Matthew 24:37 (MEV) – As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus uttered these words in His discourse concerning His return. The events that will precede the rapture and Jesus’ Second Coming have intrigued His followers for the last two millennia. Jesus and the apostles have provided some details, but we only have a broad picture at best.
What is going to happen? How will the end of this present age look like? According to Jesus, those days will be like the days of Noah. What does it mean? What happened during Noah’s days?
Firstly, just as the Flood during Noah’s days came suddenly and caught the world by surprise, so it will be at the time just before the rapture of the church. Nobody was expecting the Flood to come though Noah had been warning of God’s impending judgement for 120 years. The people ignored him. They were going about their routine activities “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38). That is how it will be when Jesus returns for His church. The world will be shocked by a series of strange phenomena and the sudden mass disappearance of Christians.
Secondly, “as in the days of Noah” has another meaning, which is not commonly understood. It indicates that there will be overt supernatural activities just like in the days of Noah.
The story of the Flood is told in Genesis chapter six. Most Christians, including children, are familiar with the story. The Flood wiped out the entire human population in the world except for Noah and his family. Most Christians would also know the reasons behind the catastrophic disaster. It was a judgement. God was grieved with the great wickedness of mankind and the violence they perpetrated (Genesis 6:6, 11).
But few notice the details prefacing the reasons and story for the Flood. Even if they notice, they do not link it to the rest of the chapter because it seems strange and out of place with the rest of the story. The first four verses of chapter 6 reveal some fascinating insights into the antediluvian world. We read about the “sons of God” marrying the “daughters of man” and out of their union came forth the “Nephilim.” The Nephilim were giants, and they were heroes and men of renown. These few verses read like a page taken from the Marvel comics.
The “sons of God” are angels but not those who had joined Lucifer in the earlier rebellion against God. These were the ones whom the apostles, Peter and Jude, mentioned in their letters (Jude 6; 1 Peter 3:18-20; 2 Peter 2:4-5). God assigned these angels with positions of authority over certain aspects of human affairs, but they disobeyed Him. How did they disobey God? They abandoned their positions, intermingled with humans and engaged in sexual relations with women, which was clearly against God’s will. God has never intended for cross-breeding between angels and humans. Consequently, God had them chained and imprisoned dark dungeons until the day of judgement.
These are obscure but biblical truths. Not many details are provided in the bible. Present-day Christians know very little about these facts. However, this was common knowledge among the first-century Jews. Plenty of serious Jewish writings during Second Temple period (538 B.C. – 70 A.D.) attest to this as evidenced by the references made by Peter and Jude in their letters. Notice that they mentioned about these things as a matter of fact. No attempt was made to explain who these angels were because this was common knowledge. This was also the understanding of the church fathers like Irenaeus until the fourth century A.D. when biblical interpretation became heavily influenced by the Greek way of thinking, which disregarded the supernatural. Thankfully, in the recent years, there are numerous serious scholarships on this topic.
So, “as in the days of Noah” seems to indicate the heavy involvement of fallen angels and demonic beings in the days leading up to the return of Christ. They will come to deceive and destroy. They will masquerade as angels of light and perform many false signs and wonders to mislead the world (2 Corinthians 11:14; 2 Thessalonians 2;9-12).
Here is a scenario of how this deception may play out. In recent times, there is an increased fascination with aliens. Numerous serious Christian authors and researchers are joining in the conversation. This is not a frivolous matter as some people would think. Is it possible for fallen angels to masquerade as aliens? Why not? Imagine these aliens appearing in the global cable news networks and telling the world that it was not God who created humans, but they were the ones who seeded humans thousands of years ago and they were the gods that the people of the ancient civilisations worshipped. If such a scenario were to happen, many people, including Christians, would conceivably fall for the lie.
In popular culture, ancient mythological figures and gods have been given a makeover and featured as comic superheroes. Think of Thor and Wonder Woman. Can this be a part of an elaborate Satanic conspiracy to prepare the world to believe in the alien lie? It sounds far-fetched but not impossible. Anyway, it is just a scenario.
With the accelerated progress made in the fields of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing and other branches of science and technology, there are many possibilities of how weird and strange the not-too-distant future will look like. I was just reading an article entitled ‘Transhumanism and The Future of Humanity” published by Forbes Magazine in 2017. It explores how the human bodies can be augmented to enable humans to be smarter, stronger and more capable than we are today by using various sciences and technologies. Expect to see human hybrids in the future. This is another scenario of “as in the days of Noah.”
Christians should not be surprised when many strange phenomena begin to take place overtly in the days ahead. You just need to read the book of Revelation and you will be convinced. In Revelation chapter 8, a great star, which is really an angel by the name of Wormwood, fell from the sky and he poisons one-third of the world’s water resources (Revelation 8:10-11). In chapter 9, another star (angel) is given the key to the bottomless pit. He uses it to release locusts with faces like humans, hairs like the women’s hair, teeth like lions’ teeth and tails that sting like scorpions. Their job is to torture and afflict people with great pain without killing them (Revelation 9:1-11). In the same chapter, four angels that have been bound at the Euphrates River (those that Peter and Jude mentioned?) will be released. They will go on a rampage killing one-third of mankind (Revelation 9:14-15).
Most people treat these passages as symbolic. What if they are to be taken literally? Is that possible? Well, I would have said no fifty years ago. But from the present vantage point, I will say that it is possible.
So, keep your eyes as well as your minds opened, and be watchful! As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man!
Pastors Les & Adeline Chua