Man’s Spirit and God’s Sovereignty

Genesis 11:1-9

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson explains "the spirit of Babylon."

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Will you open your Bibles with me to Genesis chapter 11 and will you listen verses 1-9 as I read our passage for this morning? This incidentally as I may say later on if I forget, but this is the end of the general history of mankind and we will see that in the Book of Genesis from now on, the attention is concentrated upon one of the sons of Noah and his descendants. That of course, being Shem.

Let’s begin reading now at verse 1 of chapter 11. Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.

“And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they 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. And they said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven. (That is an interesting expression, it may mean whose top is in the heavens, literally is and its top is in the heavens, or the idea maybe that of dedication, but probably the former is truer to the Hebrew text.) And let us make for ourselves a name, lest we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing, which they purpose to do, will be impossible for them. ‘Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ (Will you notice the plural, let us go down? This again is consonant with what we’ve been saying as we have gone along in chapter 1 and again in chapter 3. Plurality in the God-head is the implication of these terms. Now we of course, cannot prove the doctrine of the Trinity from this, but it is in harmony with the doctrine of Trinity.) ‘Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore 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.”

The term Babel incidentally is a term that possibly comes from the word balal in Hebrew which means to confuse or many modern scholars feel that it comes or it is related to a word Babili [phonetic] , which means the gate of God. We are, it is impossible to be absolutely certain about this and so we, if it comes from the term that means the gate of God then it is a word play that is Babel sounds like “confusion,” but the derivation is not strictly from the word balal which means to confuse. On the other hand, if it is from the term confuse, then the relationship is that much closer. Perhaps, the latter is right. It is called Babel because there the Lord confused, balal, the language of the whole earth.

May the Lord bless this reading of his word.

The subject for today in our continued study of the Book of Genesis is the spirit of man and the sovereignty of God. It is the Apostle John who wrote we know, we are of God and the whole world lies in the wicked one. Nowhere did we see the spirit of the world more clearly than in the account of the tower Babylon. There we see the spirit of man grandiose in it is imagination, rebellious in its pretensions and yet reflective underneath of a basic insecurity.

God had said be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth. He had added subdue the earth and it almost as if man had said, God said “subdue the earth”, so why not master it for ourselves and not for him. Like Lucifer, man would be God himself. We are reminded of this spirit often when we read the things that modern man says often in his glorying, in his scientific achievement one senses the spirit of Lucifer, the sprit of Nimrod, and the spirit of the people of Babylon and unfortunately the church of Jesus Christ does not escape this spirit either. We find often in our own statements some very unconscious that we follow right in the line of the Babylonian thinking of Nimrod and his followers.

The framework of thought manifested in the temptation and the Fall was individual, of course, but it was very early institutionalized in this incident of the tower of Babel. After the flood, the great institutional embodiment of the society of Satan was the tower of Babel and I think this is the important thing for us to remember. We have seen individual rebellion in the case of the Fall of Adam and in the other evidences of the sinfulness of man in the earlier chapters of Genesis, but here we see organized rebellion against God for the first time and that is why in the Book of Revelation, in the climax of God’s program Babylon reappears and it reappears as the opposite of the city of God, the new Jerusalem, so we have institutional rebellion against God.
That is why in Revelation chapter 17, when we read of the vision of the beast and the woman riding upon the beast who is called Babylon, we read that she, the woman is the mother of all the abominations upon the earth for it all proceeds out of the spirit of Babylonianism manifested here in Genesis chapter 11 — the institutional rebellion against God. Now that is important and it is important for us to remember.

There is something else however that we see here just as clear as we see the spirit of Man. We see the sovereignty of God. When man demands God’s sword in a claim for the surrender of God, he receives the sword of God, but he receives it through his own heart and we learn, number one, that unity and peace on man’s terms are not ultimate goods, not something to remember when the world cries for unity and cries for peace. God asks for something else, he asks for unity and he asks for peace but not in mankind, in Christ. And so unity and peace is not an ultimate good.

In fact, it is better to have division than collective apostasy and the authority for that is our Lord Jesus himself who said “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on the earth; I tell you no, but rather division.” So the Lord Jesus came with the full intention of creating division upon the earth so that men would see what is right and what is wrong or what is true and what is error. Now it is important that we keep this in mind collectively too, for when we look out and see man seeking to accomplish his human goals by means of systems of confederation, disarmament treaties and other means of organizing men, it is well for us to remember that there can never be any true unity and peace in mankind. God demands more.

