A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 7)
Posted by RJ Dawson
The initial history of the Early Church occurred during 32-70AD. Afterwards, until the early 300s, real Christianity grew exponentially. Then the enemy made a masterstroke…
The Christian Tower Builders had been preparing well. During a period of roughly 230 years after the destruction of the nation of Israel (70AD) and the establishment and great fruitfulness of the Lord’s spiritual Kingdom throughout the Roman Empire, the enemy had been stealthily at work. He had developed a plan to strike back at his hated nemesis even though its full effect would be long in coming. His first intention was to undermine the original teachings of the Lord by introducing familiar philosophical reasonings and standard ancient religious concepts which centered on idolatry. He would add Gnostic understandings which initially emerged during the apostle Paul’s time primarily in Asia Minor centered roughly at Ephesus, having likely originated in Alexandria, Egypt. In essence, the enemy would do what he had always done to lead people astray: Obfuscate their thinking, corral them into cults, and draw them into eventual worship of him whether such people knew it or not.
He would also begin the process of recreating and applying the accoutrements of tyrannical rule which would largely mirror the Roman emperor and his court and thus generate the means to rule over as many Christians as possible through as few as possible. This had always been a successful strategy in other cultures in prior times in that it created influential figureheads by which to control and manage the herds of humanity regardless of realm—government/politics, religion, the military, or even economics. Regarding Christians who had already adapted to following one Leader—the Lord Jesus—the enemy would have to make the attempt to introduce sub-leaders, those who stood between God and the follower and who would act as religious mediators. In this way he could cut off a believer’s direct communication with the Lord by making him go through a surrogate and compel him to become dependent on a stand-in—a hireling—and by this muddy the believer’s knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. Sound familiar?
One may wonder how the enemy thought he could be successful at any of this after the great triumphs of the Lord’s Community, the far-reaching application and successful results of its spiritual power and authority (greater than any other), and the prodigious number of born again believers to the tune of multiple millions. Why did he think his subterfuge may work?
To start with, one may consider all that God had done for His ancient people and what He equipped them with, starting from Adam to the nascent nation of Israel escaping Egyptian bondage, and onward to the full burgeoning of the nation, and then see what happened to each. How did Adam fare? How did the promising initial population of the world deteriorate so badly that it required the Flood of Noah to cleanse the land? What happened to that first generation after the Exodus? How did the conquest of Canaan go? What eventually happened to the promising nation of Israel? You see, the Lord was positively involved in all these efforts, had great plans, unlimited resources, and the spiritual power to see them through and grant success but they all botched it. How was any of this failure even possible?
So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. [Hebrews 3:19]
Unbelief: ἀπιστία (ap-is-tee’-ah): faithlessness, disbelief, unfaithfulness (disobedience), want of faith, weakness of faith:—unbelief.
—Adam introduced sin into the world. The world population destroyed in the Flood had grown far from God, willingly distant from His will, exponentially evil, and characterized by the sin of murder. The first generation of Israelites after the astounding miracle of the Red Sea Crossing at the Exodus were wiped out in the desert and never entered the Promised Land due to unbelief, disobedience, rebellion, and obstinate opposition to the divine will. Joshua’s Conquest was great in part but the assignment was never completed fully per his instructions and far too many Canaanites remained which eventually assisted in corrupting God’s people.
So you see, the devil had much to be hopeful for. He felt assured that he could corrupt Christians as he had corrupted so many others in world history. He knew what he had assisted in doing to the nation of Israel, which no longer existed, and was confident he could do the same to the Lord’s new spiritual Community. Though this may have appeared inconceivable early on and certainly a daunting undertaking due to the Lord’s people being a much greater foe than past heroes of the faith, the enemy knew he was still dealing with human beings who had their flesh to contend with. They were imperfect. They may have chinks in their armor. They may be vulnerable to certain sins. Those Christians who failed to stay filled with the Holy Spirit, die daily, and crucify their flesh would be susceptible to a successful attack and such were those who would be targeted.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [1Peter 5:8]
He would attack indirectly. He would make a play on the flesh. He would mess with people’s minds. He would conjure up the specter of religious pride. If these sound familiar they are exactly what He tried on the Lord Jesus with obviously no success whatsoever. But they had worked in the past. They worked with Adam and Eve and later Israelite kings, notably Solomon. They certainly worked with the Pharisees et al. It was a known strategy and a very familiar story. If he managed to make steady inroads during the second and third centuries he could eventually reach the plain of Shinar phase of the operation. Would the devil be able to foment a maneuver in which the spiritual reality of living stones could be transformed into a religion of fake rocks? Made of burnt mud brick? Could he gather enough faux believers to overcome the real believers and therefore institute a new Christianity, one based on syncretism and hybrid renderings, on ultra-ceremonialism, and authoritarian rule?
This was certainly his aim. Again, he knew the concept well and knew it worked well. The challenge would be furthering the notion that Christians need not obey the Lord Jesus exclusively or obey His directives of being Spirit-filled as per the Book of Acts model. It was the only model that worked, of course, at establishing a real Christian and equipping him or her to successfully overcome the world, crucify the flesh, remain properly subjected to the Lord, walk in the Spirit, and defeat spiritual enemies.
The devil knew he must thus construct his own oppositional monolith to counteract the real Church, his own vast “community,” and his own hierarchy through which to rule.
When the fourth century dawned, he decided the time was right. He had worked hard over two centuries to blur the lines of what Christianity was and had introduced damnable heresies as it were, an echo of ancient OT times when he raised up false prophets in the land of Israel. Peter wrote:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 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… [2Peter 2:1-5 KJV]
The devil had convinced enough Christians to betray the Lord the same way the faithless Israelites had. He must now create an opposing force sufficient to engage in battle on equal terms. He had a means in mind. He had a particular man in mind. He would now foist it upon an unbelieving unaware world and do it quickly so as to deceive enough of the population to render them willing accomplices.
The Christian Tower of Babel was becoming a reality.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on August 9, 2022, in Current Events and tagged Christian Pharisees, Community of the Called-Out Ones, Discipleship, Early Church History 101, False Christian Movements, False Conformity, False Doctrine, False Forms of Christianity, False Gospels, False Prophecy, False Prophets, False Religious Authority, False Shepherds, False Teachers, Gnosis, Hired Hands, Infilling of the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity, Real Christianity The Nature of the Church, Shinar, Spiritual Warfare, The Great Awakening, Tower of Babel, Unreal Christianity, Wicked Heart of Unbelief. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.