What a hot topic? This is one of those things that has caused division even amongst our own brethren. While both sides have solid arguments for their position, ultimately it comes down to how each individual interprets Biblical Prophecy. I for one am open to either possibility. Like many other subjects that are part of the eschatological milieu of modern Christianity, I like to read into all sides of the argument and hold something in between. I know the dangers of becoming dogmatic over issues that are not core to being a follower of Yeshua and so I try to be as malleable as possible in my stance. This is stance I recommend everyone in the body of Christ to take on such trivial matters. I have seen too many people lose fellowship, friends, even jobs over doctrinal differences and to me that’s just silly. Seeking such answers as “Are the Nephilim Returning?” should be something we as an entire church body should do rejoicingly, because ultimately, in either case, we know that our Lord is close.
There are two basic methods to consider. While these two methods are beyond the need for this short study, I thought I would include it to create a backdrop to the way we will approach this issue.
The first way we look at this is simply a humanistic account which places man’s destiny and it’s eschatology under the guidance of what can only be empirically measured. This view will only look at the events unfolding in front of us and use it as the basis for what we can expect to see in the near future. In terms of applying this to our discussion about whether the Nephilim are returning, it would merely be looking at our world events and then trying to get them to fit into Scripture. The danger with this method, is that man’s pride and arrogance takes precedence over the Word. And while not all of us are free from this criticism, it is the far extreme of this position that can land us in a place that is not only dangerous to our theology, but to others as well.
This is obviously the antithesis of the man-centered view. With this view, we use the Word of God as the beginning and end of our authoritative template as a means to understand the world around us. While from the onset, it seems this is the preferred method for those of us who study the Word this too has its dangers. For one, as with the Man-Centered view, we can become filled with pride and even go as far as to suggest that we are hearing from God directly to carry out some atrocious acts. While this is an extreme case, history is filled with horrendous accounts of murders, massacres, and the like all under the guise of, “God told me to do it…it’s in the Word.” As it applies to our own study of the Nephilim, we can become so entrenched and dogmatic over the fact that because we don’t see the word “Nephilim” in prophecy, that it’s impossible for the counter position to be true. Nevertheless, the God-centered method, with all of its implications taken into consideration, is the safest way to parse out the truth and ultimately where we should land with any of our theological and eschatological positions.
So how do we parse this out? On one hand, we see things unfolding in the world that seem to indicate that something strange is going on. Genetic modification, transhumanism, the singularity, human-animal hybrids etc etc etc. On the other hand, we know that what’s not in Scripture, is not in Scripture and should not be of our concern. As I mentioned earlier, I think it’s best to be malleable but ultimately siding with God. What I am suggesting is not compromise. Rather, it’s having the ability to step into the shoes so to speak of man’s view of the events, and then step back into God’s view. And while we won’t see everything God sees, we can prayerfully ask Him to reveal to us the things He wants us to know. Ultimately, no one is going to have it all correct. Only God has all the answers. But while we are on earth, we can rejoice in the Lord and seek these things out to see whether we can make sense of them. So without further ado, let’s dig into the main verse we will look at today.
AS THE DAYS OF NOAH WERE
One of the key verses that is focused on in this “Return of the Nephilim” debate is Matthew 24:37 and as an echo to it, Luke 17:26. Here are how these passages read:
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26
PRO End Times Nephilim
The argument is simple from the Pro-End Times Nephilim camp. After reading this verse you ask the question, “What was it like in the days of Noah?” The answer is found in Genesis 6. The sons of God mating with the daughters of men with Nephilim being born unto them. (If you don’t hold the fallen angel view of Genesis six, please visit this link and study up on the topic. What seminary taught you on this issue is wrong!) This is quite remarkable if Yeshua was indeed pointing us back to Genesis 6. Knowing that the disciples were well aware of how the world was in the days of Noah, they would have immediately recognized the implications. From this perspective, it is quite obvious that the Nephilim, or at least the sons of God, must be present during the end times.
ANTI End Times Nephilim
But let’s see the argument from the other side. The anti-Nephilim in the end days suggest that one must take these verses into context. So let’s look at a few verses before and after the verses in question.
