Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #19 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:12:
And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Noah stayed or waited another seven-day period before sending forth the dove once more out the window of the ark into the “new world,” the world that was forming after the flood. We saw that the Hebrew word translated as “stayed” is Strong’s #3716, a word often translated as “hoped.” So, Noah hoped yet other seven days. It is a very appropriate word for the people of God at this time. We have been “hidden” in Christ in the secret chambers. In a figure, we are in the “ark,” the Lord Jesus Christ, and the atoning work of Christ is protecting us from the judgment that is destroying the rest of mankind.
We see that the dove is mentioned a fifth time in Genesis, chapter 8 and the number “5” points to atonement. This fifth mention is the last time the dove is mentioned in this context, as the dove is sent forth and “returned not again unto him any more.” The dove represents the Holy Spirit and when it went out the first time she found no rest for the sole of her foot. We learned that the term “sole of the foot” relates to the Promised Land. We also saw this verse in Ezekiel 43:7:
And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
Here, God is speaking of His eternal dwellingplace or habitation when He dwells with His people in the new heaven and the new earth for evermore. That is the place where God will set “the soles of His feet,” and that is what the dove was looking for the first time she went forth, but she could find no place for the sole of her foot because the waters were across the face of the earth.
But after waiting in “pain” or “travail,” Noah sent forth the dove a second time and she came back with an olive leaf pluckt off, which was evidence of the Promised Land, the eternal kingdom of God. It will be an enduring kingdom that cannot be shaken. Things that can be shaken will be removed and this present world will be shaken and removed for evermore. It will be annihilated and cease to exist, but that will not be the case with the new heaven and new earth. It is an unshakeable kingdom and it is an eternal home for God and His people. So the dove came back to the ark with tangible evidence of the olive leaf, indicating the new earth was close at hand.
So Noah stayed or hoped in God. All onboard the ark hoped. Regarding hope, the Bible makes this statement in connection with looking for our resurrected bodies and new earth and how the earth is looking to be delivered from the bondage of corruption, in Romans 8:22-25:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
We can see how “hope” and waiting go hand-in-hand. They are very closely related. This Hebrew word translated as “stayed” is translated as both “waited” and “hoped.” We are waiting and hoping for the change to come and for the deliverance of the creature and the creation, the completion of the salvation of the souls on board the ark, representing God’s elect that are looking for their new resurrected bodies.
We read in 2Peter, chapter 3 about the day of the Lord coming as a thief in the night and then it says in 2Peter 3:11-13:
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This is why God’s people look forward to the end of the world because it is not the end of the world for us. It is not the conclusion of everything for us, but it is the end for the natural-minded people of the world. For the unsaved individual, this world is their inheritance. It is a temporal thing, but it is all they have, so they concentrate on it and they are fearful of losing it; they do not want to think of what lies beyond this world. It is all a result of not having become saved.
But God’s people have been blessed with salvation and we have been given eternal life. We have the blessed promise that we will live for evermore in the new creation and it will be our home and possession. It was the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob regarding the “land” they would dwell in forever, so God’s people look for the coming of Christ at the end of the world when the destruction of all things will take place, but this is the worst possible thing the world can imagine and it is the last thing worldly people want to consider.
It is not that way for the Lord’s true people because the “end” leads to the beginning and the entry into the glorious future that awaits each one that has been bestowed with the grace of God in salvation. Our lives are hid with Christ in God and the fullness of life does not begin for us until this world is over. Then we will experience the completion of salvation and we will receive our new resurrected bodies and the “old man” is gone forever. The resurrection of our bodies will be in line with the resurrection of our souls and it will be a new creation where all has been made anew and we will be with God and experience things that are unimaginable to us now. To know Him is eternal life, so of course we look forward to the end of the world. You can see why the child of God can be open and objective concerning the Scriptures when the Bible brings forth information that relates to the end of the world. We are not afraid of it and we do not run from it.
It is good news for us, so we honestly look at it, but this is not true for “Jerusalem below,” the professed Christians that have taken the name of Christ upon themselves; they wear His name, but they are really natural-minded and they are not really interested in God fulfilling His promise of Christ’s return and the end of this world and the world to come because deep down in their hearts they are not born again. There is no love for the truth and they prefer the lie, just as the Jews gave lip service to wanting the Messiah to come. If one asked them, they would have said, “Oh, yes, we long for the coming Messiah,” and, yet, they had a “business” they did not want disturbed. They just wanted to live in anticipation of a coming Messiah, but once He actually came, the Bible records that Herod and all Jerusalem with him were “troubled.” They were not rejoicing. They were not thanking God because the Messiah had finally come, but they were troubled because it disrupted their “religion” and their normal routine.
