Do the icy glaciers of Ararat lock-in the treasures of the Biblical Ark which cradled a faithful family and hundreds of trusting creatures of every kind? Evidence has been questionable, yet excitement pervades world news at every claim of a sighting or artifact brought back from Ararat's heights. In the 1950's, Ferdinand Navarro claimed such a sighting, and returned with wood samples. When subjected to analysis, they revealed the proper balance of wood and pitch, as well as indications of sufficient agelending support to claims of Biblical origin.
Impact of Discovery
If the Biblical Ark is discovered, the impact on the scientific world would be immense. Tremendous importance has been placed on the discovery of ancient Ebla at Tel-Mardikh in northern Syria for the primary reason that it represented a civilization nearly one thousand years older than any previous discovery. The Ark would predate this by another 300 to 400 years.
To the religious community this discovery would be an indisputable proof of the historical accuracy of the Bible. It would emphatically assert the fact that the Flood was a reality and not a mere allegory. Further, it would confirm the verity of Scripture as it relates to science.
Corroborating Testimonies of History and Science
Not until the scientific discoveries of the past 120 years has the Bible been corroborated by geology, astronomy, and history. These discoveries are testimonies in themselves as to end time prophecies concerning the increase of knowledge. Dan. 12:4
The records of Chinese dynasties dating back to the twenty-forth century BC place the ascent of Yao to the throne in 2357BC and record a great deluge occurring within his reign. Our date for the Noachian deluge is 2348BC, within the reign of Yao. His son and successor was Shumthe name of Noah's son was Shem. Another account shows Yao reigning after the Flood to the very year that Noah died, while his successor reigns 146 years after him, to within a few years of the death of Shem. The correspondence between these Chinese dates and Bible chronology is remarkable, and amounts to much more than mere coincidence.
Not only these Chinese records, but also the oldest records of Babylonia tell the story of the Delugeof Noah and his Ark. However, none of these ancient records can compare with the Genesis account. None other gives a connected history of the 1656 years from Adam to the Flood, or a definite recordas does the Bibleof just how long it rained, how high the floods rose and how long a period was required for the waters to drain off.
Not only are these historical records exciting, but Bible students find their faith in God's Word established even more because of indisputable geological and astronomical evidences. Geology points out distinctly that there have been several worldwide deluges. These reveal great beds of sandstone, clay, shale, etc., all of which science declares must have been placed where they are as the settling of great, sudden and violent floods. Some of these deposits are hundreds of feet below the earth's surface. There are virtual logjams of dinosaur bones recorded throughout the world. Deposits of coal (fossilized plants) were swept into layers produced by a deluge. Fossil trees are found extending through several layers of coal, and seams are sometimes split with marine sediments in between.
When we ask from where such floods came, astronomy points to amazing examples such as Saturn and Jupiter, with their "rings" and "belts." Scientists declare that these consist of minerals and water thrown far off in a gaseous state when the planets were at white heat. They subsequently cooled and formed into various strata or rings. Because of their great distance from the planets, their motions are different, and they are held in suspension by the same laws which hold the planets themselves in space. Nevertheless, the superior weight of the planets draws them nearer and nearer. The ring nearest the planet, and approaching it, is still held off by atmospheric pressure or the "firmament." The rotation of the planets on their axes gives least resistance at the poles. These rings, after spreading out as great envelopes, gradually thin at the center, or equator, and thicken at the poles, until the weight at the poles becomes so great as to overcome the power or the strength of the firmament, and then breaking through from both poles, causes deluges.
Before the Last Deluge, No Rain upon the Earth
The astonishing statement that, prior to the Deluge, there had been no rain on the earth (Genesis 2:5), is in full agreement with what we have seen from the foregoing. The Earth once had similar "belts" or "rings." These were precipitated, as we have described, one after the other, at long intervals during the six creative days or "epochs." By means of these deluges, our minerals were deposited and our coal beds buried.
God, foreknowing all things, anticipated the necessity of the Deluge, and so timed the features of His plan that the last of Earth's "rings" was still unbroken when man was created. But it was no longer in the form of a ring. By this time, the cold rush of the collapsing belts coming in contact with the heat of Earth's crust formed a great watery canopy or veil as the water vapor rose rapidly up to the outer atmosphere.
