Blog Archives

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 6)

 

As noted in Part 5, there are two Christianities. Both are united. Real Christianity is united spiritually with the Lord Jesus. Unreal Christianity is unified in opposition against Him.

.

CLUES TO A MASQUERADE

1Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4They 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, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.

5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. [Genesis 11:1-9]

TYPES AND SHADOWS

The preceding ancient passage is loaded with spiritual clues. Before we get into likely allegorical meanings within it we must first reiterate once again the existence of two Christianities: The real and the unreal. Regarding real Christianity we must remember that the Lord’s Kingdom is spiritual. Oppositional Unreal Christianity is not spiritual. Based on the following verse from Part 4 in this series there is only one other choice remaining:

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. [Romans 8:5]

To this I will add to what we studied in Part 5 regarding the Lord Jesus being the one Foundation and Cornerstone of a “spiritual house” composed of “living stones” as the apostle Peter termed it in his first epistle. The apostle Paul calls it “the temple of the living God” (2Corinthians 6:16). He gives a better description of this spiritual temple in the following passage:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:19-22][1]

Based on these passages it is clear that the Lord is spiritual and His real followers are spiritual. We have an entire history book of the Early Church located between the Gospels and Epistles that tells us how this occurred. The Book of Acts contains one passage after another of individual believers getting filled with the Holy Spirit and all the signs that accompanied their transformation into Spirit-filled believers. We also have proofs located in the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels regarding the historical events in Acts. He instructed them about what would happen, how it would happen, and what to prepare for before it happened. Everything written in the epistles supports what happened in Acts. Paul even goes into greater teachings on the subject regarding spiritual gifts and manifestations.

Now that we have the preceding background information established we can go back to the Genesis Chapter 11 passage about the Tower of Babel and identify its allegorical significance:

AFTER NOAH

When the great flood was over Noah and his family remained in the general region where the Ark came to rest. We identified this region in Part 3. We know Noah lived another 350 years after the flood so his descendants had ample time to reproduce exponentially. Yet, instead of moving out into the world they remained all together in the same area. Now, there must be some reading between the lines here because it must have been the case that a small percentage of Noah’s descendants did obey the Lord and ventured out as pioneers and adventurers. Yet the vast majority did not. In this they were essentially just like those who were killed in the flood in that they were disobedient and rebellious toward God and likely very fearful instead of faithful. They were not the kind of people you could create a new spiritual civilization with.

LET US MAKE BRICKS

Here we have a direct opposite type of the spiritual temple of the Lord:  

They decided to find a new location in which to live. It was relatively close. They moved in mass as a uni-culture. They all believed the same, thought the same, and spoke the same language. We discussed this in Part 1. They left the hilly and mountainous region and came upon the plain of Shinar. This is loaded with clues. The flat plain with no variation describes these people to a tee. There was no rock anywhere. It was most likely an alluvial plain, one built up over millennia by multiple layers of silt deposited by flowing waters. There were likely very few trees as well and only relatively low vegetation. Thus, the place they chose had no building materials. But not to worry. We’ll just make bricks from mud.

Okay, there’s another clue. Remember when we discussed Adam’s creation from the elements of the ground in Part 4? The ground does not represent spirit. It represents flesh. Over 99% of Adam’s flesh was made of only eleven elements. But Adam was also filled with the Spirit of God. Because the New Covenant describes the Lord Jesus as a Rock—a Living Stone—and His people comprising the spiritual temple as living stones, we can gather that stones represent spirit and mud bricks represent flesh.

So here we have these disobedient non-spiritual fleshly people leaving a place filled with building materials and settling in a place with none. They then proceed to use alluvial soils as their main building material. In order to insure the strength and durability of their bricks they burn them. They created fake rocks. Then, instead of using actual mortar which contained sand (ground up rocks/quartz) and limestone as a bonding agent, they used tar! This was likely some form of natural asphalt or bitumen but likely not as thick or concentrated as that around the Dead Sea. There must have been great pits nearby where this substance was available. There are indications that it could have been reddish in color, based on the Hebrew root word. Did you know Adam’s name comes from a root word that means red or ruddy?

To burn in this sense calls to mind what Paul wrote about those hypocritical apostates who fell away from the faith. In the KJV it is written: “…having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1Timothy 4:2). These burned bricks represent the fully indoctrinated. Their minds are made up. You can’t build a tall religious edifice without making sure your members will never stray. This denotes the cultish nature of so much Christian indoctrination when such people never receive from the Spirit of God but must have their beliefs drummed into them.

LET US BUILD A CITY

Notice that they want to build a city first. The city represents their economic interests. It is an indication that they are putting money before God. The Lord Jesus said one cannot serve both. Flesh always puts money first. Spirit always puts God first.

LET US BUILD A TOWER

Rather than a desire for spiritual things these wayward people set their minds completely on the things of the flesh. Flesh doesn’t want God but it craves religion. Flesh also craves material representations of religion. Flesh never thinks in terms of the invisible spirit, or invisible faith, or invisible spiritual gifts, or the invisible Spirit of God. It must have only that which can be experienced through the five senses. Therefore, these people had to build a material representation of their religion which would thoroughly overwhelm and satisfy their flesh. And not only that, they would build it so high that it’s “top will reach into heaven” and overthrow the power and authority of God. Christian religionists have done this very thing on countless occasions over these many centuries of the Christian era. Regardless of the fact that the Lord Jesus, His original twelve, and His early Community never constructed any buildings “dedicated to God” but maintained everything on a spiritual level and met in private homes, it never stopped later Christians from engaging in the same practices as the Tower builders. This manifested powerfully for the first time in the fourth century by the Roman emperor Constantine when he began converting large Roman public buildings into “churches.”    

