The Sons of God

SERMON TOPIC: The Sons of God

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 20 August 2006


Sermon synopsis: Who are the 'nephilim' of Genesis 6? Who are the Bene Elohim referred to in Genesis 6 and in Job? What is the origin of demons and are they the same as fallen angels? Who are the 7 angels of Revelation 'who stand before God'? Should we pray to angels? What is the Divine Council and does Satan still have access to heaven?
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Angels, fallen angels, demons & the sons of God (PART 1)

Why should we bother learning about Satan or demons?

Satan is called our adversary or enemy

1 Pet 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

He is a deceptive enemy

2 Cor 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

You should know your enemy

2 Cor 2:11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Armour of God – The belt of truth

Our first piece of the armour of God is the “belt of truth”

Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

The angels

A number of supernatural creatures subordinate to God appear through the Hebrew Bible

The Malach (messenger) is only one of the descriptive words used of angels.

Others include

Irinim (Watchers/ High Angels)

Bene Elohim (sons of God)

Elohim (gods)

Cherubim (Mighty Ones)

Sarim (Princes)

Seraphim (Fiery Ones)

Chayyot (Holy Creatures)

Ofanim (Wheels).

Malach Adonai - the “angel of the LORD”

Perhaps the most ambiguous creature is the Malach Adonai, an angel (messenger) that may or may not be a visible manifestation of God or the pre-incarnate Jesus.

Ex 3:2 There the angel of the LORD* appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up… 4 When the LORD* saw that he had gone over to look, God** called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

* LORD i.e. YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah ** Elohim

Malach Adonai - the “angel of the LORD”

Gen 17:18 The LORD* appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby…10 Then the LORD* said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD* rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD* out of the heavens.

* LORD i.e. YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah

Malachim - messengers

Angels appear humanoid in most Biblical accounts and as such are often indistinguishable from human beings

Heb 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Mistaken for men in Sodom - Gen 19:5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight?”

Manoah - Judges 13:16 Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the LORD.

Gideon - Judges 6:22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed…

However they also may manifest themselves as pillars of fire and cloud, or as a fire within a bush

Malachim - messengers

One of the primary functions of angels in Scripture is to deliver a message from God

Ps 103:20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

Messengers – both malach (Heb) & angelos (Gk) mean messenger e.g. Gideon, Manoah, Zechariah, Mary, Bethlehem shepherds

Malach (Heb) & Angelos (Gk) is not a title, but a function as can be seen in the case of Gabriel

Seraphim (Fiery Ones)

Six wings

Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

Give praise before God’s throne

Isa 6:3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Rev 4:6 … In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures… 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Cherubim (Mighty Ones)

Guarded Eden - Gen 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Surround God’s throne – 1 Sam 4:4 ... the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.

Heb 9:5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover.

Satan was a guardian cherub before he fell

Ezek 28:16 So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

Cherubim (Mighty Ones)

Described by Ezekiel

Ezek 10:8 (Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like the hands of a man.) 9 I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. 10 As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 11 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. 12 Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. 13 I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels.” 14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

The origin of Satan

Fell through pride

1 Tim 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

Ezek 28:17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.

Isa 11:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! … 13 But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (NASB)

Believed to have led a 3rd of the angels into rebellion - Rev 12:3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. 9 The great dragon …called the devil, or Satan,

The book of Enoch

Not in the canon

Jude, the brother of Jesus, quotes it:

Jude 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Enoch 2:1 Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against him.

Both Peter (2 Pet 2:4) and Jude (Jude 6) draw from Enoch when referring to the imprisonment of the fallen angels. The story is related in Genesis 6 but the punishment not mentioned.

The seven archangels

There is an angelic hierarchy. An archangel is a superior or higher-ranking angel. The word 'archangel' derives from the Greek arche (ruler or source) and angelos (messenger).

Rev 8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

Enoch identifies the 7 archangels as:







Remiel (or Phanuel)

The seven archangels

Ex 23:20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.”

Michael “Who is like God”

Gabriel “God is my strength”

Raphael “God heals”

Uriel “Fire of God”

Raguel “Friend of God”

Sarakiel “Prince of God”

Remiel “Mercy of God” or Phanuel “Face of God”

1 - Michael “Who is like God”

Archangel (commander over other angels) – Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

“Michael” means “Who is like God?” and his name is reputed to be the battle cry of the Army of God

In the Dead Sea scrolls (Wars of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness), “Michael is the Prince of Light battling against the sons of darkness”. The sons of darkness are said is led by the demon Belial.

