Book Review – Archon Invasion

Archon-Invasion In recent months, I have become exposed to and as a result have become quite interested in theological research and writings regarding the events described as taking place in Genesis 6:4. Those not familiar with this passage arguably are not aware of what possibly took place because at first glance it seems to be a rather benign passage of Scripture. Furthermore, some scholars have suggested the “sons of God” were merely humans who took for themselves wives and the nephilim referred to in that verse were nothing more than some people who were famous during that period of history or who might have become a bit taller than the rest of humanity. Speak and author Rob Skiba, in his fascinating book Archon Invasion: The Rise, Fall and Return of the Nephilim provides the reader with valuable insight and interesting research into this subject matter, noting the reality of something more taking place than humans marrying and taking human wives for a mate. Additionally, Skiba explores whether this event took place on more than one occasion in history.

I will start off by reiterating what a fascinating subject this has become for me in recent months. When one begins to unpack Genesis 6:4 as well as other locations in Scripture when this event and the result of this event are mentioned, some of the more shall we say bizarre elements of Scripture begin to come into greater focus. Those who attempt to stifle conversation on this subject or brush it aside instead promoting that nothing really much took place are avoiding an important element of Bible study.

Some, as Skiba notes, promote the Sethite Theory, the idea that Genesis 6 is simply describing the sons of Seth engaging in relations with the ungodly offspring of Cain. Even a cursory look at Scripture as well as Jewish and Christian commentary on the subject reveals major holes in the Sethite Theory. Skiba aptly comments “if the sons of God are supposed to be a representation of the good sons of Seth mating with the bad daughters of Cain, why is it that the supposedly “good guys” are the ones doing the bad thing?” Indeed something more nefarious took place, namely that of fallen angels leaving their proper estate and coming to earth in an attempt to corrupt God’s plan.

Skiba also takes an in-depth look at the Multiple Incursion Theory or the belief that these fallen angels not only acted in a pre-flood context but also after the flood. After engaging with the Biblical text and extra-biblical texts such as Enoch, Skiba rejects a multiple incursion approach, instead averring that the corrupt seed was carried by the wives of Noah’s sons and thus was passed down to future generations. One can see this in Scripture with the existence and mention of generations of offspring, albeit of a much smaller size that potentially existed in a pre-flood time period. It is interesting to engage a passage such as Numbers 13:31-33, specifically the declaration by the Israelite spies that they were but “grasshoppers” when compared to the inhabitants of the land. This is not just mere symbolism but rather a reality given the spies encountered remnants of the Nephilim who were still alive during this time of history.

I also appreciated the attention paid by Skiba to the principle of the seed. Grasping the battle that exists between the seed of the woman and the seed of the enemy, truly sheds additional important insight not only to Genesis 6, but also the entirety of Scripture. Genesis 3:15 sets the stage for this battle, noting God’s statement of “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” I found Skiba’s statement “this whole issue of not mixing seed was the whole purpose of circumcision” to be quite important. He goes on to submit that a “covenant is always sealed in blood. Circumcision is a blood covenant, made in the “dispenser of seed” as a permanent reminder to stay pure.” Such a comment shed great insight into the underlying purpose of circumcision and God’s purpose in having His people faithfully perform that act.

Archon Invasion contains a plethora of interesting information that will provide the reader with much to consider. I guarantee that some paradigms will be challenged for those willing to take the time to read Skiba’s research and comments. What took place in Genesis 6:4 was not some unimportant historical incident. It was an overt attempt to thwart God’s plans. When one takes the time to look back in history and put some puzzle pieces together, the picture of what took place and what could take place once again in the future becomes a bit clearer. One thing is certain which Skiba consistently reiterates and that is God’s plans can never be thwarted. Regardless of what plan the enemy hatches, God is in control and just as Caleb and Joshua led the charge against the giants of their day, we too if we remain faithful to God and His Word can defeat whatever the enemy brings our direction.

I highly recommend this book for any even remotely interested in this subject matter. I know I find it fascinating and I am confident those who read this book and other works by Rob Skiba and others who have diligently researched this subject matter will find themselves engaged and more importantly, they will find themselves digging deeper into the Word of God.

This book is available for purchase from Kings Gate Media by clicking here.

Simon Turpin – Did Death of any Kind Exist Before the Fall?

Introduction

Death and disease are a heartbreaking reality of the world we live in and daily we hear news stories of people dying as a result of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, disease, and crime. People often ask why death exists in the world if there is a loving God, and many simply assume that death is a natural part of life. However, this has not been the belief of the church for much of its history. The orthodox Christian understanding of the origin of death has been commonly understood in terms of the “Fall” of mankind found in Genesis 3. Death was brought about as a result of Adam’s disobedience to the command of God in Genesis 2:17. As Vos states:

On the basis of these words the belief of all ages has been that death is the penalty of sin, that the race became first subject to death through the commission of the primordial sin (Vos 1975, p. 36).

