Genesis chapter six. "Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." There were giants 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 in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
Many, many years ago, Martin Luther made a startling announcement. He said, "I am much afraid that our own universities made prove to be the very gates that lead to hell." When I was a brand-new Christian and I went to a local college in California. I couldn't have been more than two months old as a believer; I didn't know much. I was about to be challenged on my first day of school. I had a science teacher who asked if anybody in his class believed in God and believed in creation. Well I raised my hand; I raised it up pretty high. Now, I was naïve. I didn't know he had an agenda. This was all new to me. I thought higher education was fair. I didn't know it would be slanted and skewed. But I was about to get schooled in more ways than one. When I raised my hand—and maybe there were a couple of others who moved it up to the shoulder clavicle and no more—he then went on to berate the idea of special creation, creationism, and went on to tout what I could only describe as a form of uniformitarianism. That history has continued uninterrupted, the steady chain of events, a long evolution, over a long period of time, steady as she goes. It's pretty obvious that the Bible would disagree with that stance.
The apostle Peter would be one of them. Peter was not a uniformitarianism believer; he was a catastrophist. He believed that there were great catastrophes that interrupted the history of mankind upon the earth. And he writes about it in 2 Peter 3."knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." That, in a nutshell, in a first century phraseology, is uniformitarianism. "For this they willingly forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water."
There have been two massive, cataclysmic events in our past. One is the creation of the heavens and the earth that was performed by God in six literal twenty-four hour days. It was created fully mature but the second event was the great flood. Great cataclysmic event. The first, creation, took six days; the flood lasted 371 days, approximately. Creation gave us the first earth, the flood gave us what we would call the second earth, the earth we now see, live in, and enjoy. Now the flood, and I believe it's a universal flood, not a local flood, there are certain things that are phenomena in our natural world that I believe can only be explained by a flood. For instance, the existence of great inland seas that are in different continents of the world. China has them, India has them. We, in America, have them—our great basin. The shoreline is apparent; it can be seen. It was at one time a vast saltwater inland sea that got there somehow. It is since receded. There's hardly anything left of what was there originally. You could probably give it the name Lake Bonneville, because all that's left is a little body of water known as the Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville salt flats. But at one time, the great basin was covered in water.
Difficult to explain that without a flood. The fossil record is difficult to explain without the universal flood. Massive forests have been compressed by the pounding of the pressure of water, that's pretty easily seen. Because there are water-laid layers of sediment forming coal, and coal is found all over the earth in every continent, even near the North Pole and the South Pole. And atop those layers, and in between those layers, are fossils. Interesting fossils. Sea life fossils. So in Michigan they have fossilized whales. In Ohio they've discovered fossilized sharks. In Wyoming they've discovered fossilized fish at over 7,000 feet above sea level. Fish 7,000 feet above sea level. Well, how'd they get there?
There's a great sediment layer out in Nebraska—Agate Springs, Nebraska—that houses over 9,000 animal remains. Bones that have been pushed there by some enormous pressure; the pressure of water mixed with dirt that has pushed these things into the sediment. Then you have the stratolayer, but in the fossil record you have certain fossils that are out of order, even that transect the strata. So you can find tree trunks or mammal fossils embedded vertically through supposedly long-developing strata. They say over millions of years. They have difficulty explaining the presence of those fossils that transect that.
In the history of mankind, in over 270 nations or tribes, you have flood stories. It's not just a biblical story. You have that record in virtually every part of the world. In South America, Brazil, Bolivia, different tribes, different Indians, the Hottentottes, those in Africa, the Aborigines in Australia, all the way back to the Gilgamesh epic or the Babylonian flood epic, which is probably the most famous and the closest to the biblical narrative. But there are 270 plus records of a worldwide flood that have existed through time. Now I want to read this to you: "Eighty-eight percent of those flood narratives say that there was a favored family that was spared. Seventy percent say that survival was by means of a boat. Ninety-five percent say the sole cause of this great catastrophe was a flood. Sixty-six percent of these flood narratives say that it was because of man's wickedness. Seventy-seven percent declare that animals were also saved. Fifty-seven percent say the survivors ended up on a mountain. Many of them used the form of Noah's name, like the Hawaiian legend about Nu-uh. Many of these flood narratives speak of birds being sent out. Many of them speak about a rainbow. And many of them say that eight people were saved."