Protects Israel - Dan 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise…”


Appears to be the mightiest angel. Assists the angel who is fighting the fallen angel (Prince of Persia) en route to Daniel

Daniel 10:12-13 (ESV) Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia…”


He leads his angels in battle against Satan and his angels

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

2- Gabriel “God is my strength”

Stands in God’s presence Lk 1:19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news…

Enoch 20:7 Gabriel… who presides … over paradise, and over the cherubim.

Explains vision of ram & goat - Daniel 8:15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”

Gives Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks – Dan 9:21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding…24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people…


Prophesied John the Baptists’ birth to Zechariah – Lk 1:11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard… and you are to give him the name John …”

Predicted Jesus birth – Lk 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you … Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

3 - Raphael “God heals”

Not mentioned by name in canonical Scripture

Mentioned as one of the 7 in the apocryphal book of Tobit

Tobit 12:15 I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.

Enoch 20:1 These are the names of the angels who watch… 3 Raphael, one of the holy angels, who presides over the spirits of men.

4 -Uriel “fire of God”

Not mentioned by name in canonical Scripture

His name means “light or fire of God”. Considered to be the regent of the sun. Notice how the 4th angel in Revelation seems to be mentioned along with the plagues involving the sun:

Rev 8:12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck…

Rev 16:8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire.

Rev 19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice…

Ministry of angels

Besides delivering divine messages, angels also:

Dominion over nations – more about this later

Praise God – Ps 148:2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. (see also Revelation)

Execute judgment e.g. Angel of death (Passover), Revelation), Balaam (Num 22), David’s Census (2 Sam 24), Herod (Acts 12:23)

Ministry of angels

Guardian angels?

Ps 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Mt 18:10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Accompany us at death - Lk 16:22 The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.

Ministry of angels


Ps 91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Peter miraculously freed from prison - Acts 12:7

Elisha - 2 Kings 5:15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Ministry of angels

Minister to God’s people

Heb 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Mt 4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Lk 22:41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

Mt 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

Rejoice at our salvation – Lk 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Power of angels

Appear & disappear at will – Jud 6:21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared.


2 Kings 19:35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.

Rolled away the large tombstone - Mt 2:1 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

Stand in the sun - Rev 19:17

Power of angels

Awesome in appearance - Mt 2:3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

Cannot die - Lk 20:36 … and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.

Supernatural power

Strike men of Sodom blind – Gen 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

Jud 13:17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the LORD, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?” 18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.” 19 … And the LORD did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame.

Power of angels

Supernatural power

Acts 12:7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists… 10 They … came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Gabriel makes Zechariah mute - Lk 1:19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God… 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

Limitations of angels

Angels don’t know everything

Curious about salvation - 1 Pet 1:12 … those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Mt 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven …”

Not allowed to procreate – Mt 23:30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Heb 2:5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come …

Will be judged by us – 1 Cor 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

Angels must not be worshiped

Mt 4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

The angel who wrestled with Jacob and the one who appeared to Manoah refuse to disclose their names, possibly to prevent worship?

Angels must not be worshiped

Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.

Rev 22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

Angels, fallen angels, demons & the sons of God (PART 2)

Eloah (El) & Elohim (Elim)

SINGULAR: Eloah*, El – translated “God”

PLURAL: Elohim, Elim – based on context, translated as God, gods, angels – This word is the plural of Eloah and is found far more frequently in Scripture than either El or Eloah

Although Elohim is a plural, it is consistently used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular, illustrating the trinity. In this case it is translated “God”.

Gen 1:1 Breshit bara elohim et ha-shamayim v'et ha-aretz. In the beginning God (elohim: plural) created (bara: male singular – “he created”) the heavens and the earth.

Deut 6:4 Shema Yisrael Adonai Elochenu Adonai Echad - Hear, O Israel: The LORD (YaHWeH) our God (elohim - plural), the LORD (YaHWeH) is one.

