The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 7-6] (Genesis 7:1-24) The Laborers of God

(Genesis 7:1-24)
“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. On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark—they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in. Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.”
 
 
It is written in Genesis 7:1-5: “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.”
Here God told Noah to take into the ark two pairs of unclean animals, male and female, and seven pairs of clean animals, male and female as well. This is a very important passage. God was telling Noah to save every living species when He judged this world with water. So all the species living on the face of this earth came into the ark without any exception. Why did God say this? That God told Noah to take into the ark two pairs of unclean animals, male and female, means that He entrusted him with the work of saving every soul. Put differently, God had taken Noah as His laborer to fulfill His will. As you will soon come to understand, Noah worked with God to bring unclean and clean animals into the ark.
 
 
God Works with His Servants
 
God chose a partner, and this partner was none other than Noah. God then said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household. 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.” It was through Noah that God carried out the work of judging this earth and saving its souls. We should all grasp here that it was through Noah, and together with him, that God did His work.
As mentioned, God took Noah as His partner, but what kind of work must those who have become God’s partners carry out then? First, God had told Noah to take into the ark seven pairs of clean animals and two pairs of unclean animals, male and female. In the Bible, the word “pair” implies working together. God was telling Noah that he had to work with Him when he brought in unclean animals into the ark. By working together with God, Noah had to cleanse and perfect the unclean and then bring them into the ark.
For each and every age, God raises His servants and manifests His will through them, entrusting them with His work. God worked through Noah in his days. It was Noah whom God had commanded to make the ark and to bring in animals. In other words, God had chosen Noah as His servant and worked through him. It’s invariably through His servants that God fulfills His will.
My fellow believers, unless we work together with God, we cannot bring unclean animals into the ark. Unless you unite with God and the servants ordained by Him, you cannot save any soul no matter how hard you try. You’ll realize this once you actually start working.
To whom did God speak? He spoke to Noah, His chosen man. When we reflect on the Bible, we can realize that whenever human beings united just among themselves without giving any heed to God, God scattered them all (Genesis 11:9). However, when we unite with the will of God, He fulfills His will through His servants. Noah brought into the ark two pairs of unclean animals, male and female. That God told Noah to take two pairs into the ark implies that we should work together with God. For us to work with God, we must accept His heart in its entirety and unite with it. Unless we do so, how else would God be able to entrust us with His work that draws unclean animals into the ark and saves them?
We cannot work with God with our own thoughts. It’s because Noah had forsaken his thoughts and united with God that God could choose him as His partner, work with him, and entrust him with His work. God also wants us to unite with Him in His Church. It’s through His servants that the Word of God comes to the Church. Therefore, those who unite with God’s Church are His partners, and God is calling them to carry out His work. God needs those who would carry out His work together, united with His Church. However, while some people unite with God’s Church after being born again, others fail to do so.
On this earth, there are many unclean animals—that is, those who have not been born again. God’s Church works to bring these unclean animals into the ark, and it needs coworkers who would unite with God for this work of salvation, act together, and take God’s work as their own. God raises as His partners those who believe in and follow His will, and it is through these people that God speaks and works.
God said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household,” and He also said to him, “Take with you seven pairs of clean animals and two pairs of unclean animals, male and female.” Those who work with God work according to His Word, not according to their own desire. In other words, God’s partners know His heart and work in union with His desire. How, then, can God’s servants know His heart? They can know His heart because God manifests it by speaking to His servants. God is alive. And He moves His servants’ hearts, works with them, and provides for all their needs. Although God is alive, because He is Spirit, it’s through human beings that He carries out the work of saving every soul. The Holy Spirit does not work by Himself. He speaks through the lips of the servants of God, and He invariably works through the Word of God.
God raised Noah as His servant to carry out His work and worked with him. Even though there were countless other people living in that age, God specifically chose Noah as His partner. In this present age also, although there are many people, God has raised us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as His partners. Having appointed His servants, God works through them. Your faith will grow tremendously once you realize this. If you believe that God works through His servants; that the Word preached by them is God’s Word; and that to work with your heart united with the hearts of these servants is to work with God, then this means that you have matured in your faith. I pray that you would all have such faith.
God worked through Noah, choosing him as His partner, bestowing His grace on him, and fulfilling His will through him. He gave His heart to Noah and spoke His will to him. And God told Noah to carry it out. God had bestowed His grace on Noah. He made Noah work, He let His thoughts be known to him, and helped him accomplish His work. Satan, on the other hand, stood against Noah, but Noah was victorious because God worked with him.
If Noah didn’t have the necessary materials to build the ark and found it hard to complete the ark, then God would have prepared all those materials for him. However, if Noah did not carry out God’s commandment even as all the materials were prepared by God, and therefore the ark was not built, then this would be disobedience to the will of God. As I see how God had worked through Noah who was rejoiced to obey His Word, I see that now in this age also, God speaks His plan to His servants and fulfills His will through these servants in the exactly same way. I can appreciate that now as back then, God’s heart remains the same.
Noah did everything according to the Word of God. Was he then ruined for this? No, of course not. No true servant of God has ever been ruined. God blesses all who are raised by Him to be His partners. Without these servants of God, it’s difficult for anyone to meet God and hear from Him directly. It’s through God’s servants that we can realize His will. Therefore, to honor God’s servants and unite with them is to honor and unite with God. God bestowed His grace on Noah. It’s a blessing that you are able to carry out Gods’ work in this age, have fellowship with Him, and hear His teachings through His servants. It’s inside God’s Church that His grace is found.
 
