Theme: Sons of God (Part 3)
(Key verses: Genesis 6:1-9)
The theme of the sons of God is central and foundational in Scriptures as God progressively channels the focus to His elect. It is through this elect that He is going to bring forth all in the first man Adam to be conformed to the spiritual image of the last Adam, even Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29; 1Cor 15:45-49). But within this whole process God works and uses all things and every moment to fulfill that one purpose (Eph 1:11). Everything God created is functional and purposeful as they have a “very good” purpose, even if it is just temporal in this regard:
Gen 1:31a And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
In Genesis the foundations are laid for the two main generational lines within the first Adam which God is using to work the process of the eventual salvation of all in Christ (Eph 1:10; 1Cor 15:22). God placed a clear distinction between the darkness and the light right in the beginning which is further expounded by the “enmity” between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman (Gen 1:1-5; Gal 5:17):
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity [Hebrew: “êybâh” = hatred/hostility] between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The very first child of Adam and Eve, Cain, manifested this hatred and hostility first, which represents the darkness and the evil in all flesh through which God generates the spiritual offspring of the serpent (Gen 3:14). From the natural perspective the flesh will always be the first on the scene, so to speak, and in that way exposes its own carnal eagerness “but not according to knowledge” (1Cor 15:46; Acts 26:9-11; Matt 19:30; Mark 10:17; Rom 10:2). Cain and his generation typify the seed of the wicked one in our own flesh (with its carnal mind) which hate, persecute and even kill the righteous seed of the woman (Gen 4:17-24):
1Jn 3:12-13 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother [Abel]. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
God appointed Seth (the third son of Adam and Eve) “instead of” Abel to typify the true spiritually resurrected sons of God, the elect in Christ, who call on the name of the Lord and is led by the spirit of God (Gen 4:26; Rom 8:14; 19; Php 2:15). The elect in Christ knows that “now [they] are the sons of God” and they know that they are called to “suffer reproach, because [they] trust in the living God” (1John 3:1-2; 1Tim 4:10; Heb 13:13). In scripture God always repeats His warning about being complacent and ignorant to think that the deceitfulness of sin can be underestimated at any stage (1Cor 10:1-12):
Heb 3:12-14 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
The deceitfulness of sin also affects the sons of God. There always needs to be a distinction (separation) between darkness and light, between good and evil, between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between [Hebrew preposition “bane” from the Hebrew noun “bene” which means “distinction“] thee and the woman, and between [Hebrew preposition “bane” from the Hebrew noun “bene” which means “distinction“] thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
This distinction was placed between the generations of Seth and the generations of Cain. But as time progressed this distinction between the two lines was crossed with devastating results. The sons of Seth (“the sons of God”) were seduced by the daughters that were born in the line of Cain (“the daughters of men”). Cain’s name means “a man from the Lord” which is referring to the deceitful carnal heart of the natural man in all of us, which will always entice us and draw us away from God’s instructions:
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jas 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
What is written about Seth’s generation who once “called upon the name of the Lord” (“the sons of God”), is an admonition for us:
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.
The “sons of God” (Seth’s generation) were to be the messengers of God in the sense that they, like the true sons of God, were sent as God’s sheep and lambs “in the midst of a crooked and perverse [generation], among whom [they had to] shine as lights in the world” (Matt 10:16; Luk 10:3; Acts 20:29; Php 2:15). This also links with physical Israel who was also commanded to keep themselves separate from the morals and customs of the other nations as God’s spiritual elect also is admonished to do (Rom 12:2; Rom 13:14; 1Cor 6;19; 2Cor 6:17; Col 4:5):
Deu 7:2-3 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
Seth’s generation had to keep their calling or “estate” separate from the line of Cain. Just as physical Israel failed in this commission, so also the generation of Seth in their earthly conversation or walk, for our learning. They also “left their own habitation” of being the house or city of light to those around them (Matt 5:14):
Jud 1:6 And the angels [Greek: “aggelos” = “one who is sent (commissioned)” / “a messenger from God”] which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
2Pe 2:4-5 For if God spared not the angels [Greek: “aggelos” = messengers] that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Greek: tartaroō = imprisonment in spiritual darkness], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
This section in Jude and Peter links to the same period when the generation of Seth intermarried with the generation of Cain as explained here in Genesis 6. But it also points to our own times of fornication with the false doctrines and the “weak and beggarly elements…of the world” (Gal 4:1-10). The “old world” is our first Adam and our first “corrupt…conversation” in the deceitful natural lusts and pride which all in the first Adam will “put off” at the appointed time (1John 2:16).
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
The time in the first Adam is our time in “the night” or spiritual darkness when these spiritual chains of lusts and pride are placed on us by God. These chains of darkness can only be taken off in the day of judgement when those in the first Adam will be taught and given the Light of His righteousness (Luk 4:17-21; Isa 26:9):
Psa 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
God is bringing this all-important judgment first to His church or elect and that is the reason for bringing one man into focus at this early stage in the book of Genesis.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…it first begin at us….
