Rev. Heys is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.

A striking thing about the first eight chapters of Genesis is that they give us such an awesome shadow of what we must and can expect in the days that lie ahead of us. The sin of Adam and Eve introduced wickedness into this world. That deviltry developed very rapidly, so that the first person born in this world committed the awful sin of killing his brother, because of the spiritual difference between them. Then in a relatively short period of time sin developed further and very rapidly so that it is stated in Genesis 6:5 that, “And God 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.” Then came the end of that world so that all the enemies of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ were wiped off the face of this earth. The church was saved; but the head of the seed of the serpent was crushed.

Now it is true that the seed of the serpent soon appeared again after the flood. For we are all conceived and born in sin; and although the seed of the woman in the ark had the beginning of a new spiritual life, they still had their old sinful natures which could only beget children that by nature were seed of the serpent, children conceived and born in sin. Covenant believing parents do not bring forth the seed of the woman. That is realized not by a natural birth but as a work of our covenant God in the way of a rebirth, that is, by a spiritual birth for which the parents receive absolutely no credit. By grace we are saved, through faith as God’s gift to us. As believing children of God we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.

This truth, literally stated in Scripture, ought to be taken hold of and taught our children early in life, yea, even committed to memory. Ephesians 2:8-10 ought to be written in their souls. The world today is full of the false doctrine that man makes himself a believer, by teaching that Christ comes and pleads with us to believe in Him, and that some do then accept Christ. Men are taught to ask Christ to come into their hearts. Revelation 3:20 is corrupted, for it is presented as an invitation that Christ gives us by knocking on the door of our hearts, asking to let Him come in.

Now, in the first place, dead men cannot hear any knock on the door. Maintaining that they can is denying that basic truth of Scripture that man died the day he sinned in paradise. Who is so foolish as to maintain that Adam died physically that day? Who dares to call God a liar, when He told Adam that he would die the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit? God did not say that death would begin to take hold of Adam. He said that he would die that day. Who dares to call Paul a liar, when he, as moved by the Holy Spirit, wrote in Ephesians 2:l that these Ephesians were dead in trespasses and sins before God quickened them, that is, made them alive? Paul was not writing to physically dead people. And, in verse 5 Paul even includes himself. He writes, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ.” Note the “we” and the “us” in this verse and that he is speaking of a spiritual death, a death in sin.

In the second place, that lie of Christ knocking at the door of man’s heart corrupts the text by bringing in to it that which God did not present in it. The word heart appears nowhere in this letter to the Laodiceans; and it is not even suggested anywhere in the whole letter. The letter addressed to the church, and to the angel of that church, declares that Christ is knocking at the church’s door, because there were still in it a few elect, born again children of God who must insist that Christ, Who was no longer preached in that church, be preached.

Here, again, spiritually dead men cannot hear that knock on the church’s door. And the shameful insult here is that the almighty, divine power of God can be frustrated by a dead man. God depends upon man for the realization of the salvation that He wants. Christ, the Son of God in our flesh, is dependent upon dead men for the realization of the kingdom He wants to realize. Dead men can perform an act whereby theliving Christ can be frustrated in His work of salvation.

It is true that the preaching—which is essential for our faith—brings us to the consciousness of a new life within us and makes us desire what we already have. But let us take a firm grip on that truth ofEphesians 2:8-10. Let it be repeated so that we are powerfully impressed by it: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before ordained that we should walk in them.” Notice that we are saved through faith and not because we provided ourselves with faith. We are saved because God engrafted us into Christ by that spiritual bond of faith. Listen to Jesus, Who always spoke the truth and never presented faith as that which we had to supply in order to be saved. He said, in John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent.” That was His answer to those who in verse 28 asked Him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus did not say, Make yourselves believe, fulfill that condition and then you will do the works that are pleasing in My eyes. No, faith is God’s work in us, not a work we bring to Him.

Go back again to Ephesians 2:8-10. Salvation is a gift which God brings us through, not because of, faith. Then, too, in verse 10 Paul presents the truth that we are created in Christ unto this good work of believing in Him. How much did Adam help God when he was created? He did not exist when God began to create Him. WE do not exist as children of God until He unites us to Christ by that spiritual bond of faith. And Paul correctly adds that we are God’s workmanship because we were created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, not because we performed the good work of believing in Christ. We do not accept Christ; but, by God’s grace, after we have been born again, we thank Him for the gift of faith.

