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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

The Tower Of Babel & The Power Of Pentecost - November 18, 2005


Genesis 11:1-89

Sermon of the Week #200542 – November 18, 2005

The story of the building of the Tower of Babel is the story of man trying to find his way to salvation man’s way, and the story of the power of Pentecost is the story of man finding salvation God’s way.

Sometime after the incident of Noah, the ark and the flood when the human race began to increase in numbers, they were all of one language and one speech, “And it came to pass as they journeyed from the East they came to the plain of Shinar; and they dwelt there.” Shinar is identified a few verses later as Babel, also known as Babylon; Babylon today is Iraq. So what else is new? The Bible is just as contemporary today as the eleven o’clock news.

The leader of the people was a mighty man named Nimrod. He is identified in the previous chapter with the statement about Babel being the beginning of his kingdom.

Now they said one to another, “Go to, let US make brick and burn them thoroughly.” They had no stone so they made bricks. This city they built in the plain of Shinar was hi-tech. They set up a brick-building industry. Then they said, “Let US build US a city and a tower, whose top shall reach into heaven; and let US make US a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the face of the whole earth.”

This was quite an ambitious program. They were planning on going into the heavens under their own power. Notice the five times it says “US”. First they said, “Let US make brick”, then they said, “Let US build US a city and a tower”, and then they said, “Let US get US a name.” US, US, US, US, US. Where was God in this program of US?

Although God was not invited to this ambitious program, He crashed the party anyway. God said, “Let US go down and confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Who was the US from Heaven that went down to the US party in the plain of Shinar? The US is the same US, that was involved in the creation of man. God said, “Let US make man in our image.” Their plan to build a city and a tower that would reach into Heaven must not have been very impressive because when God investigated, He had to come down to see this great tower they had built.

God wrecked the whole plan in a most amazing way. He did not send another flood; He confounded their tongues so they could not understand each other and they were scattered in all directions. And that is the story of the beginning of the nations.


Men are still building towers of Babel today; still trying to solve the riddle of life without God. There is the tower of the Babel of education. We know education is important, but education without Jesus Christ in the classroom is a tower of Babel.

Consider Eve in the Garden of Eden. She had a Bachelor of Arts and  a Master of Arts, and under the leadership of God she was well on the way to even greater knowledge until she decided to take her doctorate under Professor Devil, Dean of the University of Hell. He assigned the topic for her doctoral thesis on the differences between good and evil. He told her if she could pass the course she would really become wise.

Doctor Eve passed the course Magna Cum Lousy. You ought to have heard the lectures she gave her descendants on what she learned from Professor Devil. She could wax eloquent as she told how she learned how it feels for the first time to be scared, naked, cold, ashamed, mortal and afraid of God.

That was one time the Devil told the truth. She did become wise, but it was a bitter knowledge. During the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi leaders after World War Two it was discovered that of the twelve men in Hitler’s inner circle eleven of them had the IQ of genius. Brilliance without Christ and His Word can be devilish. Someone has said, “Better to know nothing at all, than to know what is not so”. Unsanctified learning is a tower of Babel.


Another tower of Babel is the tower of Babel of medicine. A list of the top five diseases of the leading killers of humanity in 1900 will show that some of those diseases,

 because of medical science, are now under control, but a new list has taken their place. When the list of the top five killers now are brought under control, according to that lesson of history, five others will take their place.

The average life span when I was born was fifty-four years. This low life expectancy was due partly to a greater rate of infant mortality and that brought the average down. I personally had older members of my own family who lived into their eighties and nineties which blew that fifty-four average apart. The average life expectancy now is seventy-seven years because more people are living to be three score and ten years and, if by reason of strength, four score years. The biblical limit had not been altered, but more people are living out their lives to the limit. After four score years David said, “It is soon cut off.” Even if you live to be a hundred that extra twenty years is in the “soon cut” category compared to the eighty already lived.

The one sure thing about life on this planet is the fact that we will all grow old and die because of the Cherubims that stand at the East of the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword which turns every way to keep the way of the tree of life. That sword turns every way. No matter what plan man can devise, the flaming sword is there. We will all run out of time sooner or later, but we will never run out of eternity.

There is only one way back to the tree of life and that is the way Jesus has given in John eight, verse fifty-one, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep My word, he shall never see death.” Any other way to find that kind of life is a tower of Babel.


Another tower of Babel is the Babel of money. Some people are blessed with a talent for making money. God warned Israel about their prosperity when they came to the Promised Land, not to say in their heart, “My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant.” Making money is a God-given talent and God expects us to use it for His glory.

In Third John the Apostle writes to Gaius, a wealthy Christian, and commends him for using his resources for the ongoing of the gospel. John tells him, “I pray that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospers.” That prayer is something that cannot be prayed for most of us. If we pray that we may prosper even as our soul prospers, most of us would be bankrupt.

We need to remember the story the Lord told of the man with the full barns who said, “I will tare down my barns and build greater and there I will bestow all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry.” And God said, “Thou fool this night shall thy soul be required of thee and the things which thou hast prepared whose shall they be.”

I know one preacher who preached a sermon about the fact that we all have our little red barns like the man that Jesus told us about. He said he had fifteen sweaters in his little red barn, ten pairs of shoes, twelve suits, thirty shirts and a hundred neckties. Who in the world can wear twelve suits and a hundred neckties while many in the world are freezing to death? So, how much do you have in that little red barn that belongs to God?

