Open Forum for 2011-03-13
- | Chris McCann
- Audio: Length: 47:34 Size: 8.2 MB
Question Summary with Starting Times in Audio File
- 01:00 From an Italian visitor to the EBF website: The end cannot arrive on May 21. The Bible says that the end of the world will not occur until the conversion of the Jews. I refer you to Romans 11:25-26 and look forward to your comments.
- 09:15 From the EBF website: May 21 has been weighing heavily on my heart. I am struggling with this. Was Mr. Camping not sure about 1994, and yet it did not happen? Also, I know that we are to warn the unsaved of the impending disaster forthcoming, but what is the importance of knowing the exact day? I just do not feel comfortable with this.
- 14:25 Could you compare Matthew 12:39 with Matthew 16:1-12? I was listening to a recent “Open Forum” program on Family Radio when someone asked whether or not there was going to be another banquet. Mr. Camping said that there would not be anymore banquets because he was continuing to study about particular “signs” that might be at the end. What is the difference between “a wicked and adulterous generation” seeking after a sign and looking in the Bible and seeing the signs?
- 20:52 Maybe you could go into a little more detail about 1994. There are people here who might like to understand the meaning of the number 23 in relation to the 2300 days and the 23 years.
- 30:09 Could you look at 1 Timothy 6:14-15? In verse 15, it says that “in his times he shall show.” Is this referring to our day when He has shown us these things from the Bible?
- 37:17 I have a question concerning the words “from” and “before.” When we went out on the caravan last week in Pennsylvania, we had a little discussion about these two words. Did God pay for the sins of His elect before He created time, or did He make this payment at the same time that the heavens and the earth were being created?
- 41:12 Was the 6,000th year after creation a Jubilee year? If this was the case, would the 23 years leading up to the flood have been ample time to reach the world with news of the coming flood?
Chris: Some of the responses that we are getting are not very good. There can be some reviling and things of this sort; but we can look at it this way, at least they are responding to the Gospel, maybe for the first time. A lot of people are being confronted with the Gospel, with the information about Judgment Day; and so I think that any kind of a response is good. Anything that they would contact us with means that this is on their minds and that they are troubled by this. We have seen notes that people have written that are the size of a short story, just to tell us how ridiculous and foolish they think this is, and yet they spent a lot of time in typing it out and sending it to us. This is because it is on their minds. This is on a lot of people’s minds increasingly as we get closer to May 21st.
Question #1 is from Italy from someone who visited the website: The end cannot arrive on May 21. The Bible says that the end of the world will not occur until the conversion of the Jews. I refer you to Romans 11:25-26. I look forward to your comments.
Chris: Let us go to Romans 11. We read in Romans 11:25:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits…
Here is another mystery that God is talking about. This is the nature of the Bible. The Bible itself is a mystery. What is a mystery? A mystery is something that is hidden, is it not? It is something that is unknown. It is something that we have to figure out. It is like a puzzle, and this is the nature of the Bible.
Look at 1 Corinthians 4. It says in 1 Corinthians 4:1:
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
We are “stewards of the mysteries,” because this is referring to the Bible itself.
Then 1 Corinthians 4:2 says:
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
So we have to be a faithful steward of the mystery, which is the Bible. This is why it is very important that we do understand these things that God is opening up at this time, things that He had sealed up until our day, things that He had “sealed till the time of the end.”
Part of this mystery was revealed in the first century when it was made known to Paul that the Gentiles would come in. This was part of the mystery. In this case, God made this known. There are many things that He did not make known, things that He stored up until our day.
So it says in Romans 11:25-26:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles [or nations] be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved…
We can understand this word “so” to be translated as “in this manner”:
And [this is the way] all Israel shall be saved…
Many churches think because of this verse and a few others that God has a great plan for Israel, that nothing is going to happen in relation to God destroying this world until He saves all Israel. Because of this, many have a keen watch or a watchful eye on Israel over in the Middle East. They are just waiting for the Jewish nation to turn to Christ in what they think is the fulfillment of this Scripture, as well as some other Scriptures.
