Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #13 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.
We are looking at a slightly different focus. We looked at “baptism” for a while, but now we want to take a step back and look at this in another way. Last time we discussed how the “dove” represents the Holy Spirit and this is the same spiritual meaning we had understood before in relationship to baptism. But we saw that when the dove went into the ark at the beginning of the flood and the door was shut upon all those inside the ark, the dove was, likewise, shut up. Outside of the ark it was a picture of God’s Holy Spirit no longer working in the world because the Holy Spirit, typified by the dove, had entered into the ark and all were outside with the breath of life were left to experience death and destruction by the judgment of God. There was no salvation of any kind, was there?
Let us ask that question again: When God shut Noah and everyone else in the ark, was there any deliverance of any kind for any creature with the breath of life outside the ark? No – every human being died. What about the bears and elephants and fowls of the air? They all died. The act of the dove going into the ark was to show that once Judgment Day came the work of the Holy Spirit in providing salvation would cease and this is also true of the equivalent day in our time, May 21, 2011, when Judgment Day began. Just as the dove was onboard the ark, the Holy Spirit, likewise, returned to the kingdom of heaven or returned to God and remained with all that had been saved, the great multitude that God brought out of Great Tribulation. But the Holy Spirit was no longer going about the world in regard to salvation – there was no deliverance and the Holy Spirit ceased operation in that regard.
Once we understand this, we can see why it was that right after May 21, 2011 the people of God began to understand it was a spiritual judgment and we were not to evangelize the earth any longer. We were not to proclaim the Gospel unto salvation any longer or encourage people to cry for mercy and salvation once the door was shut. That has continued now for years, as we are now several years past the beginning of Judgment Day and the people of God are steadfastly declaring that the door is shut and there is no more salvation. In other words, we are saying that the Holy Spirit is no longer working in the world in regard to salvation. We are saying exactly what the historical parable of the flood portrays once the door was shut: the dove was onboard with all that were delivered and not with those outside the ark. This is what we continue to proclaim because it continues to be declared by the Bible.
So now let us ask a question. God has given us the picture of the 150 days and the destruction of everything with the breath of life and that relates to Revelation, chapter 9 where the overall period of the final judgment is likened to “five months,” which represents the complete judgment all the way to the end. But after this 150 days, the Lord focuses on the elect and their experience inside the ark for the remaining time that will fill out the year from the start of the flood to the time when they can come out of the vessel and onto dry land. It is not saying that there is time after the figurative “five months” and it is not saying there is another stage of judgment, but it is indicating that everyone is dead outside the ark. Spiritually, that is the case once God shut the door to heaven, slaying all the wicked, for all intents and purposes. God has destroyed everything, but it is just a matter of the working out in time of the completion of Judgment Day. But, again, after that 150 days, the focus is then on God’s elect that are being tried. We are going through a “baptism” that is a tableau of appearing before the judgment seat of the Christ.
Then there is this language of the sending forth of the dove. The dove is the Holy Spirit and it goes flying out the window. It went and flew around and then it said, “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.” We have to wonder, “What is the point of that?” Noah is a picture of Christ and the dove is a picture of the Holy Spirit, so is it like a “dry run”? Why would the Holy Spirit go forth and return and, seemingly, accomplish nothing? What is in view when the dove goes out the window of the ark and it flies along the face of the waters? What does this remind us of? It reminds us of the creation of our earth back in Genesis, chapter 1:1-2:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…
When God first created the earth, He created this material or substance, but there was “darkness upon the face of the deep” because God had not said, “Let there be light.” This is before the initial light was created and the creation was without form and void and dark. It is interesting that we read in Jeremiah, chapter 4 in the context of God’s judgment on the corporate church, in Jeremiah 4:22-23:
For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
Do you see how this is similar to Genesis 1, verse 2? There is darkness upon the face of the deep. It was before light was created and things are “without form.” God has not yet worked. He is the potter and we are the clay. At that point, the entire earth was the “clay” and He had to form it and He proceeds to do so for the next six days as He worked and created. It is like when you go to a new construction site and the truck unloads all the materials. These are the things that the construction workers will use to build a building, but these materials are what they will use to build. God had the substance as He brought something from nothing and spoke it into being and created it, but it was “without form and void” and there was darkness.
When God brings a judgment, as we find in Jeremiah 4, there is language concerning judgment on Judah of old which, in turn, is a picture of judgment on the corporate church during the Great Tribulation. God relates that judgment to the beginning when there was darkness and things were “without form, and void.” We wonder, “Why did God make that connection?” We can see why He speaks of “no light,” because when God brings a judgment, what is the characteristic of the judgment? It is the putting out of the light of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit came out of the midst of the churches and the Gospel light went out, leaving the corporate church completely dark throughout the Great Tribulation and into Judgment Day. They are “without form, and void” and “dark” because it is an empty place because God has departed out of the midst. It lacks form because it takes the Spirit of God to build. God is the Potter. God is the Creator. So when God left the corporate body it reverted back to a condition found at the very beginning of time when God created the earth.