There could be neither rain nor storm under such conditions. The temperature of the whole earth was equable; the sun's rays acted upon the watery canopy as they do upon the white glass of a hothouse. The temperature was the same at the poles as at the equator. This accounts for the remains of tropical animals and plant life found imbedded under hundreds of feet of ice in the polar regions.
How and When Polar Ice was Formed
Geology testifies to the Glacial Period, when great icebergs, carried by floods of water, rushed from the poles toward the equator. Geologists have traced great valleys cut by these glaciers. Upon these findings, the theory is presented that the earth was ice-covered not too long ago, relatively speaking. Scientific Bible students attribute the Ice Age to the period of the Deluge 4,500 years ago, however, most scientists claim it to be millions of years ago. In either case, this glacial period is one of the most recent cataclysms to affect the earth's surface.
The sudden break of the canopy of water would not only cause a deluge to come down at both poles, and the flow of great tidal waves toward the equator, as geologists show was the case, but it would also produce a sudden and intense cold at the poles. Amazingly, about one seventh of the earth's surface, from Siberia into Alaska, is a frozen museum containing the remains of millions of mammoths. Some of these animals were killed so rapidly that while grazing peacefully in the meadow, they froze in place with grass still caught in their teeth. All this indicates unexpected planet-wide catastrophe.
How Could the Ark Survive Such Catastrophe?
Why was Noah's ark not carried off by this swift current toward the equator? Why did it remain not far from the place where it was builton the top of Mount Ararat? Geological evidence points out that the swift currents of water, laden with icebergs and rolling rocks, visited various parts of Europe and America, and perhaps Asia, but seemingly avoided the vicinity of Mount Ararat. There, alluvial deposits are of extraordinary depth. Geologists conclude that while there was a commotion round about, there was an eddy and backwater in that particular vicinity.
As to the construction of a vessel which would not capsize under such convulsive conditions, the illustration above provides the probable construction and relative size of the Ark built to the specifications in Genesis. Large models put to the test have proven that this design is unsinkable and that it remains upright and stable under violent conditions.
Is it too much for the child of God to believe that the Great Creator was fully competent to regulate the currents of that Deluge and provide the needed plans for a secure Ark? God intended to preserve Noah and his family to begin afresh the population of the earth.
The Cause of the Deluge
Why did Divine providence decree the obliteration of every living thing "wherein is the breath of life," except Noah, his family and the animals they harbored? (Gen. 6:17) Why did He who "declares the end from the beginning" purposely allow that last atmospheric canopy to remain to cause the Flood, instead of precipitating it before man was created? The answer is that God foreknew the rebellion of Satan and his attempt to usurp God's kingdom and become the "prince of this world." (John 12:31 & 2 Cor. 4:4) God also foreknew that Adam would fall under the temptation which would come upon him. By permitting this temptation, He foresaw a way by which, ultimately, valuable lessons were given to angels and men. These lessons test the love and loyalty of God's creation, and when rightly learned, will serve their purposes to all eternity. All of God's dealings with His intelligent creatures are along the lines of absolute Justice, guided by Love Divine. But while Love can guide Divine Justice, Justice must be satisfied first, as we read: "Justice is the foundation of Thy Throne." Psalm 89:14
At the time of the Flood, wickedness was so great that conduct and thoughts were "only evil continually." (Gen. 6:5) This great increase of wickedness for 1600 years came not merely from human depravity, but by the connivance of some of the angels. These, although created holy and perfect, became enamored of sin through humanity, until they became disobedient to God. Enticed of the beautiful daughters of men, they took to themselves wives, preferring to live as human beings. (Gen. 6:1-2) Jude 6 declares that they "left their own habitation," or condition as spirit beings, in violation of the Divine Law. Instead of using their permission to appear as men to help mankind, they used this power to still more rapidly degrade humanity.
