Gen 6:16                                A Temple of God                                         12/31/2017   ßà   

 

#1.      A Place of Refuge (Gen 6:14-22, 2Cor 4:6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      The Window That Is Not a Window (Gen 6:16, Psalm 55:17, Isa 58:10, Heb 13:5, 2Cor 6:16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.      The Chief Shepherd (John 10:7-16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 6:14 (2X). Last week we have seen how God provided a sanctuary for those whom He wanted to shield from the wrath of God that was coming on all mankind. God provided a place of refuge for us.

#1.      A Place of Refuge (Gen 6:14-22, 2Cor 4:6)

God revealed to Noah to build an Ark. Noah built it, but it was God who made that provision. It was God’s providence, God’s hands, that gave Noah the skills to build the Ark, and it was God’s providence that caused the entire operation to be successful. We read in Gen 6:14-22,

Ge 6:14-15  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt cover it within and without with covering.   And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

Ge 6:16  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

Ge 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Ge 6:18-19  But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

Ge 6:20-21  Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

Ge 6:22 ¶  Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Last week we have seen that the word “pitch” does not belong in verse 14, and that is why I read it today as the more generic “cover” and “covering”. Actually, verse 14 should be translated as, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt atone it within and without with ransom”. And then we realize that the spiritual representation of the Ark is the eternal church, the body of Christ on earth. Like Noah built the Ark at the command of God, so the Lord Jesus Christ is still building His eternal church at the command from the Father, and is still gathering His own people into a place of refuge where they are protected from the impending storm of Judgment. By His Spirit God has to reveal to us His thoughts of mercy and grace toward us, or else we in our blindness and ignorance would be swept up by the waves of the wrath of God and would be cast into Hell. By our own stubbornness and sinfulness we will never choose to turn to Christ for mercy. He has to make us “born from above”, and reveal His mercy and grace toward us, and then we will hear and believe the Gospel. That is why God says in 2Cor 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”. We were in darkness for we were born that way, as enemies of God and as slaves of sin and Satan. But God commanded the light of the Gospel to shine in our hearts, and that is why we believed and we were snatched away from the powers of sin and Satan. Let us now turn our eyes to the Ark that Noah built. It was a gigantic ship without rudder or sail.

Gen 6:15  “And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits”.

This means it is a vessel 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. That is a great big boat. It is about two thirds the size of a modern day cruise ship. This length to width ratio of 6 to 1 is also the ratio that is used in modern ships. These numbers probably have a spiritual meaning, but at present we should not try to speculate about things we are not sure of. I was on a cruise ship to Alaska two years ago which had a crew of more than 400 to keep 1600 passengers room and board. There were many more passengers on the Ark, but Noah did not have a crew of a few hundred to keep all the animals happy. Anyone who has been on a cruise ship before has experienced the complexity of providing light and fresh air and food in every room. And so, when we look at the size of the Ark, and all the logistics involved in feeding and giving all the animals to drink, and providing for them light and fresh air, and removing all their waste products, it seems an impossible task for only eight people. Noah did not have electric fans to pump fresh air into all the rooms. But God’s providence ruled the day. God shows us that the entire voyage was arranged by miracles from God. The Ark did not have super air conditioning, and the Ark did not have outdoor light in every room, for we read in Gen 8:6 that there was only one window in the entire Ark and that window was shut for most of the time. And so it is a real miracle from God that they all remained healthy and well. But since God arranged it all, we must believe that everyone in the Ark did not lack anything. Instead, the Ark was a refuge from Divine Judgment. All the passengers in the Ark were protected from the only three things that could threaten or harm them in all the universe: They were sheltered from the wrath of God, they were shielded from attacks by Satan, and they were isolated from the condemnation of the Law. These are the only three things in all the universe which can really threaten or harm us. And so, the Ark was a place of safety. It was a place provided by God when death threatened all. But it was the only place of deliverance from the wrath to come. And thus the only way out from the impending Judgment was the mercy and the grace of God for those whom He chose to save. Even the animals were chosen to be saved from drowning, for God elected which of the animals should come to Noah. God says in Isa 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”. Therefore, since God knows the end from the beginning, God knew from before the foundation of the world which pair of animals He would save in Noah’s Ark. More about this later. Let us now look at:

#2.      The Window That Is Not a Window (Gen 6:16, Psalm 55:17, Isa 58:10, Heb 13:5, 2Cor 6:16)

Gen 6:16,  “A “window” shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above”.

