God. And it seems to fly in the face of Christ’s own words as as we read them in Matthew 12. Now when the Pharisees heard it, they said, this fellow does not cast out demons except by bells above the ruler of demons.
But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, Every Kingdom divided against itself is brought into desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his Kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by bells above, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the Kingdom of God.
Has come upon you? Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man and then he will plunder his house. He he was not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad. So the question here would be, is it consistent for God to send a demon that Christ would be working to cast out? Would God sending a demon to a man not to be a division of his Kingdom in light of this?
Bells above here is the one who who sends the demons, who commands the demons, and it is by the power of the Kingdom of God that they’re being cast out. So there seems to be an inconsistency with the idea that God would send a demon into a person in light of of the teaching here of Christ in the in the light of the testimony. I will not say that that is absolutely impossible because I don’t know that scripture necessarily says it.
But in reading through this and studying through this that I find that very suspect, very unlikely in light of these considerations. It seems that that Saul probably was not demon possessed, especially when we see that he was prophesying as a result of this distressing spirit that God sends, that would seem to be inconsistent. So this is that’s it for the Old Testament. We just don’t have much in the regard of demonic activity there, if you know of something else.
Please tell me because I don’t. I couldn’t find anything else, just doing word searches and trying to think of other places where this type of thing happens. I just I don’t know of of any clear reference to demonic activity in the Old Testament. What we do have here is really not conclusive. It may refer to some type of demonic influences in some way.
But The thing is, as men, we are perfectly capable of this depravity without demonic aid. We are wicked people without the spirit of God in us, and it’s only through the righteousness of Christ that we can do anything good. So we really have nothing substantial or definitive regarding demons in the Old Testament.
Which logically will bring us to the New Testament. And the New Testament provides us with a lot of information regarding demons. There’s a lot of teaching and we see their activity. We see them cast out, we see how they horribly abuse man upon occasion. They are clearly at enmity with God and there’s no denying their existence.
We see that very clearly in Scripture as well. We’ve looked at some instances so far in Luke and we have more to look at and we see it in Acts as well. We hear Paul teach on this to a certain degree, and yet we still have the question that keeps coming up and that’s what are they, Where are they from? Who are they? And a lot is taken for granted. I’m reading Grudham on this, I’m reading other.
Writers who write a lot about demons and yet they really don’t deal with where they came from. Where did they came, come from? They they just take it for granted that they know without dealing with how they might know. They say we know this, and we’ve talked about this a lot before. Is is sometimes we think we know things, or we do know things and they’re true, but we don’t know why we know them. So we want to dig into why. So we understand the thought process.
Behind our convictions, behind our doctrine. So in this doctrine we’re going to continue studying, trying to understand the whys of what we think. We’re going to, the way our options and strive to understand this from a process of elimination. Now, I have a caveat here, and that is often in these discussions.
There’s an argument thrown against those with differing views that there’s an argument from silence. This is a common tactic used when people disagree with each other is to say, well that’s an argument from silence and we have to be honest here when we’re dealing with this, is that all the positions in regard to these things is necessarily an argument from silence.
Because we are not told specifically where demons come from, so you are necessarily arguing from silence. But our goal here is to discern perhaps which one of these arguments is perhaps the least silent that has that that fits into scriptural testimony the best. That leaves the least amount of tension according to Scripture.
And sometimes when this happens, our minds are have to grapple with things that we hadn’t thought of before, things that are uncomfortable, especially when the testimony of Scripture is not absolutely clear, which brings up another thought, is we tend to gravitate to to what makes the most sense from our perspective, from our experiences, from what we’ve been taught, We tend to to gravitate towards comfort zones. We tend to accept things we can picture.
More readily than things that we really can’t. And in doing so, we often impose our pre understanding as some sort of verification rather than scrutinizing it through the lens of scripture and submitting to you know what things are possible that I hadn’t thought of before. So we’re going to put aside those prejudices in this study as well as we’re able. You know that is something that.
Is impossible to do completely we can try and try and try and we we we still have these thoughts in our minds that we are using. When we engage in things that we don’t even realize we’re using them they’re just they’re so embedded in the in our thought process. So we want to try as well as we can to to pursue this and and this made me pause and and ask myself these questions because.
I have my own prejudices. I have my own thoughts. And I’m guilty of many of the above, not because I want to be, but because it’s it’s hard to divorce what you think you know from what’s true and you take things for granted. So. So we want to ask ourselves if we’re aware of the fact that we tend to be reactionary. We we’ve talked about this before, we tend to to.
Swing like a pendulum in response and reaction to different things. So we want to assess these things honestly. We want to evaluate ourselves for our own tendency to react and overreact. It was interesting because as as I was contemplating this, I was reading a newsletter. It it’s a secular newsletter. It has to do with the economy, has nothing to do with the teaching of God directly. But this guy had some interesting.
Observations that can help us ponder this type of thing because we can see ourselves in it. We can see our society in this. We can see doctrinal positions. This with the way they sway back and forth in this. If you’d listen to this guy’s name is Charles Ninner. I really don’t know who he is. I just know that he has something to do with some type of financial observations, economic advisor or something like that.
But here’s what he wrote Civilization civilizations move in predictable patterns, a pendulum from one extreme to the other. One interesting point is that children will often vote right wing when their parents are left wing, and vice versa. This also happens in mass movements. Movements of violence alternate with movements of pacifism. When governments cannot find answers for their problems, they often look for outside enemies to unite their people these.
Patterns are predictable by using us. He calls it our cycle analysis. If we study these occurrences in history, we’re amazed at how things occur. I don’t believe. I don’t believe. Everything happens at random. So we look for the patterns in the cycles of war and peace. Once you identify them, you can predict the next time of conflict. Obviously this the system does not say where or how these will occur.
There is an interesting connection between the this concept of predicting war and peace and the 60 year. It calls it a contratif cycle that he had talked about earlier. I don’t know what that is, I don’t remember it. Life expectancy is around 70 years old now, so that’s what the 60 year cycle was based on, the lifespan of people average. So one reason the this cycle works as well as it does is that there are a few people left who experienced the last crisis.
Therefore, we have no one to learn from, and history repeats itself. So we see this pendulum swing that even a secular analysis recognizes in the as he contemplates and examines the historical record of mankind. And it’s no different in the Church. It’s no different with our doctrine. We see the same thing. We see. We see it between.
Legalism and and license. We see it between Calvinism and Armenianism. We see it between all sorts of things, and it swings too far both ways. And so we we want to be careful in our minds as we approach this, this study that we’re not guilty of, that, that we don’t swing away from something because we see that it’s wrong and go towards something else. We don’t swing so far away from the sensationalistic teaching on demonic activity that we go over to this.
Area that says, well, demons don’t do anything now, they just don’t exist. We don’t have to worry about any demonic activity whatsoever. So, so next week we’re going to focus on this question specifically, more deeply, where do demons come from? We’re going to look at at the different perspectives on this as I was.
Pondering this, I’ve kind of set a couple of ideas aside and we were talking as as we’ve been leading up to this, but I’m contemplating digging more into them just to expose us more to them. For instance, the teaching the demons are the result of some pre ademic race. I think I might do a little bit of a study on that. There’s information out there to expose us to that a little more.
If you have thoughts on that, let me know and please pray for wisdom in in regard to this as well. There is the perspective of fallen angels, which is by far the most common position. It it has the weight of tradition. It I can’t I didn’t even place a percentage on it has This is the position that that permeates Christendom and it’s an easy answer that makes sense on many levels. It it it, it takes care of a lot of.
Issues that we might contemplate Then there are a couple of views on disembodied spirits which have more historical teaching than I had realized. One is is that it would be the offspring of angels and women, which has some proponents in history and answer some of the biblical questions. And the other is that the the angels are the disembodied spirits of people. We know from scriptural testimony that that is not true that when.
We die. We were in the presence of God or we’re in hell. It’s as simple as that. So we probably won’t examine that very much, but I’ll probably share with you the teaching. For instance, it was a Jewish belief at one time that angels were the spirits of of people who had died. And and so it carries a lot of weight from antiquity. I believe Josephus thought this as well.
So this kind of it, it keeps on giving legs to our study to keep on going and pursuing this and and looking at demons more closely as we go along and perhaps we’ll we’ll try to take a look at demon possession more clearly and that type of thing. So we can try to understand these things as well as the scriptural testimony will allow us. So plan on spending a few more weeks studying these things.
The parting thought We really need to keep our mind on Christ. We don’t want to get so caught up in in looking at the jots and tittles that we forget the author when it comes to these types of things. We want proof. That’s how we are, how we’re wired. We want some hard evidence that we can sink our teeth into. And God doesn’t always give us the hard proof.
That we need. But He does give us a source of proof. In that Scripture. All truth is weighed against Scripture. All truth claims are weighed against Scripture. Scripture is the proof of what’s right and wrong. And we can read about Christ and we can we can know that that even though He healed, He healed the sick. He healed the lame. They were able to walk again. The blind were able to see, The deaf were able to hear.
People saw this and that. They didn’t believe. And even though he turned water into wine and and he fed thousands with just morsels and had more leftover than what he began with and yes, he cast out demons and yet they didn’t believe. In fact we read today he was.
He was accused of being Beelzebub or working by the power of Beelzebub because of what he was able to do. And as we we read in the the story of Lazarus, even though one comes back from the dead, they didn’t believe God’s most most gracious gift.
The Creator’s most merciful provision, the Savior’s glorious promises, are all ours in Christ Jesus, and it’s based on what God has given us in Scripture, not on the reasoning of man, but on God’s revelation. So that’s where we’ll go for the truth, resting in the knowledge that all of this is about Christ. It’s not about us. It’s not about demons.
It’s about Christ and His glory and trying to understand what we can based on what He’s given us. Let’s pray our Heavenly Father. We thank you for Christ Jesus for the provision He’s given us, that we can be forgiven of our sins, that we do not owe anything.
In regard to paying for our sins ourselves, because we can’t pay anything against what we owe because of our sins. And yet God, we know we owe you everything because you have given us everything. Please help us, God, to take every thought captive to Christ, to live every moment for your glory, to pursue knowing you better.
Walking with you more closely, vigorously, and thank you God that even though demons do have great influence in the world, that we didn’t have No Fear of them because you are so much greater. It’s in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
What our thoughts should be in regard to what the world will say, and the input that we receive from without that we would maintain that relationship with you, God. For those here who may not know you, who may not be resting in that truth, God, we ask that you would open their eyes, that they may see, give them ears that they would hear, give them hearts that would understand.
God, we ask you to protect us from error as we continue our study and at all times that the teaching that goes forth now, although it comes from a feeble mouth and a feeble mind, would be the truth according to your word and we pray these things God in Jesus name, Amen. So like I was saying that this has been a challenging study on a lot of levels.
And this week as I was studying, I was looking, I was really trying to understand why people would believe what they believe in regard to demons. There are a lot of different teachings out there, some some pretty interesting claims, and some of them I just couldn’t understand why people would think this. And then you get into some of these forums and, you know, on the Internet now people can say anything they want and you can run across anything. If you want to look for somebody advocating something, all you have to do is do a search on the Internet and you can find anything.
And so I’m finding what some of these people are saying and you know, some of it. I just start, I want to comment, I want to say some. Of course then you get caught up in doing that and spending all your time trying to correct every fallacy in the world. And that there are, there are videos on YouTube, YouTube claiming that there are different ethnic groups in the world that are actually different races that have been created on different worlds and introduced to the earth at different times.
They seem to think that this makes more sense than the biblical testimony. Others rely on Pagan, excuse me, Pagan teachings to inform them on who Yahweh is and where Scripture comes from, and then they judge God’s revelation according to these aberrations. They claim that their texts predate the penitu, the claims of God in regard to creation.
So as I read these things and and I saw the duplicity in their claims, it was hard not to jump in and and want to correct them and show them theirs other ways. Some of these forums they’re just collective collective of just a pooling of ignorance in in their claims. On the other hand, I wanted to be really careful because when you see error it doesn’t mean that everything they’re saying is wrong.
I wanted to see if any of the biblical claims that they had really had any merit to it whatsoever. Just because someone comes to a wrong conclusion doesn’t mean that all of their biblical claims are wrong. So I wanted to. I wanted to weigh their positions in regard to what Scripture teaches carefully and avoid imposing my own prejudices, as we all tend to do, And in approaching it this way that.
You have to be so careful because it can be dangerous. It can easily instill doubt because what you think is true is challenged. And the proponents of some of these perspectives often don’t really reveal any doubt in their argumentation. They presented as fact, and they could be very persuasive in some of their arguments. They can be very convincing and as I reflected on that.
It’s it’s just isn’t that the way of the world? We hear the reasoning of others from a worldly perspective and and we might not in agreement without quite contemplating or understanding the repercussions of what we’re agreeing with. Maybe our life experiences limit us, or we begin to doubt God’s word because of what we perceive around us. Or both.
Once we want what we once knew was true, we doubt because of personal desires or simply because we lie to ourselves. See, this assaults us from every angle. It assaults our perspective of God day in and day out. The family structure is constantly under attack, the very idea that God has instituted structure in our relationships, in our marriages, in our families.
And in every relationship that we have for our own good is incessantly assailed by worldly thinking, and this acts upon our emotions and can eventually tear down the biblical barriers we have erected if we’re not careful. So what do we do to combat this? There are different angles from which to do it, but they all have to focus on Christ. One of the passages that.
That I bring to memory, that informs me the most when I become challenged and what I know is true, is Peter’s encounter with Christ. When asked if his disciples were also going to leave him, Peter replied, Where would we go for your words alone? For you alone have the words of eternal life. So I ponder this and I ask myself what? What is the alternative?
Not that that is the the greatest tactic to use in in combating lies, but it’s valid. And that line of thinking thinking can can help straighten out my thought process. There’s no forgiveness of sin outside of Christ. He is God. He is the source of truth. He, All he states is true. All His promises are true. All His commandments are just. He is the Creator and establishes the order of things.
He’s the author and finisher of our faith. And and then therefore, I know that I can count on him to be faithful. I know I can count on his claims to be true. I know his promises are true. I know the order of things he has established is is what is best for me, is best for all of us. And I and I know that I’ve been given a great and wonderful gift and being able to understand these things, so to embrace any idea that’s contrary.
Is to embrace a lie and rebel. Rebel against my king. It’s it’s to say that Jesus isn’t enough. So we need to to start every engagement with truth on this basis focusing on the person of Christ who is the truth. So in approaching this today, we’re going to go to the beginning, we’re going to go to Genesis 1. So if you would turn there if you have your bibles.
Where we’re going to be examining today is the claim of a pre ademic race. We haven’t really looked at that, and at one time in this study I didn’t think we would. But as I studied it more deeply, I thought it would be profitable for us to ponder the claims here. This ended up being a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.
And it wasn’t that I didn’t think it would. It would have a lot of hype to interest anyone in studying it. It’s that I didn’t expect it to have any scriptural merit whatsoever. And on that note, there’s a sense in which I was right and on the on the one hand but but wrong on the other, because they do use a lot of scripture. The scripture compiled by the proponents of this view, it could possibly indicate or at least allow for their position.
Some of it kid. On the other hand, none of their proof texts actually state their position, so they’ve filled in the gaps in order to come up with what they perceive as a solution. And to be fair, when we’re approaching something like the origin of demons, we we all have to do this to a certain degree, because God doesn’t tell us. This is where demons come from specifically.
So what we have to ask ourselves is which one offers the least resistance? Which one seems to line up the best with the biblical testimony? And really, are any of them dangerous to any doctrines we know are true? In other words, which one is has the least holes and is the most orthodox?
