Chapter X: Noah's Family in the Dispensation for Restoration

Introduction

God's Dispensation for Restoration centered on Adam's family was not realized because Cain murdered Abel. However, God's Will to fulfill the Purpose of the Creation is predestined as absolute; so on the basis of Abel's heart and loyalty to heaven, God "gave" Seth to take his place (Gen 4:25). Then, from among Seth's descendants God chose Noah and his family to stand in place of Adam and his family, and God began the Dispensation for Restoration centered on Noah's family.

Genesis 6:13 says that "... 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.'" This clearly shows that God intended to bring about the Last Days at that time. Using Noah's family as the foundation, God intended to fulfill the Purpose of Creation by sending the Messiah after the Flood Judgment. Therefore, the dispensation in Noah's family was the dispensation to establish the Foundation for the Messiah.

I. FOUNDATION OF FAITH

A. The Central Person for Restoring the Foundation of Faith

In the dispensation centered on Noah's family, Noah was the central person chosen to restore the Foundation of Faith. God found him 10 generations and 1,600 (Biblical) years after Adam. God blessed Noah as he had blessed Adam earlier, directing Noah to "'... be fruitful and multiply ...'" (Gen 9:7). In the eyes of God, Noah was a righteous man (Gen 6:9) who was therefore qualified to be the central person for the Foundation of Faith.

B. The Offering Required in Restoring the Foundation of Faith

The offering which Noah had to make to restore the Foundation of Faith was the ark. What was the meaning of this ark in terms of God's dispensation? Noah was chosen by God symbolically to restore the cosmos, which had been handed over to Satan by Adam's fall. Consequently, Noah had to make an offering which would symbolize a new cosmos, and be acceptable to God. The ark was this offering. After God gave his instructions, Noah spent 120 years building the ark, enduring all types of ridicule from the evil and sinful world because of his absolute obedience to God.

The three-deck ark symbolized the cosmos which was created through the three growth stages. The eight members of Noah's family who entered the ark were to restore and indemnify the failures of the eight members of Adam's family. Since the ark represented the cosmos, Noah, as master of the ark, represented God; the members of his family represented all mankind; and the animals in the ark represented the entire Creation. When the ark was completed, God judged mankind and destroyed the evil through a 40-day flood. According to the Principle of Creation, man was created to serve only one master; so God cannot relate as a second master to a fallen person who already has Satan as his master. If this were to happen, the dispensation would become an un-Principled one. Therefore, in order to establish an object for his dispensation, through whom he alone could work, God brought about the flood to destroy all who remained under Satan's dominion.

What was the dispensational meaning of the 40-day period of the flood? God's ideal for the Creation is based on the Four Position Foundation. However, the Four Position Foundation was lost to Satan; so God worked his dispensation to restore the Four Position Foundation. Since the number 10 is the number of return to unity, it symbolizes return to God. Thus, by working to restore the Four Position Foundation in each of the 10 generations (He chose) from Adam to Noah, God was able to establish the condition for restoring the Four Position Foundation to his side. Thus, the period from Adam to Noah may be seen as the indemnity period for restoring the Four Position Foundation to God. Thus, the number 40 (4 positions x 10 generations) came to represent the return of the Four Position Foundation to God.

Because of the lust and faithlessness of the people of Noah's time, the indemnity period of 10 generations, which was for the purpose of restoring the Four Position Foundation, was invaded by Satan. Consequently, centered on Noah's ark, God set up the 40-day period of the flood as the indemnity period to restore the period from Adam to Noah, which had been invaded. It is based on this that the number 40 became necessary in later efforts to separate from Satan and restore the Foundation of Faith through indemnity.

In the Bible, we see many instances of these indemnity periods for separating from Satan: the 400-year period from Noah to Abraham; the Israelites' 400 years of suffering in Egypt; their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness; Moses' two 40-day fasts; the 40-day period of spying in Canaan; the 40-year reigns of the kings Saul, David and Solomon; Elijah's 40-day fast; Jonah's prophecy that Nineveh would be destroyed after 40 days; Jesus' 40-day fast and prayer; and Jesus' 40-day period after resurrection.

By building the ark in accordance with God's instructions and faithfully obeying the Will of God through out the 40-day flood, Noah met the indemnity condition and restored the Foundation of Faith.

II. FOUNDATION OF SUBSTANCE

Noah's family now had to take this vertical attitude of faith which Noah had established toward God and apply it horizontally in the relationships with each other, thus meeting the indemnity condition for establishing the Foundation of Substance. This Indemnity Condition for Removing the Fallen Nature had to be fulfilled by Noah's second son, Ham, and his eldest son, Shem.

