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    Understanding the True
    Origins of Mormonism

    The Incredible Story of a Race of Celestial Beings
    that once Came to the Earth...

    by Clare Gregory

    Chapter 25
    The Fallen Angels

    The LDS Melchizedek priesthood order operates best in the context of earthly time. Time and mortality are the elements that changed the angels that procreated the Nephilim to fall from heaven. My book stands or falls on the interpretation of Genesis 6:1-5 that speaks of these fallen angels. The following six sources define the word NEPHILIM in Genesis 6:4. I’ve included the Oxford and NIV Bibles, Clarke’s commentary, two “Study Guides”, and a Jewish Rabbi’s interpretation of the Torah:

    1. New International Version Study Bible, edited by Kenneth Barker:

    “Nephilim. People of great size and strength (see Numbers 13:33). The Hebrew word means ‘fallen ones’. In men’s eyes they were ‘the heroes of old, men of renown,’ but in God’s eyes they were sinners (‘fallen ones’) ripe for judgement.”

    2. The Oxford Annotated Bible, Revised Standard Version, edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger:

    “The birth of the Nephilim is related to demonstrate the increase of wickedness on earth. 1: The old fragment of mythology connects immediately with chs. 2-4. 2: The sons of God were divine beings who belonged to the heavenly court (1.27 n.). 3: Despite the lustful intrusion of divine beings into the human sphere, man did not become semi-divine (compare 3:22-24) but remained a mortal creature in whom the Lords’ spirit dwells temporarily. 4: Originally the story accounted for the Nephilim (Num 13.33; Dt. 2.10-11.), men of gigantic stature whose superhuman power was thought to result from divine-human marriage."

    3. The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, Spiros Zodhiates, Th. D.

    “The term ‘giant’ from the Hebrew NEPHILIM (5303) is influenced by the Greek term GIGANTES in the Septuagint. Nephilim comes from the verb NAPHAL (5307) meaning “to fall” in general, but is often associated with violence, hence often translated ‘overthrow, fall upon.’ In Numbers 13:32,33 it is also noted that they were ‘men of great stature.’ Emphasis should be placed upon the fact that they were men of violence who had no respect for other men.”

    4. The Complete Biblical Library: The Old Testament. Volume 1: Study Bible, Genesis:

    “Giants (Heb. NEPHILIM). Some suppose NEPHILIM is derived from NAPHAL, “to fall,” but that is not a normal Hebrew construction. Rather, it could be from PALA’ and mean “wonderful ones,” but it seems more likely that it is from PALAL, with meaning “separated ones,” meaning separated from the intermarriages verse 2 mentions and staying true to the Lord…In the background of Noah’s flood the population was increasing. Then the sons of God proceeded to look on the daughters of humankind and saw they were “good” (with reference to their appearance, thus, pleasing and desirable). They took wives, not on the basis of spirituality or relation to God, but on what was physically pleasing to them. Then “the Lord said, My spirit [the Holy Spirit] shall not always strive with man, for that he [humankind] also is flesh [with fleshly desires that come from the fallen human nature].”

    5. Ramban (Nachmanides) Commentary on the Torah, Genesis, by Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel:

    “4. THE NEPHILIM: Rashi comments: “[They were called NEPHILIM because] they fell (NAPHLU) and caused the downfall (HIPILU) of the world.” This is found in Bereshith Rabbah. The masters language say that they [the Nephilim] were so called because the heart of man fell from fear of them. The same applies to the word HA’EIMIM.”

    6. Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible:

    “NEPHILIM from NAPHAL “he fell.” Those who had apostatized or fallen from the true religion. The Septuagint translate the original word….which literally signifies earth born, and which we, following them, term giants, without having any reference to the meaning of the word, which we generally conceive to signify persons of enormous stature. But the word when properly understood makes a very just distinction between the sons of men and the sons of God; those where the nephilim, the fallen earth-born men, with the animal and devilish mind. These were the sons of God, who were born from above; children of the kingdom, because children of God. Hence we may suppose originated the different appellatives given to SINNERS AND SAINTS; the former termed…EARTH-BORN, and the latter…i.e. SAINTS, persons NOT OF THE EARTH, or SEPERATED FROM THE EARTH. The same became mighty men—men of renown…”

    Five of the six different sources above have a central theme, providing a negative connotation of the word NEPHILIM to mean “fallen ones”. Observing that respected experts do not all agree on the Bible interpretation, maybe we should be cautious before we jump to conclusions and gloss over Genesis 6:1-5 as insignificant to Mormonism.

