Tag Archives: Noah’s Ark

The Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:8)

The location of the biblical Garden of Eden remains a mystery that intrigues many. Recently I received an email from someone who thought he had it figured out. He writes:

I’ve been looking around the area of Iraq in the area where the Tigris and Euphrates river are and I found an area I wonder if it was maybe where the Garden of Eden was or where the Tree of life was. If you think of a garden it would be relatively small and it says that an Angel stood guard at the entrance. If it was here in this picture there is water surrounding the area except for one spot to go in and out of. Please tell me me what you think either way.

 The Euphrates and Pison (possibly the Tigris) are only two of four rivers named whose source was the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:11-14). This is reminiscent of the two rivers described by Ezekiel as flowing from the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 47:1-10 ff.), or the river that flows from the throne of God described in Revelation 22:1.

The Garden of Eden was the place where God met and enjoyed fellowship with man. Throughout Scripture, we see images of similar places, e.g. Mt. Moriah where Abraham offered up Isaac (Genesis 22), which later became the site of Solomon’s Temple, Mt. Sinai where God met with Moses and later gave the Law, Mt. Zion where the Temple was built and where the final Temple will be built, i.e. the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Keeping this in mind, it is very possible that the Garden of Eden was actually in the area of Jerusalem. Throughout Scripture, God names Jerusalem as His special place (1 Kings 11:36; 2 Chronicles 6:6; Nehemiah 1:9). It is also noteworthy that Jerusalem is near the geographical center of all the land mass of earth.[1] Prior to the Global Flood (Genesis 6-9), it is thought that only one super continent (Pangea) existed, and it seems reasonable to think that the Garden of Eden was at the center of the land mass – again, keeping it in the general location of where Jerusalem now stands.

We must also keep in mind that the Global Flood radically changed the topography of the pre-Flood world. Therefore, what existed before, no longer exists. In other words, the rivers mentioned in Genesis 2 are not the same rivers that exist now. The current Tigris and Euphrates rivers were named from the memories that the Ark passengers carried from the previous world. The bottom line is that we cannot know with certainty the location of the Garden of Eden. I suspect that the Garden of Eden was where Jerusalem now is, but I would not bet my next paycheck on it.

Notes:


[1]  Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., “The Center of the Earth” http://www.icr.org/article/50.

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NOah Sail!

Ark Model Display at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Ark Model Display at Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6:14)

The creation ministry Answers in Genesis opens its long-awaited project the Ark Encounter on July 7, 2016. As implied by the name, the project promises to give visitors an “encounter” with Noah’s Ark. The main attraction is a full-scale model of Noah’s Ark based on the Egyptian Royal cubit of 20.6 inches and making the model an enormous 515 feet long. That is almost the length of 1 ¾ football fields.

The Ark will house many exhibits including life-sized animal models – many animated to be sure – to help visitors experience what life on the Ark might have been like. This will include the storage of food for the crew of eight, plus that of all the animal passengers. It will instruct the visitors on how the care and feeding of so many animals could be accomplished with only eight people onboard.

noah-arkThe importance of this attraction lies in the understanding that a large majority of people today reject the Bible as myth due to accounts such as that of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9. Even many liberal theologians compromise with the secularist in attributing the origin of the account to the Epic of Gilgamesh, or suggest that the Flood was only local and not global as described in Scripture.  Many adults today, if they think of Noah’s Ark at all, remember the stories read to them as children and remember the pictures of a tiny little boat with animals sticking their heads out of different port holes. Or they remember cute little bathtub toys with which they played at bath time. So, the idea of a wooden vessel large enough to house so many animals defies reason. The Ark Encounter will change that thinking, or at least give them something to think about.

I look forward to visiting sometime after it opens, and I would encourage others to plan a trip up to northern Kentucky to experience it for yourself. While there, you can also visit Answers in Genesis Creation Museum. To get the most out of the visit, I would plan for at least three days. It will really be worth your time.

ark sail

The Sail

Not to take anything away from this most excellent endeavor by Answers in Genesis, but I do have one small bone to pick with the exterior design of the Ark. The ark replica under construction sports a tall stationary “sail” at the bow of the “ship” and a rudder-like structure, called a skeg, at the stern of the “ship.”