In Adam's family, the second son, Abel -- and not Adam -- made the offering which was acceptable to God, thus establish the vertical relationship with God, which is the Foundation of Faith. Therefore, Abel naturally qualified as the central person for the Foundation of Substance.

In Noah's family, however, it was Noah who met the indemnity condition for establishing the Foundation of Faith. Therefore, the position of his second son, Ham, was not yet equivalent to that of Abel after his offering. In other words, Ham had not yet established an absolute and substantial vertical relationship of faith and devotion with God. In order for Ham to be in the central position for establishing the Foundation of Substance, he first had to inherit the foundation of Noah's faith and obedience. For this purpose, it was essential that Ham forge an unbreakable relationship of heart with Noah, who had successfully established the Foundation of Faith and Substance. In other words, Ham should have become one in heart with Noah, obeying him and considering his will to be as important as life itself.

The Bible records the conditions which God set up to carry out his dispensation to unite Noah and Ham in heart (Gen 9:20-25). However, when Ham saw Noah sleeping naked in the tent, he was so ashamed and displeased that he stirred up the same shame in his brothers, Shem and Japeth. Recoiling at the thought of their father naked, Shem and Japeth walked backward and covered him with a garment. This was such a crime that Noah cursed Ham, saying, "'... Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.'" (Gen 9:25)

Judging from Noah's normal conduct, his deep piety and the record of his absolute faith, it is not likely that he was given to intemperate drinking or to improper self-exposure, which might bring censure. It is natural to think that Noah's lying naked was at least an impropriety, yet the curse fell not on Noah but on Ham who thought that Noah's act was shameful and instigated Shem and Japeth's covering of Noah. The reason is directly related to God's dispensation.

Why was Ham cursed? This question can be answered by understanding why Ham's actions were sinful. An act is sinful when it give Satan a condition, or basis, to invade, creating an object for Satan to work through. Satan's power to act depends upon Give and Take Action with such an object. Satan does not have the power to act unless he finds an object with which he has a basis for Give and Take Action.

Then what did Ham do that gave Satan a condition to invade? Immediately after the Fall, Adam and Eve covered the sexual parts of their bodies, indicating their shame at having entered into a blood relationship with Satan. Upon seeing his father's nakedness, Ham was similarly ashamed and covered him up. From the dispensational viewpoint, the fact that Ham felt ashamed of his father's nakedness and directed his brothers to cover him was an admission that he had a blood relationship with Satan, just as Adam's family had. Satan, who had been separated out by the Flood Judgment, was brought back by Ham's act, and Ham stood in a position to be one with him. Thus, he was cursed.

Is it a sin to regard the naked human body with a sense of shame? No. However, Noah's family was chosen by God to stand in place of Adam's family, and it therefore had the mission to remove all the conditions by which Adam's family had allowed Satan to invade mankind -- conditions which only Noah's family was in the position to remove. It was in accordance with God's dispensation that the righteous Noah became drunk and lay naked in his tent. God had him do this so that Ham, by showing trust, could become one in heart with Noah, who had already established the Foundation of Faith. Everything that Noah did was exactly in accordance with God's dispensation.

Though externally Ham's mistake was only that he harbored shame and displeasure over his father's naked body, dispensationally he was cursed for the mistake of making a base for the influence of Satan, who had been separated out by the Flood Judgment. Therefore, Ham could not possibly stand as the victorious second son and be the center of the Foundation of Substance. Thus, we find nothing recorded in the Bible about Ham and Shem working to meet the conditions for removing the Fallen Nature or establishing a Foundation of Substance.

God could not intervene in the indemnity condition that Ham had to meet because it was Ham's responsibility. Therefore, God did not directly instruct Ham to believe in his father and become one with him no matter what the circumstances. Through Ham's experiences with the flood and Noah's building of the ark, it should have been quite clear that his father was a man representing God's Will. Therefore, after the flood, it was Ham's responsibility to maintain absolute faith in Noah and to obey him in all circumstances.


The Principle of Creation
How can we know the nature of God, who is invisible? We can know it through observing the Creation. Just as the work of an artist is a visible manifestation of its maker's invisible nature, every being in the Creation is a substantial manifestation of the invisible nature of God, its Creator.

The Fall of Man
Every person has an original mind whose nature is to pursue goodness and repel evil. But fallen people are unconsciously driven by an evil force to commit evil acts, contrary to the desires of their original mind. In Christianity, the one who controls this evil force is known as Satan. This chapter, "The Fall," makes clear the identity of Satan and the origin of evil.

Mission of the Messiah
What is salvation? Salvation in restoration: to save a drowning person is to rescue him and restore him to the state he was in before he began to drown. God's salvation of man means God's restoration of fallen and sinful man to his original state of goodness -- to the position where he can fulfill the Purpose of the Creation.
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