Ha (the) Elohim is also translated as “God” because of the definite article

Bene Elohim - Sons of God

Bene elohim, bene ha’elohim, bene elim – literally “sons of God” but often translated as “angels”

Present at creation

Job 38:4 Where were you [Job] when I laid the foundations of the earth? …7 When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God* shouted for joy?

They are constituted in an Adat El (a divine council**)

Psalm 89:5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 6 For who in the skies can equal the LORD, Who can compare with the LORD among the sons of God**, 7 a God greatly dreaded in the council of the holy ones, held in awe by all around Him?

* bene Elim ** literally “council of El”

Satan’s role in the Council

The Accuser – originally in Hebrew, ha-satan was a title (the accuser) e.g. Job. In the NT it became used by Jesus and others as a proper name

Satan accuses Job in the Divine Council

Job 1:6 And it came to pass, when the sons of God presented themselves before the LORD, Satan came along with them… 9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face.”

Satan’s role in the Council

Satan accuses:

JOB - Job 2:1 Once again the sons of God* presented themselves before the LORD. Satan came along with them to present himself before the LORD…4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones and he will surely curse you to your face.”

JOSHUA - Zech 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

ALL GOD’S FOLLOWERS – When Satan is cast out of heaven by Michael, Rev 12:10 … For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

Satan’s role in the Council

God is not the author of temptation, but His permission must be granted.

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.

Satan had to get God’s permission to tempt:

JOB - Job 1:11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The LORD said to Satan “Very well then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

PETER - Lk 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

The lying spirit in the Council

The lying spirit in the Divine Council who offers to entice Ahab to battle is clearly one of the fallen angels.

1 King 22:19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. 20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said one thing, and another said another, 21 until a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 ‘How?’ the LORD asked him. He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the LORD said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’

Sons of God & Nephilim

The angels who fell before the flood were sons of God (bene ha’elohim) and this was the direct cause of the Flood – Gen 6:2 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose … 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. 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. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 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.”

* “fallen ones” or giants

Sons of God

Although bene Elohim is translated “angels” in most places, many versions translate this passage as “sons of God”, because of the difficulty some have with the implications of the passage* i.e. angels procreating with humans. This was however the constant opinion of the ancients, who had no problem with the supernatural.

The Septuagint ** manuscript Codex Alexandrinus translates the term here as “the angels of God”.

The idea that evil angels mated with human women and had offspring (the Nephilim) may appear far-fetched to us in this modern era, but it was widely accepted as fact in the ancient world.

Some try and equate “the sons of God” with Seth’s line and “the daughters of women” with Cain’s line, which is inconsistent with other passages about the “sons of God” where it clearly refers to angels. It also fails to explain why their offspring were giants. ** The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament dating from the 3rd century B.C. It was the version in use at the time of Jesus and was regarded as the standard form of the Old Testament in the early Christian Church.

Sons of God

JOSEPHUS (1st century Jewish historian) - For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.*

* Antiquities of the Jews Ch 3

Sons of God

PHILO of Alexandria (a well-known 1st century Jewish writer) wrote in his work “On the Giants”: “And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all them whom they chose.” Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air (7) And let no one suppose, that what is here stated is a fable… *

In the apocryphal Book of Jubilees we read: Jubilees 5:1 And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they 2 chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants…

* The Works of Philo, "De Gigan tibus“

Sons of God

The idea that the nephilim or giants were the offspring of the fallen host and human females was not unique to Judaism. This understanding was likely behind the Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythologies, as well as those of India and the near east. E.g. Greek mythology contains numerous accounts of the “gods” marrying women and producing super-human offspring. Such was the case with the mighty Hercules who was reputed to be the offspring of a mortal woman Alcmene and the “god” Zeus.

All these beliefs resulted not as mere inventions of fertile human imagination, but as a corruption of antediluvian truths which were distorted as their origins were forgotten over time.

e.g. in Greek mythology, the Titans were a family of giant gods who were the offspring of Uranus (heaven) and Gaea (earth). The most famous of the Titans was Cronus who led the Titans in their losing war against Zeus and the Olympian gods. After their defeat, the Titans were imprisoned in a section of the underworld called TARTARUS.

Sons of God

In his 2nd epistle, Peter uses this same Greek word to explain the fate of some of the fallen angels. He places the event just before the Flood but the punishment he refers to is not mentioned in Genesis 6 (but in the “Book of Enoch”)

2 Pet 2:4 For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved to judgment; 5 and didn't spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly…

This is the same Tartarus where Greek mythology says the Titans were imprisoned. It's highly unlikely that Peter would have used such an analogy if this pagan legend wasn't based on at least some grain of truth.

