Sun, Aug 19, 2007

THE ARK, A TYPE OF CHRIST? PART 2 GENESIS 6-8

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
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THE ARK, A TYPE OF CHRIST?
PART 2
GENESIS 6-8
 

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Genesis chapter 6 as we are in part 2 of our study called: The Ark, A Type Of Christ?  And we will be looking at Genesis chapters 6-8 this morning. Why are we doing this?  Because, as David said in Psalm 40:7, Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.’ In other words, from Genesis through the book of Revelation is the story of Jesus, the coming of the Messiah. And in the Old Testament there was the shadow of the cross, pictures and types of Jesus in the Scriptures. But when Jesus came the shadows are gone because we have the substance, we have Jesus!

            In part 1 of our study we looked at six pictures of Christ related to the ark. We saw that the ark is a divine provision of God just as our salvation is. God revealed to Noah how the ark was to be built for their safety just as God has revealed to us by His Spirit our safety in Christ. We saw how the ark was a place of refuge from divine judgment we too have refuge from the coming judgment of God if we are in Christ!  We saw how the ark had three stories or decks and in that we saw that in Christ we have been saved from the penalty of sin – the past; we are saved from the power of sin – the present; and will be saved from the presence of sin- the future!

            The ark also had a window that went around the roof area of the ark, just beneath it and was some 18 inches wide encircling the ark. It let light and ventilation in. And here we saw how we need to look to the Lord, not be distracted by the death and destruction around us but focus on the Lord and let Him guide us. And lastly we saw how the ark had rooms or nests and we saw how in Christ we can find rest, we can find refuge.

            Before we get to or study this morning, let me share with you this story that my family and I experienced several year ago on one of our family vacations.  And please understand, they are not just a vacation, they are an adventure! On one of our vacations we stopped at Niagara Falls. And what a view it was!  Now on the American side of the falls there is a drop over a precipice of some 160 feet. Why someone would get in a barrel and go over the falls is beyond me, but some have tried!

            Now, between the fall of the precipice and the gushing sheet of water that is coming down, there is a vacant space called the Cave of the Winds. Now you can’t go to Niagara Falls without going to the Cave of the Winds, at least that is what my sons told me! It is a tour to this area that is truly spectacular and before you start out the guides will give you some rain gear because you will get a little wet or a lot wet if you want to!

            As the guides led us cautiously down that trail until we were literally under the falls! And as we stood there, as we reached this point, we were standing just out of the reach of the thousands of tons of water that were rushing over this precipice. Not only that, but there is this thunderous sound, this roaring as this water comes crashing down and the mist sprayed us!

            Here’s the thing. If you were to move out of the safety of this vacant space you would be crushed to death by the impact of these savage falls.  But, because of where we were standing, even though this water was crashing down in front of us, we were perfectly safe. You see, we were safe because we were a passed-over family. It is a picture of the redemption we have in Christ. Judgment is coming but as we are in Christ, we are safe!

            With that said, let’s continue looking at how the ark is a picture of Christ as we look at point 7 in our study this morning.

7.  THE ARK WAS COVERED IN PITCH – GENESIS 6:14

            The word used for pitch here in Genesis 6:14 is not the common Hebrew word – ZETTEH.  The Hebrew word that is used is KAPHAR, (kaw-far) and in the 70 times this word is used in the Old Testament, it is always translated, “atonement” or “to make atonement” except here in Genesis 6:14, where it is translated pitch.”

            Now the simple meaning of atonement is to cover and thus, God is holy, He is righteous and He cannot look upon sin with favor, (Habakkuk 1:13). So this sin must be dealt with and it is, by the shedding of blood, the death of the innocent to cover the sins of the guilty.

            The problem was that these sacrifices that were made could never take away a persons sin, but only cover them for a time. But Jesus came, God became flesh and dwelt among us, He is the Lamb of God who has come to TAKE AWAY the sins of the world, not cover them. And because of what He has done He has made us at-one-ment with God!  It is as Paul tells us in Hebrews 9:11-15, But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

            The animal sacrifices could not take away our sins, but the shed blood of Jesus Christ has! Peter tells us in I Peter 1:18-19, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

            Now, how does this fit in as a picture of Christ and the ark? Keep in mind that the Lord told Noah to cover the ark with pitch, on both the inside and the outside of this boat. Think of this pitch as the shed blood of Christ, the atonement, and thus, as we are in Christ, as we are in the ark you might say, we are covered by the shed blood of Jesus and thus, it is only through this atoning work that we can find shelter from the storm of judgment. We can only find shelter from God’s wrath beneath the atoning blood!