 
To Unite with God’s Servants Is to Unite with God
 
God worked on animals only through Noah. He did not work directly on them. Like this, God manifests His will to His servants and works through them. In each age, God calls His partners and works with them. After the passing of Noah’s generation, God called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; after them He called Moses, Joshua, and the Judges; and then He called Samuel, and onto David afterwards. When Israel was divided into northern and southern kingdoms, God called countless prophets, from Elijah to Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and so forth, and He spoke through them and worked with them.
God then called John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord, and finally, He sent Jesus Christ to this earth. It is those who believe in and unite with His will whom the Lord calls to be His disciples. Infallibly, it is through His servants that God works. Therefore, to disobey the will of the servants of God is to disobey God Himself. How could you know God’s will all by yourself? It’s when you know the hearts of the servants of God that you can realize His will. If you look for the will of the servants of God and follow it with full appreciation, then none other than this is to follow the will of God, and the life that follows the will of God is the most blessed life for us.
God spoke to Noah in detailed and concrete terms how he should build the ark, saying to him, “The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side” (Genesis 6:15-16). Likewise, God instructs His servants today how they should build the ark in detail. This means that God speaks to His servants in concrete terms how they should establish and lead the Church. When we listen to and understand this Word of God, and we unite our hearts with this Word, we can be led by God and follow Him. To know and unite with the hearts of the servants of God is none other than working together with God. God’s fellow workers are those who unite themselves with His servants. If anyone does not unite with God’s servants, then he cannot be raised as God’s partner. It’s nothing more than sheer arrogance for anyone to judge and think all on his own.
I am determined to lead our gathering as the true Church that shares with all the people of the world the grace that we have received from God. Thus far we have received tremendous grace from God, and our Church must share this grace of God with the entire world. It’s my sincerest desire that God would lead our Church to grow and share our wealth, faith, and every spiritual blessing that comes from God. We must unite ourselves with this will of God for His Church and work together. We must carry out such works by faith. Those who are ahead must become God’s partners by faith. All those who had built the ark united with Noah were God’s partners.
It’s the unclean and the clean whom we should bring into God’s Church. Either those who are clearly sinless or those who are clearly sinners should come into the Church; there is no middle ground here. Of course, the unclean must be cleansed of their sins before entering God’s Church; someone who is clearly a sinner must receive the remission of his sins through God’s Church, be made completely righteous, and then come into the born-again Church of God. There are no wobblers in God’s Church; in God’s Church, there is no one who is a sinner one minute and a righteous person the next minute. It’s in such a Church, where both its leaders and saints have clearly been born again, that we can work with God.
When we turn to the genealogy of Adam written in the Bible, we see that although Adam begot Cain and Abel, Cain killed Abel out of his wickedness, and so Seth continued on with Adam’s genealogy. This genealogy is written in Genesis chapter five. Noah was at the end of the genealogy of faith that began with Adam and continued onto Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech, who is the father of Noah, and it was in Noah’s days that judgment came.
What God is showing us through the descendants of Adam is that He works through the descendants of faith—that is, through His partners. Even now, God is fulfilling His will only through His servants. Do you believe this, my fellow believers? In other words, God fulfills His will through His partners who follow only His will. God took Noah as His partner. So in Noah’s days, God did not work except through Noah. God’s appointed leaders work with detailed plans. When it came to building the ark, Noah, too, had worked with a detailed plan for everything. So while even those who work with God’s servants do not always understand the purpose for their work, when the work is completed, they all come to realize why this work was done.
Even at this very moment, God is working through His partners. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, everyone who believes in this gospel receives the remission of sins. Those who hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit either reject this gospel or accept it. And we must draw into the ark only those who accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The born-again are protected and fed in the ark. God does these things through His servants. Some people take only what is good for them from the words of the servants of God, and refuse to listen to what is disadvantageous to them. When some unhappy situation unfolds later on as a result of not being led by the servants, if they are asked why they didn’t listen to the words of God’s servants, they say, “When did they say such things to me?” They don’t even remember when they heard such words of admonishment from the servants of God precisely because they had always ignored the servant’s words and took them too lightly.
Those whose faith is immature do not have the proper perception of God’s servants. They just try to befriend God’s servants in carnal terms, since it looks as though they have the power in the Church. However, the saints should try to learn spiritual lessons from God’s servants. If you want to hear God’s Word, you must hear the Word that comes out through the lips of His servants, for that is the very voice of God. Once you hear the concrete Word of God through His servants, you will be able to realize how God is leading you. Does God speak to you directly? No. It’s to His servants that God speaks, and it’s through His servants that God works.
