For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
Is there a limit to how evil the world can get before Christ returns? Perhaps a better question is, how evil did God allow Noah’s world to become before the flood came? In what we call the Antediluvian Age (the time before the Flood), God allowed men to live for centuries, which naturally contributed significantly to the population explosion of the human race. Being omnipotent, God of course already knew that should man live for centuries, this would come to a predictable outcome. So why did He allow it?
First of all, when God created Adam and Eve, they were made perfect. That means that they were created with perfect mental faculties, perfect physical attributes, which means they were created genetically perfect. Even though they rebelled, causing sin and death to enter into the human race, physically and genetically, they were still far superior (physically and genetically) to any of their descendants (save Jesus). However, after they sinned, instead of remaining immortal, their bodies were now allowed to age and die. Albeit, this process would take much, much longer than would their succeeding generations. The only way that God could have immediately shortened man’s lifespan after the fall, would have been to create physically and genetically inferior humans from the outset…which of course, could not happen.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: Luke 17:26
So what were the similarities between the Antediluvian era and today? Jesus stated that before His immediate return, the world would be like the days of Noah, although, we don’t have a lot of specific information about those days. Jesus also said the days before His return would be like the days of Lot, of which, we do have some specific information. So let us look into both examples, the first Antediluvian, and the second, Post-Diluvian. Similarities
Bible experts have long wondered how big the earth’s population was before the Noahic Flood. With the rise of information processing, data modeling has greatly enabled us to simulate just how fast the human population could have grown.
Some people believe the population was relatively low. The Bible explains that people were extremely corrupt and violent prior to the Flood. It is not hard to imagine the world being filled with wars, diseases, and other factors that would keep the population in check.
Others believe that Earth’s population was much higher. If the growth rate in the pre-Flood world was equal to the growth rate in 2000 (0.012), there could have been about 750 million people at the time of the Flood. However, given the extremely long lifespans prior to the Flood, the growth rate could have been much higher. Increasing the rate by just 0.001 would put the population at close to four billion at the Flood. (Source)
If we take a broader look at population growth, we could simply look at the 20th-century to see how fast the human population could grow. Beginning in 1900, the world population roughly stood at 1.65B people. The world population by the year 2000, was 6B. This explosive growth takes into account the reduced infant mortality rate, as well as longer lifespans as afforded by modern medicine, vaccines, and better medical practices, all of which have improved the general quality of life for much of the modernized world.
That overall growth has more than tripled for just 100 years. The timeframe from the fall of Adam to the Noahic flood was roughly 1,656 years. With humans living for centuries due to an enriched environment and superior gene pools (less corrupted than today), it is easy to believe that the world population at the time of the flood was closer to 4B than 750M.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:11
The world that was then, was filled with violence. Since the flood all but washed away the antediluvian world, we only have what scripture records to tell us what life was like then. One of the decision points God made after the flood with Noah (the Noahic Covenant) was in reference to this violence. We know that after the flood when a civilization became so corrupted that murder and violence were not dealt; that civilization was in its final stage of collapse.
Thus far, life in the 20th-century has been the bloodiest century on record. In fact, more people died in the 20th-century due to war and violence, than in all the wars previously combined. Violent crime impacts every nation on earth, and formerly peaceful societies are quickly being inundated with violence due to liberal immigration policies bringing in peoples from the war-torn regions of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. 6:5
The world that was then, was filled with wickedness. One would be hard-pressed today to deny that the level of overall wickedness has not risen dramatically in the past 40 years. Abortion on demand in most western nations is the single biggest source of bloodshed on the planet. Crime and criminal networks are rampant in every nation on the planet. The entertainment industry is producing the most violent, vile, and pornographic movies and television shows of any era. Divorce (based on convenience) has wreaked havoc on the traditional family unit.
Adding insult to injury, the LGBT movements have sprung up in almost every nation, with most of the western nations capitulating to the normalization of this behavior. While not to say that all LGBTQ? Etc. persons are evil and violent, what they are demanding, is the redefinition of the foundational norms for marriage and family. When you deconstruct marriage and the family unit in a society, you open Pandora’s Box, which allows for every evil imaginable.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Gen. 6:9
This passage singles out Noah and his biological sons as being genetically perfect, not morally perfect (as he was under the same curse as all mankind after Adam). This leads to several conclusions.