There is another thing that we see here and that is the nationalism of which we have a great deal today, is God’s fit discipline for an evil race. God does not catch man’s disease of “giantism,” as it has been called. And consequently he scatters inhabitants of Babylon over the face of the earth, makes it impossible for them to understand one another because they have refused to carry out the will of God which was that they separate and spread over the face of the earth, multiplying and filling it.

But, God does not subordinate himself to man’s goals. This account I mentioned in the scripture reading belongs to the history of the sons of Noah and with it the general history of mankind comes to an end. From now on, primary attention is directed to the line of Shem. And we reading the 10th verse of this chapter, “these are the records of the generations of Shem”, and then we read of Abraham’s ancestry and the attention will focus upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob throughout the rest of the book of Genesis. The term of the event that we are going to study was probably about 100 years after the flood. The story is a remainder, an ancient remainder of the inclination of the human heart to arrogance.

Languages, we should not think are testimonials to the ingenuity of man, but they are rather testimonies to the simpleness of the human heart. The fact that someone speaks German and someone else speaks French, and someone else speaks Italian, and someone else speaks some Indian language is a testimony not to the fact that man is able to say things in thousands of different ways, but rather a testimony to the unique simpleness of the human heart. It’s God’s judgment upon us for appealing to carry out his will.

Now Moses, who put this account together says in the first through the fourth verses that there was a great result on the part of the inhabitants of Babylon to build a tower. One of the commentators has written concerning Genesis chapter 11 in verse 1 through verse 4. The primeval history reaches its fruitless climax as man conscious of new abilities prepares to glorify and fortify himself by a collective effort. And so we read in verse 1 now the whole earth use the same language and the same words. What does that mean? Well that means first of all that the whole earth had the same foreknowledge. And it also means that they had the same vocabulary.

The faculty of human speech is an interesting faculty of course, and it is one of the amazing attributes that God gave to mankind, the ability to communicate. The evolutionist cannot account for human speech. He cannot account for the fact that there is an unbridgeable gulf between the chatterings of animals and human language. Now we all have seen this. Around my house for example, I have a few squirrels. And they and I carry on a little warfare. With my slingshot, they are definitely afraid of me. Whenever I come out, they run. There is also a cat, and they too are afraid of me, because I use my slingshot on the cats too. I like the birds a little better, not much, but a little better. But I like my few flowers better than either. I’ve noticed the squirrel, the squirrel, very interesting little animal, I didn’t really realize what that squirrel could say. But the squirrel, when the squirrel is on the roof, and the cat walks by, there is an interesting conversation that takes place, I wish I could give it to you. But the squirrel obviously does not like cats either.

You would think that we would get together, the two of us, but I cannot communicate to him and he cannot communicate to me. And as a matter of fact, I do not notice that the cat really communicates with the squirrel either. But he can tell from the screeching and squirreling and shrill sounds that the squirrel makes, when he walks by that he is not welcome around the place. But I’ve never yet heard him turn around like squirrel and say, why don’t you shut your mouth? You belong to the rodent family, I am one of the felines. You belong to the rats, and they are deadly animals. They carry all kinds of disease, that’s why I eat them when I find them. You never find this. They do not really carry on any conversation.

There is a definite unbridgeable gulf between the animals and man. It is men who communicate by speech. I’ve never — there may be some very logical explanation, but I have never found a satisfactory explanation of the fact that men speak and animals do not from the mouth of an evolutionist, maybe he knows the speech by which he may communicate.

We read in the 2nd verse and it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. That is a very interesting statement, because it indicates that as they left Ararat and they moved eastward, the descendants of Noah and the families, and they came to the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, a very fertile alluvial plain, and evidently they thought that this looked something like the Garden of Eden, because there they settled. It has even been suggested that the names Tigris and Euphrates were given to those large rivers by them in the honor of and in memory of the two streams that flowed out of the Garden of Eden, which were named the Tigris and the Euphrates. That is an interesting explanation, and of course it might well be true because our rivers are frequently named after other rivers known by those who have discovered them.

At any rate, they settled there because they saw possibilities. And then it seems a tremendous civilization originated around that particular part of the world. But there was a man by the name of Nimrod, who was the founder of Babylon and one who was especially active in the building up of that part of the world. So, evidently as the society grew and as Nimrod’s authority grew, they were faced with a problem and the problem was this: shall we systematically colonize the world as God had originally said?

