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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER X

DELIVERANCE FORESHADOWED

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AFTER Enoch's sudden disappearance, whether that caused any stir or sense of loss or not, men kept on toiling and working with their hands, fighting the thorns and thistles of the cursed earth. Enoch had been like the "salt of the earth", exercising a wholesome influence among men; but men in general were bent on corruption. Such were glad that Enoch was gone and his preaching and prophesying against the ungodly sinners were gone with him. Selfishly they continued to eat their food and to drink their wine and to marry and be given in marriage, and humankind multiplied due to the multiplied conception of women.

Enoch's grandson Lamech felt keenly the hard living conditions. He did not stand out among men as a witness for Jehovah as his grandfather had. Enoch's warning of coming judgment had likely impressed Lamech that a time of judgment was drawing near and that a change in human conditions was soon due. Lamech's name meaning "powerful; overthrower; destroyer", it fitted in with Enoch's prophecy that the God of all power would overthrow the power of the ungodly and destroy them and

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would usher in a new world in which obedient men would rest from excessive labor and the oppressions of the wicked. Lamech had lived during the last fifty-six years of the life of his first forefather, Adam. From him Lamech learned direct how, due to Adam's sin, God had cursed the earth, but had also given promise of the coming of the "seed" that should bruise the head of the Serpent of deception and untruth. That would mean the lifting of the curse. Lamech hoped.

"And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh because of the ground which Jehovah hath cursed." (Genesis 5:28,29, A.R.V.) Lamech's words proved to be a prophecy, and were therefore inspired by the spirit or invisible force of Jehovah God. In fact, in thus begetting a son who should play a part in fulfillment of prophecy Lamech became a picture of Jehovah God, the all-powerful One; and the son Noah became a prophetic figure of the "seed" promised in Eden and by whom the curse should be lifted. Lamech lived till his son Noah was 595 years old, and saw him engaged in a work at the command of God Almighty and which gave proof that his son Noah had been rightly named under inspiration of God.

Suddenly amid the corruption of the times a new element emerged upon the scene and commanded the attention of men, but not for better-

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ment. The Divine Record abruptly says, "There were giants in the earth in those days." Or, better translating the Record, "The Nephilim were in the earth in those days." (Genesis 6:4, A.R.V.) Who were those giant Nephilim? They were not some freakish misgrowth of humankind due to a glandular ailment. They were superhuman. They were demons from the spirit world, materialized in flesh but of gigantic size to prove their superior origin, because man is made a "little lower than the angels". Their sudden appearing among men became visible proof that things had been proceeding for worse in those heavens under man's invisible overlord, Satan.

God had not cast Satan the Devil out of heaven after pronouncing judgment upon him at Eden, but let him remain there for a test of the integrity of the spirit sons of God. Indeed, the Bible relates that, more than two thousand years after Satan's rebellion, "it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." (Job 1:6,7, A.R.V.) Evidently, then, many of those angels, if not all of them, in the organization that God had put under Lucifer in his office of "covering cherub" over man in Eden, yielded to Satan's persuasion after he caused the fall of man. They also rebelled against the Most

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High God and forsook his holy organization and took Satan's side of the controversy.

Those unfaithful angels became devils, in that they joined renegade Lucifer in slandering Jehovah God and bringing reproach upon his name. They became demons who were later worshiped by men, but whose worship Jehovah God forbids his chosen people to practice, saying: "So shall they no more offer their sacrifices unto demons after whom they are unchastely going away." (Leviticus 17:7, Roth.) "They sacrificed to mischievous demons, to a No-God, gods whom they knew not, new ones lately come in." (Deuteronomy 32:17, Roth.; also 2 Chronicles 11:15; Psalm 106: 37) Lucifer, of cherub rank, thus became the "prince of the demons", also called "Beelzebub". — Matthew 12:24,27,28, A.R.V.