This is not going to happen. Israel has been a nation since 1948 and they have never given the slightest indication that they are turning towards Christ in any way. They are not going to, because this is not referring to them. This is referring to the “Israel of God.”
Earlier in Romans, in Romans 2, it says in Romans 2:28-29:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
This is God’s definition of a true Jew. It is not someone who is circumcised and who is a descendant of Abraham. Yes; they are a Jew physically. Yes; they are a descendant of Israel. But God also has a spiritual Israel who is made up of all of the people of the world. As soon as someone becomes saved, they become a Jew, because God circumcises their heart. He cuts off their sin, and so they are of spiritual Israel.
It says in Galatians 6:15:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing…
If you are a Jew, this does not mean anything, as far as salvation is concerned.
…neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision…
If you are a Gentile, this does not mean anything. Nobody has preference. Everyone stands in the same position before God. We stand before Him as a sinner in need of salvation.
Here is what means something, as it continues:
…but a new creature.
This is what we become when God saves us.
Then we read in Galatians 6:16:
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
This is the Israel that is in focus in Romans 11.
Let us read this now with this understanding. We read in Romans 11:25-26:
…blindness in part is happened to Israel…
We can understand this to be referring to the Jewish nation. They do not see Christ. They do not see their need of Him as their Saviour.
…until the fulness of the Gentiles [nations] be come in. And so [in this manner] all Israel shall be saved…
When God saves the last of His elect, whether it is a Jew, which it could be, or whether it is a person in India or China, a Gentile, since it does not matter what nation they are from, upon their salvation, they become part of the “Israel of God.” It is in this manner that “all Israel,” all of the spiritual Jews whom God saves from around the world, will come in.
So this is not a hindrance at all; but if you are looking at this in relation to the nation of Israel in the Middle East, then, yes, you are thinking that May 21st cannot be Judgment Day, because they are not all saved. They are not all saved, and yet this is a wrong understanding of what the Bible is teaching. The Bible is not teaching that they will all be saved.
So there is no problem with God ending the world on May 21st in relation to the “Israel of God,” because we know that He is going to save each and every one of His elect people.
Question #2 came from the EBF website: May 21 has been weighing heavily on my heart. I am struggling with this. Was Mr. Camping not sure about 1994, and yet it did not happen? Also, I know that we are to warn the unsaved of the impending disaster forthcoming, but what is the importance of knowing the exact day? I just do not feel comfortable with this.
Chris: Yes; there was a book called 1994? that Mr. Camping wrote. I think that this was published in 1992 and it had a question mark on it.
A lot of people like to bring up failed predictions from the past. They say that we were not right in 1994 and then they say that there have been hundreds of failed predictions. They give varying amounts of the number of failed predictions and I do not know what the exact number is, but they indicate that a lot of dates were given and that they were all wrong. They then therefore conclude that the date of May 21st has to be wrong.
Is this correct? Is this right reasoning? Is there a problem with this? Yes; there is. There are a lot of problems with this type of reasoning.
We cannot base reasoning on those who have been wrong in the past. What about those who tried to fly for centuries? They were all wrong and many of them ended up in a gully with broken wings and with some of them even dying.
Were others therefore not to try to fly? What about the Wright Brothers? Were they never to try to attempt flight? If they had listened to the people who use this kind of logic, we would not be able to fly all over the world like we are able to do today since this was an impossibility for centuries.
We have the same situation with vaccines. There were diseases, like Polio, which no one had a cure for. Many tried and failed. Jonas Salk is best known for his discovery and development of the first polio vaccine. Louis Pasteur came up with the first vaccine for other illnesses.
A lot of people attempted to cure many diseases and, of course, there were many previous failures; but if we follow this faulty reasoning, they should have just stopped. Should they have not continued with cancer research in our day? Should they have just put an end to this? Maybe they should have just stopped trying to discover a cure for cancer since they had never been able to do this before.
When the reasoning is that people have been wrong before and, therefore, people are always going to get it wrong, we see the problem when we apply this kind of thinking to just about any other field of endeavor. This reasoning does not work in the field of science, it does not work in the medical field, and it does not work with inventions. They all realize that past mistakes or failures put them on the road to the solution. Every solution normally has a history of failure, and then there comes a breakthrough.
