Had Ye Believed Moses
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Noah, Through the Flood
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7).
During the course of Christ’s earthly ministry almost 2,000 years ago, He singled out two accounts from the book of Genesis that had to do with events surrounding His return. He first called attention to a worldwide destruction produced by the Flood during Noah’s day. Then He called attention to the destruction of the cities of the plain during Lot’s day (Luke 17:26-30; cf. Genesis 6-8, 18, 19).
Both destructions point to the same thing — a coming time of destruction upon the present world system under Satan, in connection with Christ’s return. This coming time of destruction will progressively occur and build to an apex during Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week, and it will be climaxed through events surrounding Christ’s return. Once the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy have run their course, Christ will return, overthrow Gentile world power, and the kingdom of Christ will then replace the present kingdom under Satan.
This will be the time when the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands smites the image at the feet (the final form of Gentile world power), also prophesied by Daniel. And once Gentile world power has been destroyed, the Stone will become “a great mountain [‘a mountain’ signifies a kingdom]” and cover the entire earth (Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45).
The conquering Stone (Christ) will take the scepter, the kingdom of this world will become His kingdom (Revelation 11:15), and the present kingdom of darkness and corruption under Satan will be succeeded by a worldwide kingdom of light and righteousness under Christ (cf. Isaiah 2:2-4; Luke 1:32, 33).
Certain things are similar in both destructions to which Christ called attention from the book of Genesis, but certain things are also seen in one destruction that are not seen in the other. One must be compared with the other, along with the event to which both point, in order to arrive at a proper understanding surrounding the overthrow of Gentile world power at the time of Christ’s return. That would be to say, both types must be compared with one another, along with the antitype, in order to properly understand the picture that Scripture sets forth on the matter in these two sections of Genesis.
And the complete picture seen through comparing both destructions, along with the antitype, will be in perfect keeping with a dispensational scheme of events set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis in connection with the first destruction. The septenary structure of Scripture is set forth first, in the opening verses of Scripture (1:1-2:3); and the dispensational scheme of events, fitting within this septenary structure, are detailed in the chapters that follow (chapters 2b ff). And this dispensational scheme of events continues into and beyond the destruction produced by the Flood during Noah’s day (chapters 6ff).
In line with the septenary structure set forth at the beginning of Scripture, man has been allotted six days, six thousand years; and Man’s Day is seen in subsequent Scripture as being divided into three dispensations of 2,000 years each, with each dispensation having to do with one of the three divisions of mankind.
The first dispensation extends from Adam to Abraham — a 2,000-year period — wherein God dealt with mankind in general (those we would know today as “Gentiles,” for there were no Jews or Christians at this time). The second dispensation extends from Abraham to Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation — another 2,000-year period, wherein God dealt/will deal with the Jewish people. However, time during this dispensation was stopped seven years short of completion and a third 2,000-year dispensation is seen within God’s plans and purposes prior to the last seven years of the second dispensation being fulfilled. This third dispensation began on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., and it will end at the time of the Church’s removal.
(Ref., the author’s book, THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE, chapter 5, for a more detailed discussion of these three dispensations during Man’s Day.)
Thus, there are still seven unfulfilled years in the second of these three dispensations. And, according to Daniel’s prophecy, once time during this dispensation has been fulfilled, the Messianic Era will be ushered in (Daniel 9:24-27). But, prior to time during this second dispensation being fulfilled, the complete time allotted for the present dispensation (third dispensation) must run its course. Only when time during the present dispensation has been fulfilled will God remove the Church and turn back to Israel, allowing the last seven years of the second dispensation to be fulfilled.
During the present dispensation, God has set aside a third 2,000-year period for a special and particular purpose — to allow the Holy Spirit to come into the world to search for and to acquire a bride for God’s Son. And once this work by the Spirit has been accomplished, the dispensation will end, and the bride will be removed from the earth into heaven. God will then turn His attention back to Israel and complete the last seven years of the preceding dispensation. Then, and only then, can the Messianic Era be ushered in.
Man’s Day, preceding the Messianic Era, must be comprised of 6,000 years — no more, no less. Each of the three dispensations covers 2,000 years, fulfilling Man’s Day. And during these three dispensations — covering a total of six days, 6,000 years — God deals with the three divisions of mankind after a fashion necessary to allow Man’s Day to end and the Lord’s Day to begin.