Nevertheless, many scholars in recent years have taken issue with the orthodox view of Genesis 1–3 and the origin of death. Pannenberg notes that “From the 18th century onward . . . the opinion gained ground in Protestant theology that . . . death is part of the finitude of our nature” (Pannenberg 1994, p. 267). Lyn Bechtel argues that the orthodox Christian understanding of the origin of death and the Fall found in Genesis 3 is not seen as being original to the text, but as a development over the last few centuries of the first millennium BCE (Bechtel 1995, p. 4). Meanwhile, James Barr, in The Garden of Eden and the Hope of Immortality, writes:

My argument is that, taken in itself and for itself, this narrative is not, as it has commonly been understood in our tradition, basically a story of the origins of sin and evil . . . (Barr 1992, p. 4)

There can be no doubt that the eighteenth century’s emphasis on rationalism combined with the nineteenth century’s belief in the great age of the earth and the later acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory in The Origin of Species has impacted the interpretation of Genesis 1–3 more than anything else. Darwin’s evolutionary understanding of the world has had a devastating effect on how many people interpret Genesis 1–3. In his book he wrote what was essentially a history of death and suffering. He described the modern world as having arisen from “the war of nature, from famine and death” understanding death to have always been a permanent part of the world (Darwin 1859, p. 459). The late evolutionary astrophysicist Carl Sagan said,

The secrets of evolution are time and death: time for the slow accumulations of favourable mutations, and death to make room for new species (Sagan 1980).

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Tony Breeden – Deflating Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption, Revisited: Is the Assumption Still Necessary?

Theodosius Dobzhansky on Equating Microevolution and MacroevolutionRecently, a fellow Appalachian objected to my use of a 1937 quote from Theodosius Dobzhansky based on an implied appeal to novelty. An appeal to novelty is the fallacious assumption that just because something is newer, it must be better or more true than something older. He basically asked, given my 1937 quotation, whether I would also use 1937 medical science and then accused me of supposing that science “never changes, never gathers evidences, never formalizes a hypothesis into a theory” because I did not use a more recent quote. I know, I know… it’s a bad argument, but let’s make this an educational experience.

First, to demonstrate how silly his rhetoric is, let’s answer the question of whether I would use 1937 medical science? Well, it depends upon the science. Consider, for example, medical hygeine. History records that in the late 1840′s, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, then working as an assistant in the maternity wards of a Vienna hospital, observed that the mortality rate in a delivery room staffed by medical students was up to 3 times greater than that of a second delivery room staffed by midwives. He further observed that these medical students were coming to the delivery room straight from working on cadavers, so he figured these guys must be carrying infection from their autopsies to birthing mothers. Accordingly, he ordered doctors and medical students to wash their hands with a chlorinated solution before examining women in labor, and the death rate in his maternity wards eventually dropped to less than one percent.

Amazingly enough, I still insist that doctors practice 1840s medical science when it comes to pre-exam handwashing precisely because it works. Medical science has marched onward, but some things remain true despite the passage of time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Which brings us to our 1937 Dobzhansky quote, from Genetics and the Origin of Species:

“There is no way toward an understanding of the mechanism of macroevolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the microevolutionary processes observable within the human lifetime. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of micro– and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit.” [emphasis mine]

In an article entitled Deflating Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption, I noted:

“Dobzhansky had to make an assumption that small changes could account for big changes. Why? Because he couldn’t observe them. Because such changes allegedly took place over long periods of time that were, well, prohibitive to say the least. So he had to make an assumption.”

I went on in that article to demonstrate why this was essentially impossible, since the horizontal changes observed do not add genetic information as would be required of the microbes-to-man evolution model, but rather are more consistent with the creationist position of variation within created kinds.

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Jason Helopoulos – Rejoice in the Midst of Suffering?

JH Image We only need to read the headlines in the morning paper or turn on the evening news to have confirmed what we already know to be true, suffering is an ever-present companion in this world. As a result of the Fall, every individual throughout the history of humanity has known suffering and Christians are not exempt from this experience. Rather, in many ways the suffering Christians are called to endure can even be greater (John 15:20) than that which the unbeliever endures in this world.

As we face this truth, I have found that nothing is as realistic about suffering as the Bible. The Scriptures do not follow the path of eastern mysticism and deny the reality of suffering. Rather, they treat it as very real. Neither do they make the error of accepting suffering as something that is real, but dismiss it as insignificant. No, much of the suffering in this world is far from trivial. The Scriptures are honest about the trials of the saints of God and about the severity of those same trials. From Abraham to Job to David to Paul, they all suffered and suffered greatly. We could even say that many of them endured some of the worst afflictions that this life has to offer. The life of Job is a monumental testimony to this fact.

