Awaken Bible Study Notes
Volume 1: January – March
Volume 2: April – June
Volume 3: July – September
Volume 4: October - December
How Much Have You Missed Because You Avoid the 30% of Scripture That Is Bible Prophecy?
How Much Have You Missed Because You Don’t Read Scripture Through the Eyes Of an Ancient Israelite?
Have you ever read the Bible through in a year? It’s surprisingly easy: it only takes about 20 minutes per day.
Have you wished you knew more about Bible prophecy because so little of it is preached in the pulpits today? Did you know that more than 30% of the Bible is comprised of prophecy—with much of it that pertains to today? Did you know that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right before our very eyes as these latter days come to a close? These study notes address these crucial ideas.
Have you ever read passages in the Bible, thought they were strange, but simply passed over them because you had no understanding of what they were saying? There is a supernatural theme running through this supernatural book that can only be understood if we look at Scripture through the eyes of the Bible writers and their audience in the Ancient Near East context. We don’t have this context in our westernized Christianity and completely miss what God is conveying. Too many Christians don’t understand the larger narrative in the Bible that God has shown us because we don’t learn these ideas in church. By reading these daily notes as you study your Bible, many of these concepts will become clear.
The Awaken Bible Study Notes are provided in four convenient quarterly volumes. Because the intent of this study is to encourage you to continually read through your Bible year-after-year, you can begin this process and pick up the reading plus the notes at any time.
Challenge yourself if you’ve never done so before: Read your Bible completely through in a year!
This is a different Bible Study from any you may have previously seen. Its focus is different. In fact, the purpose of these Awaken Bible Study Notes is to introduce you to, or get you thinking about, subjects that simply are not preached from the pulpit or taught in Sunday school (or even taught to pastors in seminary!). In addition, I believe you’ll see that I take a very high view of God and His Word. If someone wants to truly understand Scripture, he must take this approach for God to more fully reveal Himself. These volumes are intended to highlight Bible prophecy and the supernatural aspects of Scripture, which I guarantee you’ve read but simply passed over because you never had the context to understand them.
A quick example will suffice. In 2 Kings 5 we read about the Syrian commander Naaman, who had leprosy. At the urging of his little Jewish servant girl, he visits the prophet Elisha in Israel. Elisha—by proxy—tells him to dip seven times in the Jordan River, and he’ll be healed. Once he gets over his indignation at Elisha not seeing him personally and at taking a bath in a river that doesn’t match his Syrian standards, he does what the prophet says. Lo and behold, he’s healed. At that point, he believes in Yahweh, the God of Israel. When Elisha won’t take any gifts from Naaman in payment, Naaman asks if he can take two mule loads of dirt back home to Syria. Why? Well, I’m not going to tell you here in the Introduction. But there is a good, solid, and Biblical answer that gets to the heart of God’s plans and purposes for humanity.
When I tell you there is a supernatural aspect to all this that the vast majority of Christendom ignores, this is what I mean. It all goes back to original context. What did the writers of these ancient Biblical texts know? How had God providentially prepared them to write His book? What did their intended audience understand? Why did writers of Scripture say what they did? How was it meaningful for those who read it back in those days? We’re going to discuss these kinds of things in the course of these notes.
A little groundwork: When I got saved in 2005, it came about because I read the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. If you’re at all familiar with these books, they advocate a pre-Tribulation Rapture. From that reading I gained a healthy fear of God, found a good Bible-believing church, and got saved. God convicted me of the truth behind the fiction and subsequently pointed me toward the Scripture validation of the pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Now I know that there is much (mis)teaching against this position in a large majority of churches today. But, as our mothers said, just because our friend Billy wants to walk off a cliff doesn’t mean we have to follow him. There are good and solid Scriptural reasons for the pre-Trib Rapture. If you’ve swallowed the belief that the church has to go through part or all of the Tribulation, or you don’t believe in the Rapture at all, I challenge you to dig more deeply here in these notes as we discuss this issue. Yes, as you’ll see, I am adamant about the pre-Trib Rapture position, and for very solid Biblical reasons.