(God is dealing with Christians during the present dispensation after a fashion that will allow Man’s Day to end and the Lord’s Day to begin for them at the end of this present dispensation — at the time of Christ’s return for Christians, at least seven years short of the full 6,000 years allotted to man [cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:4; Revelation 1:10-20]. Man’s Day will end and the Lord’s Day will begin for Christians at this time because Christians will have been removed from Man’s Day on earth into the Lord’s Day in heaven.
Those left behind on the earth though will have to pass through the last seven years of Man’s Day before this day ends and the Lord’s Day begins for them. The Lord’s Day will begin on earth only in conjunction with Christ’s return at the end of Daniel’s full 490-year prophecy, bringing Man’s Day to a close [Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2, 10, 11, 28-32; 3:12-16; Malachi 4:5].)
Then, on another note, to understand the nearness of the end of the present dispensation — to be followed by the rapture and the completion of the last seven years of the previous dispensation, in that order — all one has to do is check a chronology of years covering the dispensation. This can easily be done by simply transferring the number of years that the Church has been in existence (from 30 A.D. to the present time) into years of 360 days each (the length of the year which Scripture uses). For example, the year 2,000 on our calendar is between 1,998 and 1,999 years (of 360 days each) removed from 30 A.D. Thus, only one thing can be said about “time” left in the present dispensation: There can only be very little time left, possibly a few years at the very most.
The first dispensation has been completed, the second dispensation lacks seven years being complete, and the third dispensation lacks a few years at the very most being complete. That which Scripture reveals about the nearness of Christ’s return for Christians, the nearness of the time when this present world system will be destroyed, and the nearness of the time when the kingdom of Christ will be established (all seen in the types, in conjunction with the antitypes) is something that should awaken every Christian to one stark reality: Man in the world today is living at a time immediately preceding all the great unfulfilled prophecies of Scripture being brought to pass. And with each passing day, hour, minute, and second, man moves that much closer to the beginning of a sequence of events that will come to pass.
(For a more detailed discussion of chronology through the three 2,000-year dispensations during Man's 6,000-year day, followed by the 1,000-year Messianic Era, refer to the Appendix. Also see the Author’s book, THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE, chapters 2, 5.)
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26, 27, 30).
The next great event in the dispensational scheme of things seen in connection with the Flood (pointing to the coming Tribulation) is that seen in connection with Enoch’s removal from the earth at a time preceding the Flood (pointing to the removal of Christians at a time preceding the Tribulation). An end of one dispensation is seen in Enoch’s removal, and the completion of the last seven years of another dispensation is seen in events surrounding the Flood. And foundational material pertaining to both can be found in the preceding chapters of Genesis (e.g., the bride removed from the body in chapter 2, the work of the Son surrounding redemption in chapters 3, 4 [making that seen in chapter 2 possible], and the complete history of Israel given in chapters 3, 4 as well).
Within the overall type in these opening chapters of Genesis, an emphasis is placed in two areas — on Christians (chapters 2, 3), and on Israel (chapters 3, 4). Then, through Enoch’s experiences, Christians are seen being removed (chapter 5), ending one dispensation. And following this, through Noah’s experiences, Israel is seen going through the Tribulation (chapters 6-8), ending another dispensation.
And the end of the Tribulation will bring a full end to the 6,000 years comprising Man’s Day, fulfilling man’s allotted 6,000 years set forth at the very beginning of the book of Genesis in the revealed septenary structure of Scripture. Only then will Man’s Day end and the Lord’s Day begin. Only then will Christ return, overthrow Gentile world power, and establish His kingdom.
1) The Removal of the Church
The removal of Christians from the earth that precedes the Tribulation — the rapture, typified by Enoch’s translation into heaven preceding the Flood — is not the event that begins the Tribulation. The rapture will occur following the completion of the purpose surrounding the Spirit being sent into the world at the beginning of the present dispensation. Once the Spirit’s mission has been accomplished — once the bride for God’s Son has been procured — this dispensation will end, and the Spirit will remove the bride (seen initially in the experiences of Enoch in Genesis 5, but developed more fully in the experiences surrounding Rebekah in Genesis 24). This event, in turn, will allow God to resume His dealings with Israel, bringing to pass seven years yet remaining in a previous dispensation (where time was interrupted, allowing for the present dispensation).
Events surrounding the Cross mark the point where time was interrupted in the previous dispensation. But these events do not mark the point of the beginning of the present dispensation. Rather, the descent of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost fifty-three days later marks the beginning of the present dispensation.