LET US MAKE FOR OURSELVES A NAME

Have you ever heard of a church that doesn’t have a name? How about a denomination? Have you ever heard of a church that doesn’t have a single “pastor” in charge? Should not only the Lord Jesus be in Charge? Shouldn’t His Name be on the church sign out front? Quick question: When the apostle Paul was out establishing spiritual communities did he ever name them? We know Christian communities were identified by the city where they were located but this is merely referring to all the real believers in that particular city. There were no church buildings.

It is obvious that Christians who are obsessed with names and identifying their stuff never properly consider the greatest Name of all, the Name above all names. The majority of Christians rarely or never put the Name of Jesus first.

They are obsessed with building their own Stairways to Heaven.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] 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.

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 1)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 2)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 3)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 4)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 5)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 7)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 5)

 

There are two Christianities in the world: The first is the real one created by the Lord Jesus and preached in the first century. The second is the amalgamation of all others.

.

UNREAL CHRISTIANITY

It might appear virtually impossible for all the various forms of Christianity on the planet to actually come together in general agreement. Imagine each Christian denomination and independent church great and small and here and there casting off and discarding their particular individual identities, distinctive doctrines, and exclusive characters, and then glomming themselves together in a worldwide kumbaya moment as one might throw various colored waxes into a gooey melting pot. Specific identifiable shades all fade out into an indistinct brownish gray-like beigey non-hue. Former Protestants sit with former Catholics around a welcoming campfire singing folksongs accompanied by an acoustic guitar or two while heart-struck with philia love and their new unity-mix faith which encompasses all God’s children in warm fellowship all aglow.

Right.

However, if you hold this painting before you using both hands and turn it just a tad and then tilt it up a bit to catch some light you’ll gain an entirely different perspective and suddenly see that our hypothesized mass union has in fact already occurred. The otherwise impossible unity has already been achieved. How? Well, you see, this particular Christian unity is not based on a consensus of doctrines and practices but on opposition against the original. Thus, it matters not that the bright white light of the first-century original real Christianity happened to fall upon a flawed oppositional prism and scattered out into a million different off colors each dissimilar in its own right. Why? Because each is tainted with the commonality of rebellion.

ONE FOUNDATION

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:46-49]

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [1Corinthians 3:11]

Though the first of the preceding passages refers to individuals, the same holds true for individual Christian organizations (churches, ministries, denominations, etc.): They are either built on the only correct Foundation or they are not. The Lord Jesus is not only the Chief Cornerstone but the very Foundation of His Community (Church, Ekklesia, Qahal, etc.) and, of course, He should be. It belongs to Him. He started it. Original Christianity is His movement. When one becomes a real Christian he or she accepts the totality of the Lord’s teachings, not merely what one feels like accepting, and does what He says. He or she comes to the Lord, hears the words of the Lord, and acts on the words of the Lord. All of them. Whoever does this joins His spiritual Community. There is only one. And there is only one Leader.

It is therefore relatively easy to understand the process which resulted in so many different Christian organizations, each one different from the original to varying degrees. Whether those who started such were well-intentioned or not doesn’t change the fact that they failed to build on the correct and only Foundation. They also took liberties with their doctrines and practices. They each have different beliefs and traditions. And it may appear as though many churches and denominations are still standing though built on the ground sans the Lord’s Foundation but this is either because the flooding torrent has yet to arrive or they have long since died internally and only their outer shells remain. It could also be that outer shells is all they ever were.

The following is a third Scriptural passage regarding the one Foundation, the implications thereof, and additional truth regarding how the Lord’s actual spiritual house must be built and what happens if one strays from the blueprints:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,”

and,

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;”

For they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1Peter 2:4-8][1]

CHURCHES AS FRANCHISES

Most people understand the importance of uniformity when it comes to corporate franchises. Each franchise must adhere to the regulations and guidelines which allow for every franchise to appear and function as every other franchise regardless of location. It is why individual franchises within a particular corporation all look the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world.  

Interestingly enough, several Christian denominations mirror this exact model in that all their individual churches look essentially the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world. They also have the equivalent of a corporate headquarters and a management hierarchy (a pyramidal tower). Their individual churches must also show a profit as do business franchises. That is, each must prove it is able to collect enough local donations to keep the doors open, provide for the pastor and leadership team, fund local sub-ministries, and support the denomination. Also, just as it is in business, correct advertising, financial, and sales methods must be utilized. And though independent churches without denominational support often must sink or swim on their own, member churches of a denomination have the comforting privilege of accepting assistance from the overall organization when needed.

One wonders then, seeing such uniformity within business franchises and denominational churches, why the majority of Christians including Christian leaders fail to see the same need for uniformity when it regards the Lord’s original. Why don’t they put the necessary effort into conforming to His standard rather than their own? Why do they allow for church and ministry leaders to gain such big spotlights there is no room for the Lord? And most troubling, why do they often remove the Founder from His own movement?

Could it be because it’s the only way to continue building their Tower?

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] 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.

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 1)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 2)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 3)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 4)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 6)

A CONFUSION OF BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS: OUR CHRISTIAN TOWER OF BABEL (Part 7)