The supernatural in the Bible is another stream of our discussion. To facilitate your understanding of this, I want to strongly recommend several books and numerous YouTube teachings by Dr. Michael S. Heiser. You will benefit greatly if you do what I recommended to my class in this year-long reading through the Bible. Begin, or accompany this journey, by reading the short book by Dr. Heiser that will set the stage for you: What Does God Want? Here is a link for the book at Amazon if you’d like to buy the print copy:
Alternatively, you can download the Kindle version for free at Dr. Heiser’s Miqlat.org website:
Going deeper, I take much of the material regarding the supernatural aspect of the Bible from Dr. Heiser’s profound book, The Unseen Realm. This is a peer-reviewed, scholarly work that is extremely accessible and readable. In these Awaken notes, I just touch the surface of what you will read, learn, and be astounded at in this book that opens up so much of the Bible that our western worldview has obscured. Here is an Amazon link:
As an aside, for the books I suggest by Dr. Heiser, please note the number of reviews and the 5-star rankings.
You may ask what qualifies me—someone you’ve never heard of unless you’ve read my fiction (www.GaryRitter.com)—to write this particular offering of Bible study notes? Other than a serious effort to grow closer to God over the years through the reading of His Word, not much. I will tell you that at the point God redeemed me, He put in my heart the desire to know Him by reading the Bible. Truly, I’m not boasting here; just wanting to give you a sense of my depth in this: Since 2005, I’ve read the Bible around thirty times completely through. This includes every year doing this exact daily reading schedule, as well as reading the entire Bible in 90 days numerous times. That has given God the means to use my believing loyalty in Him and His Word to bring me understanding and revelation that probably wouldn’t have occurred unless I’d prepared in this way. I don’t compare myself in any way with the original writers of the Bible, but in the same way God providentially prepared them to write Scripture, He has providentially prepared me for this and other purposes. And make no mistake, God has also prepared every one of you for a particular purpose as well. Are you moving forward in that?
One of the issues that came up in class was that some folks simply don’t read and comprehend well. To that I say do what people did before the printed word became widespread: listen. The Word of God came forth verbally long before it was written down, and even then, few people had access to it. For thousands of years God’s Word has been spoken and repeated for people to hear it. Don’t allow any concerns with your reading to be a hindrance to learning what God says and wants you to know.
Here is one source for listening to the Word:
Here is another good source:
Reading the Bible through in a year is something we do day-by-day. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task. Remember that Jesus said to let tomorrow take care of itself as today has enough worries. Each day’s reading will take about 20 minutes. You may wish to spend more time than that taking notes (the print version of this volume is designed for you to take notes in the margin) or meditating on the Word—which I recommend—but each day’s time commitment is actually very little. The benefits you reap will be beyond what I can describe for any one of you. Just know that when we seek God through the reading of His Word, it blesses and pleases Him; in return He blesses us!