The Skeg

The Skeg

Tim Lovett is the designer of the ark replica. I do not know anything about Mr. Lovett, but according to the cover on his book Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box, he is a naval expert and a mechanical engineer. Lovett employed sound reasoning in the design of his ark. The “sail” is a wooden superstructure that rises high above the weather deck along the centerline of the ship. I say “ship” because the hull construction of this ark resembles what one would imagine for a modern ship with a tapered prow and stern. Hence the idea of “Thinking Outside the Box.” Prior to Lovett’s ship-like ark, most conventional thought rendered the Ark more box shaped – like a barge – than a navigable ship. Though unconventional, Lovett’s design makes good sense. The design prevents “broaching” i.e. catching a wave broadside. A tsunami-like wave in order of 100 ft or higher (which we would expect from the catastrophe described in the Flood account) could possibly swamp and capsize the vessel. On a navigable ship, an experienced sea captain would turn his ship into the wave to prevent broaching, but the Ark was not a navigable ship. Taking this into consideration, Lovett designed his ark with a sail and skeg that take advantage of the wind that generates the waves (sometimes but not always) and the motion of the wave to turn the ark in the direction of the wave and accomplish something similar to that of the experienced sea captain. It really is a very clever design.

Lovett defends his design by pointing to the ship construction of the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, etc., and suggests that pre-Flood people probably possessed similar shipbuilding skills. If that were the case, then Noah probably had access to the same technology, and assuming, as we do, that pre-Flood people were actually of higher intellect than modern man (being that they were genetically closer to the perfectly created man, Adam), then it stands to reason that Noah had the intellect, knowledge and skills to build such a vessel.

There Lovett argues from scriptural silence. The Bible makes absolutely no mention of maritime travel in the pre-Flood world. We can surmise that they were technologically skilled by the descriptions given in Genesis 4:20-22, but the description is rather limited: they kept cattle, made musical instruments, and worked in brass and iron. That is really not up to the standard that we might consider technology today, however, that is not the point of the narrative. These people were not “knuckle draggers;” they were highly intelligent, yet there is nothing said about their abilities to navigate the open seas. Would that not be significant? So, Noah’s shipbuilding skills are merely a product of Lovett’s speculation, and we should leave it at that. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we remember that it is “speculation,” not Bible.

Let us consider what the Bible does say. We know that the human race had become wicked and corrupt (Genesis 6:1-7) to the point that God had no other option than to destroy them all; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). God instructed Noah to build an ark. The Hebrew word translated “ark” is têbâh, and it means “box” – not a “ship” or a “boat.” It is a box.  Further, God instructed Noah what building materials to use: gopher wood and pitch. No one knows what gopher wood is. Some think it is some kind of extinct tree, and some think it may have been a method of construction or a process of laminating wood. We do not know. The point is that Noah knew what it was. “Pitch” is the Hebrew word kôpher which literally means “cover,” the same word that is used for “atonement.” Some have suggested that it was bitumen – a tar – but whatever it was, it was meant to seal the Ark and make it watertight.

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Noah was given the dimensions for the Ark 300 x 50 x 30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), and it was to have three decks and animal pens (Genesis 6:14).  God’s instructions also included a “window” (Genesis 6:16). The Hebrew word translated “window” is tsôhar, which literally means “double light,” and is translated elsewhere in the O.T. as “noon” or “midday.” Considering these details, one would think that something so prominent as a “sail” or a “skeg” would have been noted. But again, this is an argument from silence that does not necessarily negate Noah having added this detail of his own volition. We can infer from Scripture that Noah employed some of his own initiative when, at the end of the Flood, we read, “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6, emphasis mine). In this case the Hebrew word translated “window” is challôn, which is always translated as “window” in the O.T. This was something different than the “window” God specified for construction.

So, could the Ark withstand the ravages of the catastrophic global flood without the benefit of a sail and skeg? To answer that question, we must answer some fundamental questions. Who brought the judgment upon the human race (Genesis 6:7)? Who decided to save Noah and his family (Genesis 6:18)? Who gave the order to build the Ark and provided the specifications (Genesis 6:14-16)? Who selected and called the animals to the Ark when it was completed (Genesis 7:7-9)? Who caused the fountains of the deep to burst and for the rain to fall for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:11-12)? Who caused the waters to continue to rise for 150 days (Genesis 7:24)? The answer to all of those questions is God. It was all God’s doing. The next question to ask is: “What was God’s purpose for the Ark?” “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” (Genesis 6:20, emphasis mine).