I am just using this example, because this has nothing to do with how we understand Biblical doctrine. It is not like we examined all of the past failures and finally came up with a solution. We did not do this. We are just simply at the time of the end when God is opening up these things. What we understand is correct. This information is correct, it is faithful, and it is going to happen.
So what happened in the past has no bearing on the information that God has opened up at this time. We have no relationship to any of those people, except for Mr. Camping’s 1994 prediction. There are still some people around who did hear of this and believe it. But there is a big difference when a question mark is put on a topic like before and what we understand today. I can surely see the difference. Can you?
Do you know what bothers and angers people so much and disturbs them a great deal? It is because of the definitiveness of this warning. It is the absoluteness of what we are saying. We say, “May 21, 2011 - Judgment Day!” and then we put an exclamation point at the end of it. This is a big difference from a book called 1994? with a question mark at the end of it. The two just cannot be compared.
Question #3 is from the fellowship: Could you compare Matthew 12:39 with Matthew 16:1-12? I was listening to a recent “Open Forum” program on Family Radio when someone asked whether or not there was going to be another banquet. Mr. Camping said that there would not be anymore banquets because he was continuing to study about particular “signs” that might be at the end. What is the difference between “a wicked and adulterous generation” seeking after a sign and looking in the Bible and seeing the signs?
Chris: It says in Matthew 12:39:
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
And we read in Matthew 16:1-5:
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
As far as signs, Jesus says here in Matthew 16:4:
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas [Jonah]…
Today we do say that there are indicators or signs, such as Israel becoming a nation again, the falling away of the churches and the apostasy, the homosexual activity in the world, and there are others.
Actually, I think another sign is what we read in Matthew 24:14:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
This is what we are seeing. We are seeing a multiplication of the information about May 21, 2011 being Judgment Day going around the world in a way that the world has never witnessed before. It was never possible before and, obviously, it never happened before because the end never came in the past. This is what is going on now with the worldwide network of Family Radio, with all of the advertising, and with all of the believers who are out there bringing the Gospel. Just about every nation is receiving this witness. Before the end, every nation will; “and then shall the end come.”
So there are signs, but they are all in the Bible, as you made reference. This is where God wants us to look. We are not to look for outward miracles, which is what the Jews wanted Christ to do. They wanted Him to prove Himself with something that they could see physically and visibly. This is the difference.
God is the One who is giving these indicators today through His Word. He is the One who is opening up the understanding of His people to see them, not physically but with spiritual eyes.
For instance, if you look at Matthew 24:15-16, it says:
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
This word for “see” is also translated as “know.” When we know this, when God shows this to us through His Word, the Bible, then we see that Satan is in the churches and that it is time to get out and to “flee”; but this is all spiritual understanding. It is understanding that we get from the Bible. It is not like we can look at a church and actually see with our eyes an “abomination of desolation.” We cannot do this, but spiritually we can.
Question #4 is from the fellowship: Maybe you could go into a little more detail about 1994. There are people here who might like to understand the meaning of the number 23 in relation to the 2300 days and the 23 years.
Chris: The book 1994? was a study that Mr. Camping did that was published in 1992. I had the book and I read it. I think that I still have a copy. You can find in this book the year 2011 mentioned several times. In one case, Mr. Camping said that we would normally expect the Great Tribulation to be 23 years, from 1998 to 2011, but God had said that the days would be shortened, as it says in Matthew 24:22:
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
The way that Mr. Camping understood this was that at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the Gospel light in the churches was going out. It was getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. He thought that by the time of the end of the first 2300 evening/morning period, which was 1988 to 1994, the Gospel would be completely out. If this were to extend for the full 23 years, “no flesh,” or God’s people, the elect, would not be saved.
So the mistake that was made was applying this verse to the 23 years and saying that even though we normally expected the Great Tribulation period to last this long, it would be shortened to 2300 evening/mornings, which fell in September of 1994. Of course, once we passed this date, it was obvious that this was not what God had in mind by the shortening of the days.
