Your email address will not be published. Yet, as unrighteous as he was, his prophecies remain in God's Word—and they are true! Pergamos means "thoroughly married," like in a binding relationship. He was much like any multiculturalist we see today—willing to dabble among all the different religions, tolerant of all, willing to take something from here and another thing from there and make a syncretistic mix. No! The Moabites ended up acting upon what was essentially a figment of their imaginations. Finally, the structure of these three chapters in Numbers is important. The donkey is the "prudent man" here, and blind Balaam is "the simple." Thus, here is the beginning of an alliance against Israel that lasted for many years. What am I going to do? God gave him conditional permission to do something. Since at least the days of Abraham, God had been foretelling what He would do for His people, and there was no way He would renege on it now that it was about to unfold! This is interesting because the same thing happens because of us. This is a very personal and close form of communication. He was putting on his diviner's hat and doing a little acting here. We are the clay—He is the Potter! John W. Ritenbaugh Richard T. Ritenbaugh The inclusion of four prophecies or oracles attributed to the Mesopotamian soothsayer Balaam has troubled some Bible students through the years. From what we know of Balaam's general character, the second seems more likely. He has no thought for God or for spiritual things. . What Is the Work of God Now? He could not understand beyond that. (Matthew 7:22-23), Among Paul's end-time prophecies is his prediction of a great apostasy that results from the unrestrained assault of "the mystery of lawlessness" (II Thessalonians 2:1-7). To me, Balaam represents the merchandising prophet. This is important to know because of the connection between Abraham and Balaam. There are several verses in the Bible that say, "Who are we before God?" If you know any preachers involved in this try to snatch them from the flames. God, then, visibly to the donkey but invisibly to Balaam, set Himself up as the adversary to Balaam. Perhaps God thought that a little pain would help him come to his senses. The condition was only if he was asked again, but he was not asked again yet went anyway. While God is restoring the genuine gift of prophecy today, these two forces are seeking to hi-jack the prophetic gift. 0000001365 00000 n He rushes through life for everything that he can get out of it, never thinking about what will happen afterward, in the end. That's what God does best! He then says, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!" Then they went next to Bashan and defeated King Og and his armies. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live. A person cannot creep close to a sparrow, as they fly at the slightest movement. I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this! Balaam and the End-Time Church (Part 1). Revelation 2 mentions the doctrine of Balaam, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the teachings of Jezebel, and the depths of Satan (Rev. He was going to get his riches by cursing Israel - another vice! He probably knew of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or at least had heard things about them from local stories or legend, as they were important people in their own right. Thus, Nicolaitanism and Balaamism are biblical symbols or representatives of the larger Gnostic, antinomian influence on Christianity. The man is totally oblivious to what is going on. 0000005503 00000 n Jude 1:8 says that one of the characteristics of false prophets is that they “reject authority.”. These are what are driving him. His confession is really quite insipid. It is something that, even if one is blind, cannot be escaped because we hear about it. He could not see God if He had bit him! In a similar vein, the content of Balaam's prophecies reiterate the main points of God's promises to Israel, reminding the people that God was fulfilling them before their eyes. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. There was enough room, however, for the donkey to turn aside, which is what she did. Those who believe the word to refer to hierarchy assume that a conqueror would rule as a tyrant or dictator, whether he is called king, emperor, president, chancellor, or first citizen. In fact, one branch of Christianity in particular—called Protestantism—was founded on this formula. The donkey knows that Balaam's path leads to destruction, and it wisely turns aside. . Another idea that surfaces here is that he thought he could manipulate God. WWJD. These events, of course, set up the prophecies in the next two chapters, but they also highlight the two main themes of the story. 