Notes compiled with my BSF group
Note: Genesis 9 and 10 show the origin of the world’s nations. Genesis 11 shows why they were scattered and is chronologically before Genesis 10.
NIMROD IS THE WORLD'S FIRST DICTATOR (Genesis 10:8-12)
Nimrod was the son of Cush (Genesis 10:8)
Nimrod was a might warrior (Genesis 10:8)
God called him a might hunter (Genesis 10:9)
In history, Nimrod was the world’s first dictator, and he established his kingdom in Babylon. He was very powerful but very corrupted and very evil.
For more info, see here:
Babylon represents government of men, powered by Satan (Revelation 17-19). Ultimately, this power will ultimately be judged and never again will Babylon stand. (See my notes for details.)
GENEALOGY OF GOD'S PEOPLE IS TRACEABLE
An accurate documentation of genealogy allows us to know exactly the lineage of Jesus Christ. The Bible details genealogies to prove the accuracy of God's prophecies, to leave no room for doubt. Because of these details, we are confident that there is no "maybe" with God. When God says it's going to happen, it's going to happen exactly the way God says it would. Measure it up against history (Check out Daniel, for example); measure it up against science. God's Word stands up to any scrutiny.
TOWER OF BABEL AND THE KINGDOM OF MAN (Genesis 11:1-9)
Shinar (Babylonia) is today's Iraq (Genesis 11:1-2)
Men built the Tower of Babel to be like gods (Genesis 11:3-4)
- To reach the heavens
- To make a name for themselves
- To not be scattered over the earth
Today, we continue to build that Tower of Babel. We hunger for power, to be on the top of the world. We want that power to feed our pride, so that we can be gods and be worshiped.
Do these cravings sound familiar? Satan fell because of the same prideful lusts. Things do not end well for him (Revelation 20:7-10). I highly doubt things would end better for those who follow his footsteps. In fact, I already know things do not fare better for those who continue to challenge the sovereignty of God (Books of Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah... Heck, the entire Bible pretty much makes this very clear).
Men of Babylon sought selfish gains
In the Book of Revelation, people who held on tightly to worldly gains are called "earth-dwellers."
As children of God, we were not meant for this corrupted world. We were meant to dwell with God in Heaven. However, we have fallen with Satan, and that is why we are living in this corrupted world.
Fortunately, this is not the end for us. God sent Jesus to redeem us, so that we may return to our rightful place next to God.
Unfortunately, there are many who have come to love the world. Instead of accepting salvation and ever-lasting life, they would rather hold on to worldly treasures. Even when they witness the destruction of such worldly treasures in one day (Revelation 18:8), even when they finally witness the sovereignty of God, they would rather curse God than repent (Revelation 16:11). This is how attached earth-dwellers are to this world. This is how hard their heart would be.
Such earth-dwellers care only about themselves and the accumulation of their own earthly treasures. They certainly do not care for God's will. And in God's eyes, they certainly are not fruitful as God had commanded us to be (Genesis 9:1).
There is no lure in being earth-dwellers
Looking at our society today, the entire human population as a whole is prideful and think we are gods. We do not follow God’s commands (Exodus 20:1-17), because we think we can do better on our own. We defy God, and we rebel (in fact, the name "Nimrod" means "We will rebel"). Why? Because we answer to no one. How dare anyone tell us what to do? We are our own bosses. We do whatever we want, whenever we want. And we dare to think and behave so boldly because we believe there is no God.
To such thinking, I would offer an advice: Make sure your beliefs are TRUE. Make darn sure those beliefs reflect the Truth. Because, man, it would suck so bad if you are on the wrong side come judgment day. Atheists, if there is no God, you have nothing to gain (though living the Christian way would make you at least an awesome person); but if there is God (and we know there is), then you have everything to lose. Really, really, check that pride. It's just not worth burning for an eternity.
Love God, love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40)
Christianity is not about rules. Christianity is about love, God's love.
It is very unfortunate that people get bogged down by the Law of Moses, but as I have elaborated in the last BSF study, the main point of the Law of Moses is vividly show us exactly why we are sinners. It is to show us how high God's standards are, and how impossible it is for us to live up to it. But God didn't give us the Law so that we can feel defeated. God gave us the Law so that we would look to Jesus, to understand that because we cannot achieve His standards by our own works, He has Jesus to accomplish EVERYTHING for us. Why? Because God loves us.
With that understanding, we can start to appreciate why Jesus had only two commandments, and both commandments revolved around love:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40)
ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS HANG ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS. This sums up exactly what I have just elaborated above. Christianity is not about rules. It is about understanding God's love, allowing that love that flow through us, and ultimately, spreading that love to others.