This window was not a window. Just like in Gen 6:14 we have here a word whose translation is unacceptable. The translators tried to make the words fit the historical account that they had in view, and so they came up with the word “pitch”. But God wanted us to understand the spiritual meaning of verse 14. And thus, since God put the word “atonement” in verse 14, we should not change it but try to understand it. Likewise in verse 16 God used a word that has been translated “window”, but this word should never have been translated “window”. This Hebrew word occurs 24 times in the Bible, and it has always been translated “Noon”, or “Noonday”, meaning the middle of the day when the brightness and the warmth of the sun is at its highest point. For example, God says in Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice”. The word “Noonday” also conveys the bright of happiness because of the light and warmth that God has given us. For example, God says in Isa 58:10, “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday”. Therefore, this is the word that we should place in Gen 6:16. And although this does not seem to make historical sense, we should try to understand it, for this is the inspired word that God dictated to Moses. And so, when we read Gen 6:16 we should read it as follows: “Noon (,or noonday,) shalt thou make in the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it (,or complete it,) above”. What did God mean in this apparently half sentence? Noah had to make something through which God would provide an abundance of light. It was not a window, since natural light is not in view, and since the window mentioned in Gen 8:6 is a totally different word, and since the window in Gen 8:6 remained shut until the eleventh month. God meant here to provide miraculous light throughout the entire Ark. Noah would not complete the work on this light, God would complete it. Noah would finish this work only to a cubit above, whatever that means. We do not know what this light represents; only that God would cause it to be as bright as the noonday. It is from this understanding that the KJV translators substituted “window”, but a window would be totally inadequate to convey the real meaning of this word. Certainly God did not plan to have Noah and his sons go through the Ark with torches or with candles to give them light, since that would quickly burn up the available oxygen in the Ark. What could this light possibly represent? We must remember that the Ark was the sanctuary that God provided, the eternal church. Let us ask this question in our church today: What is the light that God has provided in His eternal church in the last days? It is the Word of God, the Bible. God’s mercy and grace is constantly shining in our life through the Word of God, the Bible, from where we are always aware that God is with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. God says in Heb 13:5, “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. And what means does Christ use to stay in contact with us? It is His Word, the Bible. Therefore, the light that God provided to all the inhabitants of the Ark, in all the three stories of the Ark, was the light of His holy Spirit that permeated every nook and cranny of the Ark. It was light that brought comfort to the people in the Ark, for they could see every day that God was with them. God demonstrated to them that the Ark was a Temple of God. And is that not true that the Eternal church is the Temple of God? God says in 2Cor 6:16, “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”. Let us now turn to the last end of Gen 6:16, where we see again that the Ark was a type or a picture of the eternal church.

Gen 6:16, “With lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it”.

God commanded Noah to make the Ark three stories high, 15 feet high for each story. We do not have to dwell on a possible meaning of the numbers to see how this is a spiritual picture of the eternal church. We only have to look in the Bible for other structures that are three stories high. Please turn to the Prophecy of 1Kings, 1King 6:5 (2X). You find the Prophecy of 1Kings right after the Prophecy of 2Sam. In 1King 6 we read about the building of the temple in Jerusalem under the leadership of king Solomon. The precise dimensions of the temple are given in this chapter. But a detail that is often overlooked is that the temple was surrounded by chambers which were three stories high. We r:

1Ki 6:5  And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:

1Ki 6:6  The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

And so, the similarity between Noah’s Ark and Solomon’s temple is that they were both three stories high. But what was the spiritual meaning of Solomon’s temple? Is it because Solomon’s temple is the dwelling place of the Ark of the Covenant, and therefore the dwelling place of God? No! Please turn seven pages to your right, to 1King 8:27 (2X), and there you will read Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple. And in 1King 8:27 Solomon said, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” Even Solomon realized that this temple was not the real dwelling place of God. This temple was only a shadow, or a picture, of the real Temple of God, which is in the hearts and souls of all those who have become children of God, the Body of Christ. Please turn seven pages to your left, again to 1King 6:7 (2X). God shows us here during the construction of Solomon’s temple that it was a picture, or a shadow, of the NT eternal church. God said in 1King 6:7,

1Ki 6:7  And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

In other words, each stone of the temple was precut in such a fashion that it fit exactly in the place

for which it was made. And if we think of Solomon’s temple representing the spiritual Temple of God, then we understand that the hearts and souls of the saints are the individual stones of the Temple of God. God himself is building His Temple in heaven. We too are being prepared and shaped here on earth until we precisely fit in the place for which we were formed, and then God will take us up into heaven and shows us His Temple, which is the place where He really desires to dwell. Therefore, the temple in Jerusalem, like Noah’s Ark, is a picture, or a shadow, of the real Temple of God.

