by David Neal
The Lord commanded Noah to build an ark in faith for the saving of his soul. How was this accomplished? Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so did he. Noah was only required to obey God’s direction and thus to “walk with God.” Every single day Noah exercised his faith (“fear” of God) – board by board, nail by nail, pitch by pitch the ark started taking shape. Noah was provided with an overall plan (path) to follow and every day the Lord filled in the details. This ark was to become his refuge in the day of the Lord when judgment was come upon the earth. Similarly, every one of us has been commanded by the Lord to build and ark for the saving of our souls (1 Pt 1:9). How is this accomplished? Every day we surrender and obey God’s direction. Jesus Christ has provided us “the path” – an example to follow (Jn 14:6, 1 Pt 2:21-24). We walk as Jesus walked and every day the Holy Ghost provides the details (Rm 8:14). We must do according to all God commands us, so we must do (Jn 14:15). Noah was just, perfect and walked with God. A just man “fears” God (surrenders and obeys) and avoids all evil. Noah spent 120 years building the ark – a lifetime for us. Had Noah participated in the things of the world (wickedness and evil) around him, the ark would not have gotten built and he would have perished with “the vast majority.” Similarly, we must “fear” God, known as faith. This walk of faith will last a lifetime, but at the end of our faith we received the salvation of our souls (1 Pt 1:9). We are hid in this ark of refuge that is constructed through our obedience to the Lord – this is our righteousness. If we walk in the ways of the flesh seeking its lusts (the things of the world), then the ark will not get constructed. A partial ark will be of no use when the floods of God’s judgment come. Whosoever heareth the sayings of Jesus, and doeth them will prevail when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow (Mt 7:24-25, 1 Jn 2:29).
Noah was born the son of Lamech, the tenth generation removed from Adam – one thousand and fifty six (1056) years after the creation of man. At the birth of Noah only Adam, Seth and Enoch (from his family lineage) were deceased or taken (see attached pre-flood timeline). Noah had the opportunity to personally know many of his forefathers: Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methusalah and Lamech. Noah was born in a time when the wickedness of man had reached its peak – the point of God’s judgment.
Psalms 53:2, “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” Genesis 6:5, 11-12, “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. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” This was the end result of Adam’s original transgression. This is where following the desires of the flesh will lead you. Adam had disobeyed God in Eden to seek his own will. To seek one’s own will is to disregard God’s authority. This is the wicked nature of fallen man and is the image of Satan who is the father of all those who walk in such darkness (Jn 8:44). Wickedness would be evil practices or actions done as a result of departing from God’s will. This would be manifested as all manner of sinfulness, evil disposition or practices, and general immorality – which is the opposite of God’s nature. The wicked reject God’s claim on their lives. God made it very clear to man in Eden, that if man transgressed the Lord’s will and ate of the forbidden tree that “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17). Satan tempted man to disobey God in order to seek selfish benefit and essentially said, “come follow me.” This is what the devil had done in transgressing God’s will to seek his own. The devil told man that he would be as a god able to choose his own path and in so doing, “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4-5).” This of course was opposite or contrary to what God had said. When the devil speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (Jn 8:44). This lie of being able to seek “self” and maintain life apart from God was the devil’s concoction (fabrication, fiction). This was what he had done in his rebellion against God. So, Satan was inviting man to follow him in his path (or broad way, Mt 7:13) and was offering him forbidden fruit (without penalty) as enticement. The devil was telling man he could seek “self” and transgress God’s will without having to pay the penalty. Man partook of this forbidden fruit and great was his fall. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” God’s truth stood and Satan’s lie and great deception was revealed as God’s condemnation of death entered into the world. To seek reality apart from God is to be cut off from the very source of life (Gen 2:7). There is no life apart from God. Job 12:10, “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” Life is only found in surrender and obedience to the will of God. Man left God’s light (and life) and entered into the darkness (and death). Man left God’s truth and entered into Satan’s lie. Man’s very nature was corrupted. To be corrupted is to be infected with error, vitiated or depraved – changed from good to bad; defiled, perverted, marred (impaired), debased, and rendered impure.
