Riders of the Storm

Grant Marshall – AoE Ministries UK

November 3rd 2020/5781

YHVH is calling for workers. What will they build? They will build for Him a New Ark!

Noah, a man whose name means ‘comforter’ was a man who was called righteous by YHVH. Scripture tells us that Noah had the favour of YHVH. Genesis six tells us that the world was wicked and evil and that it had been convicted by YHVH — that YHVH loved the world that He created and that He showed His grace by withholding His anger for 120 years, the time it had taken Noah to build the ark.

Noah had been taught the word of YHVH and had been brought into a relationship with Him through the teachings of his father and grandfathers. Through the first man came corruption and evil on the Earth. It is my belief that Adam did repent, and YHVH instead of choosing him to begin again, chose his descendant, Noah. 

We do not know much about the life of Noah except that he walked with YHVH. Neither do we know about his conversations with YHVH during those hard days of labour, building the ark, or of any further conversation he may have had with YHVH during his time in the ark. In Noah, YHVH found a righteous and good seed. That seed would be used to replant a new earth, but not all the seed of Noah was righteous. We can see this when we look at Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Through YHVH’s grace, righteousness was imputed to them. Noah was a man who pleased YHVH because he did all that YHVH commanded of him. In times to come,YHVH’s grace will move in a different way. The causal effects of the sins of the parents will be passed down to children. 

Exodus 34:.

6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord YHVH, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

YHVH told Adam to populate the Earth, and when Noah came to rest upon the dry land after the flood,YHVH gave him the same command. Through Noah’s sons we would end up with what is considered to be the 70 nations of the human race. YHVH also gave a similar promise, a covenant to Abraham, that he would be the father of Nations. It is obvious that YHVH looks throughout the generations and through every covenant for someone to continue the seed line.

As wickedness grew upon the Earth, YHVH gave Noah a plan to build a box. It would be called an Ark, built according to specific dimensions and it would hold the seed stock of a new world. The Ark would carry within its dimensions the life-stock of the Earth and begin again man’s lineage that would reach through to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and to our Messiah.

Noah is not a story about a great wooden boat filled with pairs of animals and its human family of zookeepers. Neither is it specifically about the power of YHVH to change circumstances, judge wickedness or preserve righteousness. Though this is shown throughout, the story of Noah is a foreshadow of the salvific plan of YHVH to save what is His and to discard that which is not. The rising storm is the chaos that comes before peace, the results of the lifting of grace.

I recently watched a video of holidaymakers on a beach. The scene was filmed by someone on a hotel balcony. In the distance, a wave was building up. It was not a high wave but it was strong enough to breach the beach line and devastate the crowd, the  tables and the belongings of the people. The people were ignorant of the wave that was about to hit them but as the wave receded, it carried out their belongings. Despite what had just happened, the people proceeded to chase their belongings into the sea in order to salvage them. Their own safety seemed to be forgotten.

As I watched this, the Lord spoke to me, and told me that the people of today are like these on the beach. They are ignorant of what is coming because they are too busy having fun and are focused upon their own lives. Though this was a small wave, it was a sign that a bigger one is yet to come. People will choose to save what they have, rather than to save who they are.

We can imagine during the time of Noah, especially during the times of the years that he spent building the ark, that many of his peers must have come to him and wondered what on earth he was building. The Earth as a planet, was in reasonable balance and the watering of it came from the ground. Noah’s creation was not really a boat but a floating box. It had neither sail, engine nor steering wheel. It would float upon the waters and be steered by the wind of God’s spirit.

During the times of the great storm to come, I consider the human reaction. Will it be like those on the beach, trying to save what they can? YHVH has made an ark for all of us. The message of the family and the creatures in the floating box is symbolic of YHVH and creation being saved for such a time.

