From the Main Message of
Bread Upon The Waters Ministry
There are reasons to believe that Jesus will really come soon that are not part of what is ordinarily considered Second Coming Prophecy. To present these reasons, we must start by asking a question that may not seem to have anything to do with Prophecy:
Why did God confuse the languages at the Tower of Babel?
Many people believe that it was because the people of Babel thought that they could reach Heaven and take over from God by building the Tower. We know that they couldn't have done this. If that had been their motive, it would have been an exercise in futility and God would not have needed to do anything about it. There had to be a deeper problem.
The Real Reason for the Tower and the City
Note that in the Scripture, equal emphasis is given to the city. (Look at Genesis 11:8.) This shows that the Tower itself was not the problem. The Bible shows the real reason for the building of the Tower and the City in Genesis 11:4.
And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city,
and a tower whose top is in the heavens;
let us make a name for ourselves ,
lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth".
The phrase "whose top is in the heavens" is just a figure of speech that means the Tower was meant to be very high. Compare Deuteronomy 1:28, KJV. The Tower and the City would have been the common purpose and achievement that would have given them an identity and thus preserved their unity. The purpose of building them was to keep the people together.
God identifies the real problem in what He gives as His real reason for confusing the languages in Genesis 11:6,
And the Lord said, "Indeed, the people are one and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them."
The problem was that mankind's creativity and ability to communicate can be a problem to God.
Our creativity and our ability to communicate are two of the ways in which we most differ from ordinary animals and most resemble God. No animals can communicate in anything that even approaches the way we can communicate. As I write this, I am taking my thoughts - complex thoughts - and turning them into strings of tiny symbols. As you read this, you are seeing these symbols and turning them back into my thoughts. No animal does anything like this. We are living in a technological civilization that we built with our creativity. You are reading this on the screen of a computer, and you received it over the Internet, which are products of our creativity, and are also the latest development in our ability to communicate. Again, no animal can do anything that even begins to approach this. There is only one word that accurately describes the difference between us and animals in our creativity and our ability to communicate. That word is...
We are this creative, and can communicate this well, because we are created in the image of God. More than that, there is reason to believe that we are created in God's image collectively, as much as, if not more than, individually. This is implied in Genesis 1:27.
So God created man in His own image;
In the image of God He created Him,
Male and female He created them.
We find real - life expression of this truth in the way our creativity multiplies when we work in unity. One man, starting without parts and tools, which would have been made by others, probably couldn't build a bicycle. Humans working in unity for that purpose build Boeing 747s. One man by himself, without tools and materials supplied by others, would have all he could do to build a small, crude log cabin. Humans working in unity for that purpose build skyscrapers. Humans work in unity on a scale, and with complexity, that are not approached by any mere animal.
But there is a problem with this. It is stated twice in the Bible, in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21,
"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness
of man was great in the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart
was only evil continually."
The reason that this idea is repeated in Genesis 8:21 most likely is to make it clear that the Flood didn't change the situation.
The Hebrew word translated "every intent" is a blanket term for everything man thinks of, and by extension, everything man creates. Everything we create is tainted with evil, as surely as, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That's why we have problems like environmental pollution and nuclear and biological weapons. But these things are just "the tip of the iceberg".
So God didn't move against the Tower itself. Notice that He didn't destroy it. He moved against the problem that it represented, by confusing the languages. In order for our combined creativity to manifest itself, we must be able to communicate without limit. Note that after God confused the languages, "they ceased building the city" (Genesis 11:8). Note, again, that the emphasis in this phrase is on the city, not the Tower. This reinforces the idea that the Tower itself was not the problem.
From this we discern the first of three inviolable prohibitions that God has placed on the human race; three things He will not allow us to do, at least not for long, regardless of how sinful we are otherwise.
God will not allow the human race to live in unity with unlimited communication apart from His lordship.
The reason is that man's creativity, corrupt as it is, can interfere with God's plan of salvation for the human race. If this were not so, the Tower of Babel would have been of no concern to God. But the human potential that He mentioned in Genesis 11:6 was a problem. A problem He considered it necessary to deal with quickly.
But now, a new Tower of Babel is rising.
Unlike the first one, which was built with bricks and asphalt (what the Hebrew word often translated "slime" really means); this one is being built with science, medicine, and high technology.
Unlike the first one, which was simply meant to be very high,
...this one is literally reaching for the stars!
