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Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim,

and the Devil's Methodology.

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Question #1: 

It is with interest that I read your paper on this matter. I would suggest that the annihilation of the angels/mankind was at the time of Noah instead of the earlier time (gap) There may well have been an incident at that first event but by the time Noah came on the scene All flesh had corrupted itself Gen: 6;12. "for all flesh 1320 had corrupted 7843 his way 1870 upon the earth 776. (Blue Letter Bible) (Animal and Human). This is why God bought destruction on the whole of creation.

These [are] the generations 8435 of Noah 5146: Noah 5146 was a just 6662 man 376 [and] perfect 8549 in his generations 1755, [and] Noah 5146 walked 1980 with God 430. (Blue Letter Bible) Noah was "PERFECT IN HIS GENERATIONS"

So it stands to reason, as I read it, that all other parts of Gods creation had become imperfect in their generations, "the end of all flesh is come" (Gen: 6;13) excepting for those that were saved from the destruction by the flood. Noah's seed and the seed of those animals that went into the ark with Noah. The earth was cursed yet the "flood", was indeed a blessing for mankind, the method God chose for our deliverance. The "ark" was the instrument for that deliverance/salvation, as Christ is also our "Ark". His death (method) and resurrection. (deliverance) From the time of Satan's temptation with Eve until the time of the flood it seems that animal and mankind could breed one with another. (and therefore be cursed by ever increasing imperfect (Corrupt) generations) Remember that Adam had looked around for his "Help-meet" from amongst the created world. (Gen: 2;20).

I express my appreciation for your writings.

Response #1: 

Good to hear from you again. Yes, I largely agree with your analysis of the ark's symbolism (cf. 1Pet.3:19-22), and I certainly do teach that the genetic corruption of mankind by the fallen angels preceded the flood. However, Satan's rebellion and fall most certainly must fit into the Genesis gap – the devil is clearly represented as observing God's refurbishing of the earth and His creation of Adam and Eve, then attacking them almost immediately thereafter. I also do not find any evidence of animals being involved in any significant way. Moreover, the New Testament commentary on the pre-flood attempt by Satan to contaminate the entire human race is very clear as to the fact that it was the fallen angels who intermarried with human beings to produce said contamination:

It was also by means of the Spirit that [Christ] visited the [angelic] spirits in prison (i.e., in the Abyss), and proclaimed [His victory]. [These are the angels who] were disobedient in the days of Noah at the time when God patiently waited (i.e., delayed judgment) while the ark was being built.
1st Peter 3:19-20a

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but plunged them into Tartarus with its gloomy pits (i.e., the Abyss), preserving them for the [day of] judgment, and did not spare the antediluvian world, but kept safe Noah and the seven with him when He brought the flood upon the ungodly inhabitants of the world, and condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes and making them an example to those bent on similar ungodly behavior, and rescued righteous Lot who was tormented by the depraved lifestyle of those lawless men – for through the things he saw and heard just by dwelling among them this righteous man was damaging his righteous way of life day by day on account of their lawless deeds. For the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment – especially those who in their lust pursue the polluting of the flesh and so despise [God's] divine authority.
2nd Peter 2:4-10a

Although you know all these things, I want to remind you that though the Lord saved [all] His people from the land of Egypt at the first, in the end He destroyed those who proved unfaithful, and the angels who did not keep to their own realm but deserted their proper habitation He has imprisoned with everlasting chains in the gloom below (i.e., in the Abyss) in anticipation of the judgment of that great day, just as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, for they all prostituted themselves in the same manner as these [angels] did, having pursued sexual relations (lit. "flesh") that were inappropriate for them (i.e., outside of the natural order). [And so it is that] they have been appointed an example, and incurred the penalty of eternal fire.
Jude 5-7

As the text and context of Genesis 6 says patently on its face that fallen angels ("sons of God") are responsible for this situation, and as the NT passages above clearly link these illicit sexual unions with fallen angels, this would seem to be the only interpretation – at all – which matches up with the biblical evidence. It is uncomfortable for many people – hence the reason that so many evangelical theologians to their discredit have tried so hard to undermine the clear sense of the scriptures – but we have to accept what the Bible clearly teaches, regardless of how we may personally feel about it.

Here the main links for more on this topic at Ichthys:

Giants and Nephilim

The Paternal Origin of Antichrist (Satan's Seed)

The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.

The Nature of Angels

The Nephilim in Genesis 6

"The Nephilim" (in SR 5)

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

Antichrist and the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Eschatology Issues:  The Nephilim

Doubts about the Nephilim

Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and Genesis 6

Thanks much for your kind comments about this ministry!

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Thank you again Dr Robert. I am trying to get some understanding of the "ape like" creatures that seem to be found in the fossil record. Now I appreciate that modern science would forward the notion that man and animals have "evolved" somehow. There does seem to be skull and bone fragments that would suggest that varieties of ape were around and yet the bible tells us that all creation is programmed to produce "after its kind". Mankind seems to have been "bastardized" (genealogically corrupted in the flesh) (all flesh) in that period between Adam and Noah so is it reasonable to assume that the animal kinds (all flesh) (with the exception of Noah's grouping) were, likewise corrupted. We do have an example of demon's being transferred into a mob of swine at the command of Christ, and then immediately drowning themselves by running into the sea. I would suggest that this in some ways parallels the "flood" with the added element being, the literal command of Christ. This is what leads me to suggest that (the flesh) animals were also capable of an angelic-demon possession and breeding with the corrupted man/beings during the Adam to Noah period . In the incident with the "swine" as mentioned, they did not have any time to "breed" further. Hence these strange examples of apelike creatures.

I will give you a rest from my searching for a while as i am off to Australia from New Zealand tomorrow; I thank you in advance, and please, please, keep up the good work.

My family are also reading you and asking me the questions!!!!

In Christ

Response #2: 

You're very welcome. Incidentally, I think you are "right on" with your analysis here. My only quibble would be to say that the satanic involvement with earth's fauna preceded the Genesis gap, during the untold eons wherein God allowed Satan and his followers to wreak havoc on the original earth – until He finally "blacked out" the universe in judgment. Since there is no telling this side of heaven precisely what went on all those millennia ago – and since it's not really important to know, once the basic chronology is understood – I leave to "science" to do what it does. This is all discussed in the Satanic Rebellion series, parts 1 & 2 in particular.

Please also see the following links on that topic:

Science and the Bible

The problem of science and the Bible

Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin

Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?

The origin of the four seasons

The shape of the universe according to the Bible

Thanks again for your encouragement!

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Thank you for your ministry, I have read many of your postings, and I believe that you have illuminated many important issues for me. I especially like reading about the future heavenly realm, and the concept of the interim body that you described had never occurred to me, but as we are uniquely physical, it seems logical that we would always need a body due to our nature, even in the interim state.

I have a quick question about angels. In Genesis, the bible states that some of the angels left their first estate. Can you tell me what that means? I believe that Satan used these angels to corrupt the human gene pool and created a new fallen and corrupt creature, in defiance God's plan for mankind. Could you tell me how this was accomplished, and do these hybrid beings still exist? For the word states that the nephilim were in existence before the flood and even afterwards.

Thanks and God bless.

Response #3: 

Good to make your acquaintance. Thank you for your encouraging words!

I completely agree with your understanding of these things as set forth in your email. Here is my translation of the passage you ask about:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and afterwards as well (i.e., both before and after the start of the 120 grace period before the flood). For when the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, they bore to them those "mighty-ones" (i.e., the Nephilim) whose names are famous from ancient times.
Genesis 6:4

The point of the Hebrew clause ve'acherey-chen, "and afterwards as well", is to explain that the infiltration of the human race by the devil's angels began before the 120 year period described in verse three. This lets us know that verses one and two apply both before and during the 120 years of grace given for repentance prior to the onset of the great flood. Angels apparently have the ability to do what certain fallen angels did in engendering the Nephilim, but this was a clear violation of God's natural order (and in my view a throw-back to Satan's interference with the fauna of the earth prior to the divine judgment upon the world that falls between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2; see the link: The Genesis Gap).

