The Ark Is About To
by Joseph R. Chambers,
The world of Noah was barely different from the world around you
and me. Men and women were pursuing their diverse interests, commerce was
exploding, sex was a preoccupation, and the world of spirits was intermingling
with the daughters of men. Every trend of our day was evident in Noahís day.
Jesus Christ was careful to draw a comparison of these two generations over
4,000 years removed from each other. He stated, "But as the days of Noah
were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that
were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
marriage, until the day that Noah 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." (Matthew 24:37-39).
Itís exciting to study the ark in Genesis chapter seven and then
note the numerous times that Bible writers refer to this historic occasion.
Nothing establishes a truth in Scripture more clearly than when other inspired
writers relate that truth to other truths. The Bible interprets itself when we
will simply allow the unity of truth to emerge. When you view the entire
Scripture reference to the ark that God commanded Noah to build, it becomes a
powerful prophetic type of the Person of Jesus Christ and the protection and
hope which we are invited to enjoy in Him. The ark is a beautiful picture of the
Son of God as Redeemer and Deliverer to every generation. Its final fulfillment
is the Rapture of the Bride of Jesus Christ just before the final
Jesus Christ And The Ark Of Noah
The entire First Testament is written with a concealed presence
of the coming Messiah. Every great truth in this Hebrew book is a prophetic
preparation and foundation for the entrance of the Son of God into the human
stream. Jesus stated in the Gospel of John, "Search the scriptures; for in
them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
The Scriptures they were to search was the First Testament.
Nothing else was available at this moment of Christís ministry. We will never
know the full power of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis to Malachi) until we have eyes
for Jesus alone.
Apostle Paul made reference to this in writing to the
Corinthians. He spoke of the Jewish blindness, but I find the church world is
not much different, except for a few clear passages. Listen to Paul speak of
this blindness, "But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth
the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is
done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is
upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be
taken away." (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). One primary purpose exists in the
revelations of the First Testament and it was the coming of the Prince of
The ark of Noah was one of the strongest revelations of the
coming Prince in this great First Testament. The text itself is saturated with
His living presence in this ark. "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." "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as
God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in." "And the ark rested in the
seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of
Ararat." (Genesis 7:1; 7:16; 8:4).
Three great expressions in the text reveals the presence of the
Lord in a personal way. First, He spoke from within the ark, "Come thou and
all thy house into the ark." This ark may have looked massive sitting upon
the ground beside Noahís home, but when it was afloat upon a world covered with
water, it would have been but a shadow. When we see that it was more than a
physical ark; the dwelling place of the Divine Redeemer; it becomes
breathtakingly miraculous. The Lord invited them into His glorious presence for
safety. He didnít say, "Go in." He said, "Come in."
Second, it was the Lord that shut them in. They were not at the
mercy of those that would seek to enter by force once the storm was raging. The
God of the universe was manifest in His presence as Lord to be the Shepherd of
those sheep inside His provision. The words, "and the Lord shut them in,"
indicates more than slamming the door from the outside. He did not become the
door of the sheep in St. John chapter ten. He was the door of the sheep in
Genesis chapter seven. He has always been the door of His sheep and always will
be. This ark was more than a tossing ship out on a lonely sea. It was the hiding
place of those chosen to escape the rages of the storm. The language reveals the
Great Shepherd of the sheep riding with them in the storm and taking all fear
from their hearts.
Third, the ark rested on Nissan the seventeenth, the very day
that Jesus would be resurrected centuries down the road. It was also the eighth
day or the day after the Sabbath. The number eight is "New Beginning" and
carries the power of incredible promises from the Creator. The children of Jesus
would cross the Red Sea as they left Egypt on the eighth day and on Nissan the
seventeenth. The Holy Ghost would be poured upon the church on the eighth day.
It is clear that nothing relating to this ark was done by chance. The God that
orders His universe certainly was in control of His chosen servants and of his
family and the Messiah-type was being perfectly shaped for the day of
fulfillment. Itís incredible to see the living presence of this God-man as His
powers are manifest in this First Testament revelation.
The Ark Represents "Rescue" From
The Second Testament writers made it clear that the ark was a
Biblical type of "rescue" from the impending danger of that hour. The historic
truth of this event was unquestionable to these Holy Ghost inspired writers.
Peter stated, "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." (1 Peter 3:20).
