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OPINION

Two mysteries: A bank heist and evil angels

By R.A. Mathews Guest Columnist

It happened last week, Dec. 10, a half century ago. Boxes containing 294 million yen were stolen from a bank car. This was in the middle of the day without so much as a shot being fired.

It wasn’t the work of sophisticated thieves - just one young man with a well-crafted plan. The robbery took three minutes.

Rebecca Mathews

In 1968, in Japan, a car with four armed guards and nearly 300 million yen was stopped by a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle. This was an isolated area outside prison walls where there were no onlookers. This young “officer" said there’d been a bank-related explosion, and he believed dynamite was on the car.

The guards immediately stepped away. The thief then covertly lit a flare. When it began to smoke, he told the men to run, that the car was about to blow.

That’s when the robber climbed inside and sped away. Amazing.

And it remains unsolved; who doesn’t love a good mystery!

One of the best mysteries in Scripture is the Nephilim, pronounced Ne-fuh-LEEM, according to Dr. Archie England, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are the Nephilim?

“When human beings began to increase… daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them that they chose… The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.” Genesis 6:1-4

These “sons of God,” according to Scripture, are angels. Job 1:6, 2:1

Robert Deffinbaugh, Th.M., says, “The result of the union between fallen angels and women is rather clearly implied to be the Nephilim.”

So the Nephilim appear to be a super race, but led by Satan. Right after we learn of them, God speaks of mankind’s rampant wickedness and brings the Flood.

Did the Nephilim survive? Can half-angels die?

Moses seems to say in the passage above that they existed later. Deffinbaugh says, “The Nephilim did not die if they were angels.”

Believe me, all of this is widely disputed, hence the unsolved mystery.

“Nephilim” appears only twice in Scripture — before the Flood and years later in another famous scene.

Did you know that after the Israelites flee slavery, they make their way from Egypt to the Promised Land in short order? Nope, no, 40 years of wandering.

When they arrive at Canaan, Moses chooses 12 men to spy out the land.

Forty days later, 10 of those men return full of fear. “We cannot attack these people… we saw the Nephilim there…” Numbers 13:31-33

Same Nephilim? There’s evidence to support that.

We know the Israelites are so terrified they decide to return to slavery in Egypt. But God isn’t having it — He decides to destroy them and start over. Genesis 14:12

This is a pivotal moment!

Moses quickly intervenes, asking God to forgive His people. The Lord relents but says, “Not one of them will ever see the [Promised] land …” Genesis 14:20-35

That’s why they wandered 40 years.

This gets really interesting. Deffinbaugh says that Satan knew the Messiah was coming for him; that the fallen-angel intermarriage, producing the Nephilim, “describes a desperate attempt on the part of Satan to attack the godly remnant.” To stop Jesus.

Likewise, at the Promised Land. It’s another desperate attempt by Satan to stop God’s plans. But the faith of Joshua and Caleb eventually secure the Promised Land for God’s people.

The Nephilim have been as well-studied as the Japanese bank robbery, but both remain a mystery. In Japan, police found 120 clues at the scene, sending them in varied directions. Scripture contains countless clues about the Nephilim, sending theologians in as many pursuits. Read more about those clues at 247Xn.com.

The important message here is that Satan is crafty and bent on destroying the righteous.

You cannot face evil alone.

We struggle not against flesh and blood but the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Put on the armor of God — truth, goodness, peace, faith, salvation. Carry your sword — the word of God. And always walk beside Jesus.

My grandmother was a minister. She gave my mom a well-developed understanding of God, which my mom passed to me.

She said, “Stay close to God and evil cannot get to you.”

Read the unabridged version of this article at 247Xn.com. The Rev. Mathews is a faith columnist and seminary graduate with an M.Div. degree. Contact her at letters@RAMathews.com. Copyright © 2020 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.