Lot’s Wife Is a Sign to Worldly Christians That They Are in Danger of Missing the Rapture

Remember Lot’s wife! (Luke 17:32, NIV)

It is significant that the only two occassions when the Lord Jesus Christ seems to have asked His disciples to commit something to memory are in in Luke 22:19 (concerning His body) and in  Luke 17:32 above (concerning Lot’s wife) .

Who is Lot’s wife and why is she so significant that the Lord Jesus Christ would instruct His disciples to commit her to memory instead of someone perhaps more worthy, like Abraham or David?

We don’t know the actual name of Lot’s wife because she is never referred to by name (see Genesis 19). Incidentally, even the Lord Jesus Christ did not refer to her by her actual name, and I think this says something, because the Lord Jesus, being omniscent, would surely have known.

The book of Genesis, however, does reveal that she was among those who were rescued from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19), but eventually, was not “saved”. Indeed, she was judged for “looking back” [Genesis 19:26; NIV]) and her penalty was that she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Why was her penalty so severe? The NET Bible translation of Genesis 19:26 suggests that when Lot’s wife “looked back” at the burning Sodom and Gomorrah, this wasn’t just a casual look across one’s shoulder, but rather, she had “looked back longingly“. The International Standard Version translation of Genesis 19:26 also suggests that “Lot’s wife looked back as she lingered behind him [Lot]”, implying that she had been relucatant to leave Sodom and Gomorrah, even in the face of its impending doom.

Clement, an early church leader after the apostles, made the following comment about Lot’s wife:

Because of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved from Sodom when the entire region was judged by fire and brimstone. In this way the Master clearly demonstrated that he does not forsake those who hope in him but hands over to punishment and torment those who turn aside. Of this his wife was destined to be a sign, for after leaving with him she changed her mind and was no longer in harmony, and as a result she became a pillar of salt to this day, that it might be known to all that those who are double-minded and those who question the power of God fall under judgment and become a warning to all generations (1 Clement 11:1-2; as translated by Michael W. Holmes in The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations; emphasis added)

Double-mindedness was Mrs Lot’s problem, but it is also an attitude that Christians are warned against:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8, NASB, emphasis added)

What does it mean to be double-minded? It means to be of two-minds, or to have one’s loyalty divided between God and the world (James 1:8; New Living Translation). Indeed, in 1 John 2:15 (NLT), believers are warned: “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.

Now, let us examine the passage of scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned Lot’s wife:

28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17:28-36; NKJV; emphasis added)

The tragedy of Lot’s wife was that she was rescued but yet not saved because her heart was so affixed to Sodom and Gomorrah. Just as her fixation for Sodom and Gomorrah hindered her from being saved, a believer’s fixation to the world could hinder them from being raptured.

I infer from verse 31 above that on the day of the rapture, God might send angels to some believers, to these believers to their housetops, as they can make their way to the Third Heaven and espape the impending peril that would come upon the earth.

However, some believers might be so overcome by the desire to return inside their homes to take their treasured possessions that they miss the opportunity to be raptured and thus be “left behind“.

Oh, how foolish! There is absolutely no need for any believer to return to his/her house to retrieve any earthly thing for it is not a shack that awaits us, but a mansion (John 14:2).

But why would any believer be so overcome by the desire to retrieve their worldly belongings? I submit to you that it is because they have become a creature of habit. Because their minds have been so fixated on their earthly things, they mindlessly return to these things at the peril of their souls, and neglect the instruction of the Lord Jesus Christ not to do so.

To put it in another way, due to a fixation on earthly things, these believers are not “worthy” to be raptured.

This is also why the Lord Jesus Christ has instructed all of us pre-raptured believers now to “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:36, NKJV; emphasis added)

Are Christians Allowed to Eat Pork or Seafood?

A large part of Singaporean life and culture revolves around food (unfortunately, because gluttony is a definite temptation here), and it’s common for believers in Singapore to have fellowship with one another over a meal at the hawker’s centre of food court, say after the church service on Sunday.