As a as we’ve continued this study, we it seems that we’ve narrowed the the study to two possible categories. Either demons are fallen angels, which is the overwhelming perspective, or else there’s some type of disembodied spirits. And it was within the the the proponents of disembodied spirits. We have the offspring of fallen angels and human women, we have the disembodied spirits of people.
And we have the disembodied spirits of a pre ademic race. So that’s what we’re going to study right now. And this study relies heavily on a gap theory. It relies completely on a gap theory, I should say. And as we approach this text, it’s easy for us to take it for granted. We read here 2.
Short verses In the beginning, God created the heavens in the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. We don’t contemplate Genesis One, One, and two very often. Most of us don’t, but the beginning establishes everything from that point on.
As MacArthur writes in the The Battle for the Beginning, if Genesis One through 3 doesn’t tell us the truth, why should we believe anything else in the Bible? Without a right understanding of our origin, we have no way to understand anything about our spiritual existence. We cannot know our purpose. We cannot be certain of our destiny. After all, if God is not the Creator, then maybe He’s not the Redeemer either. If He, we cannot believe the opening chapters of Scripture.
How can we be certain of anything the Bible says? Henry Morris points out that it’s often been pointed out that if a person really believes Genesis 11, he will not find it difficult to believe anything else recorded in the Bible. That is, if God really created all things, then He controls all things and can do all things. Furthermore, this one verse refutes all man’s false philosophies concerning the origin and meaning of the world.
It refutes atheism because the universe was created by God. It refutes pantheism, the belief that God is everything and everything is God. For God is transcendent apart from an independent of the material universe to that which he created. It refutes polytheism, for one God created all things. It refutes materialism, For matter had a beginning.
It refutes dualism because God was alone when he created. It refutes humanism because God, not man, is the ultimate reality. And it refutes evolutionism because God created all things. And Ken Ham states it wasn’t long ago that creation was the basis for society. Creation was taught through the schools and universities. A creation basis meant.
That there were absolutes. God the Creator had a right to set the rules and had told us what was right and wrong. People automatically sent their children to Sunday school because they would learn about these Christian absolutes. People who weren’t Christians by and large respected and obeyed these laws based upon the Bible. Homosexual offenders were put in jail. Abortion was considered murder.
Now the wrong handling of the first three chapters of Genesis results in, or allows for anyway a host of errors. It gives us a false perception on races, failing to recognize that human is one race created in the image of God. It it denigrates the depravity of man, and then it the integrity of God’s testimony.
But this view that we’re looking at here is different. I want you to look again at the verses one and two here. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the gap theory says there is a span of time here between the period After Earth and the T of the in the following verse. In fact, they would say this is a vast amount of time.
There’s this huge gap between verses one and two. And they would say that there’s this created order in the beginning that God created when he created the heavens and the earth. And then there was a time period when when there were, there was Satan and there were these beings that were on the earth and Satan ruled over them. But it was good at the time until Satan rebelled and then everything fell apart and God punished all of these beings, including Satan.
With a massive flood. And then the earth became without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And they would defend this because there isn’t a literal statement of time in these first two verses, unlike the following verses. This is also known as the the Ruin and Reconstruction theory.
In this perspective, if true, would solve a lot of perceived tensions between science and the biblical testimony. And that’s really what it’s a result of. It does not support evolution. It actually refutes evolution since the gap is before the creation account that begins in Genesis 1/2 that they can take a literal view of creation. God created plants, animals, and man in six literal days.
But on the other hand, it also allows for billions of years, because the time span between Genesis 1/1 and 1/2 could be anything. We’re not told how long it was, so it embraces the geologists claim regarding dinosaurs, for instance. It accounts for the older dating that so many scientists espouse, and accounts for much of what they claim in regard to fossils.
And to be clear, it’s not the same as the framework hypothesis. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, which teaches that each day of creation represents overlapping stages along an evolutionary process. So the framework hypothesis is dangerous from the word go.
It perceives the creation account as a metaphorical framework rather than a chronological account, and it marries evolution with biblical testimony. So it threatens the the Verity of Scripture itself. And it’s a slippery slope that fails to recognize how much it undermines itself. Where do you stop allegorizing? If if the days are allegorical, then why not the Fall? And why not the Flood? Why not the Exodus? And why not the Cross?
In fact, as one writer puts it, the basic presupposition behind the framework hypothesis is the notion that science speaks with more authority about origins in the age of the earth and Scripture. Does those who embrace such a view have in effect made science and authority over scripture? They are permitting scientific hypothesis, mere human opinions to have no divine that have no divine authority whatsoever.
To be the hermeneutical rule by which scripture is interpreted. But unlike the framework hypothesis, the get the gap theory does embrace A literal approach to scripture. They would not refute anything that scriptures clearly states. They take it as God’s word literally. So. So in this sense and in this sense only, it’s not a threat to orthodoxy, God is still seen as the creator. Scripture is perceived as literal.
Priced himself is not denigrated. The need for salvation is not threatened on a surface level. So so this brings up the question is it dangerous? Is is there danger in this perspective And we’re going to try to answer that as we we examine it a little bit more closely here now now there are two perspectives in this that seem to be predominant. One of them I didn’t find a whole lot of information on this and.
They they say that God created the earth in chaos 1st and then brought it in order in Genesis 1/2. That then why Satan was the overseer, that he was the one that brought the flood on those that rebelled against him on the earth. And I couldn’t find much to to people proposing that There just wasn’t much out there. I just saw a couple of short blurbs on that and you might recognize that perspective.
Kind of has a hint of Freemasonry. In it there are billions of years. It was a time of catastrophe and earthquakes and floods and eventual worldwide destruction resulting in the earth being void in without form. But the more common position is that Satan was the overseer of a sore sort of pre ademic Eden. And this perspective doesn’t go back very far. It goes back to.
Maybe the 1700s. Depends who you ask. It looks like there were hints of it in the 1700s, but it started to come into full form for sure in the 1800s. Thomas Chalmers popularized the idea of a gap in 1814 with his teaching, and picked up at least some of of this idea from a guy that lived a couple 100 or 100 years earlier.
Interestingly, the Chalmers actual work in regard to the gap theory is not found very much in its original form. Other writers quoted his lectures extensively enough to to put together his proposition, and it was through these reports that his ideas became available to other scholars and theologians and resulted in CIS Schofield’s popular Bible teaching on this. In fact, here’s what Schofield’s.
Bible his commentary would say on Jeremiah He says on this verse without form and void. And then he refers to Jeremiah 4 and Isaiah 24 and says that they clearly indicate that the earth had under undergone A cataclysmic change as a result of divine judgment. He says clearly at this point, which is quite a leap. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe.
There are not wanting imitations which connect it with the previous testing and fall of angels, so we’d see it come into full form here by the end of the 1800s. And then he goes on, is in regard to Genesis One and Three. Let there be light. Referring to that neither here nor in verses 14 through 18 is an original creative act implied.
A different word is used. The sense is made to appear, make visible. The sun and moon were created in the beginning. The light, of course, came from the sun, but the vapor diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky elsewhere, he writes that relegated fossils to primitive creation, and these fossils were in primitive creation and had no conflict with science and and with the genesis.
Cosmogeny. So he he’s saying that that the the idea that these fossils came before Genesis 1-2 does not threaten the rest of scripture. Diggs annotated reference Bible says when men finally agree on the age of the earth, then place the many years over the historical 6000 between Genesis 1/1 and 1/2 there will be no conflict between the book of Genesis.
Science. Now notice something here is these men propose these ideas that they don’t have a low view of scripture. In fact, one of them, Pember is is very intriguing in regard to this. He warns of the dangers of handling God’s word Wrong. He says for if we.
Be if we be observant and honest, we must often ourselves feel the difficulty of approaching the sacred right, sacred writings without bias, seeing that we bring with us a number of stereotyped ideas which we have perceived as absolutely certain and never think of testing but only seek to confirm. And he even recognized that the creatures of earth of Adams Day could not have been carnivorous before the Fall.
His problem was that he couldn’t reconcile scientific claims without a gap interposed between Genesis one and one one and one two. So he goes on to say, since then the fossil remains are those of creatures anterior to Adam, and yet show evident tokens of disease, death and mutual destruction. They must have belonged to another world and have since a since stained history of their own.
It writes elsewhere there is room for any length of time between the 1st and 2nd verses of the Bible, and again, since we have no inspired account of geological formations, we are at liberty to believe that they were developed just in the order which we find them. The whole process took place in preademic times, in connection perhaps with another race of beings, and consequently does not at present concern us. And there are others who have taken this position, including Watchmen Knee, who you might have.
Heard about and actually teaches on this extensively, so the basic tenets are as follow. You have a literal view of Genesis. There’s a belief in an old word we’re old earth, most of which predates the 6000 years of the of the Biblical record. Geologic and archaeological data reveal records over this pre ademic existence.
And they’re literal creationists. They’re anti evolutionists. So God destroyed the earth because of the rebellion of Satan and the these pre ademic beings. Most would claim that they were soulless beings. I’m not sure what the purpose of that is. I didn’t. I didn’t Wasn’t able to find out exactly why they say that.
So so God created a perfect heaven and earth in Genesis 11, and Satan ruled the earth. He Ezekiel 28 is used to to try to proclaim this. And then there was this race of beings without souls. Satan exalted himself when we see that in Isaiah 14. So sin entered the universe, and as a result of that because of the rebellion that swept over the world.
God flooded the earth and that’s what we see. The claim is in Genesis 1-2 and then the claim would be that this was followed by an Ice Age. And so all the fossil data that we see is a result of this this Lucifer’s flood. They are not related to the current plants and animals. Any similarity is in looks only and genetically they have no real relation.
Now now to be fair, there are many who espouse some sort of gap on account to account for Satan’s fall. But but before the 1700s, none of them espoused a gap between the 1st 2 verses of Genesis. Instead they perceived an unknown amount of time between the creation account and the fall. And that’s true, we really don’t know how much time passed between.
The the last time God said it is good, and the fall of Adam and even the garden, we we have no record of of that time period. But we need to be cautious in considerating this too. Since all was good, it would stand to reason that there was real there was no decay at the time, there was no degradation, there was no aging, there was no death. Therefore there there could be no fossil record of animals developing prior to the fall.
We must keep in mind that the law of atrophy was instituted by the fall. Interestingly, the law of atrophy is in direct opposition to evolution being mutually exclusive. I saw a note from an evolutionists that that won’t submit to that, but rather dances around it by saying.
It is a fact, well recognized in biology that a functionless organ is not tolerated by nature in the evolution of life. Whenever any organic structure has fallen into disuse, it is forthwith come under the law of atrophy and elimination. So they try to marry the two. So the question comes again, is this gap theory harmless? Is it just something that some people?
Embrace And you know what? If they want to embrace it, it’s OK. It let them. But there’s really no harm in it. At first glance, it it kind of seems like it. It seems to answer a lot of challenging questions, and there’s a sense in which we can understand how it harmonizes scientific claims and scripture. That was the goal. Scientific was saying this is true, and men couldn’t reconcile that with what scripture was saying.
So this was an effort to to bring those two into harmony. And there are passage that while they don’t clearly espouse it, they do allow for it. Some of its proponents are or unorthodox, holding to to doctrines that we would reject. But others sought this understanding in their effort to protect God’s word and and in much of their understanding of Scripture they were very orthodox.
They stood firm on the Verity of Scripture. But is it harmless? The answer to that lies and how it reconciles with biblical testimony. Remember, we talked about a theological term before called the analogy of Faith. It was something that we were employing in our study. And that’s when we compare scripture to scripture. Scripture informs the scripture.
God never contradicts himself, and so we know that any apparent contradiction in our understanding is our problem, not God’s. It’s not because of God’s revelation, it’s because of our lack of understanding. And so we have to grapple with it on that level, recognizing that our depravity and limit and finiteness is in the way, not God’s revelation. So. So with this in mind, let’s consider.
A few passages here. I’m going to be in Exodus bouncing around a little bit, and in Romans 5. Now now in in reading Genesis One, one and Two, it appears that the idea of a gap is plausible. We know that Scripture doesn’t proclaim this idea, but but there is more testimony of the creation account than what we see in Genesis One, one, and Two.
In fact, in the Decalogue and Exodus 20 we have a very clear statement about creation that we often don’t consider because we don’t see that as the point of what is being stated. But in Exodus 2011 we read for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.
In six days He made them the sea and all that is in them, and rested the 7th day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. If that wasn’t clear enough for us, let’s look at Exodus 31173117, for it is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever for.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the 7th day He rested and was refreshed. That’s pretty clear. I can see where they went. Might look at Genesis one, one and two and go, you know what? There could be space between these two verses. But when God says that He made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them in six days.
That seals the deal. Anything that that claims anything otherwise has to be a lie. Also the idea that there was death before the fall. We’ve touched this on this a little bit, but it causes a lot of issues. Original sin is actually threatened in in Romans 512. We read therefore just as through one man.
Through one man, sin entered the world, entered the world. This is how it came to be. Sin entered the world through Adam, and death through sin. It did not exist until this time in the world. That’s what we’re told here. And thus death spread to all men because all sinned so.
By divorcing the idea of the sin of man affecting the creation and bringing death and destruction because of his sin, the horrendous and willful rebellion of man is kind of minimized. The effects of the fall of man aren’t related to creation. For someone espousing a gap theory, at least I don’t see how it could be because creation is already fallen, so to speak.
So in essence, the result of Adams transgression didn’t affect all that God had given him charge of. It affected only mankind. Now now, not that that wouldn’t be horrible, but it pales in comparison to the reality that all creation was affected because of man’s rebellion against his Creator, the testimony of God is threatened and that he declared that all that was created was good.
How could it be good if there was already death? How? How could mankind stand on the fossils of the dead and God declare creation good and unwittingly? Apparently it undermines that which it really attempts to address. By explaining away the fossil record with a preademic time period, they undermine the testimony of the fossil record, improving the Noeic Flood.
In fact, this has resulted in many of them claiming only a local flood in Genesis 7. Now we know that’s not true because God says in Genesis 8-9 the dove found no resting place for the soul of her foot, and she’d be turned into the arc to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth.
So we put his hand, put out his hand and took her and drew her into the arc to himself. And there are other passages there in in the Genesis 7 and eight that show us that the water covered the entire earth. Also the the layering of the sediment from the flood would seem to refute the idea of chaos and disorder resulting from some sort of pre Ademic or Luciferian flood. If there was a a flood before Genesis 1-2 then then.
Where we see this chaos, where the earth was without form and void, how could there be such a clear sediment layering in the earth? So though at its root it attempts to to accept scientific provision, it ends up in reality unraveling or undermining true science, For for true science proves a young earth.
Obviously these things are not observable, so there’s a sense in which the scientific, empirical, scientific methods that are espoused are impossible. You can’t observe creation again, but but examining the evidence before us actually proves a young Earth. The decay and rapid reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field are enough to show that the Earth can’t be that old. The the amount of helium in the Earth’s atmosphere.
It decreases. And if the Earth was billions of years old, there would be no helium in our atmosphere. The salt content of the oceans is such that if the Earth were billions of years old, the salt content would be so much that it would kill the the fish that live in it. And there’s something really insidious about this teaching, that is, it easily eludes us.
Any teaching that that is contrary to God’s word can deceive us in ways that we don’t understand, and it can prepare our mind to accept things that are unacceptable. And this is one of the big dangers in teaching that is contrary to God’s word. Let’s just suppose that you have been taught this, that you believe it, you, you. You’re not saying that scriptures not true. You’re saying that you believe that this is true and then you.