8.  GOD INVITED NOAH TO COME IN – GENESIS 7:1

            This many seem very simple, even trivial, but I believe it is very profound and very comforting. God did not tell Noah to “go” into the ark but to come into the ark. You see, “go” is a command while come is an invitation. God did not force Noah to come into the ark but Noah was invited and he had a free will, to obey the Lord or reject what the Lord was saying, reject the invitation.

            If the ark is a type of Christ and our salvation is based in Jesus, then do we see Jesus invite us to come into that relationship with Him?  You bet we do?  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus tells us, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  And in Revelation 22:17 we are told, And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  Also, in Isaiah 55:1-3 we are told, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — The sure mercies of David.

            What I also want you to note is that God gave a personal invitation to Noah to come and I believe He does the same with each of us. He calls us to come to Him, but we do have a free will, we do have a choice to make. But God does invite us to come into that deep relationship with Him and that is only done as we come into Christ, just as Noah came into the ark!

9.  NOAH ENTERED THE ARK BY FAITH – GENESIS 7:5

            Now this is also important for us to understand. Noah went into the ark as God had instructed Him to do. That tells me if the ark is a type of Christ, then as we enter into Him, we are secure in Him, the work is finished and we can rest in Him. You see, God did not tell Noah to build this ark and then on the outside of the ark place a bunch of wooden pegs. Then, as the flood waters came, grab hold of those pegs and hang on tight, don’t let go, give it all of your might and if you can hang on till the end, you will make it in!

            I know, it sounds crazy but many are doing this today! They say they believe in Jesus and His finished work and yet, they feel they must hold onto their salvation, work their way into heaven, help God out, do this and do that and in the end, if they can hold on tight enough and long enough, they will make it into heaven. Folks, if that were the case, none of us would enter into heaven!

            It is as John tells us in Revelation 1:4-6 as he clears up this misconception for us,John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

            You see, the shed blood of Christ applied to our lives cleanses us, it is a gift of God – His unmerited favor towards us, it is grace. Folks, we are not saved by grace and then have to maintain our salvation by our works. We are saved by grace; we are sustained by grace and one day we will be taken up into heaven by the grace of God!  The key, of course, like with Noah, we must be in the ark or in Christ!  We must walk by faith!

10.  THE ARK WAS A PLACE OF ABSOLUTE SECURITY – GENESIS 6:14, 7:16,

       8:18-19

            Keep in mind that the ark was watertight; there was pitch on the inside and on the outside of the ark! In other words, it didn’t matter how much rain came, it didn’t matter how high the flood waters rose, it didn’t matter how high the waves were, Noah and his family were absolutely secure in the ark. Yes, outside of the ark there was death and destruction, but inside there was security, absolute security!

            What I find interesting here is that the Lord shut Noah in the ark. He closed the door. Yes, Noah had to walk by faith to enter the ark, but as the Lord shut the door, no one could pull Noah out and rob him of the salvation he had in the ark!

            And as you read this story you see that all that was in the ark were saved and all that were outside the ark perished in the flood of God’s judgment! It is as Jesus said in John 18:9,“ . . . ‘Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.’

            Here is the picture we see being painted for us here. God seals all who are in Christ. Yes, you enter in by faith but God closes the door, you are eternally saved. I do realize that some don’t believe in eternal security, or that once you are saved you can’t lose your salvation. I had a talk with a young man several weeks back on this and he believed that you needed to maintain your salvation or you would lose it.  That God did His part and we need to do ours, the work was not finished on the cross of Calvary!

            I disagree! In I Peter 1:3-5 we are told, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  The Amplified Bible puts these verses like this, Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God's power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

            Notice what Peter is saying, and again, this is important.  Our inheritance or salvation is incorruptible or it is imperishable, it is not going to fade away, we are not going to lose it! But how can we know this, how can we be sure? What if we do have to work our way in? Folks, Peter says that our salvation is kept by the power of God. Thus, do you think God needs our help? Not at all!

            Remember what Paul said in Philippians 1:6, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  Who has begun a good work in us? God has, He saved us!  Who will complete the work in us? “I will! I just need to work hard enough and what God started I will finish!” NO!  The One who began the work is the One who will maintain the work and He will also complete the work in us, one day it will be finished! Remember that Jesus said that He has lost none!  The work will be finished!

