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The Nephilim And The End Of All Flesh

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.”

(Matthew 24:37/NASU)


Genesis 6:1-13

1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them,

2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men [Adam; same Hebrew] were beautiful [2896- “good; favorable; festive; pleasing,; pleasant; well; better; right; best.]; and they took [3947- “to take, receive, take away, grasp, take hold of”] wives for themselves, whomever they chose [977- “to examine, to choose, elect, decide for, select”].

3 Then the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive [1777] with man [120] forever, because he also [7683- see definition below] is flesh [1320- “flesh, used of the body, mankind”]; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent [3336- “a form, framing, purpose, framework”] of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

7 The Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. [For much more on the next two verses see the Bible study Noah; A Sign Of The End.]

9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt [7843] in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence [2555].

12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt [7843]; for all flesh [1320] had corrupted [7843] their way [1870] upon the earth.

13 Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh [1320] has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence [2555] because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy [7843] them with the earth.

NASU

Genesis 6:12-13

12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

NIV

OT:1777 diyn (deen); or (Gen 6:3) duwn (doon)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root [compare OT:113]; to rule; by implication to judge (as umpire); also to strive (as at law):

KJV - contend, execute (judgment), judge, minister judgment, plead (the cause), at strife, strive.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

1) to judge, to contend, to plead

a) (Qal)

1) to act as judge, to minister judgment

2) to plead a cause

3) to execute judgment, to requite, to vindicate

4) to govern

5) to contend, to strive

b) (Niphal) to be at strife, to quarrel

OT:7683 shagag (shaw-gag')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to stray, i.e. (figuratively) sin (with more or less apology):

KJV - also for that, deceived, err, go astray, sin ignorantly.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to go astray, to err, to commit sin or error (Qal)

1) to err (mentally)

2) to sin (ignorantly or inadvertently)


OT:7843 shachath (shaw-khath')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to decay, i.e. (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively):

KJV - batter, cast off, corrupt (-er, thing), destroy (-er, -uction), lose, mar, perish, spill, spoiler, utterly, waste (-r).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to destroy, to corrupt, to go to ruin, to decay

a) (Niphal) to be marred, to be spoiled, to be corrupted, to be corrupt, to be injured, to be ruined, to be

rotted

b) (Piel)

1) to spoil, to ruin

2) to pervert, to corrupt, to deal corruptly (morally)

c) (Hiphil)

1) to spoil, to ruin, to destroy

2) to pervert, to corrupt (morally)

3) destroyer (participle)

d) (Hophal) spoiled, ruined (participle)


OT:2555 chamac (khaw-mawce')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:2554; violence; by implication, wrong; by meton. unjust gain:

KJV - cruel (-ty), damage, false, injustice, oppressor, unrighteous, violence (against, done), violent (dealing), wrong.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice


chamas [OT:2555] – “violence; wrong; maliciousness.” This word appears about 60 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew. Basically chamas connotes the disruption of the divinely established order of things. It has a wide range of nuances within this legal sphere[See the Bible study Order In The House.]

(from , Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:1870 derek (deh'-rek)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:

KJV - along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, [east-] ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, [high-] [path-] way [-side], whither [-soever].

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

a way, a road, a distance, a journey, a manner

a) a road, a way, a path

b) a journey

c) a direction

d) a manner, a habit, a way

e) used of the course of life (figurative)

f) used of moral character (figurative)


I listened to a man tonight (1-27-22) on the internet talking about the flood in the days of Noah. Near the beginning of his message he quoted Genesis 6:13 when God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before me.” Immediately my heart stirred within me. I believe that what I felt in my spirit was a heavenly declaration/verdict from the court of heaven.

To the Christian who acknowledges his wretchedness, longing to be set free from their enslavement to “this body of death” as Paul referred to it in Romans 7:24, this is good news of great hope. But to the Christian and non-Christian who has ignored Christ’s plea to repent, not being distraught with the depravity of their sinful nature and are longing to be once and for all released from it, it’s a death sentence with no hope of parole. There is nothing good that dwells within the fallen, fleshly nature that holds all mankind captive. It is corrupt and cannot be saved. As in the days of Noah, it has ripened to a state of which there is nothing left to do but put an end to it.

Earlier in His declaration of impending judgment, the Lord said to Noah, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh…” (Genesis 6:3). The Hebrew for “strive” is duwn (doon). It’s defined as “to judge, to contend, to strive, to plead a cause.” According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, to contend is “to strive against, to struggle in opposition, to strive in debate, to quarrel, to strive to convince and reclaim.” It appears that the Lord is saying there is a time when He will no longer plead His case with mankind. He will not continue striving with us forever, pleading with us to repent of our sin so as not to be cast into hell, when we continuously fight against Him and sin even more.

There is a point where men’s hearts have become so hardened through the deceitfulness of sin that the Lord will no longer hold back from pouring out His wrath on them. When wickedness, violence, and injustice have reached the tipping point, justice then demands a verdict. There’s a time when He will act on behalf of the persistent prayers that have come up before Him from the righteous who, like Lot, are tormented in their righteous souls by the lawless deeds of the wicked that they see and hear day by day (1 Peter 2:7-8).

Luke tells us of a time when Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said;


In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’”

(Luke 18:1-8/NIV)


Those of us who are sickened by what we now see and hear every day must not quit, but continue to persevere in prayer. We must also search our own hearts as we petition the Lord for justice against the wickedness in our nation and the rest of the world, ensuring that our wedding garments are not stained by the world (James 1:27).


The Nephilim


There is something else within verse three of chapter six in Genesis that seems to be strangely misinterpreted. It’s found within the portion of this verse that says, “because he also is flesh.” The Hebrew for “also” is shagag (shaw-gag') which means, “to go astray, to err, to commit sin or error.” At first glance this appears to have nothing to do with “also”, but it’s in response to the first two verses which refer to “the sons of God” taking wives from “the daughters of men” for themselves, “whomever they chose.” What and who exactly these are talking about has always been a little mysterious among Bible scholars, but I believe that since it leads toward the reason that God destroyed all flesh it is crucial that in our knowledge we gain some understanding of who the Lord is describing here.

