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And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, "Come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men built. And the LORD said, "Behold, the people are one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do. Come, let Us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off building the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel [confusion], because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1-9 KJ21)

We will explain by drawing from a story in the book of Daniel. Babylon was once again resurrected and had captivated the people of God. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, dreamed dreams about "what shall be in the latter days" and none of the Chaldean magicians, astrologers and sorcerers (worldly wise men) could interpret them. God revealed them unto Daniel in a night vision and He was called before the king. Daniel stood before Nebuchadnezzar and said,

"You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its form was frightening. This image's head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay..."

We can now see that the four levels or elements of the statue represented Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom with the head of gold, the Medo-Persian Empire with the chest and arms of silver, the Greek empire with the loins and belly of bronze and the Roman Empire with the legs of iron. But there was one more level which the king saw that was not natural and it greatly disturbed him, the feet of iron and clay mixed. These two elements will not naturally adhere to one another with any strength. The feet on which this great image stood of which he was the head were weak and the king knew it. In effect it was a house divided against itself. It is important that when the Stone not cut with hands strikes it hits the culmination of the kingdoms of fallen man at its weakest point--its feet.

This terrifying image (idol) represented the culmination of a single thought in the minds of the offspring of Noah, thousands of years prior. Instead of being obedient to God and dispersing over the earth to fill it with a godly seed, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and said one to another, "Come, let us make brick. . . ." Next on their agenda was to build something for themselves out of these counterfeit stones. And they said, "Come, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." They ceased to be pilgrims and sojourners and became campers. Pay heed to the phrases, "let us make . . . let us build . . . let us make ourselves a name . . . lest we be scattered." This is the seminal principle that begat, nurtured, brought to fruition and unified the five frightening kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about, represented by the image. However, there is something in Nebuchadnezzar's troubling dream about "the latter days" that is neither troubling nor frightening to those who believe.

Daniel continues,

"...You saw till a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:31-35 KJ2)

Before we go on we must address a Divine principle that governs everything related to God's redemptive purposes--the principle of the Stone(s).

In both the old and new covenants, what is offered to the Lord must be presented on the altar of the sheer merit of what He has done, what only He can do and who He is. God was adamant that any altar built to Him must be built of natural whole stones and He told Moses, "you shall not lift up any iron tool upon them" (Deuteronomy 27:5-6 KJ2000). The stones of His altar cannot be shaped by the ingenuity and ambition of men. Many times in the Old Testament we find that God commanded that uncut stones, stones "cut without hands," be used when something that represented His eternal work was being constructed.

This is the principle that confounds Babylon's builders to this day. Men like the quick and easy. They prefer a four year degree in theology to a lifetime of being shaped by God. For this reason they like to build with concrete blocks and bricks. But it takes time to build with stones not cut with hands and what God is building takes a lot of time.

Quoting from Isaiah, Paul wrote, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 9:33 KJ2). Peter wrote of this precious Stone, "Unto you therefore who believe he is precious: but unto them who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner" (1 Peter 2:7 KJ2). Jesus is that precious, stumbling Stone that strikes at the very foundation of the idolatrous image of the builders. He is the Foundation; the Head of the corner, the First of many stones, cut without the aid of men's hands, rejected by those who would make a name for themselves. How does the Lord view all this? What does He see when He looks at the builders who make haste to build monuments to themselves?

When "the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built," He said, "Behold, the people are one [unified] and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Everything that the children of men built represented only one thing to God. When He saw their city and the tower, He saw beyond the architecture. He saw the very thing that most threatens and misrepresents His will for men. He saw a false unity, "the people are one," that keeps men from following on into His greater purposes, the unity of Christ. Man had once known this greater kind of unity long before the founding of Babel, for "Enoch walked with God and he was no more." True unity in Christ can only come with our decrease, our being no more. It will never happen as long as we are set on leaving a legacy and making a name for ourselves.

With rebellious Babel God introduced confusion as a stopgap measure. "Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city." We are told that there are over 200,000 Christian denominations and sects. It is not an overstatement to say that all of them speak a different doctrinal language and refuse to hear one another's speech.

We recently saw this play out with a brother. He was intent on pushing his doctrinal belief and refused to listen to the whole council of God in the scriptures. The doctrine was not centered on Christ and thus by arguing over it we would never come into the unity of the Spirit. He would not take our advice to lay it down and move on to the centrality of Christ. Alas, our time which started out in the sweet fellowship in the Spirit was soon shattered and the enemy succeeded in causing division among the brethren once again. The sad thing was, that this all happened in a public place. The gospel of Christ was once again made an offence to non-believers.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confuse the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (See Genesis 11:1-9 KJ2000).