The angels that so sinned came under sentence from Jehovah God. He degraded them from their blessed position in his lofty organization of light and truth, and debased them to the state or condition symbolically called "Tartarus". Not having the light of the truth of God's purposes, they are not free, but are under God's continual surveillance as his opponents. Thus they are as in chains. They can never break free from His sentence of destruction upon them, but in their state of Tartarean degradation they await the execution of that sentence with Satan the Devil at the judgment day. The inspired revelation concerning this says: "Whose sentence now from of old linger-

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eth not, and their destruction slumbereth not. For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." (2 Peter 2:3,4, A.R.V., margin) "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." — Jude 6.

The demons that materialized in the days of Noah terrorized men who did not have faith in God as did Noah. They spread violence. Their very name Nephilim means fellers, who cause men to fall by violence and other means. So terrible an impression did they make that almost a thousand years later when the Israelite spies were spying out the land of Canaan and saw the unusually tall sons of the Canaanite Anak, they came back and reported, falsely: "And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13: 33, A.R.V.) The book of Genesis tells what next took place after the Nephilim appeared on earth.

Man became so corrupt that the great Spirit, Jehovah, determined that he would grant them only 120 years of grace before he executed judgment upon them, thereby settling the controversy of supremacy with that long-lived generation of men. "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons

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of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose. And Jehovah said, My spirit shall not strive with man for ever, for that he also is flesh: yet shall his days be a hundred and twenty years." — Genesis 6:1-3, A.R.V.

The "sons of God" who intermarried with daughters of men were angels who had thus far continued faithful to Jehovah God. "For who in the skies can be compared unto Jehovah? Who among the sons of God is like unto Jehovah?" (Psalm 89:6, A.R.V., margin; Psalm 88: 7, Douay) Still in Jehovah's organization as members of his family of sons, these angels materialized, doubtless with good intent to benefit the straying human race. Nevertheless it was not by authority of God their Father and was not his way to produce the "seed" who would be heaven-sent to crush the Serpent's head. Hence it was a disobedient step. It served Satan's purpose instead, and produced an offspring who were "mighty men of renown", angelic-human hybrids, who made a name for themselves and not for God and who whipped up the violence in the earth. The brief record reads: "The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also AFTER THAT, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown." — Genesis 6: 4, A.R.V.

Amid this wickedness Noah followed Enoch's example and walked with Jehovah God. He

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married a chaste, uncontaminated woman, and after Noah was 500 years old God blessed him with three sons. He brought them up in the faith of God and led them in obedience to God's righteous will. Noah kept himself unspotted and uncorrupted from that old, ungodly world, and the inspired testimony concerning him reports: "These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth." (Genesis 6:9,10, A.R.V.) These three sons married uncorrupted women.

The earth at that time was in the condition described at 2 Peter 3:5, and of which condition the people outside of Noah's family chose to remain willingly ignorant: "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."

By God's dynamic word the waters on earth had been collected into great seabeds, and the dry land had been made to appear, on the third creative day. In course of time the rings of matter exhaled by the earth in its molten state had fallen one after another to form canopy belts around the earth but up above earth's firmament or atmospheric expanse. The belts had moved slowly toward the poles, north and south, and there at the areas of least resistance they had fallen, subjecting the earth to great deluges destructive to all existing forms of life. Now, one thousand years after the close of the sixth

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creative day, on which God made man, the last ring, almost pure water, had fallen toward earth's firmament and had enveloped the earth in a canopy. It was sustained aloft by centrifugal force as it rotated. It constituted a great deep of water in suspension, but still enveloping the earth.

Adam's descendants, now multiplied over the earth, were out of the water, being on dry land. At the same time they were in the water, being within the water canopy which had been there since before Adam's creation. To the ungodly men of the earth, since Adam had fallen asleep in death, all things seemed to continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Not at all did they see what God saw, that the movement of the waters of the great canopy far overhead was toward the poles; that as a result the thickness of the canopy out above the earth's equator was becoming very thin, almost admitting direct sunlight through, and that the edges of the canopy nearing the poles were growing dangerously weak, rotating with growing slowness to the point of having little centrifugal force to resist the downward pull of earth's gravity. The fall of the canopy was imminent, awaiting God's removal of his restraining power at the end of the 120 years. But before the canopy belts dropped God mercifully chose to warn earth's inhabitants of the dreadful cataclysm of waters and to declare to the people the way of escape, if they would heed.