The verse that immediately follows this portion says;


The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4/NASU)


The KJV and the NKJV of the Bible interpret is as, “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward…” The Hebrew for Nephilim is nephiyl (nef-eel'); or nephil (nef-eel'). It’s defined as “properly, a feller [which means “one who hews or knocks down”]; i.e. a bully or tyrant.” Another definition is “giant.” Through this, and other biblical passages, it seems that the Nephilim were a mixed breed of giants who were in the land. This Hebrew word was taken from the word naphal (naw-fal') which means “to fall, to lie, to be cast down, to fail.” From this we could say that this race was either produced by fallen angels or fallen men who caused others to be cut/cast down, or to fall away (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

There are only two verses in the Bible that use this Hebrew word. The other is in Numbers 13:33 when the twelve spies sent out by Moses had come back from spying out the land of Canaan. It was only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb that believed God and gave a good report, saying that in spite of what they saw they could overcome it. The ten others, though, said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us” (Numbers 13:31). Notice that they focused on their own strength rather than the promise of God and His power to fulfill what He said. (See the Bible study Good Report Bad Report.)

They continued with their bad report of the land they had spied out, saying;


The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

(Numbers 13:32-33/NASU)


By the way, the time period that this transpired was post flood (i.e. “…and also afterward” in Genesis 6:4). So whatever caused this race to be, it was not destroyed from mankind by the flood.

There is a "grasshopper" principle here that we need to understand; before our giant-like enemies that we face in life, we will be as we see ourselves. If we see ourselves as being little in our own strength, that is what we will be. But if we believe God’s word and His power before that which we are facing, as being more than conquerors through Him (Romans 8:37), than that is what we will be. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

Back in Numbers, chapter thirteen, we see that the Anakites were a race of giants dwelling in the land of Canaan. Later, when those who had not believed God had died in the wilderness and the new generation God raised up in their place was being prepared to go in and take the land, Moses said to them;


Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that it is the Lord your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has spoken to you.”

(Deuteronomy 9:1-3/NASU)


The children of Israel needed to be reminded that their God was bigger than the giant’s they were about to face. Our actions always reveal whether or not we live by faith, or by sight. Divinely placed giants are sure to come before every follower of Christ in order to prove what, or should I say who exactly we are trusting in.

Without getting into great detail, there are four basics views regarding who the Nephilim were. In an article by Edward Antonio entitled, “Who Were The Nephilim,” he describes them for us;

  • The first view is that fallen angels had relations with the “daughters of men,” which resulted in a part human, part supernatural being – the Nephilim.

  • The second position held by some is that demons or fallen angels possessed men, then had relations with “the daughters of men,” resulting in the Nephilim.

  • A third position, called the Sethite View, is held by some scholars. The Sethite View defines the “sons of God” as the righteous line of Seth [see Genesis 5, the lineage from Seth to Noah].

  • Lastly, a view held by the minority is the “sons of God” were simply fallen men.


Whatever position you believe is the right one, there is a common thread that needs to be emphasized. It’s the word “fallen.” Remember, the definition for the Hebrew word we interpret as “Nephilim” or “giants,” depending upon the version you look at, is “properly, a feller [which means “one who hews or knocks down”], i.e. a bully or tyrant, a giant.” Also, and possibly even more to consider, as we will see, is that it was taken from another Hebrew word defined as “to fall, to lie, to be cast down, to fail.”

First, though, let’s look at the other references in both the Old and New Testaments that refer to “the sons of God.”


The Sons Of God

In the Old Testament, Job refers to them as angels in three passages;


Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.”

(Job 1:6/NASU; also see Job 2:1 and 38:7)


First of all, it seems somewhat strange to me that the Lord would even allow Satan in His presence. But anyway, the sons of God appearing before the Lord are obviously not from the earth, but angelic beings.

Some Sadducees came to Jesus one day, asking Him a question regarding a woman whose husband had died and they were childless. According to the law of Moses, the next brother in line would marry and have children with her for his brother. The firstborn son was to be given the name of the deceased brother so that his name would not be blotted out from Israel (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).

In their scenario, there were seven brothers and she went through them all, not having a single child with any of them. One day, the woman finally died as well. The Sadducee’s question to Jesus was, “In the resurrection therefore, which one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” (Luke 20:33/NASU) Jesus said to them;


The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

(Luke 20:34-36/NASU)


Through His reply, Jesus is comparing the sons of God (i.e. humans) “who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead” to the angels. This comparison of Jesus between man and angels is noteworthy for that which we will soon look at.

There are other New Testament passages that define the characteristics of those who are defined as the sons (and daughters) of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9/NASU) In his letter to the Romans Paul said, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14/NASU) He would also write to the church in the city of Galatia, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26/NASU) There are others but the point is that in the New Testament the term “sons of God” is used to describe a Christian who is “considered worthy.” There is one reference in particular, though, that we need to look at because of its mentioning of fallen angels.


Abandoning Our Habitation In Christ


In the book of Jude we are given an extremely serious warning for the church that, it appears, is referring to what occurred in Genesis with “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men.” Again, the word “fallen” is key to understanding the text.

Jude begins by exhorting believers to earnestly contend for the faith because certain men had crept in among them unnoticed. He described them as “godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 4/NIV) They had moved the legal boundaries of God’s law to appease the sinful desires of the fleshly nature (see the Bible study Moving The Boundary Stones). Through their teachings they were saying that our willful disobedience to the Lord’s commands will not have any effect on our standing before Him in any way. In the next couple verses he clearly reminds us through some Old Testament examples of the disastrous end of those who listen and follow these false teachers.

The first example that Jude uses is the wilderness journey of the children of Israel. He says;


Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” (v.5/NASU)


Notice that he refers to their being set free from Egypt, the house of bondage, as being “saved.” The Greek for “saving” is sozo (sode'-zo). It is defined as “to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” It is the same Greek word used in Matthew 1:21 when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph regarding the truth of Mary’s pregnancy;


She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save [sozo] his people from their sins.” (NIV)


As seen within the New Testament, the children of Israel’s being “saved” out of Egypt, and their subsequent journey to the Promised Land of their inheritance in the Lord, is a picture of every Christian’s journey. After initially being “saved” from our bondage of enslavement to sin through repentance, we embark on our journey to our eternal inheritance/life in Him. But as with the Israelites, between our starting and the finishing lies the wilderness. The question is do you and I have the faith in God that Joshua and Caleb had, or that of the ten spies who gave a bad report (i.e. bad witness) and perished along the way, unable to enter in to their promised place? (See the Bible study Good Report Bad Report.)


Falling Away From Christ


In Paul’s first letter to the Christians in Corinth, he used the children of Israel’s lack of obedience in the wilderness as a warning for those of us who are now walking under the new covenant in the blood of Christ. He said;


These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! “

(1 Corinthians 10:11-12/NIV; also, see verse 6 in this chapter)


To “fall” is, by definition of the Greek, to descend from a higher position to a lower one. Also, it is “to fall out or to fall from.” This is crucial to see before we look at Jude’s next example.