So you get the point. Embedded in the history, in the psyche, of mankind. This was such an impressive event that the story was told and re-told from its source, and we are about to read the source, or we've read part of it, and then it was garbled as it went out and it was re-told and things were added to it or subtracted from it. But you have pretty clear evidence of a worldwide flood, both in the written record of nations as well as in the natural phenomena that is on the earth. Now back in Genesis chapter six, we're going to go through and I read several verses, but we're going to go back over a few of them. And I want you to keep something in mind; I want you just as we go through this to tuck a New Testament verse, one you'll remember, Jesus said it in Matthew 24. He said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man." And we're going to see no less than five worldwide conditions that existed at the time of Noah that I think fit in the modern era which we live, or will.
First of all, an increase in population. Verse one: "Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them." There's a book that I will recommend to you by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris. It's simply called The Genesis Flood. It takes the first eleven chapters of Genesis and dissects them from a scientific creationist standpoint. It's 500 pages, I'll warn you. Whitcomb and Morris took the genealogical record of Genesis 5 and the longevity that is written about in Genesis 5, the average number of kids recorded, extrapolated that out. Now, we're not surprised there's a population increase because people lived so long. And you, as a couple, could have lots of kids in 900 years. And grandkids and great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids and you're just still getting started. So Whitcomb and Morris took the genealogical tables of Genesis 5, average number of kids, and said that within eighteen generations, easily there could have been 774 million people on the earth. And that by the time of the flood, there certainly could have easily been 1 billion people on the earth, and perhaps significantly more.
Now just think about that. You've got a couple of scientists, in fact you have more, that would say that at the time of the flood there were a billion people. Do you know how long it took us to get to a billion people after that? After everything was destroyed at the flood? We didn't have a billion people until the lower to mid-1800's modern history. Some say 1804; the records are a bit skewed. But 18-something we had one billion people on planet earth. Now at the time of Jesus, there were no more than 250 million people on the earth. In the 1800's, now one billion people on the earth. By 1927, we now had two billion people on the earth. By 1960, we now had three billion. By 1975, four billion. By 1988, five billion. By 1998, six billion. Now there are 6.7 billion people on the earth. You can see the exponential increase. It's a shorter amount of time to produce that many people. We've greatly multiplied on planet earth. There are a lot of people on this little globe of dust floating in space. The best estimate is that by the year 2051, there will be 11 billion plus people on the earth. How will they be sustained? So that's number one. There was a huge population increase on the land. That's significant because Noah stood alone against everybody else who wasn't following God. Noah walked with God. He found grace, we read, in God's sight.
Second, there was sexual depravity and an increase of it. Verse two: "The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Now that doesn't refer to the lifespan of an individual being 120 years because it didn't pan out that way immediately after the flood. It took awhile after that canopy was broken up to reduce the lifespan. This is simply a statement that mankind has 120 years before the judgment of the flood comes upon planet earth. That's the warning. 120 years of grace and then God said, 'I'm going to judge the earth.'
"There were giants on the earth in those days" The Hebrew word nephalim; some of you have heard that term. Nephalim. It means, literally, 'fallen ones.' "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." There are three views as to what this means. It's a difficult text to unravel. In fact, whenever I have done question and answer programs on the radio, no matter where it's been, this is one of the questions that will inevitably come up: "Who were the sons of God? Who were the daughters of men?" There are three views. You can take your pick. Number one, that these were fallen angelic beings that cohabitated or copulated with human women and produced this freakish race of nephalim, giants. View number two, it was the godly line of Seth marrying the ungodly line of Cain. Sons of God and daughters of men. Sethites and Cainites. View number three, that these were rulers, despotic rulers, who married women and basically were enlarging their harem. Those are the three views that are postulated. All three of them have merit. Before you discount any of them, at least give them a hearing and then make your decision.