Some young believers, however, who have started reading the bible on their own, may have conflicting feelings about eating pork and seafood, since there are prohibitions over the consumption of these things in the book of Leviticus (chapter 11; NIV):

7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you…

9 “‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. 11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. 12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.

For me personally, I have no issue about eating pork or seafood (in moderation, of course).

However, if a young believer has an issue (due to the verses of scripture cited above), my advice to him/her would be to refrain from consuming these things.

My advice would be based on the following principles found in Romans 14:

14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean…

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that the Apostle Peter had a vision (in Acts 10) regarding eating “unclean” things. Although the underlying message of the vision was not about food per se, it is important to note that the apostle was “hungry and wanted something to eat” when he had the vision, and that it was the Lord Jesus that had spoken to him during the vision:

9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

My question is this:  if it were even wrong or sinful to eat “unclean” animals, would the Lord Jesus Christ “tempted” Peter to do so? I do not think so.

But why then does the book of Leviticus prohibit the consumption of pork or seafood?

Barnabas, a leader of the early church, gives an explanation in his letter (although Barnabas’ letter has not been included in the bible, it serves as useful commentary).

Barnabas suggested that when Moses gave these food prohibitions to the children of Israel, it was as if Moses was speaking a parable and that it was the transmission of spiritual principles that was actually intended:

But forasmuch as Moses said; Ye shall not eat seine nor eagle nor falcon nor crow nor any fish which hath no scale upon it, he received in his understanding three ordinances.

Yea and further He saith unto them in Deuteronomy; And I will lay as a covenant upon this people My ordinances. So then it is not a commandment of God that they should not bite with their teeth, but Moses spake it in spirit.

Accordingly he mentioned the swine with this intent. Thou shalt not cleave, saith he, to such men who are like unto swine; that is, when they are in luxury they forget the Lord, but when they are in want they recognize the Lord, just as the swine when it eateth knoweth not his lord, but when it is hungry it crieth out, and when it has received food again it is silent.

Neither shalt thou eat eagle nor falcon nor kite nor crow. Thou shalt not, He saith, cleave unto, or be likened to, such men who now not how to provide food for themselves by toil and sweat, but in their lawlessness seize what belongeth to others, and as if they were walking in guilelessness watch and search about for some one to rob in their rapacity, just as these birds alone do not provide food for themselves, but sit idle and seek how they may eat the meat that belongeth to others, being pestilent in their evil-doings.

And thou shalt not eat, saith He, lamprey nor polypus nor cuttle fish . Thou shalt not, He meaneth, become like unto such men, who are desperately wicked, and are already condemned to death, just as these fishes alone are accursed and swim in the depths, not swimming on the surface like the rest, but dwell on the ground beneath the deep sea.

Hope that helps somewhat.

Could Jesus Be Returning Soon? Our Youths Are Already Being Primed for the Return of Fallen Angels and the Nephilim

In a previous post, I shared my viewpoint that the Nephilim (the biblical ‘Giants’) were the hybrid offspring of fallen angels and human women.

Some Christians may scoff at the notion of a hybrid race between fallen angels and human beings, but they are probably not aware that teenagers these days are being primed by the mass media for the return of these beings.

For example, here is a quote from Chapter 1 of the book ‘The Fallen 4: Forsaken‘ by Thomas E. Sniegoski:

No matter how he looked at it, the Nephilim had failed… The Nephilim, the blending of humanity and the angelic in the perfect amalgam of God’s most cherished creations, were supposed to keep the world from harm. They had fought hard against those who had considered them a blight in the eyes of God, and had won the honor of being the earth’s protectors against the unnatural. But then a heavenly threat had arisen. The Abomination of Desolation, an angel of destruction, had come to the world of man. He’d believed the earth was ripe with evil, and had attempted to destroy the planet. The Nephilim had fought valiantly. Many had sacrificed their lives for what was only a partial victory. They had prevented the Abomination from ending the world, but they had not been able to stop it from severing the world’s ties to God and Heaven. And now humanity was suffering. Creatures that had hidden in shadow began to emerge to claim their stake in a world that seemed to have been abandoned by the Lord.

