Revelation Chapter 2

In a Study on Balaam in Numbers 22-25, we noted Rev 2:12-17.
Pergamum, The Worldly Church

Rev 2:14-15, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.”

Pergamos means, “married,” and this church was wedded to some doctrines and practices that were wrong. Three serious problems existed at Pergamos:

  • Satan’s throne (Rev 2:13). This passage refers to the “mystery cults” of Babylon that set up their headquarters in Pergamos. Including the emperor worship that played a key role in this heathen city.
  • The Doctrine of Balaam (Rev 2:14; w/ 22-25).
  • The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Rev 2:15, w/ Rev 2:6).

NICOLAITANS:  Heretical group in the early church who taught immorality and idolatry. They are condemned in Revelation 2:6, 15 for their practices in Ephesus and Pergamon. Thyatira apparently had resisted the false prophecy they preached (Rev. 2:20-25). The Nicolaitans have been linked to the type of heresy taught by Balaam (Num. 25:1-2; 2 Pet. 2:15), especially the pagan feasts and orgies that they apparently propagated in the first-century church.

The general voice of antiquity accuses them of:

  • Holding the lawfulness of eating things offered to idols, and
  • Mixing in and encouraging idolatrous worship; and
  • Denying God to be the creator of the world and attributing its existence to other powers.

The Doctrine of Balaam
(Num. 22-25)

Phase 1 of Balaam’s Lesson:

 Read: 2 Peter 2:4-15

These verses bring into view how someone can covet “stuff” leading to prostituting themselves to obtain that “stuff.” In this case, to do religious work for personal gain.

“This way” is contrasted with the “right way.”

Similar to Adam and the Women in the Garden, we have simple choices of right and wrong:  Righteousness vs. the lustful temptations of appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride.

Balaam was very well off, but Mo’ money enticed him.
The chance at power enticed him.
The thought of bettering himself among men enticed him.

Read: Jude 8-23

“Way of Cain” – His rejection of God’s provision for acceptance with Himself. Gen 4:1-12

Today, it is the rejection of God’s offer for forgiveness through Christ.

Gen 4:6-7, “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

A corrected translation of Gen 4:6 is: “A sin offering is lying at rest (a lamb lying with its legs folded), at the door way, it is abundantly stretching out (longing) for you, and within it you have dominion.”

“Error of Balaam” – Balaam hired himself out as a prophet and epitomizes deceit and covetousness. Num 22-24

“Rebellion of Korah” – He led a rebellion against the authority of Moses that had been ordained by God. Num 16

In Jude 11, we see rejection of God’s perfect provision for salvation, rejection of God’s provision for life, because of a lack of humility.

{i.e. No teachability from the authority(ies) established by God, His word, His Spirit, His Teachers (witnessers and Pastors.)}

Rev 2:14-15, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.”

  • Rev 2:14b, “Balaam kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel”
  • Rev 2:14c, “To eat things sacrificed to idols”
  • Rev 2:14d, “Commit acts of immorality”
  • Rev 2:15, “Hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans”

We’re going to see a tie in between money, religion, and sex in the next two verses. That’s the order in which you will meet them in this passage and the study of Balaam. It’s the same order from the same cosmic system and is the basis for trouble in both Pergamum and Thyatira as we will see.

Balaam = A non-Israelite prophet who belonged to the Babylonian Magi. He was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

He could be from the kingdom of Moreh; he could be a Carian; he could be a Hittite; he could be Acadian; he could be a Samarian; he could be an Armani. We don’t know what his race is.

Read: Numbers 22:1-5

Rev 2:14b, “Balaam kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel”

Balak = He was the king of Moab. He had an alliance and rulership with the Midianites also.

  • The Moabites are the descendants of Lot and his eldest daughter.
  • The Ammonities are the descendants of Lot and his younger daughter. Gen 19:31-38

Balak hired Balaam to pronounce a curse on the Israelites.

In Rev 2:14, we have the phrase:
ὃς ἐδίδασκεν  – Hos Edidasken

Hos = (Nom., masc., sing.), “Who, that, which, also, etc.”

Edidasken= Imperfect (continuous action in the past time), Active, Indicative of Didasko which means, “to teach, to instruct, to instill a doctrine.”

Principle: Balaam is given an opportunity, through his word and life actions, to teach the Moabites and Midianites Bible doctrine. Instead of teaching truth and the power of God, he taught the ways of the sin nature, denying the power of God.

But God fixes all that!

Read: Numbers 22:6-9

Balaam has the problem of background temptation. All of us face that at some time. Whatever our background is, there are certain temptations that will trip us up.

Balaam’s background was the practice of divination at which he had been very, very good. He also had a tremendous lust for money. Money was #1 on his scale of values.

He was very much like Simon the sorcerer of Acts 8:9-24. Simon was a wizard. He became a believer in Acts 8:13. Simon got out of fellowship, Acts 8:21. Peter warned him to get back in fellowship, Acts 8:22-23.

We find that Balaam and Simon had a great deal in common. I wonder if they aren’t perhaps chatting about their past right now in heaven?

Love of money and power ruined Balaam, so that eventually he will die the sin unto death.

But that anticipates Numbers 31:8. Balaam had a tremendous problem, a spiritual problem, in that, he was involved in the cosmic system. He had been very famous. He had been demon possessed before or could have been. He had practiced magic and witchcraft. And of course, the call for Balaam came when he was now a believer.

Operation –  Skeletons in the Closet

Num 22:9, “Who are these men?” is a similar questioning, by God to Adam and the women, in the Garden.” Gen 3:9 & 11

Principle: God is omniscient, but in His grace and mercy, He judiciously gives us free will to respond to Him. He collects all the facts before making a judgment.

Read: Num 22:10-14

God displays His “directive will” to Balaam, and Balaam reluctantly acquiesces, as we will see.

Read: Num 22:15-17

Principle: Satan knows that if you resist reluctantly the first time, then raising the stakes will surely capture you.

Read: Num 22:18-19

Vs. 18 Sounds pretty good. He is recognizing God’s will and plan and witnessing of His sovereignty. But Vs. 19 is the key to his true heart.

Balaam is a believer in the cosmic system. His problem was monetary reversionism. He will do anything for money. He thought money would bring happiness, money would bring blessing, and money was key to everything in life. He wanted money.

Of course there is nothing wrong with money. Money is absolutely necessary for the means of running business, supporting your family, and many other things. In the legitimate means of exchange, money is most convenient.

The issue is not what’s wrong with money; the issue is what’s wrong with Balaam.

1 Tim 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Balaam had the wrong attitude about money. Balaam’s love for money led him to think that money meant security. He could buy anything with money. He is going to discover that he won’t be able to keep his million-dollar fee even after he earns it.

There are two categories of wealth: Monetary wealth, Power wealth. When people have one but not the other, they are consumed with the desire for the other. People with money want power. People with power want money.

When individuals in these two categories are willing to sacrifice integrity to get what they want, it is part of the degeneracy of a nation.

So, we see that Balaam had a chance to witness to them of the power of God by denying their insistence and stick to his integrity. Instead he witnessed to them that the OSN can be tempted, is powerful, and something that should be satisfied.

Principle:  Just because you say no once, does not mean the battle is over or that you have won. Persistence and consistency is key to the spiritual life and winning tactical victories.

Believe it or not, your life is a witness 100% of the time. You are either a witness for Christ and righteousness, or you are a witness for Satan and the sin nature (flesh). Which one dominates your life?

Read: Num 22:20-35

Vs. 20, “… At Night …” Even though God knows Balaam’s heart of sin and deceit, He treats him with dignity and respect; meeting him in the cover of darkness.

We will see the unbelieving King of Moab also demonstrate integrity later on.

Here we see a picture of God’s various wills. We see the analogy how God dealt with the individual, but it is also related to his dealing with the client nation, including Israel.

Basically, there are three principles of the will of God here:

  • The Directive will of God – “You will not go.”
  • The Permissive will of God – “Go with them.”
  • The Overruling will of God – “Speak only what I tell you to.”

The Three Wills of God

Directive – God specifically directing something to occur in a given situation. Num 22:12; 2 Chron 7:11 – 22 (Salomon); Acts 21:10-12. All of the blessing is under the directive will of God.

Permissive – God allowing something to occur, even if He doesn’t agree with the decision, Num 22:20; 1 Kings 11:1 – 13; Eccl all; Acts 21:13-18. You are free to choose against God. God cannot coerce human volition, but from His integrity, He can discipline any disobedience to His will as a training aide.

Principle: When you, as a believer, have done something contrary to the will of God and you are still alive, remember you are under the permissive will of God, not the directive will of God. There is no blessing under the permissive will of God except to be alive.

Over Ruling – God has to take certain action to overrule satanic influence or violations of His laws, so God will either act directly or through believers by overruling or not allowing those action events to occur. Num 22:23, 32; 23:5, 11, 12, 25, 26; 1 Kings 11:29 – 40: Acts 23-28

In Balaam’s case:

  • The Directive will of God would not allow Israel to be cursed.
  • The Permissive will of God allowed Balaam to exercise negative volition.
  • The Overruling will of God would not permit Satan’s plan to curse Israel, because this involves Satan and demons rather than human freedom and volition.

The will of God can be declared under four principles:

  • The will of God is directive. God has a plan for your life.
  • The will of God is determinative. God has permitted non-meritorious volition to bring us to the place of blessing or discipline.
  • The will of God is permissive. Negative volition to Bible Doctrine is permitted, but divine justice provides discipline.

Hos 8:7, “They who sow to the wind shall also reap the whirlwind.”

