Theme: Sons of God (Part 2)
(Key verses: Genesis 6:1-7)
The theme of generations runs throughout this book of beginnings or origins, namely Genesis. “Genesis” is a Greek word for “generation” or “origin” and the equivalent Hebrew word “tôledâh” appears 13 times in Genesis alone (Gen 2:4, Gen 5:1, Gen 6:9 (2), Gen 10:1, Gen 10:32, Gen 11:10, Gen 11:27, Gen 25:12-13 (2), Gen 25:19, Gen 36:1, Gen 36:9, Gen 37:2). But God also made clear distinctions between the generations which basically fall into two lines which brings one of the main themes of all Scripture into focus:
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.
The generation of Cain is first to be revealed in Scripture as those who are representative of the serpent’s line (Gen 4:1-24). As every tree is known by its fruit, the same evil and subtle mind as that of the serpent in the garden of Eden is seen in the very attitude and action of Cain towards God and his own brother Abel. God openly showed His favour towards Abel in his obedience to God and Cain did not agree with God’s choice and election:
Gen 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Those in the serpent’s line will always show animosity, disdain and rejection towards those whom God shows His favour (Matt 10:17-39). God indeed has an elect and He is working His obedience in that elect which is His prerogative and decision (Luk 1:30; Luk 2:52; John 15:16; Rom 9:13). Right through the Scripture this pattern is repeated of how God works His favour and love for “the younger” or lastborn, against His rejection of the elder or firstborn (e.g. Gen 6:8; Gen 37:3; Ex 3:10; John 15:16; Acts 13:22; 1Cor 15:45-47):
Rom 9:11-12 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
No-one chooses this election, except God. Paul expressed so fitly his heaviness and sorrow for his rejected brothers in flesh (physical Israel), because the true spiritual elect are the true assembly in Christ. Christ’s elected ones are humble and have mercy on others (Gen 37:4; Rom 11:30-32):
Rom 9:1-3 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Seth was appointed and chosen by God to typify the seed of the woman “instead of Abel” (Gen 4:25-26). Within this line of Seth we see the foreshadowing of the spiritual sons of God or God’s “ekklēsia” in the Elect One, Jesus Christ (Gen 5:1-32). The theme of the “sons of God” is the central focus of all Scriptures and this generation of Seth typifies this “ekklēsia” as they were the first to “call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen 4:26; Matt 16:18; 1Pet 2:4-9; Eph 3:2). Through the various interactions between the generations of Seth and Cain, God’s “ekklēsia” learns to “give diligence to make [their] calling and election sure” as this election in Christ includes manifold painful trials (1 Pet 4:12; 2Pet 1:10). Even within this election in Christ the principle of “few” that will be faithful to the name or doctrine of Christ is applicable until the end (Matt 22:14; Luk 13:23-24; Matt 24:13; Gen 6:8-9):
Rev 17:14 …..for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
God uses all created things to bring these necessary trials and heresies “by which they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1Cor 11:19; 2Cor 11:6). God is using even the “men of the world” as His “sword” to approve the elected sons of God:
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Psa 17:13-14 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: 14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
The generation of Cain generally typifies this “men of the world” or the “sons of men” who “multiply on the face of the earth” (Ps 4:2; Ecc 3:10-21). These “men of the world” in Cain’s generation fathered sons and daughters. These daughters were fair, meaning they looked good and pleasant to the physical eye, by God’s design and purpose:
Gen 6:1-2 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
This just confirms what was already revealed in the generation of Cain:
Gen 4:22 And Zillah [the one wife of Lamech, the son of Cain], she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah [her names means “beauty” or “pleasantness”].
All in the first Adam are vulnerable and open to the seductions of the flesh and generally follow these naturally without question (Rev 17:1-2; Eph 2:2-3; Rom 7:15; 1John 2:16). This is also what happened to the physical nation of Israel who foreshadowed how God’s true spiritual elect are also seduced by lies at their appointed time (Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11):
Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
One of these trails which physical Israel failed dismally is when Balaam was used to entice them and in that process their greed and lusts were exposed, among other things. This is the way God uses the deceitfulness of self-elevation, selfish ambitions and others lusts in the generation of Cain to “prove” the sons of God. This is done to bring them to their wits end where they learn to always or continually “call on the name of the Lord” and not lean on their own understanding (Ps 107; Pro 3:5):
2Pe 2:15 Which [the physical Israelites] have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.
Jud 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core [Korah].
