Tag: THE FLOOD

RAPTURE 28: NOAH and the FLOOD

The experiences of several Old Testament characters are frequently used and confused as evidence for an early rapture of the Church, as they once were by me. Today I will consider Noah, and next time Lot, Enoch and Daniel..

NOAH AND THE FLOOD

In his “Olivet Discourse” Jesus, after describing the destruction of the temple and the times of distress before his return, gives the example of Noah’s escape from the Flood as a way of telling his people that they need to be ready for his coming (Matthew 24:36-39). This reference is seen by some believers, as it once was by me, as a sure evidence of pre-tribulation rapture: Noah escaped the Flood, so we’ll escape the tribulation. Others, including at least one prominent modern-day denomination, teach that Noah’s experience in the ark represents Jews being preserved through the tribulation on earth, whereas Lot’s escape from Sodom is a type of the rapture of the Church before tribulation.

If Noah’s escape from the Flood in the ark speaks of Jews living through the tribulation, we might ask why the Church is not in this allegory, since the only other characters in the account-even before the Flood began-are those who drown outside the ark. Only eight souls survived the Flood, and they were all in the ark. And while it’s a fact that Noah and his family were safe inside the ark, Jesus made it clear that those living in and around last-days Jerusalem, not to mention the world, will undergo terrible trials. That’s why the tribulation is known as the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).

Jesus said that upon the revealing of Antichrist in Jerusalem people there are to flee the city, because “…there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21). Zechariah said that in that time Jerusalem will be invaded and half the city will be taken into captivity (Zechariah 14:2).

The other popular theory, that the escape of Noah is a type of pre-tribulation rapture, is equally dubious. Righteous Noah and his family escaped the Flood while everyone else, who had no idea what was going to happen, drowned. Therefore, the Noahic-rapture theory says, Jesus was obviously alluding to the rapture, modeled by the ark, in which all of Christ’s people-the Church-will be whisked away to safety before the seven-year tribulation begins. This is another indicator, they say, of the doctrine of “imminence”.

However, Noah did know the flood was coming. Of course-he was building an ark, he must have known. But it wasn’t just a vague idea that a deluge was coming, he knew exactly when it was coming seven days before it came, because God told him:

Go into the ark, you and your whole family… Seven days from now I will send rain over the earth for forty days and forty nights…” (Genesis 7:1 and 4).

The seven days of warning God gave Noah could be seen by some as symbolic of the “seven years” of tribulation, but the Flood began at the end of those seven days, not at the beginning, and most pre-tribulation believers don’t see the distress and judgments of the tribulation as arriving at the end of the “seven years” of tribulation. Neither will these judgments last for forty years as the rains lasted for forty days in the case of the Flood. Then, after the Flood Noah and his family came back to earth with a bump on the mountains of Ararat, lived out their lives as mortals and died, which doesn’t speak well of a change to immortality for the Church in the Flood/rapture scenario.

Since Noah was clearly warned seven days before the beginning of the Flood, Jesus did not intend to use the example of Noah’s escape from the Flood to be an example of a surprise rapture. It was the unbelieving world which was not ready for the Flood. That was the point Jesus was making in the Olivet Discourse:

“…and they knew nothing about what would happen until the Flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (verse 39).

The flood did not begin until the seventh day after God’s specific timed warning to Noah. While Noah was told by God seven days before the flood to go into the ark, those seven days were spent loading it up with animals-which was probably the intention of God’s command. Noah and his family did not actually enter the ark to stay until the seventh day-the very day the floodwaters began to arrive:

…and the floodgates of the heavens were opened… “On that very day Noah and his sons…together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark” (Genesis 7:11-13).

So using the seven days of God’s initial command to enter the ark, during which the animal “kinds” of the world were boarding, doesn’t work as a model or a type for a surprise pre-tribulation rapture. The wrath of God in the form of the world-wide flood began at the end of the period of seven days, not at its beginning, so using the seven-day period as a type would only serve to further confirm the wrath of God falling at the end of the seven-year period and not all the way through it.

