Modern Noahs – God’s Call to Commitment

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: 2 Peter 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We are in need of looking and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. And seeing that we look for such thing as His coming, we are called upon to be diligent that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless. The coming of the Lord is compared in the words of Jesus to the days of Noah. We are to be modern Noahs and we are called to a commitment such as was given to Noah.

The story of Noah is an exciting story, and often we do not see exactly what that story is meant to convey to us. Noah was a believer and he was going about his normal business of life; and the condition of the planet was then, according to Jesus, as it is today. As Noah was doing his daily work, God came to him:

Genesis 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

This was the position that Noah was put into. He was living in such a time, as is described here by God, that the earth was corrupt and all flesh had corrupted its flesh upon the earth. It was time for the destruction of the world of that time. So God came to Noah, and what He told Noah would alter the normal living of that man and all associated with him. Apart from pursuing his living to just have daily food and caring for his household, there was a separate purpose that he was to be occupied with. This was in reference to the world coming to its end. Something was given to Noah that would occupy him. It would occupy him for one hundred and twenty years. He was well occupied according to God’s call.

When the suggestion is made that the world is going to come to an end, many people say, Well, why should I do anything? It’s still going to end anyway. What’s the purpose of living then? But God gave Noah a purpose for living, although the world was coming to its end. To be living at that time, to be given a task from God, there is something there for us to learn. With the knowledge that we ourselves are living at the end of the world, do we have a task? Do we have a purpose for living if the world is going to end?

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

We are living in precisely the same set of events today. The world was then coming to its conclusion and the people were continuing to live, making their life; they didn’t want to know that the flood was coming. They ignored the warning of Noah. They said, We are going to continue to live. Those today who are listening to what God is saying, that the end of the world is coming, often say, as many young people have said to me, What’s the use of living then? It’s not worth me doing anything; it’s all going to come to an end anyway, so why should I build a house, why should I develop my interest in anything? But although it was coming to an end in the days of Noah, did Noah and his family have something to do?

2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

“We can continue to live; we can continue to build. What’s different?”

2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

This is the parallel. People are willingly ignorant. But those who will not be ignorant, realise, Oh… It’s going to happen as in the days of Noah. If we will recognise that life and all that we have put on this planet is going to be destroyed, how will we relate to that knowledge? God approaches us with the same announcement that He gave to Noah, and He says to us, I am going to make an end of this world. But this time it is being kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. The world is going to be destroyed by fire. It will be consumed entirely.

So God comes to us and says, like He said to Noah, Come, up! Come and build. Do something. I want you to do something. I want you to occupy yourself with something that is worthwhile occupying yourselves with, with the knowledge of the end coming.

The Holy Spirit preached to the people of the antediluvian world through Noah:

1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 

Noah was to build an ark and to preach. He was to build an ark by which he would be protected from the water, and he was to preach to the people. That was a fulltime occupation. We have been given an occupation like that of Noah. God waited for one hundred and twenty years, and during all that time Noah had to work; he had to occupy himself with a purpose.

2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

That all should come to repentance – that is what His work is. He came to Noah and said, Go and build an ark and preach; like He says to us today.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Can you see the word of God coming to us as it came to Noah? I will destroy the world with water, said He to Noah. Now He is saying, I will destroy the world by fire. Preach and build. Occupy yourself.

Now people may say to me, John, you are making a fabrication here. But let us see how realistic all this is today. It is a reality that we, like Noah, are called upon to build and preach.

God tested the world when he sent, through Noah, a message to the antediluvians. He sent warning after warning that the world would be destroyed by the waters of the flood; {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 2}

Of course, the people were scoffing, like they do today.

The judgments came as God had declared by the word of his prophets that they would come. Only faithful Noah and his family entered into the ark, and were saved when the deluge engulfed the world. The days of Noah are pointed to as an illustration of the unbelief that will prevail at the end of the world. Says the Saviour, “But as the days of Noe where, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 2}

The Spirit of Prophecy is telling us that this scenario of comparison is for us to pay attention to.

Those who have had living faith in the messages of God for the time in which they have lived, and who have acted out their faith in obedience to his commands, have been accepted of God, and have escaped the judgments that were to fall upon the disobedient and unbelieving. The word came to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me.” Noah obeyed and was saved. … Those who obeyed the warning of Christ in marking the sign of the coming ruin, and in fleeing from Jerusalem, were not involved in her destruction. The message comes in our own time, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Those who obey this message will escape the terrible plagues that will surely be visited upon her. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 11}

As Noah preached the coming destruction, here is a message that is given to God’s people which says, Babylon is fallen, is fallen. . . . Come out of her, my people (just like Noah had to preach, Come into the ark).

The question of most vital importance for this time is, “Who is on the Lord’s side? {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 12}

Can you hear the call?