The devil infected man with his lie and made man corrupt and useless to God. Satan was multiplying his corruption across God’s creation. Therefore, those who walk in such darkness, in seeking their own will, only walk further away from God. They go from bad to worse. Man had reached the point where every thought of his heart was constantly evil. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth (Pv 29:16). Evil is the deviation from the rules of conduct prescribed by God and violation of the principles of God’s will or justice. Evil is further defined as corruption of heart; depravity (destitute of holiness or good principles, corrupt); disposition to commit wickedness; malignity or violence (evil dispositions of the heart toward another, hostility); qualities that injure or produce mischief; perverseness (obstinate in wrong, disposed to be contrary, stubbornness, untractable); wrongfulness, corruption, and evil thoughts and deeds. Wickedness does not spring forth from seeking God and walking in His direction. Wickedness comes about as a result of man seeking his will/way and following the lusts and desires of his corrupted flesh – for they consider not that they do evil (Eccl 5:1). The power of darkness is found in the lusts of the flesh. The wicked “hate” God (Job 8:22)! What does it mean to “hate” God? Hate is the sacrifice of another for the benefit of self and this is the opposite of “love.” So to “hate” God would be to sacrifice the Lord and disregard His will/way for your own self seeking way and presumed benefit – to pursue your “will.” Psalms 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Pride is self exaltation. God is not in the thoughts of the proud, but what is? The answer is every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Wickedness and evil were in man’s thoughts. The wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire (Ps 10:3). Job 34:9, “For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.” Job 21:14-15, “Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” Job 22:17, “Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?” Those who are wicked only seek selfishly benefit – they are self-centered. They sacrifice God to seek their own way. To walk in God’s way you must die to self and become God-centered. Perhaps you can see the great conflict? Psalms 36:1, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.” The fear of God equates to faith, which is reverence for God’s authority, obeying His commands and hating and shunning all form of evil. Man’s thoughts translated into his actions, for the world was filled with violence. This was deliberate, presumptuous and premeditated evil. Violence is built upon the foundation of pride (self exaltation) whereby one sacrifices others for the benefit of self – known as hate. This is outwardly manifested as aggression and hatred toward others – to gain place at another’s loss. This is unjust physical force an assault with intent to injure in sacrificing others for your own selfish will (murder, rape, theft, bondage, fighting, etc.). Therefore, men did not look to God for direction or have regard for His way. They sought their own selfish way. In doing so, man’s actions were evil before the Lord. How does flesh corrupt its way upon the earth? By seeking the way of the flesh rather than the way of God. The way of the flesh is its lusts and desires and inclination to exalt self (sacrificing all others) in realizing its way. Those who seek self and disregard God will ultimately come to a place that every imagination of the thoughts of the heart are only evil continually.
The more man seeks his flesh (lusts and desires), the greater man disregards the authority of God. There can only be one authority and direction in your life. You can only walk one path at a time. You are either following God’s way or you are following your own (via the devil’s great lie). To seek your way gives the devil worship because you are abiding in his “lie” rather than God’s “truth.” In other words you are “following” the devil in his way which is a lie (and produces death), rather than “following” Christ in “The Way” which is “The Truth” which produces “Life” (Jn 14:6). Genesis 6:7, “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” So how does God regard those (the wicked) who disrespect and have contempt for Him by seeking their own selfish will? The Lord abhorreth them (Ps 10:3) and is angry with the wicked every day (Ps 7:11). The wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth (Ps 11:5) and the Lord is far from them (Pv 15:29). The thoughts and way of the wicked are an abomination unto the Lord (Pv 15:9, 26). God will not dwell eternally with that which opposes Him. Man had become totally corrupted and the Lord God decided to impose His condemnation of, “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” The wickedness and evil of man had reached the point of judgment (the place of no return) and the Creator was/is perfectly within His right to impose sentencing and penalty at God’s discretion (good judgment, righteous determination) – anytime. The Lord is talking about destroying the whole of mankind. Man was created to serve God and for His good pleasure (Rev 4:11). However, man only sought to serve “self” as driven by his lusts. Man was suppose to be conformed to God’s image, but rather was being conformed to Satan’s image. The Lord’s purposes were not being realized in man. God had no pleasure in His creation of man. Proverbs 2:22, “But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.” It is imperative that you realize what brings God pleasure and what is an abominable to Him. Surrendering to God in love and obedience brings Him pleasure. Seeking your own will or way is corruption and is abominable to God. These are the two ways or paths! Everything is judged based upon which way you walk as demonstrated through your “actions” and not “words.”