He continues with his severe warning, saying;


And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

(Jude 1:6-7/NASU)


It is the opinion of many that the angels being described by Jude are a direct reference to the “sons of God” spoken of in Genesis 6:1-4.

There are two key words to look at here. The first is arche (ar-khay'), the Greek for “domain.” It’s described as “beginning, origin, the first place, that by which anything begins to be.” The second is the Greek for “proper abode” which is oiketerion (oy-kay-tay'-ree-on). It means, “a dwelling place, habitation.” From these two words you can see that these angels left the place of their origin, of their beginning, their dwelling place and went after that which was forbidden by God. Like Adam and Eve, this ill-advised deed would cost them their original place of habitation near Him.

Jude then describes for us what exactly it was that placed these fallen angels in “eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” The great day mentioned here is the terrible and dreadful day of the Lord when the Bible tells us that He will execute His wrath on all that is wicked.

He compared these angels’ actions to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them. Jude says their lawbreaking deeds were that they “indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh.” The Greek for “strange” is heteros (het'-er-os) which means, “the other, another, i. e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind; different.” So you can see from this that it seems very possible that the angels Jude describes were those of the sons of God in Genesis 6:3 who, in some manner whether directly or indirectly through wicked men, exceeded the legal boundaries established by God. They went after that which was of another kind.


(See Genesis 24:1-4 when Abraham made his servant swear an oath that he would not look for a wife for his son, Isaac, from among the daughters of the Canaanites. But instead, that he would go among Abraham’s people and take a wife. This is what the Lord desires for His bride as well. She is to be found among those in the church. Also see the Bible study Eve; The Life Giving Bride.)


The Wedding Dress Dream

A friend of ours recently had a dream that, as we discussed it, the Lord began to unravel and reveal its meaning. She said that someone brought a wedding dress to her with a noticeable hole that needed repairing. Being someone who knew how, she said that it was actually a pretty easy fix, as long as there was a remnant piece of the original cloth to sew into it. It was crucial, she noted, that the patch was of a matching material, that they were of the same kind. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible.

Most of us are familiar with the expression “cut from the same cloth.” Figuratively it means “sharing a lot of similarities.” It’s also defined as “seeming to have been created, reared, or fashioned in the same way.” If two or more people are cut from the same cloth, they are said to be “very similar in their character, attitudes, or behavior.” The one definition, though, that stood out to me above the rest was, “to be of the same nature.” The spiritual significance of this cannot be overlooked.

The first thing to notice is that the person within the dream who possessed the wedding dress acknowledged their need (i.e. confession). They knew that something was wrong and was actively seeking out someone to help repair the obvious hole. Admission of our destitute condition and the desire to change is what moves us to look for an answer. It’s an act of humility on our part that releases the power of God to fix the holes in our lives so that we are appropriately dressed for the upcoming marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9).

A repentant heart is the only way to obtain the wedding clothes necessary to enter in and remain within the upcoming marriage of the King and His bride. It is that which grants us access to the required garment before God. The Lord declared through Isaiah the prophet, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18/NASU) Through the forgiveness of our sins found in Jesus Christ we are made ready to enter His Presence, covered with His garment of purity, and live.

When we turn in repentance to the Lord, we come as we are with a need for Him to repair our many flaws. After turning to Him, we are granted the right to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We then work together with the Holy Spirit to fix in our lives that which needs to be altered, so to speak. This is called the process of sanctification. It’s the lifelong process of being conformed to the righteous image of Jesus Christ.

Without this continued process, aided by the remnant who are of the same nature in Christ (i.e. discipleship), of the same cloth, we will not be properly dressed at the approaching wedding of the Lamb and will face the possibility of being cast out from His Presence. Jesus spoke of this in His parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14).

He began by comparing the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, meaning Himself. He sent out his servants to tell those who had received the invitation that everything was prepared for them to come to the feast. Jesus said that “they paid no attention and went their way,” even going so far as to mistreat and kill the king’s servants. The king was enraged by their response and sent his armies to destroy the murderers and set their city on fire.

His servants then went into the highways and gathered together all they found to fill the wedding hall with guests. Jesus continued, saying;


But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called [invited], but few are chosen.’”

(Matthew 22:11-14/NASU)


You might say that the man thrown into the outer darkness had at least come with those who heard the call. The problem, though, was that he didn’t take seriously the need to come properly dressed. His lack of respect for the king’s son revealed through his inappropriate dress would cost him his place at the wedding feast. There are many Christians in the church today that desire to come to the marriage feast of Jesus Christ at the end of this age but are not taking serious their responsibility to be dressed appropriately in the garments required by the King (Rev. 19:7-8). Only those among the called who respond favorably to prepare their hearts by faith, and dress internally through an obedient heart, will be looked upon with favor and be chosen by the King to enter into the joy of their Master. (See Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus taught about the “worthless slave” who was also thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Also see the Bible study Outer Darkness.)


Intermingling With The World

(See the Bible study The Bride And The Gold Of Ophir (An Unholy Alliance).)

Ezra 9:1-9See the note below for more on “intermingling” and “the escaped remnant.”

1 Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated [914- “to divide, separate, to sever, to be set apart”] themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.

2 "For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled [6148] with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness [4604- “an unfaithful or treacherous act against God or man, faithlessness, trespass”]."

3 When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled.

4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness [4604] of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering [see Daniel 9:21, 1 Kings 18:36].

5 But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation [8589- “affliction (of self), i.e. fasting”], even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God;

6 and I said, "O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. [In other words, “Our sin has come up before you!”]

7 "Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame [“humiliation, confusion of face”; see Daniel 9:7-8, Hebrews 6:6], as it is this day.

8 "But now for a brief moment [7281- “a wink (of the eyes); a very short space of time”; see 1 Cor. 15:51-52] grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped [6413- “an escape, a deliverance, an escaped portion”] remnant [7604- “to remain, to be left over, to be left behind, to be left alive, to survive”] and to give us a peg [3489- “a tent stake; figurative of a secure position”] in His holy place, that our God may enlighten [215- “to be light or to become light, to give light”] our eyes and grant us a little [4592- “littleness, few”] reviving [4241- “preservation of life, reviving”] in our bondage.

