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THE DAYS OF NOAH – PART IV
(SERMON #15 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)
A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., Pastor Emeritus and given by Jack Ngann, Pastor at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles Lord’s Day Afternoon, August 14, 2022
“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37; p. 1034 Scofield).
I am convinced that we are now living in the time Jesus spoke of in this verse of Scripture. There is a great parallel between our time and the days of Noah. Jesus said that conditions on earth would be similar to the time of Noah right before Christ returns and the world as we know it ends.
What it was like in the days of Noah will be what it is like when the end of this age draws near.
“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).
We have seen nine ways in which the days of Noah were similar to our time:
(1) It was a time of apostasy, when most people turned away from God.
(2) It was a time of extensive travel, when people moved about over the earth.
(3) It was a time when countless people committed the unpardonable sin, and were given up by God.
(4) It was a time of multiple marriages, when people married more than once.
(5) It was a time when demon possession occurred on a large scale.
(6) It was a time when evil thought prevailed on the earth.
(7) It was a time dominated by carnal music.
(8) It was a time of great violence and murder.
(9) It was a time when strong preaching was rejected.
All of this has been repeated in our time, in the last several decades. I am therefore convinced that we are now living in the time Jesus spoke of when He said:
“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).
This afternoon I want to draw your attention to another way our age parallels that of Noah.
Please turn in your Bible to Genesis, chapter four, verse twenty-five:
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord”
(Genesis 4:25-26; p. 11).
To help us understand this verse, I will ask three questions.
I. First, were there two groups of people, a “godly line” and an “ungodly line”?
Many of us have been taught that there were two groups of people on earth at the time of the Flood, the “godly” line that came from Seth, and the ungodly line that came from Cain. That is what The Scofield Study Bible teaches in its note on Genesis, chapter six, verse four:
The uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation has been that verse 2 marks the breaking down of the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of Cain, and so the failure of the testimony to Jehovah committed to the line of Seth.
I believed in that interpretation for many years. While the Scofield note says it is “The uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation,” it was not the interpretation of Dr. Merrill F. Unger, or Dr. M. R. DeHaan (cf. M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1963, pp. 139-151). Dr. DeHaan said:
There are two interpretations of this strange account [in Genesis 6:1-7]. The generally accepted explanation of the union of the sons of God and the daughters of men is that the former were the godly descendants of Seth, and the daughters of men were the descendants of wicked Cain. Dr. C. I. Scofield in his notes on this passage sums up this generally accepted view…
This is the generally accepted theory of the birth of these giants in Noah’s day. However, we feel this explanation is wholly in error and that the sons of God were actually fallen angels, literal demons who by a supernatural conception of the daughters of men produced a race of monstrosities called giants…
When we examine the argument held by many that this refers to the marriage of believing descendants (all female) of Seth and the unbelieving descendants (all male) of Cain, we find that it cannot stand up under close scrutiny, for it presents too many difficulties and problems. If the reference is to the godly daughters of Seth and the ungodly sons of Cain then we must explain:
1. Why this union was only between the female descendants of Seth and the male descendants of Cain and not also between the male descendants of Seth (sons of men) and the female descendants of Cain (daughters of God).
2. Were all the descendants of Seth females and those of Cain males? Were all the descendants of Seth believers and all the descendants of Cain unbelievers?
3. How do we account for the birth of giants, men of great stature and unusual intelligence, as the result of the union of unbelievers with believers?… How then do we account for the fact that the offspring of this union in Genesis 6 were these monstrosities called giants?
4. If these sons of God were the descendants of godly Seth and the daughters of men were the children of wicked Cain, it certainly does not mean that their mixed marriage was the capital sin which precipitated the judgment of the flood. It could not have been merely the unequal yoke of a mixed marriage of humans.
These facts alone make the generally accepted explanation quite untenable (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., The Days of Noah, Zondervan, 1963, pp. 140-142).
Dr. DeHaan took exactly the same position regarding Genesis 6:4 as did Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D., Th.D., late professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary (cf. Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament, Moody Press, 1981, volume 1, pp. 36-37). I believe that Dr. Unger and Dr. DeHaan were right in what they said.
II. Second, has the Messianic line been confused with a so-called “godly line”?
The so-called “godly line of Seth” is based on a false understanding of Genesis 6:4, and a confusion between the Messianic line, given in Luke 3:23-38, and a so-called “godly line” in the days of Noah. If Genesis 6:4 does not refer to a “godly line of Seth” then there is no Scriptural support for such a group of “godly” people in Noah’s time. All you are left with is the Messianic line, and no godly group exists. The Messianic line consists of only one person per generation! It does not consist of any so-called “godly line” of people.
I say that the Messianic line was made up of only one person in each generation. That is all we are given in Genesis, chapter five. If you think I’m wrong, ask yourself whether I am wrong regarding Noah! Noah was the only one in the Messianic line who was saved (cf. Genesis 5:29-32; 6:8; II Peter 2:5). The Bible specifically tells us that God “saved Noah the eighth person…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (II Peter 2:5). This verse shows us that only eight people were saved at the Flood, and that everyone else was “ungodly.” That makes it quite clear that there was no “godly line” of Seth. Such a “line” did not exist in the days of Noah! It has been invented by commentators and is not found in the Word of God!