After the fall and before the flood, there was a period of time where there were little to no barriers between the spiritual and physical domains
Fallen angels took advantage of this and began corrupting the human gene pool, in order to prevent the coming of the Messiah (Gen. 3:15)
By the time Noah came along, most of, if not all of the human race’s bloodlines had become tainted by this angelic/human corruption
We live in a world today (as of 1953) where mankind can again, begin tinkering with our genetic makeup. Once man figured out what DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), he began to understand the complexities of the human body. This was a double-edged sword for science, a) it began to deconstruct the long-accepted model of Darwinian Evolution, and b) gave rise to the thought of forcing a new kind of evolution in the form of upgrading the human body. Now thanks to the technology of CRISPR, the issue is not if human genetic research and gene-editing will ever happen, but how to regulate it. Regardless, the last time genetic manipulation had been seen on the earth had been in the days before Noah.
The myth that man has evolved into a higher being (e.g., we today) is just that…a myth. The truth is, man has de-evolved. We are much smaller, weaker, and genetically inferior to our pre-history predecessors. The simple reason is, they were closer to the perfect genetic originals than we are today. We are copies, of copies, of copies, (add thousands of generations) who have accumulated inherited genetic defects along the way. Man is desperately trying to regain what was lost in the Antediluvian world.
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose…There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Gen. 6:1-2, 4
Author’s Note: This point comes with much contention amongst Bible scholars as to the exact nature and identity of the sons of God Moses mentions here. Although the term sons of God is used in earlier scripture [Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7] and are referred to as angels, it is used similarly in much later writing of Hosea 1:10 as referring to Israel. I am of the belief (I could be wrong) that in writing Genesis, Moses (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) uses the earlier version of the term. Thus, sons of God refer simply to one who was a direct creation of God (as opposed to human offspring). Granted, this is certainly the case (and will be) for all who become born-again believers regenerated from death unto life by God the Holy Spirit. Some have argued why other living beings such as plants and animals at creation aren’t also listed as “sons of God” when they too were direct creations, but they were not created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26).
My belief is that as the barrier/separation between the spiritual and physical realms seemed to be non-existent back before the flood, fallen angels were seemingly able to physically couple with human women. That seems a bold statement given that angels are spirit-beings. However, we know they can take on the appearance of humans. Does that mean they can also take on our DNA and reproductive capabilities?
I don’t know.
Neither does anyone else.
I simply look at the context of the Genesis passage, along with other corroborating scriptures (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4), and match the justification for the type of judgment God issued out. The most logical conclusion I can come up with was that Satan’s intent was to corrupt the human gene pool, so that mankind could not produce someone who could crush Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15).
Therefore, if my theory is correct, then the offspring of this unholy union, were neither fully angel (which were direct creations of God), nor fully human. These were hybrid (fallen) creatures known as the Nephilim (Hebrew-fallen ones). The Nephilim then become the ‘men of renown,’ which speaks more to their superhuman capabilities (and size) than simply being popular or charismatic leaders. These supermen if you will, were evil, corrupt, and vicious. They were viewed or possibly made themselves out to be worshipped as gods or demigods and infected large swaths of the population with their own contaminated seed like the outbreak of a viral sexual disease. This is the point of Genesis 6:9 when God comments that by the time of the flood, only Noah was found perfect in his generations, genetically speaking.
As to how the Nephilim appear again after the flood, as my friend Steve Schmutzer concluded, this eventuality came about through one of the wives of Noah’s sons…a non-blood relative. Considering that Jesus traces His lineage through Shem (Vis Abraham), and not much is mentioned of Japheth’s descendants (other than at the table of nations). However, this leaves the wife of Ham as being a carrier of this dormant corruption.
