Theme: Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ
(Key verses: Gen 8:1-19)
The natural mind in the generation of the first Adam was made by God to focus on natural things, and God deludes the carnal mind to think he has a “free” will by which man determines his means of living, and how to survive within the physical environment, independent from God (Gen 2:7; Mat 16:23; 1Co 1:20; 1Co 2:14; Jas 3:15).
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
Mankind’s well-intentioned educational efforts to make all aware of the survival of the human race are the focus of their labours and energy. In this process God causes people to become entangled in endless debates and arguments which actually only corrupt themselves in earthly and sensual wisdom (Jud 1:10; Jas 3:15; 2Ti 2:4; 2Pe 2:20; Gal 5:1). Sometimes Biblical narratives are used to produce twisted stories primarily for entertainment and financial purposes (2Ti 3:2-4). According to the director of the movie called “Noah” (he is a self-professed atheist), the character of Noah should be seen as the first environmentalist this world has known. He reckons that his idea of “Noah” is also how Christians should recognized Noah, as the first person who saw the importance of caring for the natural world.
But the Scriptures are clear that carnal (natural) man cannot appreciate “the deep things of God”. God is using the things in the physical creation to bring forth a new creation that is spiritual – all the things on the outside actually has an inward application which is “at hand” now for those who God has given the ability to receive His spiritual things (2Co 2:10; Mat 13:34-35; Rom 15:4; Gal 5:17; Rom 1:20; Rev 1:3; Mat 3:2):
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
In his natural wisdom, everything the carnal man hears or understands about God or spiritual things is always changed or reinterpreted back to a physical image and then overemphasized or worshipped as such. God is also perceived and worshipped in human terms as if God has corruptible man’s characteristics. Of course no one will admit that they are doing that because they cannot see beyond God’s strong delusion (2Th 2:11):
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
This is all from God as He also speaks to natural man according to these natural images and perceptions for the purposes of deception (Eze 14:1-10). God is not evil or a deceiver, but He has indeed created evil and all physical things for His good purposes (Isa 45:7; Gen 1:31; Isa 5:20). For example, He has created and uses a carnal spirit-being called Satan to deceive and destroy (2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1):
Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
God speaks in numerous places in Scriptures in these human figures of speech (anthropomorphism = “man form”) such as parables, similes or metaphors. This is done not to help humans to see His spiritual things as many are led to believe, but actually to blind them from seeing spiritual things (Joh 9:39; Gen 3:1-13; Mat 13:10-17). Within this state of deception and strong delusion some actually believe they can change God’s mind and His original plan of action; for example, by using prayer to “consume it upon [their] lusts” and selfish ideas (Jas 4:3). Here is also another example of God’s delusion where natural Israel was convinced that God actually forgot them when He did not answer them according to the idols or perceptions of their heart:
Isa 49:14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Isa 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Isa 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [Hebrew: “chômâh” = protection] are continually before me.
The Scriptures always focus on God’s purposes with the creation of the first Adam and specifically His plan for the spiritual salvation through His Elect, Jesus Christ, and the small group that will be with Him “at His coming” (2Ch 24:24; Eze 12:16; Mat 22:14; Mat 24:31; 1Co 15:22-28). In Genesis this small group is foreshadowed for the first time in the narrative of one man, Noah and his family. This is very significant to see as God is revealing Himself and His mind only to His elect in this age and through the story of Noah this unveiling also helps to see ourselves, and our spiritual journey of being conformed to the image of God in Christ (Rom 8:28-30; Rev 1:1-3; Gal 1:12; 1Pe 1:13). The elect are those whom God has chosen, reserved, and predestinated in the Christ before the foundation of the world for the task of saving “all in Adam” (Eph 1:3-6; Rom 11:2-5; 1Ti 2:4; 1Ti 4:10; 2Pet 3:9; 1Th 5:9; Col 1:24):
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
Noah and the other seven people in the ark knew that nothing was out of God’s total control as they rested with His provision through the waters of His judgement (Rev 4:6-8; Isa 54:8-9). As the opening of the seals also reveal to us the trumpets and the vials in the book of Revelation, so we see that the judgement of God moves into other deeper levels of the spiritual unveiling of the Christ (Heb 10:19-25). Noah and his family were to leave the ark as we also leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ in our maturing spiritual process.
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.
