by Randy Maugans
Download article as PDF-The Mystery of The Sons of God
A listener wrote, asking about the terms “sons of God” (ben Elohim) in Genesis 6:2 and Romans 8:14 (the email is copied below). As the email indicates, there is no small amount of confusion regarding the nature and identities of these “sons (daughters)”, especially when the term “nephilim” is brought into view. I was led to put down my present understanding on the matters of this mystical subject, and to blunt some of the “junk” history and theology being promoted by ambitious book authors such as Steve Quayle, Tom Horn, and a slew of others who draw theology from the pseudipigraphical “Book of Enoch” rather than the plain words of scripture.
This is not, by any means, exhaustive; but is based on the ongoing independent research The Threshing Floor has conducted over the last several years. It is timely, as we move deeper into the period chronicled in the Book of Revelation, where it is clear that the great wars between two kingdoms moves into the Earth realm to play out the final scenes.
A little background into the words referred to as “sons” in scripture:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”-Genesis 6:1-2
sons- ben- a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc; child, colt, daughter, of first, + firstborn, foal, + very fruitful, (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance-Hebrew Lexicon)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”-1John 3:2
sons-teknon-from the base of timoria; a child (as produced):–child, daughter, son.
root word: timoria-vindication, i.e. (by implication) a penalty:–punishment.
timoreo-to protect one’s honor, i.e. to avenge (inflict a penalty):–punish.
time-a value, i.e. money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:–honour, precious, price, some.
In the Greek of the KJV, son is also rendered from:
huios-apparently a primary word; a “son” (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship:–child, foal, son. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance-Greek Lexicon)
A related term worth bearing in mind for this study is huiothesia- the placing as a son, i.e. adoption (figuratively, Christian sonship in respect to God):–adoption (of children, of sons)(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance-Greek Lexicon) ,this word translated as “adoption” in the King James Bible, and used only by Paul in Romans,Galatians , and Ephesians.
The terms “sons of God” in both Hebrew and Greek can be viewed as roughly equivalent in definition for our purposes. But, it is noted that the more prevalent Greek word is huios, and upon more careful scrutiny of the usage of these two Greek words, both rendered as son/sons in English, there seems to be a distinction that is best termed “spiritual” or redeemed sonship—and it is one that clearly divides the sons of God between old and new testaments. A study of usage of these three words in the New Testament reveals a distinction in the condition of these beings. The distinction is profound, it is spiritual, and it has to do with the New Birth. This distinction is found in:
Revelation 12:4- And his (the dragon’s) tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child (teknon) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child (teknon) as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child (huios), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child (teknos) was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Language usage in scripture is never accidental, and many times we glean new understandings from digging into etymology. Revelation 12 clearly renders a distinction between the (man)child being stalked by Satan and the actual child who is delivered–the teknon vs. the huios. Where Satan expects a human child under the bonds (condition) of sin and wrath, instead this child is a huios, or child of YAHWEH. Vine’s Expository Dictionary better elaborates this:
teknon “a child” (akin to tikto, “to beget, bear”), is used in both the natural and the figurative senses. In contrast to huios, “son” ), it gives prominence to the fact of birth, whereas huios stresses the dignity and character of the relationship.
This understanding should inform the study that follows, and open up additional inquiries into these two, distinctive, renderings of “sons”. It also demonstrates the concept of a spiritual (new) birth versus the state of human (carnal) child birth.
YAHWEH’s “Replacement Program”
God is into “replacement theology”, spiritually. The “sons of God” in Genesis and Job were clearly another creation separate from man—were they angelic creations? Scripture does not really tell us…but I tend to think they were not for reasons I will briefly note in this article. That aside, I think it is clear these creatures were at some point separated from YAHWEH’s purposes.
