Theme: Sons of God (Part 1)
(Key verses: Gen 4:25-26; Gen 5:1-32)
The generation of the first fleshly Adam is a shadow of the true generation whom God is going to bring forth in the last Adam, Jesus Christ (Matt 19:30). The flesh and all outward things also serve as an adversary or opposition to our spiritual development and refinement – until all fleshly things will finally pass away (Col 2:16-17; Heb 8:5; Heb 10:1; Matt 4:16; Gal 5:17; Isa 48:10; Zec 13:9). These spiritual principals are given to us right in the beginning in the book of Genesis. The first earthy Adam is therefore an essential part of the revelation of Jesus.
1Cor 15:45-47 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Cain, the firstborn of Adam and Eve, killed his brother Abel and after the death of Abel, God gave them another son:
Gen 4:25-26 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
The name “Seth” means “appointed” by God to be “instead of Abel” who represented the seed of the woman who was killed by the seed of the serpent – represented by Cain (Gen 4:8):
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
In the generation of Seth it is noted that men began “to call upon the name of the Lord” which links with God’s called out and elected ones (Greek: “ekklēsia”) in this age or dispensation where Christ is building His church (Matt 16:18; 1Pet 2:4-9; Eph 3:2). The “ekklēsia” are the ones who spiritually recognize the “Name” of Jesus as being His true doctrine and they have the inward desire to associate with that “Name” and with others who have the same “one mind” (John 17:6; 1John 5:13; Rev 22:4; Rom 15:6). These can rightly be called “the sons of God” knowing also that the word “son” is gender-neutral in its spiritual application (Gen 6:2-4; Eph 1:5; Php 2:15). The theme of the sons of God is foundational to our understanding of God’s “ekklēsia”. In this first part of this foundational theme of the sons of God, we will focus on the ten generations from Adam to Noah and see, God willing, how our own development and growth in spiritual sonship is reflected in those generations. These generations also give the positive spiritual application of the number ten. For an in depth study on the spiritual significance of the number ten, please read Mike Vinson’s study at this link:
We know that God is dragging His elect to Christ, those to whom He is giving the revelation of Jesus in this age. They focus on the spiritual application in His Word, while they also “walk honestly” in truth and wisdom “toward them that are without” (John 6:44; 3John 1:4; 1Thes 4:12; Col 4:5). The sons of God recognise that all things of the old outside world are necessary and temporary evils which serve a “very good” purpose in God’s plan (Gen 1:31; 1Cir 3:21-22; 2Cor 4:15):
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Seth therefore also gives us the type of the resurrected elect losing their first earthy lives (symbolized by Abel’s death). Seth’s generation is typifying the new resurrected life in “earnest” (or “down payment”) having still only the “holy spirit of promise”, waiting for “the adoption” and redemption from these present bodies (Rom 8:15-24; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5; Eph 1:13-14). They are those whom God appointed to suffer at the wicked hands of those whom He raised up for that purpose (Act 2:23-24; Rom 6:4). This new spiritual generation of Christ has the physical image or the likeness of the first Adam outwardly (in a body of sin), but is actually a representation of the physical body of Jesus Christ still living in flesh now (1John 4:2; 2Cor 5:14-21; Eph 5:30; Acts 9:1-4):
Gen 5:1-5 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: 4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: 5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
Physical genealogies or the celebration of physical “days, and months, and times, and years” as they do not turn back to these “beggarly elements” of the world. These things are not what the spiritual “ekklēsia” are concerned with.
