“Then the LORD said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.’ And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.”
When Noah finished building the ark, God said to him, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). Previously in chapter six, God had told Noah to bring in two of every living creature into the ark to keep them alive, male and female (Genesis 6:19), and in chapter seven, God specifically told him to take into the ark seven of every kind of clean animals and two of every kind of unclean animals, male and female.
Like this, God usually tells us the gist first, and then He tells us in detail. The same thing happened in Genesis chapters one and two. In chapter one, we see how God created the heavens and the earth and all their hosts during the first five days, and made them multiply; on the sixth day, He created mankind, and He said that it was good in His sight. In chapter two, we see God explaining to us in more detail what He said in chapter one. It explains that God rested on the seventh day and blessed this day, and it also explains in more detail how God made mankind. God formed man with the dust of the ground, blew life into his nostrils, and thus made him a living being.
Like this, in Genesis chapter seven, God is explaining what He said in chapter six in more detail. In chapter six, God had told Noah to build an ark, enter it, and take with him two of every living creature of all flesh into the ark, male and female. In chapter seven, God spoke to him more specifically, commanding him to take into the ark seven of each clean animal and two of each unclean animal, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of the earth. Noah did according to all that God commanded him.
Why, then, did God tell Noah to take into the ark seven of every kind of clean animals, male and female, and two of every kind of unclean animals, male and female? Clearly, God commanded Noah specifically like this because He had something to say to us through this passage. In other words, through this passage God is explaining to us what is spiritual, what is carnal, and what is perfect. People frequently waver back and forth between spiritual thoughts and carnal thoughts. Sometimes, as they are seized by carnal thoughts, their hearts are darkened and darkness clouds their spiritual condition as well, but at other times, spiritual thoughts prevail and they are filled with the Spirit of God.
What, then, does God say is to be spiritually minded? He says that faith in the Truth that God the Father has saved all of us humans through His Son is spiritual faith, and that to follow this Truth is to be spiritually minded. God had told Noah to take into the ark seven of every kind of clean animals, male and female, in order to remind us that we have received the remission of our sins by believing with our hearts that the Lord has blotted out everyone’s sins. To have such faith is to be spiritually minded. When we contemplate on how God the Father has perfectly saved us from all our sins through Jesus Christ, our thoughts are made whole. In other words, it is when we ruminate on the gospel of the water and the Spirit and remember the Word of God that our very thoughts turn spiritual. All of us must be spiritually minded.
We know very well the Truth that Jesus took away all our sins and we are therefore sinless. However, because we the born-again still continue to live with our flesh intact, we don’t always live with spiritual thoughts alone. God had told Noah to take into the ark two of every kind of unclean animals, male and female, and these unclean animals refer to none other than our carnal thoughts. In other words, just as unclean animals had come into the ark, so do we still have unclean flesh.
Why, then, did God tell Noah to bring two of every unclean animal, male and female, into the ark, while He told him to bring seven of every clean animal, male and female? This means that as the Spirit and the flesh are constantly struggling against each other in the hearts of us the born-again, our minds must be more spiritual than carnal. In other words, while it’s inevitable for us to be trapped in our flesh until we are resurrected into a new body, we must still obey God’s will commanding us to be spiritually minded. Spiritual thoughts, in other words, must be planted in us more firmly than carnal thoughts. We have to admit that both these thoughts, spiritual and fleshly, are present with us, and we have to ensure that spiritual thoughts prevail over carnal thoughts in our hearts.
We must be spiritually minded always. Depending on whether one thinks spiritually or not, there is a huge difference in the result of his faith. If we accept and follow the Truth, that God the Father has blotted out all the sins of the entire human race and saved us through His only begotten Son, our thoughts will then be made spiritual. Only then can we follow spiritual faith. Therefore, we must be filled with spiritual thoughts. This is what God is teaching us through today’s Scripture passage, where He commanded Noah to bring into the ark seven of clean animals, male and female. We must always be spiritually minded and profess, “There is God—the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The Father of Jesus Christ has saved us through this Son. By believing in Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the blood, we have been saved according to the will of the Father, and we are His children. We have the Heavenly Father. God has fulfilled His work of salvation completely and perfectly like this.” When we thus believe so, our thoughts are made whole, and therefore we can avoid following the flesh.