Considering that God directly planned, directed, and superintended every detail of this catastrophic event, it stands to reason that (since His plan included preserving life on the Ark) He also kept the Ark safe through the turbulence of the storm.

Noah was instructed to build a big box, not a ship. God did not require him to possess shipbuilding skills, only enough skills to build a watertight box. God would take care of the rest. So, while Tim Lovett’s design is clever, well thought out, and reasonable, it is really unnecessary when God’s plan all along was to preserve life. More than that, a simple box preserved in turbulent waters, glorifies God more than a sleek ship designed by man. A ship designed to resist rough waters glorifies the ingenuity of man; but with a simple box, God gets all the glory.

The Ark is a “type” of Christ. Salvation is through grace; it is not by works of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who place their trust in Christ are saved from the storms of life and preserved to enter into a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). It is all God’s doing. The only thing man needs to do is obey God’s call and enter through the only door (John 14:6) to be saved. No clever scheme of man, no matter how refined, can compete with God’s very simple design.

So, if you have an opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter, please do so. It will really be a blessing to you. But when you look at that massive sail and skeg, take it for what it is: a clever product of someone’s imagination. And remember, God does not need our help to accomplish His will.

You might also be interested in reading about the Arm model I built: Building the Ark.

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Says Who?

After the Flood

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   (2 Peter 3:3)

“Scoffers,” as defined by the Apostle Peter in the context of this verse, are those who reject the teaching of Scripture concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, but more generally, scoffers ridicule all teachings of Scripture. Scoffers become, as the Apostle Paul described, “fools” – “Professing themselves to be wise” (Romans 1:22). A “fool,” as defined by the Bible, is one who “hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). While the world has always had a good number of “foolish scoffers,” it seems, to me at least, that their ranks have swelled in these “last days,” or perhaps they have just gotten more brazen. The open and unapologetic Christian will sooner or later encounter scoffers that will mock and challenge one’s faith in the Word of God. When that happens, Peter says, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, emphasis mine).

Recently I had an electronic exchange with a scoffer pretending to be a Christian. (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20) This scoffer mocked the account of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis. He questioned the construction of the Ark, the collecting of the animals, the supposition that dinosaurs were carried onboard and the logistics of taking care of the menagerie. He asserted that dinosaurs did not live at the same time as the biblical account of the Flood, then chided that it made “me ashamed that fundamentalist Christianity is part of our culture, that these ‘adults’ actually live in a mass fantasy world, manipulated by others in their own fantasy world, some of whom have PhD after their name” – referring to creation scientists. He continued, “Don’t you realize that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament, and that the only teaching of Jesus is compassion, for which we don’t need a Bible, or for that matter, a religion?” (emphasis mine)

Proverbs teaches us to “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” (Proverbs 26:5) I assumed the scoffer to be “Christian” from his suggestion “that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament.” Although I found it rather astounding that a “Christian” would only accept less than one-third of the Bible. Obviously, he does not know his Bible very well, which is not something for which to be proud, if one really is a Christian. Consider the following:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (John 1:1-3, 14)

Obviously, that is talking about Jesus, but compare that with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Here the New Testament (NT) claims that Jesus IS God. That being the case, consider the following:

But from the beginning of the creation God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (Mark 10:6-8, emphasis mine)

For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (Mark 13:19, emphasis mine)

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44, emphasis mine)

In the verse above Jesus was referring to Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent [the devil] was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? … And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (emphasis mine)

But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (Matthew 24:37-38, see also Luke 17:26-27, emphasis mine)

Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Matthew 10:15, emphasis mine)

But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:24, emphasis mine)

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Mark 6:11, emphasis mine)

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:29, emphasis mine)

For as Jonas [Jonah] was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Matthew 12:40-41, emphasis mine)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58, emphasis mine)

By now, it should be obvious to even the most Bible illiterate that Jesus, who is God the Creator, affirmed the “myths” of the Old Testament (OT). Not only that, but being God Himself, He is also Author of those “myths.” The NT says that ALL Scripture is “breathed out” by God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis mine)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20-21, emphasis mine)

The writers of the NT only knew the OT as “Scripture.”  So, how did they view the “myths” of the OT?

