To be fruitful and to multiply
Be Fruitful And Multiply Bible Verse Meaning And Study
Why did God tell Adam and Eve and Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply?
Just after God created man, He placed him in the garden and gave him dominion over the earth saying “let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26). Shortly after this, “God blessed them.
And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28).This meant that man had dominion over “every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food” (Gen 1:29-30). God told man to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth so what is the meaning of the phrase “be fruitful and multiply?”
Just after the flood of judgment poured out by God on a decadent and immoral world and the flood waters receded, God told Noah “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth” (Gen 8:16-17) “So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark” (Gen 8:18-19). This command was not only given to Noah and his family but also to every living creature that came the ark so the command to “be fruitful and multiply on the earth” was not only directed to Noah and his family but to the creatures of the world too.
Just as in Genesis, when the earth was uninhabited, God told Noah to refill or repopulate the earth that the flood had wiped out so Noah and his family and all the creatures left the ark and were fruitful (reproducing) and filled the earth once more with life.
Called to Celibacy?
Not everyone is called to be fruitful and multiply.
Paul wrote that “he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better” (1st Cor 7:38) and even Jesus once said “there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Let the one who is able to receive this receive it” (Matt 19:12). Jesus also said of those who left mother, brother, sister, wife, or husband for His sake, there are none “who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:30).
The Children of God
God has children. It is those who have repented and put their trust in Christ and for His sake, they put all others and all possessions behind Him. He is foremost in their lives.
The Apostle John wrote of us being the children of God in the present tense, writing that “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be him, because we shall see him as he is” (1st John 3:2).After the Sadducees had asked Jesus about the resurrection, He told them “they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons (and daughters) of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36).
Unfortunately, the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection, even though the Bible is clear that there will be one (Dan 12:1-3; Rev 20:12-15). Had they not read the Scriptures? Jesus said, time and time again things “the peacemakers…shall be called sons (and daughters) of God” (Matt 5:9).
I would ask you to “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1st John 3:1).
You have one of two fathers; the Devil or the Father. You must decide today, if you haven’t already done so, to repent and put your trust in Christ, or you will have the same fate as Satan and all his demons (Rev 20:10).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
Be Fruitful and Multiply!
God will have a witness of His glory on Planet Earth. All heaven will strengthen the person, the people, the nation that will arise and stand as a pure and holy light of the glory of God.
A Word to My Kingdom People
My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Love My people, and I will give you My kingdom.
You are my chosen people whom I have known from eternity and destined you to be fruitful and multiply to fill the earth with the fruit of My glory, with peace and prosperity in all the systems of earth and goodwill to all mankind.
The whole earth and all that is upon it is fruitful and blessed under the dominion of My ways in your hearts. The birds of the air, the beasts of the fields, and all that is in the sea are blessed in the world of your faithful care and dominion.
All the earth is blessed and fruitful under your stewardship.
You are the capstone of My creation, the sons of My glory, the purified holy Bride of My Son, without spot or wrinkle, the chosen mother from above, the New Jerusalem people of heaven on earth.
Arise, my love, and come unto Me. Abide in the warmth of My love and rest in the perfect peace of our oneness. Your sons shall arise in strength and fill the earth with the glory of My love.
Arise, O sons of the Holy Bride, receive your commission of authority to fill the earth with My GLORY. Spare not and leave no throne of any other god upon the face of the earth. BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS; NO MAN SHALL STAND BEFORE YOU ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, FOR I AM WITH YOU.
God’s People Becoming One in Kingdom
What is impossible with man is possible with God. God is a Spirit who works far beyond our natural limitations. God is supernatural, and without the supernatural work of the Spirit, God would not be God.
The more the church became dependent upon intellectually understanding the things of God, the more the Holy Spirit became less significant for them in knowing God and His ways on earth. Mankind is unable to reason himself the dilemma of becoming segregated into multitudes of unconnected groups each seeking to move forward their part or version of “truth.”
Unity of the Body has been and is currently a major thrust for many Christian leaders around the world. Yet the divisions remain focused on mixtures of doctrine and methods or practices with little or no real success.
God is revealing the road to supernatural oneness (unity) to the people of God.
Consider these realities:
- When great disaster or tribulation comes upon a people who are divided amongst themselves, they will usually lay aside their differences and begin to come together for the common good.
- When a great outpouring or significant supernatural events occur, such as God parting the Red Sea or the Jordan River for His people to cross on dry land. All who hear of it are greatly impressed. The people of God are greatly encouraged and their enemies melt in fear of them.
Part of the road to bringing the people of God into one living Body of Christ is for the people to suffer great oppression and tribulation. This can turn the people from their own ways of mixture and denominationalism.
