As it was in the days of Noah...

Bible Prophecy and the Return of Jesus

As it was in the days of Noah...

by I Gordon

Alright... straight into it! Let's start with a question. When Jesus describes His return in the New Testament, He compares it to the days of two different characters in the Old Testament. Do you know who they are? An easy one I know and I'm sure you've already said Elijah and Enoch. Ok, I can't trick you. It's Noah and Lot. Jesus said 'As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man.' It makes sense then, I'm sure you'll agree, to study the days of Noah and the days of Lot to gain some insight into what they may teach us for the days still to come. This study will concentrate on the days of Noah, specifically looking at the first ten verses of Genesis chapter 6.

E.T, up close, personal, and not so friendly.

Gen 6:1-2 'When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.'

In describing the days of Noah, we read of a strange event that kicks things off. The Bible says that the 'sons of God' married the 'daughters of men'! The 'sons of God' is a term used to denote angels [1] , so the chapter starts with the dramatic increase and contact between the human and spirit worlds. I'm not saying that the end times leading up to the return of Jesus will see the same type of sexual union that occurred here in Genesis 6 (it may, but there doesn't seem to be any scriptures that support this), but there will be a dramatic increase in the contact between humans and the spirit world as the time of Jesus' return draws closer. We see this already whether it is through the increased use of spirit guides, alien encounters, or open satanic worship. It will continue and it will increase. If you have read anything of those who are allegedly in contact with the 'aliens' and 'spirit guides' you will notice the same claims coming through that these beings are going to show themselves physically to those on earth soon. [2]

The corrupting of the human race.

Gen 6:4 'The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.'

The second point that should be made about the 'days of Noah' is the corruption of the human race that occurred. We read above in verse 4 that the Nephilim were on the earth in those days... and not only then because we read, in a slightly haunting phrase, 'and also afterward' [3] . The word 'Nephilim' means 'fallen ones' and they were the giants, men of renown, who were the offspring of the fallen angels and women as mentioned above. It was Satan's attempt to pervert God's plan of having the Messiah come from the seed of a woman (Gen ). As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be... This corruption of the human race was the main reason for the flood, and it is happening again. This time it is humans initiating the corruption through cloning and DNA manipulation. There very well may be good intentions involved but you cannot help but think where it will all end when a sinful fallen race decides to play God. God stepped in (in a big way!) to put a stop to the corruption in the time of Noah and God will put a stop to it again.

Wicked... yet tolerance reigns.

Gen 6:5 'The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

Oh boy! What a statement. It says above that in the time of Noah, every inclination of the thoughts of mans heart was only evil, continually. Now we are certainly not at that stage yet, but we do seem to be on the way! Basic morals are changing so quickly these days. This shouldn't surprise us for it is prophesied that

'There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.' (2 Tim 3:1-4)

A few months ago I heard Stuart Briscoe speak and he mentioned how when he was young there were many virtues and many vices... many things that were morally right and to be desired, and many things that were morally wrong and were to be shunned and rejected. Today, Briscoe said, we are heading for a society that has only one virtue and one vice. That one virtue, that one thing to be desired above all is 'tolerance' [4] . And the one vice, that one 'wicked' thing that is to be rejected and shunned is of course, 'intolerance'. In the days of Noah, men's hearts were wicked and the Lord was grieved that He had made man. His judgement had to come. So shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man.

The restraining of the Holy Spirit removed

Gen 6:2,6 Then the LORD said, 'My Spirit will not contend with man forever...The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.'

Push things far enough and something has got to give... something has to break. The Lord's patience is amazing but it didn't last forever in the time of Noah, and it won't last forever in the days leading up to the return of Jesus. Judgement will come. The verses above say that the Lord was grieved in the days of Noah and that His Spirit would not contend with man forever. A limit was put on the wickedness of man and judgement came. The Holy Spirit, Jesus told us, currently convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. But the New Testament speaks of a time when the sinful hearts of men will not be restrained and this current work of the Holy Spirit will be removed.

2 Thes 2:7-12 'For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way ... The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.'

The Bible speaks of this scary time coming when God Himself will send a powerful delusion upon the inhabitants of earth because they 'refused to love the truth'! So not only will the restraining work of the Holy Spirit be removed, but God will send a sign so great that they will believe the lies of the Antichrist. [5] The Spirit of the Lord will not strive against a stubborn proud humanity forever and His judgement will come.

The dramatic intervention of God

Genesis 6:7 'So the LORD said, 'I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth - men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air - for I am grieved that I have made them.'

God, as I hope you know, is amazingly kind and patient. He desires, as 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us, 'that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.' [6] This current time of His patience should be seen as an opportunity for people's salvation. (2 Pet 3:9,15) But there came a time in the days of Noah that the dramatic intervention of God was called for. This intervention is what Peter remind us of when he writes

1 Pet 3:3-7 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation .' But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

The Bible warns us that people 'deliberately forget' that God has judged the world and they like to 'deliberately forget' that He will do it again. But as sure as He judged the world the first time, so shall it be done again, and just as the judgement of the flood covered the entire earth so shall the entire earth be affected by the next judgement. I am reminded of the sobering lyrics of a Bob Dylan song...