Therefore, you must be able to recognize God’s partners and unite your heart with them. You have to realize that it’s a blessing to be able to recognize God’s servants, and to follow them by uniting yourself with their faith and plans. At the time of Noah’s flood, all those who cooperated with Noah were God’s partners.
God works together with His partners. You must therefore first examine yourself to see whether or not you are really God’s coworker. If you are indeed serving the gospel united with God’s Church, then you are God’s partner. Even now, God is still calling for His coworkers. He is calling for the partners who would work with Him to fulfill His will.
It is God’s will to save all those destined to destruction in this world. Through His Church, God enables all these doomed people to escape from eternal condemnation. It is the will of God to save and protect everyone through His Church. Therefore, to fulfill this will of God, we must build the ark. We have to make the ark, put rooms in it, prepare food, and get everything ready inside. The ark here denotes God’s Church. It’s to His partners that God has entrusted this work. Even at this very moment, God is still calling for the coworkers who would carry out His work.
I ask you not to be happy at just having received the remission of your sins. Rather, you should examine yourself to answer these questions: “Have I really united with God? Have I united with His coworkers? Do I have this faith to unite myself with God’s Church? Do I trust in God’s servants?” And when you are truly united with God, your heart will be even more rejoiced. If any soul comes to receive the remission of sins, we must teach this soul how he should live his life now that he has been remitted from all his sins. Once born again, it is absolutely indispensable for everyone to know how he should live to lead an upright life. It’s very important to every Christian’s life to work together with God.
What good is it to just be born as a human being? If someone is fed with wolf milk and howls like a wolf, living and dying a beastly life devoid of humanity, then how could this person be described as a human being? However, if someone is born again, and comes to learn and find out the answers to the following questions, then he is a truly happy person: “What is the will of God for me, and what does He want from me? What is God’s purpose for mankind? In what way does He want me to work? What is His ultimate plan?” I believe that while it is also important for the lost souls to be born again, it is even more important to nurture them once they are born again.
We need to ask ourselves how we should nurture and bring up the born-again. At the time of Noah’s flood, only his family of eight were saved. Except for two pairs of unclean animals and seven pairs of clean animals, male and female, all the rest of the creatures were judged by water. And after 150 days, the water that had covered the world receded away. Together with his family and all the animals that had come into the ark, Noah lived a new life in a world whose judgment had passed.
I admonish you to realize the fact that God carried out His work through Noah, and that God took those who worked with Noah as His partners. Even now, God is building Noah’s ark. To this end, He is still looking for His partners.
The Church needs workers. Noah was a partner of God who had worked united with God. This unity with God is absolutely critical. Because God fulfills everything through His servants and shares His heart with them, we must ask Him to let our hearts be united with Him. I hope and pray that all of you would obtain this kind of heart that is united with God, and to bring joy to Him as His partners. Remember that Noah was used as God’s precious instrument because he had united himself with God. Just as countless animals were saved as Noah was used by God, when we unite with God in our lives, we can save countless souls. When we abide in God, we can avoid judgment, and we can also live wonderful lives in a world where judgment has gone by.
In the new world that opened after the end of the flood, what did Noah plant for the very first time? It was vine. I admonish you to realize that once this present age is over, there will only remain true joy. That those who are working with God are able to rejoice even in their weariness is precisely because they have the faith that God Himself is with them, and they have hope for the new world that they will all enter. That’s why the Bible says, “He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6).
Is your heart always united with God? Have you united with God knowing His plan? I want all of you to unite yourselves with the will of God. Only then can you become God’s partner. God does not work on anyone who does not unite with His will.
God accomplished His every work by taking Noah as His partner. Even now, God is also speaking to you and manifesting His will to you. Some people unite themselves with this will, while others refuse to do so. But you must all work together with God and be united with Him once you are born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For the born-again, uniting with God in their lives is a must, not a choice. We the born-again must know what is right, and live according to the will of God.
If we are unable to serve the gospel faithfully due to the lack of resources in the Church, then this means that we have not united ourselves with God fully. Whether our number is large or small, if we ourselves are really working together with God, then it’s impossible for us to find ourselves in a situation where we are unable to serve the gospel from the lack of resources or financial shortages. If there now isn’t enough financial resources for us to share the gospel all over the world to our hearts’ content, then it’s all because we still have not united ourselves with God fully.
Are you God’s partner? Or are you just standing idle as a spectator to God’s work? I have no doubt whatsoever that you are God’s partner abiding in His Church. God worked through Noah and fulfilled His every will. I give all my thanks to God. I admonish you all to unite with God’s servants. I am sure that you know what the Truth is, and that you would unite with what is true and right. I hope and pray that you would all become God’s partners who praise the Lord for saving every one of you, who know His plans that would be fulfilled through you, who yearn for this will of God to be fulfilled, and who follow the Lord faithfully.