The hope of mankind was found in a single individual. Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Gen 6:9). Out of an entire world population, only one individual could be found that gained God’s favor (allowed the Lord place in his life) – there was none like Noah in all the earth. The word “just” means to live in conformity to God’s will; being honest, upright, righteous and meeting God’s purposes. The Lord defines a perfect man as one that feareth God and escheweth evil (Job 1:8, 2:3). Fearing God is love, surrender and obedience to the Lord’s will. To eschew evil is to abstain, abhor, refrain, depart, hate, cease, reprove and cleanse “self” from all evil and wickedness (Eph 5:11, 1 Pt 3:11, 1 Thess 5:22, Rm 12:9, Ps 34:19, 37:27, 97:10, 119:101, Pv 3:7, 4:14-15, 8:13, 14:16, 16:17, Is 1:16, Amos 5:15, 2 Cor 7:1). Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever (also Ps 19:9, 112:1, Pv 1:7, 9:10).” The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:28, also Pv 3:7). Notice that Noah “walked with God.” To “walk with God” means that you are walking in the Lord’s way and not your own way. You are going where God decides and not where you decide – your way is driven by the lust of the flesh. Psalms 128:1, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” AND Psalms 119:2-3, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.” Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch had also “walked with God.” Genesis 5:24, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” The Lord had taken Enoch in his 365th year (69 years before the birth of Noah) because: Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Enoch “feared” God, which is the same thing as faith, and this “pleased” God. Now Noah is also “just” and “perfect” and “walks with God” and the Lord is pleased with him. This is quite a testimony in a world that is totally corrupted. Consider that surrender and obedience to God requires a denial of self. Eschewing evil also requires a denial of self. To walk with God in the Lord’s way means that you cannot be walking in your way. What we are talking about here is a sacrifice of “self” for God’s benefit and this is known as “love.” To be under God’s authority means that you cannot be walking in your own authority or seeking “self” – you cannot be as a god per the devil’s lie (Gen 3:5). In other words, this is a complete renunciation and rejection of Satan’s lie. Rather than transgressing God’s will, Noah was obeying God’s will. Rather than seeking his own way, Noah was walking in God’s way. Noah was doing the opposite of Satan’s lie and the opposite of the population of the entire world. Consider how unique Noah must have been to stand alone against such evil and wickedness. The whole world must have considered him to be a real “peculiar” person – an oddball. Consider the constraint (restriction, limitation) on “self” not to participate or be a part of the widespread evil – you know, everybody’s doing it. To walk in God’s way is to reject all others. This is to have devotion to God and walk in His ways even if none go with you (steadfast resolve).
Noah had to completely die to “self” to serve God. The prideful are self exalting, so Noah was the opposite, which is meek. The proud exalt self and the meek deny self. Meekness is submission to divine will without murmuring; softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; and forbearance under injuries. The earth was filled with violence, yet Noah was gentle and mild, with softness of temper. Noah had come out of the devil’s darkness and was walking in God’s light. Noah was “just” and the just shall live by faith (Rm 1:17). Noah’s righteousness was found in his faith, which is his “fear” of God (Rm 3:22, 4:5, 9, 4:11, 13, 9:30, 10:6, Gal 5:5, Php 3:9, Heb 11:7, 2 Pt 1:1). God’s purposes were being realized in Noah. Now we must understand the “grace” that God was working in Noah. Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Can you see how this grace sanctified or set apart Noah from the wickedness of the world? Noah “feared” God and denied the worldly lusts that consumed the people around him. Noah was just and lived righteously and godly through faith. The Lord God’s purposes were being worked in Noah. Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Genesis 6:3, 13-16, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.” The Holy Spirit would not continue to endeavor with earnestness or labor hard with man to turn his heart back to God. Man was corrupt, wicked, evil and filled with violence. The Lord would give man 120 years respite (delay of condemnation) to repent and forsake his evil ways. The Lord has always consistently said: Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” In other words, God desires man to completely renounce (relinquish, abandon, reject, repudiate, give up, turn your back on) his self seeking ways and totally surrender in obedience to God in love (sacrifice of self for God’s benefit). This is the essence of faith. If man does this, then God will have mercy and will pardon. What does God pardon? The condemnation that man is under, which is: “thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17).” God promises “life” (2 Tim 1:1, 1 Jn 2:25). Noah walked in faith and God made a provision to preserve his life. The whole world was under the condemnation of death, but God is going to preserve Noah’s life in the midst of His judgment of the world’s wickedness. The Lord was going to prolong Noah’s days due to his fear of God and was going to shorten the days of the wicked (Pv 10:27). This is a perfect foreshadowing of what the Lord will do at the end of the world. Those who walked in faith will be preserved unto eternal life in the midst of God’s judgment and separation of the wicked to the second death known as the lake of fire. Job 21:30, “That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath (also Job 38:13, Ps 9:17, 37:10, 20, 28, 34, 38, 58:10, 75:8, 10, 104:35, 112:10, 119:119, 129:4, 145:20, Pv 2:22, 10:28, 30, 11:23, 13:9, Eccl 3:17, Jer 6:29, Mt 13:49).” Now consider this verse: 1 Peter 3:20, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” The Lord God reveals meekness toward man in forbearing the injuries of man to his righteous character and deserved glory. Man has greatly dishonored God in taking from His glory and disregarding His authority. Longsuffering is to be patient and to bear injuries or provocation (to make angry, to offend) for a long time. Man provokes God by seeking his lusts which result in wickedness, evil and violence. Man provokes God by conforming to the devil’s image of rebellion and great lie and by rejecting the Lord’s truth. Even so, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” In this case God is not slack in destroying the wicked with a flood of water, but is longsuffering that man should come to repentance while the ark is being constructed. Repentance is a forsaking of the darkness (lie) and coming to the light (truth). This is to turn around from the broad way that leads away from God and return to God on the narrow way. Psalms 145:18-20, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy (also Ps 25:14, 33:18).” How is man to love God? The answer is with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength – the total sacrifice of self for God’s benefit (Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:27). Jesus related how our love toward Him is found in our keeping His commandments or obedience to His will (Jn 5:3, 14:15-17, 20-21, 23, 15:10, 14, 1 John 2:3-4, 3:24, 4:13, 5:2-3).
