Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #10 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:8-12:
Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
In our last study we looked up the word “dove” in the Bible and it led us to the New Testament and the four Gospels, where we read in each Gospel of the Holy Spirit descending like a “dove” upon the Lord Jesus Christ after He came up out of the water after His baptism. When John the Baptist baptized Christ in the waters of the Jordan, Christ was baptized and then went up “straightway out of the water.” We saw that this historic ceremony was spiritually illustrating the wonderful Bible truth that Christ died as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and that was His “baptism.” We saw in Romans, chapter 6 that we are “baptized into his death.” Let me read that, again, in Romans 6:3-5:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
If you are baptized into Christ’s death, you can look forward to the like resurrection. We also went to Philippians, chapter 3 where there is “the fellowship of his sufferings,” wherein the people of God are being made *“conformable unto his death” in order to be placed in the proper position for the resurrection that follows, just as Christ is baptized and went up straightway out of the water. In some of the verses it said He was “coming up” out of the water and the word translated as “coming up” is Strong’s #305 and it is translated as “ascend” a couple of times. In John 6:62 the Son of man ascended up and in John 20:17 Jesus said, “I ascend unto my Father.” Again, it says in Mark 1:10:
And straightway coming up out of the water….
The word “coming up” is the word translated as “ascend” and it identifies with “rising” and, of course, that is what Christ did when He died and was resurrected at the point of the world’s foundation and then “declared to be the Son of God.” We saw that this last statement was consistent in each one of the Gospels; following His baptism (that pointed to His death and resurrection at the foundation of the world), there came a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In actuality, it took place before this world was created, but here it is all being demonstrated. At the very beginning of His ministry He was baptized, going into the water and coming out of the water, and then the declaration was made to point to what happened at the foundation of the world.
Why is this important for us to know in regard to the flood account when Noah opened the window of the ark and after sending forth the raven, he sent forth the dove? What is the significance of the sending forth of the dove in relationship to this? We know the dove represents the Holy Spirit because in all four Gospel accounts the Holy Spirit, like a dove, descended upon Christ. The dove also comes into view after the death or baptism and after the “coming up” or the resurrection, because it was then that the Holy Spirit, like a dove, descended upon Christ at the point He was declared to be the Son of God. What sign did God use to point to baptism? The sign was “water.” When people would believe, they would be baptized in water. For instance, in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch in the Book of Acts, we find that the eunuch said to Philip, in Acts 8:36-39:
… and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Here is an example of water baptism that God instituted and it points to the spiritual reality of the “washing away” of sin. That is why Christ’s actual baptism took place at the foundation of the world because it was then that He bore the sins of His people. It was then He made payment for sin. When the Lord Jesus entered into the world He had already been declared to be the Son of God, which means He had already died and resurrected; through that resurrection He became the firstborn from the dead and God the Father’s beloved Son. When Christ entered into the world as the Son of God He was bearing no sin, so Jesus was not baptized in the original meaning of the Word, which was the washing away of sin, but he was baptized ceremonially by John the Baptist. We could say that later on when Jesus was in the Garden and as He was beseeched that the cup of the wrath of God might pass from Him and as He was going to the cross He was making manifest (demonstrating) His baptism at the foundation of the world – He was living out a tableau.
Through these earthly events He was doing what He did at the very beginning of His ministry when He went down into the water and came up again and God declared, “This is my beloved Son.” The Lord Jesus was suffering in the garden and He was drinking of the cup of the wrath of God and He was, in a sense, being “baptized,” but it was all a demonstration because He was bearing no sins. He was sinless. He had no sins of His own and He had no sins of the elect upon Him because those sins were already paid for because the works were finished at the foundation of the world. That is why He is not being “baptized” in the actual sense of what that means because no sins were being washed from Him as He suffered from the time of the garden to the cross. It was a tableau.
Likewise, we read in Romans, chapter 6:3-4:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…
This is language indicating that the elect of God have already been “baptized” into Christ’s death and, yet, it cannot be the death He died when He went to the cross in 33AD. The elect were baptized into His death when Christ bore our sins at the foundation of the world. We received baptism into His death at that point.
Remember when Jesus went into the garden, He had His disciples wait at a distance as He went to pray and then He returned to them and found them sleeping and He said, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” This was to indicate that the disciples did not watch with Him and they did not drink of the cup of the wrath of God. That is obvious. They were not partakers of the cup of wrath, nor were they partakers in the “baptism” demonstration that Christ endured right up to the cross. Everyone fled and denied him and Peter denied Him three times. None of God’s elect were with Him and the events of the cross make it very obvious that Jesus was alone. At the foundation of the world Christ was also alone, but He was bearing the sins of His people so God reckons it as if we were with Him. When God punished the Lord Jesus Christ and slew Him and Christ died as the Lamb laden with the sins of His people, it was as though we died with Him. We were “baptized” into His death. As Christ died, our sins were “washed away” by the fires of the wrath of God. We were cleansed. Again, that is what baptism points to, because it is the washing away of our sins. If an elect person wants to know when we were baptized, the question is, “When were our sins washed away?” The answer is that it was done at the foundation of the world. Therefore, we were “baptized” into His death and our sins were purged and cleansed as we were “washed” through the wrath Jesus experienced on our behalf. That is when “baptism” was counted because that was the actual “baptism” that He died and we were baptized with Him at that point at the foundation of the world. For the Lord Jesus and His elect, both parties were washed of the sins of His people.