Col 3:25, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of that wrong which he has done, and there is no partiality from God.”

  • The will of God is preventative, providing doctrine, establishment laws, and discipline to keep human volition in the will of God. 1 Cor 11:30

1 Cor 11:30-32, “For this reason many among you are weak (Warning Discipline) and sick (Intensified Discipline), and a number sleep (Sin Unto Death). 31But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”

God’s Will Summary

  • God gives a command, Directive will.
  • Man accepts or rejects the command = volition = permissive will.
  • If Man accepts God’s will, God is glorified, man is blessed.
  • If man rejects the command, God’s permissive will allows man’s sin nature to operate, which may result in discipline.
  • If man’s negative volition violates the sovereign plan of God, God’s Overruling Will stops man.

Principles – Num 22:22-27

  • In God’s divine plan for the believer, He allows us room to repent and to choose to be in His plan, as well as room to choose our destiny outside of His plan. Num 22:23 – Operation Wide Path
  • In God’s personal love for the believer, if we continue to be negative towards His plan, He stays consistent but reduces the choices of negative volition and makes it difficult to avoid Him. Num 22:24-25 – Operation Narrow Path
  • If after the narrow path, the believer remains negative towards God’s plan, he’ll find there is no place to turn than to face Him head on and therefore face himself. Num 22:26-27; James 1:23-25 – Operation Mirror, Mirror
  • God has great patience and endurance when it comes to Man. He will provide plenty of room and time for each of us to come to our senses. Num 22:26-27 – Operation Striving on the Path
  • Blessing by association is a powerful blessing. If not for the Ass’ positive volition and supplication for Balaam, Balaam would have been taken out in the Sin Unto Death.
    Rom 12:13-15 – Operation Blessing by Association

But the supplications were answered and Balaam was given more time to repent.

  • You can tell a lot about someone by the way they treat animals. Because of Balaam’s arrogance, he was more concerned about His own welfare and appearance than about something or someone who was helpless and innocent. Num 22:27– Operation Kick the Dog.
  • Today God speaks to us through His Word. And by the means of prayer, application of His word, and the circumstances of life, His will is revealed. Eph 6:18-19

Eph 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.

Num 22:28-30 – Why this Miracle?

  • To bring Balaam to obey the voice of God which was drowned out by his lust for the fee. (Warning Discipline)
  • It was designed to humble Balaam in relation to his gift of prophecy (speech) given to him by God.
  • An ass could see the messenger from God, yet Balaam blinded by his desire for gain could not see anything but empty space. (Blind Arrogance)
  • All speech is under God’s control and Balaam could only ultimately speak the words God permitted. (Directive, Permissive and Overruling will of God)

The Number Three

In this scripture, the number three is prominently displayed.

God Tells Balaam 3 times to not go to curse Israel:

1) Num 22:12, Directive,
2) Num 22:20, Permissive,
3) Num 22:22, Overruling.

In the third Overruling Will scenario, God gives Balaam three chances to repent by providing three warnings to him, before bringing about a final judgment

  • 3 Directives
  • 3 Rejections
  • 3 Warnings
  • 3 Acts of non-repentance

In scripture, three stands for that which is solid, real, essential, substantial, complete, entire, and divine; denoting the Trinity and comes to mean Divine completeness or perfection.

Three is necessary to complete any plane or any solid (cube).

In Isa 6:3, the Seraphim cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Each denoting a member of the Trinity. Also in Rev 4:8, the four living creatures say, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Three is the first of the four perfect numbers:

  • 3 = Divine perfection
  • 7 = Spiritual perfection
  • 10 = Ordinal perfection
  • 12 = Governmental perfection

Three also denotes the third member of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. He takes of the things of Christ and makes them real and solid in our experience; thus 3 denotes Divine Fullness.

The central and highest place of the Tabernacle was the Holy of Holies and was the only cube there.

The first mention of three is on the third day of creation. God brought forth the land up from the waters, a type of resurrection. Then fruit and vegetation was able to come forth and provide seeds for future planting; just as Christ rose on the third day paving the way for fruit, divine good production.

Christ was perfected on the third day, crucified on the third hour, and for three-hours judged for our sins.

In Jude 11, three speaks to the completeness of Apostasy, “Woe to them! For they have gone 1) the way of Cain, and 2) for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and 3) perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

Three temptations of man, 1 Jn 2:16, “Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the eyes, boastful pride of life.” (appetite, beauty, ambitious pride)

Three-fold corruption of God’s Word:

  • By taking from,
  • Adding to, and
  • Altering

Eve shows this three-fold corruption in Gen 2 & 3:

  • God said freely eat, Eve omitted freely; making God less bountiful.
  • God said, you shalt not eat, Eve added touch it; making God more severe than He was.
  • God said, surely die, Eve altered it and added lest you die; thus weakening the certainty of the Divine threat into a contingency.

Satan tempted Christ and Christ responded three times, “it is written.”

  • And I will not omit, and
  • I will not add, and
  • I will not alter anything.

Principles – Num 22:31-35:

  • Num 22:31, “Bowed all the way to the ground.” Balaam has now entered into Human works to somehow please the Lord. Instead of following His Words, He exaggerates prostrating himself to find favor from the Lord.
  • When we try to please God through our human works and efforts, it’s a clear sign that we are in reversionism. God is not glorified and man cannot receive blessings when we perform human works.

Isa 64:6, “And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.”

2 Tim 1:9, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”

  • 1 Cor 13:1-3 – If you operate in your spiritual gift and yet operate inside the cosmic system, then the use of the gift has no spiritual content and the use becomes nothing more than human good.

1 Cor 13:2: “I am nothing.” A nothing produces human good.

  • Num 22:32, The Lord, through His Words of questioning, is reminding Balaam of his negative decisions, arrogance, and vengeance.
  • God’s Word, in grace, always provides us with the opportunity for recovery through the process of self-reflection.

1 Cor 11:31, “But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.”

  • The Donkey was trying to protect Balaam, by getting him off of his destructive path. Balaam indignantly wanted to stay on the path.
  • God will bring the right people and circumstances into your life to provide and protect you from yourself. You can either receive God’s provisions or arrogantly reject them and stay on the destructive path.
  • Num 22:33, When in Reversionism, The Lord (The Word) provides us with plenty of information on just how close we are to going out under the third cycle of discipline, the Sin Unto Death.
  • If the Reversionist remains on the destructive path, he will be taken home dishonorably.

1Cor 11:30, “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.”

This three times speaks to Divine Perfection and Completeness. The Lord gave him three chances to repent. Balaam rejected it three times. Therefore, the process and cycle was complete for God to execute His judgment. After three warnings, the process and cycle of Divine discipline is completed and the Lord can execute judgment.

  • Num 22:34, “I did not know.” A lame excuse at best. Excuses are like Asses, everyone has one and they all stink. “If it is displeasing to you.” Off course it is and has been since the beginning. If we are to truly have a repentant heart, we need to give ourselves wholly and totally over to God. If we have even a ounce of doubt about our choices for God, they are null and void, no matter how grand.
  • Num 22:35 w/ Num 22:20, God allowing Him to go, “but speak only the word which I shall tell you,” is a type of the believer in heaven for all of eternity when we will sin no more. Rev 21:4 w/ Rom 5:12
  • Num 22:35, Even though we are out of God’s Directive will and have made wrong choices in life, we remain in His Permissive and/or Overruling Will. There is no blessing to the believer when under the Permissive or Overruling Will of God.
  • But as in the case of Balaam, there is always opportunity to get back to a place of blessing under His Directive Will. Repentance, 1 John 1:9, (i.e. Rebound and recovery) is necessary to get back to that place.
  • Even though God could not initially use us under His Directive Will, (because of our negative volition), He always allows us to remain in His will as long as we are alive.
  • Even though we have missed out on the primary blessings, under His initial Directive Will, He provides blessing potential in subsequent Directives.

1 Cor 11:32, “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”

  • Regardless of our mental attitude, God’s Will is always accomplished, with or without us, whether we accept or reject His Plan.

Mat 26:42, “He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Mat 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’”

  • Num 22:36-38 – His Plan is His Plan.

Num 22:36-37 – Balak was eager to greet Balaam to begin the process of cursing God’s people and disturbed that He did not come immediately. Balak was under the impression that the blessing and cursing of a profit could be bought if only the stakes were raised high enough. A worldly-minded man, the best he could come up with was, “Am I really unable to honor you?”

Ask yourself, “What is your price to ignore God’s Will and Plan?” Is any price worth giving up on your integrity more importantly on God?

Because of this, Balak was disturbed in that something greater would hinder Balaam. Balak was vulnerable at this point because he wanted to know what thing(s) was greater than what he could offer.

When worldly things are the stability in your life, you will find out one way or the other just how unstable they are.

When you are faced with a situation where someone’s hardened heart has been opened slightly, will you be the cool refreshing breeze from God or the harsh biting frost of the cosmic system. What we do with that window of opportunity depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • Num 22:38Operation Switch Hitter

Balaam tries to appease both the cosmic king and the King of kings. At the same time, he is using God as a power play to keep Balak in check.

To live the spiritual life, you can’t play both sides of the fence when it is convenient or beneficial to you. If you are intent on one purpose and desire the things of God, you need to choose whole heatedly for God and get off of the fence.

Mat 5:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (personified as an object of worship).” Also in Luke 16:13

Phase 1 of Balaam’s Lesson: Rev 2:14b, “Balaam kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel”

Βαλαάμ, ὃς ἐδίδασκεν τῷ Βαλὰκ βαλεῖν σκάνδαλον ἐνώπιον τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ,

“Kept” = Hos (Nom., masc., sing.) and means, “Who, that, which, also, etc.”

