Interpretations: Prophetic Program - Determined by God
|1||Determined by God|
|3||Names of prediluvian saints|
|4||Noah found grace|
The paramount basis for prophecy is Christ Jesus. John wrote that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10. God’s purposes were revealed as each of the dispensations, unfolded in their time. Such is the case in the beginning of Israel’s prophetic program that was determined by God before time began. Paul had written in the book of Hebrews that those on the exodus from Egypt who did not believe in God’s word were not allowed to enter into His rest, although it was all finished and prepared for them from the foundation of the world, Hebrews 4:3. Peter wrote to the believing remnant of Jews in his day, 1Peter 1:1-2, that their redemption from sin was from the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or spot. Christ Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world, 1Peter 1:18-20, John 1:1-3. The entire prophetic plan for Israel was determined by God before time began, or before there was a beginning, Genesis 1:1, and was revealed by the prophets since the beginning of time, Acts 3:19-21.
From the beginning of the world, God intended that man should have dominion over the world, Genesis 1:26-28, Matthew 25:34. Man had a unique position within all of God’s creation, in that he was the only one of whom God said, “Let us make man in our image.” In addition, God had prepared the world and the universe so that man could occupy and live in the world and have dominion over it. However, man lost this role when Adam and Eve choose to go against God’s word and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2:17.
This was a tremendous fall for Adam and Eve. This sinful state was then inherited by their progeny, 1Corinthians 15:22. Neither of them had known sin before this terrible occasion, but the potential for sin was present because of the presence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2:17. The existence of the tree afforded them the freedom of choice to either follow God or to follow their own will. Adam and Eve were in communion and fellowship with the Lord until the tempter appeared as the catalyst to perpetuate the fall of man. Just as Satan has done throughout man's history, he used the same method against Woman, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, 1John 2:15-17. Not only did their sin cause them spiritual and physical death, and all their descendants to be born unto sin, but it allowed Satan to usurp the role man had in this earth, Romans 6:16. Therefore, Satan deceitfully stole from man the gift that God had given him, to have dominion over the world. For whatever had belonged to man was usurped by Satan after the fall of Adam. All that the servant has, even his own self, belongs to the one to whom he obeys. This was the moment when Satan became the prince of this world and the air, and he continues to exercise this position throughout man's history. This was demonstrated after John baptized Jesus and then Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan, Luke 4:1-13. In those temptations, Jesus did not deny Satan’s role in this present world, John 12:31, John 14:30, Ephesians 2:2. However, God in His wisdom, had a purpose which Satan did not understand.
Before the “beginning” of Genesis 1:1, Proverbs 8:22-35, shows that the omnipresent and omniscient God had established all laws, all events, and the complete plan for the redemption of man. All of this may have occurred before the angelic hosts were even created. What is most interesting concerning this passage is the last verse, where his delights were with the sons of men. This provides some insight as to why the Lord had begun his creative work, knowing that sin would also be brought about. However, this illustrates the love God has for man, and begins to describe the depth of his love for mankind before we were ever created. Other scriptures provide further enlightenment on the preparations that God made prior to the creative works of Christ, John 1:1-3, Hebrews 11:3, and 2Timothy 1:9.
The preparations the Lord made for man’s redemption are first revealed right after the fall of mankind. The first prophecy concerned the redemption of mankind through Jesus, which came after the fall, and after the interview of Adam and Eve by Christ, Genesis 3:1-13. The first prophecy indicated that the seed of the woman, who is Jesus, would defeat Satan. This passage, though, did not provide details how or when the redemption of man would occur, Genesis 3:15.
Despite man's attempts over the ages to infer or project parity between God and Satan through philosophies or vacant assumptions, there is no equivalency between God and Satan. Satan is a created being who has been judged and one day he will be thrown into the everlasting lake of fire, Revelation 20:10. What is evident is the un-God-like characteristics of Satan and all those in his realm. Neither Satan nor his subordinates are omniscient, omnipotent, or omni-present, and they do not create nor are they able to discern or divine the will of God, 1Corinthians 2:7-8.
As evidenced by the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, Satan was aware of who Jesus was and the purpose for his physical presence in this world. However, it is argued that he was ignorant of the details, as revealed in scripture, Genesis 3:15 and 1Corinthians 2:7-8. But once Christ was crucified, Satan became aware of some of those details. One consequence of the victory of Christ at the cross is found in Hebrews 2:14. Another is the Antichrist and the false prophet will be the first two occupants in the lake of fire, Revelation 19:20, followed by Satan more than 1,000 years later, Revelation 20:10. Every person ever born whose name is not found in the Book of Life, or whose name is not blotted out, will suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire, Revelation 20:15. Finally, death and hell are the last two entities to be thrown into the lake of fire Revelation 20:14.