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 3:9, emphasis mine)

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8, referring to Genesis 3:1-5, emphasis mine)

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7, emphasis mine)

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:20, emphasis mine)

And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5-6, emphasis mine)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7, emphasis mine)

By faith they [Israel] passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. (Hebrews 11:29-30, emphasis mine)

So, the NT confirms all of these “myths.” What then should we do? Discard the New Testament? If Jesus is who the NT says He is, then the scoffer needs to rethink his prideful arrogance. If all the accounts of the OT are simply myths, then Jesus was either misinformed, which precludes His omniscience, or He was lying. In either case, He would be disqualified as God because God, by definition, is all-knowing, and He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18)

If the scoffer really is a “Christian,” (which I doubt), he should take into consideration that the NT confirms the OT miraculous accounts. Therefore, at least by NT standards, the OT is true. If the OT is true, then science rightly practiced will validate what it has to say about Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the division of nations, as well as all other fantastic accounts of the Bible. The Institute for Creation Research does scientific research that confirms what the Bible has to say about creation and other matters of science. The Bible is not a science text book, but when it speaks on scientific matters, it is accurate and trustworthy. The scoffer knows neither the Bible nor science.

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Building the Ark

Noah's Ark Model on display at the Institute for creation Research, Dallas, Texas

Noah’s Ark Model on display at the Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, Texas

 Make thee an ark of gopher wood. (Genesis 6:14)

About five years ago, March 2010, God woke me in the middle of the night and gave me a vision to build a scale model of Noah’s Ark. At the time, I was in the middle of working on my M.C.Ed degree in Biblical apologetics from the School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA) at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), and I needed a Master’s project or a thesis in order to fulfill the requirements for the degree. The Noah’s Ark model would fulfill that requirement.

As with Noah, God gave me a “big picture” vision of all the details that would need to go on the model. Part of that vision included donating the completed model to ICR. In the end, I was unable to complete the model in time for graduation, so I fulfilled my requirements by writing a thesis. However, that did not squelch my determination to complete the model and make good on my promise. So the work continued a few hours every night after work and on weekends. My only limitation was my own “wimpyness.” My garage, where I built the Ark, is not climate controlled, so in the summer temperatures were unbearably hot, and in the winter temperatures were numbingly cold. The five-year timeframe was due to those limitations, but in that time, I spent 1379 hours to complete the task.

The importance of my God-given task results from what Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts” (2 Peter 3:3). Scoffers attack anything “Bible,” but one of their favorite targets is the book of Genesis and what it has to say about Creation, the Fall, and the Global Flood. They say stupid things like, “How could all those animals fit inside the Ark?” Sadly, too many Christians, rather than defend God’s Word, take the side of the scoffers. Therefore, this model serves to encourage Christians to trust God’s Word completely and bolster their faith in defending the Word of God.

Large animal pens. Note the dinosaurs.

Large animal pens. Note the dinosaurs.

God said to Noah, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark” (Genesis 6:14).  The Hebrew word translated “rooms” is qên and it literally means “nests.” That indicates that these would not be large pens where the animals could move around a lot. Noah, his family, and all the menagerie endured 371 days onboard the Ark.

Genesis 6_14(3)

Small animal cages

  That being the case, it is my opinion that God caused the animals to hibernate during that time, so large spaces were not required for the animals. Furthermore, since the average size the animals was about the size of a small cow, a good majority of the animals were small. In order to represent this, made small animal cages for the second deck.

I tried to represent a variety of “kinds” of animals: clean and unclean, mammals, reptiles (dinosaurs) and birds.

I tried to represent a variety of “kinds” of animals: clean and unclean, mammals, reptiles (dinosaurs) and birds.

Starboard Side of the Ark

Starboard Side of the Ark

God gave Noah the dimensions of the Ark as follows: “And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be Starboard Side of the Ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits” (Genesis 6:15). Based on an 18-inch cubit, that would make the Ark 450 feet long (the length of one and one half football fields), 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. My model is 1/60 scale making it 7.5 feet (90 inches) long, 15 inches wide, and 9 inches tall. (Those are inside dimensions.)