This view of equating the “sons of God” with angels was supported by many of the early church fathers, including Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Eusebius, Athenagoras, Lactantius and Ambrose.

Irinim (Watchers) – High Angels

Daniel is the only canonical book that refers to angels as “Watchers” - Dan 4:13 “In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger*, a holy one, coming down from heaven. (* Watcher - also Dan 4:17 & 4:23)

Enoch confirms the story of the “sons of God” whom he also refers to as Watchers:

Enoch 7:1 It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. 2 And when the "Watchers", the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children … 7 Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, (4) which is the top of mount Armon**…. 9 These are the names of their chiefs: Samyaza, who was their leader… 10 Then they took wives… 11 And the women conceiving brought forth giants…

** Mt. Armon, or Mt. Hermon, derives its name from the Hebrew word herem (a curse)

The origin of occultic arts

According to the book of Enoch the Watchers stand accused of revealing to mankind the following:

Barkayal taught the knowledge of astrology

Armers taught the solution of sorcery

Samyaza (the leader of the Watchers) is accredited with having taught men “enchantments, and root-cuttings”, a reference to the magical arts.

Gadreel, who “introduced weapons of war.”

Penemue, instructed men on the use of “ink and paper”, implying that the Watchers introduced the earliest forms of writing.

Far more disturbing is Kasdeja, who is said to have shown “the children of men … the smitings of the embryo in the womb, that it may pass away”. In other words, he taught women how to abort their babies.

The punishment of the Watchers

Cast into the Abyss and bound with chains

Enoch 53:1… I beheld a deep valley burning with fire… 3 And there my eyes beheld the instruments which they were making, fetters of iron of immeasurable weight. 4 Then I inquired of the angel of peace, who proceeded with me, saying, For whom are these fetters and instruments prepared? 5 He replied, These are prepared for the host of Azazeel… 6 Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel shall be strengthened in that day, and shall then cast them into a furnace of blazing fire…

Enoch 21:5 … Columns of fire struggled together to the end of the abyss… Then I exclaimed, How terrible is this place… 6 Uriel… said: This… is the prison of the angels…

Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

2 Pet 2:4 … God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but … committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved to judgment

The Abyss

This is similar to the later fate of Satan where he is bound with chains in the Abyss. - Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him…

At the 5th trumpet fallen angels bound in the Abyss are released: Rev 9:2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace… 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth… 10 They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon*, and in Greek, Apollyon*.

* Both Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek) mean “Destroyer”

The origin of demons

Bible is silent -They are not angels as angels have spiritual bodies. They desire to possess human bodies.

Spirits of the Nephilim whose judgment is to wander the earth after they died? - Enoch 15:8-10 “And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offenses. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.”

The origin of demons

This correlates to what we see in the New Testament

Demons have superhuman strength

Lk 8:29 For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Acts 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

The origin of demons

Were terrified of the Abyss* (where their fathers were thrown)

Lk 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

Mt 8:29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

Finds no rest until they occupy a body: Mt 12:43 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first…”

God has dominion over nations

God has ultimate dominion over nations

Dan 4:17 “The decision is announced by messengers*, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes…” (* Watcher)

Romans 13:1 …there is no authority except that which God has established…

Genesis Chapters 10 and 11 constitute what is known as "The Table of Nations" in the Bible. The text is as follows, “These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth…”

In Jewish tradition there were 70 original nations after the Flood, corresponding to the 70 names in this chapter.

The nations under the “sons of God”

Deut 32:8-9

4Q - "When Elyon gave the nations as an inheritance, when he separated the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God (bny 'l[hym]). For Yahweh's portion was his people; Jacob was the lot of his inheritance".

LXX - "When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the angels of God (aggelón theou). And his people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, Israel was the line of his inheritance".

MT - "When Elyon gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (bny yshr'l). For Yahweh's portion was his people, Jacob was the lot of his inheritance".

The nations under the “sons of God”

God placed 70 “sons of God” (bene elohim) over the nations after the Tower of Babel, but reserved Israel to himself

Deut 32:8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the LORD’s (YaHWeH’s) portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.