In similar fashion, the end of the present dispensation and the resumption of time in the previous dispensation are not synonymous. The removal of the Church would be the event ending the present dispensation. But this event doesn’t cause time from the previous dispensation to automatically resume. Rather, the event which marks the beginning of the last seven years of the preceding dispensation is the ratifying of a covenant between Antichrist and many in Israel, spoken of in Daniel 9:27.
(Thus, the present dispensation begins and ends in relation to the previous dispensation after a similar fashion. Time in the present dispensation did not immediately begin when time stopped in the previous dispensation; nor will time immediately resume in the previous dispensation when time stops in the present dispensation.)
This interval of time that will exist between the end of the present dispensation and the resumption of time in the previous dispensation can be seen in the opening six chapters of the book of Revelation. The Church is seen in heaven, before the judgment seat of Christ, in chapter one. And it is immaterial whether or not the rapture is to be seen within John’s experience of being removed into the Lord’s Day (v. 10). The complete Church is seen in heaven immediately following this event (vv. 12-20), necessitating a previous rapture of all Christians. And this rapture, with the same sequence of events following, is clearly revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9.
Then, events seen in chapters two and three would have to do with this judgment (present works of Christians in all seven churches, to be revealed at the judgment seat, with a view to showing whether these Christians had overcome or had been overcome).
Chapter four then begins again at the same point where the whole sequence began in chapter one (a removal from Man’s Day into the Lord’s Day [vv. 1, 2]). And this event is repeated to show another side to the sequence of events that will follow the removal of the Church, something that will occur following events surrounding the judgment seat (chapters 1-3) — the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne (vv. 2-4, 10; ref., the author’s book, MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM, chapter 10).
Following the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne, all events surrounding decisions and determinations occurring at the judgment seat will have been completed. Only then can events in chapter five occur — the search for one worthy to break the seals of a seven-sealed scroll in God’s right hand (vv. 1, 6-10). And it is the breaking of these seals that have to do with “time” during the Tribulation (6:1ff). Events seen prior to this have to do with events that will occur during “time” existing between the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation.
The length of the period which will exist between the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation is unrevealed. Fifty-three days existed between the point “time” was interrupted in the past dispensation and the point “time” began during the present dispensation. Possibly “time” between the end of the present dispensation and the beginning of the last seven years of the preceding dispensation will be of a similar length.
(Note also a similar length of “time” by way of comparison — seventy-five days — between the end of the Tribulation and the apparent beginning of the Messianic Era [Daniel 12:11-13].)
2) The Completion of Daniel’s Seventieth Week
Once Daniel’s Seventieth Week begins, the Jewish people entering into that period will find themselves — on God’s prophetic calendar — placed in the position of having just crucified their Messiah. The crucifixion is the event that brought the first four hundred eighty-three years of the full four hundred ninety years in Daniel 9:24-27 to a close. And when the four hundred eighty-fourth year begins (the first year of Daniel’s Seventieth Week), the crucifixion will be looked upon as having just occurred. And the generation of Jews entering into that time (the same generation living today) will be looked upon as having themselves just committed this act.
This generation of Jews will, accordingly, be looked upon as unclean through contact with the dead body of their Messiah — possessing exactly the same uncleanness as the generation of Jews that actually did commit this act almost two millennia ago, or any other generation of Jews dating back to that time. The nation remains just as guilty and unclean almost two millennia later as the nation found itself the evening of the Passover in 30 A.D., immediately after the act had been committed.
Nothing has changed down through the years relative to Israel in this respect. The passage of time and the passage of generations have produced no change (ref., chapters 6, 11 of this book). This is why the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy can pick up exactly where time stopped almost two millennia ago, with a generation of Jews completely removed from the generation in existence when time stopped in the prophecy, though looked upon in exactly the same manner as that prior generation of Jews.
As previously shown, Noah going through the Flood in the type typifies Israel going through the Tribulation in the antitype. Noah, in the ark, passed safely through this time of destruction; but not so with the remainder of those in the world, outside the ark.
And so will it be for Israel and the nations yet future. Israel, as Noah, will be supernaturally protected through this time of destruction; but not so for the remainder of the world, outside God’s supernatural protection.
Three entire chapters are given over to the account of the Flood in the book of Genesis (chapters 6-8), while everything that had been said about Enoch was dealt with in four short verses (5:21-24), with only one verse actually pertaining to the rapture (v. 24). And the last book in Scripture, the book of Revelation, is structured after a similar fashion. Only three verses could be looked upon as pertaining to the rapture (1:10; 4:1, 2), but thirteen entire chapters deal with events occurring during the Tribulation (chapters 6-18).