However, the Scriptures do no leave us there. Even as there is nothing as honest about suffering in this life as the Scriptures, so there is nothing as comforting in the midst of these trials. The Bible attends to the soul like a physician’s balm. There is healing in its pages, comfort in its words, and hope in its exhortations. Maybe the most surprising, yet comforting, aspect of the Scriptures in the midst of our trials is what they expect from the Christian as we experience these “dark nights of the soul.”

It is not what many Christians will advise and counsel one another, let alone believe themselves, that suffering must merely be endured. Make no mistake, the Bible teaches the need for endurance in the midst of trial (Romans 5:3), but it does not let us stop there. The Lord calls us to approach suffering in a unique and wholly uncommon way. As Christians, we are exhorted to rejoice in the midst of our suffering! Paul says in Romans 5:3, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings…” He says in Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake…”

We may be tempted to think that Paul was a little confused on this point. Maybe the suffering he experienced was superficial and therefore it was easy for him to pen such lofty words. If only he was accustomed to what we have been forced to endure, he may have sung a different tune. But then we read of the miseries the Apostle Paul experienced (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). He was imprisoned, beaten, lashed, shipwrecked, stoned, and in constant danger. He was subjected to hunger, thirst, extreme temperatures, and the mental anguish of worrying about the churches under his care. He was no stranger to suffering and his afflictions were anything but minor. The Apostle Peter, who also knew suffering by experience, exhorts the distressed churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings…” (1 Peter 4:13).

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Michael Boling – Reflections on Job 1-5

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Job 1-5

This is where the chronological approach begins to get interesting. Moving from the Tower of Babel, we now begin to interact with the book of Job. Perhaps we often forget that Job lived quite a long time ago given the placement of the book with his name with the wisdom/poetry books of Scripture.

Job lived in Uz and was a righteous man. He was the father of seven sons and three daughters and owned much livestock and servants. Job 1 describes him as the greatest man among all the people of the East. In fact, Job’s righteousness set in motion a discussion between God and the Adversary, Ha-Satan. The Adversary proposed the reason for Job’s righteousness was the blessings God had given Job and the hand of protection God provided Job. God, knowing Job’s heart towards him, allowed the Adversary to inflict evil upon Job, his family, and his possessions to the point where all was taken away from Job. Even still, Job remained faithful and did not blame God for his situation.

This horrible situation did allow for Job to share his thoughts which included him decrying the day he was born. He believed that if he had never been born, this misery and grief would have never been his lot nor the lot of his now deceased family.

A friend of Job’s, Elifaz the Teimani arrives on the scene to provide commentary on Job’s situation. This friend believes Job’s misfortune must be related to some wrongdoing against God as after all, “what innocent person has perished” and “since when are the upright destroyed?” There is no way in the mind of Elifaz that a mortal man can be considered righteous before God. Elifaz challenges Job to call on God but to not expect a response. But if Job does call on someone, it should be God as He is the only one who can answer and deliver Job from his troubles. Elifaz also informs Job that his current afflictions are God’s discipline upon Job, but eventually God will cease this disciplinary action and will restore Job to live a long life so that he will come to his grave “at a ripe old age.”

D. A. Carson – Watch Me!

(Via www.10ofthose.com)

Using audio from Don Carson, this short video challenges us from the Bible how we must be sharing our lives, opening up the Bible and changing generations as we point them to Jesus.

You are free to use this video however you like, without changing it or shortening it.

The video is designed to be shared online and viewed in churches with the purpose of engaging one to one Bible studies. It is the first in a series of videos that will in due course launch ‘The Word – One to One’ – a Bible study resource written by staff of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London and published by 10Publising, a division of 10ofthose.com.

Tony Breeden – Was Noah A Millionaire? James McGrath’s Theology Stumbles On Scripture

What you’re about to read is what happens when a man who doubts the historical veracity of the Bible finds something in the Bible that contradicts his loosely Bible-inspired theology. Basically, he’s stubbed an opinion on a passage of Scripture. It’s sad. It’s instructive. It underscores the truth of Jesus’ warning in John 3:12 about the interconnectedness of earthly facts and heavenly truths.

Dr. James F McGrath recently posed the snide question “Does Ken Ham Think Noah Was A Millionaire?” His reasoning, if we may use that term loosely, is that the Ark Encounter’s modern-day price tag is $24.5 million dollars. Tellingly, he scoffs alongside atheists like PZ Myers over the fact that the Ark Encounter project has raised only $4 million of the money needed, to date. That McGrath takes his seat with the scoffers should give us a clue how low his view of Scripture is.