We now understand that the days were shortened “for the elect’s sake” who were out there in the world, because God began the latter rain in September of 1994. Yet the character of those 2300 days, if it would have continued in the world, would have virtually allowed no one to become saved. The elect would not have been saved, so God shortened this for the world, the nations, but He kept this going in the church.
There has really been no difference for the churches from 1988 until the present and there will be no difference in the churches until May 21, 2011. They are still under a famine of hearing. No one is being saved in the churches; but “for the elect’s sake” out in the world, God did shorten the days, and then He poured out His Spirit “the second time to recover the remnant of his people,” to save His elect. This is how we understand this.
So it was this verse in Matthew 24 that led Mr. Camping to assume that the Great Tribulation would last six years and about 4 months to get to the 2300 evening/mornings, but we have learned a lot more since then. Again, there is no question mark on May 21st, because God has confirmed this in many ways.
Some people hear about the book 1994? and then they dismiss everything after that point. They say that since he was wrong about that, then he must also be wrong about this. No; not necessarily. We were just talking about how failures can lead to the solution.
What people need to recognize is that back in 1992 when this book was published, there was a lot of information about the falling away of the churches, as well as the 23-year Great Tribulation period, that was yet to be understood. Even so, we understand now that the dates that had been listed were very correct. For example, 23 years added to the day before Pentecost in 1988 leads us to May 21, 2011.
So in bringing up this subject of 1994, we realize that all of this has been in place since 1992, which is how many years ago? That was 19 years ago, and we now find that 7,000 years from the flood falls on 2011 and that the 8400th day, that full 23rd year, falls on May 21, which also happens to be the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Hebrew calendar.
This was not prearranged. This was not tampered with in any way. This has been in place since 1992. Think about the fact that God has shown us that May 21st is the 17th day of the 2nd month. Then from that day, the Bible speaks of five months of torment.
Actually, all of this just confirms that these dates are correct. No one could have thrown all of these dates together and tried to make them come out this way. We did not know what to do with them for awhile, but now God as put His seal on this.
So we can say with complete confidence that the Bible guarantees that May 21, 2011 will be Judgment Day. This is coming from God, not Family Radio, not any individual. This is coming from the Word of God, God’s voice. He is the One who has confirmed this.
This is something that God is matching the world against finally. The world is certain, absolutely certain, to the point that they can guarantee that May 22nd will come without event.
I do not know how many people have written to us and guaranteed this in one way or another, or how many people whom we have met who say, “I will see you on May 22nd.” They have a great confidence and a great faith in the continuance of this world.
So God in His wisdom has matched the confidence of the world. They are guaranteeing the 22nd and He is guaranteeing the 21st. Now it is a matter of whom we are going to trust and believe. Are we going to believe the world? Can they tell us what is going to happen tomorrow? Do they know the end from the beginning like God does? Are we going to believe the church of our day, not the church of our fathers, a church which had some truths and whom God was still with and blessing to some degree?
The church of today bears no resemblance to the church of the Reformation in the time of Luther and Knox and Calvin and Zwingli. It bears no resemblance. As a matter of fact, the church of our day is wrong on just about every point of doctrine imaginable. They do not even know how God saves people. They do not know the judgment of God. They do not know many, many things; and yet they are standing in unison and saying that no man knows the day or hour.
This would not give me any comfort. It should not give anyone any comfort that they believe this so intensely. Just look at the source. It is churches that have added to the Word of God and subtracted from the Word of God. Just about all of these churches have a works gospel for salvation. These are churches that teach contrary to the Bible on divorce, they teach contrary to the Bible on women teaching, and on and on and on and on.
So these churches are now going to guarantee their members and anyone who will listen to them that May 22nd will come. This is not a very reliable source. They are about as reliable as the world is, because the world is in the church today; and so this should not give anybody any comfort at all.
Question #5 is from the fellowship: Could you look at 1 Timothy 6:14-15? In verse 15, it says that “in his times he shall show.” Is this referring to our day when He has shown us these things from the Bible?
Chris: We read in 1 Timothy 6:14-16:
That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
It is the Bible’s plan to show us things at the end, and I think that this could agree with this.