Noah is 480 years old when God speaks to him of building an ark. Noah’s sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) are yet to born. Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Consider the depth of that statement and how much it reveals about Noah. This statement of Noah’s obedience is what set him apart from everyone else in the world. This is why Noah was “just.” This is why Noah was “perfect.” This is how Noah walked with God. He did what God asked of him – he followed the Lord’s direction and walked in His way. God commanded Noah to build an ark with roughly the dimensions of 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet tall (with three levels). This was a tremendous undertaking that would take 120 years to complete. This will consume Noah’s life – a full time undertaking. There will be no pleasing of self or thoughts of what “self” wants to do. This command will require a complete dying to “self” to accomplish the will of God. This will require total devotion to the will of God – heart, mind, soul and strength. Noah does not murmur or complain under such divine direction, but fully obeys (meekness). Noah “believed” God and this belief was not just so many words, but action. James 2:17-18, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Noah’s faith translated into a daily exercise (or action) of building the ark of God’s command. James 2:22, “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” God does not leave Himself without witness in the world during this 120 years of respite. This work in progress of building the ark is Noah’s testimony to a completely lost world and bears witness of God’s impending judgment. 2 Peter 2:5, “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” While he built the ark, Noah was a preacher of righteousness to the ungodly. Moses was a herald of God’s truth to the onlookers and those who surely came out to mock and ridicule. This is to denounce wickedness or proclaim God’s will; to bear messages. A preacher is one who discourses (communicate thoughts in a formal manner; to converse; to reason) publicly on the truths of God (His Word) – with earnestness (zeal). In doing so, Moses was a witness for God in the midst of a corrupt and wicked mankind. Righteousness is conformity of heart and life to God’s will (purposes). This is obedience to God. The ungodly are those who neglect fear and worship of God. They live contrary to God’s will and do wicked deeds (transgressing God’s will, evil in principle or practice, immoral). They are impious, which is irreverent toward God; lacking in veneration (not in awe or having high regard) of God or His authority; having contempt and dishonor for God and His will. Therefore, Moses boldly proclaims the necessity to surrender your life and obey God to those who live contrary to God’s will and disregard the Lord’s authority. Unfortunately, Noah did not have one single convert during this 120 years of preaching righteousness. Does this mean that Noah was totally ineffective? No. Noah was just, perfect and walked with God and was the only man worthy to be saved out of an entire corrupt world (and Noah’s family by virtue of him, eight people). Noah completely obeyed God and performed the commandment he was given. Noah proclaimed God’s truth publicly and his works were visible for all to see. The fault was in prideful (self exalting) and rebellious man. The sinful man, who loves the darkness, cannot understand repentance because it goes against his interest of self. Those who spend all their time and devotion seeking self can never understand a message that denies self. God’s message (via Noah) was as foolishness to them. 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross (death to self and surrender to God) is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (with his lie, 2 Cor 4:4). Those who seek self to the full are totally devoid of God. They say, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice (Ex 5:2).” The world was set on self and was far gone from God. The author lives in the most self seeking, materialistic and worldly nation on earth and completely understands Noah’s lack of results from his preaching. The author has written books and articles and talked himself blue in the face with very little discernable results. We are not talking about leading someone in some superficial repeated prayer formula (words). We are talking about a truly changed life of devotion and commitment to God – heart, mind, soul and strength (deeds) – a dying of self. Those given over to self and their way (opinions, sentiments, deeds, etc.) are extremely hard to reach with a gospel that says you must die to the thing you love most. Those who love the darkness are least likely to come to the light (Jn 3:19-21). This is why Christ came to the meek and not the proud. The meek tend to be the poor and outcast. These will listen because they are not all puffed up in self.