It is Ham’s lineage that the Bible emphasizes. Of Ham’s four sons, three are demonstrated in the Biblical narrative to produce Nephilim descendants, and of those three sons, it is Canaan that the Scriptures focus on the most. All said we can reasonably conclude it was Ham’s wife that carried a latent Nephilim gene.
From the point Ham exits the ark in Genesis 9:18 to the point the Nephilim are once again mentioned by name after the flood in Numbers 13:31-33, it is the descendants of Ham that the Bible traces very precisely. Specific individuals within that lineage, and their activities, are expanded on (Gen. 10:6-11) until we get to the report of 10 of the 12 spies that Joshua sent to scout out The Promised Land in Numbers 13:31-33. (Link)
I would be remiss to neglect the fact that it wasn’t just humans these fallen angels were monkeying with (literally), but all species. While they didn’t use microscopes and test tubes to conduct their genetic experiments, they did it the old fashioned way through breeding. They bred all sorts of species together to see which would produce mutations and then kept interbreeding those with the mutation. Thus, God had to reboot all of the creation due to this vile attempt to prevent His plan from moving forward.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11-12
Massive geological changes in the earth structure from the flood. It wasn’t just the rain that helped to flood the earth, but the Lord opened up the waters under the earth. Whenever someone mocks the Noahic Flood and asks where all the water went, I simply point to the oceans on the map, which usually shuts them up. However, it does give one pause to wonder if those waters were already there under the thin layer of earth-crust, and land simply collapsed down forcing the water upwards, or if the water was elsewhere and simply fill out the low spots on the earth after the tectonic break-up? Either way, we know that water is trapped in our biosphere and is cyclical in nature: drainage from rivers and streams (liquid) evaporates (gas) and goes up to the atmosphere, where it eventually returns back to earth (liquid) by way of precipitation (rain/snow/ice).
However, when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, this must-have caused huge geological changes to the earth’s surface. Before the Flood, there were likely little to no mountain ranges. After the flood, as the scriptures state, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat (what was known as Ararat in Moses’s day). There earth before the flood may have largely been land and not water. Afterward, the land was broken up into continents surrounded by huge areas of water (now seas and oceans). Lastly, the ice-water layer that surrounded the earth, had now been depleted in the form of 40-days and nights of rain. This removed the natural barrier that shielded the earth from the full blast of the sun’s heat and radiation.
Author’s note: There is a caveat to this. We know that during the 70th Week of Daniel, the physical world will suffer greatly under the divine judgments. The oceans will die. The world’s freshwater will become undrinkable. Most of the world’s plant life will be burned up. Massive earthquakes will move islands and mountains out of their place. Lastly, the sun and moon will become so obscured as to no longer yield their light.
Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. Gen. 9:6
As previously mentioned, there was likely a huge human population before the flood. As far as we know, there were not any previous forms of human government prior to the flood, as everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. This allowed for great wickedness and violence to prevail upon the earth. It wasn’t until after the flood, that God gave Noah the mandate should human blood be shed, the person (or animal) who shed the blood would be required as payment. This puts the onus on humans to police other humans as a punitive measure for committing murder. This is largely how things have operated ever since. However, when a civilization gets to the point where it can no longer manage to contain the violence or chooses to ignore it, that civilization is on the verge of collapse. Technology And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:4 (see also 24:5, 11, 24)
Some of the pre-history architecture (megaliths, ziggurats, temples, drowned sites, etc.) that we have found around the earth this past century, were very likely built prior to the flood. (Ex. Atlit Yam, Baalbek, Great Pyramid at Giza, etc.) How many remain from that era we cannot say for certain, but there is enough to assume that what the Antediluvian world lacked in modern technology, they made up for with supernatural help and the advanced human condition (i.e., they were stronger and lived longer). Our technological advancements have really only come about in the past two-centuries beginning with the harnessing of the power of water. Prior to that, man was limited to the speed of horse for the previous 4,000 years. Since the late 1700s, we have undergone four technological revolutions:
We are now in the age of information, which interestingly, ties directly into the exact warning Christ gave us (along with the apostles) regarding how grave the deception would become. We live in the age of information, which, means that we are being bombarded by messaging all day long from every possible venue. Jesus said the last days would be the greatest time for deception that ever existed.