Christ won the victory over Satan and all his dominion at the cross. Satan does not know the depths of God’s wisdom, 2Corinthians 2:6-10. Even though Satan may have known the existence of the book of Revelation, it is doubtful that he would have known its contents until the seals were broken by Christ Jesus and revealed to the Apostle John. The book of Revelation may have been sealed for two reasons; one was to ensure that it was not opened until the time appointed by God. Two, to keep its contents from being known until the appropriate time. Since man did not have access to the heavenly places, but Satan did, it is thought that this knowledge was kept from the entire heavenly host until God gave the revelation to Jesus Christ to show to His servants, Revelation 1:1, then given to the apostle John. Though man lost his position in God’s creation through sin, allowing Satan to usurp that position, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who as the role of kinsman redeemer, the lion of Judah and the slain lamb, who will exercise dominion over the world when He is given the seven sealed scrolls from God the Father, Revelation 5:5-7. He is the only one found worthy to open this sealed book and retake what man had lost, Revelation 5:1-14.
Christ is exercising his Lordship over His creation, and is beginning the sequence of events that will judge the rebellious inhabitants of this earth, physically and spiritually. This will also lead toward His second coming and ultimate eternal rule over the earth. The end result is that He will have created a new heaven and new earth populated with people he died for, who freely chose to follow Him, and accepted his Lordship over their lives. It is unfathomable to comprehend the extent of such love, and the desires that God has over all of his people, and all that he has provided for them through eternity, Colossians 1:14-22.
Mankind began when the Lord breathed into the form He made out of the dust on the ground. At that moment, Adam became a living soul, made in the image of God, Genesis 2:7, 1:26-27. God then gave dominion over all things He made and created in the world, in the sea, land and air, to Adam and Woman, Genesis 1:28-30. And even though God finished His creative week and saw everything was very good, He had already planned for the fall of man, to provide a means by His grace for man to redeemed from sin and be justified, 1Peter 1:18-20.
So, when Adam and Woman sinned by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they hid and clothed themselves with leaves from a fig tree, Genesis 3:7-8. It was the Lord God who searched for, and found them, Genesis 3:9. When they and the serpent were judged, Adam and Eve were removed from the garden of Eden, and cherubim with a flaming sword were placed east of the garden to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life, and being in sin forever, Genesis 3:22-24. Before they left the garden, the Lord clothed them with coats of skin to prepare them for the fallen world they caused, Genesis 3:21.
From that point on, all Adam’s descendants were made in his own likeness and after his image, Genesis 5:3-4, 1Corinthians 15:47-50. In other words, all people born in the line of Adam inherited his sin nature, 1Corinthians 15:22, all are spiritually dead in sin and in darkness, Romans 1:21. But God, in all His great, unfathomable wisdom, did not desire that anyone should perish but that all who would believe in Him would be saved and have eternal life, John 3:16-17. John also wrote that all those who do not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God, are condemned. Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil, John 3:18-20.
The grace of God that brings salvation, beginning with Adam, has appeared to everyone, Titus 2:11-14. He first did this by the shedding of innocent blood, not only to make clothing from the animal’s skin for Adam and Eve, but the slain animals were used to show the necessity of blood from animal sacrifices to temporarily cover sins, Genesis 3:21, 4:4, Hebrews 11:4. Those bloody sacrifices looked forward in faith to when the Son of God, Jesus, would offer His blood for the redemption of all man’s sin. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins, Hebrews 9:22-28, 10:10-14. All of this demonstrated God’s grace and the great cost it took to redeem those who believed in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:13, 4:5, Romans 3:21-26, and Titus 2:11-14. For those who resist to accept the free gift offered for the remission of their sins, they will sadly see the folly of their disdain of God and His ways. Their name will not be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and they will be condemned into the lake of fire with the Antichrist, false prophet, and Satan for all future eternity, Revelation 20:10-15.
The long line of prophecies in human history pointed to when, how, and why Christ Jesus would die on the cross according to scriptures (to redeem man from sin), be buried (to bury all man’s iniquities of those who believe in Jesus), and rise from the dead (to justify believers in Christ Jesus in faith), 1Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 6:4, 4:22-25. The first prophecy concerned the seed of woman (Jesus), to bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent would bruise the heel of Him, Genesis 3:15. On faith of God’s word, Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she would become the mother of all mankind, Genesis 3:20. Most important is the genealogy of Jesus in the gospel according to Luke, which began with the step father of Jesus, Joseph, who married Mary. This family line went through Nathan, the son of David, and then all the way back to Adam, to show that the Lord was part of the entire lineage of mankind, and that the blood shed by Christ Jesus would cover all men’s sins, Luke 3:23-38.
