Noah: Paganism and Prophecy | Selected Scripture | Dr. David Harrell
Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
Instead of continuing our diverse study of the gospel of John we are going to address a very important issue that has, I fear, greatly impacted our culture in a negative way. I want to talk to you today about this movie called “Noah” that has hit the silver screen. Several months ago, I began seeing tv ads about this epic Hollywood film, “Noah,” and it was advertised as: “A 2014 American epic biblical inspired fantasy film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel and loosely based on the story of Noah's Ark.” With Hollywood's reputation for being a chief ally of Satan in the great war against the one true God and his word, the Bible, and learning, as well, that the co-writer and producer, Darren Aronofsky, is a self-proclaimed “not too religious Jew,” I decided I wasn't going to go. I've seen the Bible butchered enough by Hollywood so why go?
But last week, I started hearing people talk about the movie and they described a serpent theme in the movie and immediately, my ears perked up. I know that that is a dominant theme in a great Satanic philosophy known as Gnosticism. They also told me that Adam and Eve looked like “glow-in-the-dark space aliens.” Once again I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is Gnosticism.”
So, I began to do some research on the Jewish writers and producer Aronofsky and Handel who, by the way, were suite mates at Harvard. Handel admits that he went to “some extra-biblical material like the book of Enoch and Jubilees to understand the nephilim,” the fallen angels that are described in Genesis 6. And I read that they also consulted “Bible scholars and Kabbalists of all sorts.”
Just so you know, the books of Enoch and Jubilees are apocryphal writings, mostly mythical writings. They are not part of the canon of Scripture. The books of Enoch assert that Enoch had learned cosmological and other heavenly secrets from angels and the book of Jubilees is an ancient Jewish mythical account of the world from creation to Moses, written in the second century BC and Kabbalah is a religion of the occult. Kabbalah means “a thing received.” It's Jewish mysticism that's rooted in ancient Gnosticism that I will address in a moment. By the way, this is in vogue with many celebrities such as Madonna, Demi Moore, Lindsey Lohan, Brittany Spears, Roseanne, Paris Hilton and on it goes.
I also thought I would take some time and research some of Aronofsky's past films: his last movie was one called “Pi.” I didn't see it but I discovered that it was a psychological mathematical thriller rooted in gematria. Gematria is the correspondence of the Hebrew alphabet with certain numbers that would supposedly explain a secret code of God in the Torah, concepts that are central to Jewish Kabbalah. So this gave me a clue where this man was coming from and where this story of Noah would come from.
One interviewer asked Aronofsky, “What's your take on God? Are you religious? Do you believe in God?” And he said this in part, “The big-bang happened and all this star matter turned into stars and stars turned into planets and planets turned into life. We're all just borrowing this matter and energy for a little bit while we're here until it goes back into everything else and that connects us all. The cynics out there laugh at this but it's true. The messed-up thing,” he goes on to say, “is how distracted we are and disconnected from that connection and the result of it is what we're doing to this planet and to ourselves. We're just completely killing each other and killing the planet and it's in a state of emergency right now, I think. All of my charity work,” Aronofsky went on to say, “has always been about the environment. There are 15,000 species on the Endangered Species list. Mercury poisoning is my new thing. We're doing it to ourselves, the fact that there's mercury poisoning in the breast-milk of indigenous people in the north Arctic is all coming from us and Alzheimer's is on the rise. What are we doing to ourselves?” he says, “It's a complete disconnect. To me, that's where the spirituality is. Whatever you want to call that connection, some people would use that term 'God.' That, to me, is what I think is holy.”
Given all this, I became much more concerned about the Satanic lies that I feared that this film would advance. Which, by the way, led me to several other Christian scholars who had seen the film and offered their critique and I found one who shared my concern, Dr. Brian Mattson, and he has a critique entitled “Sympathy for the Devil” and I give him credit for additional insights into the Gnostic and Kabbalist bent on the movie. So, with all of this research and this concern combined with the enormous controversy swirling around the film and many people, some of you and many of our listeners, asking my take on it, I decided to go view it so last Thursday I went to see it. I know I said I wouldn't but I changed my mind and hopefully I can shed some light on what, indeed, proved to be a very dark, Satanic distortion of both the character of Noah, the character of God and, certainly, an attack on God's inspired, authoritative, infallible, all-sufficient word.