Reading Schedule for Volume 1
January – March
January 1 – January 31
|Jan 1||Gen 1‐2, Matt 1||Jan 17||Gen 41, Matt 13:1‐32|
|Jan 2||Gen 3‐5, Matt 2||Jan 18||Gen 42‐43, Matt 13:33‐58|
|Jan 3||Gen 6‐8, Matt 3||Jan 19||Gen 44‐45, Matt 14:1‐21|
|Jan 4||Gen 9‐11, Matt 4||Jan 20||Gen 46‐48, Matt 14:22‐36|
|Jan 5||Gen 12‐14, Matt 5:1‐26||Jan 21||Gen 49‐50, Matt 15:1‐20|
|Jan 6||Gen 15‐17, Matt 5:27‐48||Jan 22||Ex 1‐3, Matt 15:21‐39|
|Jan 7||Gen 18‐19, Matt 6||Jan 23||Ex 4‐6, Matt 16|
|Jan 8||Gen 20‐22, Matt 7||Jan 24||Ex 7‐8, Matt 17|
|Jan 9||Gen 23‐24, Matt 8||Jan 25||Ex 9‐10, Matt 18:1‐20|
|Jan 10||Gen 25‐26, Matt 9:1‐17||Jan 26||Ex 11‐12, Matt 18:21‐35|
|Jan 11||Gen 27‐28, Matt 9:18‐38||Jan 27||Ex 13‐15, Matt 19:1‐15|
|Jan 12||Gen 29‐30, Matt 10:1‐23||Jan 28||Ex 16‐18, Matt 19:16‐30|
|Jan 13||Gen 31‐32, Matt 10:24‐42||Jan 29||Ex 19‐21, Matt 20:1‐16|
|Jan 14||Gen 33‐35, Matt 11||Jan 30||Ex 22‐24, Matt 20:17‐34|
|Jan 15||Gen 36‐37, Matt 12:1‐21||Jan 31||Ex 25‐26, Matt 21:1‐22|
|Jan 16||Gen 38‐40, Matt 12:22‐50|
Reading Schedule for Volume 1
January – March
|February 1 – February 29|
|Feb 1||Ex 27‐28, Matt 21:23‐46||Feb 16||Lev 22‐23, Mark 1:1‐22|
|Feb 2||Ex 29‐30, Matt 22:1‐22||Feb 17||Lev 24‐25, Mark 1:23‐45|
|Feb 3||Ex 31‐33, Matt 22:23‐46||Feb 18||Lev 26‐27, Mark 2|
|Feb 4||Ex 34‐36, Matt 23:1‐22||Feb 19||Num 1‐2, Mark 3:1‐21|
|Feb 5||Ex 37‐38, Matt 23:23‐39||Feb 20||Num 3‐4, Mark 3:22‐35|
|Feb 6||Ex 39‐40, Matt 24:1‐22||Feb 21||Num 5‐6, Mark 4:1‐20|
|Feb 7||Lev 1‐3, Matt 24:23‐51||Feb 22||Num 7, Mark 4:21‐41|
|Feb 8||Lev 4‐6, Matt 25:1‐30||Feb 23||Num 8‐10, Mark 5:1‐20|
|Feb 9||Lev 7‐9, Matt 25:31‐46||Feb 24||Num 11‐13, Mark 5:21‐43|
|Feb 10||Lev 10‐12, Matt 26:1‐19||Feb 25||Num 14‐15, Mark 6:1‐32|
|Feb 11||Lev 13, Matt 26:20‐54||Feb 26||Num 16‐17, Mark 6:33‐56|
|Feb 12||Lev 14, Matt 26:55‐75||Feb 27||Num 18‐20, Mark 7:1‐13|
|Feb 13||Lev 15‐17, Matt 27:1‐31||Feb 28||Num 21‐22, Mark 7:14‐37|
|Feb 14||Lev 18‐19, Matt 27:32‐66||Feb 29||Num 23-25, Mark 8:1-21|
|Feb 15||Lev 20‐21, Matt 28:1‐20|
Reading Schedule for Volume 1
January – March
|March 1 – March 31|
|Mar 1||Num 26‐27, Mark 8:22‐38||Mar 17||Deut 29‐30, Mark 16|
|Mar 2||Num 28‐29, Mark 9:1‐29||Mar 18||Deut 31‐32, Luke 1:1‐23|
|Mar 3||Num 30‐31, Mark 9:30‐50||Mar 19||Deut 33‐34, Luke 1:24‐56|
|Mar 4||Num 32‐33, Mark 10:1‐31||Mar 20||Josh 1‐3, Luke 1:57‐80|
|Mar 5||Num 34‐36, Mark 10:32‐52||Mar 21||Josh 4‐6, Luke 2:1‐24|
|Mar 6||Deut 1‐2, Mark 11:1‐19||Mar 22||Josh 7‐8, Luke 2:25‐52|
|Mar 7||Deut 3‐4, Mark 11:20‐33||Mar 23||Josh 9‐10, Luke 3|
|Mar 8||Deut 5‐7, Mark 12:1‐27||Mar 24||Josh 11‐13, Luke 4:1‐32|
|Mar 9||Deut 8‐10, Mark 12:28‐44||Mar 25||Josh 14‐15, Luke 4:33‐44|
|Mar 10||Deut 11‐13, Mark 13:1‐13||Mar 26||Josh 16‐18, Luke 5:1‐16|
|Mar 11||Deut 14‐16, Mark 13:14‐37||Mar 27||Josh 19‐20, Luke 5:17‐39|
|Mar 12||Deut 17‐19, Mark 14:1‐25||Mar 28||Josh 21‐22, Luke 6:1‐26|
|Mar 13||Deut 20‐22, Mark 14:26‐50||Mar 29||Josh 23‐24, Luke 6:27‐49|
|Mar 14||Deut 23‐25, Mark 14:51‐72||Mar 30||Judg 1‐2, Luke 7:1‐30|
|Mar 15||Deut 26‐27, Mark 15:1‐26||Mar 31||Judg 3‐5, Luke 7:31‐50|
|Mar 16||Deut 28, Mark 15:27‐47|
Between v1 and v2 some people attribute a gap of time, e.g. millions of years. This reading into the text causes part of the debate between a young earth and old earth.
