Matthew 24:30 and 36 to 39
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe 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.”
According to the Bible there are yet days to come on this earth which are designated “the days of the Son of man.” Those days are to be like the days of Noah.
Let us turn to Genesis and see what kind of days the days of Noah were and then we will study concerning the Son of man.
THE SONS OF GOD AND THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN
In the days of Seth, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26. But the descendants of Cain became great sinners. Note what God’s Book has to say about “the days of Noah.”
Genesis 6:1 to 22
1 “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3 And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 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.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beasts, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God.
10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looketh upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
17 And, behold, 1, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee, they shall be male and female.
20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
GENESIS 7:1 to 6
“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.”
GENESIS 7:18 to 24
“And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beasts, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and that were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”
GENESIS 8:18 to 22
“And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
From the Scriptures we learn much about the days of Noah. Those were evil days. Men were so wicked that God had to judge the world and destroy all flesh outside of the ark. God said to Noah, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” That was God’s message for that particular period. We have no Scriptural authority for applying this statement to this present dispensation of grace.
Noah constructed the ark according to God’s instructions. That ark was judgment-proof. When Noah and his family went into the ark God shut them in. God shut the door. Noah and his family were safe from the judgment of death.
The place of security today is “in Christ.”
“By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
II Peter 2:5
“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.”
Apparently very few heeded the warning of Noah. But God’s awful judgment fell. Noah was spared.
Now let us note carefully these verses:
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8.
“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1.
“And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.” Genesis 7:5.
“And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged.” Genesis 8:1.
“And God blessed Noah, and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1.
“And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish My Covenant with you, and with your seed after you.” Genesis 9:8 and 9.
“And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the Covenant, which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” Genesis 9:17.
There was abounding sin in the days of Noah. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Remember God’s statement in Romans 5:20: “But where sin abounded grace did much more abound.” There is abounding sin today; but more abounding grace.
We learn that Methuselah died the year of the flood, 1656 A. H. Some Hebrews have taught that “Methuselah” means “cut off by many waters.” It is interesting to read concerning Methuselah’s father who never died.
Methuselah was 969 years of age when he died. Jared was 962 years of age. Adam was 930 years of age when he died. Noah lived to be 950 years of age and Seth 912 years.
Hebrews 11:5 and 6
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Genesis 5:21 to 23
“And Enoch lived sixty and five years and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years; and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years.
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
Jude 14 and 15
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
As Enoch was translated and did not taste death, so many believers, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, will not taste death.
I Thessalonians 4:16 and 17
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
This coming of the Lord Jesus Christ seems to be different from His coming as the Son of man as declared in Matthew 24:30, “the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Note the question concerning the coming of the Son of man in Luke 18:8:
“Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”
The Son of man asked this very interesting question in Luke 18:8: “When the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?” In Luke 21:25 He declares what shall be on the earth when He comes: “upon the earth distress of nations.” In the question of Luke 18:8 the Greek construction calls for a negative answer. The Son of man will not find faith on the earth. There was very little faith on the earth in the days of Noah. The days of the Son of man shall be like those days, only worse, according to:
Matthew 24:21 and 22
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
If the Lord Jesus Christ should come at this time for the Church, which is His Body, He would find more faith on the earth than was ever here, because there are more saved people. There are, perhaps, more real Christians in Chicago today than there ever were in Corinth, Rome, Ephesus, Antioch or in any other city in the days of the apostles. Therefore these are not “the days of the Son of man.”
Christ is now far above in heaven, Head of the Church which is His Body. Ephesians 1:19 to 22. When Christ shall appear then shall the members of His Body appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3 and 4. Christ is not the Son of man in His relationship and ministry to the Body-members. He is the Son of man to Israel and in the coming judgment of that Nation and other nations.
The only disciple of Christ who called Him the Son of man was Stephen: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56.
Here we note that Christ was in heaven some months after He had been put to death. He was standing while Stephen was giving to Israel a summary of Israel’s history.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Christ calls Himself by the title of Son of man 80 times. But it was He Who called Himself by that name and not others. As we study the different Scriptures we learn that it is difficult to understand just the significance of the title.
The hope of the Church, the Body of Christ, is the coming of Christ, the Head. The hope of Israel is the coming of Christ the Son of man as King. The Son of man was not speaking to the Body when He spoke in Luke 21:27 and 28 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
It is interesting to note “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations.” Matthew 25:31 and 32. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34.
WHO IS THIS SON OF MAN?
Some preachers have thought we could make Christ less Divine and more human by calling Him “the Son of man” rather than “the Son of God.” But note the question of the perplexed Jews: Christ had said “When ye have lifted up the Son of man then shall ye know that I am He.” John 8:28. “The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?” John 12:34. “Who is the Son of Man?” Christ Himself asked very much the same question: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Matthew 16:13. Note the answer of some who knew that He was some extraordinary Man. “Some say that Thou are John the Baptist: some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” Matthew 16:14. Note whom Peter declared Him to be: “And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16.
“Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” John 1:51. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13. “And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” John 5:27. “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:64. “And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” John 12:23. “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8. “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:30. “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed.” Luke 22:22. “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” Mark 2:10 and Luke 5:24.
In Colossians 1:13, we are told that members of the Body of Christ are in His kingdom, but there is a difference between Christ’s relationship to Israel as King and His relationship to His Body as Head. Read the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew and the sixth chapter of the Revelation to know what the days of the Son of man will be like.
1. How was Noah related to Seth?
2. What did men do when Seth was born?
3. What was the moral and spiritual condition of the human race when Noah lived before the flood?
4. What did God tell Noah He would do with man because of man’s awful wickedness?
5. How many years did God give man?
6. What did Noah do according to Hebrews 11:7? What was Noah according to II Peter 2:5?
7. What did Noah build in obedience to God’s command?
8. Whom did God invite into the ark?
9. Who went in with Noah? How many of each animal went into the ark?
10. For how many days did the rain descend? Is there any record that there had been rainfall before the flood?
11. What did Noah offer on the altar that he built after he came out of the ark? Did his offering please God?
12. Who died the year of the flood and at what age, according to Genesis 5:27? What happened to his father, Enoch?
13. What new covenant and responsibility did God give to and through Noah? Why did God put the rainbow in the clouds?
14. What coming days are to be like the days of Noah?
15. What is that time to be called according to Matthew 24:21?
16. What signs in the heavens and on earth will immediately precede the coming of the Son of man?
17. State a few facts concerning Christ in connection with His title, “the Son of man.”
18. Describe the coming of the Son of man to deliver Israel in their time of distress.
19. Who saw the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God?
20. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord in the days of abounding sin and was safe from God’s wrath in the ark. What about sin and grace in Romans 5:20? Who is the sinner’s ark of salvation today?
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.