The Lord’s condemnation is about to fall upon wicked man, but God made an agreement with faithful Noah to preserve life. Life is given and sustained by God. Genesis 6:17-18, “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” A covenant is a very solemn (serious) agreement between God and man. God has made many covenants with man through the ages (via Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc.). In all cases the agreement between God and man has been that man will willingly and lovingly surrender in obedience to the will of God. This is to renounce all rebellion and come back under God’s authority. In return, God gives mercy, forgiveness and abundant life. When things are put back into right order there is a reconciliation between God and man whereby relationship is renewed. God has always honored His part of these agreements and man has always broken his part. Man breaks covenant through disobedience to God and the seeking of self, which manifests wickedness and evil in a myriad of ways. We are now under the covenant of Christ – the Lord’s testament (Heb 8:10, 10:16). We are now under the covenant of Christ – the Lord’s testiment. Man enters into Christ’s covenant by submitting to Jesus as absolute Lord and agreeing to obey His commandments. We walk in faith by denying self daily, taking up the cross (death to self) and following (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23). We must walk as Jesus walked and be conformed to His image through our obedience to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives (Col 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 1 Jn 2:6, 2 Jn 1:6, Lk 6:40, Rm 8:28-29, 2 Cor 3:18, 4:10-11, Gal 3:27, Eph 4:13, 15, Heb 1:3, 13:21). Man was created in the image of God. Jesus came to earth as a man and was the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of his person (Heb 1:3). Man must conform to Christ’s image which was well pleasing to the Father. You must lose your life for Christ’s sake in order to find it (eternally, Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:25, Rm 8:13, 2 Cor 5:15, Gal 2:20, Eph 4:24, Col 3:2-3). This is forsaking everything in your life for Christ (Mt 19:21, Mk 10:21, Lk 14:33, 18:22). If you do not do these things then you cannot be Christ’s disciple (Lk 14:26-27, Lk 14:33). Most who “profess” Jesus have not understood these things and either have never truly entered into the covenant or are continually violating it in disregard for God (as rebellious man always has). You simply cannot accomplish God’s expectations unless you are dying to self and allowing the Holy Ghost to lead you and transform you. “Taking up the cross,” “losing your life,” and “forsaking all” are just other ways to say “dying to self” and surrendering to God in total obedience – heart, mind, soul and strength. The ark represents God’s shelter or refuge from the coming judgment – His mercy. The Lord God is a refuge to the faithful in times of trouble (Ps 9:9, 59:16, 62:8, 71:7, 94:22, 142:5, Is 4:6, 25:4, Jer 16:19). God made an agreement with Noah and his family to enter into His provision for refuge during the Lord’s utter destruction of the wicked. Genesis 7:1, “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Refuge is protection from danger or calamity. Noah fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before him which was an anchor of the soul (Heb 6:18-19). God’s refuge is a place where those who oppose Him cannot enter. Noah could truly say: Psalms 91:2, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” AND Psalms 62:7, “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” What man has never understood is: Proverbs 14:26, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Noah “feared” God and the Lord provided him a place of refuge (safety and protection). Therefore: Psalms 145:20, “The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.” Christ is now our hope and refuge and we must be found in Him. As for the wicked: Ecclesiastes 8:13, “But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” The wicked did not love God nor surrender to His will in obedience. They chose their way – the way of self. Their days are being shortened.
Noah was the most unique man on the face of the earth. Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Everyday that Noah worked on the ark was one less day the wicked would have upon the face of the earth. The closer to completion Noah came the closer the day of condemnation loomed over the entire world. Noah’s love and commitment to God actually sealed the fate of those who were opposed to God. Now consider Noah’s faith. Faith bypasses the understanding of the flesh and actually requires a denial of the flesh’s reasoning. Man disobeyed God to seek the flesh and the Lord will surely not be approached by man through the flesh which is at great enmity (hostility, hatred) with Him (Gal 5:17). Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). As we have discussed, the flesh always seeks its way or good and thus denies God’s way. What the flesh desires is completely opposite of what God demands. Romans 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” So, those seeking and minding the things of the flesh (self) are approaching the day of destruction (death). However, Noah is very busy minding the things of God (the Spirit) and he will be preserved and have peace with God. Isaiah 48:22, “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked (also Is 57:21).” Noah reached beyond the flesh’s reasoning and dictates (denying it) and believed God’s Word even though there was no evidence to prove what the Lord had said. Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Noah’s belief was backed up by his actions. Everyday for over a 120 years Noah and his family were undergoing hard labor in selfless devotion to complete God’s task. No doubt, that everyday Noah faced the mocking, ridicule and persecution from all the wicked peoples around him. Noah must have been the laughing stock (fool, clown, butt of all jokes) or gazingstock (object of ridicule, Heb 10:33) of the world. God calls his people out of the world (the church is the ekklesia, meaning called out ones) to be a peculiar people (Ex 19:5, Deut 14:2, 26:18, Ps 135:4, Ti 2:14, 1 Pt 2:9). Those who are the Lord’s will always stand out and be very different from those around them – just consider the prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Noah patiently endured the world’s criticism in order to obtain God’s promise (Heb 6:15). The opening scripture to this paragraph stated that Noah’s righteousness was by faith. Righteousness is conformity of heart and life to God’s will. This is accomplished through faith which is love, surrender and obedience to God. Noah’s faith saved him, and the world’s unbelief and self seeking condemned them.
