One thing we should always keep in mind is that the Word of God is hidden in the Scriptures. Do you understand what I mean by that? If we only relate to the surface content, we will miss what God wants us to receive of His Life and nature: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature… (II Peter 1:4). It is not the historical information that is most important, but the divine Life that the Holy Spirit can minister to us through them if we allow Him to do so. Paul said, The letter kills, but the Spirit gives Life (II Corinthians 3:6).
The very fact that the first half of the Bible is called the Old Testament and the last half is called the New Testament can cause you to miss God’s intent for the Scriptures. The whole Bible should be viewed as a present Word for God’s people. This is what Paul was saying when he referred to the experiences of Israel. He said, All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come (I Corinthians 10:11). He emphasized this fact again when he wrote to the church at Rome: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (Romans 15:4). Jesus spoke the same truth to the Pharisees, only they couldn’t receive it. He said to them, Had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me (John 5:46). Moses wasn’t just writing about the tabernacle, the modes of worship – offerings and sacrifices – the priesthood and laws or the history of Israel. In the words of Jesus, He wrote of Me. You see, the Old Testament carries the divine Life of the Lord the same as the New Testament. It is all the Word of God! It is all Spirit and Life (John 6:63)! It is all God (John 1:1)! But you will not receive of the Life that is available if you only relate to the information. The Life of God is hidden in the writings; it is a treasure hid in the field (Matthew 13:44).
Now, with this foundation let’s look at some Scriptures concerning Noah. You do realize that Noah, like many other characters in the Bible, is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t you? David was a type of Jesus Christ, too. That is why Jesus was often called the Son of David. But everything about David didn’t refer to the Lord. For example, David’s sin with Bathsheba did not reveal the nature of Christ; it revealed the adamic nature of David.
Genesis 6:13-18 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.
14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
The account of Noah and the ark reveals certain truths that point to the Lord Jesus and His Church. Let’s take a look at some of them.
First, the ark is made of wood, which, of course, is obtained from a tree. Trees in the Scriptures are often symbolical. In Isaiah 61:3 the saints are called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. Then, in the first Psalm, the righteous man is likened unto a tree planted by the rivers of water (Psalm 1:3). The tree being cut down and sawn to make boards and then nailed and fitted together to make the ark speaks of the work of the cross we go through as the Lord brings us together in the Body of Christ. It is interesting to note that the word translated “pitch” (kopher) literally means “ransom” or “atonement for life.” And it is used as such in Exodus 21:30, …he shall give for the ransom (kopher) of his life. All of this refers prophetically to the Lord Jesus and His many-membered Body, the Church.
Then we find the measurements of the ark to be thirty cubits in height, fifty cubits wide, and three hundred cubits in length. Thirty is seen as a ministry of authority. Joseph (Genesis 41:41, 46) and David (II Samuel 5:4) and Jesus (Luke 3:23) all began their ministry of authority at the age of thirty. Fifty is the number of Pentecost, which took place fifty days after Passover, and three hundred is the number of divine deliverance. Enoch walked with God for three hundred years and he was not (Genesis 5:22, 24). Also, God used Gideon’s three hundred to deliver Israel from the Midianites (Judges 7:7). All of this points to the ministry of the Body of Christ.
There is only one window in the ark to let in light, which speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as our only source of light and revelation (John 8:122; Revelation 21:23). Also, there is but one door that clearly points to Jesus Christ as the Door, our only access to God (John 10:7).
It should also be noticed that the building of the ark takes place prior to the ministry of judgment upon the world of wickedness. This must be so because the saints will be the executors of God’s judgments. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God. I Peter 4:17. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all His saints. Praise you the Lord. Psalm 149:6-9.
In the same way that the ark is a type of the Church, Noah building the ark prefigures the Lord Jesus Christ who builds the Church. The name Noah means “rest,” which also points to Jesus, for it is in Him that we find rest: Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Noah entering the ark also points to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in His saints: When He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe (II Thessalonians 1:10). This is a spiritual coming of His presence and Life in us. Next, we see that the judgments of the Lord upon the wicked begin when Noah enters the ark, and so it will be with the Lord. The judgments of God will begin when the presence of the Lord comes forth in His Church. The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:7-10). Now, let’s see what Jesus has to say about Noah and the ark in the Book of Matthew.
Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the
Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Most of the sermons in the past have emphasized the eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage of verse 8, that it is at this time that the coming of the Lord takes place. The eating, drinking, and marrying, though, does not depict a certain time in history when the Lord will come. Those things are common in any age; people are always eating, drinking, and marrying. The point here is not so much the great wickedness in sinful acts as it is indifference; people caught up in worldly life and not concerned about a spiritual life in God.
Jesus is relating these verses to His disciples, and in doing so He is giving us truths that are not easily seen by everyone. It is not unusual for the Lord to cover the treasures of His Word, making them less obvious to the natural eye, for they are meant for those who have a heart to walk in them (Matthew 13:10-17).
The first thing we want to notice is that the Greek word for “coming” in verses 37 and 38 is parousia. The literal translation of parousia is “presence,” not coming. It is not speaking of a bodily presence as so many interpret it. It is speaking of the coming of His Presence and Life in His saints, as we have already discussed. It is the same coming that Paul spoke of in II Thessalonians 1:7–2:8. This becomes more obvious when we relate this account to Noah and his ark.
As we have already seen, the ark represents the Church, which is God’s vehicle of deliverance for His people. Noah building the ark is prophetically speaking of the Lord Jesus building His Church, which is presently taking place in this day. Thus, we see that Noah is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. In verses 37 and 38 Jesus likens the coming of His Presence to Noah entering the ark; as Noah entered the ark so the Presence of the Lord enters His Church (II Thessalonians 1:10). This is how the Church becomes the Body of Christ. And it is His entering the Church that triggers the judgments of God. Therefore, we see that the Church cannot be removed from the earth, because it is through the Church that the Lord ministers His judgments. It is those who are caught up in worldly life – eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage – that are taken away, not the saints.
We will make one last point in this message: One family entered the ark! One family received immunity from the judgments of God! One family was delivered! The majority of the population came under God’s judgments. The Lord is telling us that it will be the same in this day: One family will know the Presence of the Lord and be delivered. Even the majority of Christianity is so caught up in the things of this world that they are not aware that the ark is being built. They are not aware that even now the Presence of the Lord is entering His saints to be glorified in them (II Thessalonians 1:10). The Church is not comprised of all Christians; the Church is a remnant within Christianity. It is the many-membered Christ; it is Christ functioning in the earth. That cannot be said about the church-world. Do you know what is happening even now? Noah is entering his Ark!
Copyright © 2001 by Henry DuBose