Instead of heeding God's call to multiply and fill the earth with a godly seed the descendants of Noah came up with an agenda that stood defiantly in opposition to God's purposes, Babylon. It still does today. So many come together with an agenda other than Christ. Rather than living unto God and His purposes, they set out, in true humanistic fashion, to build a memorial to their own greatness, having a man as its head, "You, O king...are this head of gold." Not surprisingly, it eventually took on the image of a man. In contrast, the Head of the body of Christ is not man but Christ Himself. There is no mixture in this body; it is Christ, from head to toe.

They traveled to the plain of Shinar and there began to make brick and erect edifices to reach heaven. The history of this called out people perfectly parallels the history of the church from the first century until today. It was there at Constantinople in the middle of the fourth century that the church abandoned the unity of the Spirit and took on the idolatrous unity of Babylon, becoming one in a massive building project under the leadership of iron, the Emperor Constantine. This was to be a city that was to have the combined power of Roman iron and the church's clay (See Isaiah 64:8 and Romans 9:20-21). Yes, the church of Jesus Christ with its priest-clergy/laity divisions, its massive building programs supported on the backs of the poor has been adhered to Romanism for the last 1600 years. The Great Reformation never succeeded in breaking the hold of this myth of iron and clay.

The sin principal here is the same, "Let us build . . . least we be scattered." There is nothing that so displaces the unity in the Spirit like a good building program. We would like to blame this division on the Devil, but this is not the case. Rather it is the lack of a right Foundation, the Stone rejected by the builders, that is our downfall. We might say, "God is not the author of confusion," which is a true statement when applied to the true church being built by Jesus aligned to the Cornerstone, built on that One Foundation (see 1 Corinthians 3:11). But it is a false statement when applied to the city and tower which the children of men have built.

We will here say something that might offend some, regardless of the fact that it is true beyond any shadow of doubt. Nothing has a greater propensity toward division than does denominated Christianity and that division is God's doing. Just as He confused the builders at Babel who said, "let us make . . . let us build . . . let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered," He, not the Devil, is behind the confounding of our languages. And it is not "rebellious men," because they do not join in our building programs. Man's illicit quest for unity, purpose and identity apart from the unity of His Spirit is still the root cause.

Just as Babel's once great endeavor ended in division and a project left unfinished, the end of divisive-denominationalism is confusion of languages (the doctrines of men) and a myriad of dead organizations begging for life. In his book One Body In Christ, Kokichi Kurosaki states that human methods will never unify the Church. ". . . unity of Christians is not a matter of human effort or cooperation. True unity must come solely from God, and when there is true fellowship with God, it will come natural of itself. The power of Christians does not come from human cooperation but from life-union with God. It is the power of God working in men. Therefore, the One Body cannot be created by human collaboration. It exists through simply removing the barriers and having fellowship with God, a reality prevailing among those who obey Him and love each other. No other merely human method will avail."

Such unity comes from a deep, abiding fellowship with God the Father and Christ, the Son. Our fellowship with God must be in Spirit and in truth. Becoming "one in the Spirit" is more than a cute little song from the early '70s. We must all be in the Spirit if we are ever to know the power of Christ's unified body. Why? Christ is Spirit. He is Truth. And in Spirit and Truth He is one with the Father. Our fellowship with one another is dependent upon this same condition.

This is why we immediately connect with certain Christians and feel as though we have known them all or lives. Yet and try as we may, we cannot connect with others. Either we are united in Spirit or we are not united in God's sight. Yes, we should love all men but when it comes to fellowship, "truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son." If two believers do not first unite with the Father and the Son, individually, they cannot possibly have fellowship together. They might be cordial. They might find things, even doctrines, that they have in common and talk about them for hours, but unless they are individually alive in vital union with God, they cannot possibly be unified.

The church today is in much the same condition as the apostate Israel God spoke of when He said, "For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and builds temples; and Judah has multiplied fortified cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces" (Hosea 8:14 KJ2000). Consider the end of Babylon in Revelation, "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of demons, and the haunt of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich through the abundance of her luxury" (Revelation 18:2-3 KJ2000). How blunt does God have to be for us to see that we are poor, miserable, blind and naked in all our Laodicean opulence?

As long as religious men are busy reconstructing the first tabernacle they cannot take part in that sanctuary made without hands. If we are not willing to gather in the heavenly unity by the Spirit in that heavenly place beyond the veil, we are only building Babylon the Great and though thousands are gathered together in our name, we have forsaken the assembling together.

We have seen what the Church is not. Now let's examine, at greater length, what the Church is.

Chapter 1 | Table of Contents | Chapter 5

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