Stranger Thing #20 — Angels

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

[Hebrews 1:14 – NIV]

Angelology — or the study of angels — is one of the most underemphasized and misunderstood doctrines in all of Scripture.

Many have oversimplified their understanding of the unseen realm by reducing it down to God, the devil, and a few angels. This simplistic view of the heavenly host does not accurately represent what the Bible says about the heavenly host .

Putting church tradition and popular culture aside, we always must ask what does the Bible really say about these angelic beings?

For starters here are some fun facts about angels.

  1. The host of heaven — including but not limited to angels — numbers in the hundreds of millions, if not more. [Daniel 7:10, Psalm 68:17, Nehemiah 9:6, Luke 2:13, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 5:11]
  2. Although angels are invisible spirits, they typically manifest in human form and sometimes get mistaken as mere men. (Genesis 18-19, Daniel 10:18, Luke 1:19-26, John 20:12, Hebrews 13:2)
  3. There is NO Biblical teaching that states or even implies that humans turn into angels when they die.
  4. Although angels have the capacity to fly (Daniel 9:21), they are never described in Scripture as having wings. [Only the cherubim and seraphim are described as having wings]
  5. Angels often are described as being dressed in white (Acts 1:10) and sometimes radiant in appearance (Matthew 28:3, Luke 24:4).
  6. The Scriptures imply that there is an order of rank among angelic beings which includes archangels, or chief princes, such as Michael (Daniel 10:21, Jude 1:9, Revelation 12:7-9)
  7. Several angels are personally named in Scripture — Satan, Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), Gabriel, Legion, and Beelzebub.
  8. Angels are also called holy ones, sons of God, stars, winds, and spirits.
  9. Scripture teaches that some angels “sinned” and abandoned their proper domain, introducing all sorts of evil to mankind [Genesis 6:1-5, Psalm 82, 2 Peter 2:2-4, Jude 1:6-7]. In response to these serious transgressions, the LORD punished this group of angels, casting them to the bottomless pit and binding them with chains until the day of judgment.
  10. Jesus says that the fires of hell are reserved specifically for “the devil and his angels” [Matthew 25:41].

I will limit my focus for this post on the God-fearing angels who faithfully serve and obey the LORD. I will not address the cherubim and seraphim, having dealt with them in my last post here. And you may also want to read my post about The Angel of the LORD here.

I will deal with the fallen angels — aka demons — in my next post.

Angels are Created Spiritual Beings

Angels are called holy ones and the sons of God, and although they are portrayed to have extreme power, supreme intelligence, and some god-like atributres, they are created beings nonetheless. This means that the very existence of all spiritual beings is entirely contingent upon the One True Creator God (Colossians 1:15-17). No angel could or would exist without God, who is the only Necessary Being who exists.

“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”

[Nehemiah 9:6]

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

[Hebrews 1:6]

“The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!”

[Psalm 103:19-21]

Angels are Servants of the Most High

It is important to understand the title of angel as more of a job description than anything else. In others words, “angel” more appropriately describes role and function than essence or being. While the ontological descriptions in the Bible include holy ones, sons of God, morning stars, and heavenly host, angel better implies what a being does as opposed to what a being is.

The Bible sheds some light on the jobs that angels perform.

Angels perpetually serve and worship Yahweh, presenting themselves before His throne (Daniel 7:10, Revelation 5:11-12), and are ever prepared to do His holy will as emissaries and ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:7).

Angels attended to Jesus immediately after he resisted the devil’s temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11) and as he agonized in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43). Jesus also made reference to having the authority to command 12 legions of angels at any moment to serve Him.

“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”

[Matthew 26:53]

The LORD sent an angel to deliver Peter from prison (Acts 12:6-10), and angels are identified as end-time reapers, who harvest both the righteous and the wicked at the end of the age (Matthew 13:39-41, Revelation 14:14-20).

Angels are God’s Heavenly Messengers

The word angel — both the Hebrew word, malak, and the Greek word, aggelos — literally means messenger. Again, the word angel is more descriptive of function, and one of the primary jobs of angels is to deliver God’s messages to mankind.

The Greek word used for evangelism (euaggelizó,) which literally means to bring good news, finds its root in the same word, aggeols, or angelic messenger.

The Bible says that when the LORD gave the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai, it was mediated by angels. [Acts 7:53, Galatians 3:19]. Angels announced “good news for all people” to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-14, and God will send an angel to proclaim the eternal gospel to every nation before the return of Christ [Revelation 14:6-7].

Angels were there to tell the women at the tomb that Jesus had risen from the dead and also to encourage the disciples at the ascension of Jesus. The angel Gabriel in particular is named in both the Old and New Testament, as he helped Daniel understand his visions of the last days (Daniel 8-9) and later announced the birth of both John the Baptist and Jesus (Luke 1).

Angels War against the Spiritual Forces of Darkness

The Scriptures provide rare glimpses into the spiritual battle raging around us at any given moment, but we can be sure that there are angelic armies at war in the heavenly realm. Although the LORD sometimes sends his angelic army to engage in earthly affairs, such as when God struck down the Syrian army in the days of Elisha (2 Kings 6), the heavenly conflict is just as real (Ephesians 6:12).

John’s account of the Revelation of Jesus is one of the most obvious references to this spiritual war in heaven.

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

[Revelation 12:7-9]

An angel also informed Daniel on one occasion that the dark prince of Persia prevented him from coming to Daniel sooner.

“However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia … ‘Do you know why I have come to you?’ he said. ‘I must return at once to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I have gone forth, behold, the prince of Greece will come.'”

[Daniel 10:13, 20]

Angels Carry out God’s Divine Judgments

From beginning to end, the Bible speaks of angels as God’s instruments of judgment upon the ungodly.

In Genesis 18-19 the LORD sends two angels into Sodom to deliver Lot before the destruction of the plain.

In the account of the Exodus, the LORD sends the destroying angel throughout Egypt to strike down ever first born son.

The Day of the LORD is described as a day of great judgment and fire and is often associated with an angelic army, such as with the prophet Joel.

“The LORD utters his voice
before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome;
who can endure it?”

[Joel 2:11]

When Jesus returns in all His glory, He is coming on the clouds with all His holy ones with Him to judge and make war on His enemies (see Matthew 25:31, Jude 1:14-15, Revelation 19:11-16).

“To grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

[2 Thessalonians 1:7-8]

Angels are Amazed by the Divine Mystery of the Gospel

While the Scriptures implicitly teach that the fate of the devil and his angels is sealed and that they cannot be redeemed for their rebellious treason against God, salvation has been offered to mankind through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It is perhaps the greatest divine mystery of all! How can a holy God forgive sinful man and yet maintain His righteousness?

Of course the answer is found in the cross of Jesus Christ, who is both the Just and the justifier of all who believe. The Bible says that there is “joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10), and the Apostle Peter says that the revelation of God and the gospel of our salvation is of great significance to the angels.

“It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

[1 Peter 1:12]

Angels Protect God’s People from Harm

Although we can’t be dogmatic about the existence of individual guardian angels, the Scriptures do seem to suggest that God’s angels are tasked with protecting His people.

Consider these passages.

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

[Hebrews 1:14]

“For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.”