Sadly, various Christian leaders have endorsed the film, not for its biblical accuracy but for its power to somehow steer people to the Bible and start up a conversation and so forth. And I suppose to some extent, that's happening but I fear that the great deceptions inherent in the film will adversely affect many people, especially people that may not have sufficient biblical discernment to really see what's happening. So, this morning, I want to contend earnestly for the faith.
I wish to examine the subject in three distinct but overlapping categories. First of all, I want to establish a Christian worldview. In order to see anything with our eyes properly, we have to have the right lens or everything will be blurry so we need to see the world through a biblical worldview and specifically this film and what it promotes in contrast to the biblical narrative of Noah. Secondly, I want to expose a pagan worldview and here I’m going to briefly critique certain aspects of the film, again, through the lens of biblical Christianity and especially focus on exposing some of the ancient pagan philosophies that are inherent in the film. And then thirdly, I want to examine an end worldview by focusing on the biblical prophecies of Jesus and the apostles as they relate to the story of Noah.
So, first of all, let's establish a Christian worldview. I know for most of you, this is purely a reminder but as we look at the word of God, we see that man has two enemies: one lives outside of him and one is within him, Satan and his flesh, his sinful nature. Scripture teaches that Satan is the temporary god of this world. He blinds the minds of unbelievers so that they might not see the light of the gospel of Christ who is the image of God. We read in the word of God that the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one and man is within the domain of Satan because of his sin. We see that Satan opposes the work of God at every turn. We see that he works lying wonders. We learn from Scripture that he works primarily through false teachers, false teaching, false religions, false philosophies. We know also that he can assume the form of an angel of light to deceive. And then as we look at man, we see that all men are born spiritually dead: our hearts are deceitful, they're desperately wicked, by nature man has no capacity to respond to divine truth. Man's hatred of God and his truth is universal. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:7 that the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God.
So, therefore, man is utterly incapable of saving himself. He is totally dependent upon the life-giving grace of God to save him, to cause him to be born again and that hope is only found in the gospel. “The Spirit of truth,” Jesus said, “is the Spirit whom the world cannot receive,” John 14:17. So, until the Spirit of God renews the mind of a man, he will remain in spiritual darkness; he will not receive the truth; he will not want the truth, he will hate the truth. So, therefore, man apart from Christ, remains in the bondage of his own sinful nature as well as Satan's supernatural power to keep him from the one book given to man to make him wise unto salvation. The combination of man's sin nature and Satan's diabolical deceptions are, therefore, the perfect recipe for every imaginable form of evil. Speaking to his self-righteous Jewish kinsmen, Jesus said in John 8:44, “You are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand on the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it.”
The only possible way that a man can understand the truth of God's saving grace is by placing his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” It is Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.” He also said, “If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” By grace through faith, man can be saved from his sins and at that point, the Spirit of God will open up his eyes to the truth of God's revelation of himself found in Scripture, what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:15, are “the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus because all Scripture is inspired by God.”
Now, back to a Christian worldview: every Christian must see the world through a biblical lens that not only recognizes man's proclivity to be in rebellion against God and not understand his truth but also to be aware of Satan's schemes. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” My friends, we are at war with the enemy of our souls, a war that began in the Garden and continues to this very day and it will continue until the Lord vanquishes all of his foes, all of his enemies and recreates the heavens and the earth as he has promised and the eternal souls of men are the spoils of this great conflict. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”
This movie as we will discover, is merely another demonic attempt to deceive. Not that I’m saying the writers intended for this to happen but, certainly, the sources that they have consulted to help them understand the biblical account of Noah are clearly inspired by Satan, not by God. Aronofsky stated that the film is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” and I’m sure the writers are not aware of these dangers, nor the divine weaponry available to those who believe to combat them. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” That, my friends, is my purpose today.
Now, having established this Christian worldview, I want to, secondly, expose a pagan worldview that's inherent in this film. Before I do, I have to say first of all that the script is such a radical departure from the biblical narrative that it would take a week to show you all of the ways that that is so, so I’m just going to deal with some key elements of it that I think are important for you to know and hopefully you will remember some of these things and point them out to your friends.
