When God finished His work of creation, “He saw that it was very good”. We’re not told how long “very good” lasted, but my personal guess is not so long (I’m assuming Eve was perfectly fertile… and we know no babies were conceived in Eden). Adam and Eve were created with the potential to live forever, through partaking of the Tree of Life.
In order for free will to truly be an option, God also created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree was not evil, nor was the knowledge; however, for mankind’s protection, this knowledge was off-limits. Kind of like how matches are not evil, nor is fire; however, for your naive (innocent) toddler’s protection, matches are off-limits.
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 ESV)
Once Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God had to separate them from the Tree of Life so that they wouldn’t eternally be stuck in their “lost” state. Separation from the Tree of Life was now necessary for the protection of their eternal souls.
It was God’s mercy which prompted Him to administer consequences to His children.
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 human heart has never stopped longing for Eden and Eternal Life. The only true hope for the human heart to fulfill these longings is through Jesus – He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). However, that doesn’t stop humanity from trying to find other “doors”.
Angelic DNA and the bloodlines of the Watchers:
“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually… Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:1-6, 11-13 ESV)
In the days of Noah, angelic beings tampered with human DNA via mating with human women. Because it says they “took any wives they chose”, I’m not so sure the women even wanted to participate. The children that were produced may have had increased life expectancy; we are not told. What we are told is that their children were “mighty” men of “renown” and that the earth was filled with “wickedness”, “evil”, “violence”, and “corruption” in all flesh. The bloodline to the Messiah was in jeopardy, and God had to intervene.
It was God’s mercy towards humanity, which prompted Him to intervene via the global flood.
The Nephilim bloodline continued after the flood to some extent (likely through one of Noah’s sons’ wives). They were the peoples of Rephaim, Emim, Horim, Zuzim (Zamzummim), and Anakim (Genesis 14:5-7). Answers in Genesis has a descriptive write up of these giant clans. These peoples became the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Joshua 3:10).
The Nephilim – as opponents to God – were settled in the Promised Land. [Of course they were! God chooses one small patch of land for Himself, so that is exactly where satan and the fallen angels want to occupy.] Notably, God commanded the Israelites to destroy these Nephilim tribes (Exodus 34:11-13, Exodus 23:32, Deuteronomy 7:2), once their wickedness had fully matured (Genesis 15:16). The Israelites were not to intermarry with survivors.
While humans are redeemable to God through the blood of Christ, angels are not.
God’s judgment on the Nephilim tribes appears to be because of His great love and mercy, to halt an unsaveable bloodline. While it is unclear if the Nephilim were individually spiritually redeemable or not, as a whole they were wicked. An excellent resource if you are interested in further reading on this subject is The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible by Michael S. Heiser.
Unfortunately, the Israelites did not obey God’s command to completely destroy the tribes mentioned above, and they did, in fact, intermarry with them (Judges 2:1-3, 1 Kings 11:2). And as God predicted, this resulted in Israel being pulled away from the One True God in spiritual adultery as they worshiped the pagan gods.
It is unclear if any of the Nephilim bloodline survived, or to what extent. Speculation too far into this or into their savability is probably outside the realm of human knowledge.
Attempting to Control Birth and Death
We have been trying to control the start of life for a while now:
- Fetal life was dealt a severe blow in 1973 by the (in)famous Roe VS Wade decision in the United States.
- Approximately 1.5 BILLION babies have been aborted worldwide since 1980. This is tracked at numberofabortions.com.
- The first successful birth after IVF was born in 1978.
- IVF now accounts for about 1.5% of all babies born in the US.
We are also trying to control the end of life:
- Switzerland, while not actively administering euthanasia, has been legally providing the means to commit suicide (drugs) since the 1980s.
- The “active” human euthanasia road is a long and rocky one, but it seems to have started gaining impetus in the 1990’s. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who earned the name “Doctor Death”, became an infamous spokesperson for “dying with dignity”. He was later convicted of murder in 1999.
- In 1994, Oregon becomes the first US State to permit physician-assisted suicide. To date, there are now 7 states with laws permitting this.
- In 2001, the Netherlands legalized human euthanasia.
- In 2016, Canada legalized human euthanasia.
Abortion, IVF, and euthanasia are one thing, but it’s not DNA manipulation. What about humans tinkering with the very Code of Life?