Earth-dwellers, Babylonians, governments of men -- whatever we want to call them, they have no such concept.
In the last days, people will be lovers of themselves
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." (Timothy 3:1-7)
The United States of America was found on Christian principles. Our forefathers held Christian values and knew that freedom was a blessing from God. We were founded as a Christian nation, and now, look at where we are. Politicians are eager to disconnect our relationship with God, desperately uprooting the foundation of this nation.
I don't often get on my soap box, because I want this blog to be more about learning about what the Word of God says rather than my opinions on current events. However, I will take the chance to do so here, because BSF has opened that can of worms for me.
Study the Bible. The world is not just about the US. The world is not just about the Middle East. The world is not just about gas prices and wars and shifting political powers. Study the Bible, and we learn that everything that has happened in the past were prophesied in advance. Study the Bible, and we learn that there are prophesies of future events that have yet to pass. And if past events occurred just as prophesied, my money is on those future events being fulfilled down to the t.
Where does this all lead to? The second coming of Jesus Christ. The ENTIRE Bible is about the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus comes first as the servant savior (Lamb of God), but He will one day return as the judging warrior (Lion of Judah). When will Jesus return? We don't know the exact day or time, but we are taught to know the seasons. And in the end of days, more and more people will become lovers of this world. This is just one of the many signs for the end of days. That is, if we only see more and more people falling away from the Lord, that is NOT enough to say, "Yep, we're in the end of days!" God's prophecies are ALWAYS fulfilled 100%. And so, in order for us to confirm that we are in the end of days, ALL prophecies regarding this period need to be fulfilled.
Having said the above, I do indeed believe we are in the end of days. Why? Many, many Biblical reasons supported by current events and the fulfillment of prophecies. Perhaps one day I'll write up a complete summary. However, for the time being, if you're interested in the knowing the times, you're in for a treasure hunt. Here are some of my notes on the subject:
Before I step down from my soap box, I do want to address an additional point. I am aware that there are many people who are eager to predict when certain things are going to happen. And yes, those people can get quite out of hand. And unfortunately, they become easy targets for mockery.
My thoughts? Study the Bible. I hope all my notes on this blog have been able to paint a clear picture of such a seemingly simple advice. Study the WHOLE counsel of God -- Don't take things out of context, and don't pick and choose. The ENTIRE Bible needs to be considered, not just the parts that fit out theory the best.
Jesus told us to know the seasons, but He also told us that only the Father know the time and the day.
And so, to the fanatics who are trying to predict the Rapture, give it up already. Jesus already said no one but the Father knows the day and time. Don't become obsessed with the date. Stay focused on Jesus and use the time we have on this Earth to do God's will.
To the mockers who pounce on every chance you get to take advantage of Christians who fall, nobody's perfect. Christians make mistakes just as readily as the next person, Christian or not. However, if you justify your pride and validate your belief that there is no God based on such mistakes, my heart aches for you. I do not want to see you fall, but if you do not check your facts and only follow the ways of the world, you will. And you will fall way harder than Christians who fall. Because when Christians fall, Jesus holds us up. When non-Christians fall, Satan makes sure you stay down.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? (Psalm 2:1)
The people in Genesis 11:1-9, the people in Psalm 2:1-5, and the people today are all the same: Prideful. We lust for power, and we fight to have more power, because all we want to do is be gods.
But look at what God says, "Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain?" (Psalm 2:1)
Plot in vain means useless plans -- Plans that lead to failure! That is, no matter how much we plan to have power, we will fail. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE NOT GODS.
We are the created. And yet, we have the audacity to think we can beat God?
Just as God broke down the Tower of Babel, God will also rebuke us with anger (Psalm 2:5).
GOD SCATTERED THE PEOPLES ALL OVER THE EARTH (Genesis 11:5-9)
God is behind every power
God confused man's languages and scattered people all over Earth to keep man's pride in check.
"The authorities that exist have been established by God"
Through prophets like Daniel and Isaiah, we see clearly that all powers that have taken place in history were all allowed by God. God used the Assyrians to judge the Israelites, and because the Assyrians were prideful, God used the Babylonians to judge the Assyrians. Ultimately, as we read in Daniel, the world will face 4 major powers: Babylon, Greece, Rome, and Mystery Babylon.
The first 3 major powers have already come before us. Cross check it with history. Babylon was a great empire, but it was conquered by Greece. After Greece, Rome took over. Rome slowly declined, but it was never conquered by another power.
