Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #23 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:15-19:
And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we were talking about verse 17 and we were considering the spiritual picture. We know the historical context of Genesis 8 is the time after the flood. It was very fitting for Noah and his family and all the animals to go forth unto dry land. It was a very appropriate point in time for God to give these commandments and to direct mankind and the creatures regarding what they were to do to fill the earth. Historically, we understand this very well.
Spiritually, we saw that the “not clean” animals especially typified the creation itself and their coming out of the ark unto dry land points to the establishment of the new earth. We do not know this for certain and we do not have much to go on, but the Bible does speak of “principalities and powers” and gives evidence that God has been creating other creatures and creations in eternity past, but we are speculating because God does not specifically tell us these things. But we do know that our present creation has an enormous array of creatures and lifeforms that are spectacular in their differences, like the difference between an elephant and a mosquito. We are just amazed at the brilliance of God.
Just think if you and I and even thousands of human beings got together and we tried to design some creatures. I am sure we could come up with a few because man has been given some creative ability. We could come up with a fair number, but they would likely be very much like ourselves and we just do not have the knowledge and tremendous intellect of God, not to mention the creative detail. There is whole world of microscopic creatures that we cannot even see, but God sees them. God created them as living organisms and they go about their daily routines. God designed them with intricate detail. He is such a wonderful Creator and that is one of the “works” that God does. He told us He worked for six days to create this world, so we know that is what He does when He works. We also know that His salvation program is one of His works: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” God goes about the business of His work and He creates and forms creatures, both great and small and microscopic. It is a testimony to His unlimited ability to create.
So we would expect that when God creates the new heaven and new earth, He will bring His newly formed body of believers into it. The whole company of elect will be together and each one will be perfected in body and soul. We will have our resurrected souls that we received when we were saved and we will also have our resurrected bodies that God will give us on that last day and we will enter into that new heaven and new earth.
All we are told about this new world is, first of all, that the new world will not be like this present earth. God tells us of the glories and wonders of the world to come by telling us what will not be there – things that we have a lot of experience with in this world. For example, God tells us there will be no more tears, pain, sorrow, death or curse. In this life we experience all of these things and we are very familiar with them and we are intimately associated with them. God says there will be no more pain and there are many people that have experienced awful physical pain or extreme emotional pain while living in this world. God says there will be no more sorrow. And what human being has not experienced sorrow and grief and tragedy and depression. There are many kinds of sorrows and we are familiar with them all. Anyone that lives any length of time in this world will become familiar with sorrow and suffering and death. So when God tells us about the new heaven and new earth He tells us of the things that will not be there, the grievous and awful things that cause us to shed tears. God tells us there will be no more tears and we almost have to say, “Can it be that God can create a new earth and new heavens where you and I and all His people are new creatures that will no longer have reason to cry?” And, yet, we will be individual personalities – Moses is Moses and Elijah is Elijah. We will be who we are, only perfected.
We will be sinless beings that God has brought through this earth and purified purged from our sins, putting them as far away from us as the East is from the West, and we come forth in absolute perfection. That is the only way we could dwell with Him and see Him face to face and He tells us He will dwell with us. He will be our God and we will be His people. God tells us these things and then He says that while we are living in that glorious new creation, we will dwell with this incredible Being that is from everlasting to everlasting and we will never have a “bad day,” to use the language of this world. There will never be even one second where we are cast down in soul or crying because we do not feel good or feel sorrow because we have lost a loved one. There is no more loss of this nature because there is no more death. We will not enter into an intimate relationship where we grow close to someone and then that person dies. As we grow closer to God we will grow closer to one another and there will be incredible love, but there will be no loss of anyone. There will be no going away from them. There will not be anyone that goes away. They cannot decide that they just want to be by themselves.
Our minds are so accustomed to all the negative things that happen in our lives in in this world. It is like they say about Eskimos having so many different words for “snow” because it is all they know. And we have all sorts of words for sadness and tears and death and misery. We have a good number of words to express our anguish, tribulation, affliction, pain and agony. We have an abundance of words in the English language or any language to express these things because it is our common experience as we live our lives from day to day.