You embrace this old earth mentality because of that, and you’re studying. And as you study the evidence before you starts to refute the idea of this preademic race, you start realizing, you know what? This is really impossible. The scientific data does not support that. The biblical data does not support that. So now you start to have this crisis of faith. All of a sudden there’s this tension in your life that you’re trying to resolve in your mind.
And since the gap theory embraces science, and it embraces this this old Earth mentality of science, there’s really no room in your thought process for a young Earth. Therefore, maybe evolution’s true. So gone from your mind is this literal understanding of original sin and the need for salvation.
But that’s not even the worst of it in Romans 8, Romans 819, for the earnest expectation of creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption and to glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labor labors with birth pangs, until now death.
Existing before the Fall is detrimental to the gospel. We read here that Creation groans under the weight of the Fall. Remember, Adam was the tender of the Garden. He was to tend the garden and the beasts, and that which was he was given charge of fell with him was affected by the Fall. Death entered the world, not just mankind.
But this would be impossible if there was sin before the fall. Death is clearly a result of the fall. Immediate, immediate spiritual death, the beginning of physical death, and the death of all creatures under the administration of Adam entered the world without original sin and the repercussions of it.
There’s nothing to be saved from the gap theory undermines the very reason we need salvation without recognizing the Verity of our need for salvation. There’s no need for a Savior, and it all unravels.
Remember, it’s the death. It’s this death that Christ accomplished in our stead. That’s what we deserve for our sin. Because of the fall, every man, woman, and child deserves eternal death, but that was compressed into hours upon the cross as Jesus bore the condemnation that men deserve.
But the gap theory undermines that work. It denies that the creation itself awaits delivery. And ultimately it destroys hope because it takes away the reason to hope. But we can know the truth because the testimony of God is clear in our hope is eternally in Christ Jesus. Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank you, God, for your word. Again, we are reminded that we are feeble. It’s easy for our minds to turn to thoughts that do not line up with your word, thoughts that are contrary to your own. Help us to be diligent, students. Guide us in our study. Teach us your ways.
Help us, God, through your word, through the Holy Spirit working within us to think your thoughts after you and God. We pray all these things in submission to your will that you would bring about what would bring you the most glory in the name of our Savior, Christ Jesus, Amen.
Heavenly Father, you are gracious, you are kind, you are loving, and you are just. Help us to remember that in all that we do is we do our continue our study in the mornings on the Church, history and true repentance. God help us to be reminded of the fact that you are just.
And your justice demands a penalty for sin, a penalty that we can never fulfill on our own, that we can never even add to the fulfillment of, that is wholly reliant upon the work of Christ. And as we continue this study, God please help us not to be so distracted in the details, so focused on the trees that we we miss the true import of what we’re studying that.
Jesus is king, that these things are all submissive to him, that he is all and in all, that he is our only hope. God, please guide us in this study, help us that our minds would grasp the truth, that we would think rightly, and that we would glorify you in the application of the knowledge you provide for us and the equipping of the tools you give us, even as.
So much of this study is helping us to learn how to think. Rather than telling us what we should know. God, we ask that you would use that in our lives, that we would be instruments for your glory. We pray these things in submission to your will and in Jesus name. So we want to jump back into our passage here on the demoniac in Luke chapter 8. We’ll begin reading here in verse 26 as we.
Consider who demons are. And and this passage is pertinent to to us as to our study today as we continue this study on demons. And there’s a thought here that I want to grasp as as we begin our study. So if you would begin with me in Luke 8 verse 26, then they sailed to the country of the Gatherings which is opposite Galilee.
And when he stepped out on the land, there met him a certain man from the city, who had demons for a long time, And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me, For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.
For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name? And he said legion, because many demons had entered him, and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain, so they begged him that he would permit them to enter them.
And he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed sitting at the feet of Jesus closed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.
They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the gatherings asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear, and he got into the boat and returned. Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged him that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you.
And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Now, this passage is not specifically about demons. That’s not the main theme here. We’re focused on Christ as we read through these things and his power and his ability to heal and his provision for men. But it is a part of this passage, and it’s given us a launching point to contemplate who these beings are.
And one thing that that is striking here is, is the fact that the demons here have some type of desire to indwell another creature. They have come and they have possessed this man, and when Jesus commands them to come out, they beg that they’re not cast into the abyss, but that they can go into the swine instead. And because of this.
This thought process, many have tried to find an answer to who demons are, what demons are, why do they desire to possess a body? And perhaps in in some of these ideas there’s this, this need to perceive them as some sort of spirit who has been dispossessed of their bodies. Disembodied if you will.
And so they’re looking for another body to dwell within and we see that in some of these ideas of where demons come from now. Thank you Dan. Now as as we consider these things remember we looked at the pre Ademic race earlier. This is one of the views that sees them as a disembodied spirit and.
Just as a quick reminder about that that that position relies on that gap 3 between Genesis One One and One Two. While it pursues a a literal understanding of Scripture and it’s against the evolution and it believes in a literal 6 day creation, it just doesn’t quite work because of the problem of having sinned before the fall.
And then we looked at some of the the biblical passages that would refute that because of creation being clearly the heavens and the earth and and all the creatures that are in it, and all the plants and and animals and everything all took place in this six days, Exodus 2011 was specifically a passage that we saw was very clearly refuting this idea that there could be a gap there between days one and two. But perhaps even more dangerous is the idea that it threatens original sin.
And it divorces the idea of the sin of man affecting all creation. So in this the testimony of God is threatened, and that he declared that all was created as good originally. And as we studied that, we realized that it actually undermines both science and the religion that it professes, even as it tries to harmonize them. So in the end it prepares the mind to accept things that really.
Are not acceptable, and the gap theory undermines the very reason we need salvation. So just a refresher from last week, and the reason we want to bring that is, is because our study today begins with the idea of disembodied spirits as well, but not of these from this gap. So we have two views we’re going to take a peek at today.
Before we do, though, a couple of acknowledgments. We’ve said things along these lines. We’ve and noted that things along these lines a few times in the past that but we want to be careful to keep our thinking right. The Bible nowhere gives any clear indication the demons are disembodied spirits. It doesn’t say specifically that. It simply gives us nothing clear in relation to where they come from. We have to try to dig.
And try to to find inferences to guide us and trying to understand at least narrow it down. And and that’s been a great part of our exercise as we’ve as we’ve been going through this. And it it seems that those who argue for any perspective point this out in regard to all the other perspectives but often they fail to acknowledge it for their own perspective, which is kind of interesting. Some of them do, to be fair, but many of them don’t. They just make an assertion.
So the two perspectives we’re going to be looking at is, is that the angels, I mean that that the the demons are the disembodied spirits of the offspring of angels and women. That we looked at our study on Genesis 6 before and it obviously hinges on that and and we have.
That study here if you want to you want to talk to Dan about that and the other one would be of deceased people, which was a very popular perception for the Jews. It carries some weight from antiquity. Josephus writes about this as demons which are no other than spirits of the wicked that enter into men that are alive and kill them unless they can obtain some help against them. So this perception.
Existed that what what’s interesting though is, is Josephus used this not just for a malevolent spiritual being, but also for the disembodied spirits of those who were good that went before. Virtuous people could be called demons as well, he said.
Elsewhere, what man of virtue is there who does not know that these souls, which are severed from their fleshly bodies in battles by the sword, are received by the ether, that purest of elements and joint that company which are placed among the stars, that they become good demons and propitious heroes, and show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards. So there’s this perspective of angelic beings being the spirits of those who have deceased.
We don’t have to go very far to refute this. The rich man and Lazarus are is a good example of where Jesus is talking about those who have died in our in our specific places. There’s a lot of argument whether that is literal or not. So rather than relying on that specifically, we can go elsewhere as well. We can go to Hebrews 114.
Speaking of the angels, that they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation. They’re sent to us, to to to that will inherit salvation, to minister to us. That that’s one example. There are others. We know that to to die is to be present with the Lord. We don’t have to worry about whether or not this idea is true. It’s it’s clearly not based on the testimony of scripture, the other one.
It is a bit more challenging is the idea of the offspring of of angels and women resulting. We went through that study that could be the Nephilim and that when they died in the flood and then afterwards that these disembodied spirits could be the demons. It relies heavily on the sons of God being fallen angels in Genesis 6. If that’s not true then this this perception.
I don’t see how it could be true that that’s what it relies on. It has some proponents from history, and it answers a lot of the questions that we have from Scripture in regard to who demons are. A few brief considerations to add to our earlier study. We don’t have one incident in all of Scripture that hints that angels are able to possess humans. There’s nothing there that says that.
And even if the language wasn’t tenuous, we don’t have one reference to a demon until well after the flood. In fact, in Exodus is the first reference to a demon, and we talked about that before. It’s not clear that this is talking to demons in the New about demons in the New Testament sense. It is possible. I don’t want to divorce that from the possibility, but it’s it’s just not clear.
It’s evident that demons have a strong desire for a host as we mentioned earlier. Why would demons desire a host? And this is part of the argument for this position. And so the question is poses that could it be that demons being an unnatural kind of a crossbreed if you will have no provision for death? As we know, we don’t know that angels are are able to die whatsoever, right? So if these beings were the Nepheli?
When they pass away, being half Angel and half human, they were a perversion of nature. This is a wicked perversion of nature. And if the reason, the part of the reason the flood came was because of this perversion, to stamp it out, and some would claim that the reason that the the angels were doing that is to try to stamp out the line through which the Messiah would eventually come to pollute it, I don’t know that that’s true. Scripture doesn’t say it, but that’s a theory that some theologians have. If all of this is the case, then.
And then there would be no heaven for them. There would be no salvation for them. And Tartarus is the place for fallen angels, which we’ve looked at before. It just we have nothing that would be a provision for them if these beings ever existed. So some would claim that that would make sense, that they would desire a host as a place to be. I don’t know. But demons being fallen angels doesn’t answer these questions either.
Demons being the progeny of the union between fallen angels and women, does offer a type of solution to these questions. And then the other position that we want to look at is the idea that the that demons are in fact fallen angels. This is by far the most common position we see. Grudham.
And his Systematic Theology says the previous chapter on the previous chapter was on angels leads naturally to a consideration of Satan and demons, since they are evil angels who once were like the good angels, but who sinned and lost their privilege of deserving of serving God. Like angels, they are also created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies.
We may define demons as follow. Demon follows. Demons are evil angels who sinned against God and who now continually work evil in the world. And that’s all he offers. He doesn’t give any exegetical evidence in regard to that. He just says this is what they are. So this view has the weight of tradition. In fact, the weight of tradition in regard to this view is is overwhelming. It’s not even close. From the 1st century it had proponents.
And almost everybody contemporary that I read that had a view espoused to this one. There are very few that don’t. But it was interesting to note that they really didn’t argue for this position so much as just assert that it’s true, just accepted it as being true and stated that it’s true.
Without going through exegetical evidence so that it was, it’s challenging to walk through it. So we’re going to walk through some of what’s been proposed. I I talked to and shared some notes with the other pastors that I know to try to understand the whole thought process here, see what they had to say, see what their defense for it was. So in doing that, let’s turn over to Isaiah 14, Isaiah 14, one commentator, just.
Puts it like this. To put it in a nutshell for the thought process, when Satan was expelled from heaven, a number of other angels who had followed his rebellion were cast out. Also, it is generally accepted that these fallen angels are now demonic forces of hell that we combat. This line of thought is based on the fact that Satan cannot create and therefore demons must be the be the fallen state of some divinely created beings. Although this idea is not directly stated, it is supported in scripture.
And so one of the scriptures that he did use was Isaiah 14, Isaiah 14, beginning in verse 12. How you were fallen from heaven? Oh Lucifer or you might have day star. That would be the literal translation that oh fallen from heaven or Lucifer son of the morning, how you were cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations.
For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High You, yet you shall be brought down to show to the lowest depths of the pit. And a lot of scholars generally accept this as being a reference to Satan himself.
And and the the demons are are directly connected to Satan as well in scripture we see in Luke 11, Luke 1117 and 18 But he knowing their thoughts that he being Jesus said to them every Kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against the house falls.
If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his Kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by bells above. So here Christ is acknowledging that Satan is in charge of the of the demons. Now in light of this, a friend one friend asked if Satan is the Prince of demons and was cast out of heaven with his angels, does it not follow that the fallen angels of Revelation 12 are the demons of Luke 11?
That’s a legitimate question, but we have to ask ourselves, is it true? Revelation 12. We see what appears to be that that Satan when he fell, he took many of the the fallen angels with him. Revelation 12 versus 3 and four and another sign appeared in heaven. Behold, a great fiery red dragon having 7 heads and 10 hordes and seven diadems on his head. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven.
And threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her child as soon as it was born. So many see this as a picture of Satan being cast down and drawing 1/3 of the angels with him as the falling fallen angels. I I I think that’s probably true. In regard to this this verse, I don’t know, I haven’t read of a a better explanation of it. But still this view isn’t without its problems.
Another another preacher said the the majority view among fundamental Christians is that demons were originally angels who fell from their holy state by committing sin against God. It’s it’s simply a typical assertion, but as we’ve read here, we’ve seen how there is a logical progression of thought that asserts this, but it doesn’t state it.
It’s not proven biblically. There’s too much silence to be dogmatic about it. But but scripture doesn’t state that. Scripture simply doesn’t state that the demons were originally angels. And so like the others, this this is an argument that’s largely from from silence. Now 2 verses that we’ve looked at that that that are related to this are really key and we want to ponder these right now they’re Jude 6.
And second, Peter 24. We’ve looked at him before. We’re going to look at him again right now. Jude Six we see. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode. He has reserved an everlasting change under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Now, in reading this, it seems that it’s entirely possible that the angels here, that here, does not mean all fallen angels.
It could. The language allows for it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it says the one who did not keep their proper domain but left their abode so. So these angels left, which means that that there may be others that fell but didn’t leave their abode, as we see here. So some people we would you’d even say these are the ones that maybe we’re with the the the son or the daughters of of man.
In Genesis 6. But it wasn’t all of them that did this, wasn’t all the fallen angels that did this, but just the ones that did this. This applies to, but but what do we do with Second Peter 24 if you’re not there, flip over to that because there’s a tension that Second Peter 24 puts in this that that isn’t really there in Jude 6, because this talks about the angels who sinned.
It seems to be more sweeping. Second Peter 24 If God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down into hell and delivered them into the chain into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment, the angels who sinned here seems to encompass all angels who sinned. By this time they’ve been cast into hell. Or Tartarus is the word here.
They’re in chains of darkness. They’re reserved for judgment. I would suggest that the more natural reading of this would see this as referring to all fallen angels. I will not assert that it has to be true, but that seems to be what the language is saying. It seems to be what’s being stated here. I wouldn’t be dogmatic about it, but the perception does. It seriously challenges an idea that demons would be fallen angels.
If fallen angels are demons, then it would appear the demons are imprisoned, but we know that’s not true. Read about demons in Paul’s writings. They’re they’re in all four Gospels. We’re exhorted to to watch for them and be aware of them. James writes about them, for even the demons believe in God and tremble well after the the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
But I’d like to look at another passage that isn’t often used in this discussion, and that’s over in First Peter, First Peter, Chapter 3. Now we just read in Second Peter how the angels who sinned were delivered to Tartarus into chains of darkness. They’re they’re awaiting the judgment. When we talked about this before, they might be waiting to be judged.