We read in chapter 9 verse one as they came out of the Ark that God bless Noah and his sons and said to him be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and he repeated it in the 7th verse and as for you be fruitful and multiply, populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it. They may have discussed this, shall we systematically colonize the earth or shall we build a strong central society right here. And they obviously opt for the latter. They decided to build a strong centralized society right there in Babylon. The absurdity and the gravity of this scene appear immediately when we read that they’ve said, “Come let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly and they used brick or stone and they used tar for mortar.”

Now, they were very inventive, these Hamitic peoples, and we have seen from archaeological discoveries that some of the things that they done were long lasting, but it was a mix shift situation, mix shift materials and modern man were involved in it, and so it leaves it’s impress upon the things that they were doing. Notice the purposes that they have, there are three of them. In the 4th verse they say, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city.” They got a planned urban center for societal fellowship, but one of the commentators has called as characteristic of humanity, they hunger to huddled together for fellowship. Now there is nothing wrong with building a city, although Cain built the first one according to Chapter 4 and verse 17. After all there is to be a city in the future the city of God, the new Jerusalem, so there is nothing wrong with a city per se.

What is wrong is that this city does not have as it center the Lord God. This city has as its center the lord man. And so in the construction of the city, it is a city constructed with a center in man and not its center in God. That’s the first thing. Now a city is a place for pleasure and a place for culture. So those who live in the city think, some say the city is a place to make money, I will call that pleasure. So pleasure and culture, they are the things that bring us to the city. But the tower, let us make a tower whose top will reach into heaven. That is obviously for divine recognition or a recognition of the divine and divine companionship.

Evidently what is referred to is ziggurat, which was a stepped pyramid. You’ve seen pictures of them in books on the ancient East. It is a kind of ladder that reaches high into the sky, each floor being a little smaller than the next, so it looks like a pyramid and then on top, there would be a shrine that would be dedicated to the deity. So it was a tower that had religious or spiritual connotations. They’ve said, it’s top is in the heavens, and so they conceived that this has somehow linking earth with heaven — but on man’s terms not upon God’s terms.

Dedicated to heaven, some have suggested, on the other hand it would seem that the language as it appears here really means whose top is in the heavens. They really had the idea of man as an autonomous being who as able of himself to make contact with heaven. After all, am I not the ruler of this creation, am I not the master of it, am I not autonomous, am I not homo sapiens – “wise man?” I can do anything, how often have you heard people say that. I believe that we can do anything that we really put our mind to, that’s very common.

On the other hand the biblical idea is the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous runneth into it and is safe. The only place of safety is in the Lord, but they have not recognized that. Human engineering. What do we have today? We have men planning to create life, we have all types of scientific endeavor in which attempts are made to suggest that it is really a divine activity that man is performing, and the things that we build in honor of spiritual things are things often that ultimately bring glory only to man.

We have all seen churches constructed that bring more glory to man than they do to God. I have before me an article in one of the newspapers of this country in which a description is given of a new sanctuary that a liberal church was building. There is a great deal of detail in it. I won’t waste time to talk about the fact that the columns and appointments of marble came from Italy, specially cut stones from Israel, a Schantz organ with 71 ranks and more than 6,000 pipes, and various other types of things, hand-blown walls by mingling domestic cathedral glass from Indiana with antique hand-blown glass from Germany and France.

And then at the end of the description, it is said the completion of the sanctuary is not in the power work, but the beginning, we must give a little glory to God here, there is not anything else in this article that I could find that would bring glory to him. This is not our Promised Land, but it is a land with a promise for the future, which God still has for the Christian congregation.

We must assume our responsibilities that we may deserve to be in this land, and the things that we do in the name of the Lord God are really things that bring honor to the lord man. So let us built the tower. Let us recognize God. Let’s not give him too much recognition, but let’s recognize him, let’s don’t think of him as sovereign, but let’s think of him as being used by us. We also read here, let us make a name for ourselves. I better say that is not understood too well because we use that expression at a little different way today, we say he made a name for himself, that is he excelled in his profession or his work so that men knew of him as outstanding. We would say Tom Watson has made a name for himself on the golfing world by being the heir apparent to Jack Nicklaus’ throne. Jack Nicklaus has made a name for himself. Roger Staubach has made a name of himself as a football player.