Leaving "their first estate" is the KJV's rendering of the Greek of Jude verse six, and describes this violation of proper boundaries. Angels are not to have this sort of physical contact with human beings, and while the Lord tolerated this conduct for a brief period (as always in the furtherance of His own perfect plan), those demons who violated this "ground rule" have since been incarcerated in the Abyss and denied further access to the world above – a fact which no doubt contributes to the lack of such conduct and hence of such creatures in our day (for an exception, please see the following link: Antichrist's paternal origin).

Although you know all these things, I want to remind you that though the Lord saved [all] His people from the land of Egypt at the first, in the end He destroyed those who proved unfaithful, and the angels who did not keep to their own realm but deserted their proper habitation He has imprisoned with everlasting chains in the gloom below (i.e., in the Abyss) in anticipation of the judgment of that great day, just as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, for they all prostituted themselves in the same manner as these [angels] did, having pursued sexual relations (lit. "flesh") that were inappropriate for them (i.e., outside of the natural order). [And so it is that] they have been appointed an example, and incurred the penalty of eternal fire.
Jude 5-7

It was also by means of the Spirit that [Christ] visited the [angelic] spirits in prison (i.e., in the Abyss), and proclaimed [His victory]. [These are the angels who] were disobedient in the days of Noah at the time when God patiently waited (i.e., delayed judgment) while the ark was being built.
1st Peter 3:19-20a

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but plunged them into Tartarus with its gloomy pits (i.e., the Abyss), preserving them for the [day of] judgment, and did not spare the antediluvian world, but kept safe Noah and the seven with him when He brought the flood upon the ungodly inhabitants of the world, and condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes and making them an example to those bent on similar ungodly behavior, and rescued righteous Lot who was tormented by the depraved lifestyle of those lawless men – for through the things he saw and heard just by dwelling among them this righteous man was damaging his righteous way of life day by day on account of their lawless deeds. For the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment – especially those who in their lust pursue the polluting of the flesh and so despise [God's] divine authority.
2nd Peter 2:4-10a

As these three passages individually and especially collectively make clear, the procreation of the Nephilim by fallen angels was the incident behind the corruption of the human line and the event which necessitated the great flood and the sequestration of the fallen angels responsible. This is all written up in some detail at the following links:

Giants and Nephilim

The Paternal Origin of Antichrist (Satan's Seed)

The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.

The Nature of Angels

The Nephilim in Genesis 6

"The Nephilim" (in SR 5)

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

Antichrist and the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Eschatology Issues:  The Nephilim

Doubts about the Nephilim

Thanks again for your interest in this ministry. Please feel free to write me back about any of the above.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #4: 

Hello again Robert, I have a question regarding the Nephilim of Genesis 6. There seems to me to be two differing opinions on this. One hand says human males and females and the other says demons and human females. I see where you have discussed this with others regarding demons cohabitating with women which resulted in the Nephilim. I'm confused where you say what they did was unauthorized and evil. What I don't understand is that God doesn't get surprised. How was this able to happen? Its not like the demons 'slipped one past God' when He wasn't paying attention. How is a race of people that are half human and half demon culpable? How do we know it can't happen again? I can't see God allowing this to happen or what purpose the Lord would have for allowing it to happen.

Response #4: 

You are certainly right – God is never taken by surprise. Indeed, He had to ordain all that actually will take place before initiating creation at all (see in BB 4B: "God's Plan to Save You"). But this does mean that everything in time/space was therefore destined to run smoothly. Satan rebelled. Adam and Eve sinned and fell. Cain murdered Abel. Israel fell into apostasy and was destroyed as a nation. Countless evils have occurred during the Church's two millennia, and during the Tribulation a third of believers will fall away and another third will be martyred in the Great Persecution – with the devil's son, antichrist, enthroned in God's temple, ruling the world and proclaiming himself as God. God could have stopped any or all of these things, but instead He has ordained them to happen (i.e., He has allowed the evil to act in an evil manner to demonstrate their inveterate hatred of Him as well as to bring out the true character of the godly who have chosen for Him). It is all about allowing choice and creature free will to have its day and make its decisions (see the previous link). There are many things in the history of the world we may not understand at first blush, but as those who walk by faith and not by sight we understand that God is working every single thing out for His absolute good – for us who love Him, that is. So the first place to start with any such question is the Bible. In terms of the Nephilim of Genesis 6, in my view scripture is crystal clear about what happened, so that for those interpreters who have trouble excepting the "why" (and there are many such), and as a result insist on calling the "what" into question, embarrassment with the clear meaning of scripture leads to distortion of scripture – a huge mistake (as misinterpreting, misreading, or twisting scripture always is). Here are the main links where this is discussed at Ichthys:

Giants and Nephilim

The Paternal Origin of Antichrist (Satan's Seed)

The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.

The Nature of Angels

The Nephilim in Genesis 6

"The Nephilim" (in SR 5)

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

Antichrist and the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Eschatology Issues:  The Nephilim

Doubts about the Nephilim

As to the "why", it occurs to me that the Lord has let Satan "try" just about everything – in order to 1) refute all of the devil's pseudo-grounds for complaint; 2) demonstrate his true, evil motivations; 3) demonstrate his insufficiency in the face of the power and goodness of God; 4) demonstrate God's faithfulness to the faithful in spite of the most harrowing situations. After all, without the Nephilim, there would have been no need for the flood or for Noah building the ark, and that lesson of faith and divine provision is one of the most powerful scripture has to offer. Further, by allowing the human race of that time to do as they chose to do, God furthered His plan of self-selection, refined the genuine remnant, and demonstrated for all who choose to learn the lessons of scripture what the enemy and unbelieving humanity are really like (as well of course as lessons 1-4 above).

As to culpability, well, the demons are culpable and unbelieving human beings are culpable; I'm not sure what excuse a hybrid caste of creatures would have for rejecting the Lord in their hearts since the other two classes have none. God provides mercy for all who wish to have it. It is not entirely surprising that the offspring of some of the worst human beings who have ever lived (Gen.6:5-7) and a group of demons, who were willing to risk clearly impending divine retribution, would want nothing to do with God. For my part, I certainly accept that the Lord would have provided a solution if a single one of the Nephilim had turned to Him. But that is a null set, and whether or not they even have a true "spirit" is an open question.

As to happening again, in my reading of these things the penalty paid by those who "kept not their first estate" was the horrifying torment for these creatures of light of being confined in the darkness of the Abyss, a prospect which, after God's example of punishment on the Nephilim-engenderers, few demons are likely to be willing to risk again (Jude 1:6; cf. Lk.8:31). But it will (or perhaps already has) happen again on a small but critical scale: antichrist is the devil's son (Gen.3:15; see the link: in CT 3B "The Origin of Antichrist"), and there is indication that his "ten kings" are likewise engendered (see the link: in CT 3B "The Seizure of Revived-Rome").

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Genesis 3:15 NIV

To fulfill this prophecy and all prophecy, to bring human history to a close, and to complete the plan of Satan's utter defeat, humiliation and refutation, these things are necessary. No doubt there will be many during the Tribulation asking "why?" or "why me?", and for some large number these things which they could have come to know about ahead of time will prove a stumbling block. I commend you and all who are setting themselves to investigate all biblical truth before that darkness descends.