The “godly line” of Seth disappears if you realize two things:
(1) The Messianic line, given in Genesis, chapter five, is composed of only one person in each generation, who is named in Genesis, chapter five.
(2) The sons of God and daughters of men refer to demons and human women, not to any “godless line of Cain” or “godly line” of Seth.
I maintain that there was no such thing as “the godly line” of Seth. I say that this is a wrong idea, popularized by Scofield, and not found in the Bible itself. I am not condemning everything in The Scofield Study Bible. Most of the notes are good and Scriptural. I preach from a Scofield Bible in every service. But this particular interpretation I believe to be incorrect.
III. Third, why has this subject been so obscured and confused?
I think there are two basic reasons:
(1) Demons and Satan are not taken seriously by many people today.
(2) A superficial, “decisionist” interpretation has been taken, instead of preaching the new birth.
The first reason that the “godly line of Seth – ungodly line of Cain” was adopted is because demons and Satan are not taken seriously by many people. What! Are we to believe that the greatest catastrophe in human history happened without any mention of demonic activity recorded in the Bible? I can’t believe that. Clearly, Satan was working in the world in the days of Noah. A spiritual person can see this in Genesis 6:4,
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4; p. 13).
Dr. Merrill F. Unger of Dallas Theological Seminary pointed out that this describes “man’s sin of cohabitating with fallen angels” (Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament, p. 36). But Dr. Scofield said this is impossible because “angels are spoken of in a sexless way” (note on Genesis 6:4). Scofield’s idea is based on Matthew 22:30, which says,
“For in the resurrection [people] neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”
(Matthew 22:30; p. 1030).
But this verse speaks only of “the angels of God in heaven.” It makes no mention whatever of fallen angels! Thus, I believe that Dr. Scofield misquoted Matthew 22 in his note on Genesis 6:4 by saying, “Marriage is unknown among angels.” Jesus was speaking only of the angels in Heaven!
By de-emphasizing the power of Satan and demons, many commentators have not warned people about the awful danger of demonic deception in our day.
“As the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).
Second, a superficial “decisionist” interpretation has been taken. Scofield speaks of “the breaking down of the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of Cain, and so the failure of the testimony to Jehovah committed to the line of Seth” (Scofield note on Genesis 6:4). I say – poppycock! There is simply no Scripture to back up such an idea, if you untwist that wrong interpretation of Genesis 6:4.
Also, that is not how salvation works in the first place! You can’t keep a denomination or a local church “saved” by having the church kids marry each other and stay separated from non-church kids. That is exactly what the Pharisees taught, but it is untrue to the Bible. The Bible does not teach that you can raise a “godly line” by preventing them from marrying unbelievers! No! No! No! Each and every “church kid” must be born again (John 3:3, 7). Separation without regeneration produces Phariseeism and nothing else!
I am very much afraid that Scofield’s teaching on the “breaking down of separation” in the days of Noah is one of the doctrines that have helped to fill our churches with unconverted “church kids.” These kids “asked Jesus to come into their hearts” and raised their hands at “invitation time” – but they are still children of Cain! They did not join any so-called “godly line of Seth” by superficially raising their hand or parroting the words of a mechanical prayer! They did not join the “godly line of Seth” by being born in a Baptist home or going to a Baptist school! They are still in the “godless line of Cain” – and they will still come under the judgment of God. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
I realize that this could not be preached in many churches today – because many of those churches are controlled by “the godless line of Cain” – including deacons and Sunday School teachers – and even some preachers! The new birth is as foreign a doctrine in many of our churches as it was in the churches of England during the days of Whitefield and Wesley! Both Whitefield and Wesley were shut out of the churches because the pastors were afraid that their sermons on the “new birth” would split their churches. This is now true in many “conservative” churches today. “We must not have strong sermons on the new birth,” they say! So, many evangelicals in our day are lost people – going to Hell!
Ye must be born again, Ye must be born again,
I verily, verily say unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(“Ye Must Be Born Again” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).
The people of Noah’s day were religious but lost. Look, please, at Genesis 4:26,
“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26; p. 12).
These people were praying. They were calling on the name of the Lord. But hardly any of them were saved. The so-called “godly line of Seth” drowned in the Flood! They had called on the name of the Lord, but they went to Hell – millions of them! The fact is that in the entire world only eight people were saved! God
“Spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly”
(II Peter 2:5; p. 1318).
And that’s the way it is again – in our time.
“But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37; p. 1034).
“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh”
(Matthew 25:11-13; p. 1035).
I warn you to come to Christ while there is still time! As the prophet Isaiah put it,
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found” (Isaiah 55:6; p. 761).
May you do so with all your heart – and mind! Amen.