But there is more to this statement, let us make a name for ourselves. This really could be a kind of motto of humanity, let us make a name for ourselves. In the earlier part of the book, it says in Genesis, chapter 4 on Verse 26. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Now the name of the Lord represents all that the Lord is. So, when they say let us make a name for ourselves, they mean let us have a name like God. Let us be the center, let us be the means of definition. Let us be the standard by which everything is judged. Let us make for ourselves a name. It reminds me of the incident in Exodus, when Moses asks God for his name, and the Lord says, I AM who I AM. It is impossible for me to give you a definition of God. And so he says, I just am who I am. If we define God we limit God, and he is an infinite being and cannot be limited, he gives definition to everything else.

Now he gives a relational name. In a few moments he will say, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob and that will let Moses know that he is the convent keeping God who exercises mercy, but so far is an absolute definition of God, such is impossible for man. But here is man wanting to make a name for himself. This is in a sense the master motive behind all religion. It is the idea that we are our own Messiah. We are our own God, we do not need God.

One of the commentators has written something very significant I think. He says the fact that this was a religious tower and yet built to make a name for man reveals the master motive behind religion. It is a means by which man attempts to share the glory of God. We must understand this otherwise we will never understand the power of religion as it has pervaded the earth and premeditated our culture ever since. It is a way by which man seeks to share what is rightfully God’s alone. This tower was a grand old structure and undoubtedly it was intended to be a means by which man would glorify God. Unquestionably there was a plaque somewhere attached to it that carried the pious words, erected in the year so an so to the greater glory of God. But it was not really for the glory of God, it was a way of controlling God, a way of channeling God by using him for man’s glory. Man does not really want to eliminate God, he pointed out, it is only sporadically, not only for a relatively brief time that men crown for the elimination of God. Madalyn Murray O’Hairs only appear on the scene for a time, and then they pass off the scene. Atheism is too barren, too pessimistic, too morally bankrupt to live with very long. The Communists, he goes on to say, are finding this out. No, we need dear old God, but let’s keep him under control. Do not let him get out of his place. Don’t call us God, we will call you.

There is a lot of that spirit manifest here: and let us make a name for ourselves. They were smart, they had a program. Their purpose was unity, their program was united effort, their principles were human glory. What is that? Why that’s the counterfeit of the kingdom of God. But it is twisted so that it is the kingdom of man instead of the kingdom of God. Deep down, however there is a lack of trust in their own ability for we read last we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. Deep down in the human heart in the midst of all of his braggadocio and his arrogant boastfulness, man knows that he cannot play the role of superman very long. Lest we be scattered over the face of the whole earth. But this idea of building a tower in a city and making a name for ourselves is the shriek of politicians and the shriek of ecclesiastics today. The supreme evil is not apostasy; the supreme evil is this unity. Unity and peace at any cost. But God will not have unity and peace at any cost.

Now God reacts. There are people who say the Bible is humorless. There is not a whole of humor in the Bible. There are very few jokes in the Bible; they’re supplied by preachers. But the Bible has very few of the jokes, but there is a lot of unity and there is a lot of irony in the Bible and here we have some of the greatest. Because you see here is an omniscient God, an infinite being, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He knows exactly what’s going on down on the earth, he knows every thought of Nimrod and all of his followers, but we read in the fifth verse, and the Lord came down to see the city on the tower which the sons of men had built.

He did catch on what was going down on the earth, but when he looked down from heaven, what was going down on the earth, what man was doing was so pygmyish, so puny, so dinky, but God the omniscient God couldn’t even see it. What irony. It is so small that even a great God cannot see it, that dinky little structure, that they think is so great whose top shall reach the heavens. Runty, dwarfish, elfin — think of the all the adjectives you want to it applied to the Tower of Babel. So, this great God must make a local inspection and so he came down and he took a look, at what he saw.

And he made an observation. He said well, they are one people and they have all got the same language so there is unity there, all right. And this is what they begin to do, that’s the second thing. He noticed they are in process of building the structure, and then he had something that is rather interesting to me, and now nothing, which they purpose to build, will be impossible for them. That seems the denial of the sovereignty of God, does is it not? Nothing that they purpose to do will be impossible for them.

You see, God takes very seriously the things that man does and he knows the great powers that lie within human nature because he has implanted them there. They were created in the image of God, but it is an image now that has been marred by sin. But there are vast powers that are within the human body, within the human being, and those powers will be brought to their perfection by the redeeming power of our God.

But he says nothing that they purpose to do will be impossible for them, but if they do it, they will destroy themselves. That same commentator to whom I referred, tells the story of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” the boy who had hired himself out to the sorcerer to carry his water in from the well into the house.