Through his work of fiction above, Sniegoski distorts a number of truth. Firstly, the Nephilim are portrayed as good (as the protectors of the world) and the Lord as bad (for abandoning the world).

In addition, Sniegoski attempts to make his teenage audience take sides with the Nephilim, and to portray the destruction of the Nephilim (under the hands of the ‘angel of destruction’) as being arbitrary and overly harsh.

Contrast Sniegoski perspective of the Nephilim with the perspective of Scripture (Genesis 6:1-13, NIV). In Genesis 6, we learn that “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Why was that? The bible is not explicit, but it coincided with the advent of the fallen angels (verse 2) and suggests that the fallen angels were a corrupting influence (verse 4).

Indeed, such a view would be consistent with that portrayed in the Book of Enoch (Chapters 7 and 8; with emphasis mine), which records for us:

1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms 2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they 3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed 4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and 6 fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones. And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all 2 colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they 3 were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjaza taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, ‘Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven.

(Note: Azazel, Semjaza, Armaros, Baraqijal, Kokabel, Ezeqeel, Araqiel, Shamsiel and Sariel are the names of the fallen angels)

Going back to Genesis 6:1-13, we see that the evil in the world that had been started by the advent of the fallen angels culminated with the Great Flood, which occured during the days of Noah.

In Matthew 24:37 (NIV), Jesus said: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Verse 37, of course, is followed by verses 38 and 39, where Jesus explained that: “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.

However, when refering to “the days of Noah”, might the Lord Jesus Christ have also been dropping a hint about the return of fallen angels and the Nephilim?

I mean, if it were just a matter of people wantonly eating, drinking and marrying up to the day of judgement, why did he not refer to Sodom & Gomorrah, instead?

We can only speculate these things, of course, but more than that, we should ‘watch and pray‘ (Matthew 26:41)

The Nature of Demons: They Afflict, Oppress and Cause Trouble

In my last post, I have tried to explain what demons are and their origins. Following up from there, I would like to explain to you their nature.

In the previous post, I quoted from Enoch 15:2b-12 (emphasis mine):

And go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent thee to intercede for them: “You should intercede” for men, and not men 3 for you: Wherefore have ye left the high, holy, and eternal heaven, and lain with women, and defiled yourselves with the daughters of men and taken to yourselves wives, and done like the children 4 of earth, and begotten giants (as your) sons? And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those also do who die 5 and perish. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget 6 children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. But you were formerly 7 spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling. 8 And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon 9 the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; 10 they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless 12 hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.

From the passage above, you will gather that evil spirits ‘cause trouble‘; they ‘afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle‘; they can ‘cause offences‘ and have the potential to ‘work destruction on the earth‘.

The bible also speaks of the trouble that evil spirits can cause, and the great strength that they may have:

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (Acts 19:16, NIV; emphasis mine)

When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. (Matthew 8:27-29; emphasis mine)

Despite their great strength, believers in Jesus Christ haven been given authority over demons (Luke 9:1-2, NIV; emphasis mine):

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Hallelujah! Glory to God!

What are Demons? This Answer May Surprise You

Demons are spirits that are malignant or evil in nature (indeed, the terms ‘demons’ and ‘evil spirits’ can, and are often, used interchangably).

The origin of demons is not explictly clear in the Scripture, and some people hold the view that demons are fallen angels, and use Revelation 12:3-4 as scriptural support, explaining that the “stars” referred to in this passage of scripture were fallen angels who followed Satan and became demons:

3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.

On the other hand, others (and I would be included in this category) hold the view that demons are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim.

Ok, I need to explain a couple of terms here. “Disembodied” means “bodiless” and “without body“. Christians believe that when a human being dies, life doesn’t just end there, but that the human soul gets transferred to either hell (Acts 2:27; in particular, see the Webster’s bible translation), or to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in paradise (Luke 23:43).

