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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

Lord’s Day Morning, September 17, 2000

“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”

(Hebrews 11:7).

            The Flood of Noah’s time was the greatest catastrophe in human history.  But modern geologists say it never happened.  They say that there is no evidence for a universal Flood.

             Creation Science, on the other hand, says that there is plenty of physical evidence for the Flood.  We say that they have misread the facts of the fossil record. We say that fossil sea shells, discovered on some of the highest mountains of the earth, show that these mountains were once covered by water.  We say that the Grand Canyon stands as mute evidence of the Flood.  We say that the “mainstream geologists” have read the fossil record wrong.

             Here is an interesting reevaluation of the possibility of at least a large local flood, given on the front page of the Los Angeles Times a few days ago:

 Discovery Lends Credence to Account of Noah’s Flood

Archaeology:  Ancient Building Found in Black Sea shows people lived in area that is now under water.


              U.S. archaeologists have found the remains of a 7,500-year-old building, probably a house, more than 300 feet below the surface of the Black Sea, the strongest evidence yet of a catastrophic flood similar to the one portrayed in the biblical account of Noah’s ark.  

               Last November, explorer Robert Ballard, famed as the discoverer of the Titanic, reported evidence of a submerged shoreline several miles offshore from the current edge of the Black Sea and hundreds of feet below the surface.  

               The newly found house appears to have been on that beach.   

               “Now we know that people were living on that surface, because we are finding evidence of human habitation,” Ballard said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Washington Post from his ship 12 miles off the Turkish coast.  

               “This is amazing.  It’s going to rewrite the history of ancient civilizations because it shows unequivocally that the Black Sea flood took place and that the ancient shores of the Black Sea were occupied by humans,” said marine geologist William B. F. Ryan of Columbia University.  “This is a stunning confirmation of our thesis.”

               (Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2000,

                page A-1).

            This new “stunning confirmation,” to use their words, throws doubt upon what unbelieving geologists said previously about there being no flood.  If they were wrong on something as fundamental as this, it casts great doubt on their long-held rejection of Noah’s Flood, recorded in chapters six through eight of the Biblical book of Genesis. If they were so wrong on this gigantic flood in the region of the Black Sea, is it not possible that they are wrong as well concerning a universal Flood?  I say they didn’t know what they were talking about concerning this local flood.  These new facts prove that they were dead wrong.  And they are just as mistaken when they reject the fossil evidence of a world-wide Flood.  They just didn’t know what they were talking about.  These new facts prove it!

            The late Dr. M. R. DeHaan, in his classic book, The Days of Noah, said this:

It is not our purpose (in this book) to try to prove the occurrence of the flood or explain it on the grounds of tradition, geological evidence, or archaeological discoveries. The believer in the Word of God accepts the record of the Bible and needs no additional evidence or proof for the fact of a great flood which once engulfed the earth, although is it true that the traditions and legends of many nations contain records of the great deluge (the Flood).  These traditions of ancient peoples are of interest and bear some resemblance to the record in Genesis.  They were handed down possibly from the days of Noah, and though they are not necessary (to give “credence”) to confirm the Word of God, we mention some of them just as a matter of interest.


               An (ancient) Egyptian legend of the flood says that a long time ago the gods purified the earth by a great flood from which a few shepherds escaped by climbing a high mountain.


               The East Indian tradition relates that the great leader Manu was warned…of a coming flood and was commanded to build a vessel in which to find safety.


               The (ancient) Chinese tradition describes a flood as follows: “And now the pillars of heaven were broken, the earth shook to its foundations, the sun and the stars disappeared, the earth broke up and its waters within engulfed the earth and overflowed.  All these evils arose from man having rebelled against heaven, despising the supreme power of the Universe.”


               The (ancient) Greeks (said)…that the god Zeus was angry and threatened to destroy the earth.  Prometheus… warned his son Deucalion of the coming flood.  Deucalion then constructed an ark which eventually ran aground in Thessaly.  There he and his wife…(the only survivors in the world) repopulated the earth…


               In Britain there is an ancient Druid legend that, because of the wickedness of man, the Supreme Being sent a flood, when the waves of the sea lifted themselves up all around the island of Britain.  But a patriarch with a select company found refuge in a strong ship, survived the flood, and repeopled the earth. 