Today, there is a great power in Europe and the US. However, in the end days, the US is not in the Bible. From the Book of Revelation, we learn that Mystery Babylon will arise. It is called Mystery Babylon, because we do not know what this uprising power and future nation will be. However, we do know that it will be led by the Antichrist, powered by Satan. This last great nation will lead us all to the final battle, where Jesus comes on the day of vengeance before He brings 1000 years of peace to Earth.
In sum, God is behind EVERYTHING. Every power, corrupted or good, they all work toward accomplishing God’s vision.
People who are evil and powerful may think they are getting away with being evil, but they are wrong. The time simply hasn’t come yet for judgment. God allows us to do as we wish, because He is giving us time for us to return to Him. But, He will not wait forever. Judgment will come. One day, all evil will be destroyed, and all righteousness will be restored.
Without God, we are corrupted
God’s values give us a guideline about what is righteous and what is evil. God’s judgment allows us to know that justice is fair – Evil will be judged, and the righteous will be protected. And because we know that God is the judge, we know that we cannot just do what we want. We know that we will be responsible for our actions and choices. And thus, we should be driven to make righteous choices. As we see through the disciples of Acts 2, people of God work together to achieve the will of God.
People who do not know God, people who reject God, people who refuse to recognize God -- people of Genesis 11:1-9 -- they have no such values. They can be as corrupted as they want, because they do not think God will judge them. The scheme to become gods themselves as opposed to submitting to God.
We are Babel; we are Nimrod; we are Babylon
We are just like the people of Babel. We pride ourselves in science and technology. Through technology, we have accomplished a lot. We can send spaceships to Mars, we can make organs out of cells. We feel like gods, and we have started to think we are gods. We think that because we are so advanced, we can use science to prove that God doesn’t exit. Based on our own knowledge, we think that we can do anything we want, that we are the most amazing beings in the world.
Pride is very dangerous. It blinds us. It blinds us from the truth. What is the truth? God created the world. God created us! How can we ever be greater than God? And yet, pride comes into our heart, and we start to believe that we can be more powerful than God.
Instead of acknowledging God’s power and being grateful of God’s love and protection, we spit God in the face and say, we know better than you. We taunt Him and test Him. We dare Him to show Himself, and when He doesn't, we sneer and pat ourselves on the back, "See, there is no God."
Dangerous, dangerous pride. God does not operate on our terms. There is timing for everything. God's grace is the only reason judgment has not yet come. God's grace is allowing all who have not yet heard His message to hear it and have the chance to accept salvation. But that grace will not last forever. And the time will come when God cashes in on such taunts.
Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
Receive the salvation of Jesus Christ and Jesus alone. There is no one else. Only through Jesus can we reach God.
Jesus warned us against false religions. Those who seek false religions do not seek the Truth. They do not seek the one and only God. They seek, instead, comfort. They just want a greater force that makes them feel good. They do yoga. They bow to Mother Nature. They meditate and practice zen. They seek inner peace. What they never seek is the Truth. They have no desire to get to know God. At the end of the day, it’s all just a selfish desire to feel better about themselves, to have inner peace. And at the end of the day, it’s all about pride.
Many people say that Christianity is exclusive, and that a truly loving God will never be exclusive. Please try and understand the illogical thinking in that kind of idea.
First, when something is true, by nature, IT IS EXCLUSIVE. If there is only ONE exit out of a building, THERE REALLY IS ONLY ONE EXIT. You may like to think otherwise if that makes you feel better. You may choose to seek other ways of exit in the case of a fire. But, should you really be surprised to find yourself trapped inside a burning building because you chose to ignore the FACT that there has always been that one and only exit in the building?
Truth is Truth. The Truth exists regardless of how we feel.
Second, God IS all loving. Christianity is inclusive. It is God's will to save ALL humans (2 Peter 3:9). And He has provided the one and only way: through Jesus Christ. ANYONE can receive Jesus. It doesn't matter whether we're rich or poor, highly educated or uneducated, male or female, any color of skin -- It doesn't matter who we are or where we have been or what we have done. At any moment in time, God is there for us. At any moment in time, we can receive Jesus.
Having said the above, let us heed Jesus' warning about false teachers and false teachings. Seek the Truth, and the Truth shall set us free (John 8:32). Temporary worldly comfort is not worth eternal suffering.
How do we know we have the Truth? TEST IT.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Never just believe anything people tell you. This is not a safe way to distinguish Truth from false teachings! Read the Bible, and test its truthfulness. There are hundreds of prophecies written long before those events actually took place. Today, we have the benefit of knowing exactly what happened in history and validate whether Biblical passages describing those events are accurate. This is just one of the many ways to determine the Truth that the Bible speaks. Now, do the same with whatever other religion fancies you. Can those religions stand up to the test?
Seek the Truth, my friends. Temporary worldly comfort is just not worth eternal suffering.