“Teaching” = Edidasken: Imperfect (continuous action in the past time), Active, Indicative of Didasko which means, “to teach, to instruct, to instill a doctrine.”

“To put” = Verb, Aorist Active Infinitive of βαλλο – Ballo which means, “to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls, to scatter, to throw, cast into, to put into, insert, cast: to lay the foundations of, begin to form.”

“Stumbling Block” = Noun Accusative Neuter of σκανδαλον, which means, “the movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap stick, a trap, snare, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, (a stumbling block, occasion of stumbling), i.e. a rock which is a cause of stumbling, any person or thing by which one is (entrapped) drawn into error or sin.”

This can be figuratively applied to Jesus Christ, whose person and career were so contrary to the expectations of the Jews, concerning the Messiah, that they rejected Him and by their obstinacy made shipwreck of their salvation.

1 Cor 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness.”

Mat 16:23, “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’”

“Before” = ἐνώπιον – enōpion – (en-o’-pee-on), εν + Optomai, which means, “ in and appearing; in the presence of, before, front, sight.”

“Sons” = υἱός – huios

“Israel” = Ἰσραήλ – Israēl which means, “He shall be a prince of God”

Balaam had an opportunity to teach Balak, the Moabites, and Midianites the Word of God, and therefore be the conduit of blessing by association. Yet, Balaam taught Balak, the Moabites, and Midianites how, through continual appeal to temptation, someone who was with God can be brought down. Even though Balaam will not be allowed to curse Israel, he provides a powerful weapon for Balak to defeat the Israelites.

Phase 2 of Balaam’s Lesson: Rev 2:14c “To eat things sacrificed to idols”

Num 22:39-41, “And Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirathhuzoth. 40Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent some to Balaam and the leaders who were with him. 41Then it came about in the morning that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, and he saw from there a portion of the people.”

“Balaam” – Βαλαάμ Balaam = Not of the people, foreigner.

“Bal” = not, failure, immovable; comes from the word, Balah, which means, “to wear out.

“Am” = Nation, people, and tribe

Balaam was a bull-headed man who was accustomed to doing things his own way, in his timing.

“Went” – way-yê-leḵ, וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ (Qal, Imperfect) = To go, walk, come
Imperfect = Incomplete action, habitual or customary actions

Instead of Walking with the Lord Balaam choose to walk with the cosmic king.

Contrary to Balaam’s walk, we are commanded to walk in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Acts 3:6, “But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!’”

Col 2:6, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”

1 John 1:7, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Read: Eph 4:17-24

“Balak” – Βαλάκ – Balak = Devastator, a waster

Balak is one in a long line of kings and individuals who consume for their own purposes and leave a trail of waste behind them. But was goes around, comes around. Reap what you sow.

Isa 16:4 “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you; Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer. For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased, Oppressors have completely disappeared from the land.”

Jer 48:8-9 “A destroyer will come to every city, So that no city will escape; The valley also will be ruined And the plateau will be destroyed, As the LORD has said. 9Give wings to Moab, For she will flee away; And her cities will become a desolation, Without inhabitants in them.”

“Sent” – חַלָשׁ (Q) = to send, stretch out; (Pi) send, stretch out, send away, expel, let go free (Piel, Imperfect) Piel – intensified action.

Balak is eagerly sending them the fruits of his own labor from his religious ceremony. He can’t wait to witness to Balaam about his god and his religious beliefs, and have Balaam join in on his degeneracy.

The choice we have is to eat the word of God or eat that which is produced from the cosmic system, in this case via religious ceremony. This is Satan’s attack through the antithesis of the spiritual power of the Word of God. The attack is through religion. Religion is as detrimental to a nation and individual as God’s power system is a blessing to the believer and nations.

So many people, including believers, prefer the substitution of human power found in Religion over God’s power system. This is how they get into the cosmic system, Balaam’s reaction of course.

Had Balaam been in fellowship with the Lord and not been in the cosmic system, he would have:

  • Told them to leave.
  • Would not have gone with them.
  • Revealed to them all that the Lord had told him.
  • Abstained from eating the sacrificed meat for their sakes.

Read: Rom 14:13-23

Principle:

  • The mature believer understands his personal relationship with the Lord, and that ritual, legalism, and religion have nothing to do with living the spiritual life.
  • Yet, the mature believer is to abstain from indulgences, not for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of the unbeliever and less mature believers around them.
  • If what you are doing causes or will cause someone to sin, stop doing it, or don’t even start doing it.

Read: 1 Cor 10:14-22

Principle:

  • Participating in a religious ceremony means fellowship with the one worshipped at the ceremony. Therefore, believers must not fellowship at non, false, or pseudo Christian ceremonies, since they may thereby open themselves up to demonic influence.

Another Jesus, 2 Cor 11:4, 13-15

Read: 1 Cor 10:23-33

Enter into things freely, but if you have information that identifies that thing as counter to God’s Word and Will then stop from going any further.

Ask yourself:

  • Does this manifest the characteristics of God?
  • Is it beneficial?
  • Is it enslaving? 1 Cor 6:12

1 Cor 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”

  • Will it hinder the spiritual growth of a brother? 1 Cor 8:13

1 Cor 8:13, “Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.”

  • Do I care more about my own satisfactions or the eternal soul of a brother?
  • Does it edify (build up)? 1 Cor 10:23

The choice we have:

  • Live in the Righteousness of God or Live inside the temptation pattern from Satan. (The cosmic system)

As we will see later on, Balaam’s 2nd lesson results in him having a hand in Israel’s worship of heathen idols and indulgence into fornication. Num 25:1-3

Num 31:16, “Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. (24k were killed Num 25:8-9)

Rev 2:14d –  “Commit acts of immorality

Num 22:41 – “The High Places of Baal” = Bamoth Baal

“Bamoth” is feminine plural of “Bamah,” = height, high places, and the technical name for a cultic platform.

Balaam’s third Act is about to begin.

This word is also used in Isa 14:14

Isa 14:13-14,
“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’”

Principle:

  • Satan is unable to bring man to spiritually high places, so he brings them to physical highs to give the air of spiritual ascent.

Numbers 22:41 is the first mention of Baal in the Bible, so there is significance here that sets the stage for the usage of this word throughout the rest of the Bible.

The word “Baal” means, “lord or possessor.” Its root meaning is, “to be master, to marry, to possess or rule over, be husband or lord over.”

The word is used of:

  • The master of a house. Ex 22:7; Judges 19:22
  • A landowner. Job 31:39
  • An owner of cattle. Ex 21:28; Isa 1:3, and so on.

The word is often used as a prefix to names of towns and men, e.g., Baal-gad, Baal-hanan.

Baal is the same as KURIOS and is used either generically for Lords or is used for a specific god.

Baal was lord of the Canaanite religion, which includes the Phoenicians. Baal was worshiped as the god who provided fertility.

Each Baal had a wife, who was a colorless reflection of himself.

Baal was the son of El – western Aramaic name who was the father of the gods and comparable to Zeus or Jupiter, a.k.a. Dagon – Mesopotamian name (associated with agriculture).

Dagon, an ancient Mesopotamian deity, transported early to the west.

Dagon is generally represented as having the body or trunk of a fish, with a human head and hands, and as being the symbol of water and all the vivifying natural powers that take effect in warm countries through water.

The Babylonian-Assyrian, and later Canaanite, Dagon is described by Philo of Byblos as the god of grain.

Instances connected with the temple of Dagon include the scene of Samson’s death. Judges 16:23-30

The Canaanite’s religion is a counterfeit of the Trinity and all of the functions of the Godhead in relation to people Here is the satanic counterfeit for the Father and the Son.

For example, El is God the Father or is the counterfeit for it. Baal is the counterfeit for God the Son. Baal Adonis is how it eventually worked out when the Greek sea peoples combined with the Canaanites to form the Venetians.

Then we have the story that Baal got in a fight with Mot, the god of death. (Using the western Aramaic terms.) Mot kills Baal. Along comes Anath, who is the same as Asherah, who is the same as Isis, who is the same as Aphrodite, who is the same Brutus the goddess of love. She is said to be the wife and later on sister of ElDagon

Anath finds Baal and brings him back to life, so they had their own death and resurrection. The death is the long hot summer. The resurrection is the planting and so on. Judg. 6:25-30; 1 Kings 18:19

Baal was thus the farm god who gave increase to family and field, flocks and herds.

He was likewise identified with the storm god Hadad, whose voice could be heard in the reverberating thunder that accompanied rain, so necessary for the success of the crops.

Canaanite Worship.

The inhabitants of Canaan were addicted to Baal worship, which was conducted by priests in temples and in good weather outdoors in fields and particularly on hilltops called “high places.”

The cult included: animal sacrifice, ritualistic meals, and licentious dances.

Near the rock altar was a sacred pillar or massebah, and close by the symbol of the asherah, both of which apparently symbolized human fertility.

High places had chambers for sacred prostitution by male prostitutes (kedishim) and sacred harlots (kedeshoth)  (1 Kings 14:23-24; 2 Kings 23:7).

The gaiety and licentious character of Baal worship always had a subtle attraction for the ritualistic Hebrews bound to serve a holy God under a rigorous moral code.

“Baal of Peor” was worshiped on the summit of Mt. Peor with immoral rites.

The name Baal is also another form of Chemosh.

The national deity of the Moabites, honored with horribly cruel rites like those of Molech (worshipped by Semetics, the Ammonities and Palestinians), to whom children were sacrificed in the fire.