However, God also said to Noah to bring two of unclean animals, male and female, into the ark as well. In other words, even unclean animals were in the ark. This implies that if we are not careful with our thoughts, it’s more than possible for us to fall into carnal thoughts. Put differently, even though we have received the remission of sins, if we are seized by carnal thoughts like unclean animals, and we are therefore unable to think spiritually, then our hearts will be darkened right away. When we are bound in our fleshly thoughts, we no longer think about the perfect salvation that God has fulfilled for us. If we fall into the thoughts of the flesh and rely on our own carnal thoughts, then even we the born-again will be spiritually darkened. We must therefore always think properly. In other words, even after we have been saved, we must always be spiritually minded.
In Genesis 6:19, the Lord had said to Noah, “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.” Why did God then say more specifically in the next chapter, “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female”? God gave us this concrete Word in order to let us know what spiritual thoughts are, and to make us spiritually minded. For our thoughts to be made whole, we must always ruminate by faith on the Truth that God the Father has saved us by blotting out everyone’s sins. While we have both spirit and flesh, to follow the will of God, we must ruminate on what God the Father planned and accomplished for us.
Clearly, both the perfect thoughts of the Spirit and the imperfect thoughts of the flesh are present with us. Although we have been saved spiritually, it’s still possible for our thoughts to go completely astray. That is why God is telling us to wholly believe that He has saved us perfectly. Our thoughts must therefore be upright. We must ensure that our thoughts abide in the will of God the Father. What the Father wants, we, too, should be mindful of, and where His will stops, so should our thoughts stop.
God could have said to Noah to bring eight of clean animals, male and female, or five. Why did God then specifically command Noah to bring in seven? The number seven denotes perfection. It is God’s number. The seventh day of the week is God’s day. In other words, God is explaining to us what perfect thought is. Our thoughts must be proper. Our thoughts must abide in perfection. You and I have no sin, for we have been saved. So accordingly, we should always think, “God the Father has saved us through His Son. Everyone is therefore sinless.” That is the proper thought. By believing in this Truth with the heart, we reach salvation, and by confessing this faith with our lips, we reach righteousness.
After being born again and becoming righteous, where should we set our thoughts? Our thoughts should abide in the perfect will of God. Depending on whether our thoughts abide in the Word of God or in our flesh, we can either bear the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the flesh. Our bodies are instruments to carry out spiritual work. Therefore our thoughts must be united with what God the Father has done for us. That is to be spiritually minded.
Now, you have received the remission of sins. Nevertheless, don’t you sometimes still allow unclean animals to come into the ark of your thoughts? Of course you do. What happens then? When our thoughts are set on unclean animals, do we not come to care about only our own flesh? When our thoughts fall into the flesh, we become obsessed only with our own flesh, unable to see what is spiritual. Serious problems then arise. Even though we say, “Jesus has clearly blotted out all my sins, and that’s how I’ve received the remission of my sins,” if our thoughts fall into the flesh, then we cannot follow God’s righteousness, despite the fact that we have been made perfect as the Lord has blotted out all our sins. Just as our hearts are sinless and perfect, so must our thoughts abide in what God the Father has done for us. Only then are we ruled by spiritual thoughts and able to lead a perfect life trusting in and serving the righteousness of God.
What has God the Father done for us? By sending His only begotten Son, God the Father has blotted out all our sins and turned us into sinless people. He has made sinless not just us, but everyone else. We have received the remission of our sins through Jesus Christ.
This salvation was not fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone. It was achieved by the will of God the Father. God the Father has not only saved us through His Son, but He has also shown us His infinite love and majestic will, and He has made us come into this love and this will of His to see the world and ourselves through His prism. Therefore, for us to lead a spiritual life, our thoughts must rest in what God the Father has done for us through His Son, in His perfect and majestic plan, and in His work as well. Only then can our thoughts also be spiritual. It is when our thoughts abide in this gospel, in God’s plan of salvation and His love, and we thus see the world through His eyes, that we come to practice spiritual faith, spiritual thoughts, and spiritual deeds. It is when our thoughts are found within the will of the Father that He shines His light upon us.