    Also, please note the “Nephilim” were NOT the “fallen angels” but were their OFFSPRING instead. In understanding the interpretation of the Nephilim parents, or the “sons of God” and “daughters of men” in Genesis 6:2, it is important to note that scholars operate on assumptions that can be disputed. For example:

      1) Many scholars believe that angels do not have gender, and therefore, reject the notion that angels mated with human women. However, Zachariah 5:5-11 could be interpreted as female angels sent to remove the basket of wickedness of Israel.

      2) In addition, most all Christians believe that there are no marriages in heaven, and that we will be single “as the angels” based on the words of Jesus in Matt 22:30. Therefore, it is assumed that angles have no gender. But Jesus was speaking to those under the law of Moses, who did not have the sealing powers of Christ’s eternal spirit, and therefore, would be single in eternity.

      3) Many believe that angels do not have “physical bodies” to produce offspring prior to the resurrection of Christ. I admit, we are delving into the unknown, but since the scholars are making assumptions about that unknown world, I can also make valid assumptions as well. Most Mormons assume there were only two choices in our premortal life—to follow Jesus into mortality or to follow Lucifer. But let’s suppose some angels/spirits did not want to follow either of these options. Could God have given them another option? Possibly. They could have been provided physical bodies with the condition that if they turned from God, the blood of the Lamb could never redeem them. Since they had not sinned, then they did not need a Savior to obtain an immortal physical body, did they? Adam was created as spirit and flesh, and he too was immortal, right? Could not God have created angles in the similitude of Adam and Eve but placed them in a different role and responsibility? I believe this is a reasonable assumption. However, without earth life’s tutoring in sin, these angels in heaven could still “fall” and turn against God. But the “potential fall” would be a calculated risk based on the angels’ choice of NOT going into mortality and experiencing pain. The “angle-option” could be MORE risky in the long run, for if they fell, then there could be no redemption for them. They become like the devil—doomed be cast into the lake of fire, experiencing a total dissolution of body and mind, thus suffering the second death.

      On the other hand, those who have chosen mortality to overcome the devil through Jesus, risk falling into sin on earth. But after the final resurrection into any degree of glory, they will be much less prone to turn against God in eternity because of their mortal probation. Thus, this would be a prime motivation to experience mortality, for the end-state after the resurrection would be more secure than the former life as a premortal spirit. For as a spirit, we could be tempted by false concepts and possibly turn from the Word of Truth. This surely became very clear as we watched Lucifer fall before our eyes! The “mortality path” would be more eternally secure than the “angel-path” that skips mortality. Thus, these angles could be growing in light and truth and become the temple of his presence, but on a different path, with a different purpose in the mind of God.

      4) Another possible explanation of “fallen angels” is that God simply created these angels with bodies in their original creation for purposes known only to Him.

    Thus we see that so little is really known about angels and the realms of God and heaven. Many things are open to the “possibility”. Are we going to make arrogant assumptions about things we know nothing about and claim we know the truth? Or are we going to consider other viewpoints as “possible explanations”? If any on these explanations I’ve provided are true, then perhaps the Mormons and Christians should examine their assumptions more closely, for there is Biblical support of fallen angels:

      “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in darkness unto the judgement of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 6-7.)

    In LDS theology, this would be referring to the spirit children of God that followed Lucifer and rebelled, causing a war in heaven. (Rev 12:7.) But look closer at the verse. Jude doesn’t speak about a “war” or “rebellion”. These specific angels were not “cast out” of heaven like those referenced in the Book of Revelations. Rather, Jude writes: “they left”. The verse implies the angels freely chose to leave their own habitation. Then, Jude compares these angels to Sodom and Gomorrah who could not control their sexual appetite. Likewise, the “sons of God” fell because of “beautiful women” in Genesis 6:2 and procreated the Nephilim.

    Peter also writes about fallen angels:

      “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgement…” (2 Peter 2:4.)

    Again, in LDS theology, it is presumed the “sin” of these angels was rebellion against God’s plan recorded in Rev 12:7. But this verse certainly could refer to the “sin” of intermarrying of angels with the daughters of men in Genesis 6:2. Notice too that Peter does not contradict Jude 6-7 by teaching these angels were “cast down to hell”. For this happened AFTER THEY SINNED. In other words, after they had willingly “left their first estate” and intermarried, then they became mortal themselves. Then they physically died, and their spirits were put in chains of spiritual darkness. It is the same darkness in Mormonism that teaches spiritual evolution and a distorted gospel. They are trapped in a lie by the devil, and the devil is using them like puppets! This interpretation assumes that angels who enter our world of time and sin become mortal and die, just as Adam did. Adam was created as an immortal being, but afterward became subject to death because of sin. Thus, as the Word of God states: “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23) This truth applies to angels and human beings.