This could also be used for for God. They’re waiting for God to use them in the judgment of man. I think about the apocalypse. Maybe both. Maybe it encompasses the entire thought process. I I don’t know. But obviously they’re in chains, awaiting judgment in some capacity there. They’re in Tartarus now. Now, this isn’t necessarily hell or gehenna. It’s not necessarily not them.
But it’s not necessarily hell or gohenna. This means that they’re they’ve been thrust into our held captive into Tartarus, a place of a punishment in the Greek mind, and and obviously a prison of of sorts here in First Peter 3, beginning in verse 18. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God.
Being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit by whom he also he went and preached to the spirits in prison. Keep that in your mind. Who formerly were disobedient when once the divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, where the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is 8 souls, were saved through water.
There is also an anti type which now saves us baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him. So Jesus dying in the flesh was made alive by the Spirit and then the Spirit.
By whom he preached to the spirit he. By the by the Spirit. He preached to these spirits in prison. Now now these spirits were formally disobedient, and they were they were formally disobedient at a particular time when when God was long-suffering, during perhaps the 120 years between the warning to these creatures before the flood, while Noah built the ark.
So, So what does this mean? What can account for it? If indeed demons are fallen angels, then then we would have to conclude here that that these demons were influential in the perversion of Noah’s day. But what if demons were the result of angels cohabitating with the daughters of man?
These would be those fallen angels that they would not be aware of the work of Christ on the cross because they’ve been bound. So we could see that Christ would be going to proclaim the salvation he has provided, just just as Noah warned of the salvation that was only available into the ark that prefigured Christ.
Not that he’s preaching to them, but so that they can be saved, but informing them of their place in God’s plan. Perhaps at this time they’re told why Christ came. Perhaps at this time they’re told of God’s plan for them in the second coming. We really can’t know. We don’t know what he preached there. We just know that he he told them something. But if that is the scenario, then I I would submit to you that the tension seems to dissipate.
The pieces can fit together in this scenario that the fallen angels are locked up, demons roam the earth. Eventually the fallen angels will be released when God judges the quick and the dead. In the end, the demonic horde and fallen angels will be led by Satan in an epic, though futile battle against Christ. Well, that’s what I think.
That doesn’t mean it’s true. I’m not dogmatic about it. It just seems to fit together to me the best. Some look at it and go, that’s just too much, Joe. It’s too sensational. Well, you know, so is a virgin burying a child, A man rising from the dead, healing the lame. You want to be too sensational. The earth was completely flooded and only eight people survived, with two of every species in a boat. That’s pretty sensational stuff.
Nothing’s beyond the power of God, and there is plenty that’s beyond our understanding when our finiteness. So we want to be careful not to say things can’t be true and this scripture says they can’t be true. In the end, there’s much we don’t know there. There are these two good answers for the challenge, though.
Demons are fallen angels is a good answer. It carries a lot of weight. Demons are the result of fallen angels cohabitating with the daughters of man. I lean heavily towards the latter for reason I’ve stated, But I’m also in the minority of these two and need to be very careful in my assertions because they’re very godly men who disagree with me. But you know what, as we study these things and it’s interesting.
The basis of this study has not been to necessarily come to a conclusion in regard to where the demons come from. This study has been a desire to grow in our ability in handling God’s word and submitting to the truth of God’s word. Whether we presuppose the right thing or not, whether it’s comfortable for us or not, whether it makes us squeamish or not, what does God’s word say that is true?
We need to handle it faithfully. We need to handle it responsibly. When we don’t know for sure, we need to say we don’t know. And if Scripture confronts something we think we know in a way that shows us that we don’t really know, we need to submit to the fact that we don’t know so we can embrace the truth of Scripture without This is our foundation informing us of all truth.
We have no foundation upon which to truly rely because we are not capable of discerning the truth on our own. We will pervert it. Period. Today that is often called science, scientific claims, blah blah blah. Well, sometimes it is true science. True science is the study of God’s creation.
Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s just humanistic reasoning trying to explain away God in asserting it is truth. And in all of this we’re told the end result. We’re given the promise of God, whether demons or angels or these spirits. Jesus is triumphant. He’s triumphant over sin. We just read about that in the passage here in First Peter 3.
Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. There’s an antitype which now saves us, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God. This is all about God. It’s about man’s relationship with God and how Jesus has established the way for us to be reconciled with our Creator.
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels, and authorities and powers, in other words, angels and demons. And any of these rulers of the air, any of these spirits, regardless of where they come from, regardless of what they are, regardless of what they’re capable, they they’ve been made subject to him, Jesus.
Shows that by his power and authority over sin, over the grave, over death, he is the author. He is the finisher of our faith. It all rests in him. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He’s over every creature. None can stand against him, none can thwart his plan, and none can snatch those who belong to him from his hand. The point of.
This passage here, First Peter 318 through 22, isn’t about angels. It mentions angels. It’s about Christ. It’s about salvation. It’s about the surety of his power. And that’s what we rely on. That’s why we study what we study. Because of who Christ is. Maybe rely on that, Maybe rest in him regardless of what confronts us, whether it’s demons.
Or other powers of the world. We belong to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If we are truly saved in Christ, let’s pray our Heavenly Father. We thank you for Christ Jesus for His power, His authority, for His work on the cross, for the surety of all that He has done. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.
That would be nice, yeah. In fact, I meant to do this one. There’s a a book called Paradise Lost by an author named Milton. It’s a it’s a story. It’s a it’s a poem. A lot of schools are required. It is reading is Have you read it? Has anybody here read it?
What it is it it’s it’s really famous. It’s a it’s an epic poem about. I haven’t read the whole thing. I read portions so I can only give you bits and pieces. But it it has a lot of ideas about Satan and the and demons and and their work in the fall in the garden and how that was plotted and and their efforts against God. How even though they know that they’ve been cast down they they know that they can do some damage and so that’s what they’re going to do.
It really is is a good read if you like old poetry. It’s kind of old. I can’t remember what year, but the ideas and stuff there are are intriguing, but at the same time they’re extra biblical. And a lot of what we don’t understand is, is that a lot of the thoughts that we have in regard to demons that permeates our society comes from his writing more than it comes from scripture.
In our circles, maybe not so much. But from what the pastor friend was telling me about this, he sees a lot of it, a lot of influence from that. Of course he’s read the whole thing and studied it and I haven’t, So it’s hard for me to understand how that has infiltrated. But it’s something to be aware of that a book like that could have such an impact on a society without us even realizing it. I mean, without us here even really knowing what it says and.
And maybe this week would be a good idea for me to try to take a closer look at that so I have a better picture of what that looks like. If you do read it, and I would encourage you to do so, I’d be very discerning, recognizing that this is a man’s fanciful ideas about what he thinks could have happened. It’s not even that he’s necessarily asserting that it did. It’s just he has all these ideas and he’s put them down on paper in this poem.
Other influences in regard to how we perceive demons would be some of the movies we’ve seen now we all well, those of us with a little Gray in our hair, remember The Exorcist, Maybe even something like Rosemary’s Baby or other demonic movies. And more recently, the right gives us a picture of what somebody thinks happens with the demonic activity and and.
Most of these if, if they’re really focused on the demonic realm and exorcism, that type of thing, they they carry an element of truth. And that element of truth can can kind of make us drop our guard a little bit and accept some things as true that really aren’t so that these extra biblical influences might might come in. And a lot of times these come from Catholicism because of the way that Catholicism embraces.
So much ritualism, and they make up these formulas where they deal with demons in a certain way. Another area that we see a lot of demonic discussion would be in the conspiracy theorists, the these guys who who look at the headlines in the news and they see the work of demons and how that points to eschatological fulfillment of prophecy.
They see demons in every corner of politics and ascribe it all to this worldwide system that’s often labeled the beast. And it’s hard because sometimes these folks have something that that we want to consider. But are they also draw battle lines across molehills quite often and and and fail to to engage on the mountains that really need to be fought over?
So we get some sensational ideas in regard to the spiritual battle and and we’re challenged to understand what is right and what is wrong. Often what we fail to to recognize is is this type of stuff can really distract us from what’s central to the gospel. It’s distracts us from the fact that we’re sinners who can’t be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with our Creator without Christ.
Instead, we get focused on the demonic or the world events, and we might even do this type of thing under the mantle of Christendom without being saved. We could be, for instance, an exorcism expert and yet in the end find ourselves keeping company with the very beings we claim to be able to exercise.
We could focus on a battle that’s actually assisting an enemy, the enemy, in the most epic battle of all, creation, the battle for eternal souls. So as we approach this part of the study, I wanted to make sure that that I was biblically informed in my understanding of exorcism. And as I shared with you earlier, I haven’t nailed it down. It’s hard. We’ve taken a look at where demons come from, and we’ve tried to explore how to best define them.
And and our study didn’t conclude with absolutes. But hopefully it it equipped us better to look at the issue and and understand it in relation to God’s word. And so now as we study the demons and since demon possession is central to our study in Chapter 8, we’re going to we’re going to take a look at The Who demons are, what they do and take try to take a closer look at exorcism next week now.
Most of us are familiar with the fact that the Gospels and Acts offer us much in regard to understanding Christ in the early Church and gives it, and Jesus gives us a lot of instruction that the sermons on of Acts also are marvelous proclamations of the gospel. But it’s in the Epistles that we’re most often told what we’re to do. We’re told what we should know and what we should do. The Gospels and Acts focus on what happened in and give us.
A great deal of doctrine, but the epistles are more focused on on on prescribing how we should live. So in my study I thought, well, where’s a better place to start than in the epistles? So I started to do a search for things like exorcism and demon position and stuff like that and so.
Generally, the epistles are considered to be Romans through Jude. Some people might include revelation. Whether you do or not, if you do a search for exorcism, you’re not going to find it. It’s not in any of the epistles. In fact, demon possession really isn’t talked about in the in the epistles, and as I was searching, I didn’t think the word exorcism was in scripture at all. But it is.
There’s it’s used as a verb, it’s used as a noun and it means to extract or expel. We see it in Matthew 26. It’s also associated with oaths like to extract an oath from someone. In Matthew 2663, where Jesus keeps silent, the high priest answered and said to him, I put you under oath by the living God. Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. So to put under oath was to.
In other translations, it’s to adjure you, it’s to try to extract something from you, and then of course it’s used to expel a demon. And in X19 we see it used as both a verb and a noun involving the sons of Skiva. And you’re probably familiar with the story there of what happened in the account there in X 1913, then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists.
Took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying we exercise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Now exercise there. You might have a juror there as well. I don’t know what your translation has specifically, but it’s the same idea. It’s the.
These men were called exorcists. Here and then the they command this evil spirit to exercise or they to leave. And in their effort there, you’ll notice that they have about as much success as other expert exorcists, as it were. So it really tells us little in regard to exorcism itself.
And what to do? In fact it shows us contrary you can’t do this. This isn’t a formula that you can put together and say OK, you do things this way, you say in Jesus name and the exorcist leaves. This is a spiritual battle involving the heart and that’s something we’ll we’ll want to focus on more later. So failing to get anywhere with the actual word exorcism and and desiring to work towards understanding.
Possession better, I thought. So that we would understand exorcism better. I thought it would be a good idea for us to to consider what what is demon possession itself? We have different terminology for it. We have having a demon or another way of it being said is being demonized or one with an unclean spirit. There are references to casting out demons that makes it very clear that the demon is possessing the person.
So all of these points to the fact that that there is some type of possession that takes place. And you know what? I went through the pistols looking for this. And again, there’s nothing direct directly dealing with Demon possession at all. There’s nothing on anyone being possessed. There’s nothing what to do if they are. There’s there’s no example, there’s no instruction. There’s just.
Nothing that’s focused specifically on demon possession at all in the epistles, but but there is some instruction there that we’re going to be able to take a look at later that that does inform us in regard to demonic activity in our lives, in the lives of men. We’re given information that helps us understand what we need to know in regard to demonic activity. Again, this is all kind of piling up so that we’ll look at a lot of this next week. Hopefully we’ll get through it next week. That’s that’s the goal right now.
So for casting out demons and understanding demon possession, it seems like we really need to look at the Gospels and Acts. Now, we talked about this before. There’s really not a clear case of demon possession in the Old Testament. There are some possibilities, but there’s nothing we can really sink our teeth to clearly.
But but that doesn’t mean the demon possessions at stake. It’s it’s clear that that that the demon there is such thing as demon possession. All four gospels as well of Acts affirms this. But the challenge here is to understand what is it exactly what what is, how much control do they have? What can be done? And what do we do about it is you know how how can we be proactive about it And if it were too late how can we approach it to how can we react to it.
So. So Demon possession refers to Inhabitation and Control. Specifically, the demon inhabits the host. It takes up the host as a dwelling place for it. The and the the host’s ability to control themselves is is compromised, taken away, sometimes to varying degrees, but clearly they are not in control of their own actions.
We we don’t really understand what’s going on in the mind. We don’t have a clear picture of that. But we do know that they can’t control their own actions, and even their voices are subject to demonic manipulation. Now, some of the common terminology we have was when I were these I mentioned earlier, like have a demon. That’s really the most common one in Scripture, and it’s found in all four Gospels as well of Act as well as Acts, it’s.
Because the the the word is used in different forms and in different contexts, we know that it’s used at least 16 times to to refer to demon possession. And when We see this in our passage in Luke in Luke 8, where we launched to this study before in Luke 827, we read.
And when he stepped out on the land, there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. So this man has demons now. Here it’s plural, but it’s still the same concept, it’s still the same terminology, and there’s really a twofold thought process involved in having a demon. You have a a passive sense in which someone has a demon inside and in control.
They they’re as much to blame, really, in this sense as someone could be blamed for their eye color. They have a demon. They didn’t necessarily invite a demon in that this is something that happened to them, and the other aspect focuses on the result. The same terminology is used for diseases. You have cancer, you have leprosy, and in this case you have a demon.
But in this case the the demon influence. The demon influences the body somehow, including mental and physical maladies. So in such a condition, the victim is considered under both physical and mental torture, as it were by these demons. The demons are always bent on destruction of their host.
Another term would be to be demonized, and this is probably the most descriptive term we have. It’s it’s only found in the Gospels and Luke only uses it once. But that’s also right here in our passage in in Luke aid in verse 36 they also had seen it, told them by what means who he who had been demon possessed was healed.
So this demon possessed terminology there is is to be demonized. It’s it’s usually translated demon possessed. But you might have a different terminology there. Whatever it is the the result is the same that these people are possessed by the demons and literally it’s saying to be demonized and it focuses on two key thoughts mainly the demon asserts control over a person.
The that cannot be resisted and this control. It seems to indicate varying degrees of influence. There I am getting my notes mixed up varying. Sorry about that. Getting varying degrees of demonic influence and control but but in this case the control is clearly absolute. The demon in dwells the person and.
And the the and it’s the second aspect that becomes more important in our study later on. So. So demonize is a word that gives us this picture that’s that’s unique in the New Testament and we don’t find what’s what’s interesting about it is it’s not found in other places in Greek literature.
It’s a compound word and it’s made of three parts. The root is root is simply demon, it just points to the involvement of demon. And then there’s a stem that’s causative and in other words there’s an active cause associated with the verb. But the ending is passive, so. So this passive ending shows us that the subject is not the one acting, the subject is being acted upon. So, so that’s why it has the the passive.
Ending on it so a hyper literal translation of the world might be rendered. Something along the lines of a demon caused passivity so that the demon is taking control and that the host isn’t active in the control of the demon, they’re subject to it. It points to an outside control and this specifically associated with this demon.