The word that Peter used in his original Greek language
suggested "rescue" and "escape." Noah and his family were about to perish with
the horde of godless men and women that populated the earth. The Heavenly Father
expressed grace or unmerited favor toward Noah and spoke to him to build the
vessel of that grace for his deliverance. The grace and the ark were
Again, Peter spoke of this ark, saying, "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." (II Peter
In this instance, Peter moves beyond simply escaping from the
storm and gives the prophetic picture of a prophetic meaning. He stated that God
"spared not the old work, but saved Noah." Peter then moved to the type of the
Rapture where the ungodly will be left to perish and the righteous will be
delivered to His presence. Peter showed that the coming hope of the church is to
be delivered from Godís judgment of the wicked. Peter proceeds to state, after
noting that Noah and his family were saved (delivered), that God brought "the
flood upon the world of the ungodly." It has never fit the nature of God to
judge the wicked and the righteous together. To consider such an idea is to
completely miss the nature of our Father and His eternal relationship with His
Apostle Paul Gives An Equally Beautiful
The ark of God and the flood certainly played a beautiful part
with the New Testament writers. It always appears to loom large in their minds
as they considered the grace of God, the coming judgment, and the promise of
escape by the Rapture. As Paul wrote to the Hebrews, he stated, "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." (Hebrews
Paul mentions several points that we should consider. "Being
warned of God of things not seen as yet" certainly suggests that this preacher
of hope was viewing the total picture. No writer described the Rapture more
pointedly than Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians. Can we easily believe that he
was thinking of the coming Rapture when he spoke of things "not seen as yet"?
The words "moved with fear" are no less powerful. Then he declared that this ark
was the "saving of his household" and the condemnation of "the world." (These
remarks do not fit the present day interpretations of Matthew chapter
Even so, I believe that the faithful saints of this generation
that refuse to give up the expectation of His return to deliver from "judgment
to come" are equally condemning this godless and hopeless world. No wonder many
persons get angry when we will not cease to preach the Pre-Tribulation Rapture
of the saints. Much of this church generation that have lost this Biblical truth
are not even civil toward those who still hold to this "hope." No subject that I
discuss on radio causes the reaction, condemnation, and attack that does this
Jesus Establishes The Credibility Of
As Jesus taught His great Olivet Discourse, He places the story
of Noah and the ark right in the middle of these transcending truths. There can
be no question that the ark was established by the Lord as a type and picture of
both the mood of the generation in which He would appear and the method He would
use to separate the Godly from the ungodly. The very day of Noah becomes a
descriptive picture of His day when He would begin the process of the
Jesus stated, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be. 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. Then shall two be in the
field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding
at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye
know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:37-42).
The setting of this great statement has confused a host of the
enemies of the Rapture as well as some who believe in the Pre-Tribulation
Rapture. He was certainly speaking to the Jewish people and warning of their Day
of Trouble. Some of this Olivet Discourse deals with Israel and the Roman
destruction in AD 70. Some of it deals with the Seven-year Tribulation as Israel
shall certainly experience; but Iím convinced it also deals with the church and,
especially, the hope of both born-again Jews and Gentiles in the beginning of
the end. Just before Jesus speaks of Noah and the parallel of his day and type
of the Ark, he states, "But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not
the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36).
This sets those verses concerning "one taken and the other left"
apart as a parenthetical statement to describe our hope to miss the sorrows He
had previously described. Hallelujah!
Letís Analyze These Incredible Words Of
Again, remember He has described a day of coming sorrow and
great tribulation. The judgments He describes are catastrophic and terrible. The
earth will experience great consternation and multitudes will be swept away in
the flood of deception and destruction. But, there is hope for the
"But as the day of Noah was," Jesus warned, so would the days of
this coming hour be. We are to discern the time of this hour by the signs that
we read in the seventh chapter of Genesis or in Noahís generation. It is not too
hard to see the perfect parallel. Every day our world becomes more like Noahís
world, if not worse. It is a time of fullness of bread, ample time for fun and
frolic, an unprecedented preoccupation with sex, and an intermingling of the
spirits of men with the spirits of the fallen gods (angels). There is also an
incredible power and organization against truth as Noah preached and as His
faithful servants are preaching today.
Two In The Field, One Taken And The Other
When you study this great text, together with the words of Paul
in the book of Hebrews and Peter in I and II Peter, the truth springs to the
front. Those eight in the ark were rescued, while the world was destroyed in
judgment. Peter said, "saved Noah, . . . bringing in the flood upon the world."
Paul said that Noah "condemned the world and saved his own house." There is no
way to interpret this text and leave the righteous on the earth, while removing
the wicked in judgment. It does not fit one other passage in Scripture that
relates to the subject of the ark.
The closing statement of this great parenthetical teaching fully
supports the escape of the righteous, "Watch therefore; for ye know not what
hour your Lord doth come." The wicked certainly are not watching. He is
speaking to the righteous for He continues saying, "Therefore be ye also
ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew
24:44). We are to be watching and ready for the ark to sail again. Just before
the storm shakes this earth, the Lord will appear to rescue His chosen that have
found "grace in His sight."
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