Gal 4:9-10 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Neither is the genealogies written in Scripture for the purpose of just calculating dates and times and years – although there is a physical application to that. Physical genealogies have deeper spiritual meaning for those with spiritual eyes to see their inward application (Heb 7:3 Tit 3:9):
1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
The genealogy of Seth typifies how God’s elect is appointed by God to progressively come to the knowledge and understanding of their own mortality and that they are called and chosen to take possession of the spiritual life to the “praise of the glory of his [chastening] grace, wherein He has made [them] accepted in the beloved” (2Cor 5:1-2; Gal 2:20; Eph 1:6). That is in short what the generations through Seth foreshadowed as we also look deeper into the names of Seth’s generations and their meanings in Hebrew:
Adam [meaning “earthy man”],
Enos or Enosh [“mortal”; “the frailty of earthy man”; “incurable”],
Kenan or Cainan [“fixed”; “nest”; “possessor”],
Mahalaleel [“the praise of God”],
Jered or Jared [“descent” or “to descend”],
Henoch or Enoch [“dedicated”, “disciplined”, “narrow” or “consecrated”],
Methuselah [“man of dart”; “when he dies it will come” – the flood],
Lamech [“powerful”; “striker down”],
10 generations. Each name represents spiritual growth points in our own lives which also overlap each other. What is also interesting in this genealogy of Seth is that with the birth of the next generation the life of the father is split in two which indicates, among others, how we witness Christ’s testimony in us as He produces more spiritual offspring which is the fruit of the spirit in our own lives here and now (Rev 1:1-3; Gal 5:22-23). Another aspect that features prominently in this genealogy of Seth is the concept of death that is being highlighted and repeated eight times in this fifth chapter of Genesis through the phrase “…and he died” (Gen 5: 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31). This is to emphasize that God’s elect are always being made aware of the truth that the process of laying down of the earthy life is so important in gaining the growth of the “new man” and His life in us (Eph 4:24; Php 3:10-14):
Mat 10:38-39 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
A careful study of the positive spiritual meaning behind the numbers connected to the names of Seth’s generation also adds to their spiritual significance relating to our lives. The birth of Enos typifies, amongst others, our witnessing of our physical frailty. Our beloved first man is doomed and we are forced to let him go because we realise that the new spirit man comes only through the “little by little” destruction of our old man (Ex 23:30). “The eighth [or new man]…is [truly] of the seven” which is the eventual complete destruction of the foundations of the old man (Rev 17:11; 2Thess 2:3-8). That is what the name “Enos” also means – mortality of the flesh. Flesh is our incurable or fatal disease (1Cor 15:31; Gal 2:20):
Gen 5:6-8 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: 7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
The birth of Enos’s son, Cainan, typifies, amongst others, that our own understanding and acceptance of God’s judgement on His “ekklēsia” first is being settled (“fixed”) in our mind (1Pet 4:17; 1John 4:17). In this time the faith and boldness of our new man grows stronger through the process of chastening of grace (Tit 2:11-12):
Gen 5:9-11 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan [“fixed”; “nest”; “possessor”]: 10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: 11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
The birth of Mahalaleel typifies, amongst others, our praising of God as we learn to rejoice within the manifold trials and tribulations we have to endure. We learn that true worship is to give God the glory and honour “IN all things” (1Pet 4:12–17; Pro 27:21; Psalms 145–150; 2Cor 2:9; Php 4:12; Tit 2:10; 1Pet 4:11):
Gen 5:12-14 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel [praise of God – Hallelujah / Alleluia] 13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters: 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
Jared, symbolizes, amongst others, our increasing knowledge and understanding of the new mind and wisdom of God descending from heaven and our own understanding of things is revealed to be totally untrustworthy (Matt 3:16; Jas 3:15; Pro 3:5; Pro 16:25):
Gen 5:15-17 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared: 16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters: 17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
This heavenly wisdom of the kingdom of God witnesses against the flesh as God’s judgements destroy the hold of the flesh on us progressively. This is the truth which the birth of Enoch typifies in us as we are being seated with Christ in the heavens being disciplined in the “narrow” way in all our “conversation” (Eph 2:6; Matt 7:14; Php 3:20;):
Gen 5:18-20 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch [dedicated, disciplined, narrow or consecrated]: 19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
Enoch has been given special mention in the Scriptures and further details of his life are also worth looking into (Jud 1:14):
