Jesus said, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.” Intense pressure and penetration from the occult realm, universal corruption of thoughts, the earth filled with violence, and widespread sexual corruption and perversion, all of which were rampant in Noah’s days. Do we not see them coming into full force in our world today?
It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week, sharing with you keys to successful living which God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.
This week I’m continuing with the theme that I commenced last week, “Facing the Future.”
But first, let me say “Thank you” to those of you who have been writing to me. Before I finish this talk we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take time to write, even if it’s only a brief note.
Now, back to our theme, “Facing the Future.” In my talks last week I explained that the source to which we are looking for our knowledge of the future is the Bible. Predictive prophecy is the major element in the total revelation of the Bible. The Bible definitely claims to predict the future with authority and accuracy and it has a record of proven correctness extending over many centuries. I also explained last week that it’s very important that we face the future with the right attitude. I shared three basic facts of Scripture that should determine the attitude with which we face the future. The first, we are waiting for Christ, not antichrist. The second, Christ already reigns as King of the universe and will continue to do so forever. The third, Christ shares His authority with His believing people and makes continuous victory possible for us always everywhere. On the basis of these three facts, it’s clear that we should face the future as optimists and not as pessimists.
In my talks this week I’m going to deal with the signs of the end of the age. From many different prophetic passages of Scripture, the Bible presents a composite picture of what the world will look like as the present age draws to its close. It picks out and puts together various significant events or trends which in combination will make the days immediately preceding the end of the present age a unique and distinctive period of human history.
In my talks this week I’ll be singling out some of the main elements in the Bible’s picture of the condition of the world in these closing days of the age and presenting them to you. As far as possible, I’ll present this picture to you in an objective way and I’ll leave it to you to compare the picture I present with the scenes that you yourself actually see in the world around us today.
For the first element in the Bible’s prophetic picture of these closing days, we’ll turn to the words of Jesus in Luke 17:26. Jesus says:
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.”
A direct comparison between the days of the Son of Man (that’s the days prior to the return of Jesus) and the days of Noah. So we need to find out what the days of Noah were like. And for a description of the days of Noah, we’ll turn now to Genesis 6:1-12, and pick out the main elements. We’ll begin with the first four verses of Genesis 6:
“Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.”
Personally, I believe the Scripture makes it clear that the sons of God there and elsewhere, is a designation of the angels. So we have a picture of beings from another plane, a supernatural plane, a plane above the level of the earth, angelic beings coming down and having sexual relationships with the daughters of men, with human women. Then we read on in verse 3 and 4:
“Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’”
We see that when this began to happen, God set a definite time limit to the period for which He would tolerate this kind of unnatural relationship. Then we read on in the next verse:
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days...”
Now, the word 'Nephilim' is a Hebrew word and it’s directly related to the Hebrew verb 'to fall' which is 'naphal'. So 'the Nephilim' means 'the fallen ones'. Again, it’s clear to me that it means 'fallen angels'.
“The Nephilim [or the fallen angels] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God [that’s the angels] came into the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
So we see a picture of unnatural relationship between fallen angels from the heavenly realm and human women. Now some of you may find that somewhat surprising or astonishing or hard to receive but I was educated in the classics in Britain in Latin and Greek for many, many years and I have really no difficulty in believing that because the history and the mythology of both Latin and Greek, the Greeks and the Romans, are just filled with myths and stories of people whom they called “gods” but whom we would call “fallen angels” having sexual relationships with human men. There’s the famous story of Zeus coming to Leda in the form of a swan and so on. And out of those unnatural relationships were born men whom the Greeks called “heroes”; “men of renown” it calls them in this passage.
So the description in the Bible is here in full accord with the evidence of Greek and Roman mythology. So, to sum it up, we have a penetration of human life on earth by a different order of spiritual beings, Nephilim, fallen ones, fallen angels; and unnatural sex relationships producing so-called “heroes.” That’s the initial picture of the specific conditions of the age of Noah. I believe we could perhaps sum it up in a phrase like this: In the time of Noah there was intense pressure and penetration of the human race from the occult realm, from an unseen spiritual realm.
Now we move on to Genesis 6:5, where it says:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Here the emphasis is on man’s inner experience, what’s going on inside the mind and the heart of man. And it says his imagination, his thoughts, his intentions, were all evil. I could sum that up, perhaps, in the phrase: universal corruption of thought-life. Everything had been contaminated: images, speech, concepts, they were all permeated by something impure and unclean.
Then, going on further in Genesis 6:11:
“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.”
That’s the next distinctive feature of the age of Noah, the earth was filled with violence. There was apparently a sudden upsurge of crimes of violence, men became violent in their acts and their attitudes. Violence was a feature of their life that was accepted as commonplace. And then, in the next verse, Genesis 6:12, we have another aspect of the days of Noah. It says:
“...God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt...”
Incidentally, I would suggest that one word “corrupt” probably sums it all up as well as any one word could. Then it goes on:
“...behold, [the earth] was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.”
I understand that to mean that there was a total corruption of all the kinds of relationships that we associate with the flesh; primarily and particularly, that the sex life and relationships of the time had become corrupted and unnatural. I could sum it up in the phrase “sexual corruption and perversion.”
So, if we put those pictures together, we can single out four distinctive aspects of the days of Noah. And as I go through these again, now in recapitulation, I’m inviting you to consider how far the same is true of our society and our culture all around us today. First of all, there was intense pressure and penetration from the occult realm. There was relationships that were unnatural between beings of different orders, spirit beings from a higher realm and human beings on earth. Secondly, there was universal corruption of thoughts. Thirdly, the earth was filled with violence. Crimes of violence increased dramatically. Fourthly, there was widespread sexual corruption and perversion.
How does that match up with our society and our culture today? Do we see today an increasing penetration of normal human life by occult forces and influences? Is there a tremendously increased influence on the occult? Do we find that men’s thoughts are being corrupted, that language is degenerating, that everything is filled with impure and unclean images and suggestions? Do we see, thirdly, the earth filled with violence? Obviously, the answer to that question is “Yes.” And, fourthly, do we see sexual corruption and perversion around us in an ever-increasing measure?
I’m going to leave it to you to meditate on those features of the days of Noah and ask yourself: Are the days in which we are living becoming more and more like the days of Noah?
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll continue to present to you further elements in the Bible’s picture of these closing days.