In Him who is the truth, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

p.s., I'm off out of town in the AM but will be back at the desk around New Year's.

Question #5: 

Hi Dr Robert

I have a question for you, but first I want to congratulate you on your work and you words. I will try and condense my enquiry. The plan of Satan prior to the flood was to corrupt the whole of mankind by his seed and thereby implant his nature literally into mankind. If this is so then we could expect Satan to try again somehow in this age. Q: Where does the worldwide "Green" movement fit into the scheme of things, or does it?

Also, it seems as if God in his work of creation and re-creation had an audience. Who was it? Was it man? Was it eternity? Was it the Angels? Was it those with enmity against him, Satan and his hosts? Was it the very creation itself? Was it done for the love of his son, our Lord and Saviour? " putting all things under his feet" A most precious thing. "For God so loved the [creation] world....."

Your thoughts please

Response #5: 

Good to make your acquaintance. In my reading of Genesis chapter six, the devil's main objective was not so much to plant his own seed as it was to destroy true humanity. Had the entire human race become "not entirely human" through the infiltration of the nephilim, then there would have been no genuine, pure stock from which the Messiah might later arise. Much of Satan's strategic effort prior to the cross is focused on attempting to stop our Lord from coming into the world; now that the victory of the cross is a reality, we, the Church, are his main target.

As to the "green movement", all I can say about that is that there is a big difference between being a responsible person and treating common areas and resources as if they were just that – common and not belonging to you personally – and, on the other hand, forcing everyone else to do what you want them to do or making them stop doing what you don't want them to do through political power. The latter is ever the province of the devil; current iterations like the crusade you mention is just one example out of thousands – and we will see this sort of thing taken to an unprecedented level in the run up to the Tribulation and in antichrist's political methodology: making people do something they don't want to and otherwise would not need to or to stop doing something they have every right to then calling this "good" is the definition of evil. Apropos of your question, I am on record as considering it likely that the ten kings who share power with antichrist during the Tribulation are nephilim (as is antichrist himself); see the link: CT 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom.

As to your question on re-creation, the angels, elect and fallen, were the audience, but the process was necessary in order to make a place of habitation for mankind whose creation was a necessary and an integral part of the Plan of God as ordained from eternity past. Creating the entire, perfect complement of angels and endowing them with free will made Satan's rebellion inevitable; Satan's rebellion in turn necessitated both the replacement of him and his angels (which humanity accomplishes in the remnant of believers) and a demonstration of that God was not only just in condemning Satan and his angels for their decision, but would have been merciful too if there had been any willing to repent. That is to say, it was God's good pleasure to refute the devil's false argument: "because you made me the way I am I did what you knew I would do so therefore you, O God, are really responsible and thus it is unjust to condemn me". The creation of mankind and our redemption through the blood of Christ and subsequent salvation of all those willing to turn back to God shows irrefutably that not only is God just, but He is also merciful – to all who are willing to return to Him so as to receive that mercy.

Yours in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #6: 

Thank you so much for your answer. I was enjoined in the Pentecost movement as a child through my parents. On reading the Word of God over the years I had many questions to ask but eventually found that my questions somehow drew conflict with the pastors and elders, to the point I was asked to remove myself from their assembly. I feel I am left in the wilderness but for the continual reassurance of the one who gave his life for me on that day on Calvary, my Lord and my Saviour.

The greatest gift to mankind, and one that I need daily to be assured with, is the knowledge that, in-spite of my being a sinner, I am indeed saved by his GRACE . It is good thing, that although we are separated by time and distance we are yet, in Christ, in the same place together.

Yours in His Mighty name and thank you for your writings.

Response #6: 

You're very welcome – and always welcome at Ichthys.

The grace that is ours through the sacrifice of our dear Lord Jesus truly is the most marvelous thing in the universe. We will be able to appreciate that fully together when face to face with Him on that wonderful day of days to come.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

I know you have lots of info on your website about these creatures...but I wanted to know a little about your thoughts on the Hebrew words as given here:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5303&t=KJV

(scroll down a little to the Gesenius Lexicon)

It shows the words in Hebrew for Nephyil and for Watchers or Fallen Ones which were the angels that left their first estate. The words look very very similar, and I was wondering if this is part of the reason why the rabbis and Christians prior to the Middle Ages always thought the nephilim were derived from these fallen angels. Is there also an etymological connection?

Thanks So Much

Response #7:

Good to hear from you. The citation you reference is from Gesenius' lexicon. He was a brilliant Hebrew scholar of the 19th century and I value his linguistic analysis highly. His theological suggestions are not at all on the same level – and that is what we have to do with here. There is no direct etymological connection between the word Nephilim and the "fallen" angels. Indeed, we call them "fallen angels" in English only as a term of convenience. That phrase itself never occurs in the Bible – they are "angels" or "sons of God" or, in the New Testament, "demons", etc. The closest thing relating the root naphal to the devil and his minions is Isaiah 14:12, but there we have the simple verb describing action – "how art thou fallen" – not a derivative noun describing class or status, and the action described is Satan's loss of status as a result of his action of rebellion (rather than a new status ascribed to his followers).

Gesenius refers to certain unnamed medieval Jewish interpreters (I see no reference here to "watchers"), and gives the Greek word which is the Septuagint's rather literal translation of Nephilim (most of us would derive the word from naphal – I certainly do); but that is no sort of proof that Nephilim are angels instead of what Genesis chapter six states that they are, namely, the offspring of demons and human women. Making the Nephilim themselves fallen angels is merely "erudite" speculation by individuals who were unbelievers and whose theology was wildly confused in every respect. This is one of those areas where many who are not really interested in the Word of God as a whole but only in "exciting things" which interest them, or unbelievers who are not really even capable of receiving the truth very often give themselves over to extra-biblical speculation and "dreamy theosophy" (aliens, Bigfoot, Bible Codes, etc.). Set in the context of the whole Bible and examined from the viewpoint of sound doctrine by means of orthodox hermeneutics (i.e., looking carefully at what the Bible actually says), it is clear what fallen angels are (followers of the devil), and what the Nephilim then must be (their half-human offspring). After all, Genesis chapter six is very clear: the fallen angels "marry" human women and the result is the birth of the Nephilim. These are then described as "might men" (Gen.6:4) and are mortal enough to be destroyed by the great flood – so the Nephilim cannot be angels (nor is the description of their subsequent earthly fame and activity consistent with such a status). Therefore the angels in Jude 1:6 who "abandoned their appropriate habitation" and came to earth were the progenitors of the Nephilim, not the Nephilim themselves.

Thanks for the email!

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Hi Dr Lugenbill,

I'm so sorry, I think I worded my question badly...What I meant was that the Gesenius lexicon shows the Hebrew word for Nephyil and the Hebrew word for fallen angels, and to my eyes the words look almost identical (except the one for the fallen angels has extra dots on the bottoms of some of the letters, and I know there probably is alot more to it than that, but because I don't know the language that is all I know about it, to my eyes the words look like there could be a connection between them, and therefore the connection of the Nephilim being the offspring of the fallen angels also possibly revealed in the Hebrew words that describe each?) Gesenius doesn't seem to say the Nephilim are the fallen angels, but that they come from the fallen angels just like you say the Genesis account gives. I had a conversation about it in the comments on this blog:

http://bibletreasuresandpearls.blogspot.com/2011/09/bible-timeline.html

and also talk about it here:

http://susanflutterbys.blogspot.com/

Could you explain to me why the two words appear to look so similar in the Hebrew?

Thank you

Response #8: 

I'm looking at the entry and I think you may seeing the Hebrew singular and the Hebrew plural and assuming they are different words (i.e., Naphiyl is singular; Nephiylim is its plural). Neither one of these words refers to fallen angels in any etymological sense nor in any parallel biblical citation – only in the theosophical speculations of a group of medieval interpreters and their modern-day disciples.