The tsôhar

The tsôhar

Noah was also instructed to make a “window” for the Ark. “A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above” (Genesis 6:16). The Hebrew word translated “window” is tsôhar and it literally means a “light” or “double light” as in midday or noon. Only in this passage is it translated “window,” so evidently it was some way to allow outside light into the Ark. Toward the end of the voyage we are told, “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6, emphasis mine). In this case, the Hebrew word is challôn and this word does mean “window” and is so translated throughout the Old Testament.

The challôn

The challôn

This tells me that Noah had some leeway in the construction of the Ark and not every detail was strictly dictated by God. This fact gives me confidence in using my “sanctified imagination” in creating the detail for the model not specified in Scripture.  The roof, therefore, features an opening beneath the eave of the main roof extending the length of the Ark on both sides as well as the vent opening above the main roof. These two sets of “windows” would allow for air circulation and ventilation.

The finished roof with “window”

The one and only door

Noah’s instructions also included “the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof” (Genesis 6:16). Unlike the blasphemous “Noah” movie, the Ark had only a single door.

God also specified three “stories” or decks for the Ark: “with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it” (Genesis 6:16). 

God also specified three “stories” or decks for the Ark: “with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it” (Genesis 6:16).

First story - large animals; Second story - "clean" and small animals; Third story - aviary and storage

First story – large animals; Second story – “clean” and small animals; Third story – aviary and storage

Grain storage (silo)

Grain storage (silo)

Noah was also instructed to carry provisions for his family and for all the animals. “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” (Genesis 6:21). All of these things came to mind in building the model as I attempted to represent, to a limited extent, what would have been carried on the Ark.

Lots of hay

Lots of hay

Family gathering area and work spaces

Family gathering area and work spaces

Aviaries, food stores and fill ports for the forward grain silo

Aviaries, food stores and fill ports for the forward grain silo

Family living quarters, aft aviaries and storage

Family living quarters, aft aviaries and storage

Detail showing stone oven, forward starboard side aviary and storage

Detail showing stone oven, forward starboard side aviary and storage

One of six cisterns for water storage - two on each deck, fore and aft

One of six cisterns for water storage – two on each deck, fore and aft

Cistern detail showing baffle for dampening "slosh"

Cistern detail showing baffle for dampening “slosh”

Cistern detail showing water

Cistern detail showing water

The Noah’s Ark model visually represents the Gospel message in the Ark as a “type” of Christ. The Bible tells us that the world had become so corrupt “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart … The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:6, 11). Things have not changed in all the years since that time. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In His holiness must judge and punish sin, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Just as God is holy, He is also merciful. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8) and He provided a way of salvation. Noah had 120 years to build the Ark. During that time the Bible tells us that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5) pleading for all to repent of their sin and find refuge in the Ark for God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Ark had only one door by which men could enter. Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). God had complete control of the door to Noah’s Ark. When the fountains of the deep burst open and the deluge descended upon the earth, “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). There is still only one way obtain salvation. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The way of salvation in Noah’s day was the wooden Ark with its single door. Today, the way of salvation is through the wooden cross upon which Jesus died; it is the only way. Eight people were saved on the Ark out of the billions that lived on earth at that time. Jesus said, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14, emphasis mine). Today those that place their faith and trust on the cross of Jesus Christ will be saved from eternal death. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). My prayer is that you have found your Ark in Jesus Christ.

See the article in the March 2015 issue of Acts & Facts: http://www.icr.org/article/noahs-ark-model.

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The Exceptions

Fallen Angels

“… and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world …” (Revelation 17:8)

In my last post, “The Book of Life” I talked about the Book of Life that will be opened at the Great White Throne Judgment. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life is sentenced to an eternity in hell. I also expressed my understanding that everyone who has ever been born has their names written in the Book of Life initially, but whether they remain there depends on how they respond to God’s offer of salvation.

I said this was true with some exceptions, but I did not want to go into the details at that time. The reason I did not elaborate on the “exceptions” is because it might sound a little strange or even weird to some people, and trying to explain it in one or two paragraphs would be next to impossible. In fact, books have been written on the subject, so it would be difficult to explain in just a few words.

Just by way of disclaimer: what I am suggesting in the following paragraphs should not be taken as “gospel.” These are simply my thoughts based on studies that I have done, and are not meant to represent any kind of ecclesiastical dogma. There are many things in God’s Word that are not made clear to us, and to attempt to build a case on a shaky foundation is simply foolish. So, I recommend a healthy dose of skepticism before continuing. You may think I am full of bologna, and that is fine. This is something I “think” is true, but I wouldn’t bet my next paycheck on it. So, read on.

