PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART III

When God made the world, God also made man to partner with Him. Man was ordered to manage the world. The Psalmist was awestruck!

O LORD, our Lord, (the Psalmist exclaimed), “how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, thou has founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8).

MAN IS THE MINIATURE REPLICA OF THE LORD GOD — BECAUSE GOD PUT HIS SPIRIT IN MAN

Man is a piece of clay, the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) created. The Lord God formed that piece of clay into “His Own Image” and into “His Own Likeness” by installing some of “His Own Spirit” and some of “His Own Breath” to cause man to become a living being and a living soul! Genesis, Chapter Two, tells the reader that God made a man, who was fully equipped to face harmful temptations. And man was able not to succumb to deception of the evil in the world. This was a separate act from an already created world. Thus, Adam was not the first man! But, Adam was the first man with a spirit that could make proper and independent choices, not motivated by the needs like the animals, but by reason, like the gods. The descendants of Adam, with the spirit and with the soul, were the “sons of God.” And the people without the spirit and without the soul, particularly the women, were the “children of man,” or the Nods (Genesis 4:8-24). When the two races mixed and married, the Lord God withdrew His Spirit from even the Adam line. For a long time, man could not hear the God’s Spirit or even feel his own spirit that God had planted in man. Man had ended the partnership with God.

When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose. Then the LORD said, “My spirit shall not aide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:1-8).

WHO WERE THE SONS OF GOD AND WHO WERE THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN?

At this point, things are not systematically joined together. There are things appearing without explanations. We meet godly men and men of the flesh. Why would Cain need a mark if there were no people? Who were the wives for Adam’s sons? Our problem, even with faith, we can not perceive a God with infinite creative possibilities. No faith is huge enough to fathom the immensity of God‘s greatness and God’s goodness, love, and mercy! Faith, by itself, comes from, according to Jesus, even as little or as tiny as a mustard seed. This small mustard seed of faith would cause things to happen (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6). In God’s world, only the spirit in man, that is reborn, will be accepted (John 3:3-8). God is Spirit, and the only way back to God’s world is by the God’s Spirit (John 4:24). To enter God’s world and the world of the Spirit, man must have faith! For without faith it is impossible to meet and even to please God and His Son Jesus the Christ (John 29:29; Hebrews 11:6). According to the writer to the Hebrews, faith is the only way that helps man understand how the Lord God works; for everything, according to Paul, God does is for man’s benefit (Romans 8:26-30). However, in the final analysis, faith needs hands and feet to obey God’s commands. Adam did not obey, neither did Cain when the Lord warned him that Cain was headed in the wrong direction.

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:6-7).

The Hebrew historians and the Hebrew writers traced their descendancy to Adam and Adam’s third son Seth (Genesis 4:25-5:31). Cain and the Nods were of no significance to the Hebrews, who began to see themselves as the natural children of Yahweh Elohim (John 8:41; Luke 3:37). Between the long time of Adam and Noah, only twice could the Spirit of God revive the God’s spirit in two men: Enosh, son of Seth (Genesis 4:26) and Enoch, son of Jared (Genesis 5:18-23). The question is, what happened to the godly bloodline of Seth? Well, they appear to have been the ones that married the godless Cain-Nod women and their superior breed became the Nephilim. The Nephilim were more godless and more wicked than their ancestors. Faith in God had dwindled down to one man. Noah was not perfect, but he had sufficient faith to obey Yahweh (Lord). Here is Noah’s encounter with the Lord God:

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man blameless in his generation; Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for  all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it; the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and set the door of the ark in its side; make with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you, to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him (Genesis 6:5-22).  

GOD PARTNERED AND GOD REWARDED NOAH FOR HIS OBEDIENCE

James, the brother of Jesus, raised this question, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has no works?

Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and set them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead (James 2:14-25).

The same principle applied to Noah. Where would Noah’s faith have taken him without the boat? Most of us want our prayers answered the day before we ask or the day we are in trouble. It has been estimated that Noah waited one hundred and twenty years for God to respond. And the reason God did not act was because Noah was not finished fulfilling God’s command to build the boat that could save man from annihilation. Noah’s generation, instead of building boats and not to interfere with the command of God, they mocked and they ridiculed a foolish man, who believed that water, far away from their place which was too high a ground, could drown them, and that a God could do the impossible. God was and God still continuous being timelessly patient with man and God is endlessly gracious. The reason the Lord saved us is because He has assigned a task to us, and He will not remove us or call us home until we have finished our assignments (Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 2:4-10). Our assigned task make us fit to work in God’s kingdom. David, in the Spirit, recorded this inspiration about what God can and will do for us:

The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east if from the west so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments (Psalm 103:6-18).

THE FLOOD CLEANSED MAN OF SIN, AND GOD AGAIN PARTNERED WITH NOAH

The “Breath of life” and the “Spirit of God” could not and still cannot live in defiled flesh and blood. According to this Hebrew writer, the “Breath and Spirit of life” was in all creatures and physical death set the “Breath and the Spirit” free to live on for God and serve wherever God places them. Noah and his sons were left with instructions to repopulate the world. God dried the earth with a wind and new life came forth from the ground. It reminds the reader of how the wind (spirit) even could blow in new life into Nicodemus (John 3:8).

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm upon the earth, and every man; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind bow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen (Genesis 7:21-8:5).

Then God said to Noah, “Go forth from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your son’s wives with you. Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.” So Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it (Genesis 8:15-9:7).