[Psalm 91:11]

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

[Matthew 18:10]

Angels will be Judged by the Saints of God

One of the most profound statements in all of Scripture is found in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. Almost in passing Paul says …

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” 

[1 Corinthians 6:2-3]

As joint heirs and co-regents with Jesus Christ — the King of kings – the saints of God will be given authority to rule and reign with Christ in His eternal kingdom, which means that the redeemed of the LORD will be given the right to judge the world and even the angels.

Stranger Thing #19 — Cherubim & Seraphim

“He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

[Genesis 3:24 – ESV]

The Word of God is unique in that the Holy Spirit inspired human authors as His divine instruments to communicate heavenly concepts to an earthy audience within the limits of human language. One of the greatest challenges for Biblical authors, therefore, was attempting to convey spiritual realities in an earthly context.

Whenever the heavenly realm intersects with the earthly realm, one would expect some things to get lost in translation. No matter how hard we try, there are spiritual realties that simply cannot adequately be described by the human language. As the Apostle Paul says about his translation into the third heaven, “And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” [2 Corinthians 12:3-4].

Even if Paul could express what he heard and saw in the third heaven, he was not permitted to do so.

Fortunately for us, the prophets and Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit were allowed to describe their own heavenly visions and supernatural encounters. Men like Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Apostle John all provide interesting perspectives into the spiritual realm, and more specifically into the very throne room of the LORD God Almighty.

In these peculiar visions, we are introduced to a unique class of celestial beings — aka living creatures — called cherubim and seraphim.

Of all the depictions in the Bible, there are perhaps none stranger than these.

Basic Etymology and Introduction

Before discovering what the Bible says about these mysterious creatures, it would be beneficial to consider the original Hebrew meaning behind these words.

The Hebrew root for cherub and its plural form cherubim is “kerub,” which has an unknown Hebrew derivation but universally is understood as an order of angelic beings. The majority of Biblical references to cherubim are found in Exodus and 1 Kings, specifically concerning the imagery in the tabernacle of Moses and Solomon’s temple, as well as in the prophetic visions of Ezekiel.

The Hebrew word for seraph, or seraphim, is saraph,” which literally means a fiery serpent, or a burning one. This word is used to describe both the poisonous snakes that plagued the Israelites in the wilderness and the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in Numbers 21. It is also used by Isaiah to describe the spirit beings who surrounded the throne room of the LORD in Isaiah 6.

As we will see, the cherubim and seraphim from the Old Testament undeniably are synonymous with the “living creatures” described by the Apostle John in Revelation 4-5.

Cherubim were Posted as Guardians of Eden

The first Scriptural reference to the cherubim is found after man’s expulsion from the garden in Genesis 3:24, where the LORD “placed the cherubim and a flaming sword” to guard the entrance to Eden and restrict man’s access to the tree of life. Genesis provides little description of the cherubim beyond their function as guardians or sentinels. The flaming sword may also be considered a clue to the manifestation of these spirit beings as being “fiery ones.”

Cherubim Imagery was Included on the Ark of the Covenant and Solomon’s Temple

Once the Israelites are redeemed out of Egypt and brought to Sinai to enter into a covenant with the LORD, Moses is commissioned with the task of constructing the tabernacle — or tent of meeting — as the centerpiece of Israel’s encampment. At the heart of the tabernacle was the Holy of holies, where the ark of the covenant was kept. The ark was considered the mercy seat of God and the footstool of the LORD and was the place where heaven and earth was meant to intersect. Holy God meeting with sinful man.

On the top of the ark of the covenant, the LORD instructed Moses to overlay two cherubim images with gold, facing each other, as a covering for the mercy seat.

“The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.”

[Exodus 37:9]
Ark of the Covenant

This is the first reference we have describing the cherubim as winged creatures. Unfortunately because of the influence of Renaissance art, cherubs became synonymous with plump, angelic babies with wings, which is nothing like the Biblical representation.

Raphael – cherubs

Later, when Solomon was commissioned to build the permanent Temple in Jerusalem, the king posted two massive cherubs within the inner sanctuary of the Temple to provide imagery consistent with the presence of the LORD and the holiness of His throne room.

“The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub. He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house. And the wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; their other wings touched each other in the middle of the house. And he overlaid the cherubim with gold. Around all the walls of the house he carved engraved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms.”

[1 Kings 6:26-29]
Depiction of Holy of holies in Solomon’s Temple

Cherubim and Seraphim Perpetually Serve the LORD as His Personal Throne Guardians

Near-Eastern archaeologists and historians have discovered mystifying hybrid creatures in the typography and iconography of ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon. These unusual creatures have since been mythologized but they provide a historical context for the Biblical portrayals of cherubim and seraphim.

The enigmatic sphinx of Egypt and Babylon, as well as the majestic griffin of the Assyrians, are just a few exotic examples of these hybrid creatures found in ancient cultures. Almost universally these hybrid creatures were depicted as throne guardians of the ancient kings and their inner court.

We know that the cherubim in Solomon’s Temple were described as kruvim arayot, or “Cherub-Lions” (1 Kings 7:36), which suggests that the Cherubs had a lion-like appearance, just as the Mesopotamian kuribu often had [kuribu in Akkadian, karabu or kirubu in Babylonian and Assyrian].

Most ancient pagan cultures would place large statues at entrances to important venues which served as guardians. They typically had the body of a bull or lion, with wings, and a human head.

Assyrian Kirubu

At times these unique beings were worshipped as pagan guardian deities, but the Scriptures provide the true nature of these created beings, as always deferring to the LORD God and worshiping Him alone as King and Creator.

Jewish scribes and scholars historically have placed the cherubim and seraphim as preeminent within the hierarchy of angelic beings because of their proximity to the LORD and their role as guardians of His throne. The Scriptures also distinguish the winged cherubs from among the angels and the rest of the heavenly host.

The cherubim and seraphim are tasked with the perpetual responsibility of preserving the sanctity and sacredness of God’s holy space in the third heaven — aka the highest heaven. Whenever these unique creatures are seen in Scripture, it is almost always associated with the majesty of God’s throne and His immense glory and power.

Comparative Texts

There are three primary texts that attempt to describe these throne-guardians. When the accounts are harmonized, it is clear that Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John all were granted a glimpse into the throne room of heaven. Although these passages are a bit lengthy, it is necessary to read them in context and compare them in order to harmonize them.

First, let us consider how Isaiah describes the seraphim.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

[Isaiah 6:1-7]

Next, consider Ezekiel’s depiction of the living creatures, which he later calls cherubim in Ezekiel 10.

“As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle … As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning … And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

[Ezekiel 1:4-10, 13-14, 26-28]

Finally, John sees a similar vision of the throne room of heaven and shares it in Revelation 4.

“And before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

[Revelation 4:6-8 – ESV]

Although we may not fully understand the nature of these mystical creatures, I believe we will see the day when the Lord Jesus returns to establish His eternal throne in Jerusalem and all of heaven and earth will reunified under the glory of God. On this day, we should expect to see the heavenly host made manifest in the kingdom of God, which undoubtedly will include the cherubim and seraphim guardians of God’s holy throne.

For more insight, you can watch the following video by Dr. Michael Heiser.

Stranger Thing #18 — Sodom and Gomorrah

“Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.”

[Genesis 13:13]

The notorious city of ancient Sodom will be forever remembered for its extreme wickedness and its severe judgment. The Bible has much to say about Sodom, and frankly, none of it is good. Something exceptionally perverse and grossly immoral was taking place among the people of the plains.