The bitumen that Noah painted on the inside and then the outside of the ark is symbolic; it is a shadow picture of the time when the Hebrews were commanded by YHVH to paint the blood of the lamb upon the door posts. It was symbolic of the sealant used to protect them from judgement. Just as Noah was protected from the ingress of the storm, so the Hebrews would be protected from the plagues that YHVH sent upon Egypt. When we look at the narrative of Noah, we can, with a little bit of extra study, define the calendar timeline. This timeline does not tell us when the Lord will return, but it gives us a plan of how the feasts roll out and the redemptive plan hidden within them. Final preparations for entering the Ark began before Passover and the waters began to rise, eventually lifting the Ark and the family and the animals within, above the water. By Shavuot we see the Ark upon the surface of the water. 150 days later, some five months, the Ark comes to rest upon Mount Ararat. After 150 days the water recedes and the subsequent weeks and months that pass, allow for the complete drying out of the ground.

Noah and his family and all its contents were brought to safety. Noah’s relationship with YHVH was peculiar. Noah walked with YHVH and we can conclude through this relationship that the man who walks with Him knows Him and does not need instruction by Him because he knows His heart. Such a man knows YHVH sufficiently, knows what is needed, what must be obeyed, and what needs to be done. When all that has been heard is done, he waits.

If we obey YHVH at the beginning of our journey, we can be confident that we will take with us all that we need. YHVH will walk with us every step of the way, and because He is walking with us, we know that our journey will be completed and the plans and the purposes of YHVH for us will be fulfilled. Inside the Ark, Noah had provisions that would last him, his family and all the animals for more than a year. We can also imagine that the Earth, once it had been dried up, the planting had to be done again. So what were the animals supposed to eat in the meantime? What did Noah and his family have to eat? There must have been a considerable supply. Could  YHVH have given Noah and the animals manna to eat until things became established and replenished again upon the Earth? We do not know.

The message that Noah brings tells us that YHVH is gathering His people, and will continue to gather His people during stormy times, during the hard times, during the trials and the tribulations that are about to come up on the Earth. YHVH will gather his people under the shadow of His wings, covered in the blood of  Yeshua. Symbolically the Ark shows us this picture. Finally YHVH will bring His people to the end of the journey where He will place them on the heights and upon dry sacred ground. He will give them as He did Noah, a new earth. We will be His people and He will be our YHVH.

When Noah had done all that YHVH wanted him to do, YHVH gave him a gift. He gave Noah the Earth and he said to him “Go and populate it.” YHVH made with him a covenant that could be seen in the bow of colours, saying that He would never flood the Earth again.

It must have  been a wonderful time to look upon the Earth in all its newness, and see the creative process being played out every day — watching the trees and plants grow and the animals wandering to and fro. It was a wonderful moment in time and space.

As the Earth began to be re-populated, I consider also the relationship Noah  must have had with all the animals that were put into his charge. Today we see that wickedness has increased again, and our relationship with our Earthly home has been broken. The violence of man has decimated the Earth and it has broken apart the peace that we once had with our animal friends. Once they ran to us but now they run from us.

YHVH’s people were meant to ride storms and never to be drowned by them. In that new beginning, YHVH poured out His Spirit upon all creation. There was peace and there was harmony. It will happen again, but it’s going to take time. It won’t happen in our time; it will happen in YHVH’s time. We, having done all that we can, wait! We just have to be prepared. Those who put their trust in YHVH, will hear from Him. They will be led by Him, and they will be saved by Him. He will not allow a single one of His children to be lost. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us but we must lead a righteous life, in closeness with YHVH, and walk with Him daily obeying His voice.

Noah’s Ark had a window and a door. When the storm surrounds us , we can choose to come to the window to see what is outside, or we can choose to listen to the noise of the wind and the storm and the devastation it brings. If we choose to leave, we have the door. However, you may find that the door cannot be opened because it has been sealed and can only be opened when the time has come. Our solidarity and resolve will be tested during the lock in. When we look out of the window, we are also given two choices: we can look at the dark clouds that surround us and the pounding waves, or we can look for the blue sky which is higher and beyond, pointing a way to a brighter future.