The only Hebrew word in the plural listed in the article is Nephilim – which is the plural of the dictionary entry word, Naphiyl. This word only occurs in the Bible in the plural form (the singular is only being assumed from parallel Hebrew noun patterns). There is an Aramaic equivalent (taken no doubt from the Targums, translations of the Hebrew Bible), and some Arabic parallels Gesenius finds interesting (our earliest Arabic is 1000 years later even than the Septuagint), but the only other Hebrew in the entry after line one are repetitions of the singular (with vowel points) and plural (without vowel points) forms at the end of the article.

Gesenius also prints Aquila's literal translation of Nephilim (the Greek ekpiptontes should mean "those who fell out/thoroughly"), whereas the LXX proper has gigantes, "giants" (that fact is not included in the article). The latter was an attempt to interpret the word in terms that contemporaries familiar with Greek mythology would understand, and, though misleading in many ways, does show that the standard Jewish view at the time was that, whatever these creatures were, they were not angels and were not quite human either.

Here are some links on all this:

Giants and Nephilim

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

"The Nephilim" (in SR 5)

Doubts about the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

The Nephilim in Genesis 6

Yours in Jesus our Lord,

Question #9: 

Thank you Dr. Luginbill! Ok, now I think I understand it a bit better! Thanks so much! I agree that using terms that the people of that time could understand from their mythology would both help and hinder the truth! What a predicament! Paul also would use mythology of the Greeks to help explain things to the Greeks not because the mythology was correct, and there is always that danger to then have the pagans think that because there is a common ground between the beliefs of themselves with Christian beliefs that they must both have elements from a common truth. I think I might also err in that at times... and I don't know how to address this when I encounter it. One day a young lady I work with told me "I am a Jehovah's Witness, which is just like a Christian"...and I was completely at a loss for words, I didn't know what to say. Because it is our work environment I cannot really argue with her about it there. They think that because they have their green bible and we also read the Bible that we both worship the same God. Sigh.

Thanks, this is going to require more study, and prayer. :)

Response #9: 

You are certainly welcome. And yes, the JW's are a "tough nut" to crack. They don't believe in the deity of Christ – which means by definition that they can't really understand or appreciate His sacrifice in taking on true humanity to be judged for our sins. Since they don't understand / believe in Him – who He really is (His perfect Person) and what He has really done (His death for all sin) – and more than that stubbornly reject critical aspects of both – they are certainly not believers in the sense of being saved.

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

Dr.,

1st Peter 3:19 talks about Jesus going to the Abyss and preaching to the spirits. The Apostles' Creed talks about Jesus descending into Hell. Why?

Response #10: 

You are correct in linking the two. The Apostles' Creed is not, of course, biblical, but this part of it is indeed meant to reference 1st Peter 3:19. Before our Lord's ascension, believers who departed this life went to the paradise below the earth. The entire region of the netherworld is called "Hades" in the New Testament (rendered "hell" in many NT versions), but Hades has three parts: 1) the Abyss (where certain fallen angels are incarcerated at present for violating the "ground rules" of the present conflict between the devil's forces and the Lord), 2) torments (the place of departed unbelievers at all times prior to the last judgment), and 3) paradise, AKA "Abraham's Bosom" (Lk.16). When our Lord "gave up His spirit", He went for those "three" days into this paradise, just as He tells the thief who believed in Him on the cross (Lk.23:43). During this time, we know from the 1st Peter passage that He announced His victory on the cross – the victory over sin which has clinched God's victory in the conflict mentioned above – to those fallen angels incarcerated in the Abyss. Jesus did not enter the Abyss Himself – the verse, more literally translated says, "when He had departed, He gave the victory message to . . .". We know from Luke chapter 16:19-31 that communication between the different compartments of Hades and across the barriers that separate them is possible – or at least it was. Now, believers who pass on go to heaven, having been led there in victory at Christ's ascension to heaven. You can find out more about all this at the following links:

The Descent of our Lord into Paradise

The Apostles' Creed and 1st Peter 3:19

The Compartments of Hades

Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State

Hope this helps – please feel free to write back about any of this.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #11: 

Dear Professor,

Another set of questions:

You wrote about world-rulers (power level): 'beyond any mid-level command authority they may hold, they also exercise special powers of some kind. We may note in passing that they would likely be the type of demon behind the exercise of pseudo-miracles and satanic demonstrations of power (cf. Rev.13:13)'.

Why are miracles attributed to a relatively low rank angel? One could assume that demonstrations of power would be a domain of a more powerful rank.

Response #11: 

On "powers", you certainly make a good point. My reasoning here, beyond what you include, is also based upon the Greek. The word for these angels is in Greek: δύναμις, dynamis. It so happens that this is also the most common word for "miracle" in the New Testament as well (e.g., Matt.7:22; Mk.6:2; 6:5; 9:39; Lk.10:13). So it seems very likely that a Dynamis would be someone in charge of doing dynameis.

Question #12: 

There are two parts of the following response, which I cannot understand.

You wrote: 'The position before the fall was, since as you correctly point out nothing was yet profane, was ceremonial, but it certainly taught an important lesson, namely, that whatever might happen in history God would protect His holiness. That is why Judgment and Mercy go hand in hand, and why Christ had to die for us to have eternal life'.

You write that God would protect His holiness and that is why Judgement and Mercy go hand in hand, but I cannot understand the link between protecting holiness and Judgment and Mercy going hand in hand.

Response #12: 

"That is why Judgment and Mercy go hand in hand": What I mean by this is that God wants to save all, but He cannot do so in way which violates His justice; that would be an affront to His holy character which is inviolate (as the cherub[s] represent). How can a holy God forgive? Only by satisfying His justice first. Hence the essential sacrifice of Christ, the foundation of everything that takes place in the world from God's point of view (and ours too when we begin to see things from the correct, heavenly perspective).

Question #13: 

'Instead of taking the lesson his own position taught, however, Satan was blind enough in his arrogance to rebel, thinking he could avoid God's judgment by circumventing His mercy (i.e., "boxing" God in so that He had no other "move" but to allow the devil to take the universe for himself)'.

I cannot understand what you mean by 'avoiding judgement by circumventing God's mercy?'

Response #13: 

"thinking he could avoid God's judgment by circumventing His mercy (i.e., "boxing" God in so that He had no other "move" but to allow the devil to take the universe for himself)": Satan thought that he had outwitted God when he rebelled. Indeed, if my reconstruction of events is at all accurate he managed to convince his fellow conspirators that no harm would come to them since God in His love would not be able to destroy them out of hand. While he was correct on one score, he badly underestimated both the love and the justice of God, miscalculating on the one hand the lengths that God was willing to go to save His creatures and on the other the absolute unbending nature of His justice as applied to the free will choices of those creatures. Satan thought that he had made restoration an impossibility, had made further acts of mercy impossible, and that, because of His love, God would not be able to judge. But God created mankind as an act of mercy which refuted Satan's false conclusions and demonstrated that mercy in action for all human beings who were willing to do what the devil was not: return to the Lord on the basis of His Sacrifice.

Question #14: 

I don't think you wrote that fallen angels had bodies of their own, I just assumed it was the case. How otherwise would they be able to have children with women? In what form did fallen angels attempt to execute their plan while on earth? How did they exist?