'My so-called friends, have fallen under a spell.
They look me squarely in the eye, and say, 'well, all is well.'
Can they imagine the darkness, that will fall from on high,
When men will beg God to kill them, and they won't be able to die.'

Ready, watching, walking.

Genesis 6:8-9 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD...Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

The final point (and a good place to conclude this study) that stands out about the days of Noah is, of course, Noah himself! Noah was a righteous man. He 'walked with God' just as his great grandfather Enoch had done. It has been said that Noah was building the ark for over 100 years. Imagine the mockery he would have faced! Imagine the patience and faith Noah exhibited as he stood true to his belief, year after year, without seeing any fulfilment of God's word to him. Imagine the heart ache for this 'preacher of righteousness' (2 Pet 2:5) when not one soul outside of his family would believe him and turn from his wicked ways. (And you thought you were an unsuccessful evangelist!)

Through it all stood Noah. Pressing on with what God had called him to, despite all the opposition and ridicule that the enemy could stir up! How different Noah was in his age... a righteous man shining as a light in a dark world. How different from the world we should be today! While we will look further at this point in much greater detail when in the study of 'the days of Lot', the main point that Jesus alluded to when examining the days of Noah was the need, like Noah, to be ready for His coming. That need is even greater for us today as we clearly see that day approaching.

So, may you be like Noah and walk with God. May you redeem the time, in whatever way God is calling you to, making the most of the opportunities you have, for the time is short. May you be found watching, waiting and ready for that hour is at hand!

[1]  Some have had problems with the fact that angels could mate with humans and have tried to say that the term 'sons of God' is speaking about the godly line of Seth. I see no proof of this and it goes against the clear teaching of scripture. The term 'sons of God' is used exclusively in the Old Testament concerning angels (see Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7). When the 70 Jewish scholars that worked on the Septuagint (a translation of the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures into Greek) translated the term 'sons of God' in Gen 6:2, they used 'Angels of God'. Some like to quote Matt 22:30 to prove that angels cannot marry or procreate, but Jesus was addressing the 'angels in heaven'. Genesis 6 speaks not of the obedient angels in Heaven, but of fallen angels on earth! Furthermore, anytime angels are seen by humans they are seen as male (Gen 18:1-19:22, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-7, Acts 1:10-11) and in the Genesis 18:1-19:22 passage we even see (unfortunately) that the ungodly men of Sodom 'desired' the angels for themselves! The thought behind this is that the men of Sodom thought that sexual union was possible. 2 Pet 2:4-5 and Jude 6-7 also throw some light onto this passage. Jude tells us that the angels abandoned their proper abode and then contrasts their actions with that of Sodom and Gomorrah, who 'in the same manner' went after strange flesh. The term 'strange flesh' means to go after an unnatural sexual union. For the men of Sodom it was homosexuality, but for these fallen angels it was inter-marrying with human women.

[2]  In his book 'The Worlds Last Dictator' Dwight L. Kinman quotes Jaques Valle, the world's most renowned astrophysist, who said 'UFO's are real but probably not physical: they are part of some evil scheme for the victimization of humans and one of their major purposes is to manipulate human consciousness and to program mankind for some ultimate deception.'

'I believe there is a machinery of mass manipulation behind the UFO phenomenon... they are helping create a new belief system... they are designed to help change belief systems, and that the technology we observe is only the incidental support for a world wide enterprise of subliminal seduction.'

[3] The only other place where the Nephilim are mentioned is in Num where the Israelites who spied out the Promised Land came back with a report saying ' All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them .' So these giants existed after the flood as well.

[4]  An example of this can be seen in the following, crazy, story.

'The first person to be prosecuted for religious hatred under laws brought in after the September 11 attacks has been ordered to compensate a neighbour who said Osama Bin Laden was a great man.

Electronics engineer Mr Scott, 33, of Exeter, must give £100 to three neighbours after he told them he hated their Muslim religion because of the terrorist atrocities. Student Mohammad Hudaib had said September 11 was a great day. Bin Laden was a great man and all Americans deserved to die. He also spat and insulted Scott's family. Scott, who admitted religiously aggravated threatening behaviour, was also ordered by Exeter magistrates to do 200 hours community service.

[5]  Jesus also said that in the last days the signs and wonders performed will be so great that 'even the elect would be deceived if it were possible.' Quite a few Bible Prophecy teachers have proposed the idea that the powerful delusion could be tied to the emergence of an alien spaceship or direct visible contact with aliens (which in realty are demonic encounters). That will sound extreme to some, but it does tie in with the days of Noah, and Hollywood has certainly been getting people used to the idea in the last decade or two. It would also be a 'powerful delusion' strong enough to shake people's belief to the core. All these things have been prophesied before they come to pass so that your hope will be firmly rooted in the truth of God's word.

[6]  The story is told of an atheist that was debating a Christian. The atheist said 'I'll prove to you that there is no God. God, if you are there, I dare you to strike me down and kill me right now!' With the atheist still alive, the Christian turned and said 'All that you have just proved is the love, grace, and patience that God has towards a wicked and proud humanity.' The Christian is right. If I was God, then look out any proud, wicked atheist that challenges me! Thankfully I'm not. But as it was in the days of Noah, God has set aside a time when He says that 'enough is enough'.