It is interesting, archaeologically, to note that the anger of Chemosh is said in the famous Moabite Stone to be the reason for Israel’s subjugation of Moab (cf. Judges 11:24).

Israelite interaction with Baal of Peor is found in. (Num 25:1-9; Psa 106:28; Hosea 9:10).

FERTILITY CULT

A general term for religions marked by rites which reenact a myth accounting for the orderly change of the seasons and the earth’s fruitfulness.

Such myths often involve a great mother-goddess as a symbol of fertility and a male deity, usually her consort but sometimes a son, who like vegetation dies and returns to life again.

  • In Mesopotamia, the divine couple was Ishtar and Tammuz (who is mourned in 8:14).
  • In Egypt, Isis and her son Osiris.
  • In Asia Minor, Cybele and Attis.
  • In Syria, the Ugaritic myths of the second millennium B.C. pictured Baal-Hadad, the storm god, as the dying and rising god. (A local manifestation of this god is mourned in 12:11; Syrian kings derived their names from this deity, 1 Kings 15:18; 2 Kings 6:24; 13:24).
  • In the New Testament, Diana or Artemis of the Ephesians (Acts 19:35) was a many-breasted fertility goddess. (Anath Asherah – O.T.)
  • Aphrodite was also associated with fertility. Her temple at Corinth was the home of cult prostitutes responsible for the city’s reputation for immorality. (Compare 1 Cor. 6:15-20)

Many of the mystery religions, which competed with Christianity in the early centuries of the church, developed the myths of the older fertility cults. The whole thing was related to reproduction.

Since reproduction was both related to the ground and to people, it had two sides:

  • Various festivals related to planting and harvest and so on, the agricultural side.
  • And it also has the phallic side; the reproductive organs were worshipped. They simply thought that having sex blotted out the past, blotted out the future, and therefore when you had contact with someone, you had blotted out the past and the future. Therefore, every woman had to give to the gods and especially to Asherah her virginity. She had to go and sit in the temple until someone threw a bundle of money in her lap and then she had to have sex with him right then and there. It always had to be a stranger.

Then of course they had to give their children to the gods. They had human sacrifice. They also had feasting, partying, and hell-raising.

So, they counterfeited the fruitful provisions of God celebrated in first fruits, Pentecost and booths, while blaspheming the creative acts of God, and destroying the 4 Divine Establishments, as well as the relationship of the church age believer and God.

When you can develop a religion that includes all of the sex you want, all of the food you want, all of the partying you want, it seems to get pretty popular.

Satan took several thousand years to develop this system. But it is still alive today even as it was alive in the time that John wrote.

In Pergamum and Thyatira, it was very much alive. We are studying it now in relationship to Pergamum.

Idolatry

(Click Here & Scroll Down on Newly Opened Page to See the: Doctrine of Idolatry

NUM 22:41 – So he took him to Baal Beor, Bamouth-baal, as it is called here. It is the place where they worshipped Baal. It’s associated with demonism, licentiousness, human sacrifice, the entire area of the Phallic Cult. I should add another thing that is very important in the function of this religion. That was the drug addiction and the ecstatics involved with that. They used both alcohol and drugs to have an ecstatic experience and they called the experience also worshipping God.

Num 23:1-6Balaam was making an errand boy out of Balak, satisfying his lust for power. He is crazed for money! But he really wants power. To satisfy his power lust, he begins by making the king run around like an errand boy and set up a bunch of altars and put up a bunch of expensive animals.

When someone lusts for power, but doesn’t really have power, they become autocratic dictators by ordering everyone around. Coupled with being unsure about their ability to obtain their own desires, they enter into extensive processes, works and/or rituals to give the air of authority.

This is in direct contrast to how the believer should operate. Eph 6:5-9

Balaam was a quick learner. Learning from Satan how to give the air of ascent/authority. Balaam is now under the spotlight, and he no longer has any contact with demons. But he does have conversations with the Lord. He does have a gift of prophecy.

What is he going to do? What would you do? The first thing you do, humanistically speaking, is impress them by making a lot of sacrifices.That’s one thing that you must always remember about religion. Religion and Christianity are different. Religion always demands sacrifice. Make a lot of sacrifices.

Conversely Christianity says:

Mat 1:13, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” w/ Hos 6:6; Mat 12:7

Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Definition of Religion: [Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.] A personal or institutionalized system grounded in belief and worship.

Now Balaam wonders, how can I make a lot of sacrifices here to impress them and make them think that I’m a big shot?

Spend their money! It cost him a lot of money. All of those sacrifices cost money. They are the most expensive animal sacrifices. In other words, he set up a show on three mountains.

If your church is involved in the “big show” as a means of worship, you’re most likely in a religious environment.

Balaam’s show was very expensive:

  • 7 Altars,
  • 7 Bulls, (the most expensive sacrificed animal – Rebound)
  • 7 Rams, (prize [winner] rams – Salvation work on the Cross) = one of each for each altar, two sacrifices for each altar.

Lev 9:2, “And he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a calf, a bull, for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without defect, and offer them before the LORD.”

The seven bulls are the rebound offering. The ram is the burnt offering of Leviticus 1, and the burnt offering depicts appreciation with emphasis on the work of Christ on the cross.

7 = Spiritual Perfection (full and satisfied)

2 = the number of division or difference either for good or for evil, where man is involve, it denotes opposition, enmity, and oppression.

God divided the light from the darkness, making two parts of the day on the first day.

On the second day He divided the waters from the waters.
Man’s dwelling from the fallen angels dwelling. (It was not good. “it was so” Gen 1:7)

The seven altars are also erected in the tradition of ancient Babylonian divination practices. This was Balaam’s doctrinal aberration.

Balaam, no doubt, knew what the number 7 stood for in the plan of God. He knew about creation.

When we use the things of God, both in number and type, to give the air of position and relationship with God, that is the formula for Religion.

Luke 11:37-52

This is error mixed with truth. Ritual without reality is not pleasing to God.

Balaam is a cosmic believer, and therefore the bull has no meaning without the real concept behind it, which has to do with the rebound function or the Ram depicting the salvation work of Christ on the cross.

Only one altar is necessary. Christ died once for our sins. There is only one cross, not seven crosses.

God cannot honor truth mixed with error. Doctrine is neutralized by diluting it with error. You have seven altars instead of one altar.

There is simply just one altar for those who are saved. One altar and the bull or the ram represents the work of Christ on the cross.

Seven is merely a good luck charm, and it’s extending a ritual in order to gain a little time.

Num 23:3 – Balaam [apparently] expected to mark some phenomenon in the sky or in nature, which he would be able, according to the rules of his former art, to interpret as an omen/sign, Num 23:23 w/ 24:1.

Josh 13:22, “The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain.”

He went off by himself; where he might practice rites and ceremonies, with a view to obtain a response of the oracle, message from God. Heathen soothsayers were accustomed to select the lonely and barren summits of mountains for their auspices. I guess they would get in touch with nature.

Principle: When in the presence of unbelievers, do not isolate yourself in the worship of God. Be a visible witness.

Acts 22:15, “For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

Ezk 21:21,“For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver (hepatoscopy).”

Saul, the first Hebrew king, is said to have “removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists.” 1 Sam. 28:3, but even he later sought out a necromancer, 1 Sam. 28:7.

The prophet speaks under a strong impulse and from a sense of duty. The heathen diviner used his calling for money.

The true prophet believed God directly guided him.

The Greek μαντισ – mantis (prophet or seer) worked himself into a state of frenzy and thought to imply inspiration by music and certain drugs.

Divining or fortune telling was forbidden for God’s people. Lev 19:26

Lev 19:26, “You shall not ….. practice divination or soothsaying.”

“Divination” – נַ֫חַשׁ – nachash; (Enchantments) To practice divination, observe signs, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen. This word is also used in other scriptures to mean, “serpent.” Gen 3:1

The superstition, here prohibited, may be what the Greeks called Ophiomanteia or divination by serpents.

“Anan” means to bring (clouds), practice soothsaying, conjure, to observe times, or spiritism, magic, augury, witchcraft. An enchanter, sorceress, fortuneteller.

“Soothsaying” – anan – עָנַן = To bring (clouds), practice soothsaying, conjure, to observe times, or spiritism, magic, augury, witchcraft. An enchanter, sorceress, fortuneteller

The principal signs a diviner deduced his omens from were:

  • Celestial signs: lightning and thunder, the direction of lightning (right to left a good sign, and vice versa).
  • Signs from the flight, cries and feeding of birds.
  • Signs from the movements and audible sounds of animals, including serpents.
  • Signs from the examination of the entrails, liver of animals, (hepatoscopy).
  • By arrows; (belomancy).
  • By lot, (sortilege).

Among the Romans, as among other nations (Babylonians, etc.), a sacrifice was offered before omens were taken, so as to propitiate the gods.

God’s word directs us to not get involved with this type of evil. Deut 18:9-14.

“Pass through the fire” – Worship of Molech- Human Sacrifices

One who uses divination; (diviner of divinations) = General term for the types in the list that follows, “augury” and “soothsayer’s token,” or the omen that was superstitiously observed.

Terms for Diviners:

“Soothsayer” is the term applied to Balaam in Josh. 13:22. Divination is from the verb qasam, “to divide.” It means to give false prophecy or seek to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens. (qasam is also used in Josh. 13:22; 1 Sam. 6:2; 28:8; 2 Kings 17:17; Isa. 3:2; 44:25; Jer. 27:9; 29:8; Ezek. 13:6, 9, 23; 21:21, 23, 29; 22:28; Micah 3:6-7, 11; Zech. 10:2.)

