Babylon vs Jerusalem
There are many controversies in the Bible but the leading controversy, when exposed, will open the door to eliminate all other disputes or difficulties. It is the difference between Babylon and Jerusalem. And why there needs to be what the Bible refers to as the Heavenly Jerusalem, Revelation 21:2.
Babel / Babylon
The New Webster’s Dictionary defines Babel: A city in Shinar, which after the flood of Noah, whose people tried to build a high tower to reach heaven and were prevented by God from doing so.
Webster’s says of Babylon: an ancient city, the capitol of Babylonia; noted for wealth, luxury, and wickedness.
Genesis the 11th chapter gives us God’s version of Babel:
Genesis 11:4, And they said, ” Go to, 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.”
The people knew about the flood and Noah’s Ark otherwise they wouldn’t be building a high tower. The importance of verse 4 is that they wanted to make a name for themselves. In doing so, they wanted their independence from God, and would never need to call upon the name of God.
Today, we have the same situation, men, even the noblest of men, trying to make a name for themselves. In books, and in the arts, and academia, realizing it or not, that they are trying to make a name for themselves. That is the natural way for our secular world. A world full of people and cities, not knowing why they even exist or what life is all about. The good news of all of this is that God has not forgotten that they are His children, and they, who are seeking a city, will eventually be inhabitants of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
In the story of the Tower of Babel, we read that God took notice of the work that they were doing and that they were of one language.
Genesis 11:6, And the Lord said, “Behold the people is one, 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.” 7, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
Today, just as in the story of the Tower of Babel, Christianity is the same way. Our churches and denominations are under God’s punishment as well. There are many churches, all called by different names, who don’t want to understand one another, or because of the competition between them, that they choose to remain separate. The churches and the denominations are all scattered in their speaking and what they believe. The Presbyterians don’t understand the Baptist, the Baptist don’t understand the Roman Catholics, the Roman Catholics don’t understand the Muslims and so on. If they did, they wouldn’t be separate but united in their beliefs. They are all the product of human effort. All these organizations speak the English language, but they do not understand one another and want to be separate. These, whether they realize it or not, are under the confounding and punishment of God. When He is ready for them to come out of their confusion, He will draw them out, John 6:44; 12:32.
Continuing with the story of the Tower of Babel we read that they were all scattered.
Genesis 11:9,Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth.
In the local church’s, those churches which are built up with the Spirit of God, are all united. In the local churches we are all being gathered by the Holy Spirit learning the ultimate goal of being one. During the time of the nation of Israel, the entire Nation was gathered together to the place of God’s choosing. They were to come together three times during the year, the Feast of unleavened bread, Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, and rest with Him in the place of His choosing, Deuteronomy 16:16. God always wants unity not division. God’s place of His choosing would be Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem? Because King David conquered the Jebusites and defeated all the inhabitants of the land. Jerusalem then became the city of peace and God allowed King David’s son, Solomon, to built Him a house to dwell in. This was a physical temple for God to reside in. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 15:45, that there is a natural body as well as a spiritual body. The church is the body of Christ,1st as a natural body and will grow into a spiritual body. This spiritual body, His many membered body, His church, will be built by Jesus Christ.
There are two kinds of churches. The Universal church as mentioned in Matthew 16:18, and in the Book of Matthew chapter eighteen describes the Local church. The Local Churches will eventually be gathered together and all will eventually speak the same thing, and will eventually be transformed into,”The Church of God”. And because they are built by and through one Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, 1st Peter 1:11, they will all be built into the one Universal Church.
The Bible speaks of the City of Jerusalem in two ways. The Earthy Jerusalem and the Heavenly Jerusalem. The Earthly Jerusalem is in the Middle East, where a physical temple is planned awaiting the Messiah, the God of Moses, to return. They don’t know or believe that the name Jesus Christ is the only name by which men will be saved, Acts 4:10,12.
The Heavenly Jerusalem is the pinnacle of God’s purpose.
1st Corinthians 1:10, “Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there is no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
How is it possible for the apostle Paul to expect the people to be united in their minds with no divisions among them?
Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.6, one God and Father of all, and through all and in all.”
This is an example of how the local churches are being raised up. There is and can only be oneness among God’s people because all the local churches are being raised up by one Spirit, God’s Spirit. There is no divisions among God’s people. They have one mind and speak the same thing because of God’s spirit within them.
John 4:23, “But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. 24, God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”
The Apostle Paul tells us of what the human body is made of:
1st Thessalonians 5:23, “and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Because God is Spirit, the only way we can hear Him and speak to him is through our spirit, not our minds, our ideas, or reasoning. We need to forget about our own thoughts and ideas and follow the oneness of His Spirit. We have nothing to contribute but our obedience. Only then will the divisions and the quarreling stop among us. It is through our spirit and the leading and teaching of God’s Spirit that we are to be a part of the Heavenly Jerusalem which will bring about a lasting peace among the brethren. We need to put aside doctrine, our opinions, and worldly teachings by the exercising of our spirit. God’s Spirit is the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is not a territory on earth but resides in the heavens, Revelation 21:2.
Hebrews 12:22, “For ye have come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to a innumerable company of angels.”
When we are in the Spirit of Christ, we are in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways saith the Lord.”
We all need a renewing of our mind, Romans 12:2, and letting this mind, the mind of Jesus Christ, be in us, Philippians 2:5.\
The difference between Babylon and the Heavenly Jerusalem is as different as night is from daylight. We, in the local churches, are being built up by God through His Spirit, therefore there will never be any divisions among us. No one is trying to make a name for himself and all are coming out of confusion. We, as well as anyone who has a heart for God will be included, and will continue to grow and fill the whole earth.