Like all boys, he got a little tired of doing that work and so when the sorcerer was gone he thought that perhaps if he prowled around among the sorcerer’s paraphernalia he might find a little magic incantation that he could say, that will get the work done and enable him to read the newspaper while all of the work was being done. So he fooled around among the books that the magician had, and he learned a few of the incantations that he saw there, and he tried them out on the broom in the room. And sure enough the broom began to walk out to the well and bring in water, buckets of it.

And thinking that he had solved the problem, he sat down over in the corner and began to read until he noticed that he was sitting in something that was a little damp and he looked up and all of the buckets were overflowing with water and the broom was still bringing in the water. He was a little disturbed. He jumped up. He shouted out a few incantations at the broom, but they didn’t work. The broom kept on. The broom brought in more and more water. Everything that he did only made it the more difficult for him, until finally when he was about to drown with the water up around his neck, it just happened that the sorcerer came home. Said a few proper words and he was saved.

That’s a parable of the Tower of Babel because, man in his inventiveness thinks that he can master the earth but the various solutions that he works out are the solutions that will ultimately be his downfall, if God doesn’t not intervene. And the power of Babel would not been his downfall, had not God confused and confounded the languages and scattered those people over the face of the earth.

Now I think that God, thought that this was irony too because you’ll notice in verse 3, they say, come on, let’s make bricks and burn them and verse 4. Come on, let us build for ourselves a city. And so in verse 7 God says, “Come on let us go down and confuse their language.” [Laughter] He knows what they are saying even accommodates his language to them. He is not threatened. He is not jealous. Do you think God is a threatened God in heaven, is he jealous of man? No he is not jealous of man, he is not threatened by men. He is jealous of only one thing and that is his deity. He will not let man assume his assume his attributes and he is jealous of his position in this universe and he will not relinquish it for puny, dwarfish, pygmyish man. You can be sure of that.

And so he comes down as the sovereign God and he does only one thing, he confuses their language and they are forced to do what he had told them to do from the beginning. So the next morning can you not imagine what happened? One worker is going to work on the power, it’s half constructed. When he meets his friend coming down the street he says Guten morgen. He is surprised. His language is not the language that he had been speaking. The other person replies bonjour until he realizes what he has said. And then the first one says Ich verstehen Sie nicht, and the other one’s even more puzzled he says Je ne comprends pas.

And, wie bitte? Pardon? Then they realized they couldn’t communicate one with another. Konnen Sie bitte langsamen sprechen? one says. Can’t you speak a little more slowly? And they discovered and they are not only humiliated but they get mad at each other because perhaps they think they are trying to fool each other.
Well, when they arrive at the job and the foreman tells them to do something, again he cannot communicate with them. He speaks some other language and speaking in that language they cannot understand, and they don’t do the work and he gets mad and word goes to Nimrod. And Nimrod is furious, he cuts out of few tongues and they can’t speak any language after that. [Laughter] But he is very disturbed and the whole place becomes total confusion. There are loud incoherent arguments and fights and struggles all over the city. We assume of course that in the families that there was the same speech, so that within the family the person may get up and say guten morgen, and another one would reply guten morgen, herr. And they would communicate but outside but outside they could not.

And so they were forced by God. Finally some one said, I am getting away from this place, let’s go away from here where we can understand one another. And so they began to spread out over the earth and it is God who fulfilled, be truthful, multiply, populate the earth. If man will not do it, He will do it. He is the sovereign God. That’s why we proclaim a God who is not is not confused.

The members of the God-head do not work at cost purposes it is not the Father who elects a certain number of people and the son who died for all people and the Holy Spirit who applies salvation to the elective follower so that that the son is out voted to the one. We don’t have a confused deity, we do not have a frustrated deity, who seeks to save everybody, but only certain are saved, we don’t that kind of God. We worship a God who is sovereign, he is not confused, he is not frustrated. And when man refuses to respond to him, He will fulfill his will. And so men are scattered over the face of the earth and they are forced to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth against their will.

They stopped building, the text says, the city, so the tower remained. In Scotland, near Oban on the west coast. Oban is a little town on the water, and if you get out in the harbor and you look back there is a large hill, not a mountain, but it’s a hill above the city and there is a giant colosseum like structure, in this little city of Oban. Column after column in a circular form, you see it form the water, and it is called McCaig’s Folly. A man by the name of McCaig attempted to build a giant structure, but when he got halfway through, he didn’t have the resources to finish it.