As each day unfolds, God creates so much. Many people believe that each day must be more than a day—perhaps thousands of years. But the text says “day” and the usage of “day” is consistent in other parts of Scripture. When the Bible says “day,” it means a 24-hour period.
As creation continued, God sees that everything He has made is good.
Notice how many times the text says “according to their kind.” It is emphatic about this concept: none of creation occurred from evolution.
v26 – Two points:
- Man was created in the image of God, i.e. in His likeness. We are God’s imagers. What does it mean for us to image God?
- Our being created in the image of God is meant to be a status, not a function. Status is a role, not a quality.
- As humans, we are God’s proxies, His representatives, His ambassadors.
- The image of God is something that is equally and actually present with all humans. It is unique to us versus any other creature on this earth.
- Our image wasn’t lost in the Fall, but in a fallen world, only the redeemed are truly in a position to be what God intended us to be as His imagers.
- Who is “us?” Two possibilities:
- Trinity: God talking among each Person
- Divine Council: God giving instructions to the sons of God
We’ll talk extensively about the concepts of Divine Council and sons of God in this study. The position that I take is point “b”. As we’ll see, God is not alone in the heavenlies. He created a spiritual family; thus, He has spiritual sons, just as He has earthly sons (and daughters). God created these spiritual beings for a purpose, just as He created mankind for a purpose. He interacts with and consults His spiritual sons and puts them to useful work. What makes more logical sense in this verse? That God is talking to Himself when each member of the Trinity already knows what another member thinks? Or that God wants to communicate information to His divine family and verses like this show us that communication? There are many other instances in Scripture that we note – all showing God communicating with His spiritual sons.
v28 – God instructs man to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion” over all things. Why? Because God wanted us to be part of His family and to participate in the work He had purposed for the earth.
At the end of six days, God saw that everything wasn’t just good; it was very good.
v1 – “And all the host of them” were finished. Could this pertain to the host of heaven, to the work done by God’s divine sons that He had set them to do? Is this one more clue that God decrees and He gives the work of His mouth to their hands?
v2 – The seventh day is one of blessing and rest. It is holy to the Lord because of all the good He has done in His creation work.
v5 – At first there was no rain, only a mist to water the earth. The reason for this is that man wasn’t populous enough to care for the earth. It appears that bushes and plants were only found in Eden at first since there was no one to tend them.
v7 – Man is made from the dust of the ground. It is the breath of God that gives us life.
v10-14 – From the river that flowed from Eden came four rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. The flood in Genesis 6 changed the landscape and obscured the location of Eden, as it left only the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Additionally, we don’t know if their locations today are exactly where they were at the time of creation.
v18 – We are made to be in relationship; not to be alone. That’s why God made a helper for Adam.
v19-20 – God gave Adam a lot of work! He named every creature. Adam was not some sub-human with limited intelligence. He was fully formed and quite intelligent.
v24 – God’s intent in creating both man and woman in His likeness was to bring them together as one and to further His purpose of family on the earth.
v1 – The genealogy is important to show that Jesus was part of the kingly line of David and Abraham. It also gives us a timeline as to where to place Jesus in the events that occurred.
v20 – From the very first with Dream #1 given to Joseph, God’s stated intent for Jesus’ coming was to save His people from their sins. It fulfills Old Testament (OT) prophecy and confirms God’s Word.
v23 – God’s intent for Jesus, from the very first, was Immanuel: God with us. God sent Jesus so that He would be with us, that He would love us, and that He would fulfill God’s purposes that He planned from the very beginning.
v24 – Joseph was shown to be faithful and obedient. He was a righteous man who believed in God and did what God said. This is an important theme that we’ll see played throughout the Bible for better and for worse.