The opening scene told me all that I needed to know. Noah is a little boy and he's about to be blessed and receive a birthright from his father, Lamech, and the sacred symbol of his birthright was the snakeskin of the serpent in the Garden. He wraps this around his arm and as he does it begins to glow with light. He reaches out his arm to touch Noah's finger with his, obviously he's about to pass on something very powerful, something very mystical, and then suddenly, Tubal-cain shows up with his band of thugs and Lamech tells his little boy, Noah, to go hide and then Tubal-cain kills Lamech and takes the sacred snakeskin for himself.
All of this screams of ancient Gnosticism, the origins of which, by the way, the Apostle Paul began to deal with in his letter to the Colossians. Gnosticism, by the way, comes from the Greek word “gnosis.” It means “knowledge” and this is really Satan's great elixir of ancient Eastern religions mixed with Greek rationalism. We see it a lot today in kind of the broad term “the New Age movement.” In Gnostic thought, which obviously rejects the Bible as divine truth, we see that Sophia, the Greek word for “wisdom,” is called Dame Wisdom and she was the heavenly Eve who entered the snake in the Garden to instruct, not to tempt but to instruct Adam and Eve. So, the snake becomes the redeemer, not Yahweh, a blasphemous reversal of redemptive truth which, by the way, is always what Satan does.
But, of course, only the enlightened can understand the secret knowledge of Gnosticism. It's interesting, in the movie, the title “creator” is used throughout the film: never God, never Lord, never certainly Yahweh. And that's because the creator in Gnostic thought was a very foolish, violent, lesser god who did a terrible thing: he created the physical universe rather than allowing all beings to remain free spirits, unencumbered with a material body. Of course, this is part of ancient Greek dualism where matter is evil and spirit is good. This is why they couldn't buy the whole story of the Incarnation of Christ among many other things.
So, in Gnostic thought, the creator was an imposter god, not the supreme God, and the Gnostics link this lowest ranking god that made this terrible mistake with the Old Testament Yahweh, the one true God. But when this creator made man, they believe that he accidentally infused him with a spark of divine life, albeit imprisoned in this bodily shell and the only way a man can possibly break free and enjoy his divine life is through the attainment of intellectual and spiritual enlightenment made available only through Sophia, Dame Wisdom, the heavenly Eve that entered the snake. A person is only set free or saved when they realize that ultimately they are part of the divine. Of course, we would know this as pantheism: God is in all, we are all part of God. This is a dominant theme throughout the movie.
To the Gnostic and to the New Age mystic of today, redemption does not come from God but from one's own self-understanding, from Gnosis, a mystical knowledge, a true seeing and hearing not found in Scripture. As a footnote, the Gnostic speculations are as complex as they are absurd. I remember reading them in seminary years ago. They are ancient yet they are Satanically inspired, an attempt to somehow account for the existence of evil in the world and how to reconcile the finite with the infinite and so forth. If you want a fascinating and, I think, the most compelling explanation in refutation of ancient Gnosticism, you need to read Irenaeus of Lyons' “Against Heresies.” It was written in 1 AD. By the way, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was the pastor of the church in Smyrna and Polycarp was the disciple of the Apostle John.
Later in the film, there's a flashback to Adam and Eve and they did, like someone told me, they did look like glow-in-the-dark space aliens. They were kind of this luminescent white/yellow phantom. They weren't in human bodies; they weren't in a physical body. Once again, this is pure Gnosticism. In his work “Against Heresies” that I just mentioned, Irenaeus described what one second century sect of Gnostics known as the Ophites believed about Adam and Eve and I want to read this to you: “Adam and Eve previously had light, and clear, and as it were spiritual bodies, such as they were at their creation; but when they came to this world, these changed into bodies more opaque, and gross, and sluggish. Their soul also was feeble and languid, inasmuch as they had received from their creator a merely mundane inspiration. This continued until Prunicus, moved with compassion towards them...” By the way, Prunicus is their version of you might say, the Holy Spirit, many times called Prunicus Sophia. This was kind of the androgynous male/female goddess, sometimes they called the mother. Once again, part of Sophia. Anyway, “This continued until Prunicus, moved with compassion towards them, restored to them the sweet savour of the besprinkling of light, by means of which they came to a remembrance of themselves, and knew that they were naked, as well as that the body was a material substance, and thus recognised that they bore death about with them. They thereupon became patient, knowing that only for a time they would be enveloped in the body. They also found out food, through the guidance of Sophia.” You know, the instant any Christian sees the veneration of a snakeskin and light coming from it, that should be a pretty good clue that there's something demonic going on here even if you aren't familiar with the heresies of Gnosticism.