We are rapidly overcoming the limitations that God placed on us at Babel. For all the "wars and rumors of wars" we hear about in the media, for purposes of business, science, education and entertainment, there is more effective unity in the world then there has ever been. The only real threat to world peace and unity is fundamentalist Islam. Furthermore, we are in the process of overcoming the limitations God placed on our ability to communicate and then some. Computers and the Internet are, unfortunately a big part of this. Already, they are giving us the ability to store, transmit, and analyze data to a degree that was never possible until recently. Gordon Moore, chairman of Intel, has gone on record saying that computers are doing for our minds what machines did for our muscles. They make us effectively far smarter and more creative than we are. They give us better memories, and vastly enhance our ability to communicate. And the latter effect is growing.
The big coming thing in computers is speech technology. We will soon have computers that we can operate simply by talking to them. The keyboard and mouse will be obsolete. And the computers will talk back to us. And not just with a few pre-recorded messages. They will be able to take digital information, synthesize it into ordinary language, and speak it to us. You will be able to ask your computer for information on a particular subject. It will search the Internet for the information, and then give you a summary of what it found. Again, a person living in the United States, for example, who speaks only English, will be able to make a telephone call, via computer, to a person in, say, Malaysia, who doesn't speak English. The person in Malaysia will hear the caller speaking in his own language, and the person in the United States will hear the person in Malaysia speaking English. This technology is less than ten years away!
We have, to all practical purposes, completely overridden what God did at Babel, and then some.
The Second Prohibition:
Extended Lifespans and Biological Eternal Life.
When Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, they lost what might have been biological eternal life. In the generations that followed the Flood, the average human lifespan dropped enormously, from nearly a thousand to only a little over a hundred years. Following the Exodus, the average lifespan dropped even further, to only about 70-80 years, which is about where it is now. Humans have long wanted to regain that eternal life we lost, or at least to significantly extend our lifespans. One of the probable effects of our restored unity and unlimited communication will be the solution to this problem.
Remember: God said, in effect, that we can do anything we think of doing given unity and unlimited communication. And one other thing, not stated in Genesis 11;6, but which logically follows: Enough time!
It was God Himself who decreed the ban on biological eternal life after the Fall of Adam and Eve. See Genesis 2:17 and 3:22-24. He also decreed the shortenings of man's lifespan. See Genesis 6:3 and Psalm 90:10. He must have had reasons for this. Two possible reasons can be discerned from Scripture. One is that a human with biological eternal life might be lost beyond salvation. The idea is suggested in I Corinthians 15: 50, "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God...". Like it or not, we do have to die to go to Heaven. It is also possible that a person can go so far into sin that he is beyond salvation. This may be implied in the phrase, "My spirit will not always strive with man" in Genesis 6:3. People get set in their ways as they get older, and an unsaved person gets increasingly hardened in sin. God may have shortened the human life to limit the distance a person can go beyond the spiritual point of no return.
The second probable reason is that our life spans are linked to our creative potential. As stated above, we can do anything we think of doing, given enough time. It is well known that during the years before the Flood, humans had much longer lifespans. What is not so well known is that the human race developed the beginnings of technical civilization very quickly. See Genesis 4:20-22. Consider also that Noah had the know-how to build a fairly large ship. The people at Babel knew how to make kiln-dried bricks (what is meant by "bake them thoroughly", Genesis 11:3) and build with them, a skill that must have originated before the Flood. Consider that these people did not have a tradition of scientific and technical knowledge to build on. They had to create the basic know-how for themselves by trial and error and intuition. They were able to achieve what they did because they lived so long.
Again, after the Flood, human lifespans fell off very quickly. If the unity of the people at Babel had not been disrupted, they would have noticed that this was happening, and would have set out to do something about it. If they had, we would have been living much longer lifespans long ago.
By the year 1900, the average lifespan, from war, malnutrition, and disease, had fallen off to only about 45 years. Within the time since, advances in science and medicine have expanded the average lifespan to 75 years again, still within the parameters of Psalm 90:10. Now there are two movements in science and medicine that are threatening to give us at least seriously extended lifespans and possibly biological eternal life.
The Longevity Movement is seeking to enable humans to live longer by keeping them healthy. The methods used include vitamin and hormone therapy, diet and exercise, and even psychological techniques. This movement has included some obvious fraud and quackery, but some real advances have been made. If everyone were to apply everything that is known about life extension as an integrated program, we could probably add another thirty years to the average human lifespan right now. Just that would violate the limitation of Psalm 90:10.