Response #14: 

Fallen angels are different from elect angels "only" in their allegiance – which of course is the most important thing. But their "composition" is the same. Angels are spirits, but spirits are part of the universe. So our spirits and the spirits which angels "are" are both fundamentally different from God who is Spirit – demonstrable from the fact that He exists outside of time and space. Further, while we tend to see things in terms of an absolute physical/spiritual opposition, that is an over-simplification. Scripture is replete with examples of angels interacting with the physical world. It is just that they are not completely a part of it as we are (in the physical part of our natures). Our spirits are created to be part of a dichotomous person who has a body as well as a spirit. Angels' "spirits" are independent of a body and yet have "substance" to the degree that they are 1) confined to a specific time and place; 2) are recognizable as individuals; 3) can interact with the material world and do so all the time (even if that is almost always invisible to human beings). As to the precise nature of their spiritual substance and how they are able to employ it, I can only go so far as may be deduced from the Bible. For more on this please see the links "Angelic Issues" and "The Nature of Angels" where I explain the difference in a bit more detail.

Question #15: 

You wrote: 'The restriction by name in Ephesians 6:12 to this world shows that their originally God-given powers/authority are now limited to doing the devil's work in his present realm'.

The passage mentions 'powers of this dark world', which I take it you're referring to, but also 'spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms'. What are the latter?

Response #15: 

Yes, the "powers" are the fifth and penultimate rank in descending order in Satan's system. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul leaves out the devil (and also the "thrones" who are Satan's pseudo-elders) but then lists the three major "operational" or military ranks, the demon "officers" with whom our "battle", as he says in that verse, now must be fought. Paul ends with the demon rank and file: "evil spirits".

Question #16: 

You wrote (about 'world rulers'): 'They are actually called "powers" in the majority of passages in which reference is made to them (1Cor.15:24; Eph.1:21; 1Pet.3:22). The exception is Ephesians 6:12, where they are called kosmokratores (κοσμοκράτορες)'

What does kosmokratores stand for?

Response #16: 

The word kosmokrator is a compound of kosmos, "world", and krator, "powerful-one/ruler". The word kratos is in many respects a synonym of the word dynamis (the other term applied to this category of rank), the major exception between the two words being that dynamis is more a case of "power manifested" (as in miracles) whereas kratos is more "power exercised" (as in administration). Both terms are illustrative of demon activity behind pagan religion, both its administration in idolatry and its empowerment through pseudo-miracles.

Question #17: 

Could you please explain Daniel 10:2-21? Who is Daniel speaking to, who needs archangel Michael's help?

Response #17:

Daniel sees and speaks with a powerful angel who was delayed by Satan's forces in his coming to respond to Daniel's prayers. This angel received help from Michael, the archangel (and we should understand from the forces Michael commands as well). This angel is not identified by name or type, but he does say later that "Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia" (Dan.10:20 NIV). Since this "prince" is a top-level satanic officer undoubtedly with large forces at his command, Daniel's angel is almost certainly at least of the "Authority" level (i.e., the one below archangel) with a significant number of elect angels at his disposal (else he could not hope to oppose a commander with a unit so large) and may very well be another one of the archangels (there are seven, after all). The latter would be my best supposition, and this certainly shows us how important Daniel's efforts in prayer were. Not only does this illustrate what a great believer he was, but it also shows us that what we do here on earth for the Lord may seem unimportant to us (it certainly does to the secular world), but in fact it is a part of the conflict now raging unseen around us and is an incredibly important part of it at that.

Question #18: 

You wrote: 'These highest ranking of the devil's subordinates are likely much more numerous than their elect equivalents, the elders (cf. Col.1:16)'.

Could you clarify how does the passage relate to devil's subordinates being more numerous than elect equivalents? Also, does the passage mean that fallen angels come from the Son?

Response #18: 

No, this passage is speaking strictly of legitimate angelic ranks in terms of their original creation by the Lord. When I use the Latin abbreviation "cf.", "compare", I do so to make a deliberate qualification as to the applicability of the passage as evidence to the point being made. That is to say, "cf." means "this passage relates to the question although it may not constitute a perfect parallel or direct proof of the point". Colossians 1:16 mentions "thrones" as part of the original system the Lord created. Clearly, the "thrones" established by the devil are illegitimate and are "thrones" in name only. Therefore by their very existence they are an "addition" to the original number, and it stands to reason with what else we know of the system of satanic ranks that the devil has expanded the numbers of all such categories, handing out titles for political reasons rather than for merit in order to seduce as many angels to follow him as possible.

Question #19: 

Could you please clarify Daniel 10:21 and Daniel 11:1? Does it suggest that it's only Michael's job to protect?

Response #19: 

These two archangels support each other. In Daniel 10:21 the unnamed angel is supported by Michael; in Daniel 11:1 he relates that he had previously aided Michael. It is not uncommon in military operations for cooperating formations to aid and be aided according to the enemy's activities:

Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites. Joab said, "If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you."
2nd Samuel 10:9-11 NIV

Question #20: 

You wrote: 'Earth and, more precisely, mankind is at issue now, with Satan and the demons vying with the elect angels of God for control of the hearts of men. Jacob's vision of the angelic siege ramp or military highway stretching up to heaven to the presence of God (Gen.28:10-19; cf. Jn.1:51)'.

There is highway described in the passage, but why do you describe it as military?

Response #20: 

Because of the etymology of the Hebrew word being reminiscent of military activity (from SR 4 fn.47):

Gen.28:12: the word sullam translated "ladder" is from the Hebrew root salal (סלל), and is close in form to the word solelah (siege mound). The "ladder" is thus most likely akin to the ramp used for besieging an enemy city (cf. the Mandaic semlah for a rising flight of stairs).

Question #21: 

You wrote: '2. Satan: The Hebrew word satan (שטן), connotes enmity and opposition. According to this primary name, the devil is the Enemy (cf. Lk.10:19), the Opponent (cf. 1Pet.5:8)'.

In 1 Pet 5:8, Satan is called enemy in NIV, like in Luke 10:19, would you say this is not a correct translation (I'm aware that 'opponent' and 'enemy' are very similar terms)?

Response #21: 

The Greek word is antidikos for which "adversary" or "opponent" is closer. Given that Luke 10:19 et al. have echthros, the actual word "enemy", for the devil, I would personally want to make a distinction in the terms. This is a good example of why translations are by their nature imperfect: they all require some explanation to communicate the precise meaning of the original, but that sort of expansion is antithetical to a readable style.

Question #22: 

You wrote: '11. Pseudo-god and world ruler: These terms describe the devil in his would-be role of master of the earth and human race, for example: "god of this age" (2Cor.4:4); "ruler of this world" (Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11); " prince of the power of the air" (Eph.2:2); "strong man" (Mk.3:27)'.

Regarding the last one - I always thought that 'strong man' was used as a metaphor and not a description of Satan? Do you think Jesus here has specifically Satan in mind rather than comparing him to a strong man?

Response #22: 

Yes I do. This analogy comes in the context of our Lord's enemies blasphemously charging Him with being in league with the devil and our Lord's refutation of that horrible lie. In the analogy, which of course works on a secular plain, our Lord is the One who plunders the strong man, destroying the devil's kingdom and establishing His own Kingdom (at the second advent). At that time, this plunder will be distributed to the Church (Ps.68:18; Is.33.23b; 53:12; 60:11; Lk.11:22; Eph.4:7-8).

Question #23: 

You wrote: 'Scripture, however, is very clear about the fact that we are being observed by angels (Job 1 & 2...)'.

I assume that inclusion of these passages means that you means that you had fallen angels in mind too?

Response #23: 

Yes. The observation of humanity by angels is not to be understood as something apart from the unseen conflict to which the creation of mankind and our calling out for Christ's Church is an integral part – and which indeed is the present main target of the devil on the central battlefield of that conflict. There is, of course, a difference: elect angels are learning about God's grace in the process of observing us; fallen angels are merely searching for tactical advantages against us.

