THE ARK AND TIME
[This evangelistic message, which has been revised, was first published in Nov-Dec. 1970 in a local Christian magazine.]
Bible Prophecy: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ARK and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." -- Matthew 24:37-39
THE EVIDENCE OF THE FLOOD
For untold centuries, mankind had sought to discover the large boat which Mister Noah sailed on the great flood that covered the earth in his generation. At the same time, many were sceptical of the Biblical fact that there was a Mister Noah who built a huge Ark which provided safety for him and his family during a great flood, caused by a torrential rain lasting forty days and forty nights, that covered the surface of this earth.
However, the scepticism of man, especially of this wicked Noahic generation, was turned to nought -- some 20 years ago. For Science, Archaeology and History, working alongside one another, have brought to light the evidence that the Noahic flood did take place some 4,500 years ago just as the Bible has recorded.
THE ARK IN THE NEWS
But what happened to Mister Noah's Ark? Where is it?
Well, let's just say IT'S IN THE NEWS.
According to the many newspaper reports in America and Canada, since 1969, a six-man team of Scientists and Explorers had planned and was spending millions of dollars in digging into a glacier on Mount Ararat in northeast Turkey near the Russian border, where they believed the Biblical Ark was buried (cf.Gen.8:4). The director of field operations, Harry Crawford, in a news conference stated that his party would attempt to remove from an ice pack above 13,500 feet elevation on the 17,000 foot mountain a "dark object" that cast a ship-like shadow when surface snow was melted. However, this "dark object" was not something new, for reports of the presence of a large vessel high on Mount Ararat had persisted for centuries.
In 1840, a team of avalanche workers reported that they had sighted the prow of a ship jutting out from an ice pack. Crawford said that not only did commercial pilots report that they had sighted a ship-like shadow in the ice near the top of the mountain, but that he and another explorer also did see a similar object from a cliff above the site. He estimated the object to be 450 feet long. (Note: The length of Noah's Ark measured 300 cubits which is equivalent to approximately 450 feet, if the cubits mentioned in Genesis 6:15 is "sacred.") Could that be the remains of Noah's Ark? James M. Lee, one of the team member, said: "Something is under the ice on Mount Ararat, where it has no logical business to be. If it is not the ark, what is it?" It would also be interesting to note that Explorer Marco Polo had mentioned of an ark near the summit of Mount Ararat in 1300 A.D. during one of his famous journeys.
The expedition team was then studying ways to melt the 100 feet by 450 feet glacier and was then expecting to recover the find by the middle of 1971. Wood were found on both sides of the ice pack. The wood were tooled out and the pieces sent for examination. Ralph E. Crawford, president of SEARCH FOUNDATION, INC., using methods which measured the rate of decay of radio-active carbon in the wood, concluded that the pieces of hand-tooled wood were between 4,000 to 5,000 years old. (However, a few other highly respected laboratories disputed this claim.) Other scientific studies supported Crawford's finding. Yet, Robert Faylor, another member of the team, declared: "I can't explain how wood of that size and age could get to that height. Whatever is there, is going to be of great archaeological interest."
Unfortunately, the search for Noah's Ark was halted when a killer quake struck Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey on November 24, 1976 killing 5,000 people. Since then, the Turkish government has banned foreigners from going to the mountain. Some reports said that the shaking might have exposed the Ark for the world to see. But the reason given for the ban was the tense political situation in that region, for the Soviet border was just to the north and the Iranian border to the south.
Explorers have not given up their desires to search for the Ark on Mt. Ararat. Several of them have been seeking permission from the Turkish government to make another expedition.
Since the late 1990s, a group of researchers have been focusing on using the latest remote sensing technology to search for the remains of Noah's Ark and other sites of interest.
AS IT WAS SO SHALL IT BE ALSO!
And TIME marches on, but what has the ARK got to do with it?
Much! Not only does the search for the Ark enlighten the Christians, and others in the world today, who believe this historical fact that the "ship" of Mister Noah did exist, it also gives a prophetic view and warning of this endtime days.
"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 the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." -- Gen.6:5,11
That was approximately 1,600 years after Adam. Then, God decreed a flood for the degenerated and rebellious sin-filled souls of men and women. And He also decreed an Ark for Mister Noah and his family -- for the Bible says "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Gen.6:8).
For centuries that tremendous historical event (which is also of prophetic significance) has stood out in the Word of God as a warning and reminder to mankind to prepare themselves for the soon return of Jesus Christ. "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man" (Lk.17:26).
Yes, truly we can see that the conditions of the present day world are very similar to that of the time of Noah, prior to the flood of judgement. In the time of Noah, the world was filled with all kinds of sins -- violence, wickedness, lewdness, sexual perversion, covetousness, idolatry, selfishness, pride, blasphemy, unholiness -- so is the world today! You name it, the world has it!
It is generally believed that God gave the people in the time of Noah a hundred and twenty years to repent but this mini-skirted generation of ours would not last another generation. "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because He hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness " (Acts 17:30-31).
THE JUDGEMENT MUST COME!
Is it a mere coincidence that the search of the lost Ark has to take place right in the midst of this Noahic generation? Why would some explorers be so dead set against destroying all evidence of the Ark? Or could it be that God is playing the TIME to cause this prophecy to be fulfilled to the very words of Luke 17:26 -- "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man?" During his time, Noah built the Ark and finished it before the flood came. And now man is searching for the Ark which may possibly be found before the judgement comes. But the judgement must come!
THE DESTRUCTION OF FIRE
Perhaps, God will allow the lost Ark to be found so that He can use it as a tangible evidence of His Truth against an unbelieving world. What exciting news will it be when the Ark would be heralded throughout the four corners of the earth as a warning to all men of a repetition soon of such a judgement, not with water but with fire, "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Pet.3:6,7) -- and it will happen after the sabbatical millennium.
THE SAFETY ARK
Today while man is enthusiastically searching for the Ark of old, piloted by Captain Noah, yet many have not come to the knowledge that the Merciful Creator of Life has provided another Ark not made with hands, but which is far better than the former -- the Safety Ark of Jesus Christ.
Mankind is now seeing a repeat of Noah's days which will be followed by Christ's Second Advent and God's fearful judgement. What, then, are you doing? When the time is due, and the door of God's Safety Ark, whose Captain is Jesus, is closed, would you be sailing with Him towards a Heavenly life? Where will you be, then, when God begins to judge the world?
And you, Christian friend, what about you? What are you doing before God pours forth His wrath upon this wicked "No Way Out" generation? Is your life a witness of the Gospel, and are you ready at the same time to answer "Aye, aye, Sir!" to Captain Jesus' call to set sail? Are you labouring, as you ought to labour, to bring into the Safety Ark men, women, boys and girls of every race, as Brother Noah did to the animals that must be saved? Or, are you just plainly playing `Christian' with a Sunday Religion? Saint Noah laboured everyday before the Flood, so must you!
THE MIDNIGHT CRY!
The culminating clouds of fulfillment of Bible prophecies are rolling on the horizon of these last few hours of the last days to bring the civilizations of this wicked world to a climactic close. Truly, the ARK and the TIME are marching on to the "Midnight Cry".
FOREWARD: FROM THE PREACHER'S DESK
SECTION I: WOMEN'S FASHIONS
SECTION II: THE EARTHQUAKES AND TIME
SECTION III: CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST -- WHO WILL WIN THE WAR