And then another way that it’s stated is with an unclean spirit, and this is less calm, common. It’s only used a couple of times. Mark refers to the demoniac in our passage as one with an unclean spirit, so we can take it as synonymous with possession as well. And another term that’s used is vexed with an unclean spirit.
And we only see this in Acts 516. Also a multitude gathered from surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people with those who were tormented or vexed by unclean spirits. And they were all healed. That’s Acts 516. Now the fact that they were received, that they received healing from the the demonic, the demon torment.
That was tormenting them supports the idea that they were possessed. They were healed of a possession, and the emphasis here is on the miserable condition of those who were vexed or tormented by demons. There’s something else here that we don’t want to miss either when it comes to demon possession that we can we can overlook easily. And one is there was never a doubt as to whether someone was demon possessed.
We can’t tend to to think of demon possession as something that that might not be seen, but what we see in Scripture is all of the examples. The symptoms were so clearly malevolent that it was obvious people had diseases. They remember the boys throwing himself into the fire. They experienced seizures of some sort. Their voices aren’t their own, or they’re uttering things that they couldn’t possibly know they, and though they would sometimes have control of their faculties, there seems to.
Seems to have necessarily been times when they didn’t like they didn’t have full control of their faculties. If you would flip over to to Luke 11. Now we have to ask the question, is it possible that demon possession could be covert enough that we wouldn’t know for sure and and we don’t know from scripture if that’s true or not, we can we can say that it’s possible but all the examples that we have in scriptures.
Are contrary to that. Another thing to consider as well is that nobody who’s ever healed of possession in Scripture is ever rebuked for being possessed. Christ heals these people and he doesn’t tell them you messed up. This is your sin. This is why you were possessed. We don’t see it as being their fault, necessarily. One thing we do see is that when they are possessed, these things seem to be happening.
In in areas that that seem to have more Pagan influence, they’re not happening centered around Orthodox teaching. They’re happening more often centered around areas that are fringe, not in Jerusalem itself, not around the Temple, and in areas that would have access to the truth, which is an interesting observation. I don’t know that we can conclude anything absolutely.
From it but it is something to ponder in our understanding of of demons and and try to see if it fits in somewhere for us. Now we know from our passage here in in Luke 8 that more than one demon can indwell an individual and we also see this illustrated in this parable in Luke 11. In in this passage Jesus is confronting the Pharisees and he gets to this illustration that he uses.
Here in Luke 11, beginning in verse 24, when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest, and finding none, he says I will return to my house from which I came, and when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man.
Is worse than the first. Now, there are a lot of things we can observe here. One thing we want to see is when Jesus gives this one, He’s not giving. Giving gives this illustration. He’s not giving this as something as as a parable like he does in some cases where you’re wondering if it’s true or not. He makes it an emphatic statement when this happens. So we we see that that there’s more of a relationship to to what truly takes place in regard to demonic activity.
One thing we see here is the demons are looking for some place to rest. They desire a home as it states this is a dwelling place and for some reason rest comes when they they’re in a host, which I don’t completely understand. I don’t pretend to, but we have some hints here and some other people that have studied this have some ideas as well. It reiterates that more than one demon can possess a person as we see there.
And it’s clear that that the demon dwells within the host or victim. It’s not just a an external control, this is an internal control of their host. Now the dry places that the demons roam when when not possessing someone offers us a challenge as well. We know a little bit. We know that it’s undesirable. He doesn’t want to be in these dry places. And then in dwelling a human is preferred over wandering in dry places.
We also see here an indication that that that pagans may be able to take precautions to keep from being possessed. The fact that the demon was looking and didn’t find a place means that people around him were unavailable to them, that the demon couldn’t just inhabit anybody for whatever reason. And because we know that the majority of people aren’t truly saved, it would stand to reason that there was some type of.
Defense that a Pagan would have against or an unbeliever would have against demonic possession, as it were. The focus is on resting from weariness attributed to hard labor we see here as well. So some have surmised to the demons must have to work hard to indwell a a person and then they can rest. These are ideas. I’m not saying emphatically this is what happens, but these are things that have been presented by some.
Good teachers. And so this gives us some indication that demons can be resisted by unbelievers, although we aren’t given enough information to really understand exactly what that means. We do have some indications though, and we’re going to explore that later as well. The reality that demons can leave it will confronts the idea that exorcisms are necessarily successful.
We hear of these expert exorcists that we they talk about what they can do. They hire out their services and they go and they do their ritual and the demon supposedly leaves. Now if Christ heals you, you’re healed, It’s done. But if a professional exorcist does it, it’s quite possible that the demon leaves in order to to to bolster the credentials of the exorcist, who really has no effect whatsoever.
And then he can just come. Then the demon can just come back later. Many also assert that this man was easier to possess because he had been possessed before. The idea is a demon has to fight to get in the first time, but then he can come and go at will, which also indicates a difference in severity of position as the last state of the man was worse than the 1st.
But it also points us to something else that should encourage us, because why was the demon able to come back? He left and the house was empty and remained empty. But what if the Holy Spirit had taken up resident? This is central to to what we just read, that the demons gone, the minds put in order, but nothing came in.
To replace the demon, he was free to return later. And this is how we can often be we can see we can relate this to any sin in our lives. Actually, we see that we have a problem and we try to fix it by not doing it, but we don’t replace it with what’s right and just we just try to put it away. We might confess a sin, but we don’t embrace the thoughts.
Or the habits, or the lifestyle or whatever it is required for us to to counter that in the future. Sometimes it’ll be a passive or less than heartfelt I’m sorry, or maybe even a heartfelt I’m sorry. But that’s as far as it goes. You’re just sorry that it happened, but not dealing with the heart issues behind why it happened. In this case, we’re looking at someone who has.
Been dispossessed by a demon. The demon left for whatever reason. It appears to be his own free will. He’s gone now. What? The Holy Spirit had taken up residency inside this man. The house wouldn’t be empty when he came back. The evidence is very clear that demons and Christ can’t both indwell the same person.
It’s the power of Christ within us that will be more than than any demon can begin to overcome, and we see a really wonderful picture of this in 2nd Corinthian 6. If you would flip over there, we see that Second Corinthian 6 we also see in First Corinthians.
The entertaining the Lord and demons at the same time is impossible, We read in in 1021 of First Corinthians. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord in the cup of demons. You cannot you cannot partake of the Lord’s table in the table of demons. There’s this diversity here that’s in makes it impossible. But I think the passage that we have here in in 2nd Corinthian 6 is really even more compelling beginning in verse 14.
Where we’re told not to be equally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belisle? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said. I will dwell in them.
And walk among them. I will be there God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord mightily.
So this this pointing to unequally yoked. We usually think of this in other terms. We might think of it in relationships in our lives. Specifically. This is used in regard to marriage and it it is a valid application toward marriage. But we also see this illustration here of of Christ and Belial not being able to to.
To have a cord between them and so how could they dwell together within the believer? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? And knowing that we are the temple of God, if we are saved we are considered our body is considered a temple. Christ would be in dwelling it. It would be impossible for an for these these demonic idols to dwell there as well.
So we want to be encouraged by this, knowing that the believer cannot be possessed. There are other passages that we could turn to to illustrate this, but these suffice because they are clear enough that that we cannot be possessed by demons. You cannot have Christ dwelling within you and have demonic influences dwelling within you as well.
Now, we want to be careful here because that does not mean we can’t be influenced by demons. There are things that demons can do around us to influence our decisions, to influence our lives in varying ways, including bringing somebody else who is is influenced by demons to a greater degree into our life, disrupting it in a way that we did not foresee. I’m going to take a closer look at those things as well next week, because there’s so much that scripture does tell us about the activity.
Of demons in in our lives and and disrupting the church and the walk of the believers. But for now I wanted to leave us with the with the encouragement and and and the knowledge, if we didn’t already have it, that there is no danger for the true believer when it comes to demon possession. It’s impossible. We belong to Christ, we’ve been sealed for all eternity. And that we can rest for all eternity. Let’s pray.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank you God for Christ Jesus. Thank you for the security we have in Him. There is nothing to fret over, even as we read this morning. There’s nothing to to worry about. You are in control. You are in control from the beginning to the end. You are the author and the finisher. You are the Alpha and Omega that.
Just as we could not come to you on our own without you, we cannot sustain ourselves without you. We are wholly dependent upon you, and and in that is the also the embracing of the knowledge, God, that you are all powerful and that none can take you. Take us away from you. Thank you for this precious promise. Thank you for Christ Jesus. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.
And as we looked in scripture, the if one is truly in dwelt by the Holy Spirit then there’s simply no room for a demon to take up residence. The two can’t live or dwell within a person together. Recently I was reading about a priest who encountered a demon possessed woman and and in the experience he relayed how he spoke, how she spoke and other voices how.
She actually levitated a few inches at one point and we read the accounts of this and why I can’t verify it. I sure don’t deny that it happens, but what was really interesting is, is through this whole thing he never stated how or even if she was ever relieved of the possession. In the article there was a lot of talk about the experience but really nothing of how she was relieved of of this demon.
Now if you remember The Exorcist, I think those of us that are a little older here at least remember it. Or maybe if you’ve seen more recently the right we see something that can teach us a lot. There seems to be a certain aspect of the Catholic religion that’s focused specifically on exorcism.
And it appears from from all I’ve seen at least, that the only ones that can truly exercise a demon is would be priests. And I got to I had to ask myself as I was pondering that if this is so then then what’s the power of salvation? Because you see in these representations that priest is not immune to possession.
In both of those movies, the priest actually becomes possessed by the demon and and that is consistent with Roman Catholic dogma and it keeps keeps you in doubt and in regard to your eternal condition. If such a thing can happen to you while you’re claiming to be one who belongs to Christ, that way you’re claiming to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.
So it leaves no absoluteness in the spiritual condition, because if one rightly understands, there’s no absolute listen in the doctrine of salvation, there’s always some guesswork. It’s never finished. There’s always this doubt. Am I saved? Will I go to heaven? How long is purgatory? What else do I need to do? Can I be demon possessed? What can I do to avoid it? What do I do if it happens? Whereas in Scripture, most of these answers are actually.
Clear and pretty simple. Scripture reveals that Christ is all that is necessary for salvation anymore or any less, denigrates his perfect work and actually denies his precious words on the cross. It is finished. All who are saved will go to heaven to be with Christ Jesus. There is no doubt. There is no holding tank. There is no limbo. There is nothing else that needs to be done.
Price, word or words are a precious promise to be held on to. It is finished, we don’t have to do anymore, and we’ve largely answered those questions already. But but there are there are others we still need to address for. For instance, what can I do to avoid demon possession?
Of course this is only valid for unbelievers, but we do find some hints and scripture that can tell that can help us in this area. So, So we’ll look at some of those and as we address these, remember that that believers in any of these, that that to dabble in any of these is to invite demonic oppression. Even if we cannot be possessed, we’re not immune as believers.
We’re not immune to demonic influences and so this leads to to a discussion on what believers need to do to fortify themselves against demonic influences. And this is vital if we are in Christ. Now, the scripture doesn’t does give us some instruction regarding this and and probably more than you realize. So we’re going to go through some passages in regard to that. I hope your fingers are ready to do some walking through your bibles and then next week we’re going to take.
A closer look at casting out demons we’re going to jump back into to Luke 8 is the plan and see how Christ ministers to legion or cast legion out of this man. And it’s really a hard area because we’re not given precise prescription in regard to casting out demons, but we are given some insight into to how to focus our pursuit in that regard. So we’re going to take a closer look at that next week.
Now, protection against demons for unbelievers, What does that look like? Before continuing, there was something that I said last week, and I’ve been pondering it and I want to address it overwhelmingly. It appears that almost all demon possessions are obvious. I said they all are last week. But there’s one that’s been nagging at me, and that’s because.
Judas might be an exception. You see, in all of these we see the symptoms are horrible. The malicious nature of what’s happening exposes the demon and there was little doubt in almost all cases, and I’m just putting almost in. There is a possibility because we see in loop 22 three that Satan entered Jesus Judas surname Discariot, who was numbered among the 12. Now we’ve had this long discussion.
In in trying to understand what demons are and we didn’t absolutely land in that. But if Satan is in fact a fallen Angel but not a demon, then this wouldn’t be demon possession. This would be some type of influence that wouldn’t be the same. So so that’s one consideration. And also this is the last time they’ll see Judas, so recognizing possession here might be difficult as it just happened.
And the language we have to consider does sound like possession, but we really don’t know that Satan can possess people in the same sense as demons. On the other hand, this very well could be a possession that that was not detected by the disciples or anyone else for that matter. Certainly the the priests would not want to do business with somebody that they knew was demon possessed.
So having said that, we want to ponder. Now the question can unbelievers do anything to protect themselves against demon possession? Now the the ideas of wearing Talisman, wearing a cross, putting things around your house and stuff, that’s that’s witchcraft. That’s sorcery. That’s superstition. It doesn’t do anything specifically to help ward off demons, however.
Well the the obvious answer to protect yourself against being demon possessed if you’re not a believer is to become a a believer. There’s also the side of things where where dabbling in types of idolatry Pagan worship practices tends to to have carry with it demon possession that it seems to happen more often in those circles and we’re told specifically to keep yourselves from idols we see an X16.
Where we’re given instruction in regard to this the sacrifices to idols and Pagan gods in the Old Testament appears to have a some demonic influence. But but here we see in Acts 16 this involvement with the occult can can have influences from from the demonic realm and possible possession. Now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl.
Maybe you remember this account. The slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling. This girl followed Paul and us and cried out saying these men are the servants of the most high God who proclaimed to us the way of salvation. And this is and this she did for many days. But Paul greatly annoyed, turn and said to the Spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.
And he came out that very hour. They’re in Philippi and the word for divination in verse 16 here. It’s interesting. It’s Poothon, or perhaps Python. It was the the name of the the Pithian serpent or dragon that’s said to have guarded the Oracle at Delphi. So she’s said to have been possessed by this spirit. That’s what they are thinking.
And it’s possible, I I really couldn’t say. But But as we see here, she’s clearly possessed. Paul casts him out of her. We remember the the passage on the Seven Sons of Skiva over in in the X 19. We looked at that before. If you want to read along, just flip over there again as well X 19 beginning in verse 11.
We get a little more information here. Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and or aprons were brought from his body to the sick and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits saying we exercise you by the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.
Also there were seven sons of Skiva, a Jewish chief priest who did so, and the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you, then the man on whom in whom the evil spirit was leapt on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Look here in in verses 11 and 12, if you have it open there to X 19.
God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul so that even handkerchiefs and or aprons were brought from his body to the sick. The disease diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. This is unusual. There seems to have been a very large amount of miracles taking place in a short period of time here and in a way that that we really don’t see is as normative in the New Testament and certainly not today. Now of course, this is Ephesus.
We’d expect a lot of occult activity here. In fact, emphasis was so known for sorcery and magic that magic scrolls were known as Ephesian scripts. And it’s interesting to know.
How much Christ changed these people as we read down verse 19? Many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all and they counted up the value of them and it totaled 50,000 pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. So they burned their Ephesians scripts and and the value of this has been estimated to exceed $1,000,000 that they just burned in a pile there.
Forsaking the ways of the demons and embracing the way of Christ. This seems to be reflected in the testimony of missionaries as well. We hear from different missionaries around the world, but those involved in areas of strong occult practices where where idolatry is really rampant, we tend to hear more reports of possession. Now having said that.
I do know a couple of missionaries and places like that and they’ve never told said anything to me about seeing these types of things specifically. I don’t doubt that they happen, but I just, I have no intimate knowledge in regard to these things. But that’s another consideration. The Presence being around the occult, being around this type of activity tends to bring us into greater contact with demons and we want to remember that.
