Series: The Rest of God; Eschatology
Sun am 22nd April 2012 – Kobus Swart
Matt. 24:27-28, 37-39; Heb. 11:1-7; Gen. 4; Gen. 5:28-29; Gen. 6:1-9; (Luke 17:20);
(Acts 1:11); (Matt. 8:20); (Gen. 9:11-17)
As it was in the days of Noah! So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.
For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matt. 24:37-39). I believe that refers to the final phases of this unfolding event called the ‘parousia’ (one of the 6 words in the original language, usually translated as the ‘second coming’ of Christ). For just as the lightning comes from the East and flashes even to the West, so will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matt. 24:27-28). This lightning which flashes from the East to the West is talking about a brightness coming from the East and spreading to the West. It is an unfolding brightness, becoming evident, just like the sun rising in the East, and gradually unfolding to the West. This presence (parousia) of Christ is an unfolding reality. Yes, in the final analyses there is going to be the fullness and visible glory on display as on the mount of transfiguration!
The name “Noah” means “rest”. The days leading to the flood must have been extremely wicked if God reached a place where He’d had enough and decided to wipe out mankind. God grieved for man. As wicked as this world is today, deserving something worse than the flood, God said “I will never again repeat the flood” and gave the rainbow as the sign of His covenant (Gen. 9:11-17). This time the spirit of judgment and the spirit burning is in the earth (Is 4:4).
Take note, moral standards are crumbling; views of God are changing; many doubt the very existence of God. The thing we need more than anything else, and more than at any other time is, “he who comes to God must believe that He is” (Heb. 11:6). The Kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed (Luke 17:20). Faith is a very present thing, it’s a now thing. Faith is not past tense, it is not future; faith is now. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval (Heb. 11:1-2). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through God’s grace carriers and the Word activates faith. The moment you begin to postpone, you miss it. The men of old were men who died without receiving what was promised. So by human evaluation, they died as failures. They did not receive the things they believed for, yet they never stopped believing. Questions are being stimulated in people’s thinking about the reality of God. And it’s not a new thing; it was also in the early Church and in the house churches of John who said, “Everyone who does not believe that Jesus has come in the flesh is the spirit of antichrist” (2 John 1:7).
By faith we understand … (Heb. 11:3). What does it mean “we understand by faith”? It does not mean the rational mind can understand it, but by faith I can understand. It means that my inner man, the subconscious, the spiritual man inside of me understands all these things. It has to be reached by faith. The intellect is full of cynicism. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Heb. 11:3). In God matter is spirit. The rational mind says it is only matter if you can feel it. Nothing that we see has been created by that which is visible.
The Old Testament is full of types and shadows, it is not just a history book, but it has prophetic and spiritual significance. God called Noah who was preaching righteousness while he was building the Ark. He built the Ark by faith and obedience, by which the world of that day was condemned. God is looking for such a model, a Noah company. Cain was the man who loved the field and was a tiller of the ground. Remember the curse, “you will eat bread by the sweat of your brow” (Gen. 3:19). When they left the garden, rest was gone as far as they were concerned. Cain represents the spirit of the anti-Christ, the culture of religion, the culture of works and sweat. Abel represents the culture of relationship, worship and rest. Then, in the midst of extreme wickedness, there was a man who walked with God, called Noah…
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. (Gen. 6:1-9). In the midst of a corrupt, depraved mankind, God found a man. It was not easy to walk righteously.
Noah was at rest in a troubled world. He was surrounded by wickedness and depravity but he was at rest because he had a walk with God. There is a Noah company needed today, because as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before the final apocalypse and unveiling of Jesus Christ in the earth. Do you believe God can find a Noah company, a people who walk with him? Let that be your desire. Add to your desire a commitment to spend more time at the feet of the Lord.