            Folks, if we did not have assurance of our salvation, we would go crazy! “I’m saved!”  “I’m not saved!” “I’m saved!” “I’m not saved!” and on-and-on it goes depending on what we do and don’t do that day, that moment! But it is not based upon my finished work but upon His finished work on the cross of Calvary for us. Thus, Jesus tells us in John 5:24,Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  And John picks up on this in I John 5:13 as he tells us, These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  That is the reality, you can either accept it or reject it, but it doesn’t change the truth!

            In the ark Noah was safe as God closed the door and shut him in. He had absolute security. If the ark is a type of Christ then if we are in Christ we have absolute security in Him, no one can take that away from us, we are safe in Him and His finished work on the cross of Calvary!

11.  THE ARK ONLY HAD ONE DOOR – GENESIS 7:16, 6:16

            You would think with all those animals that had to enter the ark, the variety of life, that there would have been several doors to enter in. Interestingly enough there was only one door on this massive boat!  Thus, all had to enter in through this one door!

            I think you know where I am going with this. In John 10:7-9 we are told, Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. Doesn’t that fly in the face of what many are trying to tell us today, that there are many doors to God and it doesn’t matter which one you take, which one you enter by, all will get there!

            I don’t know how many of you remember the old television game show called, Let’s Make a Deal!  I believe Monty Hall was the host of that show. On the stage of this game show were three doors and you were given some money to buy the door back if you wanted or you could see what was behind the door. You could also exchange doors if you thought it would be better. And behind one of the doors was a great gift, the other not so great and the other, a donkey you might say and sometimes it was! 

What we see happening today is that many are playing Let’s Make a Deal with their souls!  They think they can come before a holy and righteous God anyway they want, enter through any door they want, just picking this door or that door, it doesn’t really matter to them and like on this game show, they are in for a big surprise, they will get skunked you might say! Why risk your eternal destiny for a lie, as Jesus continued to say in John 10:10,The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  He is the door!

Again, I realize that I am not being politically correct, sorry, but this doesn’t have anything to do with politics!  This is what God has said and if you disagree, then you have a bigger problem!  Not all doors will get you into heaven, only one door – JESUS CHRIST! In fact, in John 14:6 we are told, Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’

Jesus did not leave any room for debate here, it is very clear. Maybe you have heard people tell you that the Bible can be interpreted many different ways, Jesus is not the only way!  What do you do with John 14:6? If you can’t understand this it is not because Jesus is unclear, you have made the choice not to understand it because it goes against your way of thinking, that all roads lead to God, all doors lead to God!  But they don’t. Unless you enter in through Him, you will not enter in at all and you will face His judgment!  I like the way that Spurgeon sums this up. He wrote:

In the morning, when the ark-door was opened, an observer might see a pair of golden eagles in the sky. But glancing downward, one might see creeping along a pair of snails, a pair of snakes, a pair of worms. There were pairs of flying creatures. But there was only one entrance for them all. The eagles must come down to enter it, and the worm must crawl up to it.

- Spurgeon

            Think about that for a minute.  All those creatures that were entering into the new life were only able to do that because they entered through the door!  All the other creatures that did not enter in, they perished in the flood, they did not enter into the new life. That is true for each of us, outside of Christ, the door, we will not enter into that new life with Him, we will not be with Him in eternity, but apart from Him in the Lake of Fire for eternity!

            You can accept that or reject it but this is the reality folk’s. You can only enter into a relationship with God through THE DOOR – JESUS CHRIST!  There is no other way; there is no other door, so why try to enter by another way.  Like Noah, enter through the door by faith, Jesus Christ!

            One more point here and that is the location of this door, it was on the side of the ark. Again, it was the only way to enter in. As our Lord hung on the cross of Calvary, the spear of a Roman soldier pierced His side.  As that spear pierced through, as this occurred, water and blood flowed from His side. It is a picture showing us that the heart of God was now open for rebellious man, for sinners to enter in through the shed blood of Jesus, THE DOOR!

12.  SECURITY IN THE ARK – GENESIS 7:17-20

            Here is something I once again find interesting and comforting.  I know we covered our security in Christ, but I want to look at this from a different vantage point this time. Think about this for a minute. As the storm of judgment fell, as the rains poured down and the fountains of the deep were broken up, do you think the ark moved up and down, side to side, back and forth? You bet it did!  Now, in saying that, do you think Noah and his family, from time to time, with all that rocking and rolling, do you think they stumbled, and maybe even fell in the ark?  You bet they did!

            In saying that, at any time during those 378 days they spent in this ark, did they ever fear of losing their security in the ark?  Were they ever fearful of being cast out of the ark because they stumbled and maybe even fell from time to time? Do you think they ever heard God saying to them, “You are the weakest link, goodbye!”?  Not at all.  You see, they were secure in the ark even though they did stumble at times, even though they might have even fallen down at times, they were safe, they were secure!

