Michael Youssef - How Shall We Live Now? - Part 3
We're smack in the middle of a series of messages entitled, "How Shall We Live Now"? We have been tracing the biblical account of the two humanities that were created right after Eden, the two humanities that were forming. Two cities, the city of God, symbolically those who love and serve the Lord, and the city of man. Now, in the last message, we saw how, because of Adam and Eve's disobedience to the Lord, they lost being citizens of the city of God in the Garden of Eden, and they had to live outside in the city of man. Those two humanities began to be created from that moment on, from the moment of their rebellion, and God is the one who really created the line of demarcation in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, when he said, "The seed of the woman versus the seed of the serpent".
These are all symbolic. Those who are descendants of the woman follow the descendent of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are descendent of the serpent are those who have rejected the one true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Don't ever forget that it was God who created the line of demarcation. It wasn't man, but God. One humanity represented in Cain that rebelled against God, and even went further from just living outside of the city of God or the Garden of Eden to building his own city. He went into the land of nowhere and he built a city in rebellion against God. And that city continued with his descendent, Lamech. Lamech was a violent man and bragged about his violence and bloodshed. But thankfully, he had an offspring named Enoch who walked with God and he feared God.
This line becomes even clearer after the flood, where God saved Noah and his family from the flood in the ark. Today, I wanna show you how in both the Old and the New Testament, Babylon occupies a very important symbolic place. Babylon came to represent the city of man, the earthly Jerusalem came to represent the city of God, and that is why when Israel sinned... I'm gonna come back to that in a minute. When Israel sinned against God and continued sinning against God, continued rebelling against God, after prophet after prophet tried to turn them, they kept defying God, God, of all the people of the earth, he chose the king of Babylon to come and judge his own people Israel and attack the city of God.
The city of man, Babylon, is attacking the city of God, Jerusalem. Babylon is a symbolic of every people, every culture that opposes God. Jerusalem is a symbol of every city and every culture, every society that loves God. And that is why, at the end of time which we seem to be headed toward, John the Revelator, in Revelation chapter 21, he has a vision of the new city, the new Jerusalem, the divine city, the city of God coming down from heaven. This city, not the old city Jerusalem, but the new city, coming down from heaven. In the next message, I'm gonna show you from the Scripture how the very first person who had a vision for that city coming from heaven was Abraham.
Turn with me please to chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis. Now, here I'm going to show you how the city of man that was founded by Cain progressed in a downward direction. Evil never stands still. If you allow evil in your life, if you allow evil in your home, if you allow evil in your church, if you allow evil in society, evil cannot stand still. It will keep going down, and down, and down, and down. It cannot stand still. It can only get worse. And that's what happened. Adam and Eve lived outside of the Garden. Cain went and built a city to run away from God. Now, we see Nimrod building a city in defiance of God. We saw how Noah, the preacher of righteousness, was pleading with people, "Turn to God. Turn to God. Be saved from the coming flood. Be saved from the coming flood".
They mocked him, they jeered him, they laughed at him, but then God took him and his family and inside that ark and he saved them. He had three sons. Three sons. After the flood, they came out, and their names where Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and God said to them to repopulate the earth. Ham sinned against his father and therefore he received the curse, and that curse continued on to his descendants, as I'm gonna show you in a minute. But then, Shem was respectful of his father, honored his father, and he received the blessing, and that blessing continued on to his descendants. Ham's descendent was Canaan. Canaan dwelt in the city of man. His descendant was Nimrod. Nimrod, who took rebellion against God to a new low.
Nimrod attitude is very similar to attitude of so many people in our culture today, including some of our leaders. Who is this God who tells us what to do? What are these moral absolutes? Where did they come from? And we don't like them. We can legislate him out of our society. We can muzzle all of his followers so they will not make us feel guilty about our perverted pleasure. Nimrod, like many in our society today, man of our leaders today, instead of recognizing their sin, and the consequences of sin, and the curse of sin, and turn to God, he instead built Babylon, the city that stood in defiance to God. This is exactly what happened now.
Today, instead of knowing and bowing down to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in gratitude for all of his blessings and even for our Western civilization, instead we bow to political correctness, we bow to materialism, we bow to our own intellect, and we bow to pluralism. Instead of making wise decisions and laws, we are giving the foxes the keys to the hen houses. Genesis 10:8-12 and Genesis 11:1-9, you see the beginning of what we are seeing now at the end times. You see, like the beginning, the end is gonna be very similar and in a very same geographical location, in the Middle East. Nimrod decided to build the city of Babylon, a city that opposes the very true God who saved their ancestors from the flood. Short memories. Short attention span. It's not just from our modern day, it happened there.
