Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #29 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are looking at Genesis 8:22:
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
We saw in our last study that this does have a practical application that lets us know that the world will continue in its normal course in regard to time and our 24-hour days and the typical months and years. The seasons will “turn” as they have throughout time and all the way to the end of this world. This is helpful because we know that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 and the Biblical language speaks of the darkening of the sun, moon and stars over a period of “days,” so it cannot be referring to the literal sun, moon and stars. It cannot possibly happen and still allow “time” to go on, but it is the spiritual application that is in view. And that is helpful.
When we look at Genesis 8, verse 22 spiritually, some people have keyed in on “seedtime and harvest,” for example, and they recognize “seedtime” and “harvest” as having spiritual meaning in the Bible. Therefore, they have put forth that because this verse tells us that seedtime and harvest will not cease until the end of the world and that means there will be a spiritual “seedtime and harvest,” and they conclude that this means we must continue to bring the Gospel and sow the seed of the Gospel to the end of the world. In other words, we do not stop until Christ literally destroys the earth at the very last day. They base it on this verse because there is nothing else to base it on.
As we search the Bible we find overwhelming evidence of a spiritual Judgment Day during which God’s people are left on the earth at a time of spiritual darkness. Again, and again, God speaks of putting out the lights of the Gospel and ending His salvation program – that is what the darkening of the sun and the moon not giving her light really means. It is also what is meant when the Bible says the light of the candle will no longer shine. We can provide a long list of Bible verses that point to an end of salvation that comes in a period of darkness after that Tribulation, so to offset an enormous amount of Scriptures some people have gone primarily to this verse in Genesis 8, verse 22. They say, “You see, salvation cannot be ended because seedtime and harvest must continue all the way to the end. It will not cease, so we cannot cease to evangelize the world and sow the seed with the hope and expectation that God will still save someone.” Traditionally, that is how the Gospel was sown throughout the church age and during the Latter Rain when we went around with the Word of God. As we spread the seed, it fell upon the hearts of men and we prayed and hoped the Lord would bless it to save people. For some, God did save them and for others He did not, but we had that hope. But that is not the case with the time after the Tribulation. It is no longer a time of sowing seed. It is Judgment Day and that goes hand-in-hand with harvest and reaping what has been sown.
So why does Genesis 8:22 pair up “seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night”? There are eight things mentioned, but there are four pairs of things, which points to the universality of what is in view and, in this case, what is being said applies to the entire world and it applies to all time. It is universal in that it affects all people at all times throughout history until the end of the world.
In Matthew, chapter 13 we read a lot about sowing seed and harvesting. For instance, it says in Matthew 13:3-5:
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places…
Then it goes on, but then Jesus gives us the explanation of the parable in Matthew 13:18-23:
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
We see that the sowing of the seed does, indeed, have to do with the spreading of the Word of God upon the world, where it falls upon the hearts of men. Some seed does not take root, and so forth, but here and there the seed falls on good ground and produces fruit.
In the same chapter there is another parable of the wheat and the tares. It says in Matthew 13:24:
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Again, seed is being sown and it relates to the sowing of the Gospel upon the hearts of men. It goes on to say in Matthew 13:25-30:
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
When we look at the spiritual meaning of the parable of the wheat and the tares, we know that the sowing of the good seed by Christ took place during the time of the 1,955 years of the church age. We also know that the enemy, Satan, sowed his tares among the wheat during the same period of time. The important thing in this parable concerning our understanding of Genesis 8, verse 22, where “seedtime and harvest” are joined together as a pair, is that the seed time in this parable takes place over the span of almost 2,000 years and harvest is not permitted at that time. The servant said, “Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” The gathering is “harvest,” but the answer was, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.” This tells us there is a separation or distinction in seasons. There is the season of sowing and, again, that was happening over the course of almost two millenniums, but there is no harvest while the good seed was being sown and the enemy was sowing tares. No harvest was permitted. The harvest comes only in its season: “Let both grow together until the harvest.” Jesus would often speak a parable and then He would explain it to His disciples (and to His people that read the Bible) and He explained this parable in Matthew 13:37-39:
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
The reapers are the “messengers” or true believers. You can see there is a time of sowing seed and a time of harvest. We also see this in Mark 4:26-28:
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
It is just like the parable in Matthew 13, where they both grow together and the growth is explained here in verse 28. Then it says in Mark 4:29:
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
You do not harvest the crop at the time you are sowing the seed. That is obvious. Believe me, I am no farmer. I am a “city boy” and I do not know anything about farming. I never worked on a farm, but I do know that much. Let us say that two brothers are working on the farm and one brother is casting seed as he walks in his field and right behind him his brother is harvesting. What is he harvesting? The seed was just sown and there is nothing to harvest and he would only be ruining whatever crop would have eventually grown. You do not harvest at the same time you sow the seed. There is a time for everything. There is a “time and a season” in life and in this physical world. That is how God made the earth. God also made the spiritual “times and seasons,” as we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…
It does happen (rarely) where a baby is born and dies at the same time, but normally people are born at one time and they live their lives for however long and they die at another time. There is a time for birth and a time for death. Of course, we can see how that relates to God’s salvation program because the Bible speaks of being “born again.” So, we can understand this spiritually as there being a time to be “born again” and there is a time to die. Death identifies with darkness and judgment and the wrath of God. There is a time or season of salvation. Does God tell us that? Yes, He refers to the “day of salvation.” And there is a time for death and at that time the Bible tells us that the sun is darkened and the moon does not give her light. Some men will seek death and not find it; that is, they will not find “death in Christ” or salvation. There is a time and a season for these things.