    >From the note in NIV Study Guide for 2 Peter 2:4 we read:

    “ANGELS WHEN THEY SINNED: Some believe this sin was the one referred to in Genesis 6:2, where the sons of God are said to have intermarried with the daughters of men, meaning (according to this view) that angels married human women. The offspring of those marriages are said to have been the Nephilim. But since it appears impossible for angels, who are spirits, to have sexual relations with women, the sin referred to in this verse probably occurred before the fall of Adam and Eve. The angels who fell became the devil and the evil angels (probably the demons and evil spirits referred to in the NT).”

    The scholars of the NIV presume it is impossible for angels to have physical bodies. I challenge that assumption. There could be more spiritual paths and creations in heaven than we assume. Let’s also suppose that angels who enter our fallen world can become mortals because of sin, which sin causes death. According to the Bible, then, the “sons of God” or angels could logically fall. And thus, Nephilim, or the name of their children, would be a combination of “Naphlu”, meaning “they fell”, and “hipilu”, meaning they caused the downfall of the world. Interestingly, this interpretation of the word “Nephilim” is given by by Charles B. Chavel, a Jewish Rabbi, in Ramban (Nachmanides) Commentary of the Torah. Although Chavel does not agree with my view on fallen angels, his interpretation of the word Nephilim fits perfectly. Of the six sources I quote, I believe the Jewish mind is a more credible interpretation.

    The Nephilim had contaminated the gene pool, and they were spreading their false doctrine of spiritual genetics and spiritual evolution on earth, and therefore, God needed to send the flood to cleanse it. This view also explains why “giants” such as Goliath and others are mentioned in the Bible after the flood. It is probably that some of the genes were passed on through some of Noah’s children or through Ham. The Nephilim had so dominated the gene pool, that even after the flood, the genetic influence was still felt by human beings. (2 Sam 21:16-22; 1Chr 20:4-8; Job 16:14; Num 13:13; De 2:11,20; 3:11-13; Josh 12:4, 13:12, 15:8, 17:15, 18:16) Thus, the interpretation of immortal angels falling into sin and death gives a clearer explanation of genetic origin of the giants mentioned in the Bible repeatedly. Do we have a better explanation anywhere?

    The view of fallen angels in Genesis 6:1-5 is not from my own limited ex-LDS perspective, but it has been in the mind of scholars for thousands of years and this view is recognized by Bible commentaries such as the notes in the NIV Study Bible:

    “ The phrase ‘sons of God’ here has been interpreted to refer either to angels or to human beings. In such places as Job 1:6; 2:1 IT REFERS TO ANGELS, AND PERHAPS ALSO IN Ps 29:1 (where it is translated ‘mighty ones’). Some interpreters also appeal to Jude 6-7 (as well as to Jewish literature) in referring the phrase here to angels.

    “Others, however maintain that intermarriage and cohabitation between angels and human beings, though commonly mentioned in ancient mythologies, are surely excluded by the very nature of the created order (Gen1;Mk 12:25). Elsewhere, expressions equivalent to ‘sons of God’ often refer to human beings, though in contexts quite different from the present one (see Dt 14;1; 32:5; Ps 73:5; Isa 43:6; Hos 1:10; 11:1; Lk 3:38; 1Jn 3:1-2,10). ‘Sons of God’ (vv.2,4) possibly refers to the godly men, and “daughters of men” to sinful women (significantly, they are not called “daughters of God”), probably from the wicked line of Cain. If so, the context suggest that vv. 1-2 describe the intermarriage of the Sethites (‘sons of God’ of ch. 5 with the Cainites (‘daughters of men’) of ch. 4, indicating a breakdown in the separation of the two groups.

    “Another plausible suggestion is that the “sons of God” refers to the royal figures (kings were closely associated with gods in ancient Near East) who proudly perpetuated and aggravated the corrupt life-style of Lamech son of Cain (virtually a royal figure) and establish for themselves royal harems.”