Look at John, the Fourth Gospel, 16:12:
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
This is Christ speaking to Christians. Why could they not “bear them now”? What were the “many things” that He had to say?
This had to do with the things that were “sealed till the time of the end.” He could not tell them these things in the first century. It would have been a burden for them, as well as for Christians throughout the centuries, to have carried information about the exact day of judgment and other things that God wanted sealed up for His own purposes, like the faith of Christ and annihilation and these other teachings. Mainly, He did not want to burden the church with the end of the church age information and information about Judgment Day when it would have been centuries later before these came to be. These things did not open up until the 21st century, and so He says here:
…but ye cannot bear them now.
He had many things to say, but they could not bear them. At the proper time, we would be able to bear them. When this time came, He would open up His Word and He would do this at the time of the end, which is where we are.
Then He says in verse 13, John 16:13:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
Have we been shown “things to come”? Yes; definitely.
A lot of people read John 16 and they think that it is referring to Acts 2 in relation to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but this cannot be. This is because He says that “he will guide you into” not just “truth,” but “into all truth.” The Holy Spirit who has come now will guide us into “all truth.”
The church that we read about in Acts 2 was not guided “into all truth” in any way. Just look at the differing doctrines of the churches in relation to baptism and how people are to be saved, and so forth. Much of their doctrines and teachings were wrong. They had not been guided “into all truth.”
God refers to a second outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the “latter rain.” What do we know of the character of the time in which we live? We live at the time when the Bible is being opened. We are being guided “into all truth.”
Do we know everything? No, but we will know everything that God has measured out, everything that He wanted His people to know in its fullness. Even now we are learning about the possibility of a rolling earthquake, which is answering a lot of questions. This still needs to be verified, but this looks like this is true.
So He will guide us “into all truth,” and part of that truth is that “he will show us things to come.” We have definitely been shown this. We have been shown the future. We have been given a glimpse into the future, a future that the world is so interested in knowing about. They engage in horoscopes and in crystal balls and in Ouija boards, or whatever. They are involved in all of these types of things. Psychic hotlines are an enormous business, because people want to know what is going to happen to them tomorrow and in the future. We can know that all of these things are fake, because they are certainly not seeing May 21st in any of these things. God is the only One and the only true source who does know the future and who can reveal the future to us, and this is what He is doing.
The way some people act, you would think that we are talking about someone other than God. They act as if it is an impossibility for Him to hide information in His Word and to seal it up so that it could not be understood until we got to the time of the end.
Is this too hard for the Lord? Is this beyond His ability? No; this is a simple thing. Jesus told His disciples directly that He would go to the cross and the events that would transpire in relation to this, and yet they did not understand Him.
People do not understand because it takes God to open the Scriptures to their understanding. This is what He is doing today. This is what He has done and is continuing to do. The Holy Spirit - who has now come - will guide us into all truth, and 1 Timothy 6:15 could relate to this.
Question #6 is from the fellowship: I have a question concerning the words “from” and “before.” When we went out on the caravan last week in Pennsylvania, we had a little discussion about these two words. Did God pay for the sins of His elect before He created time, or did He make this payment at the same time that the heavens and the earth were being created?
Chris: In relation to “from” and “before,” we can look at Ephesians 1:4:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…
This is what God is saying about choosing His elect. Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.”
So there is a decision being made in salvation. There is a matter of choosing, but it is not people who do the choosing. It is not people who choose Christ; it is Christ who chooses people. This is the only free will that the Bible knows about. The only decision that can lead to salvation is Christ’s decision to save whom He will, and it was from before the foundation of the world that He chose people.
Let us go to Psalm 103:17. This says:
But the mercy of JEHOVAH is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
So the mercy of the Lord goes how far back? It goes “from everlasting to everlasting.”
We understand the future aspect of this, because the future aspect is in relation to eternal life. God’s mercy is upon the sinner eternally into the future. But at what point did He grant this mercy? At what point did God die for sinners?
Are we to say that He did this “in principle”? Are we going to get into this trouble again? We used to say, “In principle, Christ was slain from before the foundation of the world.” Or is God making a statement of what He did “from everlasting”? Is He saying, “From everlasting, I have had mercy upon you”?