About 400 years after Solomon’s temple was completed it was destroyed by the Babylonians, and a remnant of Judah was taken captive to Babylon. Then about 70 years later when the captives returned from Babylon a new temple was erected on the same place, which is called Zerubbabel’s temple. At the time of the birth of Jesus Herod the Great tried to do the Jews a favor and embellished Zerubbabel’s temple by adding fanciful buildings around it, and it became known as Herod’s temple. But soon after Herod’s temple was completed it was totally destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. And so, God is letting us know that the temple in Jerusalem is not a structure of His liking. Instead He will dwell in a Temple not made with hands. And to this end we have to look at Ezekiel’s temple.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ezekiel, Eze 43:7 (2X). Beginning in Eze 40:1 God brought Ezekiel in a vision to the land of Israel, which by now was totally destroyed by Babylon, and God showed Ezekiel a vision of a new temple that was to be built in a city in the land of Israel, but not exactly in Jerusalem. This vision of Ezekiel’s temple has created much confusion among those who want to read the Bible as a history book. Ezekiel’s temple has never been built, and it cannot be built according to these specifications. What then was the purpose of Ezekiel’s temple? The purpose of this futuristic temple is declared here in Eze 43:7, where God says,

Eze 43:7 ¶  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

In other words this place, this temple that I just showed you, is where I will dwell forever in the midst of the children of Israel. And here we must remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is also called Israel. If this is the place where God will dwell forever, then it cannot be a place on this earth, for this earth shall be destroyed by fire. Therefore, when we read about the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple, we must be aware that all these dimensions should be understood in a spiritual sense, for this is a symbolic description of the Temple of God in heaven. And so, beginning from chapter 40:5 to chapter 42:20 God gave us here the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple. Let us now jump into the middle of all these specifications and turn to Eze 41:16 (2X). God says there in Eze 41:16,

Eze 41:16,        The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three

stories, over against the door, ceiled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;

God described to us here a portion of the appearance of this temple, and amazingly it had three stories of galleries round about. Here we are reminded of the three stories in Noah’s Ark. But God is not talking about three galleries which are not connected to any floors. God says in Eze 42:3 (2X),

Eze 42:3  Over against the twenty cubits which were for the inner court, and over against the pavement which was for the utter court, was gallery against gallery in three stories.

Eze 42:4-5  And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north.     Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building.

Eze 42:6  For they were in three stories, but had not pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was straitened more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground.

What do we see here? The description is a little confusing, but the galleries in three stories are mentioned again. In addition God indicates that there are upper chambers, and lower chambers, and middle chambers. In other words, the pattern of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem is repeated, together with a number of additional features. But the main thing we are after, in this study, is that this future Temple of God is symbolically built in three stories, just like Noah’s Ark was built in three stories. And thus we can absolutely conclude that Noah’s Ark was a picture, or a type, or a shadow, of the Body of Christ, the Temple of God, the eternal church for which Christ shed His blood and died.

Let us now consider again the role of Noah as the Chief Shepherd in the Ark. 

#3.      The Chief Shepherd (John 10:7-16)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 10:7 (2X). Here is a passage where the Lord Jesus declared that He is the Good Shepherd. Why should we connect this to Noah and his Ark? Well, there were many animals that God elected to be saved from the wrath of God in the waters of the flood. All these animals were placed under Noah’s care. He suddenly became their shepherd. We have already seen that Noah was a picture, or a type, of Christ. We read in John 10:17

Joh 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

Joh 10:8  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Joh 10:9-10  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.             The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Joh 10:12-13  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.              The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

Joh 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.     As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd.