This was made even more obvious to me later on when you see, actually it's more towards the beginning of the film but I remember seeing Noah fleeing with his family from the wicked humans that were destroying the planet and they fled to a place that they called a Zohar Mine. Many people had been slaughtered there but there was one severely injured little girl that they saved who, by the way, later becomes Shem's wife. But Zohar in Hebrew means “light,” means “spelndor, shining, brightness,” but the Zohar is the chief text of Kabbalah which is a collection of mystical commentaries on the Pentateuch that helps people gain enlightenment. It was written by, they believe, a second century Rabbi.
And the themes of Kabbalism and Gnosticism which really go hand-in-hand, were next found when Noah and his family as they're fleeing from the bad guys, were suddenly protected by these huge rock creatures with multiple arms. I had to laugh when I saw them, they were more comical than they were frightening. They reminded me of Transformers, those cartoons that the kid's see, only they were Transformers that were made out of like lava rock. And it's interesting that you could see beneath the lava this light: you could see their eyes, a little bit of their mouths, a glow within them. Again, this is a great picture of divine light that the Gnostics believe is trapped within matter. According to the movie, these were once angelic beings that came down to help Adam in the Garden but the creator thought they interfered with what he was doing so he punished them so he then incarcerated these angelic beings in this grotesque material body.
What was really interesting is the name that they were called: they were called “the watchers.” Noah told his family that these are the watchers. Well, “watcher, shomer” in Hebrew, means “watcher” or “protector.” By the way, these according to the writers, were their version of the nephilim of Genesis 6. We learn about the watchers in the first book of Enoch, the apocryphal writings ascribed to Enoch. Again, these are non-canonical collections of narratives and visions which Enoch supposedly received from angels to give him the wisdom from God. But the first 36 chapters in the book of Enoch is called “The Book of the Watchers.” One source says, “The book of the Watchers utilizes narrative to introduce corruption, fallen angels and the final judgment.” Chapters 1-5 provide an introduction claiming that the book is the blessing of Enoch which is passed on to the righteous. Chapters 6-36, then, introduces the angels. The fallen angels are the 'sons of God of Genesis 6,' the watchers who corrupted people through fornication and magic. Enoch has a dream and intercedes for the fallen angels but he is unsuccessful. The text then predicts their destruction.”
I had my little notebook with me and if you've ever tried to take notes in a dark theater, you'll realize it's kind of hard to do so it was hard for me to decipher my notes but I did pick up two names of the watchers: one was Samyaza and the other one was Ramiel. These are names of demons in first Enoch. By the way, eventually I’m getting way ahead of the story here but eventually these rock creatures help Noah build the ark and protect them from all the terrified humans that stormed the ark when the rains begin to fall and so forth. By the way, also, Tubal-cain is leading this group. All of his hordes, they are able to somehow pierce the watchers with their metal spears as they are desperately trying to flee the waters and then suddenly the watchers explode out of their lava bodies and you see their light-spirits shooting back up into the air like rockets, the same way they were depicted earlier as descending to the earth. Mattson is very helpful here. He says, “Fallen angels are never totally fallen in this brand of mysticism. To quote the Zohar, a central Kabbalah text, 'All things of which this world consists, the spirit as well as the body will return to the principle and the root from which they came.” So, this is a depiction of all of this.