If you’re reading What Does God Want? as recommended in the Introduction, then you know this is where Rebellion #1 occurs. This is where sin enters the world.
The ancient Israelite understanding of why the world is in its current condition is not limited to simply the sin that came through the fall of Adam and Eve. This is where Christianity has completely missed the mark. There’s a lot more going on in the realm of sin and wickedness than most churches teach. Why? Generally, it’s because of what seminaries teach or omit, and their product, i.e. pastors, can’t preach what they don’t know.
How many rebellions were there? What were they? Why is it important to understand the Bible story through these rebellions?
The original Bible writers knew that there were three rebellions that impacted life on earth and mankind’s relationship with God. Briefly, they were:
- Rebellion #1 – Sin that came at the rebellion and disobedience of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3).
- Rebellion #2 – Depravity that arose from the fall of the rebellious sons of God, which led to the Nephilim and such wickedness among men that God wanted to annihilate mankind at that time and begin again (Genesis 6).
- Rebellion #3 – The disobedience of man in the building of the Tower of Babel that led to God scattering mankind, the confusing of the languages, the rise of pagan gods over the nations, and God calling forth Israel as His own special nation (Deuteronomy 32:9; Genesis 11).
v1 – The serpent is the Hebrew word nachash. It is typically translated as serpent, which we all know. However, there are variations of the word which give it additional, and very intriguing, meanings. The word can mean the diviner, i.e. one who communicates with the supernatural realm. It can also mean shiny, or shining one, such as a divine being from the heavenlies. Moreover, serpents in the ancient Middle Eastern cultures were divine throne guardians. Perhaps the Biblical writer wanted to convey all these associations to this serpent that tempted Eve?
We call the serpent Satan, although there is a Hebrew grammatical problem with that. Elsewhere, when we come across the spiritual entity we call Satan, such as in Job 1:6, 2:1, the Hebrew places an adjective before the noun, so the word identifying him is “the satan”, i.e. “the adversary.” Satan is not actually a proper name as it’s translated in most of our English Bibles. We’ll go along with how the English treats it because the New Testament (NT) doesn’t make the distinction. However, this is an interesting aspect of how the identity of Satan has changed from the ancient Israelite understanding of this spiritual being as the (lower case “s”) satan.
Q – Did God cause the serpent to tempt Eve? This is important to understand right from the very first. Did God predestine Eve to then eat of the fruit and to fall into sin? Or, did Eve have free will in order to make the choice to eat and invite Adam to likewise eat? This issue goes to the very heart of Calvinism, which in various places in this study, I will argue is incorrect and misleading. Does the text give any indication that God foreordained Eve’s acquiescence to the temptation of the serpent? If the answer is no, then from the very beginning one of the foundational tenets of Calvinism is shown to be in error.
Q – Did the serpent have free will? God made a spiritual family to do useful work in the supernatural realm, and He made a human family to do useful work in the earthly realm. Would God create humanity having no free will, while giving it to His divine sons? Isn’t it more logical to assume that God gives both classes of living beings the same functionality in this respect? Remember, there will come a day when those humans who believe (and who believed and died) in Jesus Christ will be Raptured, i.e. snatched away from the earth to meet Jesus in the clouds and be given glorified bodies. We will be a special type of spiritual being at that time. We are told that we will rule and reign with Jesus (Revelation 20:4). We are also told that we will judge the angels, i.e. the fallen angels, a.k.a. the rebellious spiritual sons of God (1 Corinthians 6:3). Will we do that in a predestined manner? Or will we have free will throughout? Did God intend from the very beginning for Satan to bring sin into the world? Does that make any sense to say that He did? Does such a position line up with the loving and gracious God who desires for none to perish and all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9)?
Q – If God meant for there to be sin in the world and for His creation, i.e. that He intended for mankind to sin, to fall, and for vast numbers of humanity to be cast into hell, what would that say about Him?
The two lies of the enemy:
- Did God truly say?
- You will be like God (v5)
v6 – Satan led Eve to think that God was withholding wisdom from her, and she desired what she could not have.
v8 – The Lord God walked in the Garden in the cool of the day.