Granted, all men are sinful in the eyes of God and deserve His righteous judgment.

The sin of Sodom, however, must have been extraordinarily offensive to the LORD, as the Scriptures repeatedly refer back to Sodom as one of the most extreme examples of spiritual depravity, cultural corruption, and sexual immorality.

So what can we learn from this perverse place and its peculiar punishment?

Sodom had become Comprehensively Corrupt

Sodom’s sin had become so grievous that the LORD Himself decided to come down in physical form to see it for Himself. It’s not that He had to come down to know what was happening, but rather it was a sign of extreme divine displeasure on God’s part. Much like the LORD “came down” to observe the rebellion at Babel [Genesis 11], God felt the need to personally intervene after hearing the outcry against Sodom.

“Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

[Genesis 18:20-21]

We know that the corruption of Sodom was comprehensive because Abraham’s plea for the righteous was reduced to Lot and his family. The LORD had said that for the sake of 10 righteous people in the city He would not destroy it [Genesis 18:32], but in the end it seemed that Lot alone was the last righteous man left.

Most historians and archaeologists estimate that Sodom and the other cities of the plain easily could have sustained a population of well over 50,000. Just as it was in the days of Noah when “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” [Genesis 6:12], Sodom and Gomorrah morally had reached the point of no return, and the LORD could withhold judgment no longer.

Pride was the Root of Sodom’s Sin

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”

[Ezekiel 16:49-50]

The people of Sodom represent the epitome of evil mankind attempting to live independently of God — totally without restraint — indulging in the appetites of the flesh, even defiantly flaunting their sins in the face of the Creator. Sodom had grown so brazenly rebellious in the eyes of God that they practically were daring the Judge of the earth to punish them.

To put Judah’s rebellion in perspective, the LORD condemned His own people and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for being even more wicked than Sodom in her day. Consider God’s word of judgment on Judah just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile.

“As I live, declares the Lord GOD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done … Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed.”

[Ezekiel 16:48, 51]

Homosexuality was the Rotten Fruit of Sodom’s Sin

Pride and arrogance may have been at the root of Sodom’s rebellion, but the depravity of this wicked people was made manifest in the abominable act of rampant homosexuality. An abomination is a unique sin against the LORD that makes Him sick. The LORD was repulsed by the blatant acts of sexual perversion in Sodom, specifically the sin of homosexuality.

The LORD designed sexuality within the parameters of a faithful, monogamous marriage relationship, and all other sexual deviancies are an offense to God and a perversion of His purpose for sexuality. Fornication, prostitution, rape, and adultery clearly violate God’s design for sexual expression and are destructive in their own right.

But there are certain sexual sins that are even more repulsive and offensive to God because they violate the created order and nature itself. These sins would include homosexuality, pedophila, incest, and bestiality.

The LORD instructed the children of Israel about the unique seriousness of these sexual sins.

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion … If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them … If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.”

[Leviticus 18:22-23, 20:13,15]

While revisionists and liberal scholars have tried to suggest that Sodom’s sin had nothing to do with homosexuality, or at least that it wasn’t Sodom’s primary transgression, the Bible clearly connects Sodom’s judgment with its sexual perversion.


The Bible says that the men of Sodom were wicked and “great sinners against LORD” [Genesis 13:13]. This emphasis strongly implies something shamefully wicked. Just a casual reading of the rescue of Lot in Genesis 19 also helps fill in the blanks.

“But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

[Genesis 19:4-8]

Homosexuality is clearly in view here, when you consider the following …

  1. All the men of the city, apparently every last one, rushed to Lot’s house at night and demanded that Lot release the two men (angels) so that could “know them.” This is a Hebrew euphemism for sexual intercourse. The men wanted to have sex with Lot’s two guests.
  2. Lot acknowledged their unnatural desire as a “wicked” thing.
  3. Lot sadly offered his two virgin daughters to the men, which was pathetic in its own right, yet this also proves that the men of Sodom were seeking to satisfy sexual desires.

The Apostle Peter also comments on the torment that Lot endured living in such a sexually perverse culture. He mentions the wicked men of Lot displayed an unbridled sexual lust.

“If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);”

[2 Peter 2:6-8]


Jude, the biological brother of James and the Lord Jesus, also correlated the sexual sin of Sodom with that of the fallen angels in Genesis 6:1-4, who left their proper dwelling place and had sex with human wives and so violating God’s created order. Just as the fallen angels lusted after “strange” or “unnatural flesh,” so the men of Sodom preferred to have sex with men rather than women.

“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

[Jude 1:6-7]

Sodom serves as an Example for the Coming Judgment

Although there is much more to be written about the sin of Sodom, we must remember that history unfortunately repeats itself and that the Lord Jesus warned us that just as it was in the days of Sodom, so will be at His coming.

First, those who reject the gospel of the Lord Jesus and refuse to receive God’s only provision for salvation will suffer worse fate than Sodom [Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:24].

Second, the LORD compares the wickedness of Lot’s generation with the wickedness in our generation today, where homosexuality is becoming more and more normalized and celebrated in our sexually perverse culture.

As the Apostle Paul says, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truthFor this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” [Romans 1:18, 26-27].

And sadly, like Sodom, “though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” [Romans 1:32].

We may be tormented like Lot in this generation, but we must continue to boldly preach the gospel like Noah did in his own wicked generation. Calling all to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ before He comes to judge the earth.

“Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”

[Luke 17:28-33]

Stranger Thing #17 — The Angel of the Lord

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

[Colossians 1:16]
Rendering of the Fiery Furnace

The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most complex and transcendent concepts within the Christian faith. We believe in the One True God who eternally exists in three distinct Persons within the Godhead — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

While it is apparent that the LORD has chosen to progressively reveal the majesty of His divine nature to His people — culminating with the Incarnation of God the Son, Jesus Christ — the concept of the Trinity is not a purely “Christian” doctrine, as many Jewish scholars suggest. While most Talmudic Jews insist that the LORD is one (singular) in a strict monotheistic sense, the Hebrew Scriptures actually reveal something entirely different.

The Old Testament is full of language that implies a divine plurality when speaking of the nature of the LORD, where the oneness of God is not denied but it is revealed in three distinct Persons. Many misunderstand the doctrine of the Trinity by applying the following equation.

1+1+1 = 3

This misapplication leads both Jews and Muslims to accuse Christians of polytheism, or the worship of three different Gods, but a better mathematical formula can be used to help convey the Biblical concept of the Trinity.


Just as multiplication is exponentially more complex than addition, so the concept of the Trinity is more complex than strict monotheism. In other words, God is one but He is not a singularity. He is a triunity. He is not static. He is dynamic. He is not simplistic, but rather He is infinitely complex and compounded in His nature. He is One God in Three Persons. I will not pretend to grasp all of it, nor should I. Yet I believe it with full conviction because it is what the Scripture teaches, and no man could every conceive of such an idea on his own.

To discover how the Old Testament portrays the complexity and plurality of God’s triune nature, it would help to begin with “the Angel of the LORD.”

The angel of the LORD is first revealed in Genesis 16, as He appears to Hagar in the wilderness. This is the first of many manifestations of the angel of the LORD in the Old Testament, and the nature of these encounters leaves me convinced that this is no ordinary angel.