In 33AD Christ was not bearing sin, nor were the sins of His elect upon them because all sin had been paid for back at the foundation of the world. Of course, salvation is more complicated than that. There was the matter of the application of Christ’s finished works to each of the elect in time. We were all born “children of wrath” as other. But as far as payment for sin, the one acceptable sacrifice was made at the foundation of the world and, therefore, God obligated Himself to save each of the elect. He could not allow even one of the elect whose sins had been paid for to die without the application of that blood to them. The actual baptism of the Lord Jesus and of the people of God occurred at the foundation of the world. Christ demonstrated His “baptism” or death in time as He went to the cross, beginning with His suffering in the garden. The Bible makes a point to emphasize that no one was with Him from the garden as He was beseeching God if the cup could pass from Him and all the way to the cross. He was all alone. I am pointing this out because in Matthew, chapter 3 we read of Christ’s baptism, followed by His coming up out of the water and God’s declaration, “This is my beloved Son.” But before all of this, John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:11:
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
This is speaking of the Lord Jesus and notice it is future tense: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” When would that be? As pointed out, it was not at the cross. It was not in the Garden of Gethsemane. When would Jesus “baptize” His elect with the Holy Ghost and with fire? And why fire? To answer why it says, “with fire,” look at Matthew 3:12:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The language of verse 12 fits with Judgment Day. If you look up the word “chaff” it will lead you, again, and again, to where God speaks of the Day of Judgment. The wicked are like the chaff and will be burned up, so this language follows verse 11 and joins them together, indicating that the “baptism” that Christ will baptize His people with will be performed in the Day of Judgment. That is the time, is it not, when He gathers His wheat into His barn? The wheat and the tares grow together and the tares could not be taken out until the time of harvest and then God said to gather the tares first and bundle them for burning and bring the wheat into His barn. That is the time. There was a separation process throughout the Great Tribulation when the Lord opened up the information about the end of the church age and gave the command for His people to depart out of the corporate churches and congregations of the world. The separation process was ongoing and would not be complete until the Great Tribulation concluded; then came Judgment Day and the final separation of the wheat and the tares when the tares could be burned. Then came the time of “baptism” with the Holy Spirit and fire. Remember how 1Corinthians, chapter 3 puts it, but instead of wheat and tares we have gold, silver and precious stones and wood, hay and stubble. It is the same idea. It says that Christ is the foundation and then it says in 1Corinthians 3:12-13:
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
We have always known that Judgment Day was a time of “fire,” but it is also a time for “baptism” because in its essence, “baptism” is the washing away of sin. God washes away the sins of the whole world with the fire of His wrath and the “baptism” or cleansing of the world will be complete when it is destroyed and all the wicked are burned up and gone forever. That is a “baptism.” It is a judgment. It is the death of the wicked.
But the elect are still on the earth in the Day of Judgment and day of “fire.” The fire is put to both the “gold, silver, precious stones” and the “wood, hay, stubble.” Fire is applied to all and to the wicked it means they are burned up – that is their cleansing. It is their eternal destruction in annihilation. But there is a different result for the elect, those that were predestinated to obtain salvation. These are the ones whose sins were laid upon Jesus before the foundation of the world. Then Christ died for those sins and the elect were baptized in Christ at that point. He was baptized and these were baptized in Him, washing away their sins. So when it comes to the final judgment of this world that began May 21, 2011, there is a prolonged judgment process in which the spiritual “fire” is being applied to see who is burned. All the wicked will burn, but Isaiah 24 says there are “few men left.” It is the elect that are left. They go through the fire because they are already cleansed from their sins and they have no sin remaining upon them. They have already been baptized and had their sins washed away in Christ and, therefore, they are going through a “second baptism” at this time.
But there is no need, so why is this happening? It is because God says that the elect must appear (or be made manifest) before the judgment seat of Christ to see if we have done good or evil. God will finally conclude that the elect have no evil upon them. This is being done because Christ did the same thing and He gave us an example that we will follow.
We are following the example of His suffering and His death and resurrection, so before the resurrection we are being made conformable to the image of Christ and we are partakers of the fellowship of His suffering. We will experience a “death” in which the just and righteous are being put to the fire. Christ was just and righteous in His Person and when He entered into this world He was without sin of any kind and, yet, He suffered without cause. Pilot declared, “I find no fault in him.” He was sinless and, yet, He suffered according to the will of the Father to demonstrate and make manifest the things He had done from the foundation of the world.
This is awesome and I do not use that word too often, but God’s people are following in Christ’s steps and following His example. The elect are also sinless because we have the righteousness of Christ and, yet, we are making an appearance before the judgment seat of God and going through the same steps, step by step, suffering the equivalent of dying and then will come the resurrection.