When an enemy attacks the people of a nation with evil oppression, the people of God tend to recognize their foolishness in dividing from other believers and begin to seek God together to protect and deliver them from the oppressor. The frivolous trash of pet doctrines of division are thrown away along with the mixtures of self-centered religion and secular humanism.
This is a direct result of the cleansing judgments of God.
The Oneness of Seeking the Kingdom of God
The spiritual eyes of the people must be lifted up to a higher reality than that of the past divided church systems. Their eyes will be lifted higher by the miraculous manifestations of the supernatural Kingdom of God coming forth on earth.
Lifting our focus from religious church individualism to the all-encompassing, all-powerful, all-consuming KINGDOM OF GOD on earth can bring complete unity of oneness with God and oneness with one another.
Spiritual heavenly supernatural love and power will demonstrate miracles equal to and beyond the biblical times of the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament and Christ and His disciples of the New Testament.The upheaval and traumatic events taking place today across the world are a part of the ultimate shift from the age of church emphasis to the age of Kingdom of God emphasis. The church age related to Passover and Pentecost.
The Kingdom age relates to Tabernacles, the greater fulfillment of God in and with His people on earth preparing a new world ruled by the Kingdom of God in His people. The severe cataclysmic events are a part of the ending of the old world order.
The supernatural manifesting of the miraculous glory of God upon the people of God is the beginnings of the new reality of the Kingdom of God upon Planet Earth.
Abraham sought for a city whose builder and maker is God. The saints of old saw the ruling city of the kingdom from heaven coming down to earth in the future.
You and I have lived to see the beginning of this move of the manifesting of the Kingdom of God – the time of the birth pangs and the manifest presence and glory of God in and with His people. The New Jerusalem spiritual city of God is coming down from heaven and manifesting in His people.
Some of you may live to see even the greater fullness of the kingdom manifestation of heaven on earth. Truly we have come to Mount Zion, the New Jerusalem city of God, the heavenly church.
“22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel,” (Hebrews 12:22-24).
A Word to the Pharisaical Religionist
I love you and desire you to come to Me with your whole hearts. No longer will I accept the impure worship of you whom I love and have given all into your hands.
Your hands are now contaminated with the sin of Achan who took of the spoils of “Babylonian” riches and hid them in his tent. You have taken from the things of “Babylon” that I sent you to destroy and hidden them deep into your hearts.
Then you come to Me to worship and call upon Me for blessing with your unclean hands hanging down at your side.I will replace you with a people of pure holy love who will bring unto me the fruit of my vineyard, which I had planted and given into your hands.
You have denied me the fruit of My vineyard and oppressed My kingdom servants that I sent to receive of the fruit of my vineyard. You have set up your own prophets and gone after the way of Baal. Except you repent you shall perish.
Turn to me, and turn away from the religious systems that you have built and followed that have in return become your master.
I AM in this day bringing deep separation of the precious from the vile for all who turn to Me with their whole hearts.
Return to your first love, to that for which you sought when the deceiver tempted you into a religious form without the purity and holiness of My pure love and power.
Return to Me, and I will again give you the authority of my presence to rule and reign, to have power of all the power of your enemies.
A Word to the Secularist and Humanist
You have turned away from Me to form you own gods. You have also made room for all the false gods and demons to arise among My people as you sought to elevate yourselves above your maker. You have turned to your own way on to a path of destruction and death. There is no peace in the way you have chosen only strife upon strife.
You have set up nations that have fouled the pure waters and robbed the people of My glory. They languish in the evil oppression you have allowed to be released among them. You have turned my schools of truth and light into dens of darkness and lies infecting the minds and hearts of those who naively come to you seeking light.
Turn to Me with your whole heart quickly, and find true rest to your soul.
Kingdom Size Vision and Prayer
Everything is bigger and better in the kingdom. A greater vision leads to bigger prayers and much greater faith.
The purity and holiness of the kingdom people who have no other agendas but God’s kingdom business opens the way for a much greater fullness of the Spirit to flow in and from our lives.
The new work of the supernatural Kingdom of God is an entirely new depth of true love and spiritual wisdom forming a greater level of power and separation from the fallen Babylonian rules, goals, bondages, and ways.Allow God to expand your vision far beyond the limitations of the past. Pray the greater vision from God back to Him. Lift the vision to Him in real faith, and ask Him to bring it to pass. All things are possible with God. The Kingdom of God is unlimited.
Heavenly kingdom families will be schools of truth and devout practical reality, isolated and separated from the old ways of evil, unbelief, death, and destruction of human existence. The kingdom is ALL ABOUT LOVE, WISDOM, AND POWER IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done on Earth As It Is in Heaven.