Encounters with the Angel of the LORD

In Hebrew the angel of the LORD literally means “the messenger of Yahweh,” and in some cases this divine messenger is called “the angel of God (Elohim)” [see Genesis 21:17]. As we will see, there seems to be a purposeful distinction made in the Hebrew language by using the definite article “the” angel of the LORD, as opposed to just “an” angel or angels.

When “the” angel of the LORD shows up in Scripture, several interesting things happen. First, He speaks as if He is God, but at the same time He distinguishes Himself from Yahweh. Second, those who encounter Him believe and behave as if they have just encountered God Himself.

Let’s look at a few examples.

The Angel of the LORD and Hagar

In Genesis 16 the angel of the LORD appears to Hagar and promises her things that only God can do, such as multiplying her descendants.

The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”

[Genesis 16:10]

Yet in the very next verse, the angel of LORD speaks of Yahweh (the LORD) in third person, which clearly makes a distinction between Him and Yahweh. [Genesis 16:11]

Finally, Hagar’s response is telling. She obviously saw the angel of the LORD in human form and believed that she had spoken to God.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

[Genesis 16:13]

The Angel of the LORD and Abraham

Abraham’s encounter with the LORD in Genesis 18-19 is unique, and although the exact title “angel of the LORD” is not used, there is good reason to believe that this is the same Person who revealed Himself to Hagar. Genesis 18:1 says the LORD “appeared” to Abraham in physical form, along with two angels. Abraham clearly distinguishes the LORD from the two angels and bows down to Him before inviting them to stay and refresh themselves with a meal.

The LORD speaks as only God would. He says that He is the One who is about to destroy Sodom and that He is the One who has chosen Abraham to be blessing to all nations [see Genesis 12:1-3]. He also speaks of Yahweh in the third person [Genesis 18:14,19], which would be quite strange unless He were distinct from Yahweh. Again, we have the LORD appearing in physical form and speaking of the LORD as an entirely different Person.

The next time Abraham encounters the angel of the LORD it is on Mount Moriah with his beloved son Isaac. This time the angel of the LORD calls out to Abraham from heaven to stop him from following through with the sacrifice of his son. Interestingly, the angel of the LORD speaks of God in third person again, but also clearly refers to Himself as God — the One who will bless Abraham.

“But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

[Genesis 22:11-12]

The Angel of the LORD and Jacob

Jacob had a dream in Haran where he saw “angels of God ascending and descending” on a stairway to heaven. Then he sees the LORD in physical form standing above the stairway, and says, “surely the LORD is in this place.” [Genesis 28:10-17]

Later in Genesis 32, Jacob wrestles with a man until daybreak, but he quickly discovers that this is no ordinary man. This is the angel of the LORD.

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 

[Genesis 32:30]

The Angel of the LORD and Moses

Moses encounters the angel of the LORD appearing in physical form from within the burning bush and on Mount Sinai [Exodus 33:17-23]. Once again, the angel of the LORD clearly is God but is also distinct from God.

And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

[Exodus 3:2-6]

Other Examples

Without attempting to compile an exhaustive list, I must only mention a few more encounters with the angel of the LORD.

Joshua meets the Commander of the LORD’s army, having His sword drawn for battle [Joshua 5:13-15]. Just before Joshua dies, the same angel of the LORD meets with the whole house of Israel to rebuke them for their disobedience [Judges 2:1-4].

The angel of the LORD appears to Gideon and calls him to deliver Israel [Judges 6:11-24], and Gideon is overcome in God’s presence.

Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” 

[Judges 6:22]

Samson’s parents had an encounter with the angel of the LORD [Judges 13] and reacted in a similar manner, saying, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”  [Judges 13:22]

The Angel of the LORD aND Jesus

It is clear that nearly every Old Testament encounter with the Angel of the LORD was a visible, physical encounter with God Himself. It is also clear that the Angel of the LORD is distinct from God but also expresses the same power and speaks with the same authority as God.

So if the LORD is one, how do we explain this counterintuitive concept?

Fortunately, the New Testament brings everything into clear focus with the incarnation and personal revelation of God in human form — the Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to note that while the New Testament has much to say about God’s angels — His messengers — it does not specifically mention “the” Angel of the LORD.

That is because the Angel of the LORD is God the Son — Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” and that “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” [Colossians 1:15, 19]

What this means is that each and every time the Immortal, Invisible, Eternal God and Creator of the universe appears in physical form, it is God the Son. God the Father is an invisible spirit. God the Holy Spirit is an invisible spirit. But God the Son, Jesus Christ, is the image of the Invisible God.

Jesus is the Eternal Word who became flesh [John 1:14] — God in human form — and He is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact representation of His nature.” [Hebrews 1:3]

Every encounter with the Angel of the LORD in the Old Testament was an encounter with God the Son appearing in physical form, revealing the Invisible God to mankind. This is also known as a Christophany or Theophany, which is a physical manifestation of Jesus Christ prior to His being born of woman in the fullness of time [Galatians 4:4].

So the concept of the Trinity was already well established in the Old Testament and further solidified in the New Testament. There is only One True God who eternally exists in three distinct Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
      Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father …”

[John 14:7-9]

Stranger Thing #16 – Melchizedek

The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”

[Psalm 110:4 – ESV]

When it comes to the stranger things in the Bible, Melchizedek is certainly at the top of the list.

We are first introduced to this mysterious character in Genesis 14. Abram and a group of his fighting men had just recused his nephew Lot from Chedorlaomer and his coalition of kings. The scene picks up in the King’s Valley, which is right outside the old city of Jerusalem. The king of Sodom is meeting Abram there to receive back his citizens and his possessions that were lost to Chedorlaomer in battle.

And suddenly the king of Salem (Jerusalem), who is named Melchizedek, comes out to meet Abram in the King’s Valley and commences to bless Abram in the name of God Most High.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

[Genesis 14:18-20]

You may already be picking up on some symbolic language that makes an obvious connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. For instance …

  1. Melchizedek is the king of Jerusalem
  2. He offered Abram bread and wine [i.e. Lord’s Supper]
  3. Not only was he a king but also a priest of the Most High God
  4. He blessed Abram, demonstrating authority over him
  5. Abram gave a tenth of his possessions to him

After this brief introduction, the Bible doesn’t mention Melchizedek again until the Holy Spirit inspired King David to write Psalm 110, which is one of the most quoted Messianic Psalms in the New Testament. For the sake of context, it is worth reading all of Psalm 110.

A Psalm of David

1The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

2The LORD sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!

3Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.c
4The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”

5The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath
6He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

Clearly David is speaking of the King of Zion (Jerusalem) and Lord of Glory — the coming Messiah — who will crush God’s enemies and establish His throne forever. There are countless cross references and supporting passages that build on this Psalm, and even Jesus Himself used this Psalm to prove His deity and silence the Pharisees [Matthew 22:41-46].

Fortunately, the author of Hebrews ties all of this together and shows how Jesus has proven to be superior to all kings and priests, as both the King of kings and our Great High Priest. He says that Jesus, who is a priest in the order of Melchizedek, is the “guarantor of a better covenant” [Hebrews 7:22].

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

[Hebrews 7:1-3]

While the author of Hebrews sheds some light on the nature of Melchizedek, he at the same time raises more questions.

We know that Melchizedek literally means “king of righteousness,” and he also was the “king of peace.” We know that he was the priest of the Most High prior to the Levitical priesthood established by God through Moses and Aaron.