9 "For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia [modern day Iran], to give us reviving [4241] to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

NASU


OT:6148 `arab (aw-rab')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to braid, i.e. intermix; technically, to traffic (as if by barter); also or give to be security (as a kind of exchange):

KJV - engage, (inter-) meddle (with), mingle (self), mortgage, occupy, give pledges, be (-come, put in) surety, undertake.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to pledge, to exchange, to mortgage, to engage, to occupy, to undertake for, to give pledges, to be (or to become) surety, to take on a pledge, to give in pledge

a) (Qal)

1) to take on a pledge, to go surety for, to guarantee

2) to give in pledge

3) to exchange

4) to pledge

b) (Hithpael)

1) to exchange pledges

2) to have fellowship with, to share


Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the laws of God. Not only was he well versed but a man who then put these known laws into practice in his own life (Ezra 7:10). Like the sons of Issachar who came to David (1 Chronicles 12:32), he was a man who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.

The book of Ezra tells of the fulfillment of God’s decree to Israel through Jeremiah the prophet. He decreed that, because of rebellion against the Lord, they would be in captivity for seventy years and then return to their homeland. He writes about the sin of the Israelites who did not separate themselves (i.e. sanctify; see 1 Peter 3:15) from the pagan/ungodly people of other lands, but instead “intermingled” with them by taking some of their daughters (the daughters of men) for their sons (the sons of God). He states that their leaders had been “foremost in this unfaithfulness.” This intermixing with that which God has forbid has occurred today within the church in America, and like Israel, in particular among the leadership.

It was at the time of the evening sacrifice, at the end of the “day” (see Daniel 9:21, 1 Kings 18:36), that Ezra arose from his time of fasting and prayed, saying that he was ashamed and embarrassed because of his people’s sin (see the Bible study The Morning And Evening Sacrifice). He said in verse six, “our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.” In other words, “Our sin has come up before you,” which is why they were given into the hands of their enemies.

America, the one whose national motto is “In God we trust,” has now turned her back on Him. She trusts in her own strength, wading deep into a cesspool of depravity. Our judgment has been set. Only a remnant will turn in repentance and be spared in the days of great judgment that lie just ahead. We have cast off the Lord’s boundaries, arrogantly declaring ourselves as God (see the Bible study Moving The Boundary Stones). We will reap what we have sown.

As Ezra prayed on he then declared;


But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.”

(Ezra 9:8/NASU)


The Hebrew for “brief moment” is described as “a wink (of the eyes); a very short space of time.” It will only be for a brief moment of time that the Lord will show mercy toward our nation and grant repentance for a few souls that will be revived. He will leave us an “escaped remnant” who, in their secure position in Christ, will be spared under His “King-dome” of protection. Like Israel, our reviving will be “to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall” in order to protect and keep us from extermination by our enemies.

Currently, the rebellious church in America lies in ruins, without walls. As with ancient Israel, the Lord is raising up those who will be used to repair the breach in our walls. The Zerubbabel’s (his name means “sown in Babylon”) among God’s people are leading the remnant out of the ruins of Babylon, the spiritual whore, to work on the restoration of God’s house, The temple of His body (John 2:21).


The Escaped Remnant (Ezra 9:8, 13-15)


Luke 21:34-36Jesus taught the extreme importance of being alert (“attentive, ready”) in regards to His return and the extreme judgments that will be occurring on earth. He tells us to pray that we may have the strength necessary to escape all the horrific things that will take place, and to stand before Him. Later in his prayer of confession, Ezra declared, “O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand [5975- “to stand firm, to stand upright, to remain, to endure, to continue”] before You because of this.” (Ezra 9:15/NASU) Standing unharmed, safe and sound in the horrifying judgment of the Lord on earth at the end of this age, will depend upon our care in guarding our hearts in regards to obedience.

34 "Be on guard [4337- “to hold the mind towards, attend to, be attentive”], so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.

36 "But keep on the alert [69- “keep awake, watch, attentive, ready”] at all times, praying that you may have strength [2729- “to be strong against, overpower, to prevail against”] to escape [1628- “to flee out of, to seek safety in flight, to escape”] all these things that are about to take place, and to stand [2476- “to stand ready or prepared, i.e. continue safe and sound, stand unharmed; to be of a steadfast mind”] before [1715- “in front of, in the presence of”] the Son of Man." [See the Bible study The Sons Of Jephunneh for more on those who stand ready and prepared, facing God.]

NASU


1 Corinthians 10:13In the preceding verses, Paul warns Christians to avoid Israel’s mistakes while on their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land of their inheritance in the Lord. Most of them died along the way, not standing firm in obedience with an obedient heart. In fact, in the two verses preceding this one he says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm [2476- def. above], be careful that you don't fall!” (NIV) He then encourages them that all temptations are common to man, and that the Lord will not allow us more than we can handle, but will provide the way of escape if we will look to Him.

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape [1545- “an exit, a way out”] also, so that you will be able to endure it [5297- “to bear by being under, to bear patiently, to endure”].

NASU


Proverbs 12:13

13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will escape from trouble [see Daniel 12:1, Nahum 1:7, Zephaniah 1:15, Jeremiah 30:7 (“Jacob’s trouble”); see the Bible study Jacob’s Trouble].

NASU


Ecclesiastes 7:26

26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her. [See the Bible study Well Pleased.]

NASU


Joel 2:30-32In this passage Joel is referring to the Day of the Lord. He speaks of the “escaped remnant (survivors)” on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem “whom the Lord calls” (“to shout, to call out loudly, to proclaim, to announce, to summon”). As pictured in type with Joseph and his brothers, there will be a great end time deliverance of the remnant of the Lord’s brothers (Genesis 45:5-7).

30 "I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke.

31 "The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape [6413- “deliverance”; same word in Ezra 9:8; the “escaped remnant”], as the Lord has said, even among the survivors [8300- “a survivor, a remnant, what is left”] whom the Lord calls [7121- “to shout, to call out loudly, to proclaim, to announce, to summon”].

NASU


Obadiah 15-17Obadiah also refers to the “escaped remnant” on the Day of the Lord.

15 "For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.

16 "Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow and become as if they had never existed.

17 "But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

NASU


(Also see 2 Timothy 2:26, Genesis 19:15-22, and Isaiah 1:9, 7:3, 8:9, 37:31.)


Those Who Will Not Escape


Matthew 23:33This is just a small portion of Jesus’ indictment of the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-36). He started off by saying, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13/NASU)

33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence [2920- “a separating, decision, judgment”] of hell?

NASU


Romans 2:1-3

1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape [1628- “to flee out of, flee away, to seek safety in flight”] the judgment [2917- “a decision, a decree”] of God?

NASU


1 Thessalonians 5:2-3Paul is referring to the Day of the Lord.

2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape [1628].

NASU


Hebrews 2:1-4The writer of Hebrews strongly warns Christians about the dangers of drifting away from devotion to Christ. This serious warning for us is to not take lightly or carelessly our gift of salvation in Christ through disobedience and then think that we will escape His justice.