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Jehovah God made Noah his witness to sound the warning. Doubtless first to Noah Jehovah God gave the account of the creation of earth as described in the first chapter of the Bible, thereby revealing to him the existence of the mighty deep above earth's firmament, and that it must shortly plunge to earth, causing an earth-wide flood and destroying all corrupt humankind. To escape through it, a great boat must be built and Noah and his sons and the wives of all four must take refuge in it, bringing in also a select number of birds, cattle and creeping things (not insects). Such a catastrophe as ever visiting the earth was unreported of before, yet Noah believed God. "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." — Hebrews 11: 7.

All the ungodly on earth, the Nephilim, the mighty men of renown, and the race in general, scoffed at Noah and his sons while building the big boat, 450 feet long, 75 feet broad, and 45 feet high, with three inner stories. How was he ever to launch it from the land on which it was built? Noah and his sons held their integrity under the scoffing. Noah warned the people of the flood and preached the righteousness of God, which righteousness called for the flood of destruction as the execution of God's just condemnation of the world. Asked by the skeptical when it should come, Noah replied he did not

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know the day or hour, but it would not come before the boat was finished, with his family inside.

The great float was completed, while the mists still continued to exhale from the earth and to water the face of the whole earth. No sign of rain or flood was apparent to the people. What now? Jehovah's word came to Noah telling him to move into the ark with his family, bringing also the birds and animals: "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the ground." Noah obeyed. No children or babies were taken into the ark. Although married, Noah's sons had so engrossed themselves in preparing for the flood and witnessing for Jehovah that they had no time to consider the rearing of families. It was not the occasion for such. Moreover, their refraining from having children showed their conviction; it added weight to their testimony respecting the world calamity at hand. When the people beheld Noah and his household moving into the ark and taking the creature life with them, did they suddenly repent and turn from their corrupt ways, believing that world disaster was near? The Son of man, Christ Jesus, answers: "As in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that No'e entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all

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away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." — Matthew 24: 38, 39.

Noah was 600 years old when he turned his back on that old ungodly world and entered the ark containing its precious cargo. "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him: and Jehovah shut him in." (Genesis 7:6,16, A.R.V.) Then the flood descended, in Noah's six hundredth year, the seventeenth day of the second month. All the fountains of the great deep suspended above the earth broke forth with gushing waters; and





the aqueous canopy, which had shielded the earth from the direct beams of the sun, moon and stars like a window pane, opened its floodgates. Forty days the downfall of water con-

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tinued, and the rising waters on the earth lifted up the ark and finally raised it on their surface fifteen cubits above the highest mountains then.

Earth now looked like a watery globe, within its firmament of now well-washed atmosphere, much like when God commanded, 29,000 years before that, saying: "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear." It was therefore no new thing for God to issue a like command after the floodwaters had prevailed upon the earth for 150 days; for then the ark's keel struck land. "After the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat." (Genesis 8: 3,4, A.R.V.) That was exactly five months since the flood began. Dividing five months into 150 days shows that each month counted as 30 days long, about the length of a lunation of earth's moon. A year of twelve months in Noah's day, therefore, equaled about 360 days. Such being a lunar year, it would be necessary to regulate it, when necessary, to the spring equinox, in order to bring the calendar into line with the solar year and not get ahead of the seasons of the year which now set in.  — Genesis 8:22.

In the six hundred and first year of Noah's life, and "in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark." (Genesis 8:13-16) Noah and his family

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and the animals were therefore in the ark for exactly one lunar year and ten days, the Lord having shut them in the ark the seventeenth day of the second month of the previous year. While these were safe inside, what had happened without? This: God "spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly". Jehovah's word of judgment went into effect, "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2 Peter 2: 5; 3: 5, 6) The wicked organization of men on the earth, together with the interference of the Nephilim and the disobedient "sons of God" from the invisible heavens, ended. The old world ended, "perished," but the earth continued abiding. Concerning it God now said: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22) This truth frees all believers from the fear that the end of the world means destruction of the literal earth, sun, moon and stars. God's preservation of Noah and his family confirms the truth that God will preserve His servants through the end of this world.



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