It appears that these 70 “sons of God” were corrupted and became worshipped as the gods of the nations around the ancient Hebrews: Marduk, Molech, Chemosh, Baal, Asherah, Dagon, and the rest.

This explains the origins of polytheism and the pantheon of “gods” worshipped by the pagans.

The principalities

These “principalities” constantly hover over the rulers of the nations to which they are assigned, to influence their thoughts, their plans, their feelings and emotions, so that they will take action that will move those leaders to fulfill Satan's plans.

Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In Isaiah 14, Lucifer is identified with the king of Babylon.

Similarly, in Ezekiel 28, the king of Tyre, obviously a spiritual power behind the human “ruler of Tyre” addressed in the same passage, is described, in terms similar to those of Isaiah 14, as having been in Eden.

Michael, the protector of Israel - Dan 12:12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.

Dan 10:13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia… Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.)

It’s interesting that Persia was the current world power and was subsequently followed by Greece (under Alexander). Israel (their prince being Michael) was occupied by both of these powers and the implication is that these angelic beings were also involved in some form of heavenly combat.

Gog is normally considered to be a human leader, but in the light of this study may well be the (fallen) angelic prince over this nation: Ezekiel 39:1 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.

The principalities

God judges the Divine Council

Ps 82:1 God (elohim) stands in the divine council; among the gods (elohim) He pronounces judgment. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, showing favour to the wicked? … 6 I said, “you gods (elohim), sons of the Most High (bene Elyon), all of you; 7 but you shall die as men do…

Are these human judges, as some say?

This is a divine council, “among the gods (elohim)”

“You shall die as men” implies they are not human (or that would be a given)

Jesus, the “Son of Man” & “Son of God”

The gospel writers refer to Jesus as both the Son of Man (showing his humanity” and the “Son of God” (showing his divinity).

Daniel had a Messianic vision of a “son of man” in the presence of God who is given authority

Daniel 6:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Jesus, the “Son of Man” & “Son of God”

Oldest copies of the Book of Enoch are dated 3rd century before Christ, but are distinctly Messianic reminiscent of Daniel’s vision:

Enoch 46:1 There I beheld the Ancient of days, whose head was like white wool, and with him another, whose countenance resembled that of man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I inquired of one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me every secret thing, concerning this Son of man; who he was; whence he was and why he accompanied the Ancient of days. 2 He answered and said to me, This is the Son of man, to whom righteousness belongs; with whom righteousness has dwelt; and who will reveal all the treasures of that which is concealed: for the Lord of spirits has chosen him; and his portion has surpassed all before the Lord of spirits in everlasting uprightness.

In John’s apocalyptic vision he records - Rev 14:14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” a with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

There is much talk of sonship and adoption language in the NT

Jesus continually calls us “sons of God” - Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.

Jesus also taught us to address God as Father - Mt 6:9 “This then is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven…‘ ”

Paul speaks of our adoption and sonship:

Eph 1:5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ…

Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

Heb 2:11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

The new Sons of God

The new Sons of God

But unlike a servant, a son has privileges

Gal 3:4 But when the time had fully come God sent his Son born of a woman born under law 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts the Spirit who calls out “Abba Father.“ 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son God has made you also an heir.

Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers… 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

The new Sons of God

Rom 8:14 … those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

But isn’t Jesus the only begotten Son? - monogenes (Greek) doesn’t mean “only begotten.” It is derived from two Greek terms, monos (“only”) and genos (“class, kind”). It literally means “one of a kind” or “unique”. In Heb 11:17 Isaac is called Abraham’s monogenes — but it is clear from the Old Testament that Isaac was not the only son Abraham had begotten, since he had also fathered Ishmael prior to Isaac. The term means that Isaac was Abraham’s “unique” son, for he was the son of the covenant promises and the line through which Messiah would come.

The new Sons of God

What if God has ordained for these new “sons of God” to replace the fallen “sons of God” as rulers

Heb 2:5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 7 You made him a little a lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor 8 and put everything under his feet.”

1 Cor 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? …

Will reign during the Millennium and serve as priests

1 John 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.

The new Sons of God

Rev 5:9 “… with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Lk 19:17 ”‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

The new Sons of God

If we have this hope, we should remain pure

Rom 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved.

1 Jn 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.


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