It is clear that the Father intended for the “other” creature—humans—which descended from Adam to become something more than this present estate…he was a creation with a unique destiny, which was prophesied in Genesis 3:15- And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Notice how this “seed” concept comes up early in Genesis? It is the same thread which I explored in the second part of the “Spirit of Adoption” study.The bottom line is: there are TWO seeds, two creatures competing for dominance in the creation. Only one wins—the other becomes extinct. Likewise in the angelic realm there is a warfare that comes into play in the physical realm (the creatures made “a litle lower than angels”) —it is a spiritual overlay: the angelic wars in the heavenlies (see Revelation 12) and the wars between the beings created by one of the two seeds: Christ’s or Satan’s. Only ONE is to BECOME the “sons of God”.
One can be born again, of either Jesus or Satan. Jesus chooses his own…Satan isn’t fussy, he wants ALL humanity! I have talked about this in shows I did the last six months or so, in the context of the “generations” which all flow into ONE generation/bloodline: that of Christ’s. All other “bloodlines” are scheduled for extinction when we move out into the universe/heaven.
Orders of Beings
There are also distinctions between the orders of created beings that need to be observed in understanding this subject. The angelic realm of archangels/angels; powers/princes/rulers (both fallen, and the angels who are servants of God), the demonic realm (disembodied spirits—likely the vanquished Old Testament sons, now under the control of Lucifer), and the human realm which is comprised of the two bloodlines, or generations—spiritually. It is a state of transition in this life, spiritually, as humans choose life in Christ, or become hybrid demonic beings—the second death:
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.“-Revelation 2:11
” Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.“-Revelation 20:6
I think as we learn more about the “pre-creation”, through research of people like Paul Sandhu and John Ackerman (and some other scripturally-based researchers), we see a picture of the created beings that is richer, more complex, and incisive than the straight line views offered by X-tianity (the mainstream “organized”, churches). Humans are a separate creation from the angelic—but there is warfare in both realms and it appears to converge upon the Earth in the Book of Revelation.
While many popular writers equate the Genesis 6 sons of God to fallen angels, scripture (and increasingly, historical and mythological research) do not seem to make the case. If we equate the nephilim with the fallen sons of God, then I do not believe the nephilim were angels—nor do I think they were “human”, but a separate, earlier creation. Men and angels are very distinct creations which Paul tells us in:
Hebrews 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
Paul, here, breaks down the order of angels and men—-and the Godhead—as very distinct. Peter, as well, points out the distinctions between humans and angels:
“Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” -2Peter 2:11
I think it is expressly the will of the Father for us to understand all this as it appears we, the remnant, will even war with these fallen angels, the demonic spirit realm, AND the hybrid humans who are entering into the “second death”, and have authority and power to deal with them!
As the listener points out: it is very much an issue of the “Condition or Quality” of the being. Specifically, it is the spiritual state which divides the vanquished ben Elohim of Genesis from the humans who are the elect, or adopted huios. Satan and his demonic hordes have no authority over huios, or the redeemed sons/daughters of the Most High—those born and bought by the sacrifice of the Lord, Jesus Christ:
“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”-1John 5:1-7
The listener email question:
Tue, Dec 29, 2009 :
I was listening to part one of the “Adoption” broadcast this morning and noticed something apparently unrelated to the theme of the show but in another sense fits the overall meme of adoption, and that was this verse.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Sons: Greek 5207: Kinship-child, foal, son)
I’m sure it’s been debated ad-nauseum, but the term “Sons of God” is often bandied about with regards to Genesis 6:2 and is often used in reference to “fallen angels” and by extension, the “Nephilim” (Sons: Hebrew 1121: Son, Grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition.)
I’m not sure if this phrase can be interpreted the same from the New Testament Greek and the Old Testament Hebrew, but I found it interesting that in the context of adoption we are considered in “Kinship” or as a “Child” of God but that in the Hebrew, that there is also reference to a “Condition or Quality” It makes me wonder how this gets woven into a fallen angel, for if the Angel was indeed fallen then that “Condition” would no longer exist in terms of God’s Kinship.