1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention [4337- see Luke 21:34 above for def.] to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away [3901- “to flow past, glide by, i.e. figuratively, carelessly pass (miss)”] from it.

2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,

3 how will we escape [1628] if we neglect [272- “to be careless of, not to care, make light of (Math. 22:5)”] so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

NASU


Hebrews 12:25The writer of Hebrews gives another strong warning to Christians to not presume that we will escape God’s judgment if we are turning away from Him back to the world.

25 See to it that you do not refuse [3868- “to refuse, to decline, to shun, to avoid, to ask to be excused”] Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape [1628] when they refused [3868] him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away [654- “to turn away, to turn back, return, to turn away from allegiance”] from Him who warns from heaven.

NASU


2 Peter 2:17-19Peter warns Christians of the false prophet’s ways. Through deception they bait a forbidden longing or craving, much like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, all the while promising you so-called “freedom.” Once participated in without repentance, it results in our being overcome instead of becoming an overcomer, and our re-enslavement to sin. The next three verses are crucial in our fear of the Lord so as to keep us from sinning. In our modern world of easy-believism not many preach this.

17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.

18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice [1185- “to bait, allure, deceive”] by fleshly desires [1939- “desire, craving, a longing (especially for what is forbidden)”], by sensuality [766- “unbridled lust, excess, shamelessness”], those who barely escape [668- “to flee away from, to escape”] from the ones who live in error,

19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

NASU


Proverbs 19:5To go unpunished is to be declared blameless. To be punished by God is to not be declared blameless. A false witness for Christ, one who gives by their life a “bad report” to others, will be punished (see the Bible studies Good Report Bad Report and Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain.)

5 A false witness will not go unpunished [5352], and he who tells lies will not escape. [See Mal. 3:5]

NASU


OT:5352 naqah (naw-kaw')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to be (or make) clean (literally or figuratively); by implication (in an adverse sense) to be bare, i.e. extirpated:

KJV - acquit at all, altogether, be blameless, cleanse, (be) clear (-ing), cut off, be desolate, be free, be (hold) guiltless, be (hold) innocent, by no means, be quit, be (leave) unpunished, utterly, wholly.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to be empty, to be clear, to be pure, to be free, to be innocent, to be desolate, to be cut off

a) (Qal) to be empty, to be clean, to be pure

b) (Niphal)

1) to be cleaned out, to be purged out

2) to be clean, to be free from guilt, to be innocent

3) to be free, to be exempt from punishment

4) to be free, to be exempt from obligation

c) (Piel)

1) to hold innocent, to acquit

2) to leave unpunished


2 Chronicles 20:20-24In this passage the sons of Moab and Ammon (the incestuous descendants of Lot; mixed seed), together with some of the Meunites, came to make war with King Jehoshaphat (20:1). Jehoshaphat was afraid and sought the Lord, along with all Judah. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel (“beheld of God”) declaring to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's… You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (v.14-19). When man judges, the wicked might escape (i.e. injustice). When God judges, the wicked will not escape (i.e. justice).

Also, notice how they did it; singers and those who were in “holy attire” (see 1 Chron. 22:17-19 in the Bible study The Dominion Mandate) sang and praised the Lord and He then set ambushes against their enemies, causing them to turn on one another until they were completely destroyed.

20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust [539] in the Lord your God and you will be established [539- “to be firm, endure, be faithful, stand fast, trust”]. Put your trust [539] in His prophets and succeed [6743- “to succeed, to prosper”]."

21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy [6944- “apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness”] attire [1927- “decoration, adornment, glory”], as they went out before the army and said, "Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."

22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes [693- “to lie in wait, to lurk”] against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.

23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped.

NASU

2 Chronicles 20:21

21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever."

NIV

2 Chronicles 20:21

21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever."

NKJV


Forgetting God


Psalm 50:22-23To forget God is to not remember Him in your daily life (1 Cor. 11:24-25). Per this passage, and the definitions of the original Hebrew words, those who forget God will have no one to “snatch them away,” which is to “deliver” or save them, in particular from God’s wrath at the end of this age. Not only will there be “none to deliver,” but in this Psalm of Asaph the Lord declares that He “will tear you in pieces”!!! This should place the proper fear of the Lord within our hearts so as to help us remain near Him in obedience.

Jesus taught this same thing in the New Testament to His disciples. He told them that if a servant of His is not “on the alert” and “dressed in readiness” for His return, which means they have not guarded their heart but have begun to live as an unbeliever in wicked behavior, that He will “cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers” (Luke 12:46; see the Bible study Outer Darkness).

To the contrary, those who offer “a sacrifice of thanksgiving,” ordering their “way aright” per the order of the Lord revealed in this final moment before the return of Christ, will have “the salvation of God” revealed to them. A sacrifice of thanksgiving (i.e. the thank offering or peace offering) was a free will, voluntary, spontaneous offering to the Lord in response to the Lord’s goodness toward the offerer.

22 "Now consider this, you who forget [7911] God, or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver [5337].

23 "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving [8426- “confession, praise, thanksgiving”] honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."

NASU


OT:7911 shakach (shaw-kakh'); or shakeach (shaw-kay'-akh)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to mislay, i.e. to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention:

KJV - at all, (cause to) forget.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

OT:7911

to forget, to ignore, to wither

a) (Qal)

1) to forget

2) to cease to care

b) (Niphal) to be forgotten

c) (Piel) to cause to forget

d) (Hiphil) to make or cause to forget

e) (Hithpael) to be forgotten


shakach [OT:7911] - "to forget." The common word meaning "to forget" appears in all periods of the Hebrew language; this term is also found in Aramaic. It occurs just over 100 times in the Hebrew Bible. Shakah is found for the first time in the Old Testament in Genesis 27:45, when Rebekah urges Jacob to flee his home until Esau "forget that which thou hast done to him."

As the people worshiped strange gods, Jeremiah reminded Judah that "all thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not" (Jer. 30:14). But God does not "forget" His people: "Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee" (Isaiah 49:15). In spite of this, when destruction came, Judah complained: "Wherefore dost thou forget us forever...?" (Lam. 5:20). Israel would often "forget" God's law (Hosea 4:6) and God's name (Jer. 23:27).

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)


OT:5337 natsal (naw-tsal')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense:- at all, defend, deliver (self), escape, without fail, part, pluck, preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, surely, take (out).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to snatch away, to deliver, to rescue, to save, to strip, to plunder

a) (Niphal)

1) to tear oneself away, to deliver oneself

2) to be torn out or away, to be delivered

b) (Piel)

1) to strip off, to spoil

2) to deliver

c) (Hiphil)

1) to take away, to snatch away

2) to rescue, to recover

3) to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death)

4) to deliver from sin and guilt

d) (Hophal) to be plucked out

e) (Hithpael) to strip oneself


The Wake Up Call

Revelation 3:1-6See the note below.