You remember in Genesis 3 that Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. She then shared the fruit with Adam who also ate of the fruit so that both sinned by disobeying God’s only commandment – that they should not to eat of that tree. God punished them, as He had warned them, by causing them to die in two ways: (1) they would no longer live forever (when God created man, He intended them to live forever), and (2) they were separated from their Creator. This is what we know as original sin, and all generations since Adam and Eve have inherited original sin. We all have a “sin nature.” That is why the Bible says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, emphasis added). God also cursed the ground from which man was taken so that all of God’s creation suffers because of man’s sin. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22, emphasis added). Adam’s punishment was that work would be hard for him, and Eve’s punishment was that she would have pain in bearing children.

Following that (about 1600 years later), we are told that violence increased in the world. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). That was bad enough, but the first verses of Genesis 6 talks about something that is very strange, and has puzzled biblical scholars for ages . It says:

1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose …
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-2, 4, emphasis added)
 

The “sons of God” in the Hebrew is bene elohim. This term always refers to angels in the Old Testament. (See Job 1:6; Job 2:1; and Job 38:7.) There are two kinds of angels: Satan’s angels (demons) and God’s angels. (Something to keep in mind is that even the devil is God’s devil. God created him, and he rebelled against God. But the devil (Satan) cannot do anything without God’s permission. This is demonstrated in the first three chapters of Job.) So, these demons “mated” with human females to create a mighty race of men. Now, angels cannot procreate directly, so what probably happened is that these demons possessed human males in order to mate with the human females. This somehow altered the DNA of the children born from these demonic unions so that they created “giants.” The Hebrew word used for “giants” is nephalim, and it literally means “fallen ones.”

Imagine just how bad things got that God felt He had to destroy them all. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8) and “Noah was a just man and perfect in all his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9, emphasis added). The phrase that Noah was “perfect in all his generations” does not mean that he was sinless. Remember, “all have sinned.” What this means, then, is that his blood line was not contaminated by the satanic unions of the others.

When I say that there are “some exceptions,” this is to what I’m referring. Revelation 17 discusses the apostate church during the Tribulation who the Antichrist will eventually destroy. About those who follow that apostate church it says, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8, emphasis added). It is very clear that these were never written in the Book of Life – “from the foundation of the world.” It is as if these were never meant to be born.

One would think that the Global Flood should have taken care of all of the “bad seed.” Well, perhaps not all of them. As we continue the narrative in Genesis 6, God sent the Flood that covered the entire earth for almost a whole year. The Bible tells us that Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives were in the Ark for 371 days, before the earth was once again livable.

Then follows an incident where Noah got drunk, and his son Ham saw him naked (Genesis 9:20-29). Ham, instead of covering his father went and told his brothers, Japheth and Shem. So they went into Noah’s tent backward so as not to see the nakedness of their father and they covered him up. When Noah awoke from his drunk and discovered what Ham had done, he cursed Canaan, Ham’s youngest son. So the question is, why did Noah curse Canaan and not Ham or Ham’s other sons? The answer may be that Ham’s wife may have carried some of the “bad seed” of the Nephalim in her, and it showed up in Canaan. One of the characteristics of Nephalim is that they had six fingers. (Goliath’s father had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot (2 Samuel 21:20).) Canaan was probably born with six fingers and when Noah saw it, he cursed him. So, some of these probably still exist in our world today with or without six fingers, but God knows who they are. These would not qualify to be written in the Book of Life.

Canaan’s descendants settled in the “Land of Canaan” which was given to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 13:14-18; 15:18-21). Genesis 10:15-20 describes who these people were and where they settled. “And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha” (Genesis 10:19). These are the people that the children of Israel had to face when they entered the Promise Land. As they prepared to enter into the land, 12 spies were sent in to spy out the land and report back what they encountered. The book of Numbers records the bad report returned by 10 out of the 12 spies. “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33). Again, here the Hebrew word for “giants” is nephalim – the “fallen ones.” In The Henry Morris Study Bible, Dr. Morris makes this note about this verse:

There were also other tribes of giants in the land. “That was also accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims” [i.e., sons of Anak] (Deuteronomy 2:20, 21). Here, and in a number of other passages, the word for “giants” is Rephaim, evidently a tribe descended from the “Rephaims” associated with the “Zuzims” and the “Emims” of Genesis 14:5. The Emims also were called “a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims” (Deuteronomy 2:10).

