Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #12 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.
I will stop reading there. We have been discussing the spiritual meanings of this portion of the flood account after the waters are starting to go down and the tops of the mountains are seen. The window of the ark was opened and Noah sent forth the raven and he also sent forth a dove to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground.
In our last study we spent some time continuing to discuss what Jesus said in regard to a “baptism” of the Holy Spirit. We read about that in Matthew, chapter 3, where John the Baptist said of Christ that He would baptize with the Holy Ghost. Later Jesus asked James and John, the sons of thunder, “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” And, they answered, “We are able,” and Jesus responded, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,” so Jesus confirmed that they will (future tense) be "baptized with the baptism He was baptized with.”
As we have learned, baptism is much more than just a sprinkling with water. It is more than the “sign” of water baptism. When the Bible speaks of baptism by the Holy Ghost it involves the purging or “washing away” of sin, which was accomplished at the foundation of the world, but the demonstration of that was performed by Christ in 33AD, beginning from the time in the Garden of Gethsemane through the time on the cross. It is also performed by the body of Christ, the elect, in the Day of Judgment. That is how it is viewed by God, as the elect make an appearance (or be made manifest) before the judgment seat of Christ, which is also the time that God is pouring out His wrath upon the wicked of the world. Therefore, that is what “baptism” is. It is the washing by fire to purge away sin and it is done through the meting out of the cup of the wrath of God. The elect of God have been left on the earth in the Day of Judgment for this appearance of baptism. It is not the actual baptism because the elect were baptized in Christ at the foundation of the world, but it is a tableau. The elect are performing a living demonstration and this is exactly what has been happening since we entered into the Day of Judgment on May 21, 2011.
We spent some time discussing this baptism and then we went to 1Peter, chapter 3. We have gone to this verse several times, but let us go there again. It says in 1Peter 3:20:
Which sometime were disobedient…
Let me stop and correct a translation here, because the Greek word for “sometime” actually means “aforetime.” When we read the word “sometime,” we think it might mean that sometimes people are obedient and sometimes they are not, but it does not mean that. It means in “old time” or “aforetime,” so let us read it again, in 1Peter 3:20:
Which aforetime 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.
Here, we have all the ingredients found in the flood account in Genesis, chapter 8. We have Noah, the completed ark, the eight souls inside the ark, the water and we have them being saved. Then there is a link or connection made. In other words, it is what these things represent; the spiritual meaning of these things is going to be helped by the next statement in 1Peter 3:21:
…The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…
For example, we read that the kingdom of heaven “is like,” or we read that Adam was a “figure” of Him that was to come, but here it uses both words – “like” and “figure” – so we know we are going to look for a spiritual tie-in. What is it going to tie in with? It is going to tie in with the ark, with Noah, the souls inside and the water outside. Then here is the identification with the flood, as it says in 1Peter 3:21:
…The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…
Do you see how God is making this connection? Actually, we can see the “figure” of it in both Genesis, chapters 7 and 8, as the whole earth is submerged with water that goes 15 cubits above the highest mountain. Baptism is the washing away of sin and the world was contaminated with sin because the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. God placed the sinner and the sin-cursed creation into the water for “cleansing” or washing away of any taint of sin. That is the judgment or wrath of God. That is the “figure” of baptism.
But when the sinner that has no Saviour has to experience the wrath of God to purge with fire or to wash away his own sins, what is going to happen to that sinner? He will be dead forever, like all the people outside the ark. In that sense they were “baptized” and had their sins washed away, but they had no power to return to life and they will remain dead forever. That is how it will be in the final judgment of all the wicked of the earth. In the end, they will be “washed” by the wrath of God but they have no ability to overcome death and come back to life, so they will be annihilated and destroyed for evermore. That is their baptism.
The elect, as represented by Noah and his family, are inside the ark and they experience deliverance. They have refuge and they find salvation. The water of baptism does not destroy them. In 1Peter, it says they were “saved by water.” Let us read 1Peter 3, again, and continue reading in 1Peter 3:21:
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Did you notice anything here? Did you notice the parenthetical thought that follows the statement, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us”? There is a pretty long phrase and then the parenthesis close and there is another short statement at the end. It is reminiscent of what God said of Christ in Romans 1:4:
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Remember that we found it very helpful to temporarily remove the middle phrase in order to help us see in what way He was declared to be the Son of God and we saw that it was “by the resurrection from the dead.” Of course, the other information is important, too, but it also serves to hide truth.
