John Ritenbaugh, continuing his comparison of the timid, insignificant sparrow with the virtually unnoticed, timid Church, reiterates that God has complete oversight over the awesome plan of creating offspring in His image. Consequently, we should not fear Satan, his demons, or the world, but we should fear and respect the One who has complete involvement in our lives. The calling of God the Father, compelling us to conform to the image of Christ, is in fact, a calling to participate in the ministry of reconciliation, reuniting mankind with God the Father through Jesus Christ. God's called-out ones, selected and predestinated before the foundation of the world, continue to submit to His instructions, while other professing 'Christians' throw out whole portions of His Law, including the Sabbath, a major tenant in both the Old and New Covenants, created, like light, water, air, and food, as a benefit and blessing to mankind. As God called out the Jew and the Greek, He began with the least significant of all people (including us) that no flesh should glory in His sight. Whatever gifts or assignments God has given us are to be used boldly for God's glory, not our own. We are undergoing sanctification, set apart for a special purpose of being refined into His likeness, a process which takes a lifetime, honing skills of endurance and resisting sin. Currently, the scattering of the church has furnished us a measure of protection, but Satan is doubling down on his plans for persecution, and we will (with God's Spirit dwelling in us) resist his pulls as did our Elder Brother before us. The battle lines have already been drawn between the seed of Satan and the seed of Eve, with the separation of the line of Seth from the line of Cain. At least in part, God instituted marriage to reproduce, something angels cannot do (Luke 20:36). Though the sons of God have a natural fear of Satan, God has, in a sense, provided Satan to us for resistance, in order to develop godly character, becoming like Him, becoming one, as husband and
John Ritenbaugh, observing that secularism (a belief that morality should be based solely on the collective mores of mankind, and that religion should never enter into state or public education) has effectively eclipsed the influence of nominal Christianity in the western world, asserts that this unsettling state of affairs has been the result of deliberate planning by Satan’s human henchmen over the last 600 years, bringing the world full circle to the condition of the world when Nephilim negatively influenced the world’s culture. Just as Noah’s cultural milieu was saturated by Nephilim, our culture has been saturated with the torrent of words emanating from the pens of Nietzsche in Germany, John Stewart Mill in England, and John Dewey in the United States, all rabid anti-God secularists, believing that mankind’s entire life is bound within the present time, with no time devoted to anything beyond death. These influential Nephilim, consisting of presidents, prime ministers, authors, and teachers have purposefully sabotaged and destroyed all vestiges of religious power and influence, replacing it with secular, ‘progressive’ humanism, setting themselves up as sole arbiters of the proper conduct for mankind, defying the Sovereign God of the Universe.
The quality of human life on this earth has in large part been determined by the character of its leaders. In the Bible we have a record of both good and bad leaders, and it provides a repetitive principle that "as go the leadership, so goes the nation." John Ritenbaugh begins a new series that links leadership to the various scriptural covenants and their success or lack thereof.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that the nephilim were not the offspring of angels cohabiting with humans, suggests that these "giants" were most likely the descendants of Seth, apostates from the true religion, who decided not to follow God. They were labeled sons of God because, as magistrates and judges, they allegedly enforced the will of God. Nephilim were and are charismatic trendsetters in politics, entertainment, and education. Modern-day Nephilim in the political sphere, such individuals as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Genghis Khan, violent and tyrannical leaders, were responsible for the deaths of 200 million people in aggregate. As dastardly as their crimes were, the pen is always mightier than the sword and potentially more toxic and deadly than the sword. Educational and religious leaders, having deeply imbibed of the deadly literary poison of anti-God worldly philosophers, have eroded the morality of the majority of Christendom, damaging the entirety of Western religion. Virtually all of the corrosive, antinomian, anti-God mindsets emanated from 'Christianity,' (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant) turning the grace of God into lewdness, licentiousness, and perverse lawlessness, bringing about the sick and decaying world order we are experiencing today.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on an incident which occurred recently in Maryland, declares that the quality of life in America has precipitously declined since his boyhood. The meteoric rise of immorality and crime in this country has made it dangerous, leading people to select charismatic, but tyrannical leaders to lead them into safety, security, and dependency. These dominant leaders in government, education, media, and economics resemble the tyrannical Nephilim who brought the world to perdition before the flood. For the past 500-600 years, these dominant charismatic luminaries have been drawing people to their teachings, creating the means for the Beast and all his horrific forces to bring the world to the brink of destruction.