For us as believers as well, that can have more influence on us. We can be challenged in our walks more because of being around this type of thing more and and we’re going to go through what we need to do to defend ourselves against this because there’s no completely avoiding it. And there are those we need to minister to who are caught up in these things. So we will need to be fortified with Christ. If you would flip over to a first Corinthians 10 we see here in First Corinthians.
10 Where Paul warns against partaking of idle sacrifices, I Corinthians 10 beginning in verse 14. Therefore my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men. Judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless. Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread in one body, for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh, are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar. What am I saying then, That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything, rather that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons.
And not to God. And I did not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the tables of demons, Of the table of demons. Or do you provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? So here we see this obvious relationship between.
Idolatry and and demonic influence, and in this case Paul specifically speaking to believers. In First Corinthian 7 we see how the doctrine of doctrines of demons or demonic influences can promote immorality and and demonic. In a First Corinthian 75 we we do not. This is this has to do with the relationship between a man and a wife. Do not.
Deprive one another, except with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. So in this specifically is talking about the the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife and how actually depriving one or the other, you are in a sense not helping your spouse.
To overcome any temptation they may face. Now, this doesn’t mean we can blame each other, but it’s something for us to consider in our marital relationship and providing for one another and strengthening one another. And of course in in in considering that pursuing this pursuing obedience is one of our greatest defenses against temptation, not just because of our flesh, but because of demonic influence as well.
We see influence embracing false doctrine and first Timothy 4 where Paul is giving this wonderful instruction to to young Timothy, First Timothy 4 just the first three verses here, now the Spirit expressly says. Then in the latter time some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons speaking lies and hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.
Forbidding to marry and the commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. Now we often think bad doctrine is just because of the people who espouse them, or because of proud men making a name for themselves or misinterpreting scripture. But here we see that these demons actually.
It can be instruments in the propagation of false doctrine. And this can not just come from outside the church. Sometimes this develops inside the church and begins tearing at the fabric of the body of Christ because of our either our lack of knowledge or our lack of faithfulness. So how do we defend against this? Of course we know our Bibles. You you don’t recognize a lie unless you know the truth.
We we know our Bibles, We read, we study, we know and understand what God has said. And of course we pray. We plead for wisdom. We plead for understanding of God’s Word even as we read it. Because there’s we cannot comprehend the depth of Scripture without the Holy Spirit bringing light.
To what it says enlightening us so that we can understand it. We plead for intercession. We plead for protection, we pray for for growth in Christ. We pray for one another in all of these regards. And and we pray of course for a church is a a body as a local body. And for the Church of Christ at large for a missionaries always striving to and and other churches in in other areas.
Always strengthening one another in Christ Jesus, always trying to build the body in the unity of faith, and perhaps nowhere in Scripture is this more clearly stated than Ephesians 6. Most of you are probably familiar with this passage and Ephesians, I know that we have done some work in it in the past.
Here we see Paul exhorting the believer to seize upon the spiritual strength that only God supplies and and he likens the resources that God has given us to. To what? To armor? To to the the armor that the He. He makes this parallel with the armor that these Roman soldiers wear. Read with me if you would in Ephesians.
Ephesians 6, beginning in verse 10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God.
That you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, which you will be, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the Saints, and for me. That utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.
For which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak. So even as Paul is relaying this, this spiritual battle and the fortification that God gives us, He’s pleading with them to pray for him that he would be strong in the armor that God has given. We can only fight this battle in the strength of the Lord. We see this in verse 10. This shows an ongoing dependence. We are to be consistently and and and constantly dependent upon God’s strength.
We put on the full armor of God that that only he can provide. This is an armor that we can manufacture. This isn’t with something we can go out and find. This only comes from above. This only comes from God, and it’s only God that that that can strengthen us and fortify us to be able to use this armor. We are not able to use it just because we learn about it.
We have to trust God. We have to pursue God. We have to know God. We have to understand what God’s word says. And we have to to rely on His strength and in order for this armor to do us any good whatsoever. And as soon as we think we’re doing fine and let up our guard in regard to these things, we’re refusing His strength. In our spiritual battle, James also gives us a great contrast. And James 3.
It gives us a contrast here between demonic and and godly influence. James 3 verse 13, who is why is an understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have a bitter envy and self seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
Who are envy and self seeking exist confusion, and every evil thing are there, but the wisdom that is from above is first pure than peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
One thing that that is abundantly made clear in this this battle is it is also that we are nowhere exhorted to go on the offensive against demons. We see this. We see it all over the place. We are on the offensive in our active pursuit of Christ. We we are reading scripture that is an active pursuit of being.
Of the the defense that God gives us. We are fortifying ourselves with the strength of God so that we can stand fast, no matter what, How we’re assaulted. We’re seizing upon all that He has provided for us. But we don’t go pursuing demons. We don’t go pursuing Satan. We’re not on this type of attack. We’re not in a seek and destroy mission with demonic hordes.
Now, some people are claiming to be slaying demons or chasing the devil, and they really don’t know what they’re talking about. This is extra biblical. Nothing in Scripture tells us to do this. It’s sensationally. It can be exhilarating, but ultimately it turns the attention away from Christ because it’s focused on this pursuit that God doesn’t give us.
And so we’re not thinking about Christ and his strength and what we’re doing in him and how we’re growing in him and becoming more like him and said we’re focused on this battle that he has not given us. So, so in a really in a very real sense, the pursuit of attacking demons is is a doctrine from demons. It puts the focus on them and Simply put we’re no match. We’re no match for demons, we’re no match for Satan and and in this.
Thought process. We should try to know our enemy, but not that doesn’t mean we engage him directly. We trust on this. We rest in the strength of Christ to sustain us, to strengthen us. For one thing, Satan is crafty. We see that here in Ephesians 611, if you’re still there.
Our armor fortifies us to stand against the Wiles of the devil, the Wiles, when the schemings, the strategies, let’s face it, he knows a whole lot more than we do. Even his understanding of the human condition is far superior to our own. He knows Scripture better than any of us. He has it all memorized. He knows exactly what it says, and he knows what it means.
He understands the spiritual battle intimately. He is constantly engaged in it against us. We don’t even really understand the depth of the spiritual battle. We just know it exists. We can’t see that far. And he has worked on perfecting his art for thousands of years.
And to all to all of these the fact that he is the most powerful Angel ever created, as far as we know from what Scripture tells us. In 2nd Corinthians 11, we read. But what do I do? But what I do I will also continue to do? That I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which we boast.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself transforms himself into an Angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. So we understand the insidious nature of of demonic influence even within the Church.
Proclaiming to be wise, yet they are fools that they’re teaching these doctrines that are not from scripture. Satan is vicious. He offers no quarter. The idea of making it a deal with the devil is ludicrous. We we, we see the believer wrestles against the forces of darkness here in Ephesians 612 and following often.
In the Greek tournaments, in these wrestling matches, the loser, while he’s pinned down, would have his eyes gouged out, so Paul would have see. The stakes is very high in relating to the to this. In regard to this wrestling match, you can’t give in. You have to continuously be in this battle because in the spiritual battle the stakes are even higher than just eyes. The stakes are eternal.
And the enemy is much more vicious, seeking to devour the unwary. And he is of course formidable again in in chapter 6 there of Ephesians we we see this string of adversarial agents in verse 12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age.
Against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. So so we see that this army arrayed against us is certainly formidable and Satan is utterly wicked. We wrestle against the the the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies, it says in verse 12 there.
There is no form of attack against God and against God’s people. That’s too low for Satan. There’s no such thing as hitting below the belt. He has no honor, nothing’s off bounds. All that inhibits Satan from doing anything he wants is the power of God Almighty. So it’s foolish for us to think that somehow we can take him on outside of that strength.
And our battle is not to go at him head to head. Ours is to wield scripture in defense, to fortify ourselves, to to wear the armor and have the shield. Yes, we have scripture as an offensive weapon, but not in the pursuit, but but in in in the attacking lies, attacking the things that come at us that are lies, so that we can defeat them through God’s word.
Ours is to wield scripture and defense, to be strengthened in God’s armor, and to wield scripture in an offense and ministering to one another and in striving for the salvation of others. Alluded to this earlier and and first Peter 5 We’re giving a a quick snapshot of the devil 5/8 through 11 Be sober.
Be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith, knowing that the name, that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who is who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect establish, strengthen, and settle you to him Be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
Amen. And then James again in verse in chapter 4, verse seven. Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. You see, that’s prefaced by submitting to God. It’s not, no.
Resist the devil in your own strength and he will flee from you. No, you’ll be devoured. Submit to God, and in submitting to God you can resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, impurify your hearts. You double minded, lament, and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord.
And he will lift you up. Amen. Our Heavenly Father, there’s so much for us to understand here and so much to to try to grapple with in regard to the spiritual battle and specifically God, as we consider the work of demons around us that they satanic hosts that.
Fight against us. Thank God. I think all of us in our lives we can see where we have embraced lies at one time or another. Help us to recognize them for what they are in light of your truth, to forsake them to repent, and to pursue righteousness that only that we can only find in Christ Jesus. Thank you for the precious gifts you’ve given us in Scripture and your armor that you’ve given us to.
To fortify us in our spiritual battle day by day, help us to engage, to truly wrestle, to bring you honor and glory. We pray these things in Jesus name. Amen.
Well, many weeks ago, actually it’s months ago now. We we took this jump into a study of demons, trying to to take a look at their origins. Where did they come from and what do they do? You know, really trying to understand who are they. Much of this exercise has been a lesson in simply trying to to become better stewards of God’s word.
Being better equipped in handling God’s Word and being able to say at times, and I’m not sure about this precisely, but I know what I need to know because God has given it to me and in God’s Word. And we’re going to focus on that some more today as we continue our study and and close our study in regard to to pursuing understanding demons better.
So let’s go ahead and and read where we began here in in Luke 8 to refresh ourselves. And and there’s really a picture here of what we’re looking at today as well, beginning in Luke 8, verse 26. Then they sailed to the country of the Gatterines, which is opposite Galilee. And when he stepped out on the land, there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time, and he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me. For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, for had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds that was, and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
Jesus asked him saying, What is your name? And he said legion, because many demons had entered him and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now I heard of many swine was feeding there on the mountain, so they begged him that he would permit them to enter them and he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
That’s that’s really all we need for this morning as we contemplate the activity of demons and in Christ ministry here, one of the things that is often done is to take this as an example of what we should do, that we ask for the names of demons and and we see that in all sorts of circles that this is one of the things that we’re supposed to do in casting out demons. Again, this is descriptive of what the King of Glory did.
This isn’t a prescription for how we’re supposed to do things. We need to be very careful when we consider things like that. We cannot duplicate the work of Christ. He has absolute power and we don’t. That’s not been given to us. So we want to be very careful in our thought process and try to find what kind of prescription are we given in regard to how we deal with demons. Now, we talked before about the protection against demons. We talked about the unbelievers.
And and what is it? Is there anything that they can do to protect themselves from demon possession? And the obvious answer, of course, was to stop being an unbeliever, which is the ultimate protection. But we also took a look at at the what seems to be a pattern of demonic activity being more prevalent among the worship of idols and among Pagan practices. So it seems to indicate that even unbelievers, if they will keep themselves from.
The presence of this idol worship that the Pagan worship, the worship of what very well may be demonic idols, that that that may very well help them to avoid being possessed by demons. Of course, that’s no guarantee. The only guarantee is to be in Christ Jesus, to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And we talked about how believers defend against demonic influences Paul warns against.
Partaking of idle sacrifices, disobedience, we talked about, can promote immorality both in ourselves and it can also promote it in one another, as, as we saw last week, we need to know God’s word in order to protect against the the doctrines of demons. We need to pursue Christ, fortifying ourselves with the armor that He’s provided and the humble walk of obedience.
Defies the selfish and proud kind of pseudo wisdom that embraces a a demonic worldview. One thing that that has become abundantly clear in this battle is that we are nowhere exhorted to to go to the offensive. In the the pursuit of demons, we’re no match for Satan.
But we can minister to those who are effective. We’re given a ministry to do, and that’s what we’re going to take a look at. Consider a few things here. One thing is if someone is possessed and we’ve hit on this before the condition, their condition is incredibly grievous. There’s a person inside there that is being controlled. Their minds are largely controlled by the indwelling demon in a certain aspect, their bodies.
Are likely being ravaged by the effects of being possessed by a demon. Other bodies can be abused in many ways as well through the the various physical acts the demons subject them to. We see meant much of this in the New Testament. Now in regard to how to minister to them then casting out demons, there are several schools of thought. We’ve hit on these a little bit too.
Talking about the sensationalism of exorcism and how that’s put together and and how that very well may be a demonic doctrine leading people astray this ideas. One of the ideas states that only priests who are specifically trained can exercise demons. This kind of relegates it to some type of magical spell and involves rituals that relate more to witchcraft and sorcery really, than Christianity, and there’s no biblical warrant for it.
They will try to make formulas to accomplish their craft. Along these lines, it’s also perceived that there’s a spiritual gift that could be casting out of demons that can be exercised at will. Now this idea has a little bit of biblical warrant. Again, we need to be careful and how we work through this in First Corinthians 12/9.
We find that one of the gifts of the spirit is the gifts of healings. It is plural there. Sometimes the word here for healing is used for being saved. Most of the time though, it refers to a physical healing.
But we also see in the Gospels that that it is associated, The word itself is associated with with a casting out of demons, because that is part of the healing and it we don’t know if the focus there in the mind of the writer was necessarily focused more on the physical aspect of the healing with the spiritual ramification or what. But but on a physical level it is appropriate. And it’s equally appropriate on a spiritual level because they are being healed spiritually.
So. So it’s possible that the gifts of healings could could include the casting out of demons. It isn’t focused on that specifically, but it could be included there. We we are not. We can’t be positive in regard to that. Now in in verse 10, First Corinthians 12:10, we we have the gift of working miracles, literally the the workings of powers.
Depending on what translation you have, you might have something like that. I think most of them talk about the works of miracles or workings of miracles. Again, we have the word Dunamis. We’ve talked about this before, that this is a power that comes from God, and this is evidenced in many of the miracles and in the raising of the dead and smiting with blindness. It’s being practiced not just by Jesus, but by the apostles as well.
So the word power here is associated with with the casting out of demons. In Luke 436. Jesus casts out a demon with power. Jesus gave the 12 power to cast out demons in Luke 9/1. And as we talked about before, Paul’s casting out of the demon and Ephesus involved power. This dunamis this power from God. However the phrase works of power.
Is never used in associated with in association with, with demon possession or are casting them out. So we can’t really point to that as being a gift for casting out demons. But we can understand why people would come to that conclusion. It’s it’s used of the miracles of Jesus, but it’s not used for casting out demons. So so this idea of a gift of casting out demons has.
Biblical validity. It’s not clear, but but even if it’s true that the part of the thing that we have to remind ourselves of is that it’s clearly Apostolic in. In other words, contrary to to much of the sensationalism witnessed today in in churches, we can’t claim this gift is normative in our church. We’re in our time, and if some attempt to maintain this tie.
There are things they have to work through that they have to take it in total. The the casting out of demons along these lines is a result of a healing. It’s tied to healing that it it’s not the focus of the healing, it accompanies the healing of the body. So just as these healings ended with the last of the Apostolic witness, so did any gift for casting out demons. And if someone wants to claim that they have this gift, then they need to be able to heal people physically.