So, back in 1Peter, chapter 3, what happens if we read the beginning of the verse and the end of the verse and leave out the parenthetical statement? Let me read it that way in 1Peter 3:21:
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us… by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
There is a connective thought there, but the long parenthetical statement causes us to lose sight of the obvious connection, but now we see, again, that “baptism” saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that ties in with John the Baptist baptizing the Lord Jesus. He baptized Him; Christ came up out of the water, picturing the resurrection; then the dove made an appearance and the declaration was made, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
What is significant in 1Peter, chapter 3 is that we see that same idea of baptism being a “like figure,” where it says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us… by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” and, yet, it is clearly related to the flood, the ark, Noah and the water that saved the eight souls. I do not think we can mistake that God is letting us know that what happened to the ark is a picture of “baptism” or “death” and resurrection, as seen by the coming up out of the water. The baptism of Christ (in whom we were baptized at the foundation of the world) and the “baptism that we will be baptized with” at the end of the world. This all relates to the suffering of Christ. For instance, it says in 1Peter 4:13:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Christ was baptized and then in a tableau He was baptized again. We were baptized in Him at the foundation of the world and now in this present time we are a living demonstration or tableau as we are being “baptized” again as we go through the wrath of God. The Lord uses the flood as an historical example that pictures this baptism of His people that occurs at the end time in this Day of Judgment. That is why May 21, 2011 has the underlying Hebrew calendar date of “the seventeenth day of the second month,” the very day the flood began. So as we continue along as we go through this prolonged period of God’s judgment on the world, we are really following the example of the flood as the people of God were protected from the flood waters and, in a sense, saved by the waters. It is the same with the spiritual waters of the Word of God at that time.
We spent a good deal of time on this, so let us look at another aspect of the dove being sent forth. Again, it says in Genesis 8:8-9:
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.
Again, Noah is a type of Christ as he sends forth the dove. Christ, eternal God, sends forth the Holy Spirit, who is also eternal God. Historically, Noah sent forth the dove. Then what happened? The dove flew out the window of the ark and we are not told what direction she flew, but we are told she found “no rest for the sole of her foot,” because the waters were on the face of the earth, so she returned to the ark. We do not know how long she was gone. We know she would have been looking for something she had been accustomed to, like a tree or some piece of dry ground, so she flew “all around the world,” we could say. She realized that everything was under water, so she returned to the ark and Noah put forth his hand to draw her in. What does the hand represent in the Bible? It represents the “will” and, in this case, it is Noah representing Christ. It says, “then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark,” so we know the dove safely returned to the ark.
We have some questions and we probably do not have all the answers. Historically, we understand that everything was still under water and it was just too early for the dove to find a place to land. However, spiritually, it leads us with several questions. We know Noah represents Christ. We know the dove represents the Holy Spirit. So let us start there. The dove is a picture of the Holy Spirit. On the seventeenth day of the second month when the flood began, where did the dove go? The answer is that the dove went inside the ark and the door was shut and, therefore, the dove was not outside the ark. Outside the ark was the world and many creatures and mankind, but those outside the ark were all going to be destroyed, so we cannot say that any “doves” that were outside the ark also represented the Holy Spirit. So, the dove that represented the Holy Spirit went into the safety of the ark and, in doing so, removed itself from the world that was beginning to experience the judgment of God as God opened the windows of heaven and the rain came down and the deluge occurred for forty days and forty nights. After 150 days the waters prevailed above the earth, 15 cubits above the highest mountain and everything with the breath of life was dead, including all other “doves” in the world. Only the “dove” that is being used by God to picture the Holy Spirit was on the ark. It was with Noah, his family and the animals on the ark and it was not with men outside the ark and not with any other creatures in the world. That is the first thing we can see. There was a removing of the operation of the Spirit of God at the start of Judgment Day until God declares that the waters were “appeased” because everything was dead. It was after the five months when everything with the breath of life outside the ark was dead and God’s wrath was pacified that the dove made its first appearance. The window of the ark was opened and remember that the ark and the window really picture the kingdom of God and all those that are saved within Christ. That is the language of the Bible, as it says we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, even though we still live on the earth. It is all spiritual, as it applies to the end time or our present time.
So the Holy Spirit is with Christ in the kingdom of heaven with all God’s elect, as typified by Noah’s family and all the clean animals. They have the “dove.” So, too, as God’s people continue to live in the world in the Day of Judgment, God’s Spirit is with us. The Bible tells us that once we are saved, we are always saved and He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Holy Spirit cannot depart from a true child of God, although God can “forsake us,” in a sense, to try and test us. That is another story, but as far as the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, that remains and never changes.
We are not surprised that from the seventeenth day of the second month until everyone else was dead and the window was opened, the “dove” is with everyone inside the ark. The Holy Spirit is with Christ, His kingdom and all of His elect.