As the concept of an ark also relates to the vessel of the old, first man Adam, we are in that sense also encouraged to leave or let go of that “ark” and our natural way of thinking (1Co 15:42-45; 2Co 5:16; 2Co 7:1; Pro 3:5-6). Abraham, Jacob and Joseph are among the many types in the Old Testament that had to leave their familiar environment to fulfil God’s purposes in and through them (Gen 12:1-3; Gen 31:3; Gen 45:7-8). This theme of leaving the familiar fleshly things is foundational to our understanding of spiritual growth, as we should not consult further with the “familiar spirit” of flesh (“out of the ground”) as in the case of God’s rejected, anointed king Saul (Lev 20:27; 1Sa 28:7-8; Isa 29:4; Rev 18:4). Like king Saul we naturally tend to go back to consult our own thinking – our own carnal ideas as that is that familiar spirit we trusted for such a long time:
1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
1Ch 10:14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
When the Scriptures say that God “remembered” Noah and all those in the ark, this is written from natural man’s perspective because God has never forgotten them:
Gen 8:1 And God remembered [Hebrew: “zâkar” = mark] Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind [Hebrew: “rûach”] to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged [settled in its appointed places and functions again].
Gen 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Gen 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
The wind of God is the spirit of God which was in control of everything that happens on the earth since the beginning of creation and it is still today. Like in Noah’s days, God’s spirit moved or is sent to “pass over the earth” to work all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11; Gen 6:3; Isa 55:10-11; Eph 5:26; Joh 17:17; Joh 6:63):
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit [Hebrew: “rûach”] of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath [Hebrew: “rûach”], they die, and return to their dust.
Psa 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit [Hebrew: “rûach”], they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Naturally it is impossible to destroy physical water and in that sense all waters which God created in the beginning are still being circulated and used to sustain physical life on the earth. The same waters before the flood are just concentrated in different places after the flood as it is still under God’s control all the time (Jdg 6:37-40; Job 14:11-12; Isa 19:5-6; Isa 50:2; Hos 13:15; Nah 1:4; Joh 4:13-15; Joh 7:37). The number for spiritual completion, the number seven, is associated with the ark many times in these passages in Scripture as the ark of Noah also came to rest “upon the mountains of Ararat”:
Gen 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat [“sacred land”/“high ground” or “the curse is reversed”].
The spiritual meaning of the number ten is the completion or fulfillment of flesh). Here it joins with the number seven (which refers to spiritual completeness) in the number seventeen. This all helps us to see and understand that the completion or “end of the world[ly]” age (fleshly or carnal thinking) is when we come to the knowledge that everything is under God’s spiritual control. Then we are given the ability in Christ to cease from our own work – our ideas and our efforts, even to let go of false teachings like having a fabled “free” will (Gen 2:1-2; Heb 4:10). We are now learning what it means to be His workmanship from start to finish (Php 1:6; 2Co 9:8; Col 1:10). We are raised up together with Christ to have His mind – His view on things!
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Judgment brings painful turmoil to the Adamic flesh and all carnal thinking, but to the new man in Christ it brings the righteousness, peace, and joy of the spirit of God (Rom 14:18; Isa 26:9). In His rest we have the witness (“the testimony of Jesus”) how everything is “at hand” (happening in us now), as we are given the spiritual strength to deal with and overcome our own mountains of pride and lusts (Rev 1:1-3; Php 2:12-13; 2Co 1:3-4; Col 1:24):
Gen 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Forty days after the first mountain tops were seen, Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a raven which is one of the unclean fowls in the ark as the law of Moses which came at a later stage, also explained (Lev 11:13-20).