Moreover, the children born of these angels by human mothers were human beings of a new orderdifferent from Adam's family. They were "giants" both physically and mentally"men of renown" also known as Nephilim (Gen. 6:4) The fact that they grew to manhood and became renowned proves that this improper relationship between angels and humanity continued for centuries. Those giant sons of the angels, begotten in lust and in violation of the Divine Law, would not, naturally, be renowned for their virtues, but the reverse. Therefore, it does not surprise us to read these Nephilim reigned in tyranny over humanity, and that the whole earth was filled with violence through them. Gen. 6:11
God's displeasure would finally set an example of His opposition to sin and His determination that, eventually, it should be fully stamped out. But neither in this, nor in anything else, did God ever suggest torturing sinners throughout eternity. On the contrary, all those pre-flood sinners of Adam's race were as much redeemed by Christ's sacrifice as other sinners at any time. They belonged to the great mass of mankind, with whom Messiah will deal during his Millennial reign of righteousness. They, too, will all be resurrected and brought to an accurate knowledge of the Truth. (1 Tim. 2:3-6) The object in so doing will be that after lessons of chastisement for any willful disobedience, they may be, if obedient, fully recovered from sin and death. By God's mercy, they will then be brought back to all that was losthuman perfection and everlasting life in paradise restoredJesus' life being the ransom price to accomplish this. Isa. 26:9 & 1 Tim. 4:10
The Rainbow of Promise
The fitting of these facts to the Bible narrative is conducive to faith in God, His providence, and His Word. The grand conclusion of the Biblical narrative concerning the Flood also gives us faith in a God of mercy. The Lord has made an unconditional covenant with mankind through our representative, Noah, after the Flood. As representing the race of mankind, God covenanted with Noah that he would never again destroy the world with a "flood of waters," and the pledge of that unconditional covenant was the rainbow. The rainbow is a beautiful symbol of God's love and promise to provide, protect and prepare the world for an eternity of future blessings.
Note: Much of the scientific data in this article was gleaned from the scholarly dissertation of Dr. R. L. Wysong, DVM in his book Creation-Evolution: the Controversy (Midland: Inquiry Press, 1980).
Prophetic Fulfillment: NephilimGiants in the Earth
Jesus called our attention to the Flood and clearly intimated some parallel in the end of this Gospel age. He states that as it was in the days of Noah, they were eating and drinking, planting and building, and knew not until the Flood came and took them all away, even thus shall it be in the coming (parousia/presence) of the Son of Man. (Matt. 24:37-39) Jesus does not say that the similarity will be in the wickedness nor in the taking away, but merely in knowing not of the time. However, he does intimate that some great catastrophe is to be expected in the end of this age which in some sense or degree will correspond to the calamity in the days of Noah.
We find in 1 Peter 3:20, 21 a reference to Noah again. Peter suggests that Noah and his family saved in the Flood typified or represented the Gospel Church saved in the calamity which is about to overwhelm the world. This seems to further corroborate our Lord's intimations connected with the ending of this age and the inauguration of a new dispensation at his second presence.
The Ark of Salvation
Peter says that the Ark of salvation was a "like figure whereunto baptism doth now also save us." The Flood of water which covered the earth meant the death of the world. Noah and his family, although submerged in the same water were hidden in the Ark and were spared. Similarly here, those who are baptized into Christ, who become members of his body, enter the Ark of safety. Although baptized into his death according to the flesh, they are raised or "saved" on the other side of the Floodthe great calamity of death. Then, they shall live and reign with Christ, establishing God's righteous kingdom upon the "new earth" and teaching the resurrected world of mankind the truth of His loving character and plans. Isa. 26:9
St. Peter intimates that as a Flood of waters destroyed the human family in Noah's day, so fire will destroy in the end of this age. In the Winter 1999 End Times issue, it was shown by the Scriptures that this fire is symbolic of complete destructiona time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation. In this time of trouble, not only the symbolic heavens of religious authority and power shall pass away with a great commotion, a fire, but also the symbolic earth (the present social, financial, political structures) shall melt with fervent heat.
We remember Zephaniah's description of the same great event. After telling that the whole earth would be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy, he added, "Then will I turn unto the people a pure message that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." (Zeph. 3:8, 9) Thus we are shown that the fire which shall devour the whole earth will not be a literal one: although the social structure will be entirely consumed, the people will be left. Then God will give unto the people His message of truth in its purity. "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings," and "the earth shall be full with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the great sea." Mal. 4:2; Isa. 11:9
Giants of the Latter Days
It was the improper blending of spiritual and natural matters that brought to pass the giants of olden times and their corruption throughout the earth. And in this we find a remarkable parallel in our time. Are there not amongst men today giants of renown of almost unlimitable power? Are not the "trusts" and financial princes of the earth, financially strong beyond any dream of past centuries? Is it not through the operation of these that the great time of trouble and violence is coming upon the world?