It was the same with the Christian churches of the world today when they heard that Christ was coming and the news about Judgment Day beginning on May 21, 2011. They refused and rejected it and they wanted nothing to do with it; they quickly pulled out the verse, “No man knows the day or the hour,” and they, as it were, stuck their fingers in their ears and would not hear it. They did not want their normal “religious business” to be disturbed in any way: “Let us just go about our religious business in anticipation of a coming Christ down the road a thousand years but, oh, yes, Christ could come today.” It is just lip service and they praise God, but their hearts are far from Him and they have no desire for Christ to actually come and fulfill the end of all things. They are afraid of it – they really want the world, but they also want to assure themselves that they are “Christians” in case something goes wrong in their daily lives.
This is not how it is with the true believers. We hope and we wait upon the Lord. God has brought us through the church age. First of all, He brought us through the days of Israel of old. Then He brought us through the church age. Then He brought us through the Great Tribulation. And now He has brought us well into the Day of Judgment. The Bible has given us abundant evidence and spiritual truths that you cannot “see” with physical eyes. Some physical evidence in the world supports the Biblical evidence, like Israel becoming a nation again or the “falling away” of the churches or the increased wickedness, but it is the Biblical evidence that assures us. The Biblical calendar of history locks in a timeline in the midst of these other things, like Israel becoming a nation again; or apostate churches; or a world in which men marry men and women marry women; and living in a time when they call “evil” good and “good” evil.
The Bible declares the Day of Judgment and are we not sure and confident of this? Yes, we are sure and we are confident and we trust in His Word, by the grace of God, and we can see that we are at the time of the end of the world. It is unmistakable. These kinds of things did not happen to this degree in past centuries. The Lord opened up the electronic medium and permitted technology to advance very suddenly, where there can be internet and satellite broadcasting and radio that could blanket the earth as Family Radio was able to do in the day of salvation leading up to Judgment Day. You can see how God permitted man to increase knowledge in technology in order that His Gospel could be proclaimed to all the people in the world in order for the elect scattered among the nations to hear and become saved. That was the fulfillment of a verse we see in Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Never before in history was that even possible. First, there was the falling away of the churches. Just imagine if this had happened in the 19th century and God’s people went outside the churches and they had the duty as watchmen to reach the world, but they are only a remnant and how could they reach all the nations of the world? Travel was even limited back then. You may have had to travel many months by ship just to get from one place to another. It was only possible in our time for the Gospel to be preached in all the world at a time when the churches had fallen away.
There is no question that the circumstances of our present time match the language of the Bible and things that Christ said almost 2,000 years ago. These truths were just “sitting there” on the pages of the Bible as century after century passed. Man had been traveling around with only “horse and buggy” or sailing the sea in ships because there were no airplanes or faster modes of travel, but then we got to our day at the time of the end. The Scriptures were unsealed as the churches fell away. Israel had become a nation after almost 2,000 years of being scattered. Just look at the tremendous increase of iniquity that has taken over the earth. If you are 50, 60 or 70 years old, you can think back to a time when sin was nothing like it is today – it is a completely different world. And it is not for the better. It is a completely evil world and it has been “given up” to evil in a spectacular way and that fact cannot be missed.
All these things are vexing and grievous for the child of God, but they also serve to prove the Word of God and to help us realize that we should be assured by the Biblical information that locks in the timeline amidst this chaotic mess this world appears to be in. God has permitted these things to develop in order that His Word come to fruition. Again, the timeline falls into place, as May 21, 2011 is locked in and cannot be moved, no matter how anyone might try. I know I would want there to be continuing salvation for personal and, perhaps, selfish reasons and I have gone back (in the Bible) to see if we missed something and there might be some other possibility, but no matter how I look at it there is the same conclusion: May 21, 2011 was the beginning of Judgment Day. And, now, in addition to that being locked in we are finding much Biblical support for spiritual judgment and we are finding confirmation of why God would do such a thing. He is trying the elect and He has said we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ and we will partake in the suffering of Christ. We will follow His example to be conformed to the image of Christ in His suffering and death in order that we are situated for the resurrection. There is just more and more Scriptural support that strengthens our conclusion. It is not going back, but when we see that some people are going back and going “another way,” we are not finding that they are prospering spiritually. Are they more and more in the Word? No, they are not. If you happen to be on Facebook, you will see it. For people that have “gone back,” they are mostly busy on Facebook posting things about politics and social issues. You will rarely find them discussing the Bible and you will not see evidence they are digging into the Bible to try to understand the Word of God. There is not the slightest indication that I am aware of and I know a lot of people over the years that have “gone back” and for none of them could I say, “It has been a blessing and an improvement and they are on the right track.” There has not been even one person, but I think I have to add that we are nobody special. I do not know anything of myself, but we had nowhere to go because Christ has the Words of eternal life. So we waited and we hoped and God has been opening up more and more Scriptures to strengthen and encourage us and to give us hope as we continue to wait, because very shortly the “water” will be dried up and we will come out of the “ark.”