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that conspiracy blogs seemingly focus on similar sets of culprits from banking, politics, and corporations, points out that none of these blogs have any awareness of Satan's oversight of these sinister worldwide conspiracies. Living almost exclusively by sight, mankind is unable to see God or Satan, scoffing at all things pertaining to faith. The prince of the power of the air has been immensely successful over the past several centuries, taking control of secular education at major universities, via the philosophies entrenched in God-defying humanism. The Barna Group, monitoring church attendance in America and Britain, reports a massive hemorrhage of membership over the past 150 years. Today, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender organizations—and their ilk— are salivating at the prospect of suing churches for hate crimes if these churches cite scriptures critical of immorality and perversion. Helping them get their way are journalistic and political Nephilim, powerful tyrant journalists, congressmen, and judges enforcing their reprobate, debased, perverted brand of 'morality' derived from the mind of Satan.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing on the giants in Genesis 6, maintains that the spies may have exaggerated the size of the Anakim. These "giants" could have well been large for average human beings, but the giant aspect should perhaps been applied metaphorically as the movers and shakers of the culture, having power or control over others, having a callous disregard for life and law. Their historians could have 'upgraded' them into demigods or men of renown (in similar manner as Alexander the Great or Caesar Augustus). The children of the sons of God and the daughters of men may have taken the Nephilim as their role models, exceeding their cruelty and chutzpah. The four successive repetitions of the ark narrative indicate that the narrator emphatically believed this event to be absolutely true. The details of the ark's construction suggests that the craft was seaworthy, guarding the craft against the most violent waves. Yahweh was personally involved in securing Noah's safety, sealing the door against the elements and fulfilling His part of the covenant, literally "filling in the holes," lovingly remembering to protect Noah and his family, demonstrating that He absolutely will not lie or go back on His part of the covenant. Likewise, we must keep our part of the covenant by keeping the statutes and judgments of Almighty God. In all covenants, there are two parties who must uphold the agreement.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating that Genesis 6 reflects a distortion of the marriage and family structure on the earth, examines the probable meaning of the "sons of God." One improbable explanation, believed by a large portion of 'Christendom,' is that angelic beings (designated as sexless in Luke 20:35-36) allegedly cohabited with human beings, creating a line of giants. A second explanation, a little more probable, is that the phrase refers to the righteous line of Seth and the daughters of men refer to the line of Cain. The third and most plausible explanation is that it refers to men (influenced by demons) instituting doctrines and behaviors designed to destroy the institutions of marriage and the family. A fourth explanation is that it refers to human rulers who claim divine status or ancestry, such as Pharaoh, who was considered to be the son of Ra, or Alexander the Great, who claimed to be an offspring of Zeus. The offspring of these demon-influenced rulers may have been the Nephilim—magnates having powerful rule over the people. The construction of Genesis 7 (relating Noah's rescue from this sinful environment) presents a four-fold amplification of the details of this rescue. This indicates that God wants us to realize that this incident really did happen, impressing upon us the horrendous consequences of sin, illustrating the depths of His mercy, and relating the example of faith of Noah and His family. If we similarly worship the Lord God in holiness He will rescue us.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the events in Genesis 6:1-4, suggests that these verses summarize the process leading to God's rejection of the pre-flood civilization, a time when the sons of God chose wives solely on the basis of sex appeal and external beauty. Consider the myriad events throughout scripture when beauty and charm had become elevated above inner beauty and holiness. It is wrong to be attracted to someone or something exclusively on the basis of raw lust, as had Mother Eve with the forbidden fruit and as the sons of God lusted after the daughters of men. Seeing can lead to being attracted to and ultimately taking something forbidden. God does not tempt, but our carnal nature can and does. It is our own uncontrolled desires that tear us away from our morality and from obeying God, leading ultimately to death. The God-ordained plan of marriage, a gift of God, had been corrupted, with men objectifying women-either putting them on a pedestal or degrading them as second class citizens. Satan desires to destroy God"s creation by destroying the family, something he tried before and after the Flood. Fighting against Satan's scheme, Noah saved himself, his family, and the entire human race along with the mammalian life and other forms of life. Regarding the specific instructions to use 'gopher' wood, the root is close to kopher, meaning "covering," suggesting Noah was perhaps using a laminate, covered with a kind of petroleum-based pitch, producing a massive tanker as long as two football fields, weighing 35 thousand tons, able to accommodate every kind of flora and fauna and animals requiring land. If Noah took animals on the verge of puberty, perhaps in a state of hibernation, the space and food requirements as well as the labor intensity would be greatly diminished, allowing Noah and his family to schlep more things on the ark such as books, tools, artwork, etc. If God made all these preparations for Noah, He can make similar preparations for His called-out ones.