Q – Who was this since the Father is described as a spirit (John 4:24)?
A – The Son, i.e. the 2 nd Person of the Trinity, the One who manifests physically and whom humans can see when He allows. Why? Because no one has seen the Father (John 6:46).
There is nothing in this description of God in the garden that indicates this is unusual for Him. In fact, He likely walked there regularly right along with Adam and Eve. Eden was the place where heaven met earth and there was an intermingling of the two spheres. Eden was on a holy mountain (Ezekiel 28:14) as well as being a garden. This was the typical abode for God and subsequently the gods—His divine sons—who ultimately ruled over other nations. They dwelt on mountains that were remote from humanity; lush, garden spots that were utopian in nature.
Because the garden was connected to the heavenly realm, other spiritual entities roamed freely here as well. Why do you think seeing the nachash, the shining one, i.e. one of God’s spiritual family, didn’t surprise Eve? It’s another reason to look beyond the description of serpent for the being that tempted Eve.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, their eyes were opened:
- Sin entered the world with their new knowledge of evil
- Thus, they knew they were naked
- Interpersonal relations immediately broke down as blame and accusations entered the picture (v12-13)
v15 – This curse has everlasting implications and is the beginning of a great cosmic struggle. The serpent and his seed have been cursed. His seed are all his spiritual descendants, i.e. those who will oppose God in rebellion and disobedience – all who follow him as the father of lies rather than Yahweh, God Most High.
A woman doesn’t have seed; that comes from man, so this reference is different and special. It refers to the One who will be Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth who will come from the lineage of Adam. Knowing this, the serpent begins an ages-long quest to thwart and destroy God’s plans for mankind. The serpent’s final outcome is foretold: he will lose, but he is nothing if not persistent, and like all desperate, cornered creatures, he will fight to the very end.
This verse is called the protoevangelium, i.e. it is the initial Gospel.
v16 – What natural woman wants will be contrary to what man wants because of sin and self-desire.
v21 – The making of Adam and Eve’s garments of skin required that an animal was killed with its blood shed. This is the first atonement for sin.
v22 – Who is “us”? If it’s the Trinity, then God is talking to Himself. If it is the sons of God, then they had been given this understanding of good and evil from an earlier time. Thus, the serpent had that knowledge.
v23 – With sin having entered into man, God could not allow him to become immortal. Thus, God cast Adam and Eve from the Garden but immediately began His plan for their redemption (which the serpent – Satan) would attempt to prevent in many and varied ways.
v24 – Where something is a speculation, I will try to make that clear because we want to differentiate that which is supported by the text and that which is not. With that said, logical speculation and extrapolation can be an interesting exercise, and perhaps the basis for additional research. It has been suggested – again, with no direct textual basis – that the cherubim guarding the gate of Eden with a flaming sword may have been Satan, i.e. the nachash that tempted Eve. We learn later in Ezekiel 28:14 that Satan was an anointed guardian cherub. At one point, did God direct Satan to attend to this duty—well below his pay grade—as punishment for his rebellion in the Garden?
During this time of Lamech is when all the marvelous inventions came about. This likely correlates with Genesis 6:1-4 with the fallen sons of God and their gifts in exchange for “marrying” human women.”
v3-4 – This was the original offering to God. Cain brought the fruit of the ground (some translations say “some fruit of the ground,” i.e. nothing special). It may have been beautiful and plentiful, but it was what Cain wanted to bring, not what God required. Abel brought first born and fat portions—the very best. In bringing animal sacrifices, Abel was imaging God in the shedding of blood for the sin offering. Cain’s offering by implication had none of that.
v7 – Sin is all around us “crouching at the door,” but God indicates to Cain that he can master it.
v8 – Cain’s spiritual father was Satan. His killing of his brother Abel was the serpent’s first attempt to thwart God’s plans for humanity’s redemption by introducing greater sin and to destroy the promised bloodline that would lead to Messiah.
v11 – The willful taking of a life brings a curse upon the ground that will impact mankind for thousands of years.
v15 – If someone killed Cain for revenge, God’s curse would fall upon him sevenfold! Does that curse remain today for those who murder for vengeance? Even if it does, the blood of Jesus can wipe away the curse.