~ Ron McGatlin
Subscribe to the weekly OpenHeaven.com Digest
|Ron McGatlin Ron has over 62 years of seeking to serve God in ministry and business. Barbara has served in pastoral and Christian education positions for over 10 years. They currently make their home in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, USA. Ron has written 5 books on revival and the in-breaking kingdom and continues to write powerful apostolic/prophetic articles published weekly in the OpenHeaven.com Digest.|
Be Fruitful and Multiply
Photo Credit: stillfx-VEER
Although we haven’t done a very good job in obeying most of God’s instructions to us, the one thing the human race has obeyed is God’s words to Adam and Eve in Eden to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28, KJV).
Last year, “fruitful and multiplying” humanity reached the seven billion mark—a staggering number when you consider that it took all of human history until 1820 to reach just one billion people. Less than 200 years on, we’re seven times that number.
And projections indicate that by 2025 the world population will exceed 10 billion.
But as the population grows, our resources aren’t keeping up. Thus there’s a huge potential for crises to arise created by these shortages.
The World’s Water Shortage
Take, for instance, something as basic as water. Although theoretically there is enough water to meet everyone’s needs, access to that water is greatly limited for reasons such as poverty, environment and politics. When a mere 12 per cent of the world’s population uses 85 per cent of the earth’s drinkable water, the potential for conflict is great.
“The amount of water in the world is finite. The number of us is growing fast and our water use is growing even faster,” said a recent BBC report. “A third of the world’s population lives in water-stressed countries now. By 2025, this is expected to rise to two-thirds.”
The problem is particularly acute in Africa. Of the more than 800 million people who live on the continent, more than 300 million live in places where water is scarce. Of the 55 countries in the world where the basic need for water is not being met, 34 are in Africa.
Refugees from Somalia have fled to Kenya and Ethiopia (imagine, people fleeing to impoverished Ethiopia), where crowded and unsanitary conditions, and severe malnutrition have created a humanitarian catastrophe. With that area politically tense, the water and attending food shortages are exacerbating an already extremely volatile situation.
Water—or the lack thereof—is potentially an even greater threat to the stability of the Middle East than oil.
Disputes over cross-border water basins have already prompted Egypt to threaten military action against any country that draws water off the Nile River without prior agreement.
And though people see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict mostly over land, access to water, especially for irrigation, is also a source of great tension.
If trends aren’t reversed, the World Bank forecasts that by 2020, there will be 30 million environmental refugees in China due to lack of clean, drinkable water. For now, more than half of China’s 660 cities suffer from water shortages, affecting 160 million people. As a result of widespread water pollution, 700 million people in China drink contaminated water every day.Worse, China has built dams on the Mekong River, blamed for the drop in water levels affecting Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, where an estimated 60 million people depend on the river and its tributaries for food, water and transportation.
Though most nations face some sort of water problem, the poorest countries have it the worst. For years, leaders have been warning that lack of water and the food shortages that follow, can lead to civil unrest and war. And as the planet heats up, the situation is expected to worsen.
None of this, however, should come as a surprise to those who read their Bibles. These volatile crises are just another of its predicted signs of the times.
More than six centuries before Christ, the prophet Daniel warned about a future “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Daniel 12:1, KJV). Jesus, meanwhile, said that prior to His return, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). (Note the juxtaposition of war and famine.) It’s a pretty amazing depiction of our time, given that it was uttered almost 2000 years ago.
Famines, pestilences, water shortages, food shortages, war—doesn’t that sound just our time?
The good news, however, is that though the world situation will get worse before it gets better, it will get better. But this will happen only when Jesus returns and the earth is made new.
Only then will we have a world where there are no water or food shortages.
Writes John the Revelator, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city” (Revelation 22:1, 2).
God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” But that was in Eden. As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” so we can say, “We’re not in Eden anymore.”
Thanks to Jesus, our world will one day be much better than it is today.
- Twenty-seven per cent of the urban population in the developing world does not have water piped into family dwellings.
- The total volume of water on earth is about 1.4 billion km3 (cubic kilometres). The volume of freshwater resources is around 35 million km3, or about 2.5 per cent of the total volume.
- Of these freshwater resources, 70 per cent is in the form of ice and permanent snowpack in mountainous regions and the Antarctic and Arctic regions.
- The total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is about 200,000 km3 of water—less than 1 per cent of all freshwater resources.
- By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be in water-related stress conditions
Be Fruitful and Multiply…or Not
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”
– Genesis 9:1
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there…And they said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
– Genesis 11:1, 2&4
When the water finally subsided, the ark came to rest on a mountain, and the animals went their own way. And so it was that Noah and his family escaped God’s judgment of evil in the world, not because they were without sin, but because they believed God.