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” ~Matthew 24:32-41
Okay so there is a low to soak in here. I included the parable of the fig tree because I thought it was important to understand what Yeshua is talking about here. The fig tree is Israel. The basic message from the parable is that we would know the season for the time of the end. Our Lord Yeshua continues by suggesting that when we see these things happen, we will know the end is near. The things of which we will see happen are the things He spoke about throughout the Olivet Discourse. They include wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, famine, the abomination of desolation etc.
Leading right up to the verse in question, Yeshua states that “of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” What’s interesting is that this phrase, “Of that day and hour knowth no man” is another title for Rosh Ha’Shana, one of the Hebrew feasts. And while undoubtedly, we have no idea when the end will come, nor the angels, I believes Yeshua here is giving us a clue. In any case, the verse in question is afterwards when it states, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
The Anti-End Times Nephilim crowd will use this context to say Yeshua was NOT speaking about the presence of Nephilim. Rather, they would suggest that what Yeshua was speaking about was simply the attitude of the people, unaware, business as usual, until the day comes like a thief in the night. The characteristics that Yeshua describes as, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” in isolation certainly reflects an attitude of complacency. And for this reason, the Anti-End Times Nephilim camp suggest there will be no Nephilim in the last days.
I wanted to include this verse as part of something to consider as well since it often is brought up by the Anti-End Times Nephilim crowd as another point to discredit the whole Nephilim in the end times theory. The verse reads:
“But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” ~Luke 17:29~
The argument says that because this is after the flood, it completely negates the use of Matthew 24:37 to show that Nephilim will be on the earth. However, the counter argument is that the Nephilim, or at the very least, the sons of God in some manner were there in the days of Lot as well. The proof text the Pro-End Times Nephilim crowd uses is in Jude 1:7 where it states:
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” ~Jude 1:7~
They argue that “strange flesh” is talking about something other than humans. Perhaps angelic, perhaps Nephilim. The second part of the argument is that when the two angels went into Sodom to look for Lot, the house they were in got surrounded by the towns people wanting to seek the angels to “have sex” with them.
“And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” ~Genesis 19:5~
This clearly shows some sort of physicality regarding the angels, but also the evil that was in the hearts and minds of those who were in Sodom. This again brought about the destruction of that city. It wasn’t mere complacency that brought judgement.
SO WHICH IS IT?
Since we’ve really only looked at a couple verses, it’s unfair to suggest whether we know for sure or not whose right on this debate. Next time we will look at other places in the Bible that both camps use to defend their opposing positions. But to try to sort it out here, I want to really look at Genesis carefully because the argument built on the Pro-End Times Nephilim is predicated on the accounts of Genesis 6.
The verses that really jump out when looking at Genesis 6 are as follows:
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart…The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” ~Genesis 6:5-6, 11-12~
Now if we are to understand what Yeshua said in Matthew 24, and subsequently in Luke 17 and apply what God says here in Genesis 6, I think we start getting a clearer picture. We see five distinct characteristics in the days of Noah before the flood from these verses.
1. Wickedness of man was great.
2. Every imagination of the thoughts of mans heart was evil continually.
3. And it repented the LORD that he made man, and it grieved Him.
4. The earth was corrupt before God and filled with violence.
5. All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
So if we are compare these points with “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” we can clearly point to the reality that the eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage was NOT simply a point of complacency, but of evil to the point where it grieved the Lord. If this is the case, then it doesn’t negate the Anti-End Times Nephilim argument outright, but it shows that the argument from complacency is refuted.
So far, it seems like the Pro-End Times Nephilim have a small upper hand. However, the reality is that the Scriptures never explicitly states that there are, or needs to be Nephilim on the earth in the end times. So in this regard, the Anti-End Times Nephilim crowd still has validity which is basically an argument from absence. Nevertheless, the debate will go on until we either see a 30 foot Nephilim giant rise up out of the ground, or we are gloriously taken out of here by Yeshua our Lord.
Again it’s difficult to know from just studying a few verses, but the topic is certainly intriguing. We were able to stay very God-centered in our approach in this short study. Every point of contention was argued from the Scriptures. While this is good, in the future as we explore these concepts in more depth, we will bring in some man-centered argument and perspectives to see how they affect the Scriptures and how it applies to us today. My hope is that I was able to stay balanced and fair looking at this topic. It’s certainly not central to our salvation in the Lord Yeshua, so I advise everyone to seek these truths with an open heart, and an open mind, not letting pride and dogma take precedence over the common unity and bond we have in Christ Yeshua.