Benefits of reading the bible. Why should I read the bible? Why should I study?

Someone asked me: “Why do you read the bible?” I didn’t know how to respond, the question got me off guard.  I’ve never been asked a question like that.   They laughed and thought it was funny that I bothered reading the bible.  I was silent, but in my mind were millions of reasons I read the bible but I just couldn’t put it into words.
How can I explain the wonders, the joy, and the power of the Word of God?   I decided I would search the scriptures so I would be ready next time someone asks- why do you bother reading the bible?

 “ Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Eph 4:14

Why should we study the scriptures?
Why should we seek Him?

For I am always thinking of your laws. I meditate on them day and night. I write to you who are God’s children because you know the Father, I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you whoa re young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts and you have won your battle with the evil one. 1 John 2:14

 My Exhausting Study of why I study. 🙂

Taken from Scripture, here are just a few of the benefits of continuing to study, obey, and meditate on the Word of God

  1. Revives me Ps 119:50-52, Ps 19:7-11
  2. Brings me joy Ps 119:50-52
  3. Comforts me in my distress Isaiah 51:12, Ps 23. Ps 119
  4. Gives me Hope Luke 10:22
  5. Refines me Ps 52
  6. Gives me life Ps 119:28,  Job 4:3-6
  7. Teaches me tPs 119:36
  8. Encourages me he Lord’s will Eph 3
  9. It is the mirror to my life 1 James 23-25
  10. Keeps me standing firm and unshakable in my trials Luke 46:46, Jer 17:7. prov 1:33
  11. Blesses me as I live according to it (obedience) James 1:22
  12. Power to save my soul James 1:21
  13. Teaches me the fear of the Lord- which is the beginning of all wisdom Is66:2. Pr. 9:10. Pr. 111:10 Deut 17:19
  14. Leads me along the path that is true and right Hosea 14:9. Ps119:101
  15. shows me my sins- pierces my heart Act 2:37
  16. Always brings forth fruit and produces a great harvest in our life when we cling to His Word Luke 8:15, Is 55:10
  17. keeps me from stumbling Ps 119:65, Prov 6:21
  18. Helps us teach what is true 2 Tim 3:16, Hebrews 4:12
  19. Shows me all the great and precious promises He has given us. 2Peter 2:1-3
  20. Helps me escape the world’s corruption through His Promises which enable me to share His divine nature  2 Peter 1:4
  21. Shows me what is wrong in my life 2 Tim 3:15
  22. Corrects me when I am wrong and teaches me to do right 2 Tim 3:16
  23. Prepares and equips God’s people to every good work 2 Tim 3:17
  24. Keeps me from drifting away, keeps me from backsliding Heb 2:1
  25. keeps me from sinning ps119:11-15
  26. helps me stay pure Ps 119:8
  27. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.Romans 1:16,
  28. Teaches me wisdom and understanding
  29. Reminds me how I should live – forgiving others, loving, getting rid of bitterness,
  30. Rids me of my shameful ways – like a sword piercing through bone and marrow Hebrews 4:12
  31. Brings success, prosperity  Joshua 1:8,Ps 1:2-3, Jer 17:7-8
  32. We live by every word from the mouth of God Matthew 4:4
  33. Helps me stand firm in my trials Ps 1:2-3,Luke 6:46, Jer 17:7-8 Rom 5:3-4, Js 1
  34. His gracious hand is upon those who study, obey and teach the Word Ezra 7:0
  35. Reminds me to repent
  36. Gives understanding: the more we study and read, the more understanding He gives us Mat 13:12, Eph 3:3-5
  37. Discernment between right and wrong teachings and knowing the difference between truth and those who teach from their false imaginations–so I won’t be tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes Eph 4;14, Ez 13:17 “Now, son of man, speak out against the women who prophesy from their own imaginations. Ephesians 4:14
  38. My Sword: Helps me in spiritual warfare, it is my sword of truth in battle, my weapon- the sword, which is the Word of God. Eph 6:17
  39. It is the Power of God at work, it is alive and powerful and never comes back void, it burns like a fire in my heart Is 55:10-11, R. 1:16, Heb. 4:12, Jer 20:9
  40. His Word accomplishes everything He wants it to Is 55:10-11
  41. Shows me how the Lord wants me to live and obey His Words Rev 22:7
  42. Source of understanding as I keep searching to understand Him and know Him
  43. Increases Faith : Builds my faith Romans 10:17
  44. Makes me wiser than my enemies Ps 119:98-99
  45. Gives me more insight than my teachers Ps 119:98-99
  46. Helps me abandon my shameful ways Ps 119:38
  47. Stirs my Spirit
  48. Teaches me how to live
  49. Opens my eyes to what I need to know
  50. Reminds me to teach my children Deut 6:5-9, Deut 32:46, prov 4:4
  51. Tells me where I have gone wrong
  52. God speaks to me through His Word
  53. To know and understand the Warnings He’s given us Malachi 2:2
  54. Helps me in prayer! “ if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” Claim His Promises
  55. Lifts me up when I am discouraged Job 4;3-6
  56. Reminds me to be strong and courageous for Him Joshua 1
  57. Warns me to stay on the right path and listen Heb 12:25
  58. Instructs me
  59. Teaches me how to live a holy life John 17:17
  60. Salvation-The Power of God at word, saving everyone who believes the Good News about Christ- the Jew first and also the Gentile Romans 1:16, 1 Peter1:23, Phil 2:16, Acts 7:38 John 6:68
  61. Gives me life, they are not empty words- they are life! John 6:68, Matt 13:22, Deut 32:47, Prov 4:4
  62. How we get faith – from hearing the Word- need more faith? Read His Word Rom 10:17
  63. His Words bless me Rev 1:3
  64. Teaches me the truth and the truth sets me free John 8:31
  65. Warns me of times ahead
  66. Prepares me for persecution and rejection from others
  67. Keeps my heart strong for Him while battling adversity
  68. Fills our heart and mind with Godly wisdom and knowledge.
  69. It is what the Lord expects us to do- “Haven’t you read the Scriptures” the Lord Jesus asked this 6x in Mathew and 3x in Mark
  70. Sets me free James 1:22-25
  71. keeps me from being proud Deut 17:20
  72. Prevents me from turning away from his commands, even in the smallest way Deut 17:21
  73. Teaches me to live a blameless life so I may worship in His Sanctuary Ps 15:1

