Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #3 of Genesis, chapter 10 and we are going to begin our study by reading Genesis 10:8-10:
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before JEHOVAH. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
I will stop reading there. In our last study, we saw that Nimrod was said to be a “mighty one” or a “mighty man” in the earth. We saw how that fit together with Genesis 6, verse 4 regarding the “mighty men of renown,” which identified with the “sons of God” or the people of God that intermarried with the daughters of men. God’s wrath fell upon the world because of this sin.
We are told that Nimrod was a mighty man in the earth and he came from the line of Noah, a preacher of righteousness and a man of God. Noah’s son Ham begat Cush and Cush begat Nimrod. We learned last time that the word for “Cush” is the same word that can be translated as “Ethiopia,” so this lineage should be faithful men. There is never any excuse or justification for going away from God. Ham had no excuse – his father Noah was a preacher of righteousness. It would be hard to find a more faithful man in the Bible than Noah. However, Ham did go astray because man’s heart is desperately wicked and unless God acts to change the heart, man will go astray. It is good to have faithful parents that raise their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord, but man follows his heart. And if a man’s heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, it will eventually show. We saw in Genesis, chapter 9 that there was an indication that Ham may not be right with God because he did not cover his father’s nakedness, so it is not surprising to find that his sons Cush and Mizraim identified with nations (Ethiopia and Egypt) that are in opposition to the kingdom of God.
Now we are a couple of generations removed from Noah and things are going to get worse. Cush begat Nimrod and Nimrod is a “mighty man.” He has descended from a son of God, but now it is perverted. While Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, Nimrod is going on a completely different path away from God. It says in Genesis 10:9:
He was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before JEHOVAH.
We began to look at the word “hunter” and some of the related Hebrew words. We looked at three different Hebrew words, but they were all pointing to the same truth. For instance, we saw in Proverbs that the “adulteress” hunts for the precious life and that principal is seen in many places in the Bible. The enemies of God “hunt” for the elect or the “precious life.” They hunt God’s people as though they were prey. It is why we read this language in Ezekiel 34, where God condemns the shepherds of Israel (the pastors in the churches), in Ezekiel 34:2-3:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
God goes on to condemn them for failing to protect and feed the flock of God, which would be the elect. It says in Ezekiel 34:7-8:
Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of JEHOVAH; As I live, saith the Lord JEHOVAH, surely because my flock became a prey…
Here is that word “prey,” which is spelled with an “e” and it is a word that indicates something that is “hunted.” It goes on to say in Ezekiel 34:8:
… and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
Then God caused them to cease from feeding the flock at the end of the church age. That is also the picture in Ezekiel, chapter 13 where those that developed false gospels do harm to the children of God. It says in Ezekiel 13:17-18:
Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, And say, Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes…
Let me just stop for a minute and say that we are not going to try to explain all this language like, “sew pillows to all armholes.” It is very difficult language, but this passage explains who is being addressed. Those that prophesy out of their own hearts are being prophesied against by God. If you prophesy out of your own heart, you are a false prophet because you are not giving truth. It goes on to say in Ezekiel 13:18-19:
… and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?
Here, we are seeing this word “hunt,” and they are hunting souls. Nimrod was a mighty hunter before JEHOVAH. Esau was a hunter. He hunted venison to give to his father. In Proverbs, it said to deliver thyself from the hand of the hunter and avoid the snare of the fowler. There are these that are hunting the souls of God’s elect. Notice it said Ezekiel 13:19: “…to slay the souls that should not die.” Who are the ones that should not die? They are God’s elect that God chose from the foundation of the world and predestinated them unto salvation. The elect are not to die, but the false gospels lied to God’s people, as it says in Ezekiel 13:19, “by your lying to my people that hear your lies,” and the false gospels lie to God’s elect and they seek to spare the lives of the wicked with their lies. The enemies of the true Gospel seek to hunt and slay the hearers when they speak contrary to the Bible.
Let us go on to Ezekiel 13:20-21:
Wherefore thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am JEHOVAH.
This passage agrees with Ezekiel 34 where God’s flock became a prey and God delivered them from the useless shepherds. They are worse than “useless,” because they do damage to the one they should have been protecting, so God caused them to cease from feeding the flock. Here, God says He will deliver His people out of the hand of those that are speaking lies and that hunt the souls of the children of God. These “hunters” are going after God’s elect and, of course, Satan would be stirring up these hunters because he always wants to seek and destroy the elect. It tells us in 1Peter 5:8:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
What does a lion do in the jungle as he walks about? Lions are very large animals and they are very hungry. They see the prey, like a zebra, and they very carefully walk about and sneak up on their prey because they are seeking to devour it. That is the picture of Satan in 1Peter, chapter 5. Satan is a “hunter.” He is going about, looking to devour his prey.