Question #24: 

Why do demons, who crave for the body, led to the death of the bodies they were given in Luke 8:32-33? I'm aware that these were animal bodies and not human, but I don't know why Jesus has put them into the herd of pigs and why they rushed down the bank to get drowned. Could they have been simply told to leave? Why does Jesus chooses these bodies for them?

Response #24: 

Yes, the Lord could have commanded them to do whatever He wished, and that certainly included having them confined in the Abyss. I don't think killing the herd of pigs was their intention. The main desire of these demons was not to be thrown into the Abyss. I think they suggested this alternative as a way of being freed from the terror of the Abyss – perhaps they may have assumed that because the animals were unclean that this would seem like a good alternative to the Lord. But the Lord did not choose for them; they asked Him and He allowed them to enter into the bodies of these unclean animals who were being raised for food contrary to God's law within the land. I am sure that the demons intended to maintain a physical presence in the area now that they had been evicted from this man (they had their orders from Satan on this score no doubt), but their entrance into the swine caused a stampede which resulted in the death of the entire herd. All this our Lord anticipated; none of this the demons anticipated.

Question #25:

Could you please clarify Acts 16:16-18? Why is Paul annoyed at her shouting the truth? Why would an evil spirit shout that?

Response #25: 

The fact that Paul was very annoyed surely has something to do with why the demon would wish to do this, i.e., to annoy Paul. Secondly, the demon in having the girl do this was calling a good deal of attention away from Paul and to his possessed subject, not only confusing the issue but taking some credit to her (and him). Thirdly, the words may have been the demons but the action of following may have come from the girl. Just as in the case of the Gadarene demoniac who was possessed by a "legion" of angels, they could not prevent him from coming and falling at Jesus' feet even though the demons did continue to control his speech until they were exorcised. Not only would someone yelling uninvited behind you – even the truth – be annoying after a point, but I am sure that Paul understood the source of the "compliment" and would be somewhat outraged by that as well. Most people wouldn't have had the patience to put up with this as long as he did, I would guess.

Question #26: 

You wrote: 'In demon possession, a fallen angel (or several) takes up residence in the body of a morally accountable human being'.

What do you mean by 'morally accountable'? Do you mean somebody with a healthy perception of morality, regardless of their deeds, or somebody who is a true believer and follows that perception of morality with deeds?

Response #26: 

What I mean by this is that no one is demon possessed without their permission. How that permission is given may vary (and scripture does not give the details), but in my reading of the Bible, free will is the key to everything, and human beings cannot be possessed without making an informed decision that they are willing to be possessed. I am not saying that they realize what they are in for – far from it! But from the information the Bible does provide it seems that children who have not reached the point of accountability for their actions are never possessed. To be possessed, there has to be a certain willingness so that it may be shown on the day of judgment that the person in question was indeed responsible for that awful result.

Question #27: 

How come the medium from 1 Samuel 28:3-19 has got the power to fulfill Saul's wish and bring Samuel?

Response #27:

Satan and all his demons put together do not have the power to "bring up" anyone from death. The woman did not have this power. She was under the power and influence of demons and no doubt provided a very good "fake show" for those who paid her for this (as in seances today). No doubt the demons with whom she was in league were able to pretend to be whomever the person wanted. This is why she is so shocked when Samuel himself actually appears. She has never seen anything like this before because nothing like this had ever happened before – to judge from scripture it is the only time anything of the like has ever happened or ever will in human history. And it only happened because God caused it to happen for His own purposes. Saul, who would not seek God in His way is given to receive true tidings of his impending demise in spite of his foolish consultation of a medium (please see the links: "The Witch of Endor and the Spirit of Samuel" and "More on the Witch of Endor").

Question #28: 

You wrote: 'As temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.3:16; cf. 1Cor.10:22)' - 1 Cor 10:21 would fit well too, it seems, maybe this is the passage you meant.

Response #28: 

Yes. I will change it. Thanks!

Question #29: 

You wrote: 'Unlike demonic attack and infliction of disease, however, demon possession also requires the willful acquiescence of the possessed'.

a) Why do you think that is the case? In the instance of the 'boy', even if we understand that his initial affliction takes place during adolescence, does it imply acquiescence?

Response #29: 

a) Demon possession requires our consent (see #42 above). Demon affliction does not (cf. your previous question above and Paul's "thorn in the flesh" which he describes as "a messenger of Satan, to torment me": 2Cor.12:7). The "boy" in question whom our Lord heals after coming down from the mount of transfiguration was most probably possessed and an adolescent when the possession first occurred. Cf. fn.#72 from SR 4:

The case of the "boy" with the unclean spirit is sometimes taken as an exception (Matt.17:14ff.; Mk.9:24; Lk.9:37ff.). When Jesus asks the time of his initial affliction, his father replies "since he was a boy", however this phrase translates the Greek adverb paidiothen which means here not "from childhood" but "from adolescence", based on the word pais (παις) which is often used to make this distinction in Greek.

Question #30: 

b) Since the demons are more powerful than human beings, I would have thought that if they wish to possess a particular human being, this is likely to happen, regardless of a conscious or unconscious agreement of the victim. Obviously, all given God's permission.

Response #30: 

b) If demons were allowed to do anything they wanted, Satan would no doubt just destroy all believers immediately – or the entire human race. Either way, he would thus defeat the Plan of God. God does not allow certain things, and one of those things, in my reading of scripture, is the possession of human beings by demons when the person in question is not willing to be possessed. This is very important, because the entire plan of God is built around human free will response to God in the Person of Christ. If we could be deprived of our free will without our willingness, we would not really have free will in the first place. If not allowed to actually destroy all believers or all human beings, why then would the devil not just possess everyone? That would likewise make the execution of the Plan of God impossible.

Question #31: 

c) Also, I read the book 'The exorcism of Anneliese Michel' and although there were certainly many problems that surrounded that particular case, Anneliese, as far as the report goes, would be a person highly unlikely to allow a demon in. We cannot obviously make a judgment regarding issues hidden deep in one's soul, but considering all the prayer on her part and even direct quotes, it looks like an example of undeserved suffering.

Would you not say that demon possession could be a form of undeserved suffering on part of the believer?

I am no specialist in the area, but to what extent does the demon exert the power over a particular human being when possessing him/her? In the case of Anneliese, it doesn't seem that the sin onto death was committed while she was already possessed, and although physically she ended in a horrifying state, spiritually, as far as I can remember, she remained intact. The whole subject seems unclear to me, and the 'willful acquiescence' in particular - can it simply mean committing any sin, as that opens the door for a demon? Is it a more conscious allowance for some supernatural powers to exert a degree of control over our life? Although there is certainly no shortage of cases whereby people make such choices, there remain cases like Anneliese, where a believer (admittedly, a part of RC church with all its problems, but, as far as the descriptions and quotes from her go, a person seeking God) is faced with this very difficult problem.

Response #31: 

c) As to anecdotal reports, this is also a very important point. In our day and age, there are a multitude of books, reports, blogs, testimonies, etc., etc. out there in the ether which contradict what the Bible has to say. Most good Christians have no problem rejecting something like evolution because they recognize that theory for what it is, a secular (and demonically inspired) assault upon the truth that God created everything. When it comes to such "reports" by seemingly well meaning and well intended "Christians", however, I have found many times that Christians are very apt to be deceived. I have seen this over and over again, in fact. What I always say about this is that Christians should believe the Bible rather than even what they see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears (2Cor.5:7; cf. 2Cor.4:18). If that is true even of what we ourselves may experience, how much more is it not the case when it comes to third parties, and especially third parties whom we do not personally know? Being loving at heart, Christians also tend to be incredibly gullible when the person doing the "gulling" represents him or herself as a "Christian". We have to remember that in a case such as the one you adduce 1) the person could be mistaken; 2) the person could be exaggerating; 3) the person could be lying; 4) the person or persons reporting what the other person experienced could be getting it wrong for all manner or reasons, 5) there could also be any number of other possible explanations for what "happened" that just haven't occurred to us, and most importantly 6) if anything someone reports contradicts the Bible, we must go with the Bible, not the report. In this instance, we do not know 1) that the person was definitely a believer; 2) that the person was definitely demon possessed; or 3) that the account is 100% factual in every respect (or, actually, in any respect). Indeed, outside of scripture, I don't know of any report that could come up to the standard of divine inspiration, and to the extent that there is any inaccuracy in a third party report, to that extent there is more than enough room for the Bible to be completely correct and the apparent discrepancy to be a result of the inaccuracy, however small.