* One who practices witchcraft; (Soothsayer) – Practicing hidden arts. Observer of times—מעונן meonen, one who pretends to foretell future events by present occurrences, and who predicts great political or physical changes from the aspects of the planets, eclipses, motion of the clouds, etc.

The root word here is anan; to practice soothsaying:—diviners’ to cloud over; figuratively to act covertly, that is, practice magic, enchanter. Sorcery (מְעוֹנֵ֥ן – mə·‘ō·w·nên, Deut. 18:10, 14; cf. Lev. 19:26; 2 Kings 21:6; Isa. 2:6; Micah 5:12, cast spells”) is the attempt to control people or circumstances through power given by evil spirits (demons).

* One who interprets omens; (Warlock) – Looking at nature and the stars for signs To interpret omens is to tell the future based on “signs” such as the movements of birds, fire, or rain. Enchanter—אָשַׁף ashaph , from ashshaph, to view attentively; one who inspected the entrails of beasts, observed the flight of birds, etc., and drew auguries thence. Some think divination by serpents is meant, (Nachash = serpent) which was common among the heathen. Lev 19:26.

A Sorcerer; – a practitioner of spells and occult magic. A witch – כָּשַׁף kashaph. Probably those who by means of drugs, herbs, perfumes, etc., pretended to bring certain celestial influences to their aid. The root word means Witchcraft (kashaph). Involves practicing magic by incantations. Ex 7:11; Dan 2:2; Mal 3:5

One who casts a spell; (Charmer of charms); one who casts spells is literally “one who ties knots” (melachashîm), thus one who binds other people by magical mutterings.  חבר חבר, chober chaber, one who uses spells; the term implies, of words or things, tying knots, etc., for the purposes of divination. Psa 58:5

A Medium; One who supposedly communicates with the dead but who actually communicates with demons (Medium of dead spirits).  A consulter with familiar spirits – שאל אוב shoel ob, a Pythoness, one who inquires by the means of one spirit to get oracular answers from another of a superior order. Lev. 19:31

A Spiritist, (Channeler) one who pretends to know about the unseen world. A wizard – ידעני yiddeoni, a wise one, a knowing one. Wizard was formerly considered as the masculine of witch, both practicing divination by similar means. Lev 19:31

One who calls up the dead, (Necromancer). One who consults the dead, may mean the spiritist’s attempt to contact the dead to gain advice, information on the future, or help in manipulation.  Necromancer—דרש אל המתים doresh el hammethim, one who seeks from, or inquires of the dead. Such as the witch at Endor, who professed to evoke the dead, in order to get them to disclose the secrets of the spiritual world. 1 Sam 28

All these practices are forbidden because they divorce life from morality.

Several factors make this clear:

  • The future is “determined” by one’s choice and decisions for or against God, not by magical manipulation.
  • Using magic to manipulate your circumstances is a futile attempt to flee from the Lord’s ethical laws which promoted life and blessing.
  • The use of magic and divination is a refusal to acknowledge the sovereignty of the LORD.
  • Reliance on these practices indicated a corresponding failure to trust the LORD with your life.

The true prophet is determined by the outcome of his word having 100% accuracy. Deut 18:20-22

Num 23:3, “…Stand beside your burnt offering…”

“Stand” = הִתְיַצֵּב֮ – hiṯ-yaṣ-ṣêḇ; Hithpael (Reflexive), Imperative (Command), a prim. root; to set or station oneself, take one’s stand.

“Beside” = עַל־ – ‘al- Preposition, from alah; upon, above, over:—about.

Alah = עָלָה – aw-law’; a prim. root; to go up, ascend, climb.

“Your Burnt offering” = עֹלָתֶךָ֒ – ‘ō·lā·ṯe·ḵā.  Also from the root word alah. Whole burnt offering, ascent, stairway, steps.

“Let me go” = וְאֵֽלְכָ֗ה -wə-’ê-lə-ḵāh, Qal (Active voice), Jussive (Command), To go, come, walk.

Num 23:4, “…God met Balaam…” — God served His own purposes through the arts of Balaam, and manifested His will through the agencies employed to seek it, dealing then with Balaam in an exceptional way.

When a believer is outside of God’s plan, God still accomplishes his own purposes and manifests His own will, Mat 6:10; Rev 4:11; Eph 1:11; Luke 22:42; Acts 13:27; 1 Cor 9:17.

“I have prepared seven altars”—And therefore, Balaam expected that God on His part would do what was desired by the donor, because of the works he had performed, Gal 2:16; Eph 2:9.

This is similar to what Balak did to Balaam in Num. 22:15.

At this time, Balaam was bossing Balak around and was expecting to do the same to God.

This again tips Balaam’s hand as he was looking for the Quid Pro Quo.

God cannot be bought or bribed. Mat 4:7; James 1:13, “for God cannot be tempted by evil.”

God did not meet Balaam in compliance with his incantations, but to complete His will through him, contrary to Balaam’s desires and interests, to pronounce the following benediction.

Objectively, we can say the following about this sacrifice. It was as perfect as they could make it based on:

  • The number of offerings was regarded as a sacred and perfect number, Spiritual perfection.
  • The victims offered were the most valuable that were used for sacrifices and appropriate, given Balaam’s mental attitude.
  • The kind of offering. They were completely burnt with no reserve for a feast. Entirely consumed in honor of the Divine Being. The highest and best and complete are all part of the Jewish code and our spiritual code.

Eph 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

It is Christ Himself who provides the highest and best through us, 1 Thes 5:23.

1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Subjectively, we can say this sacrifice was imperfect and even sinful, because of the sentiment and motives of the offerers.

  • The sacrifice was offered with a mixture of faith and superstition.

They approached God in sacrifice but did it with superstition, in that they thought God honored or was moved by such sacrifice. (works program.) This was the belief in Pagan rituals, which was also evident when Balaam goes to look for Omens Auguries.

Superstitions commend neither the offerer nor his offering to God.

  • The sacrifice was offered under the impression that the offering was meritorious on the part of the offerers, and placed God under an obligation to them.

We see this in two things Balaam ignores about God:

  • God’s proprietorship of all things. We can only present to Him what is His. Psa 50:8-13
  • Man’s relation to God as a dependent and sinful creature. All notions of merit in man, in relation to God, or of obligation upon God, are effectually excluded. The best man, at his best, is but an unprofitable servant. Luke 17:10

Luke 17:10, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

  • The sacrifice was offered as a means to induce God to change His mind. He thought God to be mutable versus being His immutable self.
  • The sacrifice was offered with a view of obtaining permission and power to curse the people of God. This was the intention of Balak to bring Balaam to this place, and Balaam knew his intention, while hoping for the pay day.

The true value of sacrifice is:

  • Not in the quantity or quality, but in the spirit it is offered, Psa 51:16-19; Heb 10:5-10.
  • Trusting in Christ Jesus for acceptance, let us present ourselves to God, Rom 12:1.

Rom 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

  • He who has truly given himself to God will keep back nothing from Him, Heb 13:15-18.

Num 23:5, “He shut Balaam’s mouth and He said, “You will say this.”

That means that Balaam is the perfect illustration of a person who learns everything the hard way, right down to his last breath on this earth.

Num 23:7 [This isn’t a discourse (a discussion or speech). It is a simile (poem). A simile is a thing or action compared with a different kind of thing or action. In other words, something with one quality is compared to something of a different quality.

The comparison is being followed by a proverb and the entire simile; the message is given in poetry.

Num 23:9 – Here Balaam identifies the first client nation unto God, Israel.

What is a client nation?

Definition: A client nation is a national entity under the patronage of God, assigned the responsibility for the formation, preservation, communication, and fulfillment of the Canon of Scripture.

  • Before Israel became a nation, custodianship of the word of God involved divine revelation apart from Scripture. But since Israel has become a nation, it is involved in the authorship, custodianship, and dissemination of the written Word.
  • Additional, custodianship was assigned to Israel in the formation of the New Testament, since all except one writer was a Jews.

Ex 19:4-6, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if hearing, you will obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine; then you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to Me. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Deut 7:6, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

Deut 26:18-19, “And the Lord has today declared you to be His people, a people for His own [a treasured] possession, as He promised you; therefore, you are to keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all nations which He made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a holy people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.”

Israel was the first client nation and had five Jewish client nations of the Old Testament with a specialized priesthood. This continued through the time of the formation of the New Testament.

Then the client nation changed from Jewish nations to Gentile nations, Judea to the Roman Empire, in 70 A.D., for the dispensation of the Church with its universal priesthood.

1 Pet 2:9, “But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out from darkness into His marvelous light.”

No Gentile nation of the Old Testament was a client nation to God.

The Gentile client nation category follows exactly the same pattern as Israel with some dramatic differences related to the uniqueness of the Church Age, both in grace provision and in spiritual life. (Union with Christ, permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, completed Canon, etc.)

A client nation is a synonym for a priest nation. The name “priest nation” is used for Israel, because it had a specialized priesthood. The term “client nation” is used for any Gentile nation that performs the same functions during the Church Age.

In Roman history, a client is defined as someone dependent on another family.

Instead of calling a Gentile nation a priest nation as such, the believers in the Church Age are a holy priesthood and a Royal Family of God.

1 Pet 2:4-5, “And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but elect and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house [compare Heb 3:6] as a result of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through the agency of Jesus Christ.”

Israel was always called a holy nation. The Church is called a holy priesthood. Why? Because in the Church Age, every believer is a priest.