The entrance of Noah into the ark was at the end of the seven day period, not at its beginning. No-one “left behind” and outside the ark for that seven day period or after it resembles a “saint” of the tribulation period: everyone outside the ark perished. Noah was not taken into heaven to escape the Flood, he remained on the earth and died at his allotted time.

The point of Jesus’s example of Noah and the Flood was to let his people know that they must be ready spiritually, because the unbelieving, wicked world will not be. In the days before the Flood, said Jesus, people were eating, drinking, marrying…in other words, living out their lives normally, with no expectation of or interest in what was to come:

…up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:36-39).

The people who “knew nothing” were the unsaved-not the people of God. Jesus’ emphasis was readiness for the coming of the Son of Man, not readiness for a sudden surprise escape, because Noah knew exactly when his escape would be. It was to be a spiritual readiness of obedience in contrast to living in blind wickedness like the rest of the world. What was coming for hearers of the Olivet Discourse to be ready for was judgment, not rapture. Significantly, the coming of the Son of Man which Jesus had just described in Matthew’s gospel, to which he was relating the story of Noah, was his entrance into the sky from heaven in power and glory, not a secret coming (verse 30-31).

Those who tell us that Noah represents the remnant of Jews living through the tribulation also miss the fact that Noah knew the Flood was coming, seven days before it came. They tell us that the majority of the Olivet Discourse is intended for the Jews who they say will live through all those events. If this is the case, why did Jesus tell the very same people, living in that time, “You do not know the day or the hour”? Noah knew exactly when the Flood was coming:

Go into the ark, you and your whole family…Seven days from now I will send rain over the earth for forty days and forty nights…” (Genesis 7:1 and 4).

Noah was actually the father of all of us-Jew and Gentile. He didn’t live under the Law, he wasn’t circumcised, and he didn’t dwell in Israel after the Flood. There’s no scripture telling us plainly that Noah represents Jews living through the tribulation or escaping the tri-bulation: these are impositions to prove a theory. When Jesus did speak of Noah in relation to tribulation events, it was clearly to stress the importance of spiritual readiness rather than being lost in judgment with the unsaved: not to illustrate the plight of Jews at that future time.

THE END OF JURASSIC WORLD

Creationists freely recognize the past existence of dinosaurs, and their extinction, just as evolutionists do. The difference in the two views is how, when and why the extinction occurred, but even the “how” part of the story has become increasingly similar in many ways…

Image result for dinosaur graveyard

Articles in the “Institute for Creation Research” monthly magazine “Acts and Facts” have helped fuel my interest in and understanding of the demise of the dinosaurs. The articles relate to secular theories for past mass extinctions,  which these days involve cataclysmic events, supposedly millions of years ago. Evolutionists, like creationists, believe that at some time in the past some colossal and profound event or events radically affected life on earth.

Along with stories of earth-changing events are smaller-scale attempts to account for the rich fossil record, such as “dinosaurs falling into swamps” stories which I’ve written about before. I’m referring to fossil evidence demonstrating how dinosaurs, sometimes entire herds of them, drowned in mud together, and how entire schools of whales ended up in the middle of continents. Other extinction theories include such titles as “fatal gene transfer”, and, as I’ve noted before, Gary Larson’s humorous suggestion that they smoked too much.

There are a number of different theories these days as to why the dinosaur died out completely. Perhaps the most well-known is the one in which a huge asteroid, supposedly evidenced by the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, caused large scale devastation and global poisoning of certain prone species, including the dinosaur. Brian Thomas summarizes the evidence against the theory (note 1).

Smithsonian.com discusses some of the theories which have been proposed in the past in an article titled “THE TOP TEN WEIRDEST DINOSAUR EXTINCTION IDEAS” (see note 4). They then assert that there’s now a short list of generally accepted causes for the demise of the dinosaur:

Today, paleontologists have discerned that most dinosaur lineages disappeared by about 66 million years ago after intense volcanic activity, climate change and a catastrophic asteroid impact triggered one of the worst mass extinctions in our planet’s history.