To stick with the story a little bit, prior to all of this, all of the animals come to the ark in pairs and they are put to sleep by this incense that Noah and his family carry around. And the movie does accurately depict the wickedness of the people upon the earth but their primary evil, the evil that absolutely infuriates the creator is kind of twofold: destroying the planet and killing animals to eat them. So, Noah and his family are naturally strict vegetarians; they live basically on berries. And Noah is depicted as the first vegetarian environmentalist, surprise, surprise, like his creator. This virtue is evidently so sacred that the creator would destroy the entire earth with a flood including mankind so that they could start over again and be the type of vegetarians and environmentalists that we need to have.
Well, eventually after the deluge begins, massive geysers spew water into the air as the fountains of the earth rupture and the ark is torn from its mooring. It begins to float for days and months but the big problem is, the young girl that they rescued from the Zohar Mine is now much older and she happens to be pregnant with Shem's twins. Noah is convinced that the creator has merely saved him for the purpose of carrying out the mission of starting the planet over again, rescuing the animals, preserving the planet and so he believes that all of them must die including these twins because, after all in the story, it is man who has caused all of these environmental problems. So, Noah's great moral dilemma is whether or not he will kill his newborn grandchildren and he is terribly upset because the creator will not speak to him so he decides to disobey the creator and let them live because, after all, he had love in his heart, something the creator obviously didn't have.
Eventually, then, the rains stop, the ark crashes onto a mountain, the water subsides and they all get out to begin again. In the closing scene, Noah who, by the way, has received the snakeskin once again, from his nemesis, Tubal-cain, who happened to make his way onto the ark and then get killed, he takes the snakeskin and he wraps it around his arm like his father before him and he blesses his grandchildren with the birthright of preserving the planet and the skin begins to light up. It, again, reminded me of so many things in ancient Gnosticism: for example, Irenaeus describes it saying, “Sophia opposed him,” referring to the creator. Remember Sophia then enters the snake. “Sophia opposed him in this point also,” referring to the deluge. She didn't think it should happen. “And Noah and his family were saved in the ark by means of the sprinkling of that light which proceeded from her and through it the world was again filled with mankind.”
Well, and with Noah's blessing then, Noah's blessing, not God's blessing but with Noah's blessing through the power of the serpent who is the true light of the world, Sophia, not the creator, is the one who ultimately gives this blessing and now he is no longer deceived and threatened by the creator and so the sky lights up with these rings of rainbows. It looked like someone blowing smoke rings from their mouth, if you've ever seen that before and this becomes the covenant rainbow. I was fascinated with the rings. I knew it had to be associated with Gnosticism and Kabbalism, I wasn't real sure how. I later discovered it to be one of the symbols, those rings are symbols of the Kabbalist and when I saw it, I was reminded of being in a trendy little pizza place down here in East Nashville and our waitress looked like a homeless lady with dreadlocks and things stuck all in her ears and nose and lips and tattoos everywhere and she had this pendant hanging from her neck with that symbol on there, all of those circles. I remember asking her what that was and I remember her saying, “This is the symbol of God in Kabbalah.” So, my mind kind of made that connection at that point. By the way, it's called Ein Sof which means “without end,” and according to the Kabbalists, “This is the symbol of the Infinite, Unknowable God who is perfectly simple and infinitely complex, who is nothing and everything, who is hidden and revealed, who is reality and allusion, who is Creator of man and created by man.” It makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Folks, aren't you glad we have the gospel? Aren't you glad we have the word of God?
Obviously, this is radically different from the biblical account of Noah as the producer said it would be. Now, some will argue, “Well, you know, since the biblical account of Noah only covers about four chapters basically, naturally one would expect a film-maker to have some creative license here to add to the story to make it worth the price of admission for a two hour movie.” But as you can see, this is far more than creative license. This movie is a not-so-subtle attack on the one true God, a deliberately pagan spin on one of the most amazing events in human history. A true story of the wrath of a holy God against sinful man but also a wonderful picture of God's mercy and grace in providing a way of salvation for all who would humble themselves and repent.