The worldwide flood that occurred in the days of Noah, is a great divide of the prediluvian age in the dispensation of consciousness from the succeeding dispensation of government, established through Noah when he and his family departed the ark after the flood waters had receded and the land was dry. The prediluvian age was marked by great wickedness, which God witnessed and judged and was manifest by a worldwide flood. There is another worldwide judgement that has been prophesied to occur, that will be by fire in the not-too-distant future.
In the lineage of Cain, the first born of Adam, the Holy Spirit inspired, 2Timothy 3:16, Moses to write the account of how a social structure was formed and man created many things for their pleasure. However, there is no record of any of Cain’s descendants seeking after God. Cain built a city named Enoch, the son of Cain, Genesis 4:17. Others in the line of Cain were cattle men, Genesis 4:20, musicians, Genesis 4:21, and workers in metallurgy, Genesis 4:22. In their separation from God, they spiraled downward into ever increasing evil. A descendent of Cain, Lamech, bragged that unlike Cain who was marked by God to protect him from being killed, that he, Lamech, slew a man who wounded him, and he killed a young man who had hurt him, Genesis 4:23. In continuing in his sordid comparison with Cain, Lamech stated that if Cain is avenged sevenfold, then he would be avenged seventy and sevenfold. In contrast, it was the Lord who said Cain would be avenged seven times on whomever slew him. Lamech did not recognize the difference, that it was God’s judgment upon anyone who would disregard His command that there be no attempt on Cain’s life. Lamech totally disregarded God and claimed the privilege himself in seeking his own vengeance upon anyone who would attempt to harm him, Genesis 4:24 (God said that vengeance was His, He will repay, Romans 12:19).
Woven in this social fabric was a line through the third son born to Adam and Eve, Seth. God had still met with those before Seth, even warning Cain of the sin he was about to commit, Genesis 4:7. But it is recorded that beginning with Seth and his son Enos, that men began to call upon the Lord, Genesis 4:26, so this godly line during the prediluvian age ran from Adam through Noah.
As the prediluvian population grew, God saw that this degradation through Cain’s line, had become evil and abhorrent. Their evil had reached a point that God was determined to end the rebellion of man against Him. He said that it would be 120 years before the end would come, Genesis 6:3. God found that the wickedness of man was very great, and their thoughts and imagination was only evil continually, and God repented that He made man, Genesis 6:5-6. A millennium later, the prophet Jeremiah would write that the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it, Jeremiah 17:9. So, the Lord sought to destroy man from the face of the earth, including the animals on the ground, creeping things on the earth, and the fowls in the air, Genesis 6:7. God reiterated that the reason for the judgment to come was the corruption and violence that had filled the earth at that time, Genesis 6:11-13.
Deep Concurrent Generations
The following graphic describing the righteous line in the prediluvian age from Adam to Noah, illustrates a number of points. Overall, the longevity of life across all generations far exceeded what is normal in today’s world. But the pattern of life also reveals how God prepared this line for the worldwide flood. First, the number of concurrent generations living then was several times greater than today. Then, through Adam’s lifetime, there were nine generations in his righteous line living simultaneously, so he had a great opportunity to share his knowledge and experiences he had with God across a greater generational span than today. Second, as the time of judgment neared, the number of concurrent generations fell, even though they were still living very long lives. Noah was the first generation in the righteous line not to have seen Adam, and he was the first generation not to have any predecessor generations alive when the flood began.
What this may imply is that as an impending judgment of God approaches, there will be a shrinking of those who believe in God, even though the general population in the world continues to grow. In the example below, when God closed the door on the ark to protect Noah and all those who were with him from the flood, there were only eight people aboard the ark out of the huge population of people in the world that a long-life span would have propagated, Genesis 7:16, 1Peter 3:20. All the other righteous people were taken by God through their physical death, leaving just a few to witness to the rest of the world about the salvation of God. Jesus used Noah as an example of life before the judgment. In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus said that in the days leading up to the flood judgment, people lived their normal lives, not realizing the impending disaster that awaited them, Matthew 24:37, Luke 17: 27.