What did the Lord Jesus mean when He  said, “I am the Door”? The Lord Jesus answered this question precisely when He said in John 14:6, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”. That means “No one!” Not even so called “innocent babies”. It means that people who live and die in a foreign land where they have never heard of the Lord Jesus shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. They go to the other place, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And therefore the millions of Chinese and Indians who lived and died before Christ came into the world, people who have not heard of a Messiah coming through the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are also not going to enter into the Kingdom of God. And thus, the corollary of Jesus saying, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”, is that Christ would never have suffered the equivalence of an eternity in Hell for those who themselves are going to Hell. All these things hang together by the words, “I am the Door”. And thus the doctrine of Limited Atonement is clearly stated in these words. Therefore, all those who proclaim a gospel of universal atonement, all those who say that the Lord Jesus died for the sins of everyone in the world, are those whom the Lord calls “thieves and robbers”. They are thieves, because they are stealing sheep and are dragging them into Hell with them. They are robbers, because they are robbing God of His sovereignty and majesty. Likewise these thieves and robbers are called “hirelings” who will not put up a fight to defend the true Gospel, but rather flee and leave the sheep to their own defenses.

Then the Lord Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd”. Now we know for sure that these sheep represent people who have been elected of God to become saved. The Lord Jesus said, “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”. First of all, Christ is not giving His life for a bunch of animals, but for a bunch of people. Secondly, He is giving His life for the sheep; not for all the goats and sheep in the world, but only for His sheep, which are here called “the sheep”.

Why are there hirelings in the first place? Well these people have been hired to function as undershepherds. Are undershepherds necessary? Listen to what the Lord says in verse 16,

Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd.

The Lord Jesus is speaking here of us, in this century. Paraphrased Jesus said, “I have other sheep which are not of this fold that I am presently speaking to; I have other sheep that do not belong to the remnant out of the nation of Israel, but are the remnant out of the Gentile nations”. But before the Lord ascended into heaven He said to His disciples, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you”. And these disciples delegated this task to their disciples, and so on. Eventually we arrive at the 21st century where the Gospel is not preached by Christ Himself, but by many undershepherds. Some of these undershepherds will bring the Gospel faithfully, and others will bring a gospel where Christ has died for everyone in the world. These turn out to be the hirelings, who have chosen to preach another jesus, for their jesus pays them a lot more money than the Jesus from the Bible. But the faithful undershepherds will receive the reward of seeing many be converted and be saved.

Let us now return to Noah as a type of the Good Shepherd. The question is: Are the animals in the Ark also representing people? First of all, God’s elective program was operating in commanding those animals to come to Noah in the Ark. Secondly, God stated in Matt 24:37, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. And thus God draws a parallel between the days shortly before the flood and the days shortly before Christ comes again. Thirdly, God says in 1Cor 15:50, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”. If the Ark was a picture of the eternal church in the last days, then the animals in the Ark must be a picture of God’s salvation program for people in the last days. Animals are flesh and blood, and thus animals do not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the great variety of animals represent the fact that God will draw His remnant out of all nations, and kindreds and people and tongues. Fourthly, God made a covenant with every living creature that came out of the Ark. The covenant that God made with Noah and with all the creatures coming out of the Ark was a picture, or a type, of the covenant of grace. It is the same covenant of grace that God made with us in the NT time, for they too were saved by grace.

Let us now see what the role is of the undershepherds. We know that we are called to be more and more like Christ. If Christ is pictured as Noah building the Ark to the saving of His flock, then Pastors are called to build a smaller Ark according to the size that God has given them. When I preach the true Gospel I am busy preparing an Ark for the saving of people in our congregation. Some people leave, and others are coming in, and these were commanded by God to enter into this Ark. As long as I am preaching the true Gospel of Christ crucified for elect only, I am building an Ark that is water-tight, because I am plugging every hole with the atonement of Christ. Likewise when any of you goes and brings the Gospel to some unsaved soul, when that person becomes saved you too are in a smaller way instrumental in building a small Ark. And you too shall feel the reward of seeing someone to come to Christ, and joy shall fill your soul. This is our reward, to see the family of Christ growing and blossoming in understanding the grace of God and coming into the Temple of God.

But many pastors are preaching another gospel. They are preaching about jesus who died for all the people in the world. This is another jesus, for this is not the Jesus who is the Door of the sheep. These pastors are hirelings, who are busy hammering a boat together that is full of holes. Their boat shall not stand the test of the wrath of God that is coming upon the whole world.

We know that all our gifts are gifts of grace. We read in John 3:27, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven”. And so, we must never be proud of our accomplishments, for these are all gifts from God for the purpose that God will be glorified. All our good works were before ordained that we should walk in them. But when we carry out our task of building our little Ark, we do it with joy in our hearts, for we cherish the commendation of the Lord when He shall say, “Well, done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.