We know that the Messiah, King Jesus, is the true King of righteousness and Prince of Peace, who became our faithful High Priest by giving His own righteous life as a sacrifice for sin. We know that the Lord Jesus will return in glory and power to rule from Jerusalem and establish His throne forever.

I believe King Jesus will sit on David’s throne in the midst of the Temple on that day, as He will have perfectly combined both offices of priest and king.

But there is still one question that remains … who was Melchizedek?

Without the commentary from Hebrews, I would say that Melchizedek was nothing more than a human king and priest — one of the many types and prefigures of Christ in the Old Testament. But Hebrews 7:3 causes me to pause and consider perhaps he was something more.

Consider the additional information we get from Hebrews 7:3.

  1. Melchizedek is without father or mother or genealogy
  2. He had neither beginning of days or end of life
  3. He resembles Jesus, the Son of God
  4. He continues as a priest forever

So we must ask the question. What does this mean?

Was Melchizedek a supernatural being? Was he a pre-incarnate manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ? [ see Christophany]

Frankly, the language in Hebrews 7 creates more problems than offers solutions.

Based on the description that Melchizedek was “without father or mother or genealogy,” and the he “had neither beginning of days or end of life,” I am tempted to lean toward the possibility that Abram encountered the Lord Jesus in human form, and that Melchizedek was an Old Testament manifestation of Christ.

We know that Abram encountered the LORD in human form on multiple occasions [see Genesis 17-18], so it is likely Melchizedek was another divine encounter.

Not to mention, Melchizedek blessed Abram, of which the author of Hebrews says that “the lesser is blessed the greater” [Hebrews 7:7], and Abram gave a tenth of all he had to the king.

Perhaps this mysterious encounter was what Jesus had in mind when He told the Pharisees, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” [John 8:56].

Stranger Thing #15 — The Tower of Babel

“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.”

[Deuteronomy 32:8]

The tower of Babel has been mythologized and symbolized as mankind’s collective attempt to achieve technological greatness by building a tower that reached into the heavens.

Some have proposed that they were trying to reach outer space — perhaps creating a bridge to the moon.

Some say they simply were trying flaunt their engineering capabilities by building the highest sky scraper in the world.

But is that what the tower of Babel is really about?

There is tremendous anthropologic significance within the Biblical account of Babel, as it explains the origination of the many different languages, ethnic groups and nations found on the earth today.

There also are theological implications to the Babel account, as it provides the backdrop for our understanding of cosmic geography, the rise of the ancient pagan civilizations, spiritual warfare, the birth of the church at Pentecost, and the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And while all of these things are both fascinating and foundational to our faith and should be discussed in time, I simply would like to try to discover what the tower itself was all about and why the LORD determined it must be stopped.

Here are some things to consider.

Babel represented a Centralized Civilization of Concentrated Rebellion

The two primary driving forces of evil before the flood were …

  1. Man’s sinful depravity
  2. The satanic principalities and powers of darkness at work in the world (aka the devil and the fallen sons of God – Watchers – Gen. 6:1-4)

This diabolical combination of evil corrupted all of creation and infected the entire human race to the point that “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” [Genesis 6:5]. God was grieved and resolved to utterly destroy the earth, purging the evil with a flood and starting over with Noah and his family.

After the flood, the LORD gave Noah and his sons a mandate to multiply — replenish, reproduce, and repopulate the earth. In other words, SPREAD OUT!

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth … And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.'”

[Genesis 9:1,7]

God’s desire was for Noah and his descendants to be His representatives throughout the earth. Man was given another chance to be the imagers and emissaries of the Living God. Man’s very purpose was to obey the will of the LORD and proclaim the word of the LORD to the ends of the earth. God’s plan has always been to spread His renown over the whole earth by sending His people on mission to establish His presence in all of creation!

Babel, at its core, was diametrically opposed to God’s plan and purposes. Babel was in direct rebellion to the word, will, and ways of God.

Babel was man’s attempt to create a centralized civilization by concentrating every ounce of rebellious energy against the Most High and build a kingdom of darkness on earth. We see this in their own mission statement.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

[Genesis 11:4]

I do not believe that every person on the earth at this time was part of this centralized rebellion in Babel. As a matter of fact, the texts in Genesis 10-11 imply that many people groups already had spread throughout the earth and established settlements by the time the people of Babel decided to move eastward and establish their own civilization.

The entire purpose for building this centralized city, however, was so that they would not be dispersed and divided and spread out over the whole earth. Men were intent on building a name for themselves and glorifying themselves, not God. This was an affront to God’s specific mandate and a declaration of war against the Most High.

Babel was a Supernatural Temple Complex

We cannot be sure why the people chose the plains of Shinar to build a city and a tower “to the heavens.” One would assume it would have been easier to start such a project on higher ground, but many historians and archeologists believe that Babel was a massive city surrounding a centralized temple complex, including the tower itself.

The significance of Babel wasn’t necessarily its size or its height, but rather its purpose and design. The people of Babel weren’t attempting to build a physical tower into outer space. They were not attempting to reach the stars. They weren’t trying to enter the abode of the gods.

On the contrary, they were bidding the “gods” come down to them.

The tower, which was most likely some ancient ziggurat structure, was specifically designed to create a “high place” for temple worship, where men could commune with the supernatural and demonic powers in the heavenly places. Mountains, or high places, have always been associated with pagan worship as sacred places where the “gods” came down to meet with man. The tower likely was a some type of inter-dimensional portal or gate, creating an opening into the spiritual realm.

“You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.”

[Deuteronomy 12:2]

After all, if the rebellious sons of God already came down before the flood to Mount Hermon [1 Enoch], perhaps Babel was man’s attempt to create another sacred high place that created an intersection between the supernatural “gods” and mankind.

Man was seeking occult knowledge, black magic, supernatural power, and vain glory, and Babel was the key to unlocking the door to those ends. Therefore, the LORD had to act before man destroyed himself again with the help of demons.

God’s Intervention at Babel was an Act of both Judgment and Mercy

Apparently Babel was such a threat to the future of mankind and such an affront to God’s purposes that the LORD Himself felt it necessary to come down and intervene in a very personal way. Obviously the LORD, who is omniscient and omnipresent, did not need to physically “come down” to investigate the rebellion at Babel, but the language in Genesis 11 seems to imply that He did just that.

The LORD’s intervention was significant on at least two levels.

  1. The LORD brought judgment on mankind by dispersing and disinheriting the nations and effectively relinquishing them over to the “sons of God,” who in turn began to lead all the nations astray into pagan idolatry [see Deut. 4:19, 32:8-9, Psalm 82].
  2. The LORD showed mercy by dispersing the nations and dividing all of the concentrated evil and Occult knowledge and power throughout the earth, which weakened and delayed Satan’s capacity to accomplish his destructive plan.

Babel was a Type of the End Times Kingdom of the Antichrist

Lastly, it is not difficult to make a connection with Babel and the evil empire of Antichrist in the last days. Much like Nimrod’s attempt to build his rebellious kingdom in Babel, the Antichrist is portrayed as doing the same in before the return of Christ. Satan has been working relentlessly through the centuries to regather all the occult knowledge, realign all the forces of darkness, reassemble all the powers of evil, and re-concentrate all the hatred of hell toward God and His people.