We find then an interesting truth in Genesis 6:8. There we read: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” In chapter 7 we read of God wiping the seed of the serpent off the face of this earth. To Noah and his family He gave salvation. Upon the seed of the serpent He poured out destruction! Salvation is in its entirety a gift of God’s grace. To believe is to besaved. It is not something that brings salvation. It is an essential part of that salvation.

And here in the early days of the history of mankind a shadow looms on the horizon. Here we see what it going to happen to the antichrist and his kingdom. It is going to perish as surely as all except the church of God in that ark perished, and found it hopeless to be separate from the church of Christ, the Seed of the woman. Here too we see that all who belong to Christ, and are the seed of the woman by God’s grace, most assuredly will be saved from the awful wrath of God and enter into a new creation.

What we read in II Peter 2:5 is also interesting and instructive. Having spoken of God not sparing the fallen angels, Peter writes, “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” The world which existed from the creation week until the week God sent the flood to destroy all the ungodly, Peter, as guided by the almighty and all wise God, declared to be the first world. This means that God brought into being a new world. Here also then we have a shadow of what is coming to this world in which we live. This whole world in which we now live is going to be destroyed, even as the first world was by the flood. A new, most wonderful and glorious new heaven and earth are coming; and all the seed of the serpent are going to be cast into the lake of fire, so that we will now have a spiritually perfect world, the kingdom of heaven. It was only a picture, and a shadow, when God wiped the wicked off that first world and realized a new world wherein only His church lived. Even as the first world, realized in the first six days of creation, this kingdom of heaven will NOT come forth by an evolutionistic process of billions of years. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead shall be raised incorruptible (I Cor. 15:52). That wonderful, glorious change—a change far greater than the one that brought forth man so much higher than the ape and beasts of the field—is not by an evolutionistic process. Look at a real object. It will determine what its shadow will be like. The shadow of a chimney upon a house will not display a billion chimneys on that house. Neither does this new creation, coming in the twinkling of an eye, in a moment, rather even than in a few years, come by an evolutionistic process of billions of years. Of that you may be sure. God says it in I Corinthians 15:52 even as He says it in Genesis 1-11. Even as He can bring forth that new creation simply by calling it into being, so He can and did bring forth the first world by a call, and, as He said, do so in six days which each had only one evening and one morning.

Do we not also read in Psalm 33:9, “For He spake, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast”? Never mind what so-called theistic evolutionists say. Listen to what God Himself says. It is not necessary to have a committee decide whether the evolutionists are right or not. It is necessary that we listen to our God, Who made all things and knows much more about how He did it, than the creatures which He made know and are able to explain how He did it.

Then too, did it take even half a billion years for Jesus to raise from the dead Lazarus, whose body had been dead already for four days? Can the evolutionist and theistic evolutionist explain how in nine months Jesus’ body was formed in Mary without an earthly father? Go to the hospital and count the hours it takes for, the surgeon to do that which will save the life of a person, or improve his physical condition. Today, after and through surgery that takes hours, a man’s heart may be removed, and the heart of another person may be implanted in his chest. Yet Christ got the heart of Lazarus to beat again in the time it took Him to call, “Come forth.” Here is no evolutionistic process. Similarly, in a moment He caused the blind to see, the lame to walk. Yes, all this was contrary to what men call scientific principles. And since in a moment God could do all these things, and tells us that He did them, how can we dare to deny that He brought forth the first world by calling it all into being in six days of twenty-four hours each? If we are going to believe—and we must—what He says of Himself in the New Testament, why dare we deny what He says of His work in Genesis l-11? When the shadow is round, and has no sharp edges to it, how dare we say that the object which casts it is square with sharply defined corners? Why dare we listen to unbelievers, who call themselves evolutionists, rather than listen to God?

As already pointed out, sin developed rapidly in that first world. This is a shadow of what is happening in the world that came into being after the flood. And as we are in the period of time foreshadowed in those years just before the flood, we do well to take careful note of what is happening all around us today. Sin is growing in the lives of the seed of the serpent. Some sins that hurt the flesh of men are still frowned upon and punished. But transgression of most of the ten commandments is not only allowed, it is even advocated. Desecrating the Sabbath is encouraged, and those who rule our land openly tempt man to do so. Adultery is not only openly practiced, but that which entices our youth—as well as adults—to commit this evil is publicly allowed and practiced. We are encouraged to covet what our neighbors have. Dishonoring the authorities is permitted and defended.

And the awesome thing is that in the church world there is such a development of sin. This we will have to consider next time.