 Hear the Word of the Lord:

             Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. I meditate on your age-old regulations; O Lord, they comfort me. Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word (Ps 119:7-16, Ps 119:50-52, James 1:22-25, Ps 119:2)

For the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10

Instructions from Deuteronomy: He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees.  This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. Deut. 17: 18-21

  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

PROMISE: “The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors.  The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. Duet 30: 9-11

Listen to Him

 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.  Matthew 13:11-13, John 8:47, Heb 2:1, Heb 12:25, Rev 1:3, is 55:6

Remain in His Word: But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!  Ps 119:10, John 15:7, 1Peter1:25, Ps 119:28

Delight in the Law. Meditate on it Day and Night: But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure,lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. Ps 119:2, Ps 1:1-3, Josh 1:8, Ps 19:7-11 

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.119:65. 105

 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it.  It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49, matt 4:4

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! John 15:7, John 8:31

 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 1God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.Romans 1:16, Eph 6:17, Heb 4:122 Tim 3:16

 He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. D 17:9

My heart is broken because of the false prophets, and my bones tremble. I stagger like a drunkard, like someone overcome by wine, because of the holy words the Lord has spoken against them.

 

A Prayer for your bible study group

Heart

    Lord,  I pray for our group this morning, fill us with a  desire to seek you and know you. Thank you Lord that you draw near to those who draw near to you. May we say as David did, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God”.   Lord, I thank you that you have called each one closer to you to know you,
   Lord, keep my eyes on you and keep me in constant prayer for each one of your precious daughters. Let them know how much you love them even though this love is too great for us to understand. Give them time to spend with you each day even though their lives may be filled with so much the world puts on them, Lord I pray that you would give them the time to study your word and the confidence to go before your throne.
   May this study bring us closer to you, purify our hearts and keep our loyalty on you alone. Show us our wrongs and teach us  the right way.  Keep us from becoming lukewarm or indifferent to you, keep us on the narrow path to salvation.  Lord, I pray that our meetings be like those of the first apostles, full of power, faith and salvation in Christ Jesus. Lord I pray that our lives would change, we would see your amazing power and have a powerful prayer life in Christ.    As we prepare to enter you Holy Place, search our hearts, test us and know our anxious thoughts, show us anything in us that offends you and lead us along the path of everlasting life.
    May the fire of your Holy Spirit fill our hearts and may your power be present  in our gatherings as we come together to pray, worship and study your word.  
  Lord bless their lives as they seek you, give them understanding as they read your word and wisdom in the paths you have set before them.  For those who are downcast or struggling, remind them that You are the lifter of their soul, you hold them by the hand and carry them through. You are our redeeming Savior may you fill their lives with more than enough and pull them out of harms way. Your thoughts are above our thoughts,
O Lord, how can we know the way?  Open our eyes, as you did to Hagar that we can see the hope we have in you, that we know you will never leave us, you are there with us every step of the way. Light the path that we are to go, as we stop, ask and obey your leading.  Your word says that your peace will guard our heart and mind, thank you for such a wonderful gift. Lord, I pray that your supernatural peace would guard our minds and our hearts and that our hearts would meditate on your word as we say “Lord, my heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast”. Truly your glory and mercy is too much for us to understand.