All of these references indicate that there had been another irruption of the fallen “sons of God” just as in the days before the Flood. This time the irruption was probably in connection with the events surrounding the rebellion at Babel and the subsequent worldwide dispersion of the occult religious system introduced there. These demon-possessed men and women became the progenitors of tribes characterized by giantism, just as in the antediluvian days. (http://www.icr.org/bible/numbers/13:33/)

So, it is apparent that these nephalim somehow managed to survive the Flood. These who survived were descendants of Canaan, which explains why Noah cursed Canaan and not Ham. Oh, and by the way, Ham begat other sons before Canaan: Cush, Mizraim (Egypt), and Phut. Canaan was the youngest, but evidently, he carried the “bad seed.”

Now, to further complicate things, I am sure you have heard of UFOs and of aliens abducting humans. I believe (and I am not alone in this) that these are demons that are doing the same thing today as they were doing back in Genesis 6. (See my article “Aliens?”) These creatures, that may look very human, were never meant to be born, so their names are not written in the Book of Life.

Unless you are one of the nephalim (and you probably are not, if you are reading this), your name is written in the Book of Life. My question to you would be, is your name permanently written in the Book of Life, or is there a possibility that it could be blotted out? That choice is up to you.

Watch “On the Trail of the Nephalim” on YouTube with L.A. Marzulli.

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Who Got It Right?

After the Flood_Joseph_Anton_Koch

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.. (Matthew 5:18)

Someone wrote to me with the following question: “Just wondering if you have done any research into the first civilization, according to science, known to man the Sumaritans [sic]. Their writings contain the original creation story that Moses and many others passed down?”

This is a common question that stems from the study of early world history that is based on evolutionary thinking. The inquirer is assuming that because the Sumerians wrote on clay tablets which have been preserved for thousands of years, that theirs is the oldest known written language, and that other cultures were incapable of writing.

The people before the Flood where highly intelligent people (Genesis 4:22-24) and probably had other methods of writing. It is quite possible that Noah had written records handed down from Adam, who died only a few hundred years before Noah was born. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, was alive around 250 years before Adam died. It is very possible that pre-Flood people wrote on papyrus or something like it so the genealogical record could be passed on. We might also consider the fact that God only gave Noah some general instructions for constructing the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16). I am sure you would agree that drawing out floor plans on clay tablets would have been rather cumbersome. So it seems reasonable that Noah had something more functional on which to draw his plans for the Ark.

The inquirer’s suggestion is based mostly on assumptions made by secular archeologists. Archeology is not an exact “science;” it is a “forensic” science that is highly subjective. Most secular archeologists are biased on the side of evolution, which influences their perception of what they discover. They assume that man “evolved” 100,000 years ago, and did not become “civilized” until sometime around 10,000 B.C. to 8000 B.C.

Since these “scientists” make assumptions based on evolutionary thinking, it is only fair that I be allowed to make some assumptions based on the biblical record. I am going to assume that Noah carried some sort of “paper” records on the Ark and continued to copy those records using the same medium. Paper records would not last thousands of years like those written on clay tablets, therefore, from our perspective, it “appears” that the Sumerian clay tablets are the oldest written record when in fact they are not, and they were actually pretty crude methods of writing even for their time. I will further assume that Noah and his descendants through Shem had more advanced methods of writing, albeit less durable than clay tablets. Writing on paper (papyrus) would require continual copying in order for the records to be preserved. Now, since no one can really corroborate either assumption, I will suggest that my assumption is just as valid as that of the evolutionary archeologists.

Having said that let me also suggest that the Sumerians, by the time they recorded their origins account and Flood story, had a distorted memory of those events. It is often suggested that Moses borrowed the Flood account from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But when one compares the Ark of Gilgamesh with the Ark of Noah, the two are completely different vessels. In fact, Gilgamesh’s Ark is built in the shape of a cube which would render the vessel extremely unseaworthy, while Noah’s Ark (or a model of it) has been laboratory tested and shown to be incredibly stable. What this shows is the Sumerians got it wrong and the Bible got it right.