Now what's interesting about the first view, that they were fallen angels, is that seems to have been the view of some of the ancient writers. Even biblical writers, perhaps. It would seem that Peter in 2 Peter 2 and Jude, in that little book of Jude in the New Testament, verse 6 and 7 alludes to the judgment of the flood as something at least in part was because of something that happened when angels sinned. I just want you to look. We've already looked at 2 Peter, let's turn back there. 2 Peter 2:4-5: "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly." If you have a NLT and you were with me when I read Genesis 6, it read very differently. This is a modern translation put out just a few years ago. Genesis 6 in the NLT: "When the human population began to grow rapidly on the earth, the sons of God saw the beautiful women of the human race and took any that they wanted as their wives. In those days and afterwards, giants lived on the earth, for when the sons of God had intercourse with human women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes mentioned in legends of old."
The differentiation leads us to believe that the translators of the NLT see it as angels, or fallen angels, sons of God, that is a direct creation of God intermingling with the human population. Now to complicate things even more, did you know that the writers, the translators, of the Septuagint version, the Hebrew text of the Old Testament written into the Greek text about 250 B.C., that the Septuagint authors translated 'sons of God' as 'angels.' In their translation, 250 B.C., they acknowledged that the sons of God meant angels and here's why. Every time you read in the Old Testament that little phrase 'sons of God' in Hebrew, benai Elohim, it only refers to angelic beings. And twice to fallen angelic beings. In the book of Job, chapters one and two, when Satan appears with the sons of God and they give an account to the Lord. And God says, 'Where have you been?' And Satan goes, 'Going to and fro throughout the whole earth.' So the translators of the Septuagint said it was angels. You still with me?
Also, there's a book that is called a pseudopigriphal book is a book that is given a name of an author, but that author didn't write it. So if I said, this is from the Book of Sally, but Sally never wrote it. It's given a false name. Well, there's a book called the book of Enoch, and though it's not a biblical book, it says, 'In those days, the angels, that is the children of heaven, saw human women, lusted after them, and said, 'Let us marry wives and let us beget children.'" And they're queuing off Genesis chapter six. That would mean nothing to us at all, except that Jude quotes from the book of Enoch. So it adds some level of credibility.
Now some people have a problem with this. How could angels appear as human beings? We know that they did, Genesis 18 and 19, when they go to Sodom. But people will say, 'Angels are non-corporeal beings and even if they appear as having a human form, they certainly couldn't cohabitate with a human.' And there are some problems with that and I can't quite unravel them.
The second is that the sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain got married. The only problem with that is, in all of the usages as I mentioned, in the Old Testament in the Bible, of the term 'sons of God,' it only refers to angels, not humans. So you have a problem with that one, a refutation for that one. The third one, that it was rulers that cohabitated with women. Basically, enlarging their harem, is because some of the ancient near-east evidence, non-biblical manuscripts, referred to earthly, despotic rulers by giving them the name, 'sons of the gods.' Now I don't believe that's the best interpretation of this text because the Bible never concedes to the secular language or seeing human beings as products of pagan gods. That's just not consistent with anything we read in the Old Testament.
So you've got three views and you could explore them further. All of them have difficulties but, what's most important is this: whatever it was, it was sexual, it was wicked, it was against God's order, and that was in part one of the reasons God judged the earth in the flood. Let's go back to Genesis 6 and notice it says in verse 3: "And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Here's what you gotta know. The Holy Spirit was active, evidently from this verse, very active on the earth before the flood, wanting to bring people to righteousness and salvation. How? Primarily through the preaching of Enoch and Noah. They're called preachers of righteousness in the Bible. Noah building a boat for a long period of years, a plank upon plank, telling of a coming flood. Enoch before him walking with God, and as the New Testament said, proclaimed truth to them; preached to them. God was very active trying to draw people to Himself. But He said, 'I won't do it forever. There comes a time when it's over.'
And then there were giants—nephalim. Now the word means 'fallen ones,' so it could refer to fallen people. All humans are fallen people. Or it could refer to some special class of being. Again, you'll have to interpret that. "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." What was happening back then is certainly happening right now. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man. Just as in the days of Noah, there was this newly found sexual freedom, there was this transgressing of the traditional family. No matter what you want to interpret that with, one of those three interpretations, that was going on.