v19 – Lamech was the first person to go against God’s will and take two wives. He killed a man and boasted that anyone taking revenge on him would receive seventy-sevenfold vengeance from God (v24).
v26 – During the lifetime of Seth, people called upon God. Seth’s name in Hebrew sounds like “he appointed.” Because of Seth and others calling on God, this has led many to think that Genesis 6:1-4 refers to the Godly line of Seth intermarrying with the ungodly women in Cain’s line. However, the text doesn’t say that and there is no Biblical evidence for such a theory. The text says “sons of God.” We can’t make up things in the Bible just because we don’t like the implications of what it plainly says.
v21-24 – Enoch was Raptured, i.e. removed from the world and never saw death. Enoch “walked with God.” We who are alive in these latter days and walk with God may very well have this same privilege as Enoch. Jesus will come on the clouds to snatch away His church from the earth to protect us from the coming wrath of God in the Tribulation.
Note: When we speak of the book of Enoch, it was not written by him. Rather, it’s what is known as pseudepigrapha, which is a work named for someone but not written by that person.
v28-29 – Although Lamech disobeyed God by taking two wives and was probably instrumental in bringing greater sin into the world, i.e. perhaps some of the depravity that consumed the earth, he prophesied that Noah would be a deliverer, which he was.
This is where God sends His Son into the world in order to bring about the beginning of His making all things right again.
v1 – The wise men who came from the East were pagan. They probably practiced occult arts such as astrology, but God moved in their hearts to seek the true Savior of the world.
v4 – The priests and scribes that Herod consulted knew the prophecies of the coming Messiah.
v9-10 – What was the star? Many want to make this a natural phenomenon. However, was it God’s Shekinah glory? Perhaps it was similar in its way to the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day that led Moses and the Israelites in the Exodus. Were those natural occurrences?
v13 – Dream #2 comes to Joseph and warns of impending danger. He’s instructed to flee to Egypt with Jesus and Mary and is obedient to that. What if he had disobeyed? Their flight to Egypt fulfills a prophecy that Messiah will be called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1).
v18 – This is the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15 of the killing of children by Herod in an attempt to destroy the baby Jesus. It is a radical effort by Satan to eliminate the threat of the seed of the woman whom he knew would bring about his downfall.
v19 – Dream #3 instructs Joseph to return to Israel from Egypt. He trusts God that all is safe and obeys.
v22 – Once more Joseph is instructed in his sleep via Dream #4. He is to go with his family to live in Nazareth of Galilee.
From What Does God Want? we know that this chapter marks the point where Rebellion #2 enters the Bible story. Some of God’s divine sons leave their heavenly abode and come to earth to procreate with human women.
This is an absolute abomination to God as their union creates a hybrid species known as Nephilim – the combination of fallen angel and human. It’s from the Nephilim that every culture throughout the earth ends up having their myths of various gods – think of the Greek gods such as Zeus, the Titans, etc.
From this heavenly rebellion comes the incredible depravity of man where wickedness spread throughout the earth among all mankind. It was this that caused God to bring the flood to wipe out humanity and start over.
There’s more: The actions of God’s fallen divine sons corrupted the human bloodline. Satan’s purpose in this was to stop God’s promise from Genesis 3:15 that through humanity He would bring a solution to the problem of sin through the Seed of the woman and destroy Satan in the process. Human DNA had been tainted through this intermingling of divine and human types of beings so that it was no longer pure human, thus a Messiah could not come as a man in this situation to atone with His blood for our sins.
As a result, God had to act to destroy mankind. He brought through the flood the only righteous man in the earth – Noah – and his family in order to start over with pure human blood to make the way for Jesus ultimately to come.
This rebellion from on high results from the free will that spiritual beings have just as we humans have. This story of rebellion runs deep throughout Scripture and will be commented upon in numerous places throughout this study. You will see how this big story permeates the Bible and why the only reasonable interpretation of the events that occur is because of the rebellion among the sons of God and their initial disobedience in leaving their heavenly abode (see Jude 6 & 2 Peter 2:4).
v1-4 – The sons of God lust after human women and leave their place in heaven. They procreate with human women, taking “as their wives any they chose.” This is an abomination to God. Through the increasing corruption on the earth, God gives man 120 years to turn back in repentance and/or He limits future advanced age in humans to 120 years.