We all know the stories of this. When I was growing up in North Carolina, in the summer when we went to the mountains. In Hendersonville there is a large hotel on the top of the mountain that overlooks the city, which was half built. One of the means by which we entertained one another was to go up on top of a mountain and see that structure, which was half constructed and it too was called somebody’s folly. For years in downtown Dallas, one of our best-known hotels now, was half-constructed. The construction stopped because the funds of a very wealthy man in the city ran out and it was called so-and-so’s folly. Well, this was Nimrod’s folly. And for generations afterward they looked at the power of Babel and said, look at Nimrod’s Folly.

And then the author of Scripture explains. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth and from there the Lord scattered it abroad over the face of the whole earth. So what they feared being scattered did take place. But God did it. Well, Babylon’s important, I think we see. Babylon is the symbol of collective rebellion of God. Its the symbol of human autonomy, and in fact, one of the last of the things that we read in the New Testament is Babylonian The Great is Fallen, is Fallen. It’s the symbol of organized rebellion against God, you see God’s program is unity in Christ, and He will have unity but only in Christ.

Now I must close. I don’t want too long winded like the preacher have been delivering a dry long-winded disclose completely oblivious to the restlessness of the congregation. He was brought rather quickly back to earth when a little boy sitting over in the front row, just like Bo is here and with a shrewd voice he said, “Mummy, are you sure this is the only way we can get to heaven?” [Laughter] So let me just say one word by way of conclusion.

What you see in Babylonianism, and you will see it all through the Bible – Babylonian opposed Jerusalem and finally Babylonian opposed to the New Jerusalem, God’s great city of the future — you will see the mystery of iniquity at work, but you will also see the mystery of godliness progressing founded in the blood of Calvary shed by Lord Jesus Christ for the redemption of sins expended by the rushing mighty wind of the Holy Spirit who united these people from different languages in one language they understood on the day of Pentecost, see that’s all earnest.

The turning around of that which God did at Babylonian and where people who spoke different languages suddenly were able to understand one another by virtue of the coming of the Holy Spirit. And a man stood on his feet in Parthian, and gave praise for the wonderful works of God. And another man who was a Greek standing there heard him speak and understood what he was talking about, or a man from Parthia understood a man who was a Greek, speaking in his language. And so by virtue of the Gift of Tongues, speaking in known languages in earnest of what God will ultimately do was given on the Day of Pentecost. And as a result, there is being constructed the Body of Christ composed of all who have believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, and this great Body of Christ all one body-weaved, is by the Holy Spirit marching onto the City of God, where the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of God shall be supreme and honored.

Merrill Tenney was for many years, a Professor at Wheaton College and Wheaton Graduate School, and he was preaching once in Hong Kong to a congregation that were largely Chinese. He didn’t know their language, and they didn’t know his. It was a large audience and he had some one who was interpreting for him. Afterwards, when he had pronounced the benediction, he stood at the door outside and the congregation filed out, and those that spoken English could say a word to him. But he said there was one man who came up who obviously could not say anything. You could tell he wanted to say something, but he really couldn’t say anything, and finally when he reached Dr. Tenney, all he could blurt out was Halleluiah. And then Dr. Tenney said I didn’t know what to say to him, I couldn’t say one word in his language, but I finally broke out with Amen, and he smiled and I smiled. We were able to communicate by virtue of our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s what going to happen in the future, and finally those who abide to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be one in Christ and God’s program for unity to the Glory of God will be accomplished. You are here this morning and you have never believed in our Lord Jesus Christ to invite here to come, receive the benefits of the work of the Christ through faith not by coming down front, not by signing a paper, not by raising your hand but by in your heart turning to the Lord Jesus and receiving as a free gift, the salvation of God. Come to him. Join the company of the saints who shall ultimately be one in Christ and enjoy the fellowship of God forever. Why don’t you come? Acknowledge your own lost condition, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved. What a wonderful promise. May God help you to respond. Let’s stand for the benediction.

[Prayer] Father, we are so grateful to thee for the ancient accounts of the word of God, which already in those earliest days, hundreds and thousands of years ago, revealed the eternal principles of our great triumph God. Our father, we pray especially for any in this audience who may not know our Lord Jesus Christ. May through the Holy Spirit, there be a working of the power of God and acknowledgement of our lost condition, a fleeing to the cross of Christ for the forgiveness of sins through the blood that we shed. May grace, mercy and peace go with us.

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Posted in: Genesis