There was a chief sociologist, Harvard University, who made an interesting statement about this generation. He said, "This generation, this culture, is preoccupied with sex." It's now a preoccupation; it's everywhere. It's everywhere. And it certainly has captured the hearts and minds of many. It's been estimated that in the average year, the average American will view on prime time television, over 9,000 sexual acts or implied sexual acts. 81% of those are outside the bonds of marriage. That's what we're being inundated with, a very similar situation to what was going on during the days of Noah.
Let's go to the next one: "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Third mark, third situation. An increase in wickedness. Now we're getting into the very mind of people before the flood. The anti-deluvian mind. The thought life. And that's where sin begins—in the thought life; the heart. And it says, "the wickedness of man was great." The word wickedness in Hebrew is rah and it's saying the badness got really bad. Or they went from bad to worse. "And that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." The Berkley translation puts it, "Human wickedness was growing out of bounds."
If you want a little bit of New Testament insight into the thought life, Paul described it in Romans 1: Their foolish minds were darkened, they were futile in their thoughts, their foolish hearts were darkened, they did not want to retain God in their thinking so God gave them over to a debased mind to do whatever they wanted to do with themselves. A description of what was going on before the flood; a description of what is going on now. An increase in wickedness. Verse 6: "And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."
It's a precious verse. God was grieved. You know what that tells me? It tells me that the deist is absolutely wrong. God is not some aloof God that wound up the universe and then stepped back to see what would happen and learns as life goes on. That God is Almighty and transcendent but somehow desires an interaction, an intimacy with His creation. To walk with them, to fellowship with them. So that God can feel emotion. God can be grieved, it says. He was grieved. God can be hurt. The Holy Spirit can be quenched. The Lord can be blessed and made happy. Now it's difficult to describe exactly what this emotion is like. Theologians have a term for it, if you're interested, they call it anthropopathism. And anthropopathism is describing God using human emotion. And to what level you can make that correlation is difficult and for our purposes, we don't need to get into that. Just know that God feels deeply when His creation goes the opposite direction than what He intended them to go. And so He was sorry that He made man. And the Lord said I will destroy the earth.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, there was a book, it's still published, by Frederic Farrar called Seekers of God. Seekers of God, at that time, was a very popular book. So there was a bookseller on the West Coast that ran out of copies, everyone was buying up the book Seekers of God. So he telegraphed to the East Coast, New York, and said, 'Would you please send as many as you have on the shelves to us?' The telegraph came back from New York to California and this is what it said, 'No Seekers of God in New York. Try Philadelphia.'
Well, in Noah's time, Noah could have telegraphed, 'No seekers of God on earth.' Noah was the exception. And that's why verse 8 is so beautiful: "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Now my English teacher told me never start a sentence with the word 'but.' It's a negative conjunction. Actually, that's the best way to begin a sentence right about here. With all of that wickedness and all of that perversion, to have something that says, 'But.' In contrast to that there was a person who walked with God and who was upright and just. It's a welcome transition at this point. Noah found grace. See the word grace? That's the first time it's mentioned in Scripture. And we talk about the rule of first mention. Hold on just a minute. I thought some nails were poking out. It's difficult to concentrate. The mind cannot retain what the seat cannot endure. And the seat could not endure.
Noah found grace, and may I as well, in the eyes of the Lord. "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man [number one], perfect [the Hebrew word, tamim, which means 'filled with moral integrity'; in other words, what you see is what you get. He was on the inside what you see on the outside. He was true through and through. That's the idea of the word tamim—complete, perfect. He was a just man, or righteous, perfect, complete, moral integrity] in his generations. Noah walked with God." One of my favorite Scriptures is 2 Chronicles 16: "The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth, that He might show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him." Or loyal toward Him. He was complete, loyal, perfect in his generations, and he walked with God.
There is a difference between reputation and character. With Noah, they were the same. Reputation is what people think you are and see you to be on the outside. It's what you are in public; that's your reputation. Your character is who you are when nobody's looking. With Noah, they were the same. There was a man who died. He was a scoundrel. When he died, they found a preacher to do the funeral. Preacher never met the guy before, but the preacher got carried away in his sermon message and started talking about this guy whom he never met, saying what a wonderful husband he was and what a great dad he was and what an awesome boss he was. Well, his wife was sitting in the front row and had this perplexed look on her face and finally she said to her son, 'Go up and look in the casket and make sure it's your father.' Not with Noah. He was true all the way through. Complete. He walked with God. And what saves Noah and his family from the flood is the same thing that saved Enoch from the judgment and why he was taken off the earth. Because he walked with God. And thus Noah walked with God.
"And Noah begot three sons." Now mark who they are; they'll be important in chapters to come. "Shem, Ham, and Japheth." You'll need those names because they will be divided up genealogically in chapter ten and so I can abridge chapter ten when I get to it. It's another long list of names, the table of nations, know this. Shem became the father and the descendents were the Semitic races, the Shemites were the Semites, you've heard of anti-Semitic. The idea comes from Shem. They were the Hebrews, they also settled in a lot of the lands around the near east, they were the sons and daughters of Shem. Ham was the Canaanites that inhabited the land of Israel before Israel got there. They were the Canaanites; the original occupants. Parts of Egypt and Africa is where the Hammites settled. Now Ham, you'll discover, after the flood Noah gets drunk and is lying in the cave exposed. He goes in and sees it and broadcasts that to everybody, saying, 'You wouldn't believe what I just saw! I just saw my dad drunk in the cave without any clothes on!' Because of that embarrassing moment, when he wakes up, Noah will curse Canaan, the son of Ham and make the Canaanites to be the servant of the Shemites. Because of that event which has been the case historically.
And then Japheth. Japheth was the father of those in Medea, Persia, Germany, Russia, the Galls, the Greeks, some of the Roman tribes, etcetera. You just keep that in mind when you get to chapter ten. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." There's the fourth mark. Violence increased in the land. And we've seen how it started. Cain killed Abel, is the first human murder, and then Lamech killed a young man for hurting him. We read that in chapter four. And by this time it's now become an epidemic. We talked about this film Shattered before the Bible study. When we were filming for that, it was interesting. I did and interview of a man who was the father of one of the young boys that was killed at Columbine high school. And we did the interview up on a hill overlooking the library of Columbine, where his son was killed. I'll never forget what he told me. He said, "I feel responsible for my son's death. I placed him in the environment of a secular school that taught him survival of the fittest, the evolutionary theory, the secular theories of man. And survival of the fittest, that the stronger will get rid of the weaker. And these two boys who killed all of my children simply took the teaching that was taught to them by their teachers to its logical extreme." In fact, in the basement tapes that he went through in the documents, that's what they kept saying. Evolution. Survival of the fittest—we're the fittest, we will destroy the weaker ones. They took the theory to its logical conclusion and killed who they deemed to be the weakest. There is an epidemic of violence in our culture. It's evident by what people watch, by what people will let themselves be entertained by, it's evident in the statistics. 20,000 people a year in our country are murdered every 24 minutes in America. That's what we're dealing with. It's rampant. Like in the days of Noah.
"So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood, make rooms [or literally, nests] in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch [something that would resist water and seal it]. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks."
So God gives sort of a blueprint to Noah and it's obvious why. Noah didn't know anything about building boats. This was a huge undertaking. Nothing like this had ever been built. Noah didn't understand the displacement of solid objects in water. That if you have something solid and it weighs slightly more than the same amount of water that it's going to sink unless you displace the water by moving its weight around, hollowing it out, so to speak. He didn't understand that. God, of course, knew it and just gave him the directions: how big it's supposed to be. This is how big it was in our vernacular: 450 feet long, that's one and a half football fields long, 75 feet wide, that's seven parking spaces wide, 45 feet tall, that's three or four stories, probably three modern stories. So there were three decks, it says, spaced fifteen feet apart. Again, Dr. Henry Morris and John Whitcomb in their fabulous book, The Genesis Flood, calculated that there would be 100,000 square feet of deck space in the ark. There would be 1.4 million cubic feet of storage space in that boat. Or the equivalent of 522 normal size train cars. And it could easily accommodate 125,000 animals or 125,000 animals the size of sheep. Now, some were bigger, some were smaller.
According to Whitcomb and Morris, at the time of the flood, there were less than 17,600 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians that were on the earth. So you needed double that, because you had two of each, male and female for procreation and reproduction, so you need space for 35,000. But they had to have five of the clean animals because 371 days after the flood started it would end and he would be out sacrificing to the Lord of that cadre of animals. So according to Whitcomb and Morris, there were no more than 79,000 animals on that ark. And given its size, there was plenty of room, because it could accommodate 125,000 animals the size of sheep. So it was big enough and it was stable enough. Though it doesn't look like much, as you can see from some of the drawings that were put up, it's basically a large box. But it was stable. In fact, it's the same dimensions as many a modern aircraft carrier or cargo boat. There's a British ship called the Drednot that's almost identical in proportion.
There's an American cargo ship that was called the USS New Mexico. It's not far from those dimensions. Six hundred and twenty-four feet long, 103 feet wide, and thirty feet tall; it's not dimensionally too far off that track. I wish I had a scale model. We used to have one around but we can't find it. It must have been destroyed in a smaller flood; we don't know.
Verse 16: "You shall make a window for the ark." Praise God for the window! Can you imagine the stink of that many animals? A floating zoo for a year. And you would need a clear story window that would go eighteen inches all the way around. Something to collect rain water for survival, and something to get rid of the smell. So praise God for the window. "And set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you." So a total of eight people went onto the ark and were saved. And what we see here is the eight from which the Redeemer would come. The earth was destroyed and all of the things that happened to the human race that brought the judgment were all because of Genesis 3:15. Remember that? God said, 'I'm going to bring a Redeemer who's going to crush the head of Satan.' So, you know, if the whole Cain and Abel thing doesn't work out, and it didn't because Seth became the favored child, now let's just destroy everybody. And everybody was destroyed except Noah because he walked with the Lord. And these eight. And the whole race starts because of that.
Verse 18 is important: "I will establish My covenant with you." This is the first mention of the word covenant, and we're going to point this out in the Scripture. When you get first mentions of something, it's important. And you're going to find the word 'covenant' is an important concept throughout Scripture. It's the Hebrew word, berit. And it simply is an agreement; it's a platform by which God can interact with man. There were two types of covenants in the ancient world. One was called a parity covenant. Parity simply means equal. And so this was an agreement between two people who were equal. So Abraham makes a covenant with Abimelech of Egypt—that's a parity agreement. They were equal. One was the king of a local area and Abraham was a sheikh or a notable gentleman. They made a covenant that was equal because they were on the same par.
The second form of ancient covenant was the sousareignty covenant. Sousareign is a word that means a superior over an inferior. So if you have a king that reigns over a vessel state, it's that kind of a covenant. The covenant that God makes with man is that kind of a covenant. God is superior and makes covenant with people and you'll find different forms of covenant throughout the Bible. Until we get to this covenant, the new covenant, which is an unconditional covenant. And I'll describe more of what those different kinds of covenants are. I don't want to overwhelm you in one night. We'll just leave it there and go on.
"And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive." Now this answers another question that people have. That is the problem of getting all those animals there. It's not like God said, 'OK, now Noah, you're gonna have to do a lot of walking, dude. You've got to find all those animals.' No, they're going to come to you. Just like God could put some little wire, some GPS chip sort-of, just send a signal for them to come to him. Now understand that if there was a canopy around the earth that brought the leveling of temperatures worldwide like we've talked about and suggested in previous studies, then the animals on the earth would not have been as widely dispersed as they are in our day. They would all, since the relative temperature of the earth would be the same everywhere, you'd find those species that he brought on the ark close by. And so those close by could come on the ark and the rest would be destroyed. And those would be saved and regenerate the earth. But they will come to you, verse twenty.
