The Doctrine of Dispensations. Part 6.
Dispensation of Conscience.
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Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
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Dispensation of Conscience.
Terms & Abbreviations used:
We are now ready to conclude the dispensation of Conscience and what happened to Noah in the antediluvian civilization as far as the ark and the flood were concerned. The main lesson is that the patience of God waited 120 years! During that period they received the most intensive Gospel proclamation in all of human history.
Gen 6:11-13, Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”
This was a direct order from God and one of things that we all need to understand is that when God gives an order you don’t always have to understand it, you just have to do it. Anyone who understands authority recognizes the fact that yours is not to reason why, yours is to do and die! That’s the principle of authority, you’re not to question it, you are to honor and respect it…even if you disagree with it as the apostle Paul says in Rom 13:1-7, where they were told to honor Nero.
Gen 6:14, “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.”
A few Biblical principles and analogies are in view.
First of the word for ark is the Hebrew noun tebah, which refers to a wooden ship constructed of gopher or cyprus wood, used because it is was a light but tough wood. Gold represents the Deity of Christ, wood is used for the humanity of Christ, and together they reveal the Hypostatic-union, undiminished deity, and true humanity in one person forever. The gopher wood being light refers to the gentleness of the Lord, and the toughness refers to His strength, especially His spiritual strength, though He was also physically strong. The rooms represent the rooms in the soul and the bulkheads were secured with pitch or asphalt which is analogous to the work of Christ on the cross. Pitch keeps out the waters of divine judgment from entering into the ark.
It is also important to note that there was only one set of plans that were used, which is analogous to the Pre-designed Plan of God for us being the only plan we are to follow. The ratio and dimensions of the ark made it completely seaworthy. The principle is that only the plan of God has stability and the ability to survive in the chaos of the world.
Now notice in Gen 6:15, “And this is HOW you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.”
It was [300 cubits] 450 feet long [that’s one and a half football fields], seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. The analogy is that Jesus Christ is the ark, Those inside of the ark represent those believers in Christ while those who were not on the ark represent those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, and are destroyed. That is the principle of 1Pe 3:20, those who were disobedient when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
Gen 6:16, “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.”
There was also only one door in the ark, analogous to the fact that there is only one way to come to God and be saved and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ who said in John 10:9, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved.” There was also only one window analogous to the fact there is only one objective after salvation, one perspective, divine viewpoint, Bible doctrine.
And notice in verse 16 you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. This represents the concept of progress after salvation, Spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy and spiritual maturity.
There is only one place of security in time of disaster, inside the ark. The ark represents to us the principle of eternal security and being in union with Christ. The believers inside the ark were not all mature believers, but they were blessed by being in the ark as we are blessed by simply being in union with Christ.
In the next few chapters we have all the details mentioned to us concerning what took place on that ark which floated for 40 days, 40 representing the number of testing and temptation. However, that is not our subject for now so we now move forward to Gen 9.
Gen 9:8-17, Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. And I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth… This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth…This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.
The earth will only be destroyed once more in its entirety, and that will occur at the end of the Millennium (2Pe 3:7). At that time, God will cause a nuclear meltdown or explosion that will destroy the earth entirely. Under the principle that Jesus Christ controls history, there must be, from time to time, great judgments, so that certain segments of the population which are self-destructive can be wiped out. And so, the question arises: How did God ‘destroy them with planet earth?’ In Gen 7:11 He opened up the fountains of the deep.
Remember the water that flooded the entire earth came from below the surface of the earth. One Biblical scientist states that the rain that came from above contributed a very small portion to the flood. So, this verse stresses the importance of God’s grace in judgment, seen in the work of our Lord on the Cross, also seen in our Lord’s removal of evil empires from time to time to avoid the self-destruction of the human race.
So let’s get some principles:
1. Verse 17 is a part of the principle that grace always precedes judgment. God walks every extra mile before He lowers the boom.
2. God warns about the coming judgment through the doctrinal communication of Noah. And that’s what doctrine does to us! 2Ti 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
3. God provides the ark as the vehicle for safety and security and as well as a training aid while Noah is preaching. Noah points to the ship that he has been building and tells people that unless they are on it, they’re going to perish! So that before the judgment came they all had every opportunity to respond and be saved.
4. The devil tried to hinder the incarnation by angelic infiltration into the human race but all he did was to destroy the citizens in his own kingdom. And that’s inevitably what he always does…he always loses to God in the long run and destroys his own followers. He may win a battle seemingly but he always ends up losing the war.