Yes, there is some joy, peace, happiness and pleasant days and nice times, but everything happens in the overriding atmosphere of the curse upon mankind and the entire creation. We live with the threat of danger and death and the threat of losing what we feel is making us happy and the thing that we fear comes upon us, as it says in Job 3:25: “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me.” There will not be a time when we wake up and we hear the bad news. It was something we were anxious or fearful of, but in the new earth there will not be that “shadow of life,” but only life for evermore. I cannot even imagine a perfect day of waking up in the morning and every thought and experience over the course of the day is perfect and wonderful and joyous. I cannot understand how that is even possible and you probably cannot understand it either, because we live in an extremely imperfect world. We are unfamiliar with perfection, holiness, perfect peace, perfect goodness and perfect love. All the attributes of God and His kingdom are true in that spiritual realm. God is the very essence of all those things, so things are like that there, but in this world terrible things come upon us because of man’s rebellion against God. And, yet, God has said that this present world and our experiences are temporal; they are but for a moment and they will give way to an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
God often tells us of the new heaven and new earth in the language of a removal of all the negative things and we just stand back and say, “Wow, heaven will be super glorious without these things.” Yet, God does not go into detail about the new creation in regard to what it will look like or what creatures will roam. Will they fly? Will they swim? Will they run across land? Will there even be land, if we have spiritual bodies? What kind of heaven and earth will it be and what kind of creatures will inhabit it? We know that God makes spiritual creatures because angelic beings are spiritual creatures. Could God make an array of spirit creatures that would be similar to angels, but animal creatures? Of course, He could, but these are things we can only wonder about because we are not told.
But in our verse the creatures come off the ark onto the dry earth and it is a picture of the new creation. I think it is almost a certainty that God will populate that new creation with creatures suited and designed to whatever creation will comprise the new world.
God is speaking to Noah, his wife, their three sons and their sons’ wives when He said to be fruitful and multiply and He is basically reiterating the command first given to Adam and Eve after their creation, but now the picture is that it is a “new creation” as the elect enter into the Promised Land of the wonderful new creation God has made. The question is, “Are the elect people of God going to be fruitful and multiply in this new heaven and new earth?” When we think about that, we have to stop a moment because we know the Bible tells us that there will be no giving in marriage in the new heaven and new earth. We really do not read anywhere in the Bible that the elect will enter into the new heaven and new earth and they will “pair up” and produce offspring as they do in this world. We do not read of “growing” the number of people that are God’s elect people. As far as I know, the Bible does not present that kind of idea. So, what is going on here, spiritually?
First of all, when we see this language there is one element we can see where God is looking ahead to the remaining history that will unfold in this world. That is why in chapter 9 Noah will become a “husbandman” and he will plant a vineyard. We will see that life goes on. The sons of Noah will have their own children and the world we be repopulated and, eventually, there will be the tower of Babel and the division of the continents and the separating out of Abraham and his descendants. History is going to continue, so there is an historical or earthly element to this where Noah and his family are told to repopulate the world and to have physical descents, but there is also a spiritual element in view that also points to the working out of history after the flood that relates to God’s salvation program. It says in Exodus 1:7:
And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
This is speaking of Israel’s time in Egypt. They increased abundantly and multiplied. It is the same language we read in Genesis 8, verse 17, where it said to “be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” The multiplication of the Israelites in Egypt was a picture of God’s salvation plan at work in the world. Egypt is a figure of the world and the Israelites were a type of those that God saves out of the world, so within Egypt were the people of Israel, God’s elect, and they multiplied. Finally, God brought that entire great multitude of Israelites out of Egypt and He delivered them all, a picture of His salvation. There was multiplication and deliverance, so the language spiritually points to that.
We also see in the same Hebrew word for “fruitful,” which is Strong’s #6509, in Isaiah 45:8:
Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I JEHOVAH have created it.
The word translated as “bring forth” is the same word that was translated as “fruitful.” God directly ties the word “fruitful” to salvation here and we do know that in God’s program of salvation in His times and seasons He related salvation to various seasons of fruit. In this case, it is “fruitfulness” in bearing children, but it is the same idea. The command to breed abundantly and to be fruitful and multiply upon the earth has a spiritual identification of God’s salvation program that points to the continuance of time after the flood and the unfolding of history that will take place.
But what about the spiritual picture we have seen in several verses in Genesis 8 that point to the new earth? Is there salvation there? Or, is there increasing fruitfulness and multiplication of salvation in the new earth with God’s people? No – not in that sense. There cannot be, because there is no sin in the new heaven and new earth, so there is no additional salvation or increasing the numbers of those that are saved, but there can be multiplication and fruitfulness in another way. We do not have time to discuss it in this study. We will have to pick this up in our next Bible study.