It goes on to say in Ecclesiastes 3:2:
…a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Here is the same truth we saw in the parable of the wheat and the tares. You plant and you let them grow together. Do not root them up or harvest them, but let them both grow together until the harvest. Of course, the implication is that the time of harvest is not the time to sow seed – that is a different task. It is now time to reap or to gather that which had been sown and to bring in the harvest. They do not occur at the same time. There are certain times and seasons for these things.
Let us go on to Ecclesiastes 3:3:
A time to kill, and a time to heal…
What would “killing” identify with? It would identify with the shut door of heaven and the darkened “sun” or the world without a Gospel. How about “healing”? The Lord Jesus Christ performed miracles of healing to illustrate salvation. So, again, there is a time for the wrath and judgment of God and there is a time for the mercy and grace of salvation. That is why the Bible says in Isaiah, “See ye JEHOVAH while he may be found.” The word “while” is a time reference. There is an allotted period of time given to mankind in which we could have rightly and properly have sought God for mercy, crying out like blind Bartimaeus. I do not know how many times I made reference to that verse to encourage people in the days leading up to May 21, 2011. There are current critics of EBible for teaching a Gospel in which there is no longer salvation, but some of these same critics had said we were talking about “mercy” too much in the time leading up to May 21, 2011. There was one individual that gave me the label of “Cry for Mercy McCann,” because we emphasized it so much, but we were emphasizing it because it was the proper time and season. It was the time Zephaniah spoke of, in Zephaniah 2:1-3:
Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of JEHOVAH come upon you, before the day of the JEHOVAH'S anger come upon you. Seek ye JEHOVAH, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the JEHOVAH'S anger.
The day of anger also speaks of a certain time, does it not? We have learned from many places in the Bible that there is time after the Tribulation, a time of darkness and a time without salvation and this is in keeping with the season or time of judgment. There is a time and a season. There is a time to kill. There is a time to heal. There is a time to seek the Lord and during that time the Bible calls “the day of salvation,” the command was, “Seek ye JEHOVAH,” while you were in the limits of that time. As God said to Noah, “Yet seven days,” indicating it would be exactly 7,000 years before the door to salvation would shut. It was within that specified period of time before May 21, 2011 that man could have cried, and cried and cried and beseeched God, day after day, until the time came. Then it was no longer “before” and once the door shut the same Scriptures that encouraged mankind in the day of salvation was now telling man that the time had expired. The seasons changed and the time period went from the time of sowing to the time of harvest. There was a transition from one time to the other. Again, the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:3:
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
The last part of this statement causes us to consider the church age. Remember Christ said of Himself, “Upon this rock I will build my church,” and we know that pointed to the invisible church comprised only of God’s elect, but it also had an element of relationship to the corporate body. The New Testament church was built and it expanded and went into the nations of the world. It was built over the course of 1,955 years. It was a time to build and a time to grow. And, yet, there came the end of the church age when God began judgment at the house of God and He proceeded to break it down and not one stone was left upon another. He built up the church, but then came the time to break down and he destroyed the corporate church body and it is no more – there is not one stone upon another.
There was a season. God did not destroy the church during the time He was building it up. There came the set time and the change of the season. The season changed from the time of the firstfruits, followed by a time of famine before beginning the next season of the Latter Rain.
How does that impact our verse and our understanding of it? Again, it says in Genesis 8:22:
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Let us say the farmers are sowing seed. It is seed time. Then the next season is it is harvest time and Christ comes. There has been a natural progression of things. There has been an ongoing cycle. He comes at “night” and not the day. The day preceded the night and there was no interruption of the cycle. There was no interruption of the time for sowing. The harvest followed sequentially. It was the next thing. So, anyone that is trying to say, “Spiritually, it still has to be seedtime and harvest.” No, that is not the case. Season follows season, just like in the natural world. We had the season of seedtime and now we have moved to the season of harvest at the end of the world, Judgment Day. There was no interruption of a spiritual season. Likewise, there has already been the season of the “day of salvation” and we have moved to the night time when “no man can work.” It was an orderly progression of “day and night” and it was an orderly progression of God’s times and seasons.