In what sense were these "giant" corporations and trusts and massive fortunes developed? Are they of Third World origin? Of course not, these are the very ones who suffer most from these "giants" who are using the machinery of world government to increase their power by the coercion of the poor in Third World countries. For greedy gain, these giants increase in strength. Do not these giants really manage the wars and rule the kingdoms of earth? Unfortunately, we find it so.
The majority of Christian societies are far from being truly Christianized; nevertheless, the enlightenment which they have proceeds from Christianity. This enlightenment from what was meant to be pure and holy has been improperly received and improperly exercised in the world and has begotten the spirit of selfishness, reaching its development and maturity in these "giants." The whole earth will shortly be in their power, in their grasp, unless the Lord in his providence shall permit some great calamity to overthrow present institutions. God is about to permit the "wrath of man to praise him." This will work the overthrow, and enkindle the fire between capital and labor, between the giants and those who are more and more coming under their pressure and control. It will be a battle to the death of the civil, religious, political, social, and financial institutions of this present time, in the great time of fire and troublein anarchy. But, as with the Flood of Noah's day, there will be a great settling and cleansing as the "New Heavens" and the "New Earth," under the "Prince of Peace" is ushered in.A Firm Foundation: Reliable Witnesses of History
A Firm Foundation: Reliable Witnesses of History
To those who value the Biblical account of Noah and his Ark, it is interesting to note that the life spans of Noah and his ancestors were amazingly long. This Bible fact gives great credibility to the history of man according to the ancients. Noah was born only 126 years after the death of Adam. Noah was also a contemporary of Adam's grandson Enosh for a period of 84 years. Enosh was a contemporary of his grandfather Adam for about 695 years. This would give Noah and his sons very accurate accounts of pre-flood history. Noah lived another 350 years after the Flood and his son Shem (who many believe was the prophet, priest and king Melchizedek) lived 502 years after the Flood. This would make him a contemporary of the faithful patriarch Abraham for 150 years. After the life of Abraham, historical records are very clear, not only from Biblical, but also archeological accounts.
As to whether it was believable for men to live such long life spans, we have only to look at the atmospheric and hereditary components of the time to see that it was completely possible. Because of the canopy surrounding Earth, the harmful rays of the sun were blocked. This accounts for the lack of many of the diseases we see today, such as cancers, systemic lupus, etc. The final factor in the equation is heredity. Being closer to the perfection of father Adam, Noah and his ancestors would be of stronger physical constitution than subsequent generations.
"Spiritual Wickedness in High Places"
The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that we are to be aware "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." The fallen angels exert their influence on every form of evil. They strive to bring injury upon mankind and particularly the Church.
The demons, those angels who fell in the days of Noah, know their days are numbered and that the completion of the Church means their everlasting destruction. What better way to continue on in their miserable existence than to hinder the children of God from making their "calling and election sure?" The best way of deceiving a child of light is to transform into angels of light. Satan, their captain, has been their shining example. 2Cor. 11:14
The Word of the Lord to His consecrated followers is, "Watch ye, therefore, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things [coming upon the earth] and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21;36) We are to watch that we may not fall into the various snares of Satan and the demons that are coming upon the whole world to try the hearts of men.
Today's headlines are filled with the violence of hatred, and demons are certain to use their influence to intensify this hatred. This evil influence is having a particular affect on children even to the carrying out of horrific crimes. The commonality of all such violence is reported to be hideous video games, TV programs, movies, books and websites. Paul prophesied of this disturbing time: "...in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy..." 2 Tim. 3:1-7
Thank God for His rainbow of promise seen now by those who look through the eye of faith to the Word of God. This rainbow is the divine assurance that once this time of trouble is over, there shall never more be great calamities upon the world. Never again shall the world be left to fallen man, the demons, Satan, or to the kingdoms of this world. He who redeemed the world shall be its Lord and King, and the dominion shall not be given to another. When Messiah shall have conquered and put down everything contrary to the Divine will, then the Kingdom shall be delivered to God, even the Father, that he may be all in all. I Cor. 15:21-28