"And the whole earth was of one language..." there was a unity in the communication among the early civilization of man. "Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth." Had they been scattered, they would have been in obedience to God's command, but instead they incorporated.
When they said "...a tower whose top may reach unto heaven" I see the same boast as in Isaiah 14:13 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north"
It was probably around this time, as in former times, that people began to "call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26). The Hebrew word "qara" can mean "to cry out for help, but it can also mean to roar, to cry violently". This doesn't sound at all like people supplicating or praying, but in a manner inconsistent with humbleness, to speak against or defy the Lord.
There was unity in their politics and religion for they built a city, and a tower (and the tower was for a very explicit purpose, that is a religious icon to 'reach heaven' not merely physically, but in a spiritual sense). There was unity in their ideology: an anti-God mind set that acted in defiance to God's will.
The leader of this city-state was Nimrod, whose name means "rebellion" or "the valiant". He was "a mighty hunter before the Lord." The word "before" means "face to face" but not in the sense of friendship, as was the case with Moses and the LORD, for they spoke as friends, face to Face. This meaning intimates a confrontational stance, to be against another. This idea is consistent with this passage.
When the LORD came down and visited Bab-el (literally"tower of God" but which god?) He said, "Behold the people are one, and they have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
The LORD realized that this was not a good development; here was an early example of the 'Human Potential Movement' an atheistic, humanistic force in our world today that wants to glorify man as the Supreme Being in the universe. In such a situation, corruption would set in, and because of their unity, there would be no one left untouched by this satanic taint. Seeing how He only just wiped the slate clean with the Flood, the LORD decided to then confound the languages, thus exciting a move towards nationalism, that is, grouping of peoples in accordance to nation, specifically in this case, tongues.
This is the same idea of having a single paned window as opposed to a multi-paned window. If the single paned window gets hit with a rock, you have to replace the entire window. If its multi-paned, then you only have to replace the smaller panes that were damaged. By compartmentalizing people according to nations, each was given a chance to form a good relationship with the LORD, and stand as an example to other nations as how the LORD will deal with those whose hearts are directed towards Him. This would later become the purpose of GOD forming the nation of Israel.
I remember seeing a poster for IBM: It was a picture of a tower, the lower half being archaic, and made of stone (looking like the tower of Babel itself) and the upper half was a very sophisticated communications network, with a complex array of antennae. Below this image was the phrase: "We Are Undoing The Babel Effect" that is, IBM was working at unifying communications globally via computer technology.
And so we see the world over, endeavoring to become global in every way: politically, economically, religiously, socially, etc. Looking at the way things are, I'd say they've just about achieved it (not quite, but almost!).
I want to focus at this time on the religious unity. I believe the Bible speaks of the Last Days being a singular, global, world empire whose primary components will be one government and one religion.
The powers that be desire a unity and thus a kind of peace; what they will get is NOT unity, but rather, merely uniformity. Unity can only come from the many agreeing together to form a singularity via cooperation and shared ideas, values, morals and ethics. Uniformity can only at best coerce via power and force conditioned behavior and responses which is neither volitional or cooperative.
Yet the world will achieve a unity in the sense that their pride will be glorified in the satanic age to come. The world leader, the Beast, will herald his reign with the emblem of 666 (six being the Biblical number for man [Adam was created on the sixth day]), glorifying man in his sinful rebellion against the LORD.
In order to achieve religious uniformity then, the people of the world must be forced to conditioned behavior and responses conducive for a world religion. Religions must be perceived to be equally viable, and a 'sameness' must be realized.
One so-called 'religion' stands alone however: Christianity.
Its the Christian faith that declares that the Bible is itself the only revelation of GOD to the world, and its the only Holy Book that can prove it by declaring the future before it occurs; this is known as prophecy, and is not so much a predictive phenomenon as it is the foretelling of GOD's plan for the ages, as it involves two persons: the LORD Jesus Christ (whose testimony is the spirit of prophecy) and secondarily the person/nation of Israel.
Christianity alone declares that Jesus Christ is the very embodiment of GOD, made flesh:
John 1: 1-3, 14
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
1 Timothy 3: 16
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
In order to achieve religious uniformity all religious distinctions must be eliminated. Jesus Christ cannot be declared to be God made flesh, and brought down to the level of any other religious founder, whether you speak of Mohammad, Buddha, Krishna, and a host of others. In New Age circles, they separate the Person of Jesus from Christ: that is, that the 'Christ-Consciousness' indwelt Jesus at the Baptism, but then left at the crucifixion! The 'Christ-Consciousness' is a part, they say, of every one and will be supremely revealed (in an even greater way, than was with Jesus) in a coming world leader!