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
The error or doctrine of Balaam came in the form of fornication that happened to physical Israel and that is just a type of the seduction of the subtle false doctrines which also influence the sons of God at the appointed time. Even the sons of God have their time to walk according to “the course of this world” in the false doctrines of the sons of men:
Eph 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
This is the time (which has an “is, was and will be” or continual application to it) when we bring forth the “giants” and “mighty men” or the “men of renown” in our own minds:
Gen 6:4-5 There were giants [Hebrew: “nephı̂yl”] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
These giants or nephilim were also powerful enemies in the time of physical Israel who made them look like grasshoppers (Num 13:32-33; Deu 2:10-11; Amos 2:9-10). But spiritually these “children” we give birth to after our fornications with the world are our own “imaginations of the thoughts of [our] heart”. These are the very powerful and overwhelming “strong holds” and all the “high thing[s] that exalts [themselves]” in our deceived hearts and minds (2Cor 10:4-5). These are “the mighty men which were of old [even in the first Adam in us], men of renown”. These make us haughty to think carnally that we can lord over other’s faith, even envying superior ‘seats’ above our own brethren in Christ (2Cor 1:24; Jas 4:5; Matt 20:20-28; Pro 21:10). This is when we arrogantly point fingers to other’s fleshly state and actions and are not even aware of the sleeping evil giants waiting to be exposed in us (1Cor 10:12):
Tit 3:2-3 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
“Men of renown” are part of “all in the world” in our first Adam when we also simply cannot accept God’s order and His appointees, even in the physical (1John 2:16; Gen 4:25; Rom 13:1-8; Tit 3:1-3; Dan 4:25; 1Pet 3:1-7; 1Cor 14:40). “Mighty men” and “men of renown” are linked to the “high places in the mountains” of the natural pride in us (2Ch 21:11). Various challenges occurred on God-appointed and elected leadership on several occasions in the Scriptures. Moses, for example, was said to have been the meekest man “upon the face of the earth”, but his election even brought opposition from his own brother and sister:
Num 12:1-3 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Num 12:9-10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. 10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
At the appointed time our own self-righteousness will be revealed to us as being spiritual leprosy and hypocrisy for which we will be judged by our High Priest (Isa 64:6). Our own giants and wickedness will correct us and our backslidings will chastise us:
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Our own natural mind will also always challenge our position in Christ by pointing out our failures and shortcomings. It wants us to believe that we are not “accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:5-6). The challenges which God’s appointees face are also revealed in the ministries of Paul and the apostles throughout the New Testament. This is also showing that all the spiritual sons of God will face the “men of renown” inwardly and outwardly all the time. Like Moses, it is always interesting that these apostles were the meekest men that can be found within their time of ministry, and yet they were accused of commending themselves and being boastful (Acts 20:29-30; 2Cor 5:12; 2Cor 10:12-18; 2Tim 1:15; 2Tim 4:14-18; 3John 1:9-11). Meekness equals weakness for those in the line of the serpent:
2Co 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. 8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
The natural spirit of the fleshly mind always lusts to envy and make comparisons which is not the spirit of wisdom of God, but an earthly, sensual, and devilish spirit – the spirit of the “men of the world” (Jas 4:5; 2Co 10:12). Those with the spirit and wisdom of God can see and accept how all in His body are being “fitly joined [or framed] together” sharing one mind and have no schisms (Eph 2:21; Eph 4:16; 1Cor 3:3; 1Cor 12:25):
Jas 3:13-16 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
“Where there is envying and strife, there is confusion” which cause deep and bitter torment. Confusion and death is the mental state of the old first man Adam who is not God’s ultimate or prime creation as some proclaim. The spirit man in Christ is God’s prime creation and that is what is meant when it says in the Scripture that “it repented the LORD that he had made man” – also here in Genesis 6:
Gen 6:6-7 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Several times in Scripture we read that God repents, which deludes many to say that God changed His mind or that He had a rethinking about His plan of action (Gen 6:5-7; Exo 32:14; Jdg 2:14; 1Sa 15:11; 1Sa 15:35; 2Sa 24:16; Psa 106:43; Psa 106:45; Jer 26:19; Amo 7:3; Amo 7:6; Jon 3:10). But God is “not a man, that he should repent” and that is also written for our admonition as it points out how different we should understand the concept of repentance when it applies to God (1Sam 15:29). God has perfect understanding of everything and that also includes why He created a fleshly man and all evil things which are grieving Him all the time. Just as all evil, darkness and sin were given a temporary existence and purpose in God’s plan, so is fleshly man (Gen 1:2; Isa 45:7; Gen 50:20). Flesh is extremely evil to a holy God and He cannot and will not accept the flesh in His spiritual kingdom (1Cor 1:20; 1Cor 15:50; Pro 16:4). God is in total control all the time and He made the decision to eventually destroy all flesh….He made this decision before He created flesh and all evil (Isa 46:10). This is the same as saying that God’s spirit “shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh” (Gen 6:3). He will destroy all evil, darkness and physical things (which are all related to spiritual death) once they served His purposes:
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Numerous false teachings are out there in the world about this relation and interaction between the sons of God and the daughters of men in Genesis 6. Although the angelic spirit beings are also called “sons of God” in Scripture, it is also important to note that these angelic beings are not “given in marriage”, meaning angelic beings cannot have sexual relationships (Job 1:6; Luk 20:34-36). So it was not angelic beings that had sexual relations with the sons of men as some falsely propagate. Only the holy spirit of the Father can bring forth new life, even in those who are “a chaste virgin to Christ” (Matt 1:18-20; Luk 1:34-35; 2Cor 11:2):
Rev 14:1-5 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.