And God blessed Noah and his sons and told them to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The number of Noah’s descendants increased greatly, but they remained as one people. They did not fill the earth as God commanded. Instead, they built a city.
Then they built a tower reaching to the heavens. God was not pleased.
– The HOPE, Chapter 4
Observe & Consider
Have you ever longed for a fresh start? Well after the flood, Noah and his family experienced one of the most remarkable fresh starts in human history.
They had a blank slate on which to begin a completely new story for their lives. And furthermore, God spoke a blessing of prosperity over them (Genesis 9:1, 7). God then promised never to destroy the world with a flood again …
and He sealed His promise with the first rainbow (Genesis 9:13–15)!
What an opportunity for renewal. Unfortunately, it was never realized!
God told Noah and his family to fill the earth. Instead, they gathered in one place and built a city. They wanted to be one people in one place. But that is not what God wanted. In the next lesson, we’ll see God’s response to their disobedience, but for today let’s reflect on how they could possibly have missed such an incredible opportunity to walk in the way of blessing!According to God’s story, Noah and his family entered the ark on the second week of the 2nd month of the year. They left the ark on the 27th day of the 2nd month of the following year (Genesis 8:14–15). Assuming a lunar calendar of 365 days, Noah and his family could have been on the ark an entire year!1 Linger on that thought before moving on.
When they finally stepped off the ark, what were they feeling? What on earth did they see after everything had been under water for nearly a year? Was it a strange, horrifying sight, perhaps even surreal?
Of all people, Noah and his family should have been prepared to follow God no matter what they saw.
- In the entire world they alone had been preserved by God through the flood.
- They personally heard God and saw Him do amazing things.
- God pronounced a blessing on them that they should have fruitful lives.
Still, after radically trusting God and having experienced His faithfulness as they did, Noah’s family failed to do what God told them to do.
Either they didn’t listen carefully or they listened but didn’t obey. You’ve probably heard the saying that there is safety in numbers. Perhaps they stayed together because they were afraid.
Whatever their reason, they disobeyed God. They did not attempt fill the earth.
From today’s lesson, consider that:
- God wanted Noah and his family to prosper and “fill” the earth (Genesis 9:1). That was the way to discover God’s blessing. But the way to blessing may not have looked to them a blessing. The people feared being “scattered” across the earth (Genesis 11:4). The difference between “filling” the earth (as God commanded) and being “scattered” across the earth is primarily one of perspective: one of choosing or being forced.
- They wanted to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4). That prideful motivation sounds a lot the attitude that led to Satan’s downfall (Lesson 14).
- Even though they didn’t want to follow God, they still wanted to get to heaven. But they wanted to do it their way – by building a tower (Genesis 11:4).
ask & reflect
- Why do you think that Noah and his family failed to follow God’s instructions after having seen and experienced so much with God?
- Can you think of a situation where the thing God asked of you did not look a blessing at first, but that is what it turned out to be in the end?
- What would you say to someone who wants to get to heaven, but they want to do it their way instead of God’s way?
- Can you identify at all with Noah’s spiritual “regression?” Do you feel that there was a time when you trusted God more radically than you do today? Why? If so, what happened?
Decide & do
In the previous lesson, you were encouraged to trust and obey God Noah did when he built the ark. But as we consider the rest of Noah’s life, we see a clear warning. Don’t stop trusting and obeying. If you are slacking off spiritually, don’t wait to address the issue.
The people of Babel built a tower to get to heaven. Similarly, people throughout history have built their own ways or religions to get to heaven.2 There is only one way to heaven …and that is God’s way.
For Further Study
- Jimmy Williams, Why a Moral Life Won’t Get Us to Heaven (Probe Ministries, 1998). (http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/moralife.html). Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- World Religions Index Table on Major World Religions (Probe Ministries, 1995–2006). (http://www.leaderu.com/wri-table2/God.html). Retrieved October 9, 2006.
This site provides a more comprehensive exploration of the beliefs of major world religions across a grid of subjects (such as God, Man and the Universe, Salvation and the Afterlife, Morality, and Worship). Links to data on Biblical Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Primitive Religion.
1How Long Did It Take Noah to Build the Ark? How Long Was Noah on the Ark? (http://www.gotquestions.org/Noahs–ark–questions.html). Retrieved October 8, 2006.
2How Major Religions View Salvation and the Afterlife. (Probe Ministries, 1995–2006). NOTE: Taken from: The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error 2. Compiled by Steven Cory.
(Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Moody Press, 1986). (http://www.leaderu.com/wri–table2/salvation.html). Retrieved October 8, 2006.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB