Sandra G. Kennedy

B. Childress
Apr 03 2009 08:00 AM

Who was the first person on earth to be called "righteous"?  It was Noah.  Yet, even before his time, events were taking
place that forced man to choose good or evil, right or wrong, righteousness or wickedness.

Let's take a closer look at what happened within the Garden of Eden.  How wondrous it must have been to reside in that
beautiful place!  All things God could possibly offer to mankind were there at his disposal.  The Lord Himself walked with
Adam and Eve in the cool of the day and He blessed them beyond measure.  It was their Father's good pleasure to give
them the Kingdom!

    "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:
    and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over  the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth
    upon the earth."   Genesis 1:28

Mankind was empowered by the Lord to rule and reign as kings on this planet.  Everything was perfect; there was no
evil of any kind.  It must have been a glorious place.

    "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.  And the evening and the morning
    were the sixth day."   Genesis 1:31

The desire of the Creator was to protect mankind so that His goodness could flow to them all the days of their lives.  He
announced only one "do not" - an instruction given to provide and insure life.  Had the first man and woman adhered to
God's warning, the world would have been so different.

    "And  the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the
    tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
    die."    Genesis 2:16-17

God so loved mankind that He didn't want His creation to even know about wickedness, much less deal with it
continually.  That's why He asked Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

However, because of their disobedience, iniquity began to run rampant without restraint.  And according to the words
God spoke that day, the first man and woman surely died.  Oh, they did not physically, since they lived another 900-plus
years, but they died spiritually - they were separated from the life of God.

Before eternal damage would be done, however, Adam and Eve were ousted from the Garden.


The tree of life is important.  There seems to be no limitation given by God to restrain them from continuing to eat of this
forbidden fruit.  Had they eaten of the tree of life in their
fallen condition, however, there would have been no hope for
man throughout eternity - their fate would have been sealed in doom.  So in the grace and mercy of God, He removed
them from the Garden and stationed an angel to guard its gate.

Yet, according to God's foreknowledge of this event, there was a plan established and already in operation.  The
Scripture is clear:  The Lamb of God - the Redeemer - had been slain from before the foundation of the world.  In truth,
the Redeeming Blood had already been shed before God ever created man.  Mankind was not forever lost from His
Creator!  The design was in place to redeem us back to God and restore us to our original glory.


You remember that two curses were pronounced as a result of the fall; one upon the earth (ground) and one upon
Satan.  Neither man nor woman was cursed.

Of course, there were results and consequences of their disobedience such as suffering with childbirth and working by
the sweat of their brow, but there was no curse pronounced upon mankind at that time.  Even though this has been
taught for years, it is simply not what the Bible states.

This couple initially bore two sons, Cain and Abel.  Out of anger, Cain rose up against his brother and murdered him.  
Then another son, Seth, was born to Adam and his wife along with other children.  Seth was the one chosen through
whom the promised lineage would come that would bring forth the Messiah, the Savior of the world.  However, Seth was
not made in the initial splendor of his father, Adam.

    "This is the book of the generations of Adam.  In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he
    him;...And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and
    called his name Seth: " Genesis 5:1,3

Notice the Scripture tells us Seth was born in Adam's image - not in the image of Almighty God.  The death seed within
Adam was being passed down to all his children, even though Seth would be in the divine lineage of Jesus.  However,
after a son was born to Seth, something interesting happens.  Men once again begin to call on the Name of the Lord.

    "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the
    name of the LORD."   Genesis 4:26

A few generations after Enosh, a man named Enoch was born.  He is the first individual recorded in Scripture who
actually preached.  He proclaimed the message of God to the people of his day, telling them in everyday language, that
if they didn't straighten up, they would suffer - because there is a penalty for sin.

By faith, Enoch was "raptured" away and never faced death because of his testimony and the fact he walked with God  
(Hebrews 11:5; Genesis 5:24).

    "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten
    thousands 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 all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have
    spoken against him."   Jude 14-15

Enoch was the great grandfather of Noah - whom the Bible calls "a righteous man."  Yet, the world in which he lived was
filled with depravity.  Men had become so wicked that the heart of God was grieved at His creation.

    "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.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved
    him at his heart.  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both
    man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth; me that I have made them.  But
    Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  These are the generations of Noah:  Noah was a just man and
    perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."    Genesis 6:5-9

Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God without condemnation, inferiority, or guilt.

When I (Sandra G. Kennedy) read the above verses I was fascinated by the fact that Noah was a just man, perfect in his
generations.  I kept asking myself, "How could Noah be called righteous at this particular time when the world was
already declared in such corruption that the Creator was sorry He made man?"  I wondered, "What guided God's grace
on Noah?  What did this man do in righteousness that enabled him and his family to be saved from the coming wrath?"

These questions are relevant today.  Now, as then, corruption is rampant and the evil intentions of man's heart are
brazen and without conscience.  Media portrays immorality in print and on film that would have stunned us only ten
years ago.  It seems
anything goes! It is horrific to witness the depravity of what most people call "humor" and
"entertainment."  And if we are not careful - not watchful - we will become accustomed to it.  Before we know what has
happened we become desensitized to sin and it begins to appear in our house.


Satan is deceptive.  He fails to remind us that we will reap a harvest from every seed we allow him to plant in our heart!  
He may start by feeding us only a small amount, yet even that is harmful.  Eventually it becomes "every day stuff" and
the cutting edge of the sin is removed.  Suddenly, we no longer find ourselves willing to fight; so we accept the evil in
varying degrees.  Then, before we recognize what has taken place, we are in over our heads and wonder, "How in the
world did this ever happen to me? How did I get here?"  

I'll (Sandra G. Kennedy) tell you how!  It is the same way people pack on too many pounds - they keep eating one more
piece of cake, munching on another slice, until they've eaten the whole thing!  I'm sure you understand.


The fact that Noah was "just and righteous" in the eyes of God is what separated this man from all others on earth.  And
we are not talking about only a handful of people, but multiplied thousands, perhaps
millions, because over 1600 years
had passed since the creation of man.

Picture the scene.  While Noah and his family were lifted above the circumstances of disaster, we forget that there were
countless drownings in the great flood that came upon the earth.  The Bible doesn't record it, but most likely there were
multitudes screaming and clawing on the ark, shouting "Let me in!  Let me in!"

We just draw a cute picture for our children of an ark with little animals going aboard and forget the horrendous sight
that was occurring because of the depravity of man!

I (Sandra G. Kennedy) am reminding you of this because of events today.  If something doesn't change soon, surely we
will face a similar devastation.


The only hope for our nation - and for this world - is for the Body of Christ to demonstrate who we are in Christ Jesus.  
We must stand together, united against this darkness, and pray that God will open hearts to hear the message of the

We have a responsibility.  If we think we can only be concerned about "our four and no more" we are highly deceived!  
Now is the time for men and women of righteousness to stand tall and proclaim the Word of the Lord.  God is counting
on you and me.

Church, we are not only talking about our future, but those of men and women who do not yet know the Lord!  The
value of the body of Christ to this dying society is wrapped up in the word "righteousness" - and what we do with what
we have been given.

As believers, we cannot continue to float on beds of ease, as if the stench of this world does not affect us personally.  
It's time to wake up!  To this point, our protection has been the guarding hand of the Lord.  But I sincerely believe if we
do not stay locked in, prayed up, and speaking words of righteousness, the Lord will remove His shield from us.

You see, God will only go so far - He must have our cooperation to work and change things.  Certainly, He has the
power to perform whatever He wishes, yet has designed another plan.  Instead, He has chosen to use His Church to
accomplish His will on the earth.  That's why He desperately needs us to take His Word and defeat the enemy - to rise
up and be the Church Victorious!


Just because we are stamped "righteous" doesn't mean we automatically act that way.  Each of us must claim what has
been declared in the Word - to take our inheritance and rise above situations and circumstances.  Only those who
believe, trust, and live it out by faith will become the remnant God uses.

It is not the person who is just proclaimed to be righteous by God Almighty that moves into victory, but one who will act
out by faith what He has already declared over us.

I (Sandra G. Kennedy) hope you understand that the Lord wants the next "boat" to be filled with His people, but it takes
a righteous person to board - a man or woman who, by faith, lives out what God has given him - someone who has been
through the sanctification process and demonstrates an "acquitted" life before God and man.


The account of Noah is so much more than a children's Bible story - although that's what we have made it.  It explains
how living a righteous life has great benefits and rewards.  It shows us we can surely escape the corruption of this world
and the devastation to come.

God's plan is not designed only for
our escape, but that we become a life preserver for others - now until the day His
Son returns.  Our actions, attitudes, and words dictate to a great degree whether or not the will of the Lord is
accomplished on this earth.

    "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to
    death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark
    was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."   I Peter 3:18-20

    "...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..."                 II Peter 2:5

Scripture doesn't record whether his family believed his message, but they were obviously saved by the grace and
goodness of God shown toward Noah.

In the midst of the depravity of his civilization, Noah preached righteousness.  He not only proclaimed it, he
lived it!  Yet,
no one listened.  They paid attention only to what he was building and labeled him a fool because they did not
understand in the natural what he was doing.  However, the Lord waited and withheld judgment while the ark was being
prepared by this righteous man.


It is the same in this hour.  Our ark should be well under construction by now in the spirit realm as we live out a
righteous, sanctified life before others.  We are the "Bible" the world is reading and it's time we portrayed an accurate
picture of God!  He will withhold judgment as long as possible while our ark is being made ready, but He can't wait

I am urging you to prepare and present yourself as a holy vessel unto God.  Perhaps you are reading this book and still
insist on looking at how things appear in the natural, refusing to "hear" with your spiritual ears.  Don't call these words
foolish.  My  friend, the final countdown has begun and we desperately need to move with God!


