Part 1- Why Noah?
“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3: 11-12)
Back in 2009 at the time of the previous global economic crash, I listened to a teaching series by Paul Keith Davis called “As in the Days of Noah” based on Matthew 24:37 during a visit to White Oak, Texas. As I listened I heard a simple question which has shaped much of my life since then, that was not on the recording; I checked!
Like so many of God’s questions’ they come via many different mediums and at times we don’t expect. Its simplicity hides its impact. “What was it about Noah that qualified him to save humanity from destruction?”
Over the following months I began to see characteristics in Noah that qualified him in his day to be strategically used by God. Over time I realized that this was also the call of the Father to the current generation. Noah was a pre-covenant Gentile who lived before God established His promise and the El Shaddai blessing with Abraham and his descendants. “So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man”. Like Noah, there will be a group of believers living totally free from the constraints of religion and legalism, because of an intimate relationship with God; with a deep love-based relationship with Jesus, as any bride has for her bridegroom, rather than a passing acquaintance with Him based on religious duty and Law.
Centuries later, God established a new covenant with Moses sealed with the blood of bulls and goats. He continued to love His chosen people, protecting and prospering them. Following the first Passover, in a single day, the Children of Israel plundered Egypt, the richest nation on the earth, and in doing so recovered all that was stolen in four hundred years of slavery. For forty years God appeared to them every day as a cloud and fire, provided quail and manna, and stopped their clothes from wearing out and kept their eyes and teeth from failing.
Today, the Jewish people are some of the most prosperous people on the earth because of the blessing given to Abraham and passed down his generational line. Solomon’s wealth was so incredible that people would marvel in awe at the favor on his life. Yet Paul writes that you and I, as Gentiles, will have so much more favor and blessing – that we will provoke the Jews to jealousy:
“I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” (Romans 10:19)
“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!” (Romans 11:11)
Most of our heroes of the faith in the Old Testament lived supernatural lives with heavenly and angelic encounters that many today long for. They were not perfect, yet talked face to face with the Lord. Some were caught up into heaven for incredible experiences; many met and talked with angels; many performed incredible miracles and signs and wonders – all out of a pre-covenant or Law-based relationship. I find this both irritating and motivating! Deuteronomy 29:29 contains a promise that quickly made it my favorite verse in the Bible. It offers this generation an opportunity to experience the same things as our Bible heroes and the forerunners of the faith from prior generations:
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Jesus was a transitional leader who lived under the Law, but taught and ushered in a new covenant of grace. He prospered to the point where Judas could steal from the money that was given. He went to the cross in a seamless robe, a designer garment of its day. He moved in the fullness of the Sevenfold Spirit of God years before there was a corporate release. He saw healings and miracles happen every time and everything was subject to Him, even death. His relationship with His Father was on a level few people I know experience. How much more you and I who live under a covenant sealed with the blood of His own Son? What was possible for these Old Testament heroes in their day should be easier for us under the covenant we have with the Father. Even if we are not operating in the fullness of it yet, we have Holy Spirit living in us.
But “the things revealed” opens a door that makes it possible for you and I to access the same spiritual encounters and live at the same level they did. Their ceiling is now our floor, whether we squander that inheritance or not. We should start our Christian walk where they finished building and not have to start at the same point they did. For the Lord’s return to be “just like the days of Noah” I believe there has to be many modern day “Noah” type characters living on the face of the earth who will lead many to righteousness.
However, there is a protocol for participation in what the Lord is going to do on the earth before His return. Each of us needs to meet His criteria in order to do the same works, never mind the greater works. I am not talking about religious works or even “duty”, but about living in the fullness of all that grace has given us. I am not talking about striving, but the ability to live totally surrendered and yielded to Him. Paul summed it up by saying that he no longer lived, but Christ lived in him (Galatians 2:20). I am challenged by the fact that in Antioch when people looked at Paul and the other believers there, they saw them saying what Jesus said, doing what He did and having signs and wonders following. That is the true standard for apostolic ministry. For that reason, they called them “little Christs” or Christians. They were a mirror image of the original.
There is a preparation needed for us to handle the full power of the Spirit of God which abided in Jesus and the hundred and twenty on the day of Pentecost. If it were possible for those in the Upper Room to have the fullness of Holy Spirit abide in them, then it is possible for us too. A similar era of habitation is starting, not just with the one or two, but on a company of people across every nation of the world. In order to be the habitation of God each one of us is required to live at a higher level.
Psalm 24:3-6 describes two levels of encounter with heaven: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” and “Who may stand in His holy place?” As I studied these verses I began to see a requirement and a blessing for those who ascended, or visited, the hill of the Lord:
“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, He shall receive blessing from the Lord.”
