Before Christ: At the Tower of Babel people were working to make themselves great, to reach heaven on their own terms, to unite in an effort to glorify themselves. God, knowing the inclination of every heart toward evil, knew people would stop at nothing. He confused their language and dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confuseda the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
After Christ: Christ had come, lived obediently in submission to the will of and fully to the glory of His Father in Heaven, Christ died, Christ had conquered, Christ had been glorified and given all authority in heaven and on earth, Christ is reigning at His Father’s right hand as progressively all enemies are being put under His feet, just as we are being sanctified and it has been said of us, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” He sent his Spirit on the people and allowed them to speak in all the languages of the earth that the word might go out and the world again might begin to be united with one purpose…
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.b”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
And that new purpose was to be joined with God through faith in Christ Jesus in building His City — A City not built with hands, a city made of living stones — The New Jerusalem. Just another instance of Christ beginning to reverse ancient curses.
22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
I Peter 2
you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Revelation 21 is the beautiful opposite, again, of the tower of Babel. The tower of Babel represented man’s efforts at reaching heaven on their own, by their own works, power, intellect and might. But the glory is this: when we are all raised up physically and given new bodies and are presented to Christ as His pure, spotless Bride, we will not be climbing UP to be with Him. We will be coming DOWN to the new earth in a royal procession towards Christ the Church’s Bridegroom… We don’t just go up to Him as the people at Babel were attempting to do… because He will once again, as in Eden, dwell among us and live with us.
Jesus came DOWN and then was raised UP and then went UP in clouds of glory to reign from heaven, the spirit came DOWN, beginning the renewal process, bringing hope to the nations through bringing many sons to glory that we might be physically raised UP on the last day, that heaven and earth might be made new, that we might come DOWN — made radiant — to our bridegroom, because He had come DOWN and declared that He would once again make his dwelling with us and walk among us.
“Your old men will dream dreams….“
2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”