In every major event recorded in Scripture, the people were forewarned.  Yet again and again, those who should have
been prepared were not.  Noah tried to explain to everyone what he was building, and what was about to take place, yet
no one listened.  You would have thought at least one person would have caught on and said, "I repent," but they didn't.

In the midst of the mocking crowds, Noah just kept preaching.  Then one day it started to rain.  This was something new
- and it didn't seem harmful at first.  But the clouds grew darker and the rain kept falling until the earth was saturated.  
Then the waters began to rise!

When God is about to act, He forewarns, yet the precise moment of His arrival is never clear.  We know
something is
coming and as long as we are paying attention to the move of His Spirit there is a time for preparation.

The Lord waits as long as He can while we are preparing our ark of protection - then suddenly it begins.

The birth of the Savior was prophesied over and over, yet it was missed by the multitudes.  The baby born in Bethlehem
was not the only child who came into the world that day.  The difference was the instructions and details had been given
through the centuries concerning this
particular baby.

Throughout Scripture it was stated that a child would be born under certain circumstances in a certain place.  And Jesus
came to earth.

Later, as He grew to be a Man and preached to the multitudes, there came another Word from the Lord:  "I am going to
the Cross" - and He told what would occur (Luke 13:35; 19:43,44; 21:20-24).  Yet no one understood.


Jesus spoke of the fact that He would die, but in three days He would come up out of the grave.  The only ones to
believe were the enemies of God.  Not one disciple showed up at the tomb, awaiting the great event that was about to
unfold that Sunday morning.  Who was there?  Only the guards of the Roman government took Jesus at His word.

On that resurrection day, women stopped by to finish putting spices on His body in the tomb, but no one really believed
or understood that He was going to rise from the dead, or they would have been there - ready, watching, anticipating
His appearance.  Their hearing and comprehension must have been dull since Jesus had told them several times what
would occur.

How could it be that those who loved Him so much missed what He said?  Why did people who didn't even know Him

What about you and me?  Is our hearing any better?  Have we heard the Gospel so much that we've lost the reality of
its truth?  The rapture is on the horizon.  We may not know the day or the hour, but He
is coming for those who are
ready.  Judgment is ahead - and so is tribulation.

Have we prepared our ark?  Are we living a Godly life before the witnesses of heaven and earth?  Have we truly
endeavored to plant the Word in our heart as a Shield and a Buckler?  Or have we forgotten that the Word is God and
failed to honor and esteem it as such?

    "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."   I
    Corinthians 15:34


What a grand time lies just ahead for those who are prepared to move into it!  Victory is in our heritage!  The power of
God will fill this earth and flood the nations with glory mankind has yet to behold.  Can our Precious Lord count on us to
be there for Him - to hold out the rod as Moses did, or stay the sun as Joshua?  Do we live as clean vessels before Him
in thanksgiving for the mercy and grace He has shown to us?

He willingly gave Himself because He loved us.   Should we do any less for Him?

This will be God's finest hour as He sweeps through the nations by the Spirit of Grace, filling His house with sons and
daughters.  And we can be part of it!  How glorious it will be - to be used of the Father in such intensity!

Friend, stop and listen to the Shepherd of your Soul.  Hear His voice and pay attention to His heart's cry.  Listen as He

Will the days ahead be glory for all of God's children?  To be truthful, no.  Not all of His sons and daughters are walking
uprightly or are prepared for those coming days.  Only living in our righteousness will prepare us for what lies ahead.

Noah and his family were saved from - and rose above - the wrath of God.  They were not partakers of the destruction
that completely surrounded them.  Please notice though, they were not transferred to another world while the
devastation happened on this one.  Righteousness elevated them to ride above it!


Now is the time, my friend, to awaken to our right-standing with the Great Judge of All and sin not.  When we truly come
alive to the wondrous, almost incomprehensible gift of righteousness:

  •  We will give up iniquity, because sin will lose its power over us.

  •  We will know not only the great benefits of our right-standing with Him, but will understand the grand honor He
    has given us to be His representatives in this earth.

  •  We will set our attention and desires on the things of heaven.

  •  Our hearts will be melted into His to flow as one.

  •  The treasures of this earth will fade away as we gaze into the light of His Glory!

This is the hour we've been waiting for!  Come, wonderful, Jesus, come!

    "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than
    when we believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and
    let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in
    chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not
    provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."   Romans 13:11-14

Today, I (Sandra G. Kennedy) pray that you will be able to declare with the prophet Isaiah:

    "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of
    salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,
    and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

    For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth;
    so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."  Isaiah 61:10-11


YOUR ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, by Sandra G. Kennedy, Copyright 2004, LifeBridge Books.