|(5c) How was Noah's Ark a picture of the eternal security of a TRUE believer ?|
|Book 3 LESSON ONE * PART I |
NOAH, "SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER"
The ark was tremendous in size and capable of holding all the Bible says it did. Most important, the ark was a picture of our Salvation. The Hebrew word "pitch," used in conjunction with the ark, is the same word that's translated "atonement" in other Scriptures. The pitch sealed the ark against the waters of judgment making it a place of safety for those within. The Blood (atonement) of Christ makes our salvation secure. If a person is not "under the Blood" he does not have Salvation! Also, God was in the ark when He made the invitation to Noah, his family, and all of creation to enter the ark. It was time for judgment to fall. But after the animals and Noah and his family were securely inside the ark, God left the door open another seven days so anyone else could come into that ark of safety; but none came.
"And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in."
Underline that last phrase in your Bible; it's tantamount to New Testament doctrine. It says, "The LORD closed it behind him." The word "LORD" in all capital letters in the Old Testament always refers to "Jehovah." With maybe a few exceptions, Jehovah is God the Son - Jesus' Old Testament revelation. When the LORD, Jehovah, God the Son, invited them into the ark, He became the gyroscope that maintained the safety of the ark throughout the flood, and when we look at the flood closely, we'll see it was more than just calmly rising water. So, God shut the door! There was only one door in the ark, and in the New Testament, we are told over and over there is only "One Door!" John 10:1-14 uses the analogy of the Sheepfold Door: the only door to the sheepfold is The Lord Jesus. Peter also makes this plain in Acts 4:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Later on Paul uses this analogy in I Corinthians 3:11:
I Corinthians 3:11
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
This is the reason there was only one door going into the ark, and when that door was shut, there was no possible way anyone else could enter. There was only one window in the top of the roof, but it could not have provided access to someone from the outside. There was probably a band just under the eve or roof-line of the ark for ventilation, but the water couldn't splash into it as the seas rose. All these things are pertinent to our own Salvation experience. There's only one door to Salvation, and when we enter that door, God seals it. There's not a human latch on that door - God shuts us in!
With that background (as there is so much controversy and confusion today about the whole concept of eternal security, I am teaching it as I believe The Lord has revealed it to me, for that is where my responsibility lies), coming from the perspective of the ark, we want to stop and analyze this particular doctrine. Are we secure once we've entered into the ark of safety? Is the Blood of Christ sufficient to take us through those times of testing and the final judgment? Go to Romans 8. We have established that God "shut the door," and it was the pitch - the Atonement as it were - that sealed out those waters of judgment for Noah. It's the Blood of Christ that secures us from any judgment from whatever source. This is a tremendous promise for us. Can God lie? Absolutely not! If we believe The Bible is the inspired Word of God, then if God said it, that settles it! There's no controversy. Verse 1:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,..."
That's conditional! That's qualified! That doesn't cover the whole human race. But for those members of the human race that are "in Christ Jesus" the promise of God is that we will never face condemnation. I don't use the rest of the verse given in the King James Version because almost every scholar that has looked into these things maintains that the last part of verse 1 was never in the original manuscripts. It has only shown up in a few, and they feel that somewhere along the line, someone who was not inspired added that portion that reads "...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." It comes up again later in the chapter where it is appropriate.
"There is therefore now no condemnation..." That means exactly what it says! There is nothing that God can bring against us in condemnation if we are in Christ Jesus! Why? For the same reason that once Noah and his family went into the ark, and the door was shut and the ark was sealed against the waters of judgment, no harm could come to them. In the first seven chapters of the Book of Romans, the Holy Spirit has been mentioned only once or twice. That's what leaves Paul in such a dilemma in Chapter 7 verse 15 when he says, "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that do I." Then he breaks out in Chapter 8 with the remedy, The Holy Spirit. In this short chapter, the Holy Spirit is mentioned nineteen times! Verse 14:
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
Not they "might be," or they can "hope to be," but they are! That's a present tense verb. Take a contemporary situation, a husband and wife with two or three children. One of the children becomes a belligerent renegade - he is an embarrassment to everything the family stands for. Finally, his parents say, "He is such an embarrassment that we don't even want him to partake in the inheritance. Let's go to the law and totally disinherit him. Let's not even recognize him as a son." And so they do. But know matter where that child goes, whose blood is flowing through his veins? His Parents'!
It's the same way here. Once we have entered into this kind of a relationship, and we have become bonafide children of God by virtue of all the acts of God that are attendant to our Salvation, who can change that? No one, it can't be done. We may think that God should kick someone out of His family, but the Scripture stands. If that person has genuinely entered in, he is in permanently. This is where I make the qualifications. I am a firm believer in eternal security only for those who have been genuinely saved. For a genuinely saved person, there is no condemnation. But I'm not talking about people who may have gone through some set of rules whereby they became church members and automatically by rote repetition are qualified as a Christian. I don't buy that! People who just simply walk the aisle, following whatever procedure may be given to them, and doing it by rote repetition, are not genuinely saved. That's not Salvation. But for the person who has genuinely come under the power of The Holy Spirit, and has genuinely believed the Gospel with all his heart, then I have to maintain what the Scripture says, "There is therefore now no condemnation..." He is a child of God and always will be. Let's read on starting with verse 15:
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "...ye have received..." - this is past tense, it's been done! We come into that relationship with God as complete, mature sons. That is brought about to a fuller extent in verse 16:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" There are no if's, and's, but's or maybe's! We are children of God! The Spirit makes us know we are sons of God.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
Look at these promises! If we're children, then we are heirs of God; and if we're heirs of God, then we are joint heirs with Christ. Do you know what it means to be a joint heir? It means that everything that is His is ours. But on the other hand, everything that is ours is His also! Many believers don't like to accept that thought. Just as surely as everything that's God's is now ours, He expects that everything that's ours is His. If he expects it, He doesn't command it - He doesn't demand it. And this is the beauty of Grace.
Occasionally, people say things that just make my day. One night as I was leaving, I heard a dear lady that I know has been a believer for years saying to a friend, "It wasn't until the last two or three weeks that I've come to understand the Grace of God." We had been discussing Genesis where Ishmael came on the scene. Hagar had become pregnant by Abram and she was causing such trouble in the home that Sarai finally said, "Abram, get her out of here, I can't stand it." So Abram did. But God came on the scene and told Hagar to return to Sarai's tent. Why didn't He just leave her in the desert where she and her son finally ended up anyway? Because of God's eternal purpose in this situation. It would be a living example of a New Testament truth.
A few years later, Abraham's son of promise, Isaac was born. He was the one that God has said in the beginning would be born. As Isaac became a young boy, Ishmael made life miserable for him. Then God entered the situation directly and instructed Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out into the wilderness, for Ishmael will not live under the same roof with the son of promise, Isaac. That sounds almost cruel, but God did all this because Paul was going to use that as an allegory in Galatians 4:21-31:
"Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman (Ishmael) was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman (Isaac) was by promise." Ishmael stood for Law and legalism; Isaac stood for Grace. To prove those two can't let live under the same roof, Paul says:
"But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
So even as Ishmael was sent out, so also must Law and legalism be sent out, because Law and legalism cannot live under the same roof with the son of promise, Isaac, who represented Grace. We have to come to the understanding that we live under Grace - the very grace of God which is beyond our human comprehension! That's the only reason I can stand here and teach that if you are once a genuine born again child of God, you can never be cast out. Arguments arise by those who say, "I know so and so who did such and such." My answer is, if God hasn't begun a disciplining process in their lives, I doubt if they have ever been genuinely saved.
The Bible makes it so clear that if you're a child of God and you begin to waver in your walk, He will begin to discipline you. Then we also can see that the Bible says that if discipline doesn't work, and we get rebellious, God will take us home. He's not going to let someone stay and continue to bring reproach to His Name. Remember I used the illustration of the Redeemer, and how one was bought out of the salve market and totally removed from anything that would tie him to the slave market. His Roman master gave him his freedom so that he could go anywhere in the empire with a purchased citizenship. What was the servant likely to say? "You, my master, have done so much for me, I want to stay here and be your servant." That's exactly how Salvation works. Once we have come into the grace of God and comprehend all that God has done for us, how can we help but want to serve Him? We're going back to Romans 8:22. This is a whole different thought in here and we'll come back to it another time. Paul continues:
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Paul says that we as believers have the "firstfruits of the Spirit." He goes on to say that we are waiting for the "redemption of our body." Most believers have sat under teaching about the Salvation of the soul, but I've found as I've gotten into The Word, that God is not just concerned for the soul, but He is concerned about the redemption of the whole person: Body, Soul and Spirit. In light of that, turn to I Corinthians 12. We're following this same concept, that once we enter into that ark of safety (which for us is the Gospel of Salvation - that Christ died, His Blood was shed, He was buried and He rose again) and when we believe that with all our hearts, then we enter into eternal redemption. In I Corinthians 12: 12,13, we see Paul expressing this concept of being in the "Body." Instead of the ark, he uses the illustration of the human body as a type of the "Body of Christ." The human body is made up of all its various parts; fingers, toes, eyes, etc. These are all different organs with different functions, but they all operate under one center of operation in the mind and make up One Body.
I Corinthians 12:12,13
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
Now, does the Holy Spirit baptize with water? No! So, this is not talking about water baptism, yet nearly every Christian group will not accept a person for membership without water baptism. Do you really believe that every member in your congregation is a born again child of God? Of course not! We are all members of congregations where there are unbelievers who have been baptised under whatever form of baptism their particular group uses. There are still people coming into every group who are totally unsaved; they're baptised and they are members there, but they are not members of the Body of Christ. There will be no unbelievers in the Body of Christ because that's the work of the Holy Spirit - to immediately place or baptize them into the Body of Christ. The reason Paul uses this analogy of the human body is that some believers' roles are no more that that of a little pinkie finger. Some may even have the role of a little toe, which most people never see. Others may be in more visible roles, but every one of us, regardless of where God has placed us in the Body, has a function in that Body, be it small or great.
We'll get back to Romans 8 in moment, but here in I Corinthians 12, it shows very clearly what God expects of His children. Here, Paul mentions the gifts that really amount to something; the very gifts Christ uses, by an act of the Holy Spirit, to search the heart. The Holy Spirit will never place an unbeliever into the Body of Christ. None of us can examine someone else close enough to screen him from the membership in our local church. We can't do it, and we're not supposed to. That's why Jesus gave the illustration during His earthly ministry of the "tares and the wheat." Years ago, when I was teaching in that concept of the tares and the wheat, an agronomist at the college brought in some tares and wheat. You couldn't tell the difference, but one would never give a grain and the other would. It's the same way in the church. We can't judge and say, "That church member is not a child of God." That's not our job. But, we have to be aware that in the Body of Christ there are no false professors - only the genuine believer is in the Body of Christ, and that's the only Christ there is.
So that's the membership you'd better be sure of. Don't worry about whether you are member of the biggest church in town or the smallest; just be sure you are a member of the Body of Christ, and remember the qualification: It's for all! "For by one spirit we were baptised into one body!"