1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

2 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed [4137- “to make full, to perfect”] in the sight of My God.

3 'So remember what you have received [2983- “to take to oneself, to make one’s own, lay hold of, gain, to receive (what is given)”] and heard [191- “to hear, to perceive, to comprehend, to understand”]; and keep it [5083- “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard”], and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

4 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled [3435- “to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile”] their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

5 'He who overcomes [3528- “to conquer, prevail”] will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

6 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

NASU


This message to the church in Sardis is one of the letters from Jesus to seven churches. He begins by rebuking them for their deadness, warning them to wake up and “strengthen the things that remain” and are about to die. Their deeds/works were not yet completed. We see this spiritual laziness often in the church today.

Jesus then exhorts them to remember what they have “received and heard; and keep it, and repent.” To receive is “to take to oneself, to make one’s own, lay hold of, gain, to receive (what is given).” This is not referring to an unbeliever, but those who have, like the people in Matthew, chapter 22, received the Lord’s invitation (i.e. received Christ). They have received what has been offered them but have become dulled in their hearts toward the Lord. If they do not wake up from their spiritual apathy they will be caught unaware/unprepared at the time of His return.

Jesus says their spiritual deadness toward Him will affect their garments, or their covering in Him. He compares them to those who have not “soiled their garments.” The Greek for “soiled” is defined as “to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile.” These are the followers of Christ who, especially at the end of this age, were more careful to guard their hearts from becoming stained/polluted by the world (James 1:27). They are therefore worthy of walking with Christ in white and have become His chosen Bride that is “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).


(See the Bible study Honduras; Washing And Mending The Nets which compares dead fish left in the nets to those in the church with soiled garments.)

Disappearing Ink

A very serious, and less taught declaration from Jesus is then written for us. He says that if we are not of those who overcome through obedience to the Lord’s will, bringing to completion our deed/works in His sight, that our name will be erased from the book of life! Not everyone, as some teach, are written in this book (Rev. 13:8), only those who turn to Him in repentance. This means that it is possible for a follower of Jesus Christ, a disciple, a Christian can have their name erased. Through continued disobedience, without repentance, your name can be removed. Instead of receiving the Lord’s invitation of eternal life, you will be cast into the lake of fire (see chapter 28, Disappearing Ink, in my book The Resurrected Bride).


Called And Chosen

The Greek for “chosen” in Matthew 22:14 above is eklektos (ek-lek-tos'). It’s defined as “select; by implication, favorite; picked out, chosen, elect.” I believe we can say that among the called in the church are the chosen, the elect who because they chose to obey God per His will when called have become the Lord’s favorite, or favored ones that become His chosen people.

Jude warns Christians of the necessity to remain near the Lord by using the fallen angels as our example. By not keeping their Divinely determined positions, or boundaries of authority, they were cast out of their place of origin near the Lord. Their choice to rebel against God, not keeping their “first estate” before Him through obedience, would result in their being kept in eternal bonds under the power of darkness for the judgment of the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Jude 1:6-7).

Jude describes for us what exactly it was that placed these fallen angels in “eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” The great day mentioned here is the day of the Lord when the Bible tells us that He will execute His wrath on all that is wicked.

He compared these angels’ actions to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them. Jude says their lawbreaking deeds were that they “indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh.” The Greek for “strange” is heteros (het'-er-os) which means, “the other, another, i. e. one not of the same nature [similar to the definition for “cut from the same cloth”], form, class, kind; different.”

On the other hand, those angels who chose not to rebel against the Lord became His chosen angels. Their choice to remain devoted to the Lord would result in their being chosen by Him. Paul mentioned them in his first letter to Timothy;


I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality [see Malachi 2:9].

(1 Timothy 5:21/NASU)


These chosen angels of God are for our example, revealing that choices have consequences. You do not reward bad behavior. As we near the end of this age and our being gathered together to the Lord, our response to the call of the Holy Spirit will have eternal consequences, whether it be of great joy or of great horror.


Foreign/Strange Garments


Zephaniah 1:7-9See the note below.

7 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.

8 On the day of the Lord's sacrifice I will punish the princes and the king's sons and all those clad in foreign [5237] clothes. [Foreign clothes are a picture of strange flesh/covering not of God.]

9 On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence [2555- “violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice”] and deceit [4820- “fraud, deceit, treachery”].

NIV


OT:5237 nokriy (nok-ree')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:5235 (second form); strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful):

KJV - alien, foreigner, outlandish, strange (-r, woman).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

foreign, alien

a) foreign

b) a foreigner (substantive)

c) a foreign woman, a harlot

d) unknown, unfamiliar (figuratively)


In this part of Zephaniah’s prophecy, he discusses the judgment of God on the Day of the Lord for all who are clothed with foreign or strange garments. Foreign has to do with “different, alien, a foreign woman, a harlot.” In the New Testament we are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). Any other garment/covering than Christ is a foreign or strange garment of spiritual harlotry (see the Bible study Eve; The Life Giving Bride). Without Christ you and I will be unprepared and unprotected in the day of His wrath on earth.

Many in the church falsely assume, through false teachings, that they have all they will ever need when first turning to Christ. What they do not understand is that they have been given the right to become the children of God (John 1:11-13). But as the children of Israel found out in their wilderness journey, the right alone to the Promised Land can be removed if, on the way, we rebel against the Lord’s leading.


(The following insight is from the Bible study and article entitled Freedom In Christ.)


Freedom To Choose


The Gospel of John begins by proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ, and that all things came into being through Him. It declares what occurred when He, the Light which enlightens every man, came into the world He made. John tells us that;


He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13/NASU)


In this passage, John’s subject is clearly those who received Christ. They believed in His name and were born of God. By definition of the Greek word that we interpret into English as “received”, they have laid hold of Christ, making Him their own. Those who receive Him are the only ones that have been given “the right to become the children of God.” This is interesting because it would be assumed that they are instantly, at the choice of receiving Christ, to be His child. Per John, there is more in regards to bringing this right to completion in Him.

The Greek that we interpret as “right” is exousia [ex-oo-see'-ah]. It’s defined as “privilege, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the power of rule or government.” Freedom in Christ, therefore, is the “authority, power of choice, privilege, liberty of doing as one pleases” that is only granted to those who turn in repentance to Jesus Christ, taking Him as their Lord and Savior. The unbelievers do not have this freedom to choose.