Who will unite with the angel in giving the message of truth to the world? Who will receive the light that is to fill the whole earth with its glory?” Those who cherish the light that they have, will receive more. Increasing light will shine about the souls who yield to the softening, subduing grace of Christ; and those who love the light, will be saved from the delusions of Satan. He will strive with intense energy to exhibit, through his miracle-working power, signs and wonders that will seem to eclipse the work that God will do in the earth. {Ibid.}

God will do a work in the earth before its destruction by fire, and who does He use? Noah, or the people who Noah represents in the last days, the angel of Revelation 18. This is the message that Noah was given and that we are given in parallel.

We want to grasp this vision, the vision that we are invited to engage in. Like Noah we are occupied in living a life, building a house. Young people start to make their life meaningful, they buy houses or work hard to earn their money and establish something. And like Noah, God comes to them and says, “All this that you are building is going to be destroyed. Go and build an ark. Go and build something to protect yourself with. I want you to occupy yourself in a manner that is relevant to My destruction of this planet.” Like Noah, as we have been occupied with our own interest, doing our own pursuits, now God reveals something and calls us, “Noah, I want you to change your pursuits; I want you now to occupy yourself in a practical manner to do something in the light of the destruction that is soon to happen.”

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. … 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

The faith of Noah was a practical faith, something that he engaged in, a substance, an evidence, of things not seen. We, living in these last days, are, like Noah, to have a faith that is a substance, a faith that is practically involved in dealing with the call that God is giving to those who believe that they must be preparing for the destruction by fire.

Firstly, as I look at Noah I like to think that, now that he received the call (and I think you would agree with me), he put everything he had into fulfilling that commission. All his life’s savings, all the monetary competence that he had gained, was now put into the cause to build an ark. He had to work to build an ark. He had to use finances to spend for this work.

Secondly, all his business interests by which he could raise finances were designed to build this ark.

Thirdly, all his spare time was occupied in things that related to the preparation. He lay off all unnecessary activities that were not relevant to the preparation, to the building of the ark. He would have to win time to be able to have that ark finished on time.

Fourthly, all his income was channelled for the all-important end. Everything he made was there for this purpose.

And if he had any personal plans that were not relevant to the issues that were before Him by the call of God, they were thrown away. What’s the use of having any personal plans that were all going to come to an end at the destruction? So they were all put aside. He only had one plan in mind – to build that ark and to preach to the people. That was his whole interest.

“Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will unite with the [the Revelation 18] angel in giving the message of truth to the world? {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 12}

Who will unite with these people? Who will make the unreserved commitment to engage in the enterprise? Who will change his course of action for this purpose? Because everything is going to be destroyed we may as well use everything to make sure that it’s going to survive through this terrible time of destruction. In Noah’s time it meant building the ark and preaching.

Commitment

What is involved here? Sr. White identifies the time when the Revelation 18 angel started his work – it was back in 1888. He came with the message, and the people, Waggoner and Jones and those who united with that angel, were presenting the message of that angel. That is why Sr. White says, Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will unite with this angel? It happened back there. This is now over a hundred and twenty years ago.

Finances

With those who decide that they will respond to God’s call, every penny earned will be considered, as to what I am going to do with my money. I will be careful how I spend it. I will keep in my modest sustenance of food and clothing. No expense that is not necessary for my preparation. I will spare my funds for the enterprise. Everything that I do with my funds is for one enterprise, for that end. I still have to live, to live in a house, or in any kind of accommodation; I have to use that for this purpose, yes, but according to the knowledge of the destruction.

Talents

Our talents, the gifts that we have, we have qualities to apply ourselves diligently. We are to be diligent, preparing ourselves. We are diligently to prosper and to progress in this work. Noah had to use his talents in building an ark. He had to be an engineer; he had to use engineers for that purpose, and carpenters, etc. In preparation for our end of the world, the choice of career will be related to the all-important end; everything I do is carefully channelled so that what I earn, what I do, is not going to interfere with my preparation.

Time

I will not waste my time. I will seek to catch spare time and make the building of the ark and the preaching of God’s word to warn the world priority in my life.

If we are going to make that comparison with Noah, we come up with a problem of understanding, What is the ark that I must build today? Besides preaching, what does it mean to build the ark? What was the ark built for? For protection when the flood would come. This end of the world is going to be the plagues and the sea of fire. How am I going to be protected from that?

Psalm 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Where shall we be protected? Not in a physical ark; but where? In the house of the Lord, in His tabernacle. In His pavilion He will hide and protect me.

Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?

That is the question. It will be a fire that devours; how will we be protected?

Isaiah 33:14 …who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? 15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; 16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence [shall be] the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure.