Gen 5:21-24 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah [“man of dart/spear/sword”; “when he dies it will come”; “methu” = “man” + “selah” from the root “shâlach” = “send away” = man shall be send or cast away (Jude 1:14-15)] three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
There are those who claim that this is saying that Enoch did not die although it is clear in the book of Hebrews that all the Old Testament people of faith died – which included Enoch:
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated [Greek: “metatithēmi” = transfered to another place on earth] that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated [Greek: “metatithēmi”] him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
The fact that Enoch was “translated” or removed from the place where his life was threatened and that he was not killed at that specific time, is not saying that Enoch did not eventually die. Being transferred from one place to another is familiar to the Scriptures and it also happened on other occasions, for example Elijah in the Old Testament and Philip in the New Testament:
2Ki 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
The English word “heaven” here is confusing as if it means he was taken to what some believe to be the spiritual realm, which is not true. Elijah was taken “up” into the sky, which is also called heaven – the physical space where the birds fly. The spirit of God took Elijah “up” and placed him in another location on earth of which the prophet sons, who saw this event, also testified:
2Ki 2:15-16 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
Elijah, who was in a different location after he “went up”, later sent a letter to the new king of Israel, Jehoram, the disobedient son of the (generally) good king of Israel, Jehoshaphat, during whose reign Elijah ministered. Elijah was “translated” to another location because it was the time God appointed for the prophetic ministry of Elisha to take over from Elijah:
2Ch 21:11-15 Moreover he [Jehoram] made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto. 12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says the LORD God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah. 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the people of Jerusalem to go lusting like the fornications of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers of your fathers house (who were better than you), 14 behold, Jehovah will strike your people with a great plague, and your sons, and your wives, and all your goods. 15 And you shall have great sickness by disease in your bowels, until your bowels fall out because of the sickness day by day [an incurable disease].
Philip, the evangelist in the New Testament, was also “caught away” and relocated somewhere else:
Act 8:38-40 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Jesus also said nobody has ascended up to the spiritual heaven before His coming to dwell in flesh (John 1:14; 1John 4:2).
Joh 3:12-13 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
God’s spiritual sons in this age are being “translated” to be seated with Christ in heaven, meaning they have His mind:
Eph 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heaven in Christ Jesus:
1Co 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
So this generation of Enoch typifies those who are even now “translated” to be seated in heaven having the mind of Christ. Interesting to note here also is that Enoch in the genealogy of Cain links to the earthly city and Enoch in Seth’s genealogy links with the heavenly or spiritual city (Gen 4:17). Methuselah, the son of Enoch, is the person who lived the longest on earth. No one in flesh reached a thousand years because it is only the spiritual elect who will be the first to be given total power over the flesh at the first resurrection – they will reign in the symbolic 1000 year reign on this physical earth (Rev 20:4-6):
Gen 5:25-27 And Methuselah, lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
The name of Methuselah’s son, Lamech, also helps our understanding to see that God will completely destroy the old man. That is why the number 1000 is used for the time period of the rule of Christ and His elect on this earth. All physical life and all physical things of this creation will be brought to an end.
Rev 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
The lineage of Seth typifies also the truth that no-one who only came through a physical birth shall enter God’s assembly before the full process of judgement is complete (Deu 23:2; Rev 15:8). A spiritual birth is also necessary, and all “in Adam” will be given that birth to complete this whole plan of God for all:
1Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Joh 3:1-7 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
1Cor 15:22-28 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
In the birth of Noah we are given the biggest comfort because God will bring new spirit life forth through this destruction of all flesh:
Gen 5:28-31 And Lamech [powerful; striker down] lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed. 30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: 31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
Noah’s name means “rest” because he typifies the spiritual comfort one experiences when it is revealed that we are God’s workmanship in Jesus Christ – from start to finish – as we get freedom from our own tilling and toiling – our bondage to the earth (Gen 3:23; Gen 4:12; Matt 6:28; Luk 5:5; Matt 11:28-30):
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.