5. The ark was the only place of safety when international judgment fell on the human race just as being in Christ is the only place of safety from eternal judgment. And as in the days of Noah so all in human history everyone has a chance to be saved and everyone has a chance to know truth!
In John 12:32, the Lord said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
Whether they respond when He draws them is another thing…but they will be drawn! And anyone can know God if they truly desire according to the word of God. The concept of man seeking God is found in Jer 29:13, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
John 7:17, If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it is of God.
So in human history everyone has a chance to be saved and to learn doctrinal truth. And we often feel sorry for nations going down and sympathize with people under great disastrous conditions but, we should never fail to realize a very important principle….God is just and everyone has a chance. No nation ever goes down unless God permits it! No group of people goes down unless Jesus Christ who controls history allows it to happen!
Gen 6:18-21, “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark [this of course is necessary for the repopulation of the earth], to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind [all the reptiles], two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
The flood would last 40 days but before the water would recede and before they would leave the ark they would live in that ark for one year and five days, or 370 days. And therefore, Noah would need food for eight people plus feed for the animals that were to be brought into the ark.
Gen 6:22, Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
Gen 7:11-12, In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.
Remember the water that flooded the entire earth came from below the surface of the earth.
The conclusion is not really found here with regard to Noah, it’s a well known story to most of you and it has some great spiritual lessons. However, there are other portions of the word of God which comment on Noah.
First of all Noah had the high honor in Gen 6:9 of being said to be one of those believers who walked with God, one of the highest honors in the Old Testament. There is a trio of super-grace or mature believers mentioned in Eze 14:14, and Eze 14:20, and Noah is one of them (Noah, Daniel, and Job). Noah is one of the great mature believers of all time! Noah is also used as an analogy of the preservation of Israel in Isa 54:7-9, and therefore Noah was used for many messages for the prophets speaking to the Jews and that in itself indicates the greatness of the man.
The mature believer Noah had tremendous doctrine resident in his soul so much so that he made God’s hall of fame in Heb 11:7. Noah was also referred to and honored by the Lord during His earthly ministry, therefore The deliverance, Matt 24:37-38, Luk 17:26-27. Noah was also said to be a great teacher or communicator of doctrine in 2Pe 2:5. Like all great believers, Noah had failures which is not unusual nor surprising but like all great believers his greatness is related to the doctrine in his soul, Gen 9:20-24, Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” He also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.” And Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. So, all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.
There have been many different reasons given concerning what Ham did to his father Noah that caused Noah to curse him.
I will give you some of them and it’s up to you to form your own conclusions if you desire to.
1. It has recently been pointed out that, in the time in which they lived that looking at another person’s genitals was indeed regarded as a serious matter, and therefore some say that was Ham’s transgression.
2. Others say Ham left his father naked to expose his father’s drunken disgrace. Ham laughed at his father’s shame and did not cover it, but laughed about it and mocked him.’
3. Ancient commentaries have also debated whether ‘seeing’ someone’s nakedness meant to have sex with that person according to Lev 20:17.
In Lev 20:17 to see someone’s nakedness was to have sex with them.
Lev 20:17 ‘If there is a man who takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace;
4. In 500 AD there were those who said that the Talmud taught Ham either castrated his father, or sodomized him.
The same explanations are found in three Greek translations of the Bible, which replace the word ‘see’ [saw] in verse 22 [i.e., Gen 9:22] with another word denoting homosexual relations.
5. Ham’s offense also was said to be the mocking of drinking wine which Noah and other priests at that time considered to be a form of celebration with the Lord.
For remember, even our Lord said in Matt 26:29 ‘But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’
He became jealous of Noah’s additional children born after the flood and began to view his father with enmity, and one day, when Noah lay drunk and naked in his tent, Ham saw him and sang a mocking incantation that rendered Noah temporarily sterile, as if castrated.
One teaching that became prevalent and popular during the 17th and 18th centuries is that Ham was the father of the black race and is the reason why many of them were sold into slavery degrading them with prejudice. However, This is an evil blasphemous anti-God and anti-doctrinal view that is from the pit of hell.
My Bible says in Gal 3:26-28, For we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of us who were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all equal in Christ Jesus.
So much then for the dispensation of conscience.
Ticket to Heaven, it was written for anyone not absolutely certain about their eternal future.