Without Christ, all of mankind is said to be slaves to sin and are held captive to do the devil’s will (2 Timothy 2:26). The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to give freedom to the prisoners and to release the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Receiving Him as your Lord and Savior releases His power in your life to say “no” to sin and “yes” to the Father’s will. The “right to become children of God” is the right of access to the power of the Holy Spirit. When we say “no” to sin we are saying “yes” to the power of God that enables us to become an overcomer and partake of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).


Malachi 2:11-12Could this be the same as the daughters of men in Genesis 6, a daughter of strange flesh? And does “marrying the daughter of a foreign God” equal clothing/covering yourself in a foreign garment, not of the Lord. In any event it is one more deed that will cause one of God’s people to be cut off from Him, “even though he brings offerings to the Lord Almighty.” He will not escape the judgment of God (see Ezra 9:10-14).

11 Judah has broken faith. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign [5236- KJV; “strange”] god. [Remember Ezra 9:1-9 earlier.]

12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord cut him off from the tents of Jacob—even though he brings offerings to the Lord Almighty.

NIV


OT:5236 nekar (nay-kawr')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from OT:5234; foreign, or (concretely) a foreigner, or (abstractly) heathendom:

KJV - alien, strange (+-er).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

foreign, alien, foreignness, what is foreign

a) foreignness, foreign gods

b) an alien, a foreigner

c) foreign (vanities)


Malachi 2:15“…But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit…”

The remnant of God did not marry/join together in union with “the daughter of a foreign god.” Therefore they are able to help those of the same cloth/nature because they are covered in the strength and authority of the Lord (see chapter thirty two, Clothed With Power in my book


The Different Union


As I dug into this study, the Lord revealed something to me that involved the unexpected union between two seemingly unlikely words. They were two words, in different passages, that we interpreted into English as “strange” (Jude 1:7) and “abides” (1 John 3:6 below). The common word in their definitions that stirred me was the word “different.”

In one of his letters John wrote the following regarding the appearing, or second coming of Christ and our purifying ourselves from sin in preparation;


Beloved, now we are children of God [i.e. sons of God], and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.”

(1 John 3:2-6/NASU)


The Greek for “abides” is meno (men'-o). It’s defined as “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy), to not leave, to continue to be present; to remain as one is, not to become another or different.” So to abide in Christ is to steadfastly remain near Him through purity in our walks. It’s “to remain as one is, not to become another or different” by going after that which is against the will of the Lord (i.e. strange flesh) as the angels did.

To not continue abiding in Christ with an obedient heart, rebelling as the angels did by pursuing after another or different union other than with the Lord, without repentance, is to become different ourselves in our standing before Him. Not only will our relationship with Him be different, but through our continued lawless union with “strange flesh,” a different type of fallen offspring that are Nephilim-like in nature will be produced. (See the Bible study Eve; The Life Giving Bride.)

The church in America has become overrun with this type of “Christian” that have been born of “the will of the flesh” (John 1:12). Paul calls them sons of destruction that have defected from the truth with an apostate heart (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Their sins have now piled up as high as heaven (Revelation 18:5), or should I say have come up before Him, causing Him to issue a declaration of imminent judgment against them as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 6:3, 13).


Sons Of Destruction


In 2 Peter 3:14-18 there are a few powerful Greek words that warn Christians to be on guard against falling away from Christ. Peter says;


Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things [Peter is speaking in this passage of the coming “day of the Lord” and the events surrounding it], be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable [“vacillating”] distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved [this is an obvious reference to other Christians], knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness [the NIV says “from your secure position”], but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”


The phrase “carried away” in verse 17 comes from the Greek word sunapago [soon-ap-ag'-o] which means “to lead away with or together; to experience with others the force of what carries away.” This implies that you can be swept away, or seduced, along with those whom you are associating. Satan does not want us to understand that Christians can also fall through rebellion from our position in Christ as angels did.

In order to solidify this deception in the minds of God’s children he introduced the doctrine of demons called “eternal security,” or “once saved always saved.” There is eternal security in Christ, if we continue abiding in Him (John 15:6, Romans 11:22, John 8:31).

Basically, these doctrines state that a person who has received the salvation knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then turns away in rebellion without repentance, will still enter heaven. They say that a person can never fall from this condition. These verses alone say otherwise.

Another important word to define is “error.” The Greek for this is plane [plan'-ay]. It is described as “a wandering, one led astray from the right way.” Metaphorically speaking, it speaks of “a mental straying; an error, a wrong opinion relative to morals or religion.” This describes those who wander from the paths of righteousness. They are led astray by deceitfulness or fraud.

Paul also warns us to be on guard from being swept away by the error, or lies, of “unprincipled men”, causing us to fall from our “secure position.” The Greek for “unprincipled” is athesmos [ath'-es-mos]. It denotes “one who breaks through the restraint of law and gratifies his lusts.” In other words, he is a man of lawlessness, a son of destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Peter is clearly warning Christians to be careful lest we wander from the truth, fellowshipping with those who are walking in lawlessness, and fall from our own steadfastness, our “secure position” in Christ. Understanding this truth will give us the reason why we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). There is a definite tendency to neither fear nor tremble if you believe you can never fall away with an apostate heart like Judas.


The Missed Point


The greater point in all this that the majority of ministers do not see or teach due to deception is the disastrous effect continued sin and rebellion without repentance will have on a Christian. What becomes obvious here is that the main theme of Jude is the keeping of your dwelling place/habitation in Christ after being saved from the bondage of our sinful nature, shown in type through Egypt, the place of Israel’s enslavement.

In a parallel passage to Jude, Peter describes the actions of false teachers that will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves (2 Peter 2:1). He states that many will follow their “sensuality” which will cause the truth to be spoken evil of. We see this happening today in America in a manner we haven’t seen before.

The Greek for “sensuality” is the same Greek word interpreted as “licentiousness” in Jude 1:4. A couple of the definitions for it are, “unbridled lust, excess, shamelessness.” It is our unbridled passions and desires that the Holy Spirit deals with along our journey through what I like to call “Bit and Bridle Training” (see the Bible study Bit And Bridle Training). The psalmist wrote about this, saying;


Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.”

(Psalm 32:9/NIV)


Bit and bridle training is used, if necessary, to keep us near the Lord, from sin, and to bring us to maturity. Our sinful nature naturally opposes the Lord, precariously drifting away from Him toward destruction. It must be dealt with and brought into submission so that we do not fall away from the Lord with an apostate heart, especially at the end of this age when, as prophesied, so many will from within the church (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

The Bible tells us that Christ learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). This same thing is true in our lives. When I am going through some type of suffering, I draw near to the Lord. It causes me to search my heart and see if there is any wicked way within me that needs to be repented of. Suffering can be the bit and bridle that is used, again, when necessary. After we have been trained by it, we, like a well-trained horse, will no longer need the more harsh restraints to keep us in check (Hebrews 12:4-11). What you will find is that maturity is revealed in restraint.