The Human Genome Project is trying to learn the entire makeup of the genetic structure of human beings. It is a world wide research project, and is being coordinated by way of the Internet. The idea is to identify every gene in the human chromosomes, and then figure out what every gene does. The first phase of the project was completed in the year 2001. This project has already made some significant discoveries. Scientist involved in the project are promising, at the least, genetic treatments for diseases like cancer, AIDS, and heart trouble. And that will only be the beginning. If you doubt this, go to Yahoo and search with the word "Genome". See what you find.
And that isn't all that is happening. The pursuit of extended lifespans and biological eternal life is going on in other areas of science as well. Given time, it will produce results.
The Third Prohibition:
God will not allow mankind to leave the earth and take up permanent residence on other worlds before the Second Coming of Christ.
This idea, although not directly stated in Scripture, is implied by several verses, the most notable of which are Acts 17:26 and Revelation 1:7.
"And He (God)...has determined their preappointed times
and the boundaries of their dwellings."
"Behold, He (Jesus) is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him..."
Note also that all the events of the Second Coming described in the Prophecies happen specifically on earth! There is just no place in the Prophecies for humans to be anywhere else but on earth when the Second Coming occurs.
Yet as you read this, there are several men orbiting the earth in the International Space Station. Yet this is hardly even the beginning. There are plans to spread the human race throughout the entire Milky Way Galaxy, at least. Not dreams. Plans!
People living on other worlds or in space stations would miss the Tribulation and the Second Coming. Christians would miss the Rapture and Resurrection. This is where the BABEL RISING! situation comes to a climax. Extended life spans will help with this. Space voyages may take decades or even centuries. This would be a problem to humans with lifespans such as we have now. But if people can live for centuries, the problem would be significantly mitigated. We will spread the human race throughout the universe given enough time. But no way will God give us enough time.
Why Do We Want To Do These Things?
We want to do these things because we want to be our own gods. This was part of the reason why Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit. It was part of the reason for the building of the Tower. The people of Babel were trying to take control of their own destiny, as opposed to the will of God, which was for them to spread out. If they had stayed together, their unity would have quickly led to rapid scientific and technical advancement. As stated, they would have solved the longevity problem long ago. And although the Tower was not really meant to reach Heaven, in the sense that we understand the phrase, if they had stayed together it would not have been many centuries before they would have been building spaceships. If God had not confused the languages, we would now be part of an interstellar civilization.
The First Commandment is "You shall have no other gods before Me". Actually, in most of the world, idol worship has either virtually disappeared or is on the decline. But we have found another god to worship: ourselves. The worship of man by man is everywhere in our society. We want to achieve the God-like knowledge that Satan promised but failed to deliver in Eden. We are coming closer now than we ever did. The prophecy of Daniel 12:4, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase", by the context of the passage a sign of the Second Coming, is being fulfilled before our eyes.
We want to regain the eternal life that we lost. Man fears death, not just as individuals, but as a race. We know how many species have already become extinct, and we fear that it may happen to us. But we believe that if we can establish enough self-sufficient colonies on enough worlds around enough stars in enough galaxies, no one war, epidemic or natural disaster could ever wipe us out, and the human race will survive forever.
We also want to regain the dominion we lost to Satan when we fell. We want dominion not just over the earth, but over the entire universe. This idea was vividly expressed in the title of a science fiction novel published some years ago:
"Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand"
This requires some interpreting: "Stars", in the space travel - science fiction sense, means not just the stars, but the planets orbiting them. In other words, entire solar systems. "In my pocket" means "in my possession" and/or "under my control. "Like grains of sand" means "in uncountable numbers". In other words, the human race wants to reach out its collective hand, grasp the entire universe, and say to itself,
"This is mine. I am God!"
Genesis 11:6 implies that we can do this, given enough time. God's statement in that passage supports a modern proverb, which comes from the New Age Movement:
"What Mind Can Conceive, Man Can Achieve."
There is another modern proverb, which comes from the NASA space program, that forms a corollary to this:
"The Difficult We Do Immediately,
The Impossible May Take A Little Longer"
In saying these things, (proverbs that have been repeated in many places) the human race is collectively saying of itself,
"Is Anything Too Hard For Me?"
- Given Enough Time!
Given enough time, we will at least give ourselves significantly extended lifespans, and spread humanity throughout the Universe. But there is a subtle yet enormous problem with that. Satan is the God of this world, in terms of his domination of the human race. If we spread unredeemed humanity throughout the universe, Satan's dominion will also spread throughout the universe.
No way will God allow that!
No way will God give us enough time!
So what will God do to stop this?
See the following (short) page,
The Great Tribulation
Contact Author: William D. Brehm, firstname.lastname@example.org