When I was a small boy (in the dark ages) I had an encyclopedia which contained an “artist’s impression” of dinosaurs fleeing from enormous volcanoes erupting all around them, clearly just about to be buried in lava and rocks. At the same time my science teachers were telling me all about “uniformitarianism”- the popular secular understanding of earth’s history since the time of Charles Lyell until just a few decades ago- perhaps still persisting.It’s also described as “The present is the key to past”. According to this view all processes on earth have always continued at the same pace as we see them happening now, so that f it takes a year for one millimetre of silt to settle in a lake bed, it must have taken an awfully long time for hundreds of feet of it to form-certainly more than the Bible gives it, right?

Image result for dinosaur graveyard

Uniformitarianism has been all but debunked in many ways. In my own part of the world there is abundant evidence of past rapid super-eruptions of lava over thousands of square  miles: not the sort of thing you see every day. More than that, in 1923 geologist  J Harlem Bretz published a paper claiming that the area I now live in was inundated by enormous sudden floods at the end of the last ice-age. He said that the waters were up to 1000 feet deep. and rushed at high speeds down to the ocean, dramatically altering the landscape. You can see the results of rapid and large-scale water erosion for thousands of square miles all around here.

Bretz’ peers were unwilling to accept his proposal for some time, because it smacked too much of the Biblical Flood. Again, it’s not every day you see a thousand feet of water engulfing thousands of square miles of land, so perhaps the present is not always the key to the past.

ICR has noted that evolutionists believe five major catastrophic events have occurred during earth’s history. Some now claim a sixth, while others insist there were three: so much for hard scientific facts (note 3). Incredibly, according to evolutionary scientists, the worlds worst extinction event, the “Permian Extinction”, said bye-bye to 70% of land species and 95% of marine species! (note 2).

Picture Credit: Royal Tyrrell Museum.

CATCHING UP WITH THE BIBLE

What amazes me is that it’s taken this long for our would-be intellectual masters to arrive at the conclusion that enormous, cataclysmic events have transformed our world, because as long as three thousand years ago the Bible already had an explanation for worldwide mass extinctions and rearrangement of the surface of the earth: the global Flood. The reason for the demise of the dinosaurs has always been there for everyone to see. That is, everyone who wanted to see it.

 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind…(Genesis 7:21 ESV).

Physical evidence for the Flood is abundant in rock layers all around the world, where billions of creatures (and colossal amounts of vegetation) are found  to have been rapidly buried, sometimes exquisitely preserved, and in some locations in mass graveyards. Billions-yes, billions of tracks of dinosaurs and many other animals have been found all over the world-tracks made in mud and then buried and fossilized. Interestingly, the tracks commonly appear in straight lines as though these creatures were on their way somewhere in a hurry, not foraging, mating or just living out their lives peacefully in swampy terrain. At the same time, the earth is covered in layers of sediments up to continent size. They are claimed by evolutionists to be the deposits of ancient oceans. Instead, they lend themselves, as does the fossil evidence, far more obviously to the Biblical Flood.

I want to repeat a reference I found on a secular site-not written by a creationist or a believer, which is not uncommon in its descriptions, but is very provocative in relation to the Bible’s Flood account. It’s from an article titled “World’s Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Linked to Mass Death”:

“Scientists have revealed what may be the world’s largest dinosaur graveyard. The dinosaurs may have been part of a mass die-off resulting from a monster storm, comparable to today’s hurricanes, which struck what was then a coastal area.  The findings could help solve a mystery concerning why the badlands of western Canada are so rich in dinosaur fossils.“ (note 5).

 

The Flood is recorded not just in the Bible as a catastrophe in earth’s history, but also in various forms in many cultures around the world, including the Mesopotamian culture-the oldest known civilization on earth.

\NOTES

1 http://www.icr.org/article/did-dinosaurs-die-from-impact

2 http://www.icr.org/article/worlds-most-catastrophic-extinction/

3 http://www.icr.org/article/newly-discovered-sixth-extinction-rewrites/

and

https://www.icr.org/article/3973

4 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-top-ten-weirdest-dinosaur-extinction-ideas-23642539/#SVFlLJT2gFsMWZlY.99

5 http://www.livescience.com/8340-world-largest-dinosaur-graveyard-linked-mass-death.html