Richard Ritenbaugh, contrasting Noah's optimistic reaction with Coleridge's despondent ancient mariner upon seeing endless bodies of water, suggests that Noah's optimism stemmed exclusively from his faith in God. Most skeptic scientists attempt to relegate Noah's flood as a biblical fairy tale. As much as the flood was a natural occurrence, it was also a supernatural occurrence, in which a loving God brought a hopelessly wicked world to an end. In Genesis 6:1-4, the conundrum about angels marrying people could be explained by demon possessed people cohabiting with other human beings, resulting in virtual "sons of Satan," otherwise known as Nephilim, a totally degenerate aggressive evil people, bred to dominate. This period of degeneracy was contemporaneous with the time of Enoch and Lamech, in the sixth generation from Adam, lasting approximately 1000 years, ending with the life of Noah. At the end of this degenerate time, Noah was commissioned to build an ark, a period in which time he intermittently preached to a people dead in their sins, a time perilously similar to current times, when every impulse is inclined to evil-doing, with no constraint whatsoever, having a totally seared conscience. Noah, like us, was called out of a sinful world at the end time-the most degenerate and violent time ever-but had to continue living in the world, walking with God. As the sinful society was destroyed by water in Noah's time, it will be destroyed by fire in our time.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing upon the tendency of our culture to be self-absorbed and self-glorifying, having erroneously absorbed the Darwinian concept of evolution, warns that civilization is clearly not progressing, but degenerating. The long life-spans, characteristic of Methuselah's time, have given away to a mere three score and ten. Technological and scientific progress, accumulated experience, does not make our quantity and quality of life better off than before the Flood. Between creation and the Flood was a span of 1658 years, a time of intense scientific ferment, producing immense artistic, philosophical, agricultural, industrial, and technological progress. In the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus affirms that conditions at the end time will be parallel to the conditions at the time of Noah, at the conclusion of the Pre-Flood times. Scientists today naively assume a kind of evolutionary uniformitarianism (what we see in the present has always been and serves as a key to the past), as opposed to the biblical emphasis on catastrophism (a belief that earth's history has occasionally been punctuated by catastrophe or upheaval). Like the days of Noah, the end-times will be characterized by carnality, gluttony, promiscuity, and perversion. During the pre-Flood times, Satan had attempted to corrupt the offspring of Eve, probably through massive demonic possession, succeeding except for Noah and his family. The same demonic threat will occur at the end-time.
David C. Grabbe: Genesis 10 and 11 contain the brief description of Nimrod, the founder of Babylon and the Babylonian system, which has so greatly influenced the course of this world. ...
John Ritenbaugh, taking both a backward and a forward look at the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, poses the question, "What is so bad about Babylon?" The Babylonian system (code name for the world's political, religious, economic, and cultural systems the cosmos) poses a menacing danger to God's people, but God wants us to work out His plan within the Babylonian system- obligating us to struggle against its ever-pervasive sensual pulls, a system that had its dim beginnings with the dictatorial, violent, and enslaving rule of Nimrod ' the first celebrity rebel of note- a hunter, enslaver, and destroyer of men. The significance of the tower of Babel (or the gate of God) reflects Satan's overweening pride and hubris (a triumph of human reasoning) to displace God. What man does through his clever inventiveness and creativity will not outlast God's eternal works. If men do not become aligned with God's thoughts, their grandiose plans (including a proud, bold, ambitious attempt at a one world government) will not succeed. Coming out of Babylon will undoubtedly require suffering, pain, and self denial, but the sacrifice will pay immense spiritual dividends.
Genesis 6:2 has long been a bone of contention among Bible students. Using the Bible to explain itself, this article clarifies that this verse does not suggest some angel/human hybrid but intermarriage in defiance of God's law.
What did Jesus mean when He said the end time would be like the days of Noah? Did He mean that the last days would be violent and corrupt, or that the last days would come suddenly on an unsuspecting world? Amazingly, the waning years of this century fulfill both.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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