This needs to be something Evidence. It’s all part of the Apostolic testimony, validating their message before the cannon was closed. So we need to be careful that we don’t embrace that. This is something that we can do today, the same as the apostles, and we want to be careful too, because this doesn’t mean that God cannot heal. We’re not saying that God does not heal today. There’s a difference between being healed and having a gift of healing.
We might pray for someone and see a miraculous healing for that person. We we hear of these things. Many of us have seen things happen or witnessed. You know how someone’s life changed physically and all we can attribute it to is the IS God manifesting His glory in their lives. That’s not the same thing as having a gift of healing that can be exercised at will, where you can put your hand on someone or if they are under your shadow, or if they touch something that you touched, which is what we see in the.
Apostolic Times And There’s simply no biblical evidence that God gives any of these signed gifts to men today. He gives us miracles, but but not the gifts for men to exercise miracles at will. And and we also want to keep in mind that that the greatest miraculous gift that we received is through the work of Christ Jesus.
We want all these sensational things. We see this in the church, these experiences built up. But the greatest miracle is to to take a hardest stone and break it, turn it into to clay and form it. To turn a hater of God into a lover of God and men. To break the hardest man and bring him to his knees and tears, To humble the proud and exalt the meek.
This is the greatest miraculous gift of all. This is the gift of salvation and God has given us all the ability to be a part of that ministry through the the faithful proclamation of the gospel. We need to keep that central in our thought process because this is our greatest battlefront Now another line of thought in casting out, Demon says that you must somehow get the name of every demon. I mentioned that earlier.
Get the name of every demon inhabiting the hosting and cast them out by name, commanding them to to leave in the name of Jesus. So what you do is you you sit there and you talk to this possessed person and you just keep asking for the name of the demon and you cast that one out and then if there are more, you keep doing this. I have a pastor friend who tried this one time.
He really didn’t know what to do, and this is one of the part of the training he had received. So he sat there doing it, and every time he would meet with this person, he would cast out a whole bunch. He had this tablet full of the names of demons he was supposedly casting out, and after a while he realized, you know, I can’t know if they’re telling me the truth in regard to their name. I can’t know if they’re really leaving. They could just be using a different, could be 1, using a different name each time and changing the way they’re addressing me, or he just didn’t know he realized that he was.
Basically chasing his tail there. He wasn’t going to get anywhere this way. It gave him no true power. And now related to this, there are those who say you have to speak to the demon came me commanding it to come out in Jesus name. And this does seem to have more credibility as we look through scripture as we’re trying to grasp and understand the truth here now.
Some of people are very sensational about it, and we want to be careful. If someone’s drawing attention to themselves in regard to casting out demons, that’s definitely a red flag. This isn’t something that should draw attention to man. It should always have a focus on Christ Jesus and who he is. And some some see every negative influence in their lives as having a demonic origin.
Anything that happens if they have a wrong thought, they’re they start chasing demons. If someone cuts them off, they rebuke a demon. They hear someone say something wrong, they rebuke them as demonic. Anything from a broken nail to a broken car is a demonic influence and must be rebuked from a person in sin and cutting them off in traffic, whatever. Everything is blamed on demonic influences.
It’s as though man weren’t culpable for his own transgression but a victim of demonic activity. Our memory verse this morning obviously refutes that we have all sin and falls short of the glory of God. We are all culpable for our own actions and we need there’s really no growing in the grace of Christ Jesus if we don’t take responsibility for our own sin. And that’s basically what this is, is blaming our sin on others.
Yet as we contemplate how these demons were rebuked by by the apostles, we want to know is this something that’s normative for today? It’s what we read about regarding the works of the apostles. We see them say to leave in Jesus name. But maybe that’s the point. The apostles had the power of Christ in a way we don’t.
It’s the power of Christ that gave the the the apostles the the power to to do this. It wasn’t theirs inherently. It was because of Christ. So it allowed for this and and provided this in a way that is not normative for us today. They did not have the entire cannon as we have today. Their word was being validated by their miracles. We don’t need that today.
Now, one of the things that we face that’s very challenging is that people use their experiences, their perceptions, as justification for their doctrine, for what they’re thinking, for what they receive as truth. There are many experiences that are presented out there in regard to demonic activity. I remember reading one missionary.
South America, who was claiming that many had been raised from the dead, that this had happened, that that had happened, all these healings, it seemed overly sensational. He was claiming it that he had done all these things. So obviously there were red flags that went up because of that. But he’s claiming that these things are normative, that this is part of his everyday ministry. But The thing is, man can say whatever he wants. We can, We can perceive things.
However, we really want to we can twist things in our minds to mean anything we want them to mean. And so often, man interprets Scripture through the lens of experience. And so in doing so, he’s making many assumptions. He’s assuming that he’s rightly understood his experience, that his experience, what he’s observing in that has been rightly discerned, and that that he has a perfect grasp of what’s true about it.
And he’s assuming that his conclusion is solid enough to inform him in regard to what Scripture must say. We see the challenges of this in the downgrade controversy of Spurgeon’s time. We see this in in evolution, in the imposition of pseudoscience upon the teaching of the Bible.
As though science somehow needs to inform us, and we’ve seen some very, very godly men, some very strong theologians, cave to the pressure of this throughout the history. We see it in our days in in probably in ways that we don’t even realize. We’re probably embracing thoughts that we think are just so normative, and yet they’re not according to God’s word.
Something for to examine ourselves in regard to It’s so easy to get caught up in psychobabble things. We have sayings that people think, wow, that must be true. God helps those who help themselves. You know that these things can permeate our thoughts to the degree that we really think this is what God said and this is very dangerous ground and all that we do.
Known as our practice and all that. We think that in regard to our faith we need to be informed by scripture first. That’s where we have to start. The cry of sola scriptura from the Reformation was for a reason. Because the Pope had imposed and the the Catholic Church had imposed so much on the faith, it wasn’t true.
And the reformers found that if they started with Scripture, that could inform them the truth and expose the lies that had been built up in these false doctrines. Almost inevitably, if we strive to to discern the truth through our perceptions or experiences, first we’ll stumble in regard to the truth as we have a perception we need to step back and say what does How does God’s word inform me and regard?
To what I think I’m experiencing, or to what I’m observing here, how does God’s Word inform me in regard to that so I can understand that through the lens of God’s Word. To go the other way around means that we will miss something, we will embrace a lie, and then we’ll justify it by abusing Scripture so that it fits what we think we’re we’re observing and or through vain philosophical posturing, will embrace something that’s a lie. And this is.
Unfortunately, normative in our churches today, the exception is the church that stands firm on God’s Word 1st and says even though you’re observing that whether you think it’s true or not, no matter the evidence that you can, you can present present regarding it if it refutes scripture. If it’s contradicting scripture, then it’s a lie. Then your perception is wrong. Your understanding is just simple, simply wrong. Meryl Unger has a helpful statement regarding this.
Says of course, doctrine must always have precedent over experience. Nor can experience ever furnish a basis for biblical interpretation. Yet if consistent experiences clash with an interpretation, the only inference possible is that there is something wrong with either the experience itself or the interpretation of Scripture which runs counter to it. Certainly the inspired word of God never contradicts valid experience.
The sincere truth seeker must be prepared to revamp his interpretation, to bring it into conformity with facts as they are. In other words, we just we simply can’t discern facts through our experiences alone in regard to doctrine, in regard to the truth that that Scripture addresses.
And truth can’t be dictated according to our experiences. Otherwise there is if we do that, if we take experience first to examine whether or not Scripture is true, then there is no virgin birth, there is no resurrection. There’s no absolute truth. In fact, lies are OK, we can bend God’s commands, and the ends justifies the means.
Now we think, well, it’s not that bad, but it’s a slippery slope and that’s the logical conclusion. We tend to justify our sins through our vain philosophy. We had a dear friend in one of our churches years ago who used to say she was so sweet, but she had this one thing that she would do often. This isn’t gossip because it’s true she was a sweet lady, but that’s a lie and and she bought into it.
And you know what followed? But you know what? I stood there and listened. I was just as guilty as she was. So we need to start with Scripture. What does Scripture say? If we start there and we build our understanding from there, then these other things start to Slough off and we recognize the lies.
Of the world around us. We have to filter our experiences through the lens of God, work, God’s word, and we must interpret our experiences as they are illumined by scripture. And this is this has so much bearing on our study right now. This is, this is foremost in our battle against demonic forces because there’s so much teaching out there. They say this is what you got to do. This is the way it’s done. Da da da da da. And they have no biblical warrant for it.
It’s God’s word that fortifies us against demonic influence, and it’s only God’s word that can rescue a possessed soul. And that’s where we want to. That’s where we want to go in our study. We’re trying to understand this. What do we do in regard to someone who’s demon possessed? And this brings us to the only true advice I know to give regarding how to minister to someone demon possessed. I’ve looked at different.
Perspectives on this I’ve tried to understand what people are teaching, and there’s just a bunch of stuff out there. But what does God’s Word really say in regard to this? First, there are four ways that exorcisms are misinterpreted. The possession itself may be misinterpreted. It could be something else. We’re capable of indescribable sin without demonic influences.
And it could be a physical malady that’s causing some type of manifestation that that might appear to us to be demonic. The demons themselves might be misleading those involved. They might deliberately leave for a time lending credibility to a false exorcism. They could. They could be setting the whole thing up. Also, the power of suggestion.
Can accomplish a great deal. Somebody is is having an issue in their life and someone else says to them that must be demon possession. So they buy into it and they start manifesting it more and more that this appearance of being possessed. This gives them a victim mentality and erases their culpability for their own sin. And this last one’s really related to what we know to be true in regard to casting out demons.
And that’s it. It’s not really an exorcism. The the person, somebody prays for divine intervention, for the person possessed, the victims healed of signs of possession. And whether true or not, the person didn’t really exercise the demon because they went to God. They sought the power of God to work against the demon. And so that’s where we want to go next. That’s where we need to be focusing.
With these people, there’s a recognition of the need of Christ to work. There’s there’s not a claim of power of their own. There’s not a formula they may humbly command the demon to leave. There might be something they’re saying in in Jesus name, I command you to leave.
Just wondering if it’ll work. I don’t know if that would have any effect at all. I really don’t. I don’t see biblical mandate for us to do that. There’s there’s no prescription for us to do that. It could be that it could have some effect, it could be that it wouldn’t, but we can’t be guaranteed that it would have any lasting effect. The demon leaves the person still unsafe so the demon can come back.
Again, that you know the person’s heart has a lot to do with this. Are they saying it because of who Christ is, not because of who they are? Are they invoices of Christ? Are they focusing on the power of Christ? And again, I might or it might not work, I don’t know. But the true power that we can know about removing a demon can only come through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is the only surefire way to make sure that a demon cannot possess somebody.
And it’s only found in one place, the the The formula, if you will, is only found through the truth we find in Scripture. Scripture itself attest to that. First Timothy 316 and 17, one of the precious passages that we go to time and time again, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped.
For every good work, is the casting out of demons a good work? Then where do we go to be equipped to do so? Do we go to the world and all these formulas that don’t even exist in scripture? Or do we go to scripture itself to be informed? Can man be complete if he’s demon possessed? Can he be thoroughly equipped for every good work? Well, clearly not, and yet in so much of our practice.
We can deny this wondrous truth. We have to start with scripture in order to be equipped for every good work, and in doing so, we can be completed. We can be thoroughly equipped for every good work. So how do we how do we minister God’s word to to someone who’s demon possessed? Again, we’re not given clear instruction on how to cast out demons.
We’ve we’ve questioned contemporary practices. We’ve exposed charlatans. But what do we do? This is another interesting thing for us to ponder. The fact that the Bible does not give us specific instruction actually informs us a great deal. What does it tell us? If it were vital to our walks, then we would be given the prescription.
If this is something we needed to know how to cast out a demon chapter, such and such verse, so and so. If. If we were supposed to do it, then we’d have prescription on how to go about it because we are promised in 2nd, tenthly 316 and 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Scripture is sufficient for that scripture and scripture alone. We don’t need anything else.
So the fact that God didn’t give it to us tells us a great deal, and about in regard to what we need to know. As Alex Conia states, critics of this viewpoint have repeatedly called this a weak argument from science, from silence. An argument from silence. It truly is the given the claims that Scripture makes for itself, such an argument can hardly be called weak.
This is a silence that roars. So what do we do? There are four things we can rely on if we’re administered to anyone. Demon possessed? Actually, I have 3 three things. First thing we need to know God’s word. What does this say? What does it mean?
And and how does this affect the way I live? If we don’t know it, then we can’t be thoroughly equipped for every good work. We need to know what God’s word says, and we need to start there in addressing every part of our lives. Next, we need to pray. This is something that that we neglect as well. It’s the power of God that remove a demon.
It’s the power of God that anything righteous can be accomplished whatsoever. We can’t do any of it. We are fully reliant upon that. And in prayer we are acknowledging that we’re fortifying that we’re depending on God. And then in regard to our specific ministry in this person’s life, we need to focus not on the demon. It’s not the demon that we need to deal with. We’re going after the person, after the soul.
We minister the gospel to the person possessed. The gospel is their only hope. If we use some incantation to supposedly remove the demon, then we’ve really not accomplished a whole lot. They’ll clean house and then the demon comes back later with seven of his friends, and they’re worse than they began.
It’s the power of Christ within a person that will effectually change them, that will truly heal them. It’s the power of the gospel that changes lives, and once the Holy Spirit resides in them, the demon can’t. It’s a done deal. They are sealed for all eternity. This is where the battle lines are drawn. They’re not drawn between the believer and the demon, they’re drawn between the possessed person and the gospel.
This, this individual person, this eternal soul, and their relationship with their Creator, they have to see their sin. They must see the eternal ramifications. So we speak to the person. We proclaim the gospel to the person so that they can know that they’re at enmity with God. They need to understand that there’s nothing that they can do, and they need to grasp the reality that Christ has done everything.
That it’s only by his power that they can made be made whole. And it goes so much further than being relieved of the demon. It’s an eternal healing. If they believe the demon has no choice, it has to flee. Not because of who we are, not because of who they are, not because of our ingenuity, but because Jesus is truly the king and reigns on high. And because Because.
Belisle cannot have fellowship with Christ. Wickedness, cannot sit at the same table with righteousness because nobody can snatch anyone from Jesus’s hands because he receives all that the Father gives him. And all of these promises are round up in the gospel. And this is how we minister to those who would be demon possessed. Now I’ve never seen to my knowledge, I’ve never seen anyone demon possessed. I’ve.
I’ve seen Manson in videos. Maybe he is. You know, I sure wouldn’t put it past that. There are others that we we see these things, we read stories. But to my knowledge, where I actually knew that someone was possessed, I’ve never been certain that I could know that. But you know what? That’s OK, because we should be ministering the gospel to everyone, regardless of what we think their condition is in regard to these things.
Because that is man’s only hope. That’s man’s only hope, no matter what he’s possessed by, whether he’s possessed by Islam, whether he’s possessed by Jehovah’s Witness teaching, whether he’s possessed by Mormon teaching, whatever he’s being taught outside of the gospel is a lie in regard to salvation, in regard to the condition of his soul. And so that’s what we must address. We minister the gospel to everyone.
That they might be saved and seal for the day of judgment. Let’s pray our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the truth of Christ Jesus. That he is our only sure means of salvation, That it is only by your power that we can know eternity. That we can know Christ, that we can be protected against the.
Demonic realm against the forces of darkness that surround us. Help us God, to engage in the battle. Help us God, to be fortified against the evil one. Help us God, to forge ahead for your glory, knowing that it’s only through you and by your power that we can be overcomers and we pray all these things God.