We will shortly see that Nimrod was the founder of Babel or Babylon, which represents the kingdom of Satan. He is a picture of those that bring false gospels to destroy. He is a picture of the apostate church that left the right way and transgressed the “ancient boundaries.” They have gone beyond the limits of God’s Word, the Bible, as they have added to it (or subtracted from it) and they have allowed for tongues and dreams and visions. They have become a false gospel that does harm to people. They seek to destroy the elect in the sense that they are seeking to kill the elect spiritually as they drive them out of the churches. In John 16, the Lord likens being driven out of the synagogue to being killed, so these pastors, elders and deacons were under the power of Satan during the 23-year Great Tribulation period and they were “hunting” the souls of God’s elect that God had determined should not die.
It reminds us of Balak, the king of Moab, who saw the multitude of Israel when they came out of Egypt and he sought to destroy them. When he tried to curse Israel, God turned it to a blessing and that is a good picture of what has happened throughout history. Satan has kept trying to destroy God’s people by raising up emissaries that try to destroy and cause spiritual harm to the elect, but he always fails because God always turns it to a blessing. So, Satan is the ultimate “hunter” that seeks to devour God’s elect. If only he could destroy even one individual that God had chosen from the foundation of the world and for whom Christ had died. Satan’s goal was to destroy even one elect person before they could hear the Word of God and God could have applied the “blood of Christ” to that individual. If Satan could have thwarted the salvation of even one person it would have been a terrible injustice for that person that had their sins paid for at the foundation of the world, but salvation had not been applied to them in their lifetime – that person would have “died in their sins,” even as others. God would have been at fault and it would have been a great injustice, so Satan wanted to destroy just one of God’s elect anywhere and, therefore, he attacked God’s people on a thousand different fronts. It was always for the purpose of devouring and destroying one of God’s elect. He filled the churches with his emissaries and in church after church they taught their lies and half-truths and they perverted the Gospel of grace into a gospel of works. Actually, it was more than a “thousand fronts,” but it was in the millions of fronts, as Satan sought to destroy in thousands of congregations where God’s elect were present before God issued the command to His people to come out of the midst. God’s people were suffering and grievously afflicted. They were being “hunted” and they were the target of all these hunters and, yet, God delivered every one of them. For the good of His people, He called them out of the churches and He made sure every one of the elect were drawn away from the churches before He shut the door on May 21, 2011.
Going back to Ezekiel 13:22:
Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
You can see how it applies to virtually every corporate church that was out there. They have works gospels in church, after church and they will tell you how you can get yourself saved. Yes, there may be a tiny remnant of Reformed churches that claim to have the truth and they do speak about election, but at some point, in the pastor’s sermon or in their literature or in their teachings from some great theologian of the past, they will very quietly or very slyly insert some “work” an individual must do: “Yes, God saves by election and predestination, but we have to exercise our belief. Then if we exercise our belief, then we know that God had predestinated us.” They have confused the truth and confounded the congregation into thinking they are very faithful to God’s Word and, yet, they are not. There is truth mixed with error and there is just the least bit of work, but the Bible warns against this and the Bible likens salvation to resting only in Christ and His works. The Old Testament seventh day Sabbath witnessed, week after week, to the fact that a person could not do any work of salvation, whatsoever. If you went 99% of the day without working and you worked only 1%, you would be guilty. You could avoid working in the field or working with your animals all day and then you could go out and pick up a few sticks on the Sabbath Day. What did God say when Moses asked Him what they should do with a man that was found picking up a few sticks on the Sabbath? The answer from God was to stone him to death. He was to die as a historical reminder to us all. It was a true, historical occurrence. That man literally died in the wilderness because he picked up a few sticks. Yes, he died because he was a sinner, but God had commanded that on His Sabbath Day men were to do no work and he did some work and, therefore, he died for that sin and for many others. However, God used his sin of picking up a few sticks on the Sabbath to teach people that read the Bible how serious God is regarding His salvation program – God gets all the glory; Christ did all the work and we are saved by the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and not by our own faith. Exercising our faith would be a “work.”
Even if some corporate church had held to the teaching of election and predestination, how did they stand on saving faith? Whose faith saves us? You will not find a corporate church out there that will say it is the faith of Christ. You will not find a church anywhere in the world that will say that “faith” is a work. They have a lack of understanding because they have rejected the end time opening of the Scriptures that the Lord accomplished in the time of the Great Tribulation. They have rejected truth, after truth, after truth, so they also reject that faith is a work. That truth finally came to light at the time of the end of the world. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and they house.” Then those in the churches say, “OK, I will believe.” However, they cannot be saved that way because they have placed themselves under the Law. When you try to believe, you try to get right with God through the keeping of the Law. When you try to keep the Law, you are obligated to keep the whole Law perfectly, to be righteous and to go to heaven. However, the Bible says that “none are righteous,” and if we offend in one point, we are guilty of all. The churches bring their congregations under the penalty of the Law because they have taught their congregations that they must perform a work. “It is just a small little work,” but it is a work nonetheless and it bring the condemnation and wrath of God. They have “hunted” the souls of God’s people, but God has delivered His people out of the hands of the “hunters” and out of the hands of the “fowlers.”