See the links:

Believe the Bible rather than 3rd Party Reports

Do Miracles still Happen?

The Persuasiveness of the False Teaching of the Tribulation

Question #32: 

Could you please clarify what does accusation of believers on part of Satan involve? If God knows our sins anyway, what specifically is Satan doing?

Response #32: 

Yes, God certainly knows everything we do. But Satan is bringing our faults to official notice before the throne of God and demanding action, impugning God's righteousness if He does not act against us. Does this mean that we receive any sort of different discipline as a result? I certainly doubt it, but it is a great cause of blessing when this is no longer allowed to happen (Rev.12:10).

Question #33: 

Associated with the previous question is the next one - you wrote: 'The coming of our Lord the first time began an intensification of the Plan of God in the sense that before our Lord the family of God is much like a straight line of descent (which the devil has always sought to "cut off"); to large measure, we can summarize the plan and the community of faith before the coming of the Messiah and the institution of the Church as Satan's attempts to destroy the line of the faithful and God's faithful defense of that small community linearly replenished'.

I'm unsure whether you mean that before Jesus' ministry the family of God was slowly becoming smaller (that's how I understand 'straight line of descent'), or slowly becoming bigger (that's how I understand 'linearly replenished').

Response #33:

The line was generally growing, but only incrementally even when it did. The numbers were largely restricted to Israel proper (and, specifically, to the smaller number of those within Israel who truly had faith). So while previously there was growth it was linear growth rather than the geometric growth that began after the first Pentecost of the Church. The devil unquestionably knows all about the 7,000 years of human history (ever since the seven days of the earth's restoration). Before the cross the number of believers ebbed and flowed, but even when growing it was essentially a matter of replenishing of the community of the faithful, and Satan can certainly count. It must have seemed to him impossible for the requisite number of one-for-one replacement, saved human beings for fallen angels, to be met before the end of history. With the rapid expansion of the Church, this false confidence was destroyed.

Question #34: 

In 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 it says: 'God sends them a powerful delusion'. Since God wants people to respond to his message, is that a way of saying that those who do not respond will be led astray by Satan who will delude them? But then it says clearly that it's God who sends the delusion.

Response #34: 

Yes, God sends the delusion and the evil one guides them; both things are operative. This passage is referring to the divine intensification during the Tribulation of the consequences of the "either/or" choice all human beings have to make in life (i.e., for God or not for God), but the principle certainly applies to all eras of human history. As outlined at the link in BB 4B Soteriology, all human beings are constructed to need and to receive the truth, but all are also given the image of God, the free-will which gives the ability to say "no" to the truth. When the truth is rejected, some lie must be accepted in its place. At present, many unbelievers have effectively "compartmentalized" this rejection of truth and have managed to keep it largely limited to the area of religion (i.e., having accepting some false religious premises in place of God's gospel truth). This limiting of evil influence will be harder to accomplish during the Tribulation, and most of the unbelieving world will come to accept Satan's lies on a much broader basis (explaining many of the horrific things that will be able to take place during such a relatively short period of time). God uses everything in history to advance His plan and proclaim His glory (cf. Ps.76:10). As God, it would be impossible for Him to have created a universe in any other way other than a perfect way so that this way He has created it is ipso facto perfect, even if some people have a hard time seeing or accepting that fundamental fact. So while on the one hand those who oppose Him do so from their own free will, on the other hand every action anyone ever takes has already been written into the plan of God and, in one way or another, is now necessary for it (in addition to the linked BB 4B, for one aspect of this phenomenon see the link "God's employment of evil spirits").

Question #35: 

Is Matt 17:21 a part of the scripture?

Response #35: 

No. It has been added, perhaps as a gloss, to make it harmonize with Mark 9:29. As I say at the link "Greek Textual Criticism":

Matthew 17:21 in the KJV (based upon the TR) has, erroneously, "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting". However, since the verse does occur at Mark 9:29, it is not introducing some sort of heresy. To be clear, it is not part of scripture here (and most modern versions Greek and English both omit it; e.g., Nestle's Greek and the NIV – although both address the issue of their decision to take it out in footnotes).

Question #36: 

Regarding the Angelic Cohabitation - the fallen angels, 'sons of God', possessed human bodies (or superhuman) - earlier you wrote that this was one of the fallen angels' greatest desires to have a body and these passages seem to suggest it was possible for them to fulfil this desire.

Response #36: 

What is the precise location of the quote? The nephilim do have bodies (they are half human); the best the fallen angels can do is to possess (i.e., enter into) the body of someone else (human or animal). If I did say somewhere that fallen angels actually "had" bodies of their own, that was a mistake. But in thinking this over I think we have a usage misunderstanding. In the context of demons, "possess/possession" is, unfortunately given its potential for confusion, a technical term meaning that the demon has entered into the "host", so to speak, and is directing it for his own ends (as in the case of the Gadarene demoniac, for example; please see the link: in SR 4: Demon Possession).

Question #37: 

The Polish translation of 1st Peter 3:19-20 says angels who were once (or long ago) disobedient (as if they were disobedient in the past and became obedient) - you translate it without 'once' or 'long ago'.

Response #37:

The Greek has pote hote, that is, the indefinite temporal adverb followed by the relative temporal adverb (literally "some-when when" or "when at one time in the past"). My "at the time when" takes these connected adverbs together and gives them their equivalent English force of a definite event (when / hote) taking place at a time somewhat indefinite as not being specified (the time / pote).

Question #38: 

You wrote: 'God is not at present theocratically administering the world in an outright and absolute manner. He did so in the past (before Satan's fall, and on the re-created earth before Adam and Eve fell)...'. But wasn't Satan already there when the earth was re-created? And if so, then why do you consider God's rule absolute at the time?

Response #38: 

Scripture is very clear about the fall as constituting a ceding of human authority to the devil to some degree. Satan's current limited "sovereignty" is frequently mentioned in scripture but is a result of man's error not just of the devil's presence (Lk.4:6; Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 1Jn.5:19). Satan and his demons would, theoretically, have been allowed to continue observing mankind right up until the end of human history without having any authority of the re-created earth – except for the fall.

Question #39: 

Could you please explain 1 Corinthians 8:5-6? When saying there are many 'gods' does Paul have in mind what people may wrongly idolize and perceive as such, or does he have actual beings in mind (Satan and his minions?)?

Response #39: 

I think Paul is referring to both. Behind every pagan idol there is a demon. So the "gods" can be either the visible human representation of a false god or the demon influence behind it or both taken together.

Question #40: 

You wrote: 'cf. 2Chron3:10 where in Solomon's temple the addition of the two cherubs on the back wall of the holy of holies at a right angle to the two cherubs on the mercy seat has the effect and possibly the purpose of making four cherubs visible'. This passage only talks about two cherubs, could you clarify how were four visible?