And the same thing is seen elsewhere in Scripture. The rapture per se is simply not a major subject of Scripture, though dealt with extensively enough that man might know all the various, necessary things about the rapture. That which is dealt with extensively in Scripture falls into two categories: 1) events surrounding Christians before the judgment seat, and beyond, following the rapture; and 2) events surrounding Israel during Daniel’s Seventieth Week, and beyond.
This is why very little is said about the rapture, in type or antitype. This is simply not where God places the emphasis. And this is also why one finds large segments of Scripture dealing with Christians beyond the rapture and with Israel during and beyond Daniel’s Seventieth Week (which will also be beyond the rapture). This is where God places the emphasis.
The days of Noah were marked by a cohabitation of “the sons of God” (angels within Satan’s kingdom) with “the daughters of men” (female offspring from the lineage of Adam [Genesis 6:2]); and the earth, resultantly, was filled with violence and corruption (vv. 11-13).
The beginning of this existing condition during Noah’s day dated back to a time very early in the history of the human race, a time “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them” (Genesis 6:1). Thus, it could only have dated back to a time during the first several centuries following man’s creation. And it reached a point during Noah’s day where God no longer could allow it to continue (the Flood occurred 1,656 years following man’s creation).
Things continued uninterrupted for centuries, but the day came when God stepped in. Then, things not only began to change, but things began to change rapidly. Something completely new within man’s experiences began to occur, and man had no control whatsoever over the matter. God’s intervention resulted in destruction of a nature and on a scale that man had not heretofore seen, and this destruction could only have existed worldwide within a very short period of time.
The “fountains of the great deep” burst open, allowing the subterranean waters to gush forth; and the “windows of heaven” were opened at the same time, allowing the vast quantities of water above the atmosphere to begin pouring out upon the earth (cf. Genesis 1:6). And this continued in an uninterrupted and apparently unchanging fashion for one hundred fifty days (cf. Genesis 7:11, 24; 8:1, 2). It continued until all the water above the atmosphere had been depleted and until apparently most of the subterranean water had been depleted as well (there is presently no water above the atmosphere and only three percent of the earth’s water supply lies in subterranean reservoirs today).
(Scripture marks a point at the end of 40 days when the waters apparently covered the highest hill on earth to a depth of 15 cubits [about 25 feet; 7:12, 17-20]. But the waters continued to come up from below and down from above for another 110 days [7:24-8:3]. And the same word is used in the Hebrew text for “rain” throughout the entire 150 days — a word that can be understood, and probably should be understood here, as “torrential rain” [7:12; 8:2].
There was apparently no change in the intensity of this rain [or of the subterranean waters coming up] at the end of 40 days. Thus, at the end of 150 days, the waters could only have covered the highest hill on earth to a depth of hundreds, probably thousands, of feet.
Understanding the ark to have rested on a mountain peak in the Ararat range on the 150th day, as commonly taught from Genesis 8:4, is a misunderstanding of that which the text [in the light of the context] actually states. The word “upon” in the verse could also be understood and translated [from the Hebrews text] as “over,” or “above.” The proper understanding and translation of this word would depend on the context. It is the same word properly translated “over” in v. 1 [“God made a wind to pass over the earth”]; or, it is the same word properly translated “above” in Genesis 1:20 [“and foul that may fly above the earth”].
Genesis 8:4 simply locates the ark in relation to a point on the earth — above the Ararat mountain range — at the end of 150 days, when the waters stopped coming up from below and down from above. The ark rested someplace “over” or “above” the Ararat range, apparently hundreds, probably thousands, of feet above the highest point in this range. This is all borne out by the context when one continues to read [vv. 5ff].
There is no Scriptural basis whatsoever for the almost universally-held thought that the ark came to rest on a mountain peak in the Ararat range at the end of 150 days. In fact, that which Scripture has to say about the matter would militate against such a view.
First, contextually, this is not what Genesis 8:4 states; and second, the Ararat range lies north and northwest of the land of Shinar — a wrong location for the ark to have settled, according to subsequent Scripture. The migration of individuals following the Flood, to arrive in the land of Shinar, was eastward [Genesis 11:1, 2; “from the east” (KJV) should be translated “eastward” (same word used and so translated in Genesis 2:8; 3:24; 12:8; 13:11)].
From reading the complete text, it is apparent that the ark came to rest somewhere west of the land of Shinar — in all likelihood, in the lower elevations of the land — not on a mountain peak north or northwest of the land of Shinar.)