Nephilim were the children of this union. They were hybrid beings that were part fallen angel, i.e. spiritual entity, and part human. They became famous for their might and strength throughout the earth in many different cultures, which interpreted their existence in various mythical ways.
v5 – Through human acceptance of this intermingling of divine and human, depravity exploded in the world. The fallen sons didn’t only procreate with humans, they taught them hidden mysteries and magic arts. The human bloodline became so corrupted that God had no alternative but to destroy mankind and begin again.
It is through the flood and the subsequent death of the Nephilim that brought about demons as we think about them. The human bodies of the Nephilim were destroyed but the divine part remained as bodiless beings. This is why they restlessly roam the earth seeking a body to inhabit (see Luke 8:26-33).
v6 – This depravity arising from sin grieved God immensely.
v7 – God was ready to completely destroy mankind because of how evil the hearts of men had become during this period.
v8 – Noah was the one person who pleased God, and it may have been his walk in righteousness alone that saved the human race completely.
v11-12 – “All flesh” was corrupt on the earth except for Noah, who was righteous (v9).
v18 – God purposes to make a covenant with Noah.
v20 – God again emphasizes “everything according to its kind.” This is a direct attack on Darwin and evolution. Each “kind” reproduces among its kind and there is (or should be) no intermingling.
v22 – Noah was obedient to all that God commanded.
v4 – Some people argue for a localized flood, particularly in relation to the known world (i.e. Middle East only via the Genesis 10 Table of Nations) and in questioning how Nephilim could have come about after the flood (which we’ll address when we later encounter them again).
I don’t believe a local/regional flood makes sense for two reasons:
- The text tells us that the wickedness of man had spread throughout the whole earth. If Nephilim had gone beyond the areas noted in the Table of Nations, any men living in those places would have been corrupted and an abomination to God.
- God said that He would destroy every living thing that He had created. Yes, sometimes there is hyperbole in Biblical descriptions, but God’s intent was to wipe out all creatures. Remember, He was going to start completely over with Noah as first man until Noah pleaded against that action.
v5 – Again, Noah is commended for his obedience.
v13 – Noah and his wife (Mrs. Noah!) and their three sons with their wives comprised eight people who lived through the flood. The sons were: Ham, Shem, and Japheth.
v19 – Just like in v4: “all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered with water.”
v21-23 – As noted above, some people believe that Nephilim remained on the earth following the flood because they somehow made it through. These passages contradict that notion. “All flesh” and “everything” died.
v9 – This confirms that water covered the entire earth.
v21 – God acknowledges that man’s heart is evil and that’s the way it is.
v22 – God declares that as long as the earth remains – which is completely up to Him – all seasons, day and night, planting and harvesting – will continue.
- We do not have to fear any manmade conditions or made-up problems like climate change.
- God is in control.
- He will determine when the earth and all that happens on it will end.
v2 – The first and most important message that John the Baptist preached was repentance: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- John was announcing that with the coming of Jesus, God was bringing the kingdom of heaven to the earth.
- This was the beginning of God reclaiming the earth and the nations from His rebellious spiritual sons.
- Through John, God put the gods on notice that their time was limited.
v7 – John warn that God’s wrath is coming.
v9 – Just because someone is religious or part of a holy lineage, this doesn’t make them holy.
v12 – The coming of Jesus changes everything.
- There is wheat, i.e. good fruit.
- There is chaff, which is worthless. Chaff will be burned up forever.
v16-17 – The Trinity – 3 Persons – is on display in these verses.
- God is not a modality, i.e. first one aspect of the Trinity and then another.
- God is all 3 persons, separate, distinct, and co-equal at all times.
- I highly recommend you read the book of 1 Enoch if you’d like to understand more about the fallen sons of God.
Here is a link to an excellent translation by Nickelsburg:
- Dr. Michael Heiser has written a commentary to assist in the study of 1 Enoch called A Companion to the Book of Enoch. Here is a link to that book:
But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
– 2 Corinthians 3:14