Many years ago I read where Gandhi advised a group of people as they departed from India to America in these words, “No matter what the Americans say in their Churches, remember their real God is Gold.” The Twin Towers was the symbol of the power of our money, but with all our technology, barbarians with box cutters tore it down and great was the fall thereof. Money not used for the glory of God is a twin tower of Babel. And now notice the contrast in the tower of Babel and the power of Pentecost.


One great contrast in the tower of Babel and the power of Pentecost is in the confounding of the tongues. God confounded their tongues so that they might not understand each other. On the Day of Pentecost God confounded his tongues so that every man heard the gospel in his own language wherein he was born.

It is true when the tongues were confounded the nations could not understand each other. It is still true today. The nations cannot understand each other.  Look at television and watch the United Nations in their meetings. They even wear headphones and have interpreters and with all that going for them, they still cannot understand each other.

Theologically it is still true today. At Pentecost everyone heard the gospel in their own language and all believed the same things and there was no division among them; they were of one heart and soul. There were no such terms as protestant or catholic in the vocabulary, nor such terms as lent, or christen. No modern-day denominational names are to be found in the Bible.  So it seems that the religious vocabulary has been confounded again. But this time it was not God that did it, but because men who do not like the language of God prefer their own.

Another contrast in the tower of Babel and the power of Pentecost is in the city. At Babel they said, “Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach into heaven.” The power of Pentecost involves a city that does reach into heaven. Immediately after the fall of the tower of Babel is the call of Abraham. Abraham went out at God’s command not knowing whether he went, but as we read in Hebrews eleven, “He went out looking for a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.” The reason he looked for the city God would build was because as Hebrews thirteen tells us, “We have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city that is to come.” No city here on earth will abide. That city Abraham was looking for had foundations. Jesus instructs us about that city with foundations at Caesarea Philippi when He said in regards to the confession that He was the Son of God, “Upon this rock I will build My Church and the Gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Paul would also tell us in First Corinthians three, “Other foundation can no man lay, than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ.”

Regarding our own building on the rock Jesus said in Matthew seven, “Everyone therefore who heareth these words of mine and doeth them shall be likened unto a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended and the floods came and the wind blew and beat upon that house and it fell not for it was founded on the rock. And everyone who heareth these words of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came and the winds blew and great was the fall thereof.”

That is the power of Pentecost. It was on that day that the Church that Jesus said would be founded on the rock would begin. To be more specific the power of Pentecost was found in the message that was preached that day. Peter and the other apostles stood up holding the keys of the kingdom and said that Jesus was delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hands of lawless men did crucify and slay whom God raised up. He said that not only was Jesus raised up, but that He also ascended up to God and sat down at the right hand of God. When they heard they had crucified the Lord, they said, “What must we do?” Peter told those believers, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” They then that gladly received His Word were baptized and there were added to them in that day about 3,000 souls.

The next statement in the second chapter of Acts contains the whole program of the New Testament Church, “And they continue steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Those four items give us the entire program for any Church today that wants to be the Church that was started the day the Church was born. The Apostle’s doctrine (or teaching) means that the Church studies what the Apostles wrote. Fellowship also includes the contribution of money. Everyone has heard that the word “fellowship” in Greek is Koinonia. Notice the first syllable sounds like our English word “COIN”. Steadfast in “COIN A KNEE AH”. Then the breaking of bread. We must always remember and never forget that Jesus died for my sins. The fourth part of the program is prayers. This is the program that will develop a Church like the Church in the days of the Apostles, and that is the power of Pentecost.

To such as these, both then and now, is the promise of Revelation twenty-two, “Blessed are they who do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. That city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.” And that is the power of Pentecost.

There is a contrast also in the symbolic nature of each city. The Church is a reminder of the Holy City that John saw coming down out of Heaven. And the tower of Babel is a reminder of Babylon. In Genesis the tenth chapter we are reminded that the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod was Babel in the land of Shinar.

In Revelation seventeen the city of Babylon is called the mother of harlots that sits on many waters. The many waters are identified in verse fifteen, “The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations.” It is a significant term “the harlot sits on the people”. Once the harlot gets control of people she really sits on them. The harlot is God’s term for the apostate church as compared to the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ are those who follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth.

The effort to build the tower of Babel was defeated and the efforts of the modern-day tower of Babel of the apostate church will meet the same end. Listen to John in the Book of Revelation chapters fourteen and eighteen, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great who made the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication. Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird.” The day will come when every false religion, every false doctrine, and every prophet of the apostate church will fall and great will be the fall thereof.

My God I mark with fear how many hopes decay- And like the foolish builders house fall in the trials day-Perhaps amidst this throng thou dost a soul espy-Whose towering hopes are built on sand I ask Lord is it I-A thousand doubts arise, I bring them all to thee-Am I unconsciencously deceived, Lord search my heart and see-Oh teach me deep to dig, down to the solid rock- That when tornadoes round me sweep, my soul shall stand the shock- Jesus Thou only art the sure foundation stone-Firm as the eternal hills art Thou, I build on Thee Alone-Cemented fast to Thee, no stone is laid in vain-My soul defies the assaults of hell, The flood, the wind, the rain.