Back in Peter’s parallel passage with Jude, he goes on with even more clarity, confirming all that we have been discussing from Genesis, chapter six. He also warns us to be on guard for these false teachers that will creep into our midst, enticing God’s people through their doctrines that appeal to the flesh;


For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.”

(2 Peter 2:4-10/NASU)


Some might say at this point that Peter is not referring to an ungodly Christian, but only the ungodly within the world. By the end of the chapter, though, you simply cannot say that. This is not, as some would say, legalism or heresy thereby revealing their own state of blindness, but the truth that, when applied, will in actuality, not in theory, set you free.

After describing the wicked characteristics of a false teacher, Peter ends this chapter by telling us what will happen to the Christian who accepts and walks in the false teachers flesh pleasing ways;


If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing [1922- “precise and correct knowledge”] our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled [1707- “to be involved with”] in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ [see Proverbs 26:11] and, ‘A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.’”

(2 Peter 2:20-22/NIV)


To be worse off at the end than you were at the beginning, is to turn away from the Lord after having received the “precise and correct knowledge” of Him as your Lord and Savior. Your degree of judgment is based on the degree of knowledge you have rejected. It will be less, and rightly so, if you never turned to Christ then if you did and had your eyes opened (i.e. were “saved”) and then turned away.

So again, Jude warns us as Christians (i.e. pictured in type by the children of Israel in the wilderness) to not exceed the legal boundaries established by God that cost angels their place before Him. It’s a warning to us today to be careful not to exceed the boundaries of truth established by Him in His word lest we too lose our place before Him. The tragedy that happened to them can also happen to us. As Paul declared, the children of Israel are our example (1 Corinthians 10:1-12). May the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit keep you and me from exiting the King’s Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8).

So as I stated at the beginning of this study, when the Lord gave His declaration to Noah of impending judgment against all flesh, saying, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh…” (Genesis 6:3), He was referring to what He did with the angels who abandoned their secure position in Him and went after “strange flesh.” As in the days of Noah, He will soon destroy all those, whether in the church or not, who have abandoned Him and His ways to indulge the flesh in unlawful practices without repentance.

Through His own children’s rebellion, violence and injustice have escalated on earth to such a great degree that it has come up before the Lord thereby compelling Him to declare judgment against it. It is the Christian’s disobedience to the Lord that hides His light of truth and justice on earth allowing darkness to prevail. The time draws near when the Lord will openly deal with all rebellion.


To Come Before The Lord


To “come before” someone, in a legal sense, is to appear in a court before a judge. The Macmillan Thesaurus defines this phrase, again in a legal sense, as “something to be considered, discussed, or judged by someone in authority.” It is to consider that which is “to be important, or to give something importance.” The Hebrew for “violence” in Genesis 6:13 is chamas (khaw-mawce') which means, “violence; wrong; maliciousness.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words; “Basically chamas connotes the disruption of the divinely established order of things. It has a wide range of nuances within this legal sphere…”

What I believe the Lord is saying to me is that this case, this issue of violence and injustice on earth resulting from the great depth of corruption within mankind as it was in the days of Noah, has become of such great importance before Him that He must deal with it. I believe that He has declared His judgment upon it, along with the determination of the moment when the judgment will be carried out (see the Bible study Elul; The Season Of Preparation And The 40 Days Of Favor).

The Hebrew for “before” is paniym (paw-neem') which means, “the face, in front of, in the presence of.” It appears that we have reached the moment when, due to its grave significance of depth on earth, the level of corruption has now come up before the Lord, causing Him to hand down a decision.

Again, to “come up” in a legal sense is “to be judged in a court of law; to move toward someone, or to move something towards a place.” The extreme wickedness that has gained great momentum on earth has quickly moved us towards a place of decision. We have reached the moment when the Judge of all mankind has handed down His verdict of guilt. The day of His wrath against all wickedness draws near;


Let the nations be aroused and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat [“Jehovah judges”], for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”

(Joel 3:12-14/NASU; see the Bible study Back To Jerusalem)


We read of an example of this in the Old Testament when a prophet named Jonah received a word from the Lord to deliver His decree of judgment against Nineveh. The Lord said to him;


Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

(Jonah 1:2/NASU)

The wickedness of the citizens of this huge city had reached such a great level that the Lord decreed His judgment against them. Mercifully they were given forty days in which to repent, which they surprisingly did, resulting in their being pardoned.

Throughout history, when wickedness among certain groups, such as the Nazi’s, reaches a certain point known only to God, He then brings a judgment against it to tear it down. It’s very reassuring to know that God does have a limit, allowing wickedness to go to a certain point for seemingly a certain purpose, before it will be destroyed. He will always have the last word in every situation.

Having been given this knowledge from the Lord, this brings up a very crucial question for those of us who claim to be a Christian; are we longing for the return of Christ and the final destruction of our fleshly nature? And are we sensing the coming of the One who will carry out His sentence to judge all wickedness, thereby causing us, in the fear of God, to separate ourselves from all that is evil (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1) so as to not be judged along with the wicked (Rev. 18:4-5)? Are we also taking serious the command to examine ourselves so as to be made ready as the wise virgins were for the return of our Bridegroom rather than the foolish virgins whose response to the midnight call was one of apathy, resulting in their being denied entrance into the wedding supper of the Lamb? (See 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 and Matthew 25:1-13. Also, see the Bible study Examine Yourselves.)

So, again, what came to me is that the time of God’s return when He will judge the earth and destroy all flesh (i.e. the wickedness coming from our fallen natures resulting in violence and great corruption on earth), as He did in the days of Noah, is drawing near (see the Bible study Noah; A Sign Of The End). We must take it seriously to separate from all wickedness, again like Noah (Genesis 6:8-9), so that we as Christians that have through repentance entered into covenant with the Lord will not be condemned along with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).

The midnight shout to “Come out of her My people!” (Revelation 18:4-5) and get ready for the coming of our Heavenly Bridegroom is sounding (see the Bible study The Sound Of His Coming). Those in the church who hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church, and then obey Him will receive the necessary oil in their lamps and will enter into the wedding supper of the Lamb with great joy. The rest of the Christians who made light of their need to prepare their hearts will be cast outside where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (see the Bible study Outer Darkness).



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