We have not only been saved through Jesus, but we have also been made righteous and renewed in our thoughts and even unto knowledge (Colossian 3:10). Therefore, we must see the world from such faith and such a perspective that through His Son, God the Father has blotted out all the sins of everyone in this world and saved us perfectly from our sins. The Lord said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34). The eye here refers to our hearts and our thoughts. That the heart is dark is the same as saying that the thought is dark.
God said to Noah, “I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” This passage means that God is commanding us to keep what is perfect in our hearts. What is perfect in us? It is none other than our faith that God has saved everyone in this world through His Son. In other words, God is telling us to make sure that this faith is found in our hearts and to think according to this faith. As our salvation was fulfilled under this majestic plan of the Father, we must be mindful of what He has done for us. God wants us to have such faith and such thoughts. Even though the redeemed still retain their flesh, God wants us to have the same viewpoint as the Father and to see the world through such eyes of faith in our lives. Just as God the Father sees us through the righteousness of salvation fulfilled by His Son, so must we see this world through such eyes of faith.
Do you now realize what kind of faith God the Father wants us to have? Do you also understand what it means when God the Father says that He wants us to abide in Him? God says that the saved must keep their hearts with all diligence above all else (Proverbs 4:23). From where then does this heart come? Everyone has a spirit, a soul, and a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and one’s heart is found in his spirit. God the Father leads our hearts spiritually, and our hearts are ruled by our thoughts.
Therefore, for our thoughts to be perfect, we must have the faith that God the Father has saved everyone perfectly all over the world through His Son, and we must see the world through such eyes of faith. It is then that our hearts and our thoughts are made perfect. However, if our eyes don’t see that God the Father has saved everyone through Jesus Christ, and instead we fall into our own thoughts of the flesh and think of everything in carnal terms, then our minds will go astray. In other words, unless we see ourselves with the eyes of faith, then we are bound to fall into carnal thoughts and continue to walk in this mistaken direction, until even our hearts go astray. What prevents us from seeing through God’s eyes is none other than such carnal thoughts. When the righteous fall into the thoughts of the flesh, it is inevitable for them to go astray.
God wants us to be perfect even unto our thoughts. That He had told Noah to take seven pairs of every kind of clean animals means that He commanded us to have proper thoughts in us. God wants even our thoughts to be perfect. If our thoughts go astray, our hearts will be darkened; and when our hearts are darkened, our lives of faith will turn into a struggle for us. Our eyes cannot see what is right when our hearts are dark; hope will then disappear from us; and far from growing, our faith will be completely lost.
For us to be spiritually minded, we must see everything through such eyes of faith, believing that God the Father has saved everyone all over the world through Jesus Christ. It is then that we can carry out spiritual work before God, do the work of faith under His plan, have hope in our hearts, and lead a perfect life in the light as its children.
However, if our thoughts go astray, then our lives of faith will also go completely astray. You have to realize that even though you have received the remission of sins, if your thoughts go astray, then everything else will also go astray. With this realization, then, you should see the world through God’s eyes, and ensure beforehand that your thoughts would never go astray. When we think according to what God says, believe according to His Word, and have hope according to this Word of God, we can prevent our thoughts from going astray. If our thoughts, hearts, or faith is filled with only with our own narrow-mindedness, then we cannot follow the spiritual will of the Father. You must grasp that it is only when you think according to the Word of God and under His plan that you are made perfect.
God had commanded Noah to take into the ark seven pairs of every kind of clean animals, male and female, and two pairs of every kind of unclean animals. Noah did everything according to how the Lord God commanded him. We, too, must see the world with the eyes of faith, believing in the Truth that through Jesus Christ, God the Father has saved the entire human race with the water, the blood, and the Spirit. We should never see the world bound in our own flesh.
What does it mean to be bound by one’s own flesh? It means to follow one’s own thoughts. If we are bound by the flesh, our hearts are darkened, and we eventually end up following this darkened heart. We must never follow our flesh like this. Therefore, we have to think of God the Father, and look at what He has done for us through His Son. Moreover, we are God the Father’s children. We must be spiritually minded as His children and His workers. Just as God the Father is perfect, so must our thoughts also be perfect according to His will and plan. In other words, we have to see the world through God’s eyes and live by faith.