During the times of preparation we can join in with the trials of Noah. In his efforts to build this great Ark, we can be sure that he came under ridicule, persecution and disbelief. Maybe he even experienced some of this from his own family. It would’ve been a time of friction but what about the journey itself? Surely there must have been some arguments among the Ark family? It is guaranteed that as YHVH gathers His community, they will experience such times. Are we prepared for the outplay of events, of conflict of mind and spirit? The Ark will be filled by those who are led and make it through the time of tribulation, as the new Earth is born again through a hard labour. We can find comfort in knowing that YHVH’s grace strengthens us and that in it we find direction, perseverance and faith beyond measure. We are to take with us on the journey things from which can build a new beginning.

The old ways must sink into the depths, and the new must be pursued. Like those belongings that were drawn into the sea in the video I mentioned earlier, we cannot run after them; we simply don’t have the time. We must let them fall upon the rocks. The violent waves, once they have subsided, leave behind still water. It is from this that we gather sustenance, strength and cleansing.

Finally, as we look at this current storm raging through our nation and around the world, I am reminded of Peter’s words to us in 2 Peter chapter 2. We are told that the false prophets and teachers will again arise to lead YHVH’s people away from the way they have learned. For those who are truly walking with the Lord, and following the master, Yeshua, there is no such turning — there cannot be. But we, sadly, know those who have known the way and have not yet committed their lives wholly. Temptation will come, and those who are not committed to the way will be led astray because they do not know the voice of YHVH. Peter tells us that those people have become entangled in the world and are slaves of corruption. We must hold on to the truth that now dwells within us. Truth is not a lodger in its temporary fleshly home but the owner of it. Friends, Peter reminds us of the righteousness of Noah and expounds upon the trials of Lot. We are told that Lot was a righteous man but he found it hard to live among a society that was wicked and debauched — a society that tormented him day by day, just as we are tormented. YHVH rescues us from trials and does not give us more than we can bear. In understanding this, we must realise that we will go through trials.  If we refuse to recognise the wickedness and all that surrounds us, we cannot call out for help. It is like an addict who refuses or cannot admit that he has an addiction; he cannot be helped. The Lord answers when we callout ‘deliver us from evil.’

The days of Noah and Lot are mentioned by Yeshua in Luke 17. They must have suffered tremendous heartache and sadness as those around them, close friends and relatives, had refused to accept YHVH’s word and warning, and were ultimately marked for destruction by flood, fire and flame. We will see this again in the days to come. The Bible tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind and by the hearing of the word. The lies of the false prophets, the doctors of doom, and the designs of a corrupt government, send out another word. It is the word of the antichrist. It tells us to put our hope in them and in their plans, and denies us access to Jesus and the proclamation of His name and worship. YHVH has given us power and authority to speak His word and to change the atmosphere — to move to and through heavenly realms. Let us take charge and place into captivity every thought that comes against the knowledge of YHVH, and prepare and declare His kingdom come. The Lord will be with us as we ride through the storm. He will be with us as He was with Noah. Noah was warned that the storm was coming. He had to do as YHVH commanded and YHVH gave him time to do all that was needed to prepare. In another way, Lot was warned by angels; he had to do as YHVH had commanded.

Today, my friends, we are called to be new builders of an Ark. Community is an Ark. The family of YHVH becomes an Ark when they are gathered; a building sealed by the blood of Yeshua, blown upon the waves of life by His Spirit. They contain the spirit of YHVH and hold within them the power of the new creation. We have an opportunity to bring about great reform into a different world and a new invigorated and reformed church that will emerge during these last days. Let’s not waste time. 

As we go into lockdown for the second time this year, let us see this as a time to lock ourselves in with YHVH and seek our purpose, and look toward the blue skies beyond the dark clouds. If we do this, we will emerge rejuvenated and stronger together. The winds that blow around us are the winds of change; the waters and the rains our sacred cleansing liquid. Look at what is happening in these ways. Do not be afraid; do not be dismayed. All things that were, that are and that will be, are in our Great God. 

Shalom.

Grant Marshall AoE Ministries UK

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