In recognition of of your absolute ability and our inability and our utter dependence upon you and for your glory in Jesus name. Amen.
This will wrap up our our study on demons today. Believe it or not, CS Lewis, I might have shared this quote before, I’m not sure. I don’t. I couldn’t remember sharing it before. He made an excellent observation regarding demons that that’s just as true today as it was in his day. There are two equal and opposite errors which our race can fall.
Into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence, the other is to believe and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist and magician with the same delight. I read a quote of an unbeliever that was really it was permeated with ironic error.
He claims that the devil is merely A trivial personification, hardly adequate to symbolize the mystery of evil. Of course, my question to him would be to define evil. How can one make such a statement and yet still be an unbeliever? How can evil exist in the absence of God? Simply put, without God there is no solid.
Timeless definition of good and without an anchor of goodness, there’s no test for what’s truly evil. Now we’ve already discussed the reality of demons. We’ve we’ve taken a look how look at how men use them as an excuse for their own sin, and often become so enamored with demonology that they forsake good Christology. Their theology is actually becomes a philosophy centered on the devil.
And has devices rather than the glory of the gospel and central to their understanding. And maybe the the best example of how much attention should be given to demons is characterized and how we see our Savior deal with them. How many times do we actually see Christ address a demon?
We know he rebukes them on many occasions, but unless I missed another incident, this is the only one in which he actually engages in any conversation whatsoever. Of course, now we have to ask ourselves, can we mimic the Son of God and in his exercise of divine authority and power? We’ve talked about this before. This is an example of what Christ did. This is not a prescription for what man is to do.
If this isolated incident where we see Christ address demons is our only example, with no instruction in doing so whatsoever, should we think that we should be about this sort of business on a regular basis? Jesus doesn’t spend much time and discussion with demons. He doesn’t enter into long discourse, long discourse with them, and even what he says here.
Seems to be more for the benefit of the disciples than for anything else. So let’s read our passage here in Luke 8 as we begin our study of the confrontation between the the Gatterine and the Galilean Luke 8 verse 26. Then they sailed to the country of the Gatterines which is opposite Galilee, and when he stepped out on the land, there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time.
And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, son of the Most High God, I beg you, do not torment me.
For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, for had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, what is your name? And he said legion, because many demons had entered him, and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss.
Now I heard of swine of many Swine was feeding there on the mountain, so they begged him that he would permit them to enter them, and he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who had fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened and came to Jesus.
And found the man from whom the demons had departed sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it, told them by what means he who had been demon possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the gatherings asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear, and he got into the boat and returned.
Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you. And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. So we see in the beginning of this passage that this gathering is being controlled by the demons. He’s demonized. He’s demon possessed.
And and Jesus arrives here in in in the country of the gatherings and some of your Bibles will say Garra scenes. It’s a textual discrepancy between some of the the texts we have it’s insignificant and that it they represent the same area on the opposite side of the.
The sea of Galilee from the area of Galilee itself. Now remember here the context. He’s just preached the parable of the sowers. He’s shown that he’s the master of the storm as they crossed the sea. And now they’re landing on the opposite shore of Galilee, on the on the Eastern Shore of the sea. Here. Now this gathering is controlled by demons and it’s interesting to note that in that Matthew in.
Discussing this incident mentions 2 men. Mark and Luke do not. Of course, Matthew out of the three was actually there, so this detail would stand out in his mind. Mark only mentions one and and it’s apparent that one of the men dominated because it’s it’s one of the men that’s focused on in all three chapters. Perhaps the other one was a follower, maybe he was was newly possessed or something. We really don’t know. We just know that the focus is on this one that that is inhabited by.
What we we see is Legion and his His condition is terribly grievous. We have to remember we have to possibly a husband, possibly a father. We don’t know. We have no other. We have no way of knowing these things. We don’t know his age. But this is somebody’s child. He’s related to a family somewhere.
His value as a human being is no less significant than anyone of ours. He is a fellow image bearer of God, and this condition that he is in is terrible. He’s been possessed for a long time, and he’s been possessed by many demons. He’s running around without any clothes on and and he’s living among the dead in the tombs.
His state of of uncleanness is momentous, and his confession is as well. He falls down before Jesus. Here he recognizes Jesus for who he is. He He calls him the Son of the Most High God, God the Son. Interesting. Here there is no power struggle. These demons are not going to do battle with Christ. They wouldn’t dare.
Are clearly subservient to him, and even though there are many, even their combined strength is nothing in the face of the Son of God. Ask What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God. In verse 28 and in Matthew 8 we see the additional question. Have you come here to torment us before the time?
In other words, they they knew their eschatology, they knew what was coming eventually, that their days were numbered. And we see here that there is an appointed time for Jesus to judge demons, and it’s almost seems like an accusation. Are are you bending the rules? Are you are you changing prophecy? Are you going to supersede the established pattern before it’s been accomplished and they begged for mercy?
I beg you, do not torment me. And we want to be careful to not miss the fact that he cried out. This is a loud cry, a loud voice. He it is literally a great or loud voice here. Do not torment me. So they’re begging for mercy from God the Son.
It goes on to say that that the ferocity of this demon possessed man could not be chained by men, for he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, for had often seized him and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles, and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. So we see here this superhuman strength from this demonized man.
To break the bonds to to to break free of these men And the demons wouldn’t submit to the constraints of men and their their their control of this poor man needs seems to be absolute. They they broke his bonds and fled into the wilderness. And there is a parallel for us to consider here, that the fact that that we constrain it can constrain our flesh doesn’t mean that we can shackle our spirits.
In this case, these demons snap the bonds of the flesh, bringing their their host for more insidious plans. But doesn’t that affect doesn’t this affect us as well? We we try to make rules to confine us. We we attempt to build rituals to keep us from sin.
Not that we shouldn’t do things to keep us from sin, to put these guards up. But sometimes we fail to to truly strengthen our spirit in the process. To rely on on these legalistic impositions that we we place around us. To to look like righteousness rather than truly. To be righteous within our heart. So that we’re strengthened, so our spirits themselves are strengthened rather than our flesh.
This is a means that we we can adopt, that we can very easily fall into it. And what it comes down to is we’re looking for shortcuts to godliness rather than pursuing our walks with Christ that will be so that we’ll be strengthened in him and throughout this passage. That is the theme, the strength of Christ, reliance upon Christ. This is the crux of it.
Just as this man’s plight can can only find relief in the perfect work of Christ, it is only by the power of Christ that that the spiritual bonds of our own wickedness can be overcome. And just as we are no match for these demons, so are the demons. Even less of a match for Christ. So we are fully reliant upon Christ to have the strength to overcome the adversity we face in this world.
Now this gathering may have been controlled by these demons, but the Galilean was in control of the demons confronted by by Christ. We see what these demons desire from him. They they plead with Him first. We see their pervasion, if you will. I’ve got a few peas here.
They are legion. When asked what their name is, they response. The response is we are legion because there are many. Now in the Jewish mind, a legion was absolutely formidable. It was up to about 6000 soldiers, including 100 or in addition to that there would be 120 horsemen. It was an organized unit. They moved as one.
They were precise, and they were relentless in their precision. How many was, how many of these demons were truly within legion? We can’t know for sure, but it’s obviously a sizable number, and we’ll get a better idea of that in a moment. Here next, we see that they there’s a panic among them, if you will. They beg him not to send them out into the abyss.
This is the abyss, also rendered the bottomless pit. There’s a boundless aspect to this, and this word is also used by ancient Greeks to refer to a gulf or a chasm where the dead descend and where demons dwell. There’s much we there’s more we don’t know about the Abyss than what we actually do.
But it does give us a little bit of understanding in regard to to eschatology as well. Remember in our previous study as we studied the fallen angels that they’re, they’re kept under darkness as we see in Jude 6 and until the the judgment of the great day. And in second Peter 24, we see where they’re cast in Tartarus to be reserved for judgment. These are the fallen angels. And so that fit our study there and we can see how that complements the study that we went through before.
Now, regardless of how well we understand the exact nature of the Abyss, it was clearly undesirable to these demons. They wanted nothing to do with it. There is there is something about that that that they abhorred, that they were afraid of. It’s obviously something that that they wanted nothing to do with. So they they offer an alternative. Verse 32. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain.
So they begged him that he would permit them to enter them, and he permitted them. This is a large herd. How many? Luke just says many. But Mark answers the question for us. And Mark 513 And and at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine. There were about 2000 and the herd ran.
Down the steep place into the sea they they ran violently down the steep place and into the sea and drown. So we know that there were at least 2000 of these pigs, which means there had to have been at least 2000 demons. We don’t know how many demons would enter one pig, but obviously there had to be 2000 of them for the whole herd to run down violently down into the sea. So this man was in habit. He was in dwelt with.
At least 2000 demons. That is unfathomable. We cannot comprehend that unless we’ve been around something like this, and even then it boggles the mind. So these demons beg Jesus to send them into a nearby herd of pigs. They would prefer this over the dry places that we studied about before that they wander around when they’re.
Outside of a host, the demons plead with Jesus to permit them to enter these swine, and Jesus gives his permission. And we have to recognize how spectacular what happens next is. These pigs are being fed by the herders, whatever you call people that herd pigs. So here they are, they’re all of a sudden they’re they’re they stop eating and they all.
And one mad dash start running towards the water down the hill. They’re out of control. And the emphasis on the verb here is a continuous action. They violently pursued running into the water. They rushed violently down into the water, all of them in mass. And this also tells us a little bit about the value of of one man in the eyes of God.
Now, there are those around us who would consider that these pigs are just as important as the man. But the pigs are not image bearers of God, only man is. And and these people, some of whom would would teach this type of thing that are very much into evolutionary hypothesis, feel pretty strongly about that until it’s one of them.
Or maybe their own child. But here we see God doesn’t even blink. Christ does not step back and weigh the value of pigs compared to man. 2000 pigs compared to one man. The value is not comparable. The image bears are the crown of God’s creation. Pigs are pigs. They’re considered unclean even.
So now imagine yourself in the place of these herdsmen. You’re feeding your pigs and you’ve done this 100 times before. You’re just doing what you’ve done so many times before, You know what you’re doing, and all of a sudden they all just kind of freak out and go rushing headlawn into the lake and drown. They’re all gone in a matter of moments, so.
They do what we would probably do, go and tell everyone this is what happened. Our pigs are all gone. Maybe the people that they’re telling have a shared interest in these animals, We don’t know. But then ask yourself what you would do if someone came in that you knew and said all our pigs just ran into the water and drowned.
Chances are we would be interested in knowing what happened. We would want to check it out. In this case, they did. They went down in mass to see what was going on. They they went down to the lake. Now, now in the life of this man, notice this string of uncleanness. Of course, being demonized would render him unclean. Running around naked would be considered unclean in the eyes of the Jews. Living among the dead of courses would be.
To be considered unclean. We read in verse 29 that the spirit within him was unclean. And then it’s interesting how these demons are sent into unclean animals. Even their death here is more akin to the unclean killing of strangling than it is to the the quick and bloody death that God commands in regard to animals.
And we want to contemplate those things, because the result of Christ’s ministry in this man’s life has the complete opposite effect. See, the people arrive at the lake and they find this demoniac. He’s cleansed. Last time they saw him, he was breaking his bonds and running naked out into the wilderness. This guy was a mess. Now they show up and he has clothes on.
He’s he’s in his right mind. He’s he’s in control now. He’s able to think rationally. He’s sitting here, He’s no longer living among the dead. His transformation is is complete. Now the question to ask ourselves as we see this transformation taking place before our eyes in God’s word.
Is our condition any worse than his? Do we somehow think that our sins and and our problems are too overwhelming? Is Christ insufficient to handle our burdens? Is this real? Are we truly looking to Christ? Are we failing to trust Him to be who He says He is?
Are we trusting in his understanding and his power and his authority in his work? Are we attempting to add to it, or do it on our own? Or do we think that our circumstances are just too overwhelming? Christ can’t handle Now, cognitively speaking, interacting with one another, all of us would probably say no, no, no, we trust Christ.
But I’m not asking you what your answer would be verbally What is it in your life? What is it in your heart? What is it in in what you truly believe in the depths of your soul? How are you living? Are you living according to this kind of faith, this trust in Christ, that he is in control of all the maladies in your life? Which I would, I would venture, are probably significantly less than being possessed by 2000 demons?
See, the work of Christ is complete. The soul can surely be restored completely. You don’t need to bear the burden of your sin. And you we can completely be free in Christ. Now, this miracle that these people witnessed, even though they didn’t see it happen, they just saw the results of it. It was so powerful that they were afraid.
They were scared. They they didn’t seek retribution for the pigs. They just asked him to leave. Go away. That is everyone except the man who’d been healed. This is an incredibly tender moment. We see right here between Jesus and this man. And again, we can miss these things if we’re not careful. This man is healed. This.
This. He’s been in this condition for a long time now. He’s able to sit there, clothed in his right mind and reflect on what has just happened to him. He has been made whole. We don’t know what a long time is here. This could be decades. This could be years. We really don’t understand the implications of what a long time is here. But it is a long time.
And he’s grateful he’s been freed. Moments ago he was under the influence of demons. He he wanted nothing to do with Jesus, and now he wants nothing more than to be with Jesus. In verse 38, the man from whom the demons had departed begged him that he might be with him. This is the response of a man saved by the grace of God. And Jesus’s response to him is similar to his response to us.
Jesus sent him away saying, Return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you. And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. It wasn’t his time to go be with Jesus, yet Jesus had a Commission for him. Go and proclaim the gospel. Share the good news. Tell everybody what God has done for you.
Shouldn’t this be our greatest yearning as well to be with Christ? But it’s not time yet. Yes, He’s with us now anyway, but in a physical sense and being able to cast our eyes upon him, that is a yearning that should be within the heart of every Christian. But he has work for us, and ultimately our time on the world is short.
And her gratitude should be great. We should be doing just as this man did, proclaiming the good news to those around us now. Now notice here also that Jesus, what Jesus told him, told him to to tell what great things God had done for him. And what does he do? He proclaims what great things Jesus has done for him.
There’s no apology here. The the word God and the word Jesus are synonymous in this passage. Jesus tells them him to tell them about God and he goes and tells them about Jesus. Another wonderful testimony and very clear testimony of the Deity of Christ. Are we resting in the sufficiency of Christ? Are we proclaim? Are we recognizing the great things He has done for us?
Our proclamation reflects our gratitude. We’ve talked about it before. An ungrateful Christian is a contradiction. It’s an oxymoron. So in a reflection, let us be like this man, yearning to be with Christ, yearning for him and proclaiming him boldly until the day we get to see him.
Is he truly our treasure? And just like these gatherings, as we proclaim, cries Summer will reject this freeing truth with fear. Fear that they’ll have to change, Fear that they’ll lose something that they love more. Let us not fall into the trap of.
Loving friendship or loving anything in this world more than we love Christ. Because to truly love people is to be burdened for their soul more than their friendship. And rather than doing like these katarines did and sending Jesus off in the boat, maybe be like this demoniac, he’s been freed and just yearned to be with Christ and proclaim him boldly.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you, God, for Jesus Christ. Thank you for the blessings we can know, the freedom we can know for His absolute power in our lives. Help us to rest in that, to rest in the knowledge that all good things come from you.
That your strength supersedes all else, that you are in control, that as yours, nothing can happen to us. To snatch us out of your hands. Help us to be faithful God and to trust in you in all things, and to proclaim our gratitude to those around us for your glory. In the name of our great Savior, Amen.