Jesus Christ tested and proved the prototype spiritual life. We offer up spiritual sacrifice by the fulfillment of the three stages of the adult spiritual life. God does not want sacrifices and offerings; He wants the sacrifice of the spiritual life.

The spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God are the four-spiritual mechanics of the spiritual life.

1) Filling of Holy Spirit, perception and application of Bible Doctrine.

2) 3 Spiritual Skills:

  • Filling of H.S.,
  • Bible Doctrine in the soul,
  • Forming of 11 Problem Solving Devices (PSD).

3) Deployment of the 11 PSD.

4) Execution of the Plan of God by growing to and through spiritual maturity.

1 Pet 2:9, “But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out from darkness into His marvelous light.”

The idea of an elect race comes from the Greek phrase in 2 Cor 5:17 KAINE KTISIS, which means, “a new spiritual species.”

2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new spiritual species; old things have lost their power, behold, new things have come to pass.”

The new things that have come to pass are the four-spiritual mechanics, the four spiritual objectives.

In the privacy of your priesthood, you have the option to go forward in God’s plan, or the option to fail, as far as the spiritual life is concerned.

The royal priesthood is related to positional sanctification; for our Lord is a King-Priest from the line of David. Believers in Christ are the Royal Family of God, and this is the key to Gentile client nations in the Church Age.

A client nation to God is a nation under divine protection, because it has a large pivot of mature believers.

Mature believers have blessing by association to those around them and historical blessing to their nation. Rom 12:9-21 and references in the Bible related to the mature believer being “salt”.

A client nation is destroyed by the reversionistic believers who “spin-off” from the pivot of mature believers, by their rejection of Bible doctrine. As the pivot shrinks, the nation loses its client nation status with God and undergoes the five cycles of discipline. Only a remnant of positive believers had impact through the spiritual life of Israel in the Old Testament.

The key to all client nations is found in the history of Israel as a priest nation, which was the most important client nation.

The “Times of the Gentiles” and Client Nations, Lk 21:20-24.

Gentile client nations should have a maximum number of mature believers for a pivot, maximum evangelism within their own nation, maximum missionary activity to other nations, and they are to provide a haven for the Jews.

The client nation is characterized by being pro-Semitic.

No Gentile nation can be a client nation to God without providing a haven for the Jews during the “times of the Gentiles.”

Gen 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you; but the one who curses [despises] you, I will curse. And through you, all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”

Anti-Semitism automatically eliminates any nation from being a client nation to God.

The “Fullness of the Gentiles”, Rom 11:25.

Rom 11:25, “For, brethren, I do not wish you to be ignorant of this mystery [Church Age doctrine], lest you become presumptuous [wise in your own estimation], that a partial hardening has occurred to Israel until the full measure of Gentile nations has come in.”

The word translated “Gentile nations” is the Greek word ETHNOS. This word means Gentiles and Gentile nations.

The full measure of the Gentile nations is a reference to all the Gentile client nations that will be from the fall of Israel in 70 A.D. until the end of the Church Age. The full measure of Gentile nations refers to the times of the Gentiles with one slight difference. The times of the Gentiles goes from 70 A.D. until the Second Advent. The full measure of the Gentiles has to do with the fact that there will always be Gentile client nations until the resurrection of the Church.

The difference is the tribulation, during which there is no Gentile client nation and Israel is not yet restored as a client nation.

A client nation is responsible to do five things.

  • It must evangelize its own population at home.
  • It must communicate Bible doctrine to the believers in the nation.
  • It is responsible for the custodianship of Bible doctrine.
  • It provides a haven for the Jews.
  • It is responsible to send out missionaries to evangelize other nations.

Back in Num 23:10, God makes the revelation through Balaam that everyone should desire to be associated with the client nation, in this case Israel, to participate in the eternal blessings God has stored up for them.

A client nation must have difference and distinctions from other nations and cultures. You can’t function as a client nation where you adopt everyone else’s culture. You must be different. The difference must be in its relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Num 23:10 – Great kingdoms of the ancient world have disappeared without a trace. There is only one nation in the ancient world that is still with us. It isn’t Rome and it isn’t Greece. And it isn’t any of these nations, because the people who live in Italy and the people who live in Greece and in the Aegean are not Greeks. They are an amalgamation of every race that has ever passed that way in 2,000 years.

There are no Romans left in the world. There are no Greeks left in the world, no Alexandrians, no Macedonians left in the world. All of these nations have come and gone.

There is only one nation, one people that are still in existence from the ancient world, the Jews.

There are no Moabites or Midianites or Ammonites or Amorites or Canaanites or Lycians or Lydians or Hittites. There are no Cyprians or Symarians. They are all gone. The ancient world is gone. S.P.Q.R., the Roman Empire, separated the ancient world from the modern world.

The principle should be obvious here: The importance of separation from apostasy. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. Most Christians do not understand separation.

Your association with unbelievers, with businesses, with organizations, with anything that is professional or non-professional should all be in the nature; whereby, your honor and integrity is intact and shows.

You should influence them. They should never influence you. But if you are in the cosmic system, they will always influence you.

Deut 23:3-6, “No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD, 4because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5“Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you. 6“You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.

(Click Here to See the: Doctrine of Separation) 

  • Num 23:11-12, Principle: Arrogant, self-righteous, (Legalistic), believers living in the cosmic system often say what is true, but it is a distortion to cover their evil.

(Click Here to find “Sin Nature” power point slides) 

Balaam knows he is defeating the king here. When you are a believer defeating others, what is your best weapon? For those of you who are going to live in the cosmic system, you might as well know – self-righteousness.

If you always set yourself on a self-righteous pedestal, there is always someone dumb enough not to see it. That’s exactly what Balaam did in NUM 23:12.

  • Num 23:13 Principle:  If you don’t succeed try, try again. Balak is a good leader, in that failure does not discourage him.

So let’s learn something from the king of Moab. He is a good leader. It isn’t an accident that he’s ruling that great people. He is ruling them because even though he is faced with failure, he isn’t discouraged. He doesn’t have a pity party; he doesn’t take his ball and go home. We can learn something from an unbeliever.

(See Doctrine of Leadership Principles from Nehemiah) 

When did God tell you to be depressed and discouraged because you failed? When did God tell you to hurry it up, because you haven’t done something right? 2 Cor 7:1-14

So many of you live in your past, and you ride on your failures and you say, “Well, I’ve sinned here, and therefore God is punishing me now.” And it may be true. God may be punishing you. But He doesn’t tell you to be a wimp and whine about it. Heb 12:4-12; Prov 3:11-12

The punishment is no good if it only brings out the wimpiness in you. Too many of you are wimps. You whine and you cry and you say, “I’ve failed in the past. There is something wrong.” So that makes you a big shot. You’re the only person who has ever done something wrong. You are unique. We ought to put you in a museum. You’re the only one who ever did anything wrong.

Remember the 12th commandment, “Thou shall not whine!”

Confess your sins (Rebound) and move on. If you don’t rebound, God is going to spank you, and hang you out to dry, 1 Cor 11:30.

  • Num 23:13 Principle: He said, “Please come with me.” And that is what it is in the Hebrew. It is a word – be polite. Now here is the highest-ranking person in the land, and yet he says, “please” to a jerk. A king says please to a jerk. You should learn something from this. It’s very important that the king is being professional.

When you’re dealing with people in your business, in your profession, in your job, good manners should be in operation, no matter what kind of jerk you’re dealing with, Eph 6:4, 9; Col 3:21; 4:1.

One of the signs of historical up trend is when people have good manners.

When you have accidents on the highway use good manners, when you’re driving use good manners, yield when it says to yield, stop when it says to stop.

We are learning this from an unbeliever, and he can produce good manners from common sense. If the unbeliever can produce flexibility and good manners from common sense, you ought to be able to do a great deal more inside God’s power system, assuming you ever get back there.

In this passage you can actually learn something from the believer’s failures and the unbeliever’s successful leadership capability. So, we learn good things from the unbeliever in this passage and bad things from the believer. Isn’t that the way it goes? Life hasn’t changed at all.

Num 23:18, “Arise and hear, give ear to me.”

(Click Here to See: Doctrine of Ears) 

Num 23:19, “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said and will He not do it or has He spoken and will He not make it good.”

Here we have in view some of the Essence of God.

(Click Here to See:  Doctrine of the Essence and Attributes of God

  • Principle: When God makes a promise, He keeps it.

Num 23:21 – The term “misfortune” is the Hebrew word Aven or Awen. It is a noun and simply means, “trouble, sorrow, wickedness, iniquity, evil, or idolatry.”

So, here we see that God is once again comparing the Israelites to the heathen Gentile nations. He is giving a direct message to Balak, the Moabites, and the Midianites that idolatrous behavior warrants and brings about divine discipline.

We also have the word “trouble,” which in Hebrew is Amal, and means, “toil, trouble, misery, and harm.” Amal is derived from the verb of the same spelling, which means, “to labor.” So, the noun can be defined as “hard labor.” Labor that is vanity because the laborer will never enjoy the fruits of the labor, Ecc 1:3; 2:11.

This word also means, “wickedness” (here and in Isa 10:1), which conveys the emotion of vexation and anguish associated with sinful behavior, especially by those who are the recipients of such evil behavior.

Zech 10:2, “For the teraphim (household idol) speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.”

Tozer, in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, identifies mistaken or distorted views of God as idolatry:

“Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry, for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is.… Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.”

So, God says, listen up, I have something very important to say to you, I am who I am, and unlike yourselves, there is nothing that concerns you that would cause me to curse my people Israel. This does not say that there is no sin in Israel. There will always be sin. We know they had sin because of operation bronze serpent in Numbers, Chapter 21.

