Phil Carr, a subscriber in Manchester, Indiana, has asked for an explanation of a point made in the March issue of The Bible Guys. He asks why Peter referred to Noah as "the eighth person" (2 Peter 2:5).
In order to understand any statement in the Holy Scriptures it is first necessary to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. One must believe that all of the Bible is inspired by God, and every verse – every line – is indeed part of God's message to us by holy men of old. Every Christian leader who claims otherwise is like the religious leaders of Jesus' day. Jesus rebuked them, saying, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered" (Luke 11:52).
Rather, let us agree that Paul's testimony, in 2 Timothy 3:16, is true: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine."
Let us also believe the words of Jesus,"All the prophets and the Law prophesied" (Matt. 11:13). This truth, which is found in these words of Jesus and Paul, is the key to a fruitful pursuit of Bible understanding.
Concerning Noah being the eighth person, I suppose we could assume that Peter meant that Noah waited until all of his family was on board before he went up the ramp. But what the prophet did, in Genesis 7:11-13, was tell us who, and therefore how many people, actually went into the Ark. He said, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, – In the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, – entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark" (eight in all).
Another very important prophecy is one by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:37-47. He told us that Noah and the flood was a prophecy of the time just preceding His return, saying, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." (You might pretend that that servant is a group, or that it could be every christian, but the text itself clearly denies that explanation.) So now we know that Jesus has every intention of appointing a ruler over His household, who will be working at the job when Jesus returns. That is the "Noah," with his seven, for whom we should be watching in response to the admonition of Jesus in verse 37, because that event is one of the major signs of the soon coming of our King. "Noah" will be getting a people ready for Him to come. Of course, one must read, and believe the prophecy in Malachi 3:1-6, which declares that God intends to send a man to prepare for the second coming of Jesus, as he did for His first coming. God must do so, for God does not change.
In Zechariah chapter four, we are again told of this man which is to come at the end. Concerning the last anointed leader which God will send, He said, "This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." (That is, he will usher in the return of our Lord and King, even as John the Baptist ushered in His first coming.) "Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth." (It is in this respect which Noah is called the eighth person: he is in charge.) He is telling us plainly here that God shall send us a man with the "Doctrine of Christ" in his hand, whereby he will be able to make the people of God truly upright, and that he will have seven men with him, each of which is wonderfully motivated by one of the Seven Spirits of God, of which we read in chapters 1-3 of The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
And why do they rejoice when they see Zerubbabel with his plummet and the seven? It is because the prophesied event shall take place at harvest time, which Jesus said "is the end of the World." When the time of harvest is come, God shall raise up a man, and with him seven Holy Ghost-filled men of vision and wisdom to gather Christianity together as a nation – a kingdom. And Jesus shall come, and take that nation unto Himself, and, sitting upon that throne, He shall conquer, and rule the world, with judgment and with justice, for a thousand years. AMEN!