Note the words, “And as it was…even thus shall it be…” (Luke 17:26a, 30a; cf. Matthew 24:37-39). The days of Noah are going to be repeated immediately preceding the coming of the Son of Man. And this repetition, at least in part, extends down to the cohabitation of the sons of God with the daughters of men.
(For example, Antichrist will be of this lineage, and those ruling with him will apparently be of this lineage as well [cf. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 26:13, 14]. The word “dead” in Isaiah 26:14 is rephaim in the Hebrew text, another name for the nephilim in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33, translated “giants” [KJV].
Nephilim is a word used in Scripture to refer to the offspring resulting from a co-habitation of the sons of God with the daughters of men, and rephaim is a word used referring to the same individuals [cf. Numbers 13:33; Joshua 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 17:15; 18:16 — nephilim is used in Numbers and rephaim is used in Joshua, translated “giants” [KJV] both places.)
And also as in the days of Noah, corruption and violence will continue uninterrupted until a certain point in time. Then, as in the days of Noah, God will one day step in and bring about a change. And this change will occur suddenly, rapidly, and result in total destruction. In fact, things will become of such a nature that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” But, “for the elect’s sake [for Israel’s sake] those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
Israel, as Noah, will pass safely through this coming time of destruction. But the present world system under Satan will fare no better than those outside the ark fared during Noah’s day.
The Cities of the Plain
Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:28-30).
The destruction of the cities of the plain during Lot’s day presents another graphic picture of this coming time of destruction, first seen in the destruction produced by the Flood during Noah’s day. That seen occurring during Lot’s day adds several different dimensions to the picture. Rather than an emphasis being placed on individuals going through this time of destruction, an emphasis is placed on individuals being removed prior to this time of destruction, typifying the removal of Christians preceding the Tribulation.
But even with this emphasis, the main emphasis in the account of the removal of Lot and certain members of his family prior to the destruction of the cities of the plain is not on their removal per se but on that which occurred both preceding and following their removal. And this would be in complete keeping with all related Scripture. The emphasis in Scripture is never on the rapture per se but on that which has occurred/occurs preceding the rapture and on that which will occur following the rapture — both relative to the Church and to Israel.
That which resulted in the destruction of the cities of the plain is of a similar nature to that which had previously resulted in the destruction produced by the Flood during Noah’s day. During Noah’s day, there was a cohabitation of the sons of God with women in the human race. During Lot’s day, there was a cohabitation of the sons of God with men in the human race.
The latter is obvious from that which occurred following the two angels entering Sodom in Genesis chapter nineteen. And this is also directly stated in Jude 6, 7.
A large group of sex-crazed men in Sodom surrounded Lot’s home, where two angels resided within the safety provided by Lot’s house. Men from all over the city — “both old and young, all the people from every quarter” (Genesis 19:4) — demanded that Lot bring these two individuals out so that they might have sexual relations with them (v. 5). And the men of Sodom wanted these two individuals badly enough (apparently knowing that they were angels) that they were going to break the door down to get them if necessary (v. 9).
Then Jude provides the reason why the men of Sodom were acting in this manner, though the reason is obvious from the Genesis account. According to Jude 7, the people in the cities of the plain during Lot’s day had given “themselves over to fornication”; and the example cited had to do with their “going after strange flesh” — continuing the thought of angels (v. 6) having done exactly the same thing (“in like manner” in v. 7 refers back to angelic activity in v. 6).
The word “strange” in Jude 7 is a translation of the Greek word heteros, which means “different.” The angels in verse six and those in the cities of the plain in verse seven were having sexual relations with those possessing a different type flesh — men with angels, angels with men (as it is clearly inferred in Genesis 19).
This will explain why Lot was afraid to dwell in Zoar following the destruction of the other cities of the plain. Zoar was one of five cities in the Jordan plain. The other four had been destroyed following Lot and part of his family being removed from Sodom (Genesis 19:15, 16; Deuteronomy 29:23); and apparently the same thing was occurring in Zoar which had resulted in the destruction of these other cities. Lot was afraid to remain in Zoar, probably fearing that it would be destroyed as well; and he went out of Zoar, up into the mountain to dwell (vv. 28-30).
And there is the biblical picture of conditions and events as they will occur on earth immediately preceding and following Christ’s return. The sexual aspect is set at the forefront in both Genesis chapters six and nineteen. The present “sexual revolution,” as it is often called, is only a precursor of that into which it will lead. “As it was…even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
And, in conjunction with that day, Christians are about to be removed, and judgment is about to fall on this present world system (in complete keeping with the types). And the day for both cannot be far removed.