For this reason, the great tribulation will be a time of unparalleled wickedness, blasphemy, deception, violence, chaos, and evil on the earth. It will be Satan’s last ditch effort to reconstruct his kingdom on earth, and his vain attempt to exalt himself above God.

It (the Beast) opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
10If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints

[Revelation 13:6-10]

But just like the fate of Babel, the same satanic Babylonian system at work today will come down under the mighty judgment of our God.

“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

[Revelation 18:10]

Stranger Thing #14 – The Curse of Canaan

When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

[Genesis 9:24-25 -ESV]

One of the most peculiar accounts in the early chapters of Genesis is Noah’s curse upon his grandson, Canaan. On the surface, it seems that Noah’s son, Ham, simply walked in on his drunk and naked father and experienced an awkward moment before going back outside to tell his older brothers.

When Noah awoke, he immediately knew something shameful had happened and commenced to calling down curses — not on Ham per se — but on one of Ham’s sons — Canaan.

Seems a little extreme for an honest mistake right? Even if Ham did dishonor his father, Noah, or made light of the situation, does that merit a curse from the patriarch of the family?

Unlikely … unless there is more to the story.

Once again, we must remember that every account in Holy Scripture is included for a reason, so we can be sure that this peculiar event, though strange, is significant to the overall narrative of redemptive history.

To establish the context, let us read the story once again.

Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

He also said,

“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem;
and let Canaan be his servant.
May God enlarge Japheth,
and let him dwell in the tents of Shem,
and let Canaan be his servant.”
[Genesis 9:20-27]

My goal is to get to the heart of this strange account by answering some important questions. So here goes…

What is the significance of Noah’s drunkenness?

The first detail that immediately jumps out is Noah’s drunken stupor. Apparently Noah didn’t just get a little tipsy. He was hammered — so much so that he didn’t even bother to cover himself up in his tent but crashed naked on the bed.

One of the unique characteristics of God’s word is that it paints the heroes of the faith in real and living color, revealing both their good and bad. The Scripture does not embellish nor attempt to sugar coat the truth. We can often learn from the negative examples in the Bible as much as from the positive ones.

Yes, Noah was a man of faith, righteous in the sight of God, but also a man susceptible to the desires of the flesh. And this particular sin put Noah in a vulnerable situation and brought some devastating consequences to his family.

And just in case you wondered … the Bible has no prohibition against drinking wine or alcohol in general. Even Jesus turned water into vintage wine and was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard for associating with a rough crowd. But the Scriptures repeatedly and clearly classify drunkenness as a sin. [see Proverbs 23:20-21, Ephesians 5:18]

What is the significance of ‘uncovering’ a man’s nakedness?

The language in Genesis 9 is specific and intentional for a reason. Noah was drunk and uncovered, and although the Bible says that Ham simply “saw” his father’s nakedness, there is most likely more to the story.

When we examine God’s laws against sexual immorality in Leviticus, the phrase “uncovering his nakedness” is used consistently to convey the act of sexual intercourse, especially in prohibiting incest. Consider the following passages.

“None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.”

If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them … If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.”

[Leviticus 18:6-8, 20:11, 20]

When we read Genesis 9 in light of this specific Hebrew phrase, the picture begins to come into focus. Most likely, Ham did something more than simply see his naked father and then run tell his brothers for a good laugh. Based on what we know from Leviticus, for a man to commit incest with his own mother or even his step-mother, he has “uncovered his father’s nakedness,” and must be put to death.

Granted, there has been much conjecture among scholars concerning the nature of Ham’s sin. Some have proposed that Ham perhaps committed a perverse sexual act on his father, Noah, because of the fact that the Bible says Noah immediate knew what Ham “had done to him.” Some have even suggested that Ham castrated his father as an act of patriarchal rebellion (which I reject), and some simply read it as the basic dishonoring of Noah with no sexual act involved.

My personal opinion is that Ham’s sin was sexual in nature and that it most likely involved him committing a shameful act of incest with his own mother, while his drunken father lay there unconscious. Such a heinous and perverse act would have warranted Noah’s fury and explain why he pronounced such a serious curse.

What is the significance of Noah’s curse of Canaan, not Ham?

To make matters even more confusing, when Noah awakes from his drunken stupor to realize that Ham had done such a wicked thing, he pronounces a curse — not on Ham personally — but upon on Canaan, the fourth born son of Ham.

So why Canaan and not Ham? Why Canaan and not any other son or sons of Ham, such as Cush or Egypt?

This mystery is not easily answered.

The first matter is to determine if Canaan had even been born at this point. At the least a few years had passed since the family left the ark because Noah had time to plant a vineyard, yield grapes, and ferment wine. But even if this was several years removed from the flood, would that have given Ham and his wife enough time to produce four sons?

The truth is that we don’t know if Noah was pronouncing a curse on his grandson, Canaan, that was already born or if Noah was prophetically cursing one of Ham’s future descendants that had yet to be born.

Another interesting theory is that perhaps Canaan was the result of Ham’s incestuous act with his mother. Dr. Darrell Pursiful explains.

“If Ham’s crime is understood as maternal incest, it becomes possible to explain Canaan’s origin as the fruit of that union. This insight suddenly illuminates two aspects of the text left unanswered by those who propose that Ham sodomized his father, namely, why it was Canaan who was cursed, and why Ham is repeatedly identified as “the father of Canaan.” Canaan is cursed because his origin was a vile, taboo act on the part of his father; and Ham is identified as “the father of Canaan” (vv. 18, 20) because the narrator wishes to signal the reader that this narrative explains how Ham became “the father of Canaan.”


Canaan’s curse was that he and his descendants would be inferior and subject to both of his brothers — Japheth and Shem — and their descendants. Of course, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel would become direct descendants of Shem, whereas we learn in Genesis 10 that Canaan was the patriarch of all of the wicked people groups who settled in the Promise Land, such as Sidon (Phoenicians), the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites etc… [Genesis 10:15-17].

In other words, the primary enemies of God’s people, Israel, would be the direct descendants of Ham (Egypt) and more specifically, Canaan.

Interestingly enough, there is another familiar story of drunken incest in the Scriptures that result in the birth of two of Israel’s primary enemies. Lot’s own daughters got him drunk and shamefully uncovered his nakedness, which produced two sons — Ammon and Moab [Genesis 19:34-38].

Finally, it is also worth noting that both Egypt and Canaan are directly identified as the originators of the shameful acts of sexual perversion prohibited in Leviticus 18 and 20. In other words, like father … like son.

“You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes.”

[Leviticus 18:3]

I believe Canaan’s curse is so important because it provides the backstory behind the perpetual enmity between God’s people, Israel, and their worst enemies, the Canaanites. And sadly, the curse of Canaan became Israel’s own curse.

““Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places. And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it … But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”

[Numbers 33:51-53, 55-56]

Stranger Thing #13 – Dinosaurs

“Behold Behemoth,
which I made along with you …”

[Job 40:15]

Okay children, gather ’round. Let’s play a game!

Who likes dinosaurs?


Who thinks dinosaurs are cool?


Alright! Now tell me … when did the dinosaurs live?

Millions of years ago!

That’s right, kids! Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. In a land before time. Long before man ever evolved on the earth …


I must give credit where credit is due. Those driving the naturalistic, Darwinian agenda have done a masterful job of deceiving the masses, propagating their lies, and conditioning our children to believe the imaginary fairytale of evolution.