We are here told the practical engagements by which we will be building an ark for protection. We are to walk righteously and speak uprightly, despising the gain of oppressions, shaking our hands from holding of bribes, and stopping our ears from hearing of blood, and shutting our eyes from seeing evil. As we prepare our spiritual life we are preparing an ark, because we will understand the call of God in building and constructing a secure and perfect character, by which we will then find protection because we are dwelling in a spiritual place, in His pavilion. That is where we are dwelling in our hearts and minds.

This is now the sealing of God’s people, the 144,000, which is here brought to view. They are the modern Noahs who are building an ark for protection. Satan is trying to distract God’s people from the sealing work, so that they will not be occupying themselves to be protected:

Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God’s people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also. {EW 44.2}

What is the sealing? What is meaning of the call, “Come out of her, My people, to be protected”?

…it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved {FLB 287.7}

It is to come into the protection of Christ and His angels; and this is an ongoing mind occupation – making sure that my character is in harmony with the things that I am reading. I am building a character; that is the ark of protection. Dwelling in the presence of God so that God can pull His protection over us.

Loudly, clearly, and earnestly Jesus is calling to more than just a normal Christianity; He is calling us to have a Christianity that doesn’t just acknowledge His gospel but that knows present truth, truth relevant to our present situation, like in the days of Noah. It is not just general Christianity; it is a truth that relates to God’s calling for action relevant to our situation.

Who will unite with the angel in its onward flight and activity? It is a full activity together with the three angels’ messages and that other angel. We are to be occupying our mind. Not just preaching, but putting our lives in harmony with the will of God. Those who are members of God’s church reconsider and rededicate their lives to full participation in the affairs of the church. Everything that the church is doing that is living in harmony with God’s expectations, we will participate in. We will not say, Well, that’s somebody else’ job. No, we are all working together with Noah in the church. We have a new vision; we have a clear-cut understanding to cut loose from anything that hinders us in this pursuit, so that whatever we do as a church is priority.

We often think, Let them get on with it; I’m just going to do my thing. But that doesn’t work if I am going to be in Noah’s team. I have to work together with my brothers and sisters in the building of our character together.

For those who are young people, their youthful energies and their talents are to be invested in this work. What is the story of the ten talents? There was one who was given one talent and he just buried it in the earth. But no, we are to use our talents; we are not to bury them in the world but to use our talents in establishing the ark of protection.

The first and foremost interest is to engage together with the families that are the family of the church. That is our occupation in a church that is already geared to prepare and protect. Remember, in the days of Noah it was a very small church. Interesting that. Only eight people in a world that was populated. Mind-stirring, isn’t it?

So we will be there in every meeting of the church, because we are building. And if I am not building my character under the tuition of the order of God’s church, then I will not have a character that will survive the terrible things that are going to come.

We need to enthusiastically support each other. I attend some meetings called the Crucible Program and they support each other there to develop the character to be a man. That is what we are to do in the church. The church is the crucible where we are to build our characters. That is plainly described throughout all the Scripture. We must pray, we must plan, we must act together; and everything is integrated and collated so that all our secular pursuits are geared and collated into the enterprise of what this church is meant to be. And this we must do with great diligence and intensity, unrelentingly, as we come to the very end; and we all have one common end, just as Noah and his family had.

The day will come when there will be a final call for everyone, like it was with Noah. Not only are we to be building, but the day will come when God will say, That is it now; you are finished building…

Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

What is the meaning of the word come? What does it suggest? If someone says, Come; where is he? He is in the place that you are to come into. As we are building the ark of God’s protection in these last days, God is saying, “Come into My pavilion; come and be protected. You have built up a whole enterprise of relationships with Me, now come in, because all your work is finished. Come and be protected. Go into the wilderness, into the munitions of rocks; I will be with you. Your protection will be the munitions of rocks. Your bread and water shall be sure.” That day is coming when we will know we have to come – to come into His protection, where He is.

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

What is God saying? Come, Noah, into the protective ark. Come, My people, into your protection. And what is it?

What are the chambers in which they are to hide?– They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself. {4BC 1143.6}

This is the call to you and me. What are we doing to become absolutely connected with the work of the sealing? Are we harmonising together in everything that we are to be doing at this present time? We want not just ordinary Christianity, but Christianity that is preparing so that we will be secure, building character, discarding things that are not part of the cause. We are called upon with all earnestness by the Lord, and as we are building that security, we will then be ready, as Noah was, to go there and be protected.

This is our occupation if we are going to be under God’s protection. Let us not bypass it lightly, for this is a life and death message. Thank God that He has given us such detail so that we might know what we must do in reference to the time in which we are living.

Amen.

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Posted on February 16, 2017, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi pastor John Shalom,shalom .may the Good Lord continue be with your work.we are living in apostasy times .help me with Trinitarian ,Is Jesus Trinity? Did EGW support Trinity doctrine in Her time? Do me favor .l need computer,l will be glad if you give this assistance. God bless Anthony Cedric Adjei

    Sent from my iPad

    N

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