    The interpretation of “fallen angels” in Genesis is questioned not because it doesn’t make sense, but because it is assumed that angles do not have tangible bodies to mate with human beings. But, do the other interpretations of “sons of God” provided better explanations? The men were good and the women were evil? When has sin entered into the world depending ON GENDER Jesus said the people in the days of Noah had families, and sin and disobedience enters the world from parents to children, both men and women. Thus the notion of Sethites and Cainites being segregated in to good and evil by gender is nearly impossible to visualize from our human experience. In terms of the royal figures creating royal harems, that sounds better than the notion of sin by gender. But the words used in Genesis 6:2 is “sons of God”, not “sons of the kings”. A blank stare.

    The most persuasive argument for “fallen angels” mating with women is the Bible itself, for when we put Genesis 6:1-5 together verse by verse the interpretation makes perfect sense. If correct, the Bible shines a light on Mormonism that provide an answer that matches the facts of Church history and doctrine better than any other theory.

    Commentary on Genesis 6:1-5

      “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters of born unto them, That the sons of God [angels] saw the daughter of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. “ (Genesis 6:1-2.)

    [They compelled the women to marry them, just as the Nephilim compelled Joseph Smith with a sword to implement plural marriage. Joseph Smith compelled his wife to enter the practice, taking him wives of all which he chose.]

      “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his day shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

    [God sets limits and boundaries, and during Noah’s day the earth had been corrupted by the sons of God and the false principles of spiritual evolution and genetic breeding they taught. Therefore, God shortened the life span of man to 120 years to prevent the accumulation of false knowledge in humans. It is similar to God’s confounding the language of man with the tower Babel to stop the work of man. Knowledge is the foundation of the devil’s kingdom, and those who become skilled in the knowledge of this world become effective instruments in his hands, according to the “genius” of the human mind. The philosophy opposes turning our lives over to God and living by faith in God’s Word and grace. Thus, God says his spirit will not always strive with man, for man will reject God’s unconditional love for his own wisdom and prudent thinking and choices. The longer a man lives, the more earthly knowledge he can accumulate. By shortening the life span of man, God very subtly implemented his principle of salvation by grace. He clearly limits the ability of man to accumulate incorrect knowledge. Thus, man is forced to consider his rather short time on earth and be inspired to turn to God’s grace and live.]

      “And there were giants [Heb: Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4)

    [The offspring of the fallen angels and daughters of men were spiritual giants, being taught the principle of spiritual evolution by angels who had great knowledge though eons of eternity and who did not have a veil of forgetfulness placed over their minds. They were also large in physical stature. (Interestingly, Nephi in the Book of Mormon said he was “large in stature”.) I believe the KJV correctly translated the word Nephilim as “giant” by the power of the Holy Spirit, communicating the imagery of man puffing himself up in his own spirituality. It is a self-deception and fraud. The large imagery is the opposite of the humility of a child required for salvation. The Nephilim doctrine teaches that a man’s faith and the LDS priesthood can create a positive influence on earth that entire nations can be influence by man’s belief (Alma 13:18). Mormons view Joseph Smith as a “spiritual giant”. The doctrine is simple. The ancients ones of “old” know the true theology and mysteries of God, which truths are lost to the general masses. The Nephilim or “spiritual giants” restore the “truths” that have been lost by apostasy. The revealers of these secrets are viewed as mighty men which were of old, men of renown. Thus, rather than a nephilim prophet giving glory to Jesus, he takes it unto himself and pretends to glorify God by feigned words and a hypocritical spirit in the name of “faith”. He likes being a spiritual giant. It is likely that the “sons of God” were actually set apart and ordained as angels by the laying on of hands of Jesus. Thus, they mistakenly believe they have the authority from God to do what they have done, thus inventing a gospel of priesthood power and authority that they can trace back to God himself. Sound familiar?]

      “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5.)

    [The Nephilim had completely corrupted the earth with false light and a bogus priesthood. Not only were there murders and immorality, but the religious teaching was warped by a false theology that relied on occult powers that imitated the true order of God.]

    I invite you to consider my writing and examine your own assumptions. I’ve provided an interpretation that integrates Genesis 6:1-5 into a coherent story that fits the context of Noah’s day, providing a strong reason why God needed to send the flood. Would repentance change the hearts of the people? Not likely. The world had been so corrupted by these divine beings both spiritually and physically that God’s solution was to start over with Noah and his family.

    This page was first created on 23 January 1999
    Last Updated on 16 April 1999
    Created and Maintained by The New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh
    Not all the views expressed in this book are necessarily those of NCAY