Now, let me offer a brief overview of the biblical account just by way of comparison. Before I do, may I remind you that as Christians we must accept the Old Testament and the New Testament text as the inspired, inerrant, authoritative word of God. And when you do, as you look at Scripture, you will find that after the fall of man in the Garden, Genesis 3:15, a Deliverer was promised to descend from the seed of Eve, one that would some day defeat the serpent and all who belong to him. According to Genesis 5, the genealogical record in Genesis 5, Adam lived 930 years. Can you imagine living that long and seeing all that sin upon the face of the earth? I've seen enough sin to last me for a life-time. Imagine if I was just getting started. One of his descendants was Enoch. In fact, Adam was still alive. Enoch was in the seventh generation Jude tells us and Enoch would have, therefore, had a first-hand creation account from Adam. He would have had a first-hand account of the Garden, of what happened with Cain and Abel and he would have passed it on to Methuselah who ultimately passed it on to Noah. In fact, Methuselah overlapped Adam for 200 years and Noah for 600 years.
Well, all of these men knew about sin, they knew about judgment but they also knew about a promised Deliverer. As we look at Scripture, a minimum of 1,656 years elapsed between Adam and the flood so for hundreds of years, these men witnessed the metastasizing corruption of sin and Noah witnessed God's judgment in the flood. Then later on, his descendants witnessed God's judgment again at the Tower of Babel. And then later on, Lot and his family witnessed the judgment at Sodom and Gomorrah when fire and brimstone destroyed those cities. But all of them, my friends, anticipated a coming Deliverer. In fact, before the flood, before the flood, the word of God tells us that Enoch prophesied about Christ's Second Coming in judgment. We read about it in Jude, beginning in verse 14, “Behold,” Jude says in quoting Enoch, “the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Now, all of this is pictured in the flood narrative detailed in Genesis. A study of the genealogical record of Genesis 5 reveals that by the time of the flood, based on the calculations that many people have given, there would have been about three billion people on the planet, some will argue as many as seven billion. But in Genesis 6:5, we read this, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” My friends, I would submit to you that that's exactly what we see today. In verse 6, he went on to say, “The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.'” But then in verse 8 we read something very precious, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”
By the way, this is not because of some inherent goodness in Noah. The writer of Hebrews helps us understand this. In Hebrews 11:7, there he says, “By faith Noah being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household by which he condemned the world and became and heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” My friends, salvation is always by grace through faith. It's been that way from the beginning. It will be that way until the end. And like his ancestors before him who, according to Genesis 4:26 “began to call on the name of the Lord,” Noah believed that God was not only the Creator but he believed that he was the sovereign ruler over all things and one that would ultimately be the Savior of those who humbled themselves before him, a Savior from sin. And because of this, God granted him grace and faith.
Then in verse 9 of Genesis 6, we read that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” It doesn't say that he was sinless. He was a righteous man, blameless. In other words, he like all believers was justified by God by reason of his faith. The imputed righteousness of Christ was given to him in advance of Christ's actual atoning work on the cross. Then in verse 11 and following, we read, “Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark,” and he gives him all of the precise details of the ark. We had some pictures that were on the screen a little bit earlier. I don't know if you can put those back up there or not but in those pictures you will see what engineers believe to be the best rendering of what the ark would have looked like. Many ancient ships were built in similar fashion, believed to have been based upon the knowledge of the ark. The great wooden sail looking thing in the bow would have been for the wind to be able to turn the ship in the mighty winds of the roaring seas of that time so that the ship would go against the waves. If it was turned sideways, the waves would beat it and basically destroy the ship and the rudder was made in similar fashion and so forth. But God gives them the details, gives Noah the details of how to build this ark.
Then the flood narrative goes on from chapter 7 of Genesis, verse 11 through chapter 8:14 and as we read it in detail, you see that the flood was a three stage event: 1. there was 150 days of prevailing waters, waters that came down from the canopy. They had never seen rain before. The waters came down from above, the great fountains of the deep burst forth. Secondly, there was 165 days of receding waters. Thirdly, there were 56 days of drying. Noah and his family were the only ones who escaped the judgment in the flood.
Then God promised in chapter 9:11 that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. Then he goes on to describe the sign of his covenant promise, namely the rainbow. By the way, God's specific promise there was never to again destroy the earth by water but he will destroy it again only not by water but by fire.