Some have a “Sunday only” friendship or experience with God, going to church more out of a duty or for the social side of church life. As believers they are able to ascend the hill of the Lord and receive blessings from God just like any child does from its parents. But there is a greater blessing reserved for those seek to stand or abide in His holy place:
“Who may stand in His holy place? (They) Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. (They shall receive) righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah.” (Psalm 24:3-6 NKJV)
Moses knew God personally, but Aaron only knew His acts. The Apostle John knew the Lord on a deeper level than the other disciples, but Judas only knew his acts. Jacob wrestled God for a blessing, whereas Esau sold his inheritance for a pot of stew. The door is open to all for a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus. Both Aaron and Judas had the opportunity for a closer relationship, but both turned down their chance. Many today seek the hand or acts of God in order to meet their needs, without taking the time to know and experience the person of God.
Character has always been a fundamental criterion for the Lord using anyone, even when believers have pursued the blessing of God in order to have their needs met. Many have followed an anointed man or women of God rather than pursue a personal relationship with him. Many pursue the presence of God without the same desire for the persons of Father, Son or Holy Spirit.
In 2004, Tim Hughes wrote a song called Consuming Fire which for many has become a prayer, a cry from people’s spirit to the Lord:
There must be more than this, O breath of God, come breathe within
There must be more than this, Spirit of God we wait for You
Fill us anew we pray, Fill us anew we pray
Consuming Fire, fan into flame, a passion for your name Spirit of God fall in this place, Lord have your way
Lord have your way in us.
(Copyright © Thankyou Music 2009)
A few years ago, around 5:35am, I had an encounter where I stood outside the doors to the throne room of heaven. A few years before I’d had a similar experience, so knew what the doors represented. Like the first time, I pushed open the door and went to enter, but this was a VERY different experience. Instantly, it was as if every cell in my body was screaming out in agony because of the overwhelming holiness in that place. As I awoke I was trying to claw my way through the mattress to hide between it and the base of the bed. In the hours that followed, one of many questions I asked the Lord was why I could visit the first time but not the second time.
The answer I received was that on the first visit I was shielded, but this time God wanted me to experience the fullness of the holiness of heaven. It was an encounter that changed me forever. As I wait for an invitation to return to the throne room, like many others, it has been a journey of dealing with issues that would stop His presence and the Spirit of God fully abiding in me. At the start of John 15, Jesus talks about both the fruitful and unfruitful branches of the vine that are pruned. For the fruitful branches it is done so that they can bear more fruit. Having gone through the process more than once in my life, it is anything but pleasant. Throughout the Bible those who would impact nations and hold significant leadership office were pruned the most and multiple times during their life.
Joseph was given a great anointing along with many gifts and talents by God, but what was lacking was the wisdom to steward them. Insight without understanding is of little value to anyone. He started a journey that would change his character into a man who could be used by God to save His people from destruction. Not only did he gain his personal destiny and see his visions fulfilled, but he also built a legacy that four hundred years later would be released to Israel as they left Egypt.
Today, much is spoken about regarding our personal destiny, but few are focused on building a legacy. Destiny can easily become about my life, whereas legacy is focused on laying our lives down for future generations.
Moses spent forty years being taught he was “somebody” in Pharaoh’s palace. He then spent the next forty years in the backside of the desert learning that he was “nobody”, before seeing what God could do with “a nobody” in his final forty years. Having allowed the change to take place, God would visit and speak to him, lip to ear, in a deep, close relationship. He fulfilled his calling and destiny and left a legacy for the Jewish people for generations to come.
From a young age, David was incredibly gifted and was anointed king over Israel. But it was in the years of waiting to take the throne and hiding in caves, being hunted down like a criminal, that his character changed and he became a man after God’s own heart and someone who knew how to worship and celebrate God in all situations. His legacy was psalms and songs, plans for a great temple and fathering one of the wisest men to ever live.
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
More pursue the anointing and power of God than pursue His character, yet we are called to be the reflection of the original. Character qualifies us to be used by God and the more our character is changed into the image of Jesus, the more we will see the plans and purposes He has for us revealed and released.
NOAH AND JESUS
As I pondered what qualified Noah, I saw seven characteristics in Genesis 6. What I had not expected to see was how these same seven characteristics also applied Jesus.
- He was known by God
- He knew the voice of God
- He was a man of promise
- He was a Tsaddiyq (righteous man)
- He had a life of intimacy with God
- He was obedient at all cost
- He was faithful in face of opposition
Both Noah and Jesus saved humanity from destruction. Noah saved the physical man, whilst Jesus came to save the spiritual man from destruction. Noah built the ark, but Jesus came as the ark (John 15:4-5).
Over the coming months I am going to expand on each of these seven characteristics and at times add sub-sections to them to expand different themes. One of those will about our Godly identity and another will be about character preparation.
Till next time…
© David Powell, 2020