Modern medicine is a wonderful gift. It has enabled us to live much more comfortable lives. In many cases, it has enabled us to live longer lives as well. The Bible isn’t against medicine, and Luke (from the gospel bearing his name) was a physician. The apostle Paul encourages Timothy to take wine as a medication for his stomach. Now, while there may be issues of conscience over such things as blood products, vaccinations, and medications (pharmakeia), I believe DNA manipulation crosses boundaries we are not meant to cross.
Let’s start with genetically modified plants. From the Institute for Responsible Technology:
What is a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.
Genetic modification is generally done in plants to increase disease or chemical resistance, and is done for economic benefit. The most common commercialized GM crops include soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and corn, and these are used in a variety of products including food. Commercial sale of products involving these genetically modified crops began in the 1994.
Let’s move on to animals. Remember Dolly, the first mammal cloned from an adult body cell? She was born in 1996. Since then, insertion of foreign genes have been used to create the “GloFish” (2003) and hypoallergenic cats. Other cats and dogs have been cloned. Genetic manipulation research continues in the companion animal, wild animal, and farm animal sectors.
The mapping of the human genome, completed and published in April 2003, was a remarkable achievement. The goal of genetic research and treatment of disease is noble. However, humanity hasn’t been satisfied with “just looking”. Researchers have been tinkering with Human DNA:
- While not commonly available yet, the first “designer babies” were created in 1989 and born in 1990 using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
- In April 2015, a Chinese group from Sun Yat-sen University reported that they had created the world’s first genetically-modified human embryo.
- In 2016, the world’s first three-parent baby was born.
- In February 2017, a panel of US scientists recommended that “germline editing” (alterations to human genes in a sperm or egg) be seriously considered as an option. It’s entirely probable that this is going on behind the scenes.
- Scientists are actively working on same-sex reproductive techniques.
- DNA aging has been reversed in mice. Published in March 2017, testing in humans is to begin within 6 months.
- US Scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for the first time – August 2, 2017.
Human Longevity, Inc. boasts: “Don’t wait for symptoms to start fighting disease. HLIQ Whole Genome is a physician ordered comprehensive report that compares every letter of your DNA with the world’s largest database of sequenced genomes and phenotypic (physical trait) information. HLIQ Whole Genome provides key insights into your personal health that can help you and your physician turn risks into opportunities to outsmart the diseases that may lie in your future.” (Source: http://www.humanlongevity.com/about/overview/)
I believe that humans crossed into the forbidden territory of the Creator by manipulating DNA. If there was ever a doubt, splicing DNA (mixing between “kinds”), most definitely crosses a distinct boundary.
Nephilim Part Deux?
It’s unclear if there has been present-day meddling with human DNA by supernatural beings. “Aliens” are none other than fallen angels (demons). “Alien encounters” seem to have explicit connections with sexual reproduction. Reported themes from “abductions” involve egg harvesting, sperm harvesting, fetal incubation, and such. I feel that this enters the realm of very occult and demonic territory and will not pursue this line of thinking further other than to recommend this video by Chuck Missler: Return of the Nephilim.
The Mark of the Beast
Perhaps the Mark of the Beast involves human DNA manipulation, which is why it would render those who take the mark to no longer be “saveable”. Jesus died for humans, and our DNA is what defines our humanity. This would explain Jesus’ words:
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:22 ESV)
Those who take the Mark may no longer be “purely human”, and thus could not be saved by the blood of Jesus. Those who refuse the Mark will be sought by the beast to be destroyed, and those who successfully hide will have no access to the economy. Thus, those who do not take the Mark would all eventually die. As in the Days of Noah, without God’s intervention, it appears that no one could be saved. And just as in the Days of Noah, God’s acts of judgment will be because of His endless love and mercy.
My husband is a scientist, I work in healthcare. I get it. Nobody wants to get sick or die. Much human research is trying to avoid human pain, suffering, and death. We love to feel “in control” of our lives and destinies. However, God has placed boundaries around life and death for our own protection. Crossing those boundaries will force God to act, just as He needed to in the past.
There is only one path to Eternal Life for humans, and that is through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
What is the Meaning of the Tree of Life? (gotquestions)
What is Free Will? (CARM)
The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (The Gospel Coalition)
The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible by Michael S. Heiser.
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!