The everlasting love that the Bible speaks of is an eternal love, and so I do not think that there is any question about it being before the foundation of the world when Jesus saved His people. This is when He died for them and paid the penalty for their sin. Then He rose before the foundation of the world, which is another issue.
When He rose from the dead, He was “declared to be the Son of God.” It was the Son of God who created the world. This means that all of this had to have taken place prior to the creation of this world. This could not have been from the foundation. If this had been simultaneous with the creation of the world, He would not have been “declared to be the Son” at that point; therefore, He had already risen from the dead.
Question #7 is from the fellowship: Was the 6,000th year after creation a Jubilee year? If this was the case, would the 23 years leading up to the flood have been ample time to reach the world with news of the coming flood?
Chris: God did not institute the Jubilee until the time that He gave the Law, and so I do not think that we should try to put the Jubilee into focus at that time in any way. This is a good question, though. Did Noah warn the whole world? How did he warn the whole world?
First of all, the world at that time was probably only a handful of a million people. It was not like Noah had the task of warning seven billion people. God can even warn this many with relatively few people, as He said that He would; and this is what He is doing in our day.
In Noah’s day, we know that God had Noah build an ark. This was a condemnation to the world. This is one reason why the world does not want to see a believer with “Judgment Day” written all over him – on his hat, on his T-shirt, on his jacket. We would wear socks with this warning on them if this would get someone’s attention. It is just that the world is so hardened and blind that it is almost like we have to walk around with neon lights on us for them to notice this.
This really is not a testimony that we are crazy. This is a testimony that the world is blind and that we are trying anything that is good and right that we can in order to get their attention so that they will take notice of this warning.
In Hebrews 11:7, it says:
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet…
This is just exactly like us. The Holy Spirit is telling us of things to come, but we have not seen them yet. God worked the same way with Noah. God says that Noah:
…moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…
So we can see the grace of God in this, as well as the “twoedged sword,” because we know that the Gospel is “the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.”
…by the which…
This is referring to the construction, preparation, and completion of the ark.
…by the which he condemned the world…
The billboards that have been put up along I-95 are condemning the world. It is not just the church world that is aware of this information. The whole world is now being faced with the Gospel: Judgment Day – May 21!
How ever long it took Noah to build that ark, it was a witness against the people of the world. It was a witness that the flood was going to happen. It was a witness against them and against their sins.
Keep in mind that there was only a handful of a million who all spoke the same language and who all lived on the same continent. The continents had not been divided as they would be in the days of Peleg. This is what made this task a lot easier. People naturally congregate; they group together.
We know how people talk and how they can gossip. What better thing to laugh about than Noah? They did not have the entertainment that we have in our day. They just had this crazy guy who was building an ark, probably in his own backyard.
Do you not think that this word got around? Word got around. We are talking about a world that was maybe the size of Philadelphia. Has word gotten around in Philadelphia with the caravan going around just a few times, with people handing out tracts, with a few billboards? Now think of a persistent witness by Noah for years and years and years and years. Of course they heard. He was a preacher of righteousness and the ark did a lot of preaching. The construction of that boat did a lot of preaching to the people of that day. They all knew.
Matthew 24:37-39 says:
But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, 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 [Noah] 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.
Some think that this is saying that the people of Noah’s day did not know anything about the flood, but this is not saying that. They dismissed it, they ignored it, they wrote it off, and so they did not know. It was a joke to them. After all, how could anyone believe that the world was going to end by a flood!
Look at the reaction of the people today. People do not think that this is a real possibility. They trust this world, they love this world, and the ground is quite solid right now. They think that it is definitely going to be solid tomorrow and the day after and on May 22nd.
Well, God in His mercy just gave us another glimpse in Japan of how foolish this trust is, even in normal times; but He is about to show this to the whole world. When this happens, then they will know. Just like when the waters started to fall in Noah’s day, it was then that they knew. They put two and two together and realized that this was what Noah was warning them about all along. This is why it says that they “knew not” until the flood came.
Let us stop here.