Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #24 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:16-19:
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 discussing verse 17 and its spiritual dimension. Yes, God is speaking of the animals, which pointed to the new creation that will, in all probability have a variety of new creatures, but God was also speaking to Noah and his family, which represent God’s elect that will enter into the Promised Land. We come forth and, like Lazarus, it is the time of the resurrection and we will receive our new spiritual bodies in which we will exist forever. As far as I know, in the new world there will not be procreation like there was in this world as a man and woman join together in marriage and God blesses them with children. The Bible tells us something about this in Matthew 22:23-30:
The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
This is a bit of insight God is giving us regarding the resurrection and what we can expect in that day. We know that Jesus said of the elect, “And I will raise him up at the last day.” The resurrection is on the last day of this earth’s existence. God resurrects His elect and the elect that are alive and remain on the earth will be raptured shortly after and all go to be with the Lord in their new resurrected spiritual bodies. From that point into eternity future, there is no marriage. There is no giving in marriage, but we will be like the angels in heaven because angelic beings do not marry. They do not produce offspring, as far as we know. The angels are spirit beings that live and perform their duties as ministers to the heirs of salvation, God’s elect. They do so in perfect happiness and bliss. They do not feel they are lacking or missing anything and neither will God’s people when we enter into our glorified state. There will be that spiritual marriage between the elect and God Himself and our focus will be on Him; it will not be on other elect or other creatures. The central focus of God’s people will be God. We will be perfectly content. There is no doubt about that and we will have absolute joy and all the things the Bible tells us. There will be wonderful peace and we will not feel we are missing anything. Any remembrance of life in this world, like marriage and children, will be gone from us and will not come into mind. We will be new creatures. We will have a new system of interpersonal social relationships and it will be God and His people. There will be no pairing off where two people get married and have children together. There will not be separation and division into family units – that is a system that exists in this world, but it will not be found in the next world. We will not reproduce and have offspring.
So, is there going to be physical “fruitfulness” and “multiplication” of God’s elect? No, there will not be children, but is it possible that God’s people will be fruitful and multiply in some other way than raising children? The Bible gives the answer to this, so let us take a look at a few verses. It says in Ephesians 5:8-9:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
There is the fruit of the Spirit and God’s people can be fruitful. That is true of this world and it is true of the world to come. We can be fruitful here in regard to the fruit of the spirit, as it says in Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
We could and we do, to some degree, abound in love or joy or peace in this life. There can be an abounding blessing as God’s Spirit dwells within us. If we are saved God’s Spirit abides within us and it produces changes in us and these changes will result in showing forth “fruit” that was not there before in our old nature as unsaved individuals. So “fruitfulness” can be seen in God’s people while we live in this world, but notice this interesting statement in 1Peter 1:2:
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
You see, we read the words of Genesis 8, verse 17 where it says to be fruitful and multiply and increase and we know they relate on a physical level. We can also understand it spiritually, as far as salvation is concerned. There is a fruitfulness and a multiplication of God’s salvation program as it operated in the day of salvation over the course of history, but the Bible also speaks of what God has done in saving sinners and resurrecting their souls and giving them His indwelling Spirit. There is a fruitfulness that will result and there can be a multiplication of fruits: “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” We understand it is by grace we are saved and it is by God’s grace that we are forgiven our sins. We have a certain number of sins and God has forgiven them all; it is just a tremendous degree of grace that He has bestowed upon us and, yet, it would seem to be a limited amount of grace because we have committed a certain number of sins paid for at the foundation of the world and, therefore, grace for all those sins is in a way “measured” and very calculated.
So, how can grace be multiplied in us? The same is true for “peace.” Christ is our peace and He paid the penalty for the sins of His people, making peace between God and us, removing the enmity. But how can peace be multiplied in our lives? The way it is multiplied is through knowledge or understanding. It is not that our sins can be somehow “more forgiven” or that we can have “more grace” or “more peace” extended to us, but we are able to grow and multiply in grace and peace as we grow in knowledge of these things. For example, as we grow in knowledge of our sinful nature and how desperately wicked we really are, we learn of God’s matchless and marvelous grace and the enormous forgiveness that was granted us as He paid for all our sins. As we continue on, day by day, for someone that is truly saved there is a growing appreciation and honor given to God for what He has done. It is a growing understanding of the multitude of sins that charity has covered in the life of each of us.
All of these things relate and in the new heaven and new earth we will experience and have first-hand knowledge of unimaginable and abundant eternal blessings. As we come to realize these things we could say we are really coming to “know” JEHOVAH and how faithful and true He is. We will experience unspeakable things in glory. If the Apostle Paul could not speak of a “quick visit” to heaven, how can we speak of the glories that will come upon us as we enter into the reality of the new heaven and new earth? We will “grow” and be “fruitful” in body and soul and we will experience the fruit of the spirit in abundance of love, joy, peace, gentleness and goodness and there will be a multiplication of it as we experience the wonderful gift of God’s salvation in its completed state. We will have been perfected and salvation will be completed in both body and soul.
It says in 2Peter 1, verse 2, it says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you,” which is very much like what we read in 1Peter 1, verse 2, but it is also going to tell us the manner in which grace and peace will be multiplied. It says in 2Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
This is how grace and peace and all the fruits of the spirit can increase. We can experience more of it through “the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”
So as we read in Genesis 8, verse 17 they are coming off the ark and entering into this “new earth,” which points to the new creation for the animals, but for God’s elect it points to being fruitful and multiplying abundantly upon the earth. How much “fruit of the spirit” will the people of God experience and enjoy? Will we come to know all those things we read about? We hear there is no law against them, but people do not normally produce those fruits in such abundance because we are still in our flesh and the fallen nature and curse upon creation are still present, so we see fruits a little bit here and there to varying degrees, but in the new Promised Land there will be an incredible increase in the fruit of the spirit. There will be an abounding in it and it will “wax more and more,” just as in this world evil men “wax worse and worse.” Just think of the multiplication of evil in this world. Is there any boundary to the depths of depravity that man can think and do? We used to think there was a limit, but now it seems to be “bottomless” and it keeps going lower and lower and lower. We look around and we see such evil and sin and iniquity. We have a lot of words for rebellion against God because it is so common. It is all over the world wherever we look.
But imagine the new world or the new earth. Sin no longer exists. There is no iniquity. There is no evil in thought, word or deed – it is all gone. It has all been destroyed and wiped away. When we consider that new heaven and new earth the multiplication and increase of what will fill that place will not be wickedness. It will not be sinful thoughts and actions. It will be goodness and things of peace and love and all that is lawful and right and just. Do you see how that will fill the earth? God’s people will show forth multiplication of the fruit of the spirit and that will increase forever and ever and ever.