dispensationalism

We are continuing our study that we have entitled, “God’s Plan for the Ages – Dispensations.” We are currently discussing the second of the seven dispensations, the dispensation of conscience. This takes in, historically speaking, the period from the expulsion from the Garden of Eden to the flood of Noah. It is a period of 1,656 years.

 

 

Following the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, Adam and Eve had another son and they named him Seth,which means, “substituted.” Some Bible scholars have sought to prove that although the lineage of Cain was wicked, Seth’s lineage was godly. However, this is only partially true, because only Enoch and Noah are mentioned as being righteous. There is no basis in scripture to conclude that other descendants of Seth were any different than the descendants of Cain as far as righteousness is concerned. Enoch, the seventh from Adam (not to be confused with Cain’s first son), was not only a godly and righteous man, but a prophet as well. The Bible says, And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. [Jude 14, 15] Jude is quoting here from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, which while it is not part of the Canon was highly regarded during the first Century and in the Early Church.

 

 

As the Earth continued in sin and rebellion against God, there was a prophetic voice being heard! This is a biblical principle that we dare not miss. Amos 3:7 says, Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. What is the Holy Spirit telling us here? Simply that God will not move in judgment against a Nation or a people without first revealing it to His servants, the Prophets, so that they can warn those facing the judgment with the hope that they will turn from their sin. Down through the centuries this has been played out over and over again. There are prophetic voices in the Earth today. Who are they? Are they the so-called “prophetic movement?” No, that group of individuals is riddled with bizarre, false prophecies and immorality. Is it someone like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn and his, The Harbinger? No, because I submit to you that we need not look to the esoteric and the mysterious as this book does to receive revelation. I submit to you that the true prophetic voices are coming from those who are boldly and fearlessly standing behind pulpits and declaring the, Thus saith the LORD from the Holy written Word of God. The true prophetic voices are those who are pointing people back to the Cross and holy living.

 

 

Not only did Enoch warn of the coming judgment of God upon unrighteousness, but he also proclaimed the message of the Second Coming of Christ! It is no secret why the record reveals that, Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. [Gen. 5:24] Enoch in this sense was a type of the righteous, or a type of the Church. God “raptured” Enoch from the Earth before the coming judgment of Noah’s Flood, even as God will translate all of the believers who walk with God now, before the coming Tribulation!

 

 

Enoch’s son Methuselah is best known as the oldest man who ever lived, the Bible says he lived to be 969 years old. Actually, his father Enoch is truly the oldest man to ever lived, because he lived 365 years on the Earth, and has lived for over 5,000 years in Heaven in his natural flesh and blood body! Enoch will come back in the days of the Great Tribulation, as one of the two witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11, and will be killed by his enemies, but will be resurrected three and one-half days later with a glorified body and taken to Heaven. [See Rev. 11:3 – 12]

 

 

Methuselah, or at least his name, was also a testimony to the wicked generation that judgment was approaching. His name means, “When he is dead, it shall be sent”; I.E., the deluge or flood. This name strongly implies that God had given Enoch a revelation of the coming Judgment of God when he named his son. God said that the flood was to come after the death of that son. This sheds light on the verse: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. [Gen. 5:22 Emphasis added]

 

 

This also explains, I believe, why Methuselah lived so much longer than the average man. God’s grace was being extended to a wicked and rebellious people. While Methuselah lived, the flood would be held back. But when he died, it would come! And it did, in the very year!

 

 

The last mention we have of Adam before the flood is given in Genesis, chapter 6. The Word says, 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. The Hebrew, adamah, literally means, “the man.” God in His mercy gave Adam an additional 120 years in which to repent of his failure. Whether or not he did repent is not revealed.