                   Thank you that your ways are above ours, remind us to put our trust in You alone and not in the words of man or the logic of the world. For your ways are far above anything we could think or imagine. Fill our hearts with the Joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, that in whatever condition or situation we are in, we will always praise your great name. You are our banner, our peace, our protector, our shield, our Savior and the God who saves.  Fill us with all wisdom and understanding that we may walk in your ways. Search our heart, O God , and show us anything that is not pleasing to you.  Thank you for drawing near to each of your beloved daughters in this study.  Being in your presence through Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit is truly the greatest gift.
                Lord, give us your servants great boldness in proclaiming your name and your Word. Stretch out your hand with healing power and may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus. We remember Lord, that you are the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. You word is send out and it never comes back void, it accomplishes all you want it to accomplish
        We praise you today, we look forward to the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Lord bless our group, and look with favor upon your beloved daughters as we draw near to you and our hearts sing praises to  your name.  In Jesus name, Amen
Lord, you are 
 
El Shaddai – The all sufficient One, The One who holds me, in whom I trust
El Elyon – The God Most High, You rule the affairs of men
Adonai -Beloved Lord and Master
El Olam – The everlasting God
Jehovah Jireh– The Lord will provide, He is my helper
Jehovah Nissi – The Lord my banner, He goes before me
Yahweh – Lord, Jehova
Jehova- raah – The Lord my Shepherd
Jehovah Rapha – The Lord who heals
Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there
Jehova Tsidkenu – The Lord our righteousness
El roi – The God who sees, and delights in our lives
Jehovah Mekoddishkem- The Lord who sanctifies you
Jehova Sabaoth – The Lord of hosts. Lord of Heavens Armies
Jehova Shalom – The Lord is peace
Elohim– The Creator
 
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Doctrine of Balaam : the good, the bad, and the hidden deceit

  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Revelation 2:14

Balaam is mentioned 7 different times in scripture as a warning. His story is found in Numbers 22-24.  Why is this ancient prophet mentioned so many times ???????? 

This is what we know about Balaam:

  1. He was a well-known prophet
  2. His curses and his blessings came about
  3. he was a teacher who tried to teach others to trip/stumble/sin
  4. he showed Balak how to trip the people of Israel to sin
  5. He taught people to sin by eating food offered to idols
  6. he taught people to sin by committing sexual sin or idolatry
  7. he intentionally tried to destroy God’s people
  8. he deceived people for money Jude 1:11
  9. false prophets of today follow in his footsteps Jude 1:11, 2 Peter 2:15-16
  10. loved to earn money for doing evil 2 Peter2
  11. a talking donkey stopped him 2 Peter 2:15-16 (or was it the angel?)
  12. he was eventually killed by the Israelites (Joshua 13:22)
  13. he used magic to tell the future J 13:22
  14. he was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel
  15. he heard from God
  16. he told half-truths and obeyed only partial to what he was told to do.
  17. he was the son of Beor which means ‘burning’, so I guess we could call him the son of fire

  Those who follow in his footsteps:

  1. scoff at what they don’t understand
  2. indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight (No fear of God, prideful, haughty)
  3. delight in deception
  4. commit adultery with their eyes
  5. their desire for sin is never satisfied
  6. lure unstable people to sin
  7. they are trained in greed and live under God’s curse

     There’s got to be more to this Balaam story than what we see. I  think it’s very interesting that he is mentioned so many times. Of all the people to use as a warning- why him? Jesus mentioned Jonah on two different occasions in 3 gospels. Noah, David, Solomon and other godly men are mentioned often but this man Balaam is mentioned throughout scripture even to the last book of Revelation as a warning to those living in the last days.  

  With all the warnings we are given about Balaam, we read that he continually blessed Israel, he obeyed God’s voice (sometimes), and he prophesied about Jesus!