There may be an equivalent experience before the snatching away (rapture) away of the Body-of-Christ before the beginning of the tribulation. The world in the future will suffer the same spiritual state as it did before the flood. Non-believing people will be spiritually blind. The god of this world, Satan, has blinded their minds from the glorious gospel of Christ, 2Corinthians 4:4, which is the power of God to salvation to everyone that believes, Romans 1:16. Rather than wiping out mankind, whom God loved, John 3:16, He preserved just a remnant of mankind; believers in Him who were to replenish the world. The same is true as the seven years of tribulation comes to an end. Jesus said that if those days had not been shortened, no flesh would survive, Matthew 24:22. When the Lord establishes His millennial kingdom, he will judge the surviving nations, dividing the lambs who will enter into His kingdom that was prepared before the foundation of the world, from the goats who will be judged and cast out of His kingdom, Matthew 25:31-46.
Meanings of Names
As shown in the following table, the believing line of Adam were not only instructed on the ways of the Lord, but they demonstrated their faith as each succeeding generation named their sons in a way to tell the story of salvation! This was not a random act. They clearly understood God’s long plan through human history to create such a message through their names. They also had to understand the general time frame of when the flood would occur in order to complete the message within the generations that proceeded the flood. Today, few listen or respond to the work of the Holy Spirit convicting them of their sins, John 16:7-11. On their own, people are unable to understand scripture or accept their need for salvation and all that Christ Jesus did on their behalf, 1Corinthians 2:11-15. Another interesting aspect of this chart is the dual application of Methuselah’s name. Not only did it look forward into the far future concerning Christ Jesus, but his name was relevant to those living contemporaneously with him. As shown in the graphic of the righteous generations before the flood in the previous section, Methuselah was the last person in Adam’s righteous line to die before the flood, he even outlived his son Lamech.
This practice in prophecy, of near term and long-term fulfillment is often played out across the pages of scripture, particularly in the prophetic writings for Israel, where some prophecies also have near-term fulfillment and also long-term fulfillment. An example is found in Isaiah 7:12-25, whose fulfillment occurred in the days of King Ahaz of Judah. However, Matthew quoted Isaiah 7:14, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, 2Timothy 3:16, that all the events surrounding the birth of Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, Matthew 1:22-23. The following table was adopted from the Bible-Codes site, where more information may be found on this subject.
This message of God’s grace through the names given to the righteous line of Adam is a simple, but complete picture of God’s grace that He extends to mankind through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:8-10, Colossians 1:12-15. The God Man (Jesus, the Word, John 1:1-5, 9-14), is appointed. A mortal man of sorrow is born (in Bethlehem, a man of sorrows, Isaiah 53:3). The glory of God shall come down (at the mount of transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-7). Instructing that His (Jesus’) death shall bring those in distress comfort and rest (as they look forward to the kingdom of God on earth, Isaiah 66:13-14, and now in consolations through Christ, 2Corinthians 1:3-7). More on the meanings of these names in Genesis is found in an article written by the late Chuck Missler for the Koinonia House.
Noah was the last of the generations of Adam in the prediluvian age, to believe in God and follow, trust, and exercise faith in His Word. The Lord gave testament of Noah’s belief, saying that he was a just man, perfect in his generations, and that He walked with God, Genesis 6:9. “That he walked with God” was a similar attribute given to Enoch.
After Enoch’s son, Methuselah was born, Enoch walked with God 300 years. Though others in the righteous line of Adam lived much longer, at the age of 365 years, the Lord took Enoch to be with Him rather than remaining on earth for the remainder of his natural born life. Genesis 5:21-25. This was a unique event in human history, which will be mirrored in our near future. Just as Enoch was taken away by the Lord before the worldwide judgment by the flood, the Body-of-Christ will be snatched away (rapture)before God’s worldwide judgments during the tribulation.
God had revealed to Noah that all flesh was about to end because of all the violence that filled the earth. Not only would God destroy mankind, and all animals that had the breath of life, but earth as well, Genesis 6:13, 17. However, God established a covenant with Noah, that he would be saved in an ark that he was to build, to preserve the life of him and his family, along with every living creature according to a prescribed number for each kind of animal, with food reserves for all aboard the ark, Genesis 6:18-21. When Noah completed all the Lord commanded him, Noah and his entire household of eight people, went into the ark with the other living animals, and God shut the door of the ark behind them, Genesis 7:16. When the rains began and the waters in the deep broke through, Noah was 600 years, 2 months and 17 days old. By the time God told them to exit the ark, Noah was 601 years, 2 months and 27 days old, Genesis 8:13-16. For that year and 10 days, God preserved and provided for the lives of Noah, his family and all the animals who were aboard. All the world’s other people were destroyed because of their violence. It is appropriate to describe the end of the prediluvian age as, “they did that which was right in his own eyes,” Judges 21:25. Similarly, just as the Lord saw Noah and his family through the flood judgment, He too will preserve a remnant of Israel through the seven years of tribulation.