But God is saying, “It’s a private issue and none of your business.” At the same time, He is saying again, that they have Christ so God will bless them versus those that do not.

When God says through Balaam, “He has not seen sin in Jacob,” the sins of Israel are a family matter, and there are individual sins that are being dealt with, but nothing that requires the cycles of discipline.

Israel is part of the family of God because of regeneration, as noted in Rom 9:6-14.

And their security is based on the faithfulness of God founded in the unconditional covenants that He made with Israel; the Abrahamic (promise of a people) Gen 12:1-3, Palestinian (promise of land), Gen 15:18, Davidic (promise of a King), 2 Sam 7:8-16, and New Covenant (promise of a nation unto God), Jer 31:31-34.

The fact that individual Jews sin means individual discipline and that has all been ironed out in the 40-years in the dessert. You see most of the Jews who were living in the cosmic system have now died the sin unto death. In 40-years, the generation of cosmic believers were wiped out. That’s the story of the Exodus.

Now we have a new generation. We have a generation of powerful believers. The young people are as positive as their parents were negative, with some exceptions. But that doesn’t mean they did not have any sins at all. What it means is that God deals privately, personally, and directly with our sins, and it is no one else’s business. It’s a family matter between the Father and His children.

(Click here to See: Doctrine of Privacy

“The shout of the king” means that Jesus Christ is the ruler of Israel. It’s the same principle as in Ex 15:18.

Ex 15:18, “The LORD shall reign forever and ever.”

This also has an escalogical overtone which is developed in the third dissertation. Escalogically, Jesus Christ will rule Israel forever, but not until the 2nd Advent and Millennial reign of Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.

In Num 23:22, we hear of God’s faithfulness as the dissertation continues. God brings them out of Egypt as His faithfulness. He brought out the carnal and the spiritual, the cosmic believers and the believers who are advancing. He brought them out of Egypt. Here in Verse 22, Balaam reviews God’s redemptive and protective work on Israel’s behalf. “Out of Egypt.” Egypt represents the world, and through the deliverance of God, they are brought up out of the World; they are brought up out of Sin.

“…He is for them like the horns of a wild ox.”

“Horns” =Tow`aphah- to-aw-faw’
1) eminence (of towering horns, peaks, silver), lofty horns, summit

“Wild Ox” = teo – teh-o’

The Buffalo is considered to be the most dangerous of all game. You may have Unicorn, but it’s buffalo, the most dangerous type of big game. The Buffalo is a very strong and very powerful animal.

So “the horns of the Buffalo” says that He’s for them. He protects them like the Buffalo would protect its young. In other words, the Lord is protective of Israel and His people in the same power analogy as these Buffalo.

Now, we see that there is no Omen or Divination against Jacob and Israel respectfully.

In other words, Balaam, Balak, and Satan are powerless to defeat God’s people through a cursing. And God does not hear or listen to their plea for such cursing.

So, the Principles are:

  • People, Satan, and the fallen Angels are powerless to defeat you.

The verse intimates that the seer was at last, (through the overruling of his own divinations, Josh 13:22), compelled to own what, (had he not been blinded by greed and ambition), he would have discerned before.

  • Evil doers will be compelled to own what they should have discerned before.
  • There is an indisputable interference of God on your behalf, against which all arts and efforts of man are proved vain. The sense suggested by margin (i.e., that the soothsayer’s art was not practiced in Israel) would be strictly true (compare w/ 23:4). Surely there is no omen against Jacob. No art can ever prevail against a people who are under the shield of omnipotence, and for whom miracles have been and yet shall be performed, which will be a theme of admiration in succeeding ages.
  • No art can ever prevail against you who are under the shield of omnipotence, and for whom miracles have been and yet shall be performed. God’s protection of Israel and His people is dogmatic. And they don’t even have to take things into their own hands. Proven by the fact that they don’t even know what’s going on at this time.
  • God’s protection of you is dogmatic. You don’t even have to take things into your own hands.
  • Someday in heaven, you will find out how many times you were close to real danger and the Lord delivered you. That is called the Divine Providence of God.

Doctrine of Divine Providence

Definition. (from the American Heritage Dictionary) Providence: Care or preparation in advance; foresight. Prudent management. The care guardianship and control exercised by a deity; divine direction.

The Doctrine of Providence expresses the fact that the world and our lives are not ruled by chance, fate, or luck, but by God, who reveals the purpose of providence through the work of Christ on the cross and beyond. The object of the revelation (of Christ on the Cross) is the final manifestation of God’s glory in eternity future.

Providence is used in the Bible but is not speaking of God’s providence (Acts 24:2; 2 Cor 8:21; Rom 12:17; 1 Tim 5:8). It is speaking about, “to think beforehand, to take care, to provide for, to take into consideration, to perceive in advance, to know or to think in advance.”

pronoia – pron’-oy-ah (Noun) = Forethought, provident care or supply, providence, provision.

This verb was used by Philo of Alexandria (an historian) who used God as the subject of “pronoeo” (verb) in his book. His phrase, “God is the source of providence in the world” used pronoeo, so he invented the concept of the providence of God, and that’s how the doctrine got started.

The Greek word pronoia means, “providence or forethought.” It is used with God as the subject in the poetry of Sophocles; it was used by Aeschylus as well. It was used for prior knowledge that the gods had. Stoicism, in the time of the Romans, used the word in a technical sense for “an abstract designation of god.” This has come down to us in a technical sense.

Providence is like so many theological words. It is not a biblical word, but a technical word for the theology of the Bible.

So, Providence is extended to mean, “God’s forethought, i.e., His omniscience, and the functional care over all creatures, both good and bad, but especially to those creatures who have yielded to His will.”

God’s providence is seen in selection at physical birth (when He imputes human life to the body), and election at the new birth or regeneration (when He imputes spiritual life to the new believer).

God imputes human life to the person after they emerge from the womb. There is no life in the womb, and this is the providence of God, because if there were life in the womb, most of the human race would be born morons. When God imputed life at physical birth, that person is neither good nor evil; therefore, the providence of God selected you to have human life.

God’s providence in relationship to the regenerate in the church age is as follows:

  • You were provided your very own portfolio of Invisible Assets in eternity past.

1.) You were provided a perfect plan, pre-designed plan of God. (Only a perfect God could design a perfect plan to be executed by imperfect people.)

2.) For all who believe in Christ in time, you were provided the eternal state. This includes your resurrection body and special rewards and blessings for those who execute the protocol plan.

The victory of resurrection belongs to God alone, 1 Cor 15:57.

3.) There is no way anyone can cancel the providence of God in four areas of your life.

(1) Salvation. There is nothing you can do to cancel God’s providence. His providence is greater than any sin or failure on your part. You cannot lose your salvation. 2 Tim 2:13, John 10:28-29

(2) You cannot lose your portfolio of invisible assets, whether you use them or not. Eph 1:3-6; 13-14; Heb 10:35-36; John 14:20; Rom 11:33-36

(3) You cannot lose the plan of God for your life. (It is far greater than any plan you can design for yourself, which is often based on the wrong scale of values.) 1 Cor 6:14; Eph 3:19-20

(4) You cannot lose your escrow blessings or destroy them; they will be on deposit forever in heaven if you do not receive them. 1 Cor 2:9; 3:10-15; Eph 3:20; Heb 10:35-36

The providence of God benefits the human race and is particularly reveled through the Doctrine of Common Grace.

Common Grace

Pre-Salvation – God the Holy Spirit acting as a human spirit so the gospel is understandable. The providence of God is linked to the doctrine of common and efficacious grace. We are spiritually dead and cannot understand the gospel. The providence of God provides the ministries of God the Holy Spirit to make the gospel real and carry our positive volition to the point of salvation.

The Doctrine of Providence demands that the power of God be effective in the world of the spiritually dead. Even though we are dead to God, God is not dead to us. In his providence He is effective in the world of the spiritually dead.

Post-Salvation – God the Holy Spirit teaching our human spirit the Word of God.

  • The Holy Spirit under the providence of God has several ministries to the spiritually dead.

a.) The ministry of common grace.
b.) The ministry of restraining sin in the world.

Were it not for this ministry of restraining sin, human good, and evil, the human race would self-destruct. 2 Thes 2:1-11

God the Holy Spirit keeps you from destroying yourself by your sin, good, and evil. He also protects nations through the biblical concept of nationalism. Gen 11:1-9 Anything that might destroy the human race is restrained by the providence of God.

The providence of God protects the human race from self-destruction through divine judgment of individuals, groups, nations, and international organizations that are evil.

The flood in the days of Noah was the providence of God. Gen 6-8

In this way, the providence of God provides freedom for the entire human race through the laws of divine establishment. Gen 2:16-25, 4:1 and 11:1-9

Furthermore, the providence of God provides two kinds of freedom for the believer.

  • Human freedom through establishment.
  • Spiritual freedom inside God’s Power System. Job 1:10 (hedge); Zech 2:5 (wall of fire)

So, the providence of God provides spiritual freedom to execute the Plan of God inside His Power System.

And finally, as we see in Num 23, God protects His people from the attacks of Satan and the fallen Angels. Num 23; Job 1 & 2; Psa 121:7; Rev 12:10

Isa 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD.”

2 Thes 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

Through Divine Establishments, the Holy Spirit and His Word God keeps us until the coming of His Son. Psa 25:1-22

Rev 3:10-11, (Philadelphia) “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”

Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Num 23:24“Lioness” – לָבִיא (Lavi) – “Israel shall be the subduer and possessor of the whole land of Canaan.”