               Among the American Indians the tradition of the flood is found in every tribe.  Among the 120 tribes in North, Central, and South America, not a tribe exists which does not have an (ancient) legend of a great deluge (flood) in which from three to eight persons were saved and cast upon a high mountain.


               The Babylonian tradition, dating back to the fourth century BC, narrates that a great flood once covered the earth.  The king…was warned by the god Cronos and ordered to build a ship 3,000 feet long and 1,200 feet wide, in  which the king, some friends, and a large number of animals, with all necessary food, passed through the flood. This tradition (like many of the others) also relates the sending out of birds which returned to him again, but the third time they did not return (similar to what Noah did in the Bible). The (ark) came to rest on the mountains of Armenia…The Babylonian tradition goes into great detail concerning the dimensions, floors, rooms and stories (of the ark), suggesting that it may be a distorted and corrupted version of the Biblical description.


               The similarity of the Babylonian account and the Bible record is thought to be due to the contact of the Babylonians with the Jews of the captivity and some acquaintance with the books of Moses.


               We might go on at length to relate many other interesting traditions (from ancient peoples all over the earth - from Africa to the island peoples of the Pacific) for it seems that every tribe on earth has handed down the story of the flood.  The flood is established as (an) historical fact, and is not just a myth as some would have us believe.  It has left its impress upon all the three branches of humanity, which came from the three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


               The traditions, while interesting, are not necessary (however) to establish the historicity of the flood.  Even if there were nothing in all secular history…we would still believe it because God’s Word says it (in the Bible).


               (Dr. M. R. DeHaan, The Days of Noah,

                 Zondervan Publishing House, 1963, pp. 152-154).

            Dr. DeHaan went on to say, “The Bible is to believed, not proven. One of the subtlest of the enemy’s (Satan’s) methods to undermine faith in the Bible is to make us seek for proof of God’s Word.  The Bible is a supernatural revelation and cannot be fully explained, nor does it need to be” (Ibid., pp. 154-155).

            I heard Dr. DeHaan speak every night for a week at the Church of the Open Door, back in the summer of 1963.   He was a medical doctor and a Bible teacher.  And he was exactly right when he said, “The Bible is to be believed, not proven…nor does it need to be.”  Here’s why that statement is exactly right: 

“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…” (Hebrews 11:6).


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Dr. John MacArthur, though wrong on some doctrines, was completely correct when he said of this verse, “True faith is not based on empirical evidence but a divine assurance and is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).” (MacArthur Study Bible, note on Hebrews 11:1). God is the One who gives faith – by opening a person’s spiritual understanding.

  “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

            The Bible teaches that you have a human spirit, a mind (soul), and a body.  With your body, you touch, feel, taste and see.  With your mind, you think.  But it is with your human spirit that you contact God and understand spiritual things.

              A new visitor, who has been coming to our church for a few weeks, said to me last Sunday, “I feel like my eyes have been opened.”  No one told him to say that.  It was a spontaneous and natural expression of what has happened to him.  God is in the process of awakening him by opening his human spirit and “enlightening” his “understanding.” Mr. Griffith sang a song about that a few moments ago: 

Open my eyes, that I may see Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me,

Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp, and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine.

               (“Open My Eyes, That I May See,”

                   by Clara H. Scott, 1841-1897).


            When God opens up your spiritual understanding, everything in the Bible becomes real.  As that young man said last Sunday, “My eyes were opened.” That is the greatest proof of Noah’s Flood!  We know there was a flood because God has given us faith.  He has opened the eyes of our spirit to see it.

             You see, young person, we have exactly the same proof of the Flood that Noah had.  Before the Flood, faith was the only proof Noah had that it was going to happen. Today, we have exactly the same proof - the proof of faith.      

“By faith Noah, being warned by 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” (Hebrews 11:7).


            Now, we will examine some things about the Christian faith that we learn from Noah’s example, given in this verse.