The Lord gave Noah the blueprint for building the ark. How could Noah have otherwise anticipated the unknown forces that would act upon this vessel in a never before experience cataclysmic event of immeasurable proportions? How could Noah have known how many animals would need shelter and the required provision? All of this was completely beyond the flesh’s understanding or ability to determine. Noah completely relied upon God for daily direction – Noah walked with God. This undertaking required complete trust and obedience to God’s direction. This task absolutely could not have been completed apart from a walk of faith. Although Noah had a general idea of what lay ahead, there was no way he could have known all the details. His trust and faith had to be in the Lord and not the flesh. Similarly, we must trust and explicitly obey the Lord everyday. We must walk blindly to this world and flesh and be led about by the Holy Ghost. 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” This is saying that we are not guided by our flesh, but rather by our walk with the Lord through surrender and obedience to His direction. Romans 8:5, 14, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD (Zech 4:6). Our place is only to follow and obey, the Lord will do the rest. The flesh has no place on God’s narrow way. Man must learn: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing (Jn 6:63).” Romans 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Noah was not to determine how the ark would be constructed through his deeds, but only to obediently follow God’s direction. God wants your obedience and not your interference. Whenever you attempt to do the leading, the flesh exalts itself above God. The Lord has clearly stated: 1 Corinthians 1:29, “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” The flesh always wants its way and not God’s way.
Once the ark was completed and stocked with all types of food that may be eaten (Gen 6:21), there was one more task to perform. Genesis 6:19-20, “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.” AND Genesis 7:2-5, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.” Comprehend the depth of this statement: Noah did according to all the Lord commanded him! Oh what an epitaph (an inscription in memory of the dead) or remembrance this would make at the end of a life lived. The author wants nothing more than to have this genuinely said about him. How about you dear reader? There will be nothing more important on that day than to hear Christ say, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21, 23) or perhaps “I am well pleased” (Heb 11:5). This one statement from God will make any sacrifice, persecution, dying to self, and forsaking of all completely worthwhile! Nothing this world has to offer or that the flesh desires should ever deter you from doing all the the Lord commands. Noah was faithful to God in the midst of an entire world that wasn’t! The Lord God was honored by Noah’s stance against a wicked and rebellious world. Dear reader, you must serve God with your whole heart even when no one else around you will. Everyone will try and pull you away, but you must stand strong and be the bright light that brings God glory.
God is longsuffering, but the day of judgment does come. Psalms 7:9-10, “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.” The Lord has made provision and refuge for just and upright Noah and the end has now come. Genesis 7:11-16, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” Noah was faithful to God who chose him (Heb 3:2). He walked in God’s ways and completed the task given him. All things were performed as God commanded and the Lord Himself shut them in the ark. Notice that it rained forty days and forty nights. Forty is the number for bearing iniquity. Moses fasted forty days and forty nights on two occasions bearing the reproach of the people (Ex 24:18, 34:28, Deut 9:9, 18, 25, 10:10, Ps 105:23). Punishment was never to exceed forty stripes (Deut 25:3). The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness forty years (a year for each day the spies searched the promised land, Num 13:25) bearing their iniquities (Num 14:33-34, 32:13). When Israel transgressed God’s will they were given into the hands of their enemies. When they repented God would send a deliverer and afterwards the land often had rest for forty years (Jdg 3:11, 5:31, 8:28). Goliath presented himself forty days reproaching Israel (1 Sam 17:16). Elijah fasted for forty days (1 Kg 19:8). Ezekiel lay on his right side for forty days to bear the iniquity of Judah (Ez 4:6). The Lord gave Ninevah fortys days to repent of their iniquity (Jonah 3:4). Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights (Mt 4:2, Mk 1:13).