Verse 21: "And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them. Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did." In Hebrews 11, we have a little bit of a comment on this. It says, "By faith Noah built an ark to the saving of his household. He was moved with godly fear" the fear of the Lord to build an ark to the saving of his household. Now in building the ark, he demonstrated his faith. He says he did it by faith, I suppose to get out there and nail one plank to another to another to another day after day, month after month, year after year, and say, 'There's a flood coming on the earth!' would be quite a demonstration of faith. Because as he hammers the first nail, I'm sure he's thinking, 'What am I doing?! This is nuts!' But then, when his neighbors would say, 'Noah, what're you building?' 'I'm building a boat.' 'Yes, we can see that. Now we want to know why and why it's going to be so big.' 'Well, God told me He's gonna send a flood.' 'Oh… so God speaks regularly to you, huh?' 'Well, I do walk with the Lord and the Lord did tell me He's going to judge the earth.' 'Noah, what have you been smoking lately? Or what are you into now?'
It would be quite a demonstration of faith to build that and to bring that message year after year, 120 years until the flood did come on the earth and those first, second, and third days of rainfall would change their minds. "Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did."
I'm going to throw this in. This is the fifth condition worldwide that was going out at the time of Noah that I think is going on how. And we'll bring that into the prophetic picture as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man. Unheated preaching. Noah preached year after year and yet only his family entered the ark. Nobody else listened to him. There's not even a record that when the rain came and the waters started filling up the local areas, that somebody banged on the door of the boat and said, 'Please, let us in! We believe!' I'm sure God would have spared them if they would have. There's no record of that. Unheated preaching. Preaching year after year; nobody listens, nobody wants to apply it, and nobody wants to also demonstrate that faith as he did. Now I have a question. Do you think that Noah theologically was conservative or theologically liberal? And please understand, I'm not talking politics here. I'm talking theology.
A liberal theologian is somebody who says, 'I don't believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. I think it's all figurative and it's all really just sort of meant to mean something else. It's all an analogy; it's all a myth; it's all an allegory.' Somebody who's conservative theologically believes that the Bible is the Word of God, is inspired by God, all of it, and is to be taken literally. Do you think Noah was literal in his theology when God gave him the exact dimensions of the ark? Or do you think Noah said, 'Well, actually that could be an allegorical number that could mean so many things.' I think he believed the Word of God literally. I think he was very, very conservative in his theology and he was going to make it exactly the dimensions God told him to. And thus Hebrews 11 is fulfilled: "By faith he was moved with godly fear and he built an ark and so as God commanded [it underscores that] so he did."
Now there's a salvation element in the ark. That is, the ark is a symbol of salvation. And I close with this. The ark was invented by God not by man. Noah didn't come up with the idea. It was God's idea; it was God's blueprint. It was completely by God—it's God's design. Number two, the only way to be saved from the judgment. There weren't three or four different paths, or ways, there was only one way and that was, 'Get on the boat or die.' If you're outside the boat saying, 'I don't believe there's only one ark; I believe there are many arks.' Go ahead and believe that. There only is one, though. And only eight made it. Number three; there was only one door to the ark. And Jesus said, "I am the door." I am the only way; "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me." If I were to give a type or an analogy, I would say that if I'm to take now that judgment and move ahead to the great tribulation judgment, I see a parallel. I mentioned that there were two great catastrophes in past history. One is the creation; the second is the flood. There will be a third—the tribulation that will then usher in the millennium that will usher in the destruction of the earth and a new heaven and a new earth. So there's more cataclysm to come.
In the tribulation, when God again judges the earth, there's going to be a believing remnant of Jewish people. 144,000. They will be spared through the tribulation period, sealed by God, the Bible says, on their foreheads and protected during the great tribulation period. The final 3 ½ years. That believing Jewish remnant—144,000. Believers, according to the way I read the Bible, won't be here for the great tribulation. Some of you believe they will be and that we will go through the tribulation, and I believe that you have the right to be wrong. You can believe whatever you want—it doesn't happen to be right. But that believers will be raptured before the tribulation period off the earth. Just like Noah, I see him representing the Jewish remnant, preserved during the time of the flood, but there was someone who was raptured before that, and his name was Enoch. He walked with God and he was not, for the Lord took him. And what the Lord did in the past, I believe the Lord will do in the future, and take those who walk with Him, who are His children, saved by grace, by the blood of Christ. So salvation is up to us now. He says, 'There is the way, judgment is coming, it can be escaped, but you gotta get on board. And you can only come through one door and that's through Jesus.'