We also find that kind of language elsewhere and not just in Jeremiah, chapter 4. And it is not limited to God’s judgment on the churches. In Isaiah, chapter 34 we have a chapter that is not hard to identify as the judgment on the world because it has verses like verse 8: “It is the day of JEHOVAH’S vengeance.” Verse 9 speaks of “brimstone” and “pitch.” You can read the chapter and you will clearly see the final judgment of mankind is in view, but we read in Isaiah 34:11:
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it…
This is referring to this world that has come under the wrath of God and has been made desolate. It is burned and its smoke goes up for ever and ever. Again, it says in Isaiah 34:11:
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it…
We talked about this a little bit when we saw that raven was the first bird that Noah put forth out the window into the world. It was to typify that the world is desolate and in a desolate world raven, owls and other unclean birds dwell in the earth. As it says of Babylon (the world), it is a “cage for every unclean and hateful bird.”
It goes on to say in Isaiah 34:11:
…and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion…
The word “confusion” is a translation of the same Hebrew word that is translated as “without form.”
Then it says in the last part of Isaiah 34:11:
… and the stones of emptiness.
The word “emptiness” is the Hebrew word, Strong’s #922, that is translated as “void” in both Genesis 1, verse 2 and Jeremiah 4, verse 23. So the same two words are used:
They are used in connection with a world that has experienced the day of JEHOVAH’s vengeance. There is “fire and brimstone” and the smoke is ascending up forever and the raven dwells in it. God is the one that is stretching out upon it that which is “without form” and the stones that are “void.” In other words, the world has reverted back to the beginning stage of creation. That was the condition of the world. Of course, the “darkness” applies because we know that immediately after the Tribulation the sun was darkened, the moon did not give her light and the stars fell. The same things that fit with Jeremiah, chapter 4 and the judgment on the churches applies to Isaiah 34 and the judgment on the entire world. It is all a figure, of course. It is as if God is saying that when He judges the world, He darkens the world; when the Holy Spirit comes out of the world it is as though the world has been returned to a state that is “without form, and void.” In other words, it needs to be worked upon.
If we go back to Genesis, chapter 1 we see that it says in Genesis 1:2:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Notice what it says in verse 2. Soon after that God said, “Let there be light,” and the creation starts. We see that creating light was the first action in getting the creation under way, or is it? Or, is the first action the fact that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters? Is that what must come first before there can be light and before God can start placing the celestial lights in the skies and all the things He did over the course of the next six days of creation?
That is the figure or picture in Genesis. First, this present creation must be returned to a condition of being “without form, and void” and “dark” because that was the beginning point before God did the work of creation. God returns the creation to that initial stage and it is as though the “clay” is ready now and it is as God needs it to be in order to begin forming and making the new heavens and new earth. Do you see? What follows Judgment Day? What comes after the phase that we are in now? The answer is that it is the end of this world and the creation of the new heavens and new earth. There are no more era, epochs or time periods. It is Judgment Day. We have gone beyond the church age. We have gone beyond the Great Tribulation and we have entered into the Day of Judgment. It will continue until the prolonged period of Judgment Day completes, then God will create and there will be a new heaven and new earth. We know God will do that and we know He can do that in an instant and, yet, God is really encouraging us as He lets us know that Noah sent forth the dove out of the window of the ark and the dove flew around for a while and returned to the ark. It is almost as though God is telling us that the time is close – very close at hand. It is like He is telling us we are on the right track. The Holy Spirit is “moving upon the face of the waters” as the dove flew around. Things were “without form, and void,” but very soon the work of creation and restoring the earth will commence.
For instance, let us go to Psalm 104:29:
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled…
When we read of God hiding His face, it indicates judgment. For instance, it says in Isaiah 54:7-9:
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith JEHOVAH thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me…
When God hides His face, it identifies with His wrath. So back in Psalm 104, again, it said in Psalm 104:29:
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
This is exactly what happened to everyone outside the ark. Everyone outside the ark died, as God took away the “breath of life.”
Then it says in Psalm 104:30:
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Yes, this can have a general meaning of God renewing things in seasons, like during the spring, and God is the one who creates human beings in the womb and they come forth. But deeper than that, we can see that Noah, a type of Christ, sent forth the Holy Spirit (the dove) and as it says in Psalm 104, verse 30: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created.”
Back in Genesis, chapter 1 there was the Spirit moving upon the face of the waters. It was God that spoke and created the first creation, but it will also be the Spirit of God that creates the new heaven and new earth. That is what is in view and that is why the dove went forth and flew around and everything was basically there and prepared, but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot.
In our next Bible study, we will see how that latter statement has great significance and how it fits into the idea of creating the new heaven and new earth to come.