            As Christians do we ever stumble and maybe even fall at times? You bet we do and if you say that you don’t you are a liar!  Now, in saying that, does that mean we will lose our salvation, that we are not secure in Christ and we will face the wrath of God?  Not at all! God knows our frame, He knows we are weak, and He has forgiven us of all our sins.  You see, I know some of you think that I am old, but when Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary, I was not born yet, it was a few years later!  Here’s my point.  That meant all my sins were still future and yet, God has forgiven them in Christ! Thus, Paul tells us in Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

            Do you see what Paul is saying here? He is saying that we are not condemned in Christ, and what a great comfort that is to me and it should be to you!  Paul tells us what can separate us from the love of God in Romans 8:31-39 and listen carefully to what he is saying here. We are told, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            Then why do we feel condemned? Why do we feel that God does not love us anymore? Because we are listening to the lies of the Devil! The Lord is gracious and there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus our Lord! We are secure in Him!

            Now, don’t get the idea of sinning so grace may abound or you can do whatever you want, you can sin all you want and it is covered under the blood. If that is your heart attitude, you need to do a heart check.  If you love to sin and it does not bother you, you need to see if you are really saved or if you made some empty profession!  You see, Paul put it like this in Romans 6:1-11. He tells us, What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? r do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            Here’s the thing folk’s.  In spite of our stumbles and falls, God loves us and we are secure in Him, just as Noah was secure in the ark!

            Folk’s I hope you have been blessed by seeing how the ark is a type of Christ. I hope this picture that has been painted for us by God has encouraged you.  As I begin to rap this up this morning, let me share with you these words from Arthur W. Pink and his book, Gleanings In Genesis.  He wrote:

            As others have pointed out, the typical teaching of the ark reaches beyond the truth of atonement to resurrection itself. We quote here from the writings of the late Mr. William Lincoln: “There seems no reason to doubt that the day the ark rested on the mountain of Ararat is identical with the day on which the Lord rose from the dead. It rested ‘on the seventeenth day of the seventh month.’ But by the commandment of the Lord, given at the time of the institution of the feast of Passover, the seventh month was changed into the first month. Then three days after the Passover, which was on the fourteenth day of the month, the Lord, having passed quite through the waters of judgment, stood in resurrection in the midst of His disciples, saying, ‘Peace be unto you.’ They, as well as Himself, had reached the haven of everlasting rest.”

            But not only does our type prefigure our Lord’s resurrection from the dead, it also suggests the truth of His ascension, for we read, “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month upon the mountains of Ararat” (Gen. 8:4). The final resting place of the ark was upon the mountain top, speaking of the place “on high” where our Saviour is now seated at the right hand of God.

            We lay our pen down with a strengthened conviction that the Holy Scriptures are no mere “cunningly devised fables,” but that they are indeed the inspired Word of the living God.

- Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings In Genesis, pp. 108-109

            How can anyone miss out that the hand of God putting these words together for us as we see thousands of years before God became flesh and dwelt among these pictures of Christ!  That is our God and that is what He has for us so that we may grow in Him!

            Folk’s we have seen this morning how the ark is a type of Christ as we are finishing up our two part study on this picture.  The ark is a type of Christ in that it was covered in pitch, or that as we are in Christ His blood cleanses us of all our sins; we are as white as snow. The ark is a type of Christ as God invited Noah to come into the ark, it is an invitation, not a command. We saw that Noah entered the ark by faith, and so must we in our relationship with Jesus and in Him we are secure.  We saw that the ark was a place of absolute security, we do not have to fear that we will lose our salvation because our salvation is based upon His finished work and not ours. We saw that the ark only had one door, there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. We saw the security in the ark,and yes we may stumble and fall but we will not lose our salvation. And as we saw the ark was a picture of the resurrection!

            As I close this morning let me leave you with these words that Jude gives to us as he concludes his epistle. He wrote, Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.  Jude 24-25.

            The Amplified Bible puts these verses like this, Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight] — To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).”  Jude 24-25.

            And The Living Bible puts it like this, And now-all glory to him who alone is God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord; yes, splendor and majesty, all power and authority are his from the beginning; his they are and his they evermore shall be. And he is able to keep you from slipping and falling away, and to bring you, sinless and perfect, into his glorious presence with mighty shouts of everlasting joy. Amen.”  Jude 24.

            That is the God we serve, who loves us so much, more than we will ever know and we are safe, we are secure in Him because what God has started in our lives, He will finish!

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