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Within this time of darkness and interaction between the lines of Seth and Cain, God kept one man, Noah, faithful in that whole generation of Seth. Noah and his household are types of Christ and His few elected ones in this respect:
Gen 6:7-9 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. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
“I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” is again emphasizing the truth that all physical things have a temporary existence and function in God’s plan, and that includes mankind. The sum of God’s Word witnesses over and over that God never changed His mind on this. No action of any creature, good or evil, can make God repent of His one original plan (Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20; 1Co 15:50):
1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
Noah received favour or grace from God as it was not Noah’s own works that brought on him this favour. It was God’s works in Noah that kept him faithful in his generation – ALL man’s ways are from the Lord.
Php 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
This is how all in the first Adam will receive favour or salvation from God:
Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Faith in God is not to be found on the earth if God does not give it to a person. Without God’s shield of faith the natural man is an open target for the “fiery darts” of the wicked (Eph 6:16). Noah is shown as the types of those who are given this shield to be faithful until the end and who can work and labour with diligence amidst scorn and reproach (Pro 11:27; 2Tim 2:15; 2Pet 3:14):
Heb 11:6-7 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Noah is the type of the worker whose faith did not waver as he was warned by God of “things not seen yet”. This is what faith is also defined as:
Heb 11:1 (ASV) Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.
God is indeed a rewarder of them who serve Him in all diligence and fear (Pro 12:24; Pro 22:29; 1Cor 15:58). This reminds us of Nehemiah and his faithful workers who were of one mind to rebuild the wall and the temple of God amidst the subtle detractors who tried every trick in the book to subvert them from their task:
Neh 4:6-7 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
The Apostle Paul was diligent to work amidst extreme trials and tribulations, even when several who were close to him left him, and others who opposed him openly (2Tim 4:9-17; 2Cor 11:23-33):
2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
When God’s Word is revealed and received in a heart which God prepares, that word produces faith, faithfulness, and diligence, among other godly attributes (Gal 5:22-23):
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith instils and activates the doing part after one hears the word as it also brings about the fear of God to do what He commands:
Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Noah diligently prepared the ark and in so doing he was preaching by his actions also. He displayed his faith by his works. Christ’s spirit in Noah preached for a hundred and twenty years within the time of the darkness which was in the hearts of the people of Noah’s days. We all start off with this darkness inside of us, and then one day we start to see the Light of God. This is also how we understand the words written in the Scriptures when it says that the spirit of God “moved upon the face of the [dark] waters” (Gen 1:2), and “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” (Dan 7:2):
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
1Pe 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he [Christ] went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
As already alluded to, a spirit “in prison” is referring to the spirit of the first man Adam. This spirit of fleshly man is in spiritual darkness and in spiritual chains from its creation, as per God’s design (Ps 51:5; Ps 142:7; Isa 24:21-22; Isa 61:1; Gen 1:2; Gen 6:3). The hundred and twenty years mentioned here is not referring to the life span of human beings who lived during Noah’s time because many lived either shorter or longer than hundred and twenty years before and after the flood. The “hundred and twenty years” has a spiritual meaning (John 6:63), as the number twelve (the number of spiritual foundations) is combining with the number ten (the completeness of flesh). This is telling us that natural man has a foundation in temporary dust or sand, and our “deep” (our mind / heaven) is first in total spiritual darkness.
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Gen 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
This earthy foundation and the house built on it, will be destroyed after God has finished His purpose with it. Earthy man cannot obey God, and we cannot “do” what the Word of God says – flesh cannot please God, even if its natural ear can hear the words of God, and the natural mouth can speak or quote scriptures numerous times:
Mat 7:26-27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Rom 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
This is the very position in which fleshly man was made by God and when the house on this earthy sandy foundation “falls”, it actually just exposes what it was all the time. The exposing of the old foundations of flesh brings the new foundations of the new man into focus:
1Co 15:42-45 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
All the time that God has to deal with mankind (spiritually referring to one hundred and twenty years) is also called “the longsuffering of God” to have evil in His creation (1Pet 3:20). Flesh and carnality is the very evil and darkness He created to bring the first Adam through a humbling evil experience to become the true spiritual sons of God:
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Ecc 1:13 (CLV) I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
No-one on earth before Noah’s generation ever experienced rain from the heaven (“the waters which were above the firmament”):
Gen 1:6-8 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven.
Earthy man is first limited to the waters “under the firmament” – earthy man is limited to their own wicked thoughts and ideas:
Isa 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Those on the earth generally are very “immature” and “weak in the faith” and in that sense a soft mist is needed to water everything on the earth:
Gen 2:4-6 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
All creatures, including mankind, only eat green plants or herbs before judgement comes and this judgment was foreshadowed by the global flood in Noah’s day (Gen 1:29-30):
Rom 14:1-2 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
The words “Noah walked with God” are emphasizing that Noah stood out in his generation as he typifies the true sons of God who also are the salt and the light to the world:
Mat 5:13-16 You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.