In fact, in a rather misleading statement, he says:

“Why does one need even 4 million dollars to demonstrate the literal truthfulness of an ancient story about a lone man, without modern technology, perhaps helped by some family members and slaves, building a box-shaped boat capable of housing two or seven of all kinds of animals, if Answers in Genesis and their interpretation of the Noah story is correct?”

We pause here to correct a handful of erroneous notions evident in McGrath’s analysis.

First, we note that the height, width and length of the Ark are indeed given in the Bible, but this in no wise means that the Ark was box-shaped, any more than giving the basic height, width and length of a modern yacht or cargo ship require a box shape. If he had bothered to do the research [he either hasn’t, evidencing willful ignorance, or he has and he hopes to purposely mislead folks], he’d know that Biblical Creationists affirm that these are the basic dimensions of the Ark and that, while a box shape would in no wise invalidate the Genesis account, there’s quite a bit of creative room within those dimensions.

Second, even if Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth worked alone on the Ark, is McGrath suggesting that the feat could not have been completed in a time frame of 120 years?? Ridiculous!

Thirdly, McGrath makes the point that Noah built the Ark without modern technology. I remind him that Stonehenge and the pyramids were built without modern technology and modern technicians marvel at these feats because they are not able to determine how such things were accomplished in the timeframes history records. Of course, McGrath and others who scratch their heads at how the pyramids were built by “primitive” peoples with “primitive” technology are begging the evolutionary question. The Bible records that man was never primitive in this sense, but has degraded to such “primitive” conditions in many cases.

David Hall – Religion should be Shown—not a Show

picture-10155 Jesus opposed ostentatious piety. Tell that to your friends and also to yourself. And he was not fooled by the counterfeit. In Matthew 6, he developed these important ideas.

Our Lord called for giving that is not ostentatious. The ancient practice of almsgiving (giving offerings) is rooted in the Old Testament and commanded by God to financially support the Temple and the needy. “Almsgiving stood first in the catalogue of good works . . . it was the most sacred of all religious duties . . . in fact the Jews interchanged the same word for either righteousness and almsgiving . . . to give alms and to be righteous (therefore) were one and the same thing . . . to give alms was to gain merit in the sight of God.”[1]

Jesus exposes the Pharisees as giving to the needy in order to be recognized by others as great philanthropists. The Pharisees when giving to the needy may have had a trumpeter precede them, supposedly to call all the charitable citizens to contribute to an urgent need. The trumpet grabbed attention and soon came to be an announcement and recognition of some philanthropist. This custom gave rise to public recognition and receiving outward praise.

Jesus says do not give in this way (v. 12) as the hypocrites do. No one should ever think that Jesus never judges, condemns, or publicly accuses of hypocrisy. He does so here. He is no un-discerning One who cannot judge right from wrong, who only affirms all people. He calls such self-glorified givers “hypocrites.” The classical Greek word – and it is a strong one – for hypocrite refers to an actor in a stage production. A hypocrite was one who in the Greek theater put on a mask and played another role. Everyone knew this was the same person, but as a stage convenience he assumed another personality. That’s what a hypocrite is, one who acts one way in one role, but completely different in another. One is not merely a hypocrite if he says he intends to do something for God and then fails. That person is merely a sinner. But a hypocrite is one who says one thing and then in a later context plays the opposite role.

So the hypocrite in view here, does not really want to help the needy. His philanthropy is motivated by self-serving interests, and he just wants to help himself and his reputation in the community. This type of hypocrite is like:

– The politician who says he is supportive of a minority group just to get votes;
– The pastor who placates the powerful just to keep his job;
– The giver in the church who wants to be recognized as the patron-boss of the congregation. When we give in order to be honored on the streets or in the synagogues (this includes both religious and civic charity), then we are guilty of the hypocrisy of modern day Pharisaism.

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Daniel Hyde – 4 Reasons We Must Preach the Pentateuch

Preaching from the Pentateuch is a great need of God’s people, many of whom have never heard sermons from any book of the Old Testament, let alone the Pentateuch. This is also an area of great need for preachers, who tend to shy away from the Pentateuch.

Despite the difficulties associated with it, I believe we must preach the Pentateuch for four reasons.

1. Its Need

First, there is a great need for preaching the Pentateuch in our churches to give our people a well-rounded diet of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). No doubt many preachers’ experience of their people’s lack of Bible knowledge testifies to this. Several recent studies by various denominations have shown that while seventy-five percent of the Scriptures are found within the Old Testament, only twenty percent of sermons come from the Old Testament. Our people need us to do more than merely teach Old Testament Bible stories to our children in Sunday school. They need us to preach these stories to them.

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