This leads me to my final remarks as 3. we examine an end worldview of this Noah story. What does all this say about today? What does all of this say about the future? Of course, this is what was totally missed in the movie. In 2 Peter 3, beginning in verse 3, the Apostle Peter tells us this, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.'” This is the philosophy known as Uniformitarianism; it's the idea that everything just goes on as it always has. There has never been a judgment and there is never going to be a judgment. Naturally, what the world is going to want to do is somehow turn this story of Noah and the judgment that took place there, he's going to want to turn that into a fanciful myth with lava monsters so that our kids will see this and say, “Oh, isn't this silly?” By the way, sometimes I fear that we fall into the same trap even in teaching our children. Many times we will have little pictures of this little bathtub looking thing with giraffe heads sticking out and kids see that and they go, “Isn't that cute?” until they get older and they realize, “My goodness, you know, this thing must have been a myth.”
Peter went on to say, “For when they maintain this,” in other words, the idea that everything just keeps on going, there's not going to be any judgment, “when they maintain this it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” There is the warning, my friends. Jesus said in Luke 17, beginning with verse 26, “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” In other words, life was just on and on like usual, nobody paid any attention to Noah warning them. Just like today, nobody pays any attention to fools like me or like you that warn them of coming judgment. We're much more interested in the Final Four.
Jesus went on to say, “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” By the way, it's not by accident that the Lord places the flood destruction alongside the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and his Second Coming. By the way, Peter does the same thing in 2 Peter 2:4-9. You see, the judgments of Noah and Lot were preceded by many warnings. In fact in 2 Peter 2:5 we read that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness.” In fact, according to Genesis 6:3 and 1 Peter 3:20, he preached for 120 years warning about a day of judgment that was coming. We also know that Lot was a righteous man who according to 2 Peter 2:7-8 was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men.” By the way, this is speaking of the gross immorality of homosexuality. I doubt if there will be a follow-up movie on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the salvation of Lot and his family.
The text goes on to say, “For by what he saw and heard, that righteous man while living among them felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” No doubt he warned them of judgment as well but they wouldn't listen just like we are tormented today with what we see around us and all we know to do is to cry out and warn people of a day of judgment that is coming. My friends, this is the great warning that we must take to the world: devastating judgment is coming upon the earth just like it did in the days of Noah.
Now, you will certainly not see this theme in the movie. You won't see this kind of a warning because, once again, Satan's purposes are always to thwart the purposes of God and to deceive man and so what he wants you and your children to see is kind of a goofy, silly, almost comical mythical version of an amazing catastrophic event that warns of a judgment yet future as well as a judgment that occurred in the past. Jesus said, also in Matthew 24, beginning in verse 36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” In other words, when the Lord will return again in judgment, no one knows. And then he says this, “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days,” Jesus says, “before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” And then Jesus says this, “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.” This speaks of one will taken in the judgment, the other will be left to enter the kingdom. By the way, this is described in greater detail in the next chapter in the separation of the sheep and the goats and that judgment. Jesus went on to say, “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
So my friends, my message to you this morning is simply this: judgment came once and it's coming again. You have been warned, those of you who have heard my voice today. The good news is: you can be ready and the way you can be ready is to hear the message of the gospel that you are absolutely totally sinful, you are unable to save yourselves but there is hope and that hope is by placing your faith in the one and only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I would plead with you today as a minister of the gospel to humble yourself, repent of your sins, cry out to the Savior and be saved before it's too late because one day and as we look at the constellation of prophetic events in Scripture and all around the world, we believe that that day could be very soon, one day, one day soon, judgment is coming. Oh, how I pray that you will place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ today.
So, as you go to see this movie, those of you that haven't and obviously I’ve spoiled it for you now, but I hope you will see it through the eyes of discernment and see what the enemy is up to. Warn your friends. Warn your children. Be warned yourself.
Father, thank you for the truth of your word. Lord, we acknowledge that we would never understand it were it not for your transforming grace so we give you praise for saving us and, Lord, I would pray for those who remain in the bondage of their sin, who walk in darkness, who actually love darkness rather than light. Lord, I pray that by the power of your grace you will break through their stubbornness, through their deceit and that you would help them to see the truth of not only their sin but the Savior who will save them. So Lord, we commit these things to you and we give you praise for the hope that we have in Christ and how we long to see you face-to-face. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.