              What is the nature of faith?  It is believing God.  Believing God - that is what real faith consists of.  “He that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists) and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

              Noah believed God when God told him that the Flood was coming.  Noah had no more empirical, no more scientific proof, than we have.  Our text says, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet…prepared an ark” (Hebrews 11:7).

              Now Noah had never seen a Flood.  In fact he had never seen a storm.  He had never seen it rain!  The Bible says,

  “The Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth…But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:5-6).

            Back in Noah’s day the weather was completely different.  Most of the water we have on earth today was up in the sky.  Like the ozone layer, this water formed an envelope or canopy around the earth, at the outer edge of the earth’s atmosphere.  This canopy of water filtered the sunlight and made the earth a tropical paradise from the North Pole to the South Pole.  It was a world without storms, without rain, without snow, hurricanes or turbulence.

              God told Noah that he was going to see something that no human being had ever seen before.  He was going to see - not just rain - but a Flood!  Noah had no empirical, scientific evidence.  The only way Noah knew a flood was coming was by believing God.

            Young person, that’s the way you have to come to God.  That’s the way you have to come to God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  You have to “believe that he is (that he exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

            How do you know there is a God?  How do you know Christ exists in Heaven, in another dimension?  You know it when God opens your eyes!  Then you’ll say,

“We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”

(II Corinthians 4:18).

              That’s why all of those people are willing to suffer for Christ, in the Christian movie you just saw about the persecution of Christians throughout the world.  They are willing to be put in prison because they have “seen” something you have not seen. They are willing to be tortured because they have “seen” something you have not seen.  They are willing to be killed because they have “seen” something you have not seen.  Why are they willing?  Because they have “seen” the reality of God and Christ.  Their eyes have been opened.

            Your spiritual understanding has been closed for your whole lifetime by inherited depravity and personal sin.  Your inner eyes have never been opened.  The Bible says, “But their minds were blinded…the vail is upon their heart” (II Corinthians 3:14,15).  Your spiritual mind is blinded.  It’s like there’s a vail or a blanket thrown over your heart, so that no light can come in.

            That’s why God and the Bible are so unreal to you.  There’s something the matter with you.  Something is wrong with you.  The Bible speaks of your inherited inward depravity, and the blindness caused by sin.  You are spiritually blind.

            Now God opened Noah’s heart.  The light of God opened his inner heart and he could see the truth that God told him.  He saw by faith - the gift of God in illuminating his heart.

“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…” (Hebrews 11:7). 

            When your heart is opened by God, you’ll say, “What a fool I was.  It wasn’t those Christians who were tortured and killed by the Communists who were fools.  It was me!  I was the fool.  Oh, how blind I was!”

              And you will then see how much you need this local church.  You’ll say, “I was so blind.  I didn’t see it.  Now I see I have to be in this church every time the door is open.  How blind I was not to see it before!”

              Your parents and relatives will try to get you to miss a service at this church. They’ll say, “This is an important family function.  You have to be there.”  Of course, they will make it so it conflicts with church.  I have noticed across the years that unconverted people have a habit of doing that.

              But when your eyes are opened, you’ll simply say, “I’m sorry, I can’t be there.” There won’t be any conflict or argument.  You simply will not be there - because your eyes have been opened!

              And it is the Blood of Jesus Christ that makes it possible for your eyes to be opened.  The Bible says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ…purge (cleanse) your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).

              When you come to Christ, the Son of God, His Blood cleanses your heart and conscience.  The blanket or vail of sin is removed.  Your eyes are completely opened.  And you are born again - cleansed in the heart by the Blood of the Son of God.

              And Jesus has risen from the dead.  He is alive right now in Heaven - in another dimension.  And you can come to Him now - and He will purge and cleanse your heart - and you will be born again. 

“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…” (Hebrews 11:7).

            And may God open your eyes as He opened Noah’s eyes - so that you’ll be in the ark - so that you’ll come into Jesus Christ - so that you’ll be cleansed by His Blood - so that you’ll be in this local church every Sunday - so that nothing (no matter how important) will keep you from being here.  May God grant you that kind of faith - that kind of illumination!

Scripture Read Before Sermon:  Ephesians 1:17-18; Hebrews 11:1,6.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:  “Open My Eyes, That I May See”