Verse 4 of chapter 11, in that city, they wanted to build a tower, and that tower in some way connected to heaven. Let me break the word "Babel". Babel. Babel is the name of the Hebrew word for Babylon. Bab-el. "Bab" is the same word translated from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. The word means "door". "El," you know who El is. Emmanuel, God. A door to God. Want they wanna do is to create a back door to God. You see, they wanted to come to God their way. They wanted to reach to God their own way. They were building a civilization that will not only make the God of their forefathers obsolete, but they were building a civilization that opposed to the God of their ancestors. Don't miss what I'm gonna tell you. From that moment of history, Babylon came to occupy a very significant place in the whole of the Bible.
In fact, I think the symbolic explanation or the symbolic meaning of Babylon cannot be exaggerated in the Scripture. From Genesis to Revelation 21, Babylon is a symbol of living for self at enmity with God, because self will always be at enmity with God. Let me prove it to you. When God's judgment fell upon Israel after year, after year, 200 years of rejecting God, rejecting God, who did God choose as an instrument of judgment. Of all the people of the earth, he used the Babylonians. What was the religion of the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon? Self-worship. He was narcissistic, self-worshiping dude. Beloved, listen to me. We are up to our eyeballs in narcissistic, self-worshiping dudes and dudettes. Can I get a witness? He wanted everyone to bow and worship the image of himself. No wonder Babylon came to represent not only enmity with the only one true God, but also the religion of self-worship.
Do you recognize where we are as a culture today? Can you see it? Before I get carried away, let me give you three characteristics of the original Babylon that are duplicated in every modern-day Babylon, which is deeply embedded in our Western society today. Three characteristics. First of all, it was a city without the one true God. Secondly, it was a city that was stealing God's glory and giving it to themselves. And thirdly, it was a city that was dedicated to self-worship. A city without the one true God. Look at Europe today. A continent that has rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and the true Christian faith. After 500 years of reformation, they rejected the Christian faith. But what is happening as a result of that is that they're living in terror and fear. Terror and fear is always a consequences of rejecting the one true God.
While the Muslim population in Europe is doubling every 8 years, the European population is dwindling. Beloved, any city, any culture, any society that keeps out the one true God, any government that outlaws the God of the Bible, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and his absolutes, any people who reject the one and only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, they will end up to have the same fate as we just saw. The citizens of Babylon, in a deliberate act of rejection of the one true God, the God of their ancestors, they ended up building not only a city, but a tower inside that city which was dedicated to the worshiping of the occult. And whenever that self-worship, that self-focus takes place, the only consequence will be fear and terror. And that is why the Bible speaks of the mystery of Babylon.
What is this mystery of Babylon? Listen carefully. It is any household, it's any community, it's any denomination, it is any city, it is any civilization, it is any nation that rejects God's moral absolutes and begin to live with their own instinct and invented morality. That is the mystery of Babylon. From Genesis 11 to Revelation, Babylon becomes synonymous with the rejection of the God of the Bible. So, I have a question for you. What message was God giving his people Israel? Don't you ever forget, they were the apple of his eye who he redeemed from the slavery of Egypt. He loved Israel, but what instrument did he use in order to judge them for their sin and rebellion? The Babylonians were his instrument of his judgment, of all the people of the earth, as if to say to his own people Israel, "When you, my people who should have known better, reject me, the one true God, your God, you are worse than the Babylonians".
Do you think God is saying to us in the West today, "You have rejected me, you who should have known better. You are worse than Muslim terrorists"? And he's using them to terrorize Western civilization. They're the modern-day Babylonians. Think about this long and hard. By the way, all of the false gods of Egypt, and Rome, and Athens, and India, and all these false gods, they all came from Babylon. These Babylonian evangelists went all over the world preaching the gospel of anti-God. They wanted a city without God. In their city, secondly, they wanted to steal God's glory. Think about this. If they really wanna build physically a tower that goes to heaven, wouldn't they have gone to the mountain to get some, you know, leg up? Not in the valley. They were building it in the valley. No, no, no, this was a symbolic way of saying that they wanted to worship the stars, that they wanted to know what the stars have said to them personally. They wanted, and they're so self-focused, they thought that the stars can speak to them.