A similar principle applies for this species known as the Nephilim. When a Nephilim dies (or, more likely, got killed), that is not the end of its “life”. Rather, while the body of Nephilim undergoes decay, its spirit remains on earth, and is free to roam the earth.

Next, I need to explain who were the Nephilim. According to Genesis 6:4 (NLT), they were the offspring of the “sons of God” (which I believe refers to the fallen angels) and the “daughters of men” (which I believe refers to the human women) that were conceived before the Flood:

In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

I acknowledge that it is very controversial to suggest that fallen angels and human women can have sexual intercourse and produce offspring. Indeed, those who protest such a perspective would typically cite Matthew 22:30 to support their position:

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

but in my perspective, this verse only supports the position of what it says (that is, that angels do not marry in heaven), but does not disprove that angels are not capable of having sexual intercourse with human beings, if not restrained from doing so.

While the bible may be rather silent about the connection between fallen angels, Nephilim and evil spirits, on the other hand, the Book of Enoch is very explicit it (Enoch 15:2b-12; emphasis mine):

And go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent thee to intercede for them: “You should intercede” for men, and not men 3 for you: Wherefore have ye left the high, holy, and eternal heaven, and lain with women, and defiled yourselves with the daughters of men and taken to yourselves wives, and done like the children 4 of earth, and begotten giants (as your) sons? And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those also do who die 5 and perish. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget 6 children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. But you were formerly 7 spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling. 8 And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon 9 the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; 10 they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless 12 hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.

I realise that some Christians may have reservations about using a non-biblical book (I’m refering to the Book of Enoch) to glean spiritual truths. Although the Book of Enoch is indeed not included in the bible, nevertheless, I think it is a valuable book. For instance, the book of Jude references the Book of Enoch (that is, the book of Jude has a description of an event that the author took from the book of Enoch; see verses 14-15). The Book of Enoch is also included in the bible of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

So, in short, I’ve tried to explain here my view that ‘demons’ or ‘evil spirits’ (the terms are interchangable) are the spirits of Nephilim (also known as ‘Giants’) that have died, and that the Nephilim were the hybrid offspring of fallen angels and human women.

Can Divorced Christians Remarry?

Can a Christian, who has had a valid reason for divorce, remarry?

I believe the answer is ‘no’.

“Aha!” one might say to me after citing Matthew 19:9 (“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery”), “Doesn’t it say here that if your spouse has committed adultery, and that you have separated from your cheating spouse due to this, that you are allowed to remarry?”

One might add, “It seems unfair if you are not allowed to remmary, since it is your spouse’s fault.”

Admittedly, this verse may be construed as provision for remarriage following separation from an unfaithful partner. However, such a perspective would not be congruent with what the early church taught.

In the Shephard of Hermas (a Christian literary work of the 2nd century that is considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers, such as Irenaeus), we find Hermas questioning his heavenly guardian about what a man should do if he learns that his wife is guilty of adultery and persists in it:

“I say to him, ‘Sir, permit me to ask thee a few more questions.’ ‘Say on,’ saith he. ‘Sir,’ say I, ‘if a man who has a wife that is faithful in the Lord detect her in adultery, doth the husband sin in living with her?’ ‘So long as he is ignorant,’ saith he, ‘he sinneth not; but if the husband know of her sin, and the wife repent not, but continue in her fornication, and her husband live with her, he makes himself responsible for her sin and an accomplice in her adultery.’ ‘What then, Sir,’ say I, ‘shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this case?’ ‘Let him divorce her,’ saith he, ‘and let the husband abide alone: but if after divorcing his wife he shall marry another, he likewise committeth adultery.’ ‘If then, Sir,’ say I, ‘after the wife is divorced, she repent and desire to return to her own husband, shall she not be received?’ ‘Certainly,’ saith he, ‘if the husband receiveth her not, he sinneth and bringeth great sin upon himself; … For this cause ye were enjoined to remain single, whether husband or wife; for in such cases repentance is possible.'”

Here, it should be noted that Hermas allowed for separation because of adultery, but required that the man remain single in hopes of his wife’s future repentance.