Open any children’s book on dinosaurs. Watch any dinosaur cartoon or movie. Read every science text book in the classroom and there you will find the same story, relentlessly reinforced with each gullible generation.

Millions of years ago the dinosaurs roamed the earth …

Even many Bible-believing Christians — perhaps some of you reading this now — have unquestionably accepted the evolutionary model of history and its millions of years. And I would be willing to bet that dinosaurs have a lot to do with it.

Once again, when we honestly compare God’s account of creation with man’s account of evolution, we are forced to admit that they are mutually exclusive and historically irreconcilable. Either God’s word is true and dinosaurs were part of the original creation, or man’s word is true and dinosaurs evolved and became extinct millions of years ago.

Both cannot be true … so I say let God be true and every man a liar.

The Bible Describes Dinosaurs and Dragons

If we are seriously to take God’s word at face value, then we are forced to believe that God created the dinosaurs along with all other sea and land animals on Days 5-6 of the original creation week. I used the word “forced” intentionally because the word of God does not leave room for any other alternative, especially the evolution of species over millions of years.

“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good … God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

[Genesis 1:21, 25]

The Bible uses quantitative adjectives like “every” and “all” to make a point. God made everything at the beginning. If God created every creature of the sea, every winged creature and every land animal, then He created the dinosaurs of all kinds at the beginning.

Let’s not forget that the word “dinosaur” is a relatively new term, having originated in the mid 1800s. Dinosaur simply means “terrible lizard” and was created to describe some of the enormous reptilian fossils that began to emerge in the geologic record.

Let us not forge that most reptiles never stop growing throughout their lifetime, meaning that even lizards today would potentially grow to enormous sizes if they could live for more than just a few decades. If lizards, like men, lived to hundred of years old before the flood in optimal environmental conditions, it only stands to reason that they would have grown to be massive beasts.

Before dinosaur became the colloquial term for these terrible lizards, the most common historical name for the dinosaurs was “dragon.” The Bible uses the term dragon both literally and figuratively to describe dangerous creatures of enormous size and strength [see Psalm 74:13-14]. Like the many dragon legends of the past that are found in nearly every ancient civilization, the dragon was universally recognized as a fiercesome beast.


The Leviathan is one of the mysterious creatures found in the Bible that seems to portray a dragon or dinosaur. Although the Bible does use the Leviathan figuratively at times to illustrate chaos or destruction, Job 41 provides a most detailed description of the Leviathan that strongly suggest it was a real creature. For sake of space, I will highlight some the characteristics of the Leviathan directly from Job 41.

  1. Lives and moves about in both water and land
  2. Cannot be caught with a hook or harpoon
  3. Cannot be tamed or bridled
  4. Teeth of terror
  5. Rows of shields on its back
  6. Scales like sharp potsherds on its belly
  7. Scaled are resistant to any human weapon
  8. Breath kindles smoke like coal
  9. Flames of fire shoot from its mouth
  10. When it raises up to attack, the mighty flee in fear

I can’t speak for you, but this sounds exactly like a dinosaur, or terrible lizard, to me!


The second creature worth mentioning is the Behemoth. There is no creature alive today that matches the description given by the Bible. Consider God’s evaluation of the Behemoth in Job 40.

“Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword

[Job 40:15-19 – NIV]

The Behemoth is an exact description of what we know as the sauropod dinosaurs — the largest creatures to ever walk the face of this earth. And God declares that He created Behemoth “along with” man [Job 40:15], which means at the same time, referring to Day 6 of creation.

Sauropods were herbivores, had enormous loin muscles, legs, and underbellies to support their weight. Their fossilized bones look precisely like massive tubes of bronze and iron rods. And the tail of the sauropod — unlike an elephant or hippo — was long and muscular, swaying like a cedar tree.

Again, the Bible clearly speaks of dinosaurs as being part of the original creation, and it is evident that ancient men like Adam, Noah, and Job lived alongside these majestic creatures both before and after the flood.

Ancient Legends and Historical Artifacts

It is worth again mentioning that ancient legends all over the world refer to dragons as real creatures. Writings about Alexander the Great, Saint George of England and Marco Polo, among countless others, provide corroborating reports about the ancient dinosaurs that lived with men.

Beyond that, there are some that have surfaced over the years that have produced some uncanny representations of dinosaurs. The reason this is so unexpected to the naturalists is because from the evolutionary viewpoint, man and dinosaurs never lived together. But if ancient people groups produced exact replicas of dinosaurs in their art and pottery, then it can only mean one thing … they saw dinosaurs with their own eyes. You can discover more here.

Finally, there is significant geologic evidence that dinosaurs lived with man. For example, archaeologists have found human fossils and footprints within the same strata as dinosaur footprints. Soft tissue and even red blood cells have been discovered in dinosaur bones, proving the fossils are much younger than expected.

The evidence abounds. Dinosaurs can be explained by Biblical creation and fit precisely within the true historical record of mankind. Dinosaurs were created by God during the creation week, along with man and the other animals. Dinosaurs were on the ark with Noah, and dinosaurs lived alongside man even after the flood.

We do not need millions of years to explain the origin and existence of these majestic creatures. We only need let God be true … and every man a liar.

Stranger Thing #12 — Pangaea

“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”

[Genesis 1:9-10]

The overwhelming majority of physical scientists and geologists advocate a theory that the ancient earth’s land mass once fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and consisted of a supercontinent, called Pangaea. According to uniformitarian models of the earth, plate tectonics produced continental drift over millions of years and Pangaea gradually drifted apart forming the oceans and major continents of today.

Although the Bible does not explicitly teach that the earth was once a supercontinent, the basic concept of Pangaea is possible within Biblical creation models [see Genesis 1:9-10]. The geologic record seems to provide evidence that the continents once were interconnected.

For example, many rock types and formations abruptly end on the coast of one continent and just as abruptly begin on the coast of another continent. In many instances, these similar rock patterns and formations are found on the very continents that seem to have fit together in the past, which would imply that at some point they were seamless.

Furthermore, according to Answers in Genesis, the jigsaw-puzzle fit of Europe and Africa matches closely with North and South America, respectively.

If the North and South Atlantic Ocean basins are closed, these continents fit together at approximately the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a range of mountains on the ocean floor centrally located in the Atlantic Ocean basins.”

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

But the glaring problem with the evolutionary model of Pangaea and the Biblical creation model is time! From a purely naturalistic, uniformitarian world view, Pangaea represents over 250 million years of gradual geologic processes and tectonic activity that eventually produced the continents of today.

The millions-of-years timeline is diametrically opposed to Biblical creation, which plainly teaches that the universe was created in 6 literal, 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago (Exodus 20:11).

But if an original supercontinent did drift apart, how can that be explained within the limited time in a Biblical creation model?

I’m glad you asked.

Plate Tectonics and the Global Flood

From a Biblical perspective, we understand the Pangaea model not as a slow, gradual continental drift over millions of years but rather as a rapid, catastrophic continental sprint that took approximately a year. If the continents were once joined together, then a global flood would explain the immense seismic, volcanic, and tectonic force necessary to fracture and rapidly move the earth’s crust.

The Bible speaks of this fracturing of the earth’s surface during the flood when speaking of the “fountains of the great deep” bursting from underneath the earth.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

[Genesis 7:11]

Dr. Walter Brown has committed over 30 years to his hydroplate theory to explain one possible scenario of rapid continental drift during the flood. You can find out more about his theory by clicking the link here.