 

 

What is the ultimate sin that ushered in the swift wrath of God destroying all mankind? It is revealed in Genesis, chapter 6. There we read, And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.[Gen. 6:1, 2; 4]

 

 

This passage has caused no end of discussion among Bible scholars and students. Everyone would agree that the “daughters of men” refers to the human women who lived on the Earth prior to the Flood. There is, however, much controversy as to who the “sons of God” that cohabited with the women of Earth actually were. We have shared teaching in the past on this, but some of it does bear repeating in this present study. There are basically two opinions. Some scholars say that the
“sons of God”
were the descendants of the so-called godly line of Seth, who according to this interpretation would be said to marry unbelieving women.

 

 

The other opinion, which I submit to you, has more scriptural and historical support, states that the “sons of God” refers to Angels. There is only one argument, that I am aware of, generally given opposing this latter view, and that is the statement of Jesus: And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

 

Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. [Luke 20:34 – 36]

 

 

However, a proper understanding of this passage only reveals that angels never marry among themselves, for they have no need of perpetuating a race. Also, this scripture is futuristic in application, “of the resurrection”, and would not have reference to the period of time stated in Genesis chapter 6. Besides, this one objection is hardly plausible when all evidence supporting this view is clearly understood. Lets take a look at some of the evidence supporting the position that the “sons of God”is indeed speaking of Angels.

 

 

THE IDENTITY OF THE “SONS OF GOD”:

 

 

  1. The terms “Sons of God” and “daughters of men” clearly indicate two separate classes of created beings or personalities. If “Sons of God” is supposed to refer to the godly line of Seth, why was the phrase “sons of Adam”, “sons of Seth”,or even “sons of men” not used?

  2. Of the three times the term “sons of God” is used in the Old Testament, other than Genesis 6, it is used to describe Angels every time. [See Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:4 – 7]

  3. The Septuagint (LXX), which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, translated in 285 B.C., and used by Christ and the Apostles, reads, “the ANGELS OF GOD…took them wives of all they chose” [Gen. 6:2 LXX]

  4. The book of Jude refers to this sin of the fallen Angels: And the angels 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. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. [Jude 6, 7] This passage clearly states that a certain class of Angels left their own proper place and are specifically under Judgment because they acted like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. As the Sodomites sought “other flesh” (as the Greek reads) in the sin of homosexuality, these Angels sought after “other flesh” by involving themselves with human women in the sin of fornication.

  5. The Apostle Peter stated that this sin occurred during the time of Noah: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 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. [2 Pet. 2:4, 5] Peter also stated how God judged these fallen Angels for their great sin.

  6. The Apostle Peter stated that after Jesus died on the Cross, He went and preached to these fallen Angels: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. [1 Pet. 3:19, 20] The scriptures could not state it more plainly, that these “sons of God” were indeed Angels who committed fornication with human women.

  7. The ancient Jewish Book of Enoch, which is quoted from in Jude 14, 15 (1 Enoch 1:9), referring to Enoch, also gives greater detail concerning the “sons of God” being Angels: And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters.And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of menand beget us children.’And they were in all two hundred. And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells…And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. [1 Enoch 6 – 8 R.H. Charles translation 1906] Although 1 Enoch is not a biblical book, and is not divinely inspired, the fact that Jude quoted from it does give the book historical credibility. It is also apparent that both Jude, the brother of our Lord, and the Apostle Peter, in their brief references to the same subject, it seems, agreed with it, at least in this matter.

  8. This was also the view of many theological giants of Church history, such as Chrysostom, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin.

  9. The offspring of “giants” [Heb. Nephilim] (Gen. 6:4) must have required some sort of supernatural sire. This sin of Angels cohabiting with human women occurred both before and after the Flood (Gen. 6:4). The giants after the Flood occupied the land of Canaan (Num. 13:26 – 33) and continued to oppress Israel until King David saw that the last of the giants were killed (1 Sam. 17:4 – 51; 11 Sam. 21:15 – 22; 1 Chron. 20:4 – 8).