The nature of such questions is the result of Satan’s unchanged tactic revealed in Genesis 3:1-5: (1) Create doubt in God’s Word: “Yea, hath God said …?” (2) Deny the veracity of God’s Word: “Ye shall not surely die,” and (3) Accuse God of keeping one from something better: “For God doth know that … ye shall be as gods.” His methods have not changed in over 6000 years, and sadly, even Christians fall for his lies. But the Author of the Bible says, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet] or one tittle [the smallest distinguishing mark of a Hebrew letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). So, who got it right? Would you rather believe the words of men, or the Word of God?

 

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Only One Way In

Noah's Ark: Entry Door Looking Out (Image Credit: http://asknoah.org/art_gallery2)

Noah’s Ark: Entry Door Looking Out (Image Credit: http://asknoah.org/art_gallery2)

… and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof … (Genesis 6:16)

Doors are useful things. Doors work two ways: they allow us entry into a variety of enclosures, and they permit us to exit the same. Doors keep us safe inside while keeping unwanted intruders out. Most homes have more than one door for entry and exit. Most vehicles have at least two doors; some have four or five. Airplanes have only one door for boarding, but there are at least four doors for emergency exit. Multiple doors to any enclosure make for ease of movement. You may come in through the front door, and then go out the back door to enjoy your backyard. You would not normally come in the front door, exit again through the front door, and walk all the way around the house to get to your backyard. The more doors you have, the easier it is to go from one place to another. Doors are very useful things!

About 1500 years after God completed His creation (man in particular), the world and mankind had degenerated to the point that it was no longer the “very good” creation that God had initiated. Man had become wicked and “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Things had gotten so wicked that “it grieved [God] at his heart” (Genesis 6:6). This is not difficult to understand especially for us earthly parents who have invested so much of our lives in teaching a child the ways of God. Then when they leave our homes, they turn their backs on everything we stand for, and everything we tried to instill in them. Any parent who has experienced this knows the heartache. Multiply that by billions and that might begin to give a sense for how God felt to see His “very good” creation turned putrid. “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:7).

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). God instructed Noah to build an Ark (Genesis 6:14). The Hebrew word translated “Ark” is têbâh and it literally means a “box.” God gave Noah the specific dimensions for this box (Genesis 6:15), and instructed him to build it with three decks (stories) (Genesis 6:16). He was to make a door – only one door – in the side of the ark – only one way in, and only one way out.

Noah was given 120 years to complete his project (Genesis 6:3). During that time as Noah was working on the Ark, he felt compelled to warn all who would listen about the coming cataclysmic judgment. Peter referred to Noah as “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). We are not told in Scripture, but surely Noah must have been ridiculed and mocked. “Have you seen what that old fool is building!” many must have scoffed. But Noah was not to be dissuaded from his God-given task. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:22).  When the project was complete God called all the animals into the Ark (Genesis 6:20). Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives went into the Ark (Genesis 7:13), “and the LORD shut him in” (Genesis 7:16). The only way in was now inaccessible. Those remaining outside could no longer enter. For 120 years they were given the opportunity for safe passage, but now it was too late. The only way in was now shut tight, and those inside were saved and safe from the disaster facing those outside. Then the waters came – not only rain, but the very fountains of the deep were broken open (Genesis 7:11). “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21-22, emphasis added).

Jesus said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9, emphasis added). Later He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6, emphasis added).

It is a very popular notion these days to believe that there are many ways into heaven. Even the Roman Catholic Church, who has for centuries staunchly held to the dogma that the only access to heaven is through the sacraments of the Church, has given way to universalism, i.e. that everyone – Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, yes and even Baptists – will all get to heaven. That is why they say we should strive to all get along together here on earth. This is the idea of many doors into the same place – very convenient! But that has never been the teaching of the Bible.

The Ark had only one way in, but access was available to anyone who would heed the warning. Those that rejected the message were destroyed. As at the time of the flood, where billions died and only eight were saved, we are facing a similar time of trouble. Jesus warned, “Enter ye in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow [crowded or afflicted] is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, emphasis added). Today, Jesus would be labeled as intolerant for His teaching. There is no other way. Everyone will NOT go to heaven, but everyone has an equal chance. There is only one way in, and that way is through Jesus Christ. “But as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). The Door will soon be shut forever. Have you found the only One Way in?

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