God destroys the wicked, but preserves the righteous. Genesis 7:17-23, “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” Man erred greatly in his heart by seeking “self” – for they did not know God’s ways (Heb 3:10). They had evil hearts of unbelief and departed from the living God and were hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:12-13). Noah’s message of 120 years which had to be received through faith was suddenly realized by men in their flesh. Those who lived for the flesh suddenly realized in the flesh (that which can be perceived through the senses) that God’s Word was truth and His judgment was falling (in the form of rain) upon them. Oh how they must have cried out to Noah in fear of the penalty for their transgression. However, the ark was now shut and the time for calling out to God was over. God is looking for those who willingly serve him in love and obedience, not for those who are desperate to avoid the penalty brought about due to their disregard and hate of Him. They certainly did not want to perish, yet they had no genuine love for God or reverence for His ways. They only continue to seek the welfare of “self” by soliciting pardon from the consequence of their wicked deeds. This will be the situation for multitudes before God at the Great Judgment. When you die to self, it is no longer you that lives, but the will of God in you (Jesus in you, 1 Pt 2:24, 4:2, Gal 2:20, 2 Cor 5:15). 1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Everything dies, but Noah and they that are with Him in the ark. Noah’s faith saves him. Noah’s obedience to God results in life! The wicked’s disobedience to God results in death. Those that die to self and live for God find their life. Those that live for self and die to God lose their life.
The Lord God has warned man that the end of all things is looming and will come suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2, 2 Pt 3:10 Rev 16:15). Jesus said: Matthew 24:38-39, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (also Lk 17:26).” In Noah’s day, all the wicked world was going about seeking its own way. The flesh is only concerned about its needs, desires and lusts – what it can perceive. Those in the flesh cannot look beyond self. They did not regard God nor seek His ways. Noah was a great witness for the Lord and the ark represented God’s approaching judgment. No one heeded what Noah had to say. They assumed things would proceed as they always had. Their last day was as any other. Wicked man was seeking his needs and desires, while Noah had just completed God’s task. Sudden destruction came and took the wicked away. Jesus has stated: Revelation 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” The world of today is no different than the world of Noah’s day. Man rebelliously seeks self foremost with disregard for God. Many will “profess” Christ and claim His mercy and forgiveness as long as they can believe the Lord’s grace is their license to continue to seek self and the things of the world. These just want to seize Christ’s inheritance (Mt 21:38); they have no love (sacrifice of self for the Lord) for God or desire to surrender to His purposes. The vast majority of these want nothing to do with sacrifice, dying to self, surrendering to God’s will and daily obedience. These things would restrict the “self” they love most. These love the darkness and will not come to the light (Jn 3:19-21). Christ said of them: John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” They want to profess Jesus while remaining in the darkness and only desire a covering of Christ’s sacrifice such they may continue to seek their own way and be free of the penalty for doing such. They offer no real personal sacrifice or commitment. In other words they want to walk as Satan walked, yet “not surely die.” They are concerned with absolution from the penalty only (discussed below). Where is the love for God (sacrifice of self)? Christ’s walk was great as long as it was only Him that was doing it. They do not want to walk as Jesus walked nor conform to His image (Ps 119:3, 128:1, Hos 14:9, 1 Thess 2:12, Col 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 1 Jn 2:6, 2 Jn 1:6, Lk 6:40, Rm 8:28-29, 2 Cor 3:18, 4:10-11, Gal 3:27, Eph 4:13, 15, Heb 13:21). However, they will be delighted to conform Christ to their image – one that loves the things of the world; the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:15-17). These seek their lusts daily through entertainment (television, sports, magazines, video games, hobbies, collections, movies, books, etc.), careers, activities and personal lusts. They fill their hearts and minds with filth and take pleasure in unrighteousness (but do not walk in God’s truth) and then think they are righteous before God because the “profess” Christ (2 Thess 2:12). However, the Jesus they “profess” is not foremost in their lives or their thoughts. We are told: 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Like in the days of Noah, these go about exalting imaginations and every high thing against God (altars to self, idolatry, lusts, etc.) and casting down the knowledge of God and walk in disobedience to Christ. Every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts are only evil continually – set on “self.” Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pv 1:7, 9:10), these cast aside the fear of God (which is faith). They do not surrender to God nor obey Him, but rather walk in their own way (with maybe a form of godliness). Most live just like the wicked of Noah’s day – maybe with a presumed covering of Christ (blindness and deception). They live in Statan’s lie and rebellion by seeking self in their own authority (ye shall be as gods, Gen 3:5), yet believe they have life (ye shall not surely die, Gen 3:4). God loves righteousness and hates iniquity (Heb 1:9). Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” AND Psalms 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
You must decide in which your life is truly found. The end of all things is looming. The day of condemnation is coming – thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17). Just like in the days of Noah, these will find out that only the ones who actually do the will of God will be preserved (Mt 7:21, 12:50, Mk 3:35, Lk 11:28. 1 John 2:17, “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Jesus further stated: Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Notice that the floods came, yet he that doeth Christ’s Words is preserved. “Doeth” is an action word and requires something of you. Noah walked in daily faith (love, surrender and obedience) to God and this was his righteousness. Through our faith, we are justified by God’s grace which is the renewing brought about by the Holy Ghost (Ti 3:5-7). Through Christ, the Holy Ghost is shed on us abundantly to work through our faith to conform us to His image or likeness (Acts 2:33, Ti 3:5-6). We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:14, Acts 5:32). The just shall live by faith (Hab 2:4, Rm 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38). Noah was “just” and lived by faith as demonstrated through his construction of the ark. Those who walk in faith must be careful to never draw back (looking back) or God will have no pleasure in them and they will not be fit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62, Heb 10:38).