10 ways prayers are hindered — Prayers are an important part of the Christian life. God was doing all these things in his life, and he was thoroughly blind to all of it. Clearly, Balaam's instruction included getting the Israelites to commit idolatry and sexual immorality. Then, incredibly, Balaam makes his pitch to God! Today, we are bombarded on every side with sex. The first thing Balaam did wrong (from our perspective) he did immediately: The princes waltz into his courtyard, saying, "Balak wants you to come and curse Israel for him." God says that it is for her sake that He has not carried out His judgment on Balaam. And such are we. Jesus kept it for us!". In Numbers 25, the inducement is to idolatry. He would also go up Mount Nebo and view the land Israel was to inherit (Deuteronomy 32:48-52). Conversely, if we consider the donkey to stand for those who actually see God at work, we can notice a few things: The donkey is persecuted for her obedience. He is always full of mercy, willing to give us that one more chance to make the right choice. This antinomian teaching affected the church in Thyatira as well (Revelation 2:20-21). He made no money. It is concerning to me when a “prophet” or “prophetess” has a problem with authority, does not see a need for any accountability, or has a low view of the local church. Though these are not the only type of false prophets out there, they are specifically singled out by the Lord in the book of Revelation. You shall not go with them. We cannot take this story at face value. I can go! Here, I'll put you up and feed you." He was willing to do anything to get his way. seduced by the father of lies. and not even listened to them. Part of the reason stems from what Paul writes in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." This vignette deals with the prevalence of ungodly marriage practices leading to disastrous results. It is a problem in two of the first three churches, and it surfaces again in verse 20, this time in Thyatira. He was a sorcerer for hire—for pay—and he is negotiating here. Another necessary piece of background information is that this scenario takes place in the months just before Israel's entrance into the Promised Land. We should not see the gifts of God–including prophecy–as a means to financial gain. Here is an article that you might find helpful: The jezebel balaam prophets are very hard to detect. He was attempting to impose his will on God, and make God change for him! As early as Deuteronomy 23:4-5, he is shown as an enemy of God and Israel and degraded as a hired mercenary. Despite the rebellions of Israel, God will not only make Israel great and prosperous, but He will also complete His plan—even to the coming of the Messiah as King of kings (Revelation 19:11-16). If He was willing to give me permission in this case, it must be okay." It is difficult to decide which of these two characters is more ludicrous: Balaam, for thinking that God would give in and let him curse Israel—or at least put in a good word for Moab; or Balak, for listening to and putting up with Balaam! Until recently, they had themselves been subject to the Amorites and had suddenly been freed by Israel's conquering of Sihon and Og of Bashan. Others put it as, "There is no 'Thus saith the Lord' about this" - though there may be dozens of verses that say that one should not do it because of this, that, or something else. This was a train of people that stretched for miles! I pray some of them wake up and realize God can bless em if their patient and repent and use this there ill gotten gains to start businesses on the side or something positive. This latter theme is vital to understanding Balaam's prophecies. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. He believed that the end justifies the means. Religion is a system of beliefs and moral norms that serve as spiritual guide for the human being; the mythology that composes them and their main characteristics vary between culture and culture. While the Bible is clear about the importance of genuine prophecy, it is also clear in giving us several warnings about false prophets. He is heedless to anything else. I also find it interesting that while Balaam and Jezebel operated in very different ways, they both led the people of God into idolatry and sexual immorality. God does not demand, "Why did you leave your house when I told you not to unless they came back to you," but he asks Balaam why he struck the donkey. This assumption is based entirely on the authors' emotional reactions to their circumstances at the time—not upon biblical or even logical reasoning. Similarly, John the Baptist tells the Pharisees, "God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones" (Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8), meaning that Abraham's real children are those who live as Abraham did (John 8:39; Romans 4:16; 9:7; Galatians 3:29). In his mind, whatever would benefit Balaam was good! Much later, when writing about the destructive effects of false teachers, Peter used the contrast between Balaam and his donkey as an example: “These false teachers have left the straight path and wandered off to follow the path of Balaam, son of Beor. He was playing the charlatan with them because most of the time, a demon did not come to him and say, "Okay, go ahead and do this," or "Don't do that." Israel fell into idolatry through fornication. Balak, of course, is furious with Balaam for thrice predicting such a rosy future for Israel. By putting together different parts of the Bible on him, Balaam comes out smelling like manure, not roses. But they did not! He does not say anything at this point but beats the poor donkey. Consider smoking. Can't you see Me working?" At this time, they camped across from Jericho, just steps away from going into the Promised Land. And then in verse 20, God tells him quite specifically, "Only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.". Cain, Lamech, and mankind in general never took God into account when they committed their iniquities.
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