  10. God prepared a special place of punishment for the Angels who fell and committed fornication. It is called tartaros in the Greek and is translated “Hell” in 11 Pet. 2:4, with reference to these fallen Angels. This is the only place this particular Greek word appears in the entire Bible, and describes a place of torment in the deepest recesses of Hell, especially for the judgment of this sin.

 

 

And so, it have been proved both scripturally and historically, that the sin of the Angels cohabiting with the “daughters of men” stirred the wrath of God to the point that He grieved over having created man to begin with, and planned to destroy every living creature from off the face of the Earth. Satan’s desire in bringing about this unnatural and unholy relationship between Angels and women was to corrupt the entire human race, so that Christ the Seed of the woman, could not come into the world. He ALMOST succeeded, because there was only one man who, along with his family, remained faithful to God. The Bible says, But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. [Gen. 6:8]

 

 

The times of Noah had become sordid beyond any full description. It is ironic that even though there was violence, murder, sexual perversion, and all kinds of rebellion against God in the land, there was also luxury, a refined culture, and a love of art and music. History in many respects has repeated itself. We saw this same mingling of otherwise incongruous activities in ancient Greece and Rome. There are those who believe that there will be, and may be occurring even now, an incursion of fallen Angels again mingling with human women creating a race of, for perhaps a lack of a better term, hybrids of part fallen Angel and human. I want to go on record as saying that I do not fully by into this notion, but it is a possibility. Especially given the fact, as we mentioned earlier, that such an event happened both before and after the Flood. Jesus described the time just prior to His return:

 

 

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. [Luke 17:26, 27 NKJV] I will leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions as to the full implications of Jesus’ words here.

 

 

If Noah had not remained faithful to God, the Lord would have destroyed the entire human race, even as He did the pre-Adamic world over which Lucifer reigned [Jer. 4:23 – 26; 11 Pet. 3:4 – 7].

 

 

Prior to the Flood God instructed Noah to build an Ark, and gave him the exact dimensions to follow [Gen. 6:14 – 16]. He also allowed Noah to preach during the entire time he was building the Ark, in hope that some persons would turn from their wicked ways. God also instructed Noah to take two of every species of animal in the Earth, male and female, to perpetuate the animal kingdom. Noah was further commanded to take seven pairs of the clean animals, male and female, into the Ark so that the sacrifice could continue [Gen. 6:17 through 7:3].

 

 

When Noah was 600 years old (Gen. 7:6), he took his wife, his three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japeth, and their wives; and they, along with the animals, entered into the Ark of safety. The rain began to fall, the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the waters began to rapidly rise on the Earth. Imagine the horror of those outside the Ark. They no doubt banged on the sides of the boat, screaming in horror as the waters began to rise, but it was too late. They had sealed their fate. Their day of salvation had passed them by.

 

 

The waters rose above the mountaintops, killing every creature (Gen. 7:17 – 23). After 40 days, the rains ceased, but the waters remained on the Earth for 150 days (Gen. 7:24). As the waters began to recede, the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:4). Noah opened the window of the Ark and sent out a raven, “which went forth to and fro” without finding a place to rest (Gen. 8:7). He then sent out a dove, which “found no rest…and (so returned) unto him into the Ark” (Gen. 8:8, 9). Seven days later, Noah sent out the dove again, and the bird returned with an olive leaf, proving that the waters had abated (Gen. 8:10, 11). One more week passed and Noah sent out the dove, which did not return, for the Earth’s surface had dried (Gen. 8:12).

 

 

After Noah and his family had been in the Ark for one year and 17 days (Gen. 7:10, 11; 8:13, 14), he opened the door of the Ark, and he and his family entered a new Dispensation of time.

 

 

The Dispensation of Conscience ended with judgment and death, even as the Dispensation of Innocence had ended. But God also gave man a promise, symbolized by the rainbow (Gen. 9:13).

 

 

The same God who hates sin, and will judge it severely, is the same loving Father who cares for His own.

 

 

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