This is extremely important to understand: Most who “profess” Christ have made him a minister of sin (Gal 2:17). The predominate practices and lifestyles of most who profess Christ are Satanic. They believe (in so many religious words or doctrinal teachings) that Christ’s sacrifice allows them to be able to seek “self” and transgress God’s will without having to pay the penalty. Recall from the lead-in to this lesson that: The devil was telling man he could seek “self” and transgress God’s will without having to pay the penalty. These two positions are one in the same. Do you think that Jesus came to bolster, defend and lend credibility to the devil’s lie? Many worship “another” Jesus who is actually Satan (2 Cor 11:4). Please consider this very thoughtfully: The devil said that you could transgress the will of God and “ye shall not surely die.” The predominate religious message says that you can transgress the will of God and “ye shall not surely die.” The two equate! Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, that being his lie (1 Jn 3:8). Most are following the devil in the name of Jesus. They have twisted Christ into something He is not. Jesus gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity (the darkness, Ti 2:14, 1 Pt 2:9, 1 Jn 3:3-5), but most want to stay therein (Jn 3:19). To be conformed to the image of Christ is to die to self and follow Him walking as He walked (seeking God’s will). To be conformed to the image of the devil is to live for self and follow him walking as he walked (seeking his own will). The two ways go in different directions. The path to life is very narrow and few find it (Mt 7:14). The path to death is very broad and many travel it (Mt 7:13). One way is truth and the other way is a lie. One way is light and the other way is darkness. One leads toward God and the other leads away. Under no circumstances can you continue to transgress God’s will in seeking your own and still maintain faith in Christ. This is a false faith that will end in condemnation. The GREAT LIE: you can transgress God’s will (commandments) and “ye shall not surely die.” This is seeking self which is always a disregard for God. GOD’S CONDEMNATION: if you transgress the will of God, “thou shalt surely die.” ETERNAL TRUTH: Life is only found in submission and obedience to God. The only one that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven is he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. FAITH: you must willingly and lovingly surrender “self” in obedience to the will (commandments) of God. You must forsake the darkness (the devil’s lie) and come into the light (God’s truth). GOD’S GRACE: Jesus sacrificed “self” to redeem you from all iniquity (darkness) and provide forgiveness. Jesus sent the Holy Ghost to teach and lead you and thus tear down “self” to conform you to His image. SALVATION: Your faith procures God’s grace. Your surrender and obedience to the Lord’s Spirit working in you destroys the things of “self” such that you love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself. Your obedience to the Holy Spirit’s workings destroys all the things that exalt themselves against God in your life. Thus God’s purposes are fulfilled in you. These are the ones that will dwell with God through eternity. The relationship between God and man must be restored. Jesus gave His life for you. Relationships are reciprocal. You must now give your life to Christ. Notice that Jesus loved you – He sacrificed self for your benefit. Now you must love Jesus: John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” You sacrifice self to obey Christ’s commandments for His benefit. Jesus became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Heb 5:9, Jn 14:6). When you understand Christ’s commandments, you will see that there is no way to keep them without dying to self (Mt 22:37-39, Mk 12:30-31, Lk 10:27). The only way to achieve unity is for each individual in the relationship to sacrifice self for the others benefit. Jesus did sacrifice self for your benefit, now you must sacrifice self for Him. If you seek “self” then unity with Christ will never be achieved and you will not be found in Him. To seek “self” is to diverge from unity and be separate. Therefore: Jesus denied self, was filled with the Holy Spirit and walked a path of total obedience to God which led back to God. Jesus provided you with forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “Come follow Me.” You must now deny self, be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk Christ’s path in obedience as led by His Spirit – all the way back to God. The faith (surrender and obedience) is from you and the grace (forgiveness and Holy Spirit) is from God. Your faith is your only righteousness, so you must walk therein.
Malachi 4:1, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” The proud exalt self and thus do wickedly. Just as assuredly the wicked drowned in the flood in Noah’s day, the wicked shall burn in fire in the day of the Lord.
God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time for every purpose and for every work (Eccl 3:17). Ecclesiastes 9:12, “For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” Walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment (Eccl 11:9). Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”