Interestingly, it was a Christian geologist named Antonio Snider in 1859 who first proposed this jigsaw puzzle fit of all the continents, except that he believed the spreading apart and separation of the continents occurred catastrophically during the Genesis Flood.

Mountains Rose Up Rapidly

Another interesting discovery we find in Scripture is that high mountains and deep ocean basins were likely formed rapidly as a result of the catastrophic geologic rearrangement of the earth during the flood. This would explain how sea shells and marine fossils are found on the highest mountain peaks all over the world.

Consider Psalm 104.

“He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth

[Psalm 104:5-9 – ESV]

All the primary geologic processes responsible for forcing the catastrophic continental movements during the Flood appear to have likewise begun to rapidly decelerate on and after day 150. Genesis 8:3 indicates that the Flood waters began to steadily decrease and therefore recede from this time point onward, which would seem to indicate that the Flood waters were now subject to new land surfaces and topography rising and valleys sinking as a result of vertical earth movements.

And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.

[Genesis 8:3-4]

Folding and Buckling Rock Layers

Whereas uniformitarian geologists claim that tens of thousands of feet of sedimentary layers have been deposited over more than 500 million years, the global cataclysmic Flood of Genesis leads creation geologists to believe that most of these layers were deposited in just over one year. As a result, many different strata would have been laid down in rapid succession during the Flood, creating the amazing folded, jutted, and wrinkled rock formations we see today through the earth.

Only sediment that is pliable like mud or clay can coalesce into such unique rock formations, which gives further credence to the global Flood. Solid rock formations will always crack or fracture when bent under pressure.

Furthermore, there is evidence of rapid plate collisions across the continents that caused rock layers to rise up and jut out.


Pangaea may have been a reality in the pre-flood world, but only the Bible gives a logical, scientific explanation for how there are similar geologic formations all over the world, how continents rapidly split apart, and how the high mountain ranges and deep ocean basins were formed.

Stranger Thing #11 — Old as Methuselah

“Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.”

[Genesis 5:27]

They say that 60 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 20.

Well I’m turned 40 last year, and I assure you that the youth and vigor I felt in my 20s sadly escapes me.

But what if I told you that before the flood of Noah’s day 700 was the new 20? That’s right. The average pre-flood lifespan we can determine from the Biblical genealogies is around 850 years.

Can this be true? What are we to make of these extremely old ages in Genesis? Are the excessively long life spans recorded in the Bible to be taken literally or perhaps symbolically?

And if some men truly lived to be over 900 years old before the flood [Adam – 930, Noah – 950, Jared – 962, Methuselah – 969], what changed after the flood that greatly diminished the average lifespan on earth?

Today, our average life-span is somewhere between 70-80 years, which creates a drastic discrepancy with the pre-flood numbers. Regardless, I believe the long life spans before the flood are to be taken literally for several reasons.

REAson #1 — Ages Are Presented Literally in the Scriptures

As I have mentioned in other posts, the Biblical genealogies both have historical and theological merit and are quite valuable in determining things like the approximate age of the earth [6,000 years], the table of the original 70 nations, and the lineage of the Messiah.

When specific ages are provided for real people in the Scriptures, there are no grammatical exceptions that imply the numbers are symbolic. When the Bible says that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born [Genesis 21:5], then we should understand his age literally, not symbolically.

So it is with the pre-flood genealogies. When the Bible says that Jared was 162 when he fathered Enoch or that Seth was 912 years old when he died, there is no reason not to take these ages literally. They may be abnormal and outright hard to believe, but they are not symbolic.

REason #2 — The Original Creation Was PerfecT

Upon finishing His work of creation, God declared the heavens and the earth and everything in them “very good.” Beyond that, Adam and Eve were created to live forever and initially placed in the garden and given access to the tree of life. It was only after man’s sin that death, disease, and decay came into the picture and began to corrupt God’s good creation. The bondage to decay adversely affected every aspect of creation, from the physical laws [i.e. entropy] of the universe to the genetic code of life itself [mutation].

Consider for a moment a few of the possible implications of a perfect environment.

  1. Perfect harmony between man and nature
  2. Perfect weather
  3. Perfect ecosystems and symbiosis in nature
  4. Human body operating at optimal levels without defect or flaw – no wasted energy
  5. Increased oxygen levels in the atmosphere and total oxygen saturation at the cellular level
  6. Pure environment [air, soil, water] free from pollutants and contaminants
  7. Abundant nutrient saturation in the soil, plants, food, and at the cellular level
  8. Perfect genetic code and replication process
  9. Rapid healing capabilities
  10. No harmful radiation

All of the factors that shorten our lifespans today would be mitigated or at least greatly diminished in a perfect, pre-flood world. No heart disease. No cancer. No viruses. No genetic mutations and birth defects. No environmental contaminants. Perfect hydration and oxygen saturation. Total nutrient absorption and utilization at the cellular level. Optimal cellular performance with Little to no wasted energy.

These factors alone would exponentially increase our life span, so the old ages in the Bible are not a major problem when we consider the perfection of the original creation. Even after the fall of man and the curse upon the earth, the effects of corruption and decay likely would have been slow and gradual.

REason #3 — Canopy Theory

There has been much conjecture among Bible scholars as to what caused the optimal conditions of the pre-flood earth. One possible explanation is called the canopy theory, which refers to a canopy of either water vapor or ice above the earth’s atmosphere before the flood. God separated the “waters above the firmament,” from the waters below in Genesis 1:6-8, which implies some form of water above the earth’s atmosphere.

The canopy theory offers some explanation as to how these waters would have blocked harmful UV rays and increased atmospheric pressure and oxygen saturation levels on the earth, which would have provided an optimal environment for longer life and even explain how giant creatures like the sauropod dinosaurs could grow to such massive size.

Interestingly, Jewish scholars and Rabbinic Targums proposed that God created some form of crystalline barrier of ice or water above the earth prior to the flood.

“After this, on the second day, He placed the heavens over the whole world, and separated it from the other parts; and determined that it should stand by itself. He also placed a crystalline firmament around it, and put together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews.”

Josephus []

Although some respected creation scientists have abandoned the canopy theory, the jury is still out on if and how it could have worked. Despite the fact that all the science has not been resolved, the canopy theory should at least be taken into consideration.

REason #4 — Genetic Integrity

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

[Romans 8:20-21]

We can make educated guesses about the conditions of the pre-flood world, but because the Bible provides so few details, it is difficult to know for sure what conditions allowed mankind to live so long. To say that the earth was different before the flood is a gross understatement.

We discover that many of the patriarchs lived to be 200-400 years old even after the flood, but lifespans drastically declined and eventually leveled off after the life of Abraham.

Perhaps the best explanation is the genetic integrity that would have been in place before the flood. The aging process and even death itself is primarily a genetic deficiency in the body’s ability to replicate healthy cells over long periods of time. The curse of the creation has subjected these mortal bodies to a form of bondage to corruption that we cannot escape.

But Paul encourages us to not lose heart, as he says, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” [2 Corinthians 4:16]

Thankfully, the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ involves God’s promise to redeem this physical universe once and for all, including our physical bodies, and restore man’s immortality — giving us everlasting life!

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

[Romans 8:22-23]

“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”

[1 Corinthians 15:53]