The Bible cannot be allowed to be declared as the authoritative, singular revelation of God, but brought down to the level of other religious books.
And so the world is working its will, pressing into the church, bringing us to compromise and conformity to its own ideals. The deity of Christ is assaulted every day not just by the world, but by the so-called church! The Episcopalian church had convened a counsel recently where they declared that Jesus was NOT deity!
The many translations of the Bible might, on the surface seem viable, but if one does some careful research, you will find that every modern translation comes from what's known as the Westcott and Hort text, which itself is based on ancient manuscripts developed primarily by Gnostic's and religious bodies opposed to Biblical Christianity. Westcott and Hort themselves were liberal theologians who despised the King James version and its plain declaration of Jesus Christ, GOD the Son, and His atonement of sinners by His blood, and of His coming Kingdom. (For information on this, visit the web site www.twft.org and call the 1-800 number inquiring about pastor Chuck Smith's two part teaching called "The Foundation of the Word".)
Yet there are even more blatant translations that are clearly blasphemous, such as The Message Bible, and the Renovare translation of the Holy Scriptures. The Renovare Bible was developed by the Renovare Institute founded by Richard Foster (author of "Celebration of Discipline"); the objective of The Renovare Institute is to shift the Christian church from a biblical foundation to a foundation of New Thought (New Age) philosophy!
The LORD Jesus said to His disciples "Beware of the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees", that is the false doctrines that they uphold and teach (Mt. 16:6, 11). The LORD Jesus also gave this parable about leaven:
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Matthew 13:3
There are some that want to interpret that parable as the church spreading out and filling all of the earth with the gospel, but if you know anything about leaven from the scriptures, leaven is always a type for sin, specifically pride, and for false doctrine (which is based on the pride of man: exalting man's wisdom above GOD's).
Interesting thing about leaven (we call it yeast): I used to work for Pizza Hut, and we had color coded rubber spatulas designated for sauces and for yeast mixtures (for dough). We could never use these spatulas indiscriminately, because if we used a yeast spatula for sauce, even if there was just a tiny speck of yeast left on it, it would contaminate an entire 5 gallon jug of prepared sauce in less than a day!
Leaven can spread and grow at an alarming rate, and soon it effects everything. This is why we are admonished to holy living via the power of the Holy Spirit and GOD's grace: any small pocket of sin in a corner of our lives will inevitably spread to contaminate our entire lives!
The Kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, is like this woman adding leaven to the three measures of meal. The Kingdom of heaven, infested with pride, sin and false doctrine??
That same chapter (Matt. 13) from vs. 3 on, the LORD Jesus speaks of other parables regarding the kingdom of heaven.
In the Sower of the seed, He mentions the fowls of the air that come and snatch the seed (the Word of GOD) and prevent it from taking root in the lives of people. Both leaven and fowls are agents that disrupt and destroy the growth of GOD's Word in our lives. Fowl are often referred to as the agents of the enemy, as early as the days of Abram who was instructed by GOD to prepare a covenant agreement re: His promise that of Abram, He would make a great nation and give him a land "flowing with milk and honey" that is, Israel. While preparing the sacrifices, as you may remember, the fowls of the air came, and tried to snatch away the slain animals, and Abram had to chase them away (Genesis 15:11)!
In the book of Revelation we see the culmination of this enforced world religion, bereft of any Christian truth, but rather inundated with every false religious persuasion that Satan has ever conceived. And this world religion harks back to its roots: BABYLON . . . "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Rev. 18:2
We can not allow any corruption into our lives and we must stand fast against the onslaught of the enemy. Contrary to popular movements in ecclesiastical circles today, doctrine IS important, and the only way we can keep the unity of the faith is by the WORD of GOD and the Spirit by which that WORD has been conveyed to us.
"Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4: 3
Note that we are only to keep, not achieve! You can't keep something that you don't already have! Thus all this talk about unity among churches (and religions) are nonsense; re: the church we already HAVE unity, and re: the world's religions, we are to remain separate, for Light is to have no fellowship with darkness!
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" 2 Cor. 6:14-15
I believe that the church here in America will be plunged into the furnace of affliction that has been bearing down on the church all around the world since its conception!
Therefore as followers of Jesus Christ, we do well to hold fast the pure doctrine of the WORD, and remain faithful (even unto death) in our proclamation of JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOR, the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE by WHOM ALONE we have access to the FATHER and ETERNAL LIFE!
Remain steadfast in the pure doctrine of the WORD, and faithful to the LORD Jesus Who is our faithful High Priest! And remember: NOTHING that we suffer for the Name of Christ will be forgotten before the throne of our loving Heavenly Father and amply rewarded!
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Cor. 4: 17
May the LORD JESUS CHRIST BLESS YOU WAY TOO MUCH!!!