On the top of that tower, there were a roof that was dedicated to the zodiac. Astrology is based on the zodiac. Astrology originated in Babylon. Astrology is associated with self-worship. There's a revival of the Babylonian zodiac taking place in our culture. There are millions, upon millions, upon millions of people in the United States and in Europe who live by the signs of the zodiac. When God's people were in Egypt for nearly 400 years and they came out of Egypt and redeemed by the Lord, when they came out into Sinai Desert, they were up to their eyeballs in this stuff. And that is why God told them again, and again, and again, and again, Leviticus 19:31, Deuteronomy 18, that they should not worship the zodiac. Why? Because the zodiac is a front for Satan.
Now, whether most people really know it or think about it or not, what they're doing if they live by the horoscopes and the stars, they are actually dabbling with something that is satanic. Babylon was stealing God's glory and giving it to themselves, but in reality, they were not giving it to themselves, they were handing it to Satan. Babylon was a symbol of any society that rejects the one true God. Babylon is a society, any society that steals the glory of God. And thirdly, Babylon is any society where man is glorified and not God. See, the Bible says that Babylonians took counsel. They got together and took a counsel. They discussed this issue. "Let's build a city with a tower for the worship of the stars". Why? Look at verse 4 of chapter 11. It tells you exactly why. "So that we may make a name for ourselves".
Please understand that self-preservation is God's gift to humanity for survival, just like all the other gifts that God gives us. God gave us the gift of fear, why? So that we might fear God, but instead, Satan perverted it and make us fear him and evil people. The gift of pleasure, pleasure is God's idea, not man's idea, but Satan perverted it. You see? And here, the very gift for survival, he perverted it again and turned it to self-worship. The god of self has invaded many a church. Now, that makes me weep. Listen to some of the entertaining preachers. Listen to them very carefully. It's me, me, me, me, me. Listen to some of the entertaining music in some churches. Be on your guard, my beloved friends, of the god of self. Be on your guard, believers who know the Lord Jesus. Be on your guard of the god of self. Do you know why? Because it is a very subtle God, because it's very easily accommodated, because it's very easily rationalized, because it's very easily explained.
I have needs. Why I'm warning you against this god of self, the Babylonian god, being revived today? Why I'm warning you? I warn myself on a regular basis, trust me. Because God is a jealous God. We forget this in our busyness in life. We forget that our God is a jealous God. God is jealous and he does not take lightly when his bride goes into infidelity and unfaithfulness any more than a spouse not hurt deeply when their spouse goes into infidelity, and immorality, and unfaithfulness, and adultery. God does not like to have rivals when it comes to his bride. God does not like to be sidelined, even if we can rationalize it in our head. Beloved, the consequences of misplaced love, the consequences of misplaced worship, the consequences of misplaced devotion will produce no other than fear, terror, anxiety, and restlessness.
The Bible said when the Babylonians took counsel and decided to go up, their way, not God's way, our way, God the Holy Trinity took counsel and he said, "We go down and confuse them". And confuse them. The Babylonian assembled their council to bypass God; the Holy Trinity assembled their council and decided, "It's time to make them look like babbling idiots". It's not in the Bible. I'm making it up, but you know what I mean. We're talking about a person babbling. That's where it comes from. The Babylonians assembled to steal God's glory; the Holy Trinity assembled to confuse them and make confusion to be their fate. Verse 7, God said, "Let's go down and confuse their language". Who's "us"? "Let us". The Trinity. God bless you.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God since before eternity, will one day conclude that enough is enough. Make no mistake about it, God the Holy Trinity will always prevail. God the Holy Trinity always win. God the Holy Trinity always will have the last word. God the Holy Trinity always have the upper hand. Amen. Many of you will testify to the fact that we have never seen more confusion than we're seeing in our day. When babies can be murdered in their mother's womb but a tree is sacred, that's confusion.
Now, I don't want to leave you without the rest of the story, namely that God will have the last word, that they may think that they can go up without God, but God will come down to judge them. Our generation says, "Our science will save us," and God says, "Your science looks like a pimple on the face of humanity". And they may say, "Our wealth will save us," God says, "You all look like ants from up here". All of the self-esteem and all of the self-image is like dust to God. And so, let me give you a word to the faithful. No matter how dark it may get, our God is the God of power and might. No matter how chilling and challenging times are gonna be, our God will give us the ultimate victory. No matter how the powerful and the mighty forces attack us, and work against us, and they use their power and use their force against us, we end up winning. No matter how much they may persecute us, we are on the winning side. No matter how much they may ridicule us, it's okay. Count it all joy. We are victorious in Jesus' name.