Response #40: 

The other two are the two cherubs on the mercy seat on the top of the ark of the covenant. These face north and south, so that the ones on the back of the new holy of holies represent the east/west cherubs.

Question #41: 

You wrote: 'The Four Ages of Human History: Before the rebellion of the devil and his angels, Satan occupied a unique position in God's creation (see Part 3 of this series, section III). He was the guardian cherub, assigned to protect the holiness of God from everything profane, and he appeared before God bedecked with memorial jewels betokening the original nine angelic divisions'. What profane was there before Satan's rebellion?

Response #41: 

Somewhat ironically, from Satan himself! There is an old Latin proverb, quis ipsos custodies custodiet?, "Who will guard the guards?" Of course, God cannot be surprised. The position before the fall was, since as you correctly point out nothing was yet profane, was ceremonial, but it certainly taught an important lesson, namely, that whatever might happen in history God would protect His holiness. That is why Judgment and Mercy go hand in hand, and why Christ had to die for us to have eternal life. Instead of taking the lesson his own position taught, however, Satan was blind enough in his arrogance to rebel, thinking he could avoid God's judgment by circumventing His mercy (i.e., "boxing" God in so that He had no other "move" but to allow the devil to take the universe for himself). After eternity commences, there will still be such positions and features (New Jerusalem and walls and gates, for example, though no threat will ever present itself), but these will then be in the manner of a memorial to the truth God has vindicated through His plan in time.

Question #42: 

In Ezekiel 41:19-20 only two faces of the cherubim are mentioned? Is it because they were 'carved' and hence the image was two dimensional?

Response #42: 

Yes, that's correct. We see parallels of this two-dimensional style of graphic representation throughout ancient Egypt and the Near East.

Question #43: 

You wrote about Ezek.10:14: 'where it states literally in the Hebrew that "the face of the first one was . . . [etc.]', in other translations it says: '14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub' - 'is it the face of the first one' or 'one face was that of a cherub'?

Response #43: 

What I mean here is that in the representation of the art of the times, a generic "cherub" was thought of as resembling a bullock, so that Ezekiel can call this face "cherub face" or "the cherub" and expect it to be understood that he is talking about the bullock-face.

Question #44: 

You wrote: 'In this second description, Ezekiel's account thus moves around the chariot-throne in a clockwise fashion (left-front, front-right, right-rear, rear-left)'. I couldn't visualize it - could you please talk me through Ezekiel's perception - where did he start and how did he move, are all the cherubs facing the same direction, are they all facing a different direction in this description?

Response #44: 

In chapter 10, Ezekiel starts on the left side of the chariot-throne (and from that vantage point sees the bullock faces only), then moves to the front of the chariot throne and sees only the "man" faces, then moves to the right side and sees the "lions", then finally to the rear and sees only "eagles". I could have done a better job translating this verse. Instead of "The face of the first was [that of a] cherub", better: The face of the first [side] was [that of a] cherub . . . etc.".

Question #45: 

You wrote: 'In a similar way, we may assume that the nine jewels born by the covering cherub represented the nine original divisions of the angelic order. Revelation 12:4 describes the great dragon (the devil) as sweeping away a third of the stars of heaven and casting them to the earth, referring both the angels who followed him during his pre-historic rebellion (cf. Judg.5:20; Job 38:7; Is.40:26 w. Lk.2:13)'. Aren't these passages - (cf. Judg.5:20; Job 38:7; Is.40:26 w. Lk.2:13) - talking about angels who didn't rebel and stayed loyal to God - for example Job 38:7: 'while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy'?

Response #45: 

Good point! I wrote BB 2A Angelology after SR 4, and combined a lot of similar material. This was an editorial lapse on my part.

Question #46: 

You wrote: 'Furthermore, the mention of other unnamed sariym ("princes") in addition to Michael in Daniel chapter ten indicates a plurality of archangels beyond these two (Dan.10:13; 10:20-21; 12:1)'. Verse 13th described Michael as the 'chief of princes', but how do the other verses (20-21, and 12:1) indicate the plurality of archangels? Also, who are prince of Persia and Greece - are these literal princes (people) or fallen angels?

Response #46: 

Michael is called a sar in both passages; the "princes" who oppose him are also called sar. These are military offices ("commanding general" or similar). The devil apparently adopted the same terminology for his forces along with some new terms, and also seems to have indulged liberally in "rank inflation". After all, if you're going to stage a rebellion, promising a corporal he will be a "field marshal" has some persuasive punch to it.

Question #47: 

Could you please clarify why in 1Pet.3:22 the 'arch' part is left out?

Response #47: 

All three categories listed by Peter in this verse are "angels", so it begs the question as to what sort of "angels" these "angels" are in the context of the other two groups being "authorities and powers". The point Peter is making is Jesus' supremacy over all angelic ranks, and he does this by listing three of the highest angelic ranks first. Since in the context the "angels" are first in order and are followed by ranks lower than archangel, assuming them to be archangels would be the natural way for his readers to take the passage. I.e., in such a context "angel" is short hand for "archangel". We see this in Revelation quite a bit (i.e., where a particular type or class of angel is often called only "angel"). Perhaps the reason for this is that the archangels are the ones who most commonly appear in scripture (whether named for unnamed). Given the three names, I think it very unlikely for the "angels" to be merely "rank and file", especially as they come first in the order.

Question #48: 

You wrote about 'Powers': (1Cor.15:24; Eph.1:21; 1Pet.3:22) - am I correct to assume that in these verses both good and evil 'powers' are mentioned?

You wrote (about angels' tasks):

b) 'escorting believers to their resurrection-rendezvous with Christ at His return (compare Lk.17:35 with 1Thes.4:16-17)'. Could you explain how these verses relate to the point (angels escorting believers don't seem to be explicitly mentioned?

c) 'escorting of inspired believers in visions (Rev.17:3; 21:9-10; cf. 2Cor.12:4; Rev.4:1-2)'. Is this point with relation to 2Cor.12:4, based on the assumption that it is normally the angels' job to do it (we can only read that 'this man' - is it Paul? - was caught up)

d) 'providing manna during the years of the Exodus (Ps.78:25)'. In the passage it says : 'Human beings ate the bread of angels' - does it then mean that human ate bread brought by angels, or bread that angels eat (if they eat anything at all)?

e) 'praising God ' - how does Neh.9:6 relate to it (aren't these people praising God in this passage)?

This is a long set of questions, please take your time and answer them at your convenience.

In Jesus and with constant prayer,

Response #48: 

a) Yes. The one caveat I would put here is that 1st Corinthians 15:24 is very generic, talking about the offices generally (which also includes human "power/authority/dominion) rather than specific holders of the office.

b) In the Luke passage, the person is said to "be taken", and that indicates "by someone/something"; we read in Luke 16:22 that Lazarus after death was "was carried by the angels" to paradise. I should include that passage in the parenthesis: precedent: angels take believers to their next stop; proof: at the resurrection the believers are taken or guided (by angels); expansion: 1Thess.4 gives the details of the resurrection reunion. But the passage I really should have cited is in Matthew:

(31) And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet, and He will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other (i.e., this is not to "help" us but to marshal us – we are already flying to meet those just resurrected).
Matthew 24:31

c) Yes. As in the previous point, he was "taken" or escorted by someone. Cf. the next verses cited, Rev.4:1-2, where John is told "come up here!" (something he can't do on his own, after all), and is accompanied/guided by angels throughout the revelation (suggesting that he had this help/guidance as in the other passages).

d) I take this to mean "angel provided". Angels don't need to eat.

e) The operative phrase is "the multitudes (i.e., angels) of heaven worship you".

As always, thank you for close attention to detail! Here's hoping these answers are helpful to you as you continue your spiritual advance and preparation for your own ministry for our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

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