“Lion” – ארי (ari) from ארה (arah), “to tear off, the predatory lion, or the lion in the act of seizing and tearing his prey.”

The nations against whom the Israelites are now going shall be no more able to defend themselves against their attacks than the feeblest beasts of the forest are against the attacks of the strong lion. Compare with Num 24:9

In Gen 49:8-12, is the first mention of “Lion” in the bible and is the story of Jacob, (Israel), blessing his 12 sons. In his blessing, Judah is said to be the lion. As we know from Mat 1:2, 16 and Luke 3:23, 33, Christ was descended from Judah, and therefore inherited the blessing and recognition as the Lion of Judah.

In Rev 5:5, Christ is the prophesized Lion of Judah. He is once again noted as a King that is the Warrior King similar to Num 23:21

Rev 5:5, “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’”

Yet in Num 23:24, we have the illustration of a lioness and a lion and both are illustrations of Israel. In this illustration, we see that the lion gets up to eat what the lioness divides.

Here is the analogy. The lioness is the hunter and provides for the pack. She is the one who does the work so that the rest get to lie around and enjoy their prosperity. So, the lioness is analogous to the military, and in this case, the military of Israel.

For years, it was the Jewish military alone that provided blessing from the standpoint of government. The military drove out the Canaanites. The military found the land. The military fought for freedom. The military is like the lioness that divides the food. The rest of the people just sit up and eat like a lion.

The male lion with the great big mane is a magnificent looking creature, but he is lazy. He is a lazy creature. He lets the lioness do all the work. He gets up, yawns and goes over and eats and drives everyone out until he has had his portion. Isn’t’ that typical? Sounds like a good deal to me! lol

So, in this illustration the lion represents the people. The lazy people who let others do the dirty work and then come over and take from what they did not work for.

That is the way people are about the military and that is the principle here. The military does the hard work. The military die. The military fight. The military is an honorable profession even though it may have dishonorable people in it. It’s still an honorable profession. The military goes out and fights for freedom.

And as you know, the followers usually feed off the one who is prospering rather than working for themselves. 2 Thes 3:10-12 Many people have prospered because of what the military has done.

The people get up and they feed off their freedoms, they conduct their business, they have their social life, they do all of their things in freedom and they are free to do so, because the military protects from the enemies outside, while the police officers protect from the enemies within, the criminal.

We owe these two professions a great deal. We seem to have ignored them. But God commands that we bless them and honor them. And when we do, we will be blessed. Read: Rom 13:1-7

So, in the illustration, God is once again blessing King Balak, the Midianites and Moabites by giving them clear warning of pending disaster upon themselves and their people.

In grace, God uses the lion analogy so the unbeliever will wake up from their dead state and receive the perfect provisions that God has worked so hard to give them. (Nahum 2, speaks of divine judgment against an apostate people.)

Likewise, God has a system for the Believing nations to wake them up from falling away from Him. This is called the:  Five Cycles of Discipline. Lev 26:14-38,

1st Cycle vs 14-17; Terrorism, violence, criminality, military defeat, cowardice and disease.

2nd Cycle vs 18-20; Economic disaster, severe recession and inflation

3rd Cycle vs 21-22; Intensified disease, epidemic illnesses, violent crime, loss of possessions.

4th Cycle vs 23-26; Uncontrolled crime, military invasion, partial defeat, shortage of food, starvation, natural disaster.

5th Cycle vs 27-38; National destruction and slavery.

Amplified in Deut 28:49-67 and Hosea 4:1-6.

For the individual believer, God has given a system of wake-up calls to keep us from falling prey to the “roaring lion” of 1 Peter 5:8, found in 1 Cor 11:28-30.

  • “Weak” = Warning discipline
    Self-induced misery as a function of negative decisions in life.

Rev 3:20 “Now hear this! I [Lord Jesus Christ] stand at the door and knock [warning discipline] [opportunity for rebound]. If anyone [cosmic believer] hears my voice [motivation to rebound from warning discipline], with the result that he opens the door [rebound], I will enter and dine with him [restoration to fellowship], and he with me [back in God’s Power System].”

  • “Sick” = Intensified Discipline; A lifestyle of deceit.
    Ps 7:14; 38:1 14; Rev 3:19; Heb 12:6; Job 5:17-18

Psa 7:14, indicates that failure to rebound or open the door of warning discipline results in intensified discipline. “Behold he [cosmic believer] shall have labor pains [warning discipline] of vanity [involvement in cosmic system] because he has become pregnant with frustration.”

This means you use your own volition to create problems. Then instead of solving the problem through rebound, you dig in deeper by piling wrong decisions on top of wrong decisions, caused by wrong thinking and wrong motivation, all of which results in wrong actions. Therefore, he has given birth to a life of deceit. Intensive discipline results in “a life of deceit.”

Rev 3:19, “Those whom I love [believers], I reprimand [warning discipline] and I punish [intensive discipline]; therefore, be zealous [motivation from either warning or intensive discipline to rebound] and rebound.”

Heb 12:6, “FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

Job 5:17-18, “Behold, happy is the man whom the Lord reproves [warning discipline], and do not despise the discipline [intensive discipline] from El Shaddai [many breasted one, God’s logistical grace title]. He inflicts pain [warning discipline]; He bandages the wound [rebound]; He wounds [intensive discipline], and His hands heal.”

God provides many wonderful logistical grace blessings we may not regard as blessings, such as divine discipline.

  • “Sleep” = Maximum Discipline, the Sin Unto Death.

At this point, there is no more use for you. God brings you home in grace dishonorably.

1 John 5:16, “There is a sin terminating unto death.”

In Psa 118:17-18, David said when he was close to the sin unto death. “I shall not die but live; I shall live and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely [intensive discipline], but He has not given me over to death [dying discipline].”

Phil 3:19, “Whose end of life is ruin [dying discipline], whose God is his emotions.”

People who die this way are always ruled by their emotions. If they had a doctrinal thought, they forgot it years ago.

Rev 3:16, “Therefore, because you are lukewarm [cosmic believer], neither cold [the believer who has a refreshing ministry], nor hot [believer who has a soothing ministry], I am about to vomit you out of My mouth [administration of the sin unto death].”

In addition, the book of Hebrews has a fantastic system of warning signs for the believer so that self-regulation, self-judging can keep us from following prey.

5 Warnings Found in Hebrews

  • Watch that you don’t drift away from your relationship with God, 2:1-4. Don’t let the New Testament truth slip away. This is a warning to pay attention to the information you once believed and may now be rejecting.
  • It is dangerous for the believer to have doubts about Christ, the trinity, and your relationship with Him, 3:7-19. Your doubts will lead to a lack of faith, then bitterness will set in, leading to hardening your heart against the Holy Spirit. Heb 10:39

Heb 10:39, “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”

  • Without continual intake of the truth there is a danger of spiritual deformity due to immaturity, 5:11-6:12. If you are not growing towards Spiritual Maturity, you place yourself in a vulnerable position against the attacks of Satan. This is a warning against turning away from our Lord and Savior (The Word). Don’t lose heart and fall away from Christ, stay the course.
  • Some will fall all the way to the point of despising This is what the Bible calls “trampling under foot the Son of God,” Heb. 10:26-31; 35-36; 39. This is falling away, to the point where His sacrifice is once again meaningless to you, which also is an insult to the Holy Spirit.

Eph 4:30, “Grieving the Spirit”

1 Thes 5:19 “Quenching the Spirit”

1 John 1:9 – cleansing.

Christ’s blood (sacrifice) should be held in high regard at all times by the believer. Eph 1:7; 2:13; Col 1:20; Rom 3:25; 5:9

Rom 3:25, “Whom God displayed publicly as propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.”

Heb 13:12-13 is the appropriate context and thought we should have regarding the Blood of Christ (His Sacrifice).

  • Denying Christ’s person or work is the epitome of someone who is very close to the Sin Unto Death. Heb 12:12-29

This is typical in the individual who is focused entirely on themselves and totally neglects the person and work of Christ and the results of His work. Furthermore, they are refusing God’s call to benefit others.

So, the “five warnings to the believer in Hebrews” have a progression of downward spiral from: drifting, to doubting, to deformity, to despising, and ending in denying.

But rest assured that even if you go this route, you will always remain saved. 2 Tim 2:13; John 10:28-29

If we heed the warning signals and remain in fellowship, advancing in the spiritual life, we will be called overcomers and gain tremendous blessings and rewards for both time and eternity. 1 Peter 5:9-11; Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7

1 John 5:4-5, “For whatever is born (GENNAO – Perfect, Passive) of God overcomes (NIKAO – Pres, Active, Indicative) the world; and this is the victory (NIKE – [Nee-kay]) that has overcome (NIKAO – Aorist, Active) the world—our faith. 5Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes (Pisteuo – Present, Active – Not the Aorist) that Jesus is the Son of God?

  • The next phase of warning signs; God in His grace provides for mankind the warning to unbelievers during the Tribulation period found in the book of Revelation. We note these warnings as the Seven Seals, with Seven Trumpets, Seven Bowls, followed by the Seven Dooms on Babylon.

To begin this study of warning signs for the unbeliever during the Tribulation, let us first view the chronology of historical events leading up to these judgments.
Dispensations Diagram

At the conclusion of the Church Age (Grace), the Church will be Raptured out and meet Christ in the clouds of the air. 1 Thes 4:16; John 14:2-4; 2 Thes 2:1-11

Then comes the 7-year Tribulation with its warning judgments, and then Christ fulfills the 2nd phase of His 2nd coming.

(See Doctrine on Rev 4+)

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