Here in the 21st-century, we have layers upon layers of false philosophies and ideologies permeating every crevice in our global foundation. Everything from Darwinian Evolution to manmade climate change; from the Big Bang theory to revived mythology; from Communism and Marxism, to every variant of socialism and democracy; from pantheism to Islam; from Keynesian economics, to corporate capitalism; from hedonism, to nihilism; from orthodox Christianity to heterodox and heresy…the world is inundated with false ideologies. Adding to that, the ever-increasing information processing platforms and mediums by which these false ideologies can proceed from.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Revelation 13:16-18
For the first time in history, the world has entered into an era where all the buying and selling could potentially be controlled by a single entity. We are not quite exactly where this will happen, but I believe that with the right nudge, the world will overwhelmingly embrace this new, digital system. As impossible as this might seem, we are even now seeing just how feasible this actually is. There are three legitimate reasons why this could happen in the not too distant future.
Just recently, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to crack down on the massive tax evasion that was occurring within the Indian black markets and end it by demonetizing the 500 and 1000 rupee notes. In a nutshell, the Indian government said that after a fifty-day period, all 500 and 1000 rupee notes would no longer have any value. This meant, that if you were saving these, they would have to be turned in order to get them cashed out before they became worthless.
If the world’s second-most populous nation could do this, how hard would it be for other nations to do this?
Secondly, the world has been wooed by the convenience of online banking and shopping and has become conditioned to accept the rapidity of instant transactions. Although fiat currencies are still used globally, almost all purchases above a thousand dollars (or pick the currency equal to that) are paid digitally. In fact, fiat (or paper) currencies are becoming extinct largely due to the exploding national debts (which devalue the currency), and are now being associated with the underworld and black market operations because of the anonymity it gives. This is an unacceptable condition the leaders at the United Nations find unacceptable.
Lastly, smart stores and devices require digital currency to function. Since more and more of all money being spent, is being done online (eCommerce), it is only a matter of time before that threshold (increases about 15% per year) makes a full conversion a matter of when not if. Digital currencies (and cryptocurrencies) offers a level of security that is no longer feasible with paper/fiat currencies.
Returning back to the original question of how much worse it will have to get before God Raptures His Church remains unanswered. The truth is, we don’t know exactly how bad it got before God flooded the world the first time. However, we have a general understanding that the entire world was evil, and that man’s thoughts had become evil continually. Although things have grown considerably worse since 2001, as long as the Church remains on the earth, we will always act as a restraint against evil and prevent it from completely taking over.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matt. 16:19
I think were God to Rapture the Church, what remained, would be the world (minus a remnant) of people who would be given over almost immediately to the basest desires. Almost overnight, the world would descend into a cesspool of anarchy and lawlessness. It will at that point, become just as wicked as that Antediluvian world was just prior to the flood.
This, of course, has to be balanced against what we see in the Fifth Seal of Revelation 6 (the martyrs), along with their description in Revelation 7 as being killed in great numbers (See also Rev. 13:7). My theory on this is that these people who come to saving faith just after the Rapture were either completely ignorant of the Gospel (many within the 3rd World) or just morally decent non-believers who perhaps thought they were Christians all along because they went to church and belonged to a denomination.
I can see a great many Mormons (who are generally decent people), along with many in the mainstream churches who got good at playing Christian without being truly born again Christians, finally having the lightbulb come on. These are those who see the Rapture happen, and it finally clicks that they were on the wrong track all along and finally get serious about their faith. Unfortunately for them, they will have to accept this saving faith largely at the cost of their life.
We see the similarities between the beginning of man’s history, as well as at his ending. We see how even the differences factor into these NOT being showstoppers but enhancing the magnitude of tribulation and evil that will be present in these last days. Although we cannot know specifically when…we see the storm clouds gathering overhead as the evil day approaches. This is exactly the time that the Apostle Paul warns us of, to gird up our loins, and to fight, stand strong, and to be cognizant of the spiritual battle escalating all around us. All we can do at this point is to endure to the end.
Are you ready?
Even so, Maranatha!