Gen 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Gen 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
It is always the unclean fowls (false spirits) which fly around in our heavens (our mind). Our first experience of life starts off in spiritual darkness (flesh), before the Light (Spirit of Christ) is called out of that darkness in us:
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
This is how God teaches us to try the spirits and to hear the voice of the true shepherd and those within His true fold (1Jn 4:1-6; Joh 10:1-18). Our own carnal mind (within its fleshly habitation) is an unclean spirit created by God, and this is what is also represented by this unclean fowl of the air, for those who can receive this (Eph 6:12). That the raven is sent out first is just a confirmation that God first sent out the natural things to be our first estate. This habitation of bondage we are initially given is under the delegated control of “devils, and [it is] the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” before we can be become the spiritual habitation of God (Eph 2:22; Jud 1:6; Rev 18:2):
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
The unclean flesh will always be the first thing we experience, and that is how we always first respond to any situation – we think in natural terms as we now learn how foolish we are while we are under the delusion that we are wise and mature (1Co 15:45-47; Jas 3:13-16). Like Noah, the sons of God learn progressively that sending out our spiritual ravens of fleshly wisdom and ambitions will never bring lasting peace and ultimate salvation (1Co 1:26-29). The second time Noah sent out a fowl, he used a dove, which is a clean fowl under the law of Moses typifying the procreative spirit of God (Son 1:15; Son 4:1):
Gen 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove [the Hebrew noun “yônâh” is in the feminine] from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Gen 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters wereon the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Gen 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days [in patience we will take complete possession of spiritual life – Luk 21:19]; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
Gen 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
Gen 8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
This dove was sent out three times after it stayed seven days after each return to the ark. This re-emphasizes that spiritual completion (the spiritual meaning of the number seven) will come through a process of judgement of learning and keeping His righteous commandments – the spiritual meaning of the number three (Isa 26:9; Rev 14:12; Rev 15:8). The second time the dove returned it had an olive leaf in her mouth indicating the witness of the evergreen tree which typifies new and continued life of the olive tree of God – spiritual Israel (Exo 27:20; Psa 1:3; Rom 11:11-24):
Psa 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
The description of the olive tree has so many spiritual applications for the elect and it is therefore no surprise that after the flood the olive tree was the first tree where this dove found a green leaf. Look at just a few of the characteristics of this tree:
Olive trees are evergreen and will live and produce fruit in various circumstance and types of soil, for example hot, cold, wet, dry, rocky or sandy soil. The olive tree grows best in direct sun, and is best suited for rocky calcareous subsoil. The trunk of the olive tree is knotty and gnarled while its bark is smooth and ash colored. The leaves of this amazing tree are leathery silver green and the flowers are white. The fruit are edible and produce excellent oils.
This re-emphasizes that God’s focus is on the elect in this age. After the dove was sent out for the third time, it did not return again, as the dove found rest for its feet on the earth. All these details help us to see why Noah and his family were placed on the earth. This is what God’s olive trees (His elect) will do on this physical earth!
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
This is all first an inward application, even in downpayment “in earnest” now (Eph 1:13-14) when we are still living in flesh, but it will have a spiritual fulfillment, even as the whole world will see the sons of God:
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Not only are we still in a time of completion when the blowing of the seventh trumpet with its accompanying vial is still in operation, but we are given rulership over our own “earth” now (Rev 10:7; Rev 15:1-8). This overcomer who “keepeth [Christ’s] works unto the end” will be given outward rulership in the “thousand year” rule on earth, for those who can receive this truth!
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
We are still in the seventh day when God is finishing His works in us as the new day, the eighth, is dawning with all its glory! (Gen 2:1-2; Joh 5:17; Rev 17:11).
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Noah spent his entire six hundredth year in the ark (one year), and it was on the first day of his seventh period of hundred years of his earthly life (of 950 years in total) that he could see the face of the ground again – all pointing to the spiritual meaning of the number seven and the seventh day of creation (Gen 2:1-2; Gen 9:28-29):
Gen 7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Gen 8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year [of Noah’s life], in the first [Hebrew: “ri’shôn” = beginning] month, the first [Hebrew: “echâd” = one/unity] day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Gen 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
All these numbers combine to spiritually help us as we witness (number 2) the spiritual completion (the number 7) of God’s judgment (the number 9) and control over our fleshly age (the number 10 X 2). These verses come to mind:
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [Greek: aion = fleshly age] are come.
Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
As God gave Noah all instructions from the start (which he obeyed all the time), so it was with the leaving of the ark. Noah waited on God’s instruction before he left the ark. God controls all our footsteps and it only a blind fool in spiritual darkness who cannot see that.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
When a man (prematurely) “wandereth from his place” under the false conviction that he has a “free” will, it is indeed as dangerous as a bird that “wandereth from her nest”:
Pro 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
God again gave Noah the time to exit the ark with his family and all the animals, as all things God does are exactly on point and precisely according to His objectives (Psa 31:15; Isa 46:10; Hab 2:3; Ecc 3:1; Rom 5:6):
Gen 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Gen 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Gen 8:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Noah faithfully obeyed what God told him to do, as he was “a just man and perfect in his generations, and [he] walked with God” as a type of the spiritual elect of God who is careful to be diligent in doing God’s commandment as only through this diligence will they are given rulership over their own beasts (Pro 10:4; Pro 12:24; Pro 13:4; 2Pe 3:13-14):
Gen 8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
Gen 8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.