  I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth vs 17

    At first, you may wonder- What did he do wrong? We find one of the many clues in Numbers 31  “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord

And so we can conclude, although it is not mentioned in Numbers 25, that Balaam and his leading was behind the great sin spoken of in Numbers 25 that brought about the destruction of the Israelites

 “and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”

  Do you see how sneaky that was? You have to really search to find out he was a bad prophet- same with prophets today. It’s unbelievable that a prophet who hears God’s word and obeys Him can do the exact opposite at the same time. Balaam did all the right things- but then we see that he actually caused the people to sin so their own sin would curse themselves. Balaam didn’t actually curse them, but he caused the people to curse themselves. Interesting….. 

      Balaam was a prophet/seer, possibly a soothsayer as history records, he had the ability to bless and to curse. He also had the ability to hear God. What? I thought only godly prophets heard God, but then who exactly is godly? Jonah was a prophet of God but we see a man who was disobedient, rebellious and angry- even until the end! His last words were “Yes! I’m even angry enough to die”. Yikes, I bet he regrets that, or does he? Do prophets curse people? In 2 Kings 2:24, we read that some kids made fun of Elisha and he cursed them to death- all 42 of them were all eaten by 2 bears. Ezekiel was a prophet of God- but God created him to be hardheaded like the rest of the people. Hardhat Ezekiel probably wasn’t the nicest guy or mr. churchman who walks around smiling. Maybe I’m wrong, but the hardhats I know are only happy when they get their own way. Ezekiel was disobedient also- he didn’t speak when he was told to. Well, maybe that is up for debate, but I think there were many times Ezekiel didn’t speak when he was told to- and possibly why he was tied up and wasn’t allowed to speak unless God allowed him. Look at Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father…he was made(temporarily) mute because of his unbelief. What’s my point? Well, I’m guessing that prophets of God are not perfect people like I would suspect (and hope), in fact, they still have their own free will. For instance,  we have the prophet Balaam, who heard God’s voice, but made his own way and sought out things for himself. He used his ability for his own gain and greed while he destroyed people by leading them to live sinful lives. His intention was to destroy them. We are told he was out for his own good – greedy for money among other things. Why would God give such a wicked person a prophetic gift? Let’s look at the parable of the talents- each of the three was given a gift, they each had their own free will to do whatever they wanted with that gift. It wasn’t until the end when they received their reward/punishment.

 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven

   In Matthew 7 we are told that some people who PROPHESY IN Jesus’ name, cast out devils, and do miraculous works in Jesus’ name will not enter heaven. Here we have the same situation as Balaam. They are workers of iniquity and don’t belong to the Kingdom of God. They mingle among us (or do we put up with them) and have many followers. They are mighty in works, words, power, and seem super holy and wise but their deep motive is greed and possibly their sin is pride.

   All this is quite frightening if you ask me – I hope I don’t get complacent or vain in my life as a Christian. And exactly who is fake? Would the real Balaam please stand up? They wont- and I wonder if their conscience could be so seared they wouldn’t know it? Yet, the message is clear- these false teachers and prophets – fakers – INTENTIONALLY deceive. Come on! Balaam totally knew the Israelites were God’s people, His mighty works drove nations to fear. Balaam knew he was not to curse them – but sneaky, sneaky- he figured a way to get around it. He decided to tempt them with sin. How crafty. This is our warning- that there are teachers and prophets that have full intention to lead people away from God. It’s difficult for me to get that thought processed in my head, it just doesn’t make sense to me – but it’s true.

       Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock

   We find another interesting story in 1 Kings 13 of a prophet who- disobeyed  because another prophet of God lied to him. What? That story always has my head spinning. What a jerk! Or was he? What!

  
Let’s look at the elephant in the room. Balaam had an argument with a donkey. You would think that a talking donkey would have made him run far, far away, but he talked back to him like it was normal. Did Balaam have no respect for the supernatural? I would pass out if my dog asked me why I just threw him off the couch. I certainly wouldn’t have the nerve or strength to argue back with him like Balaam did! “Look you dumb dog, and I don’t care if you are talking to me- you crapped on my floor, ate my shoe, and I just stepped in your vomit, you deserve a beating!. Uhhhh no, none of that would come out- I’d be passed out in fear or screaming my head off trying to claw my way out of a window.  The first thing that comes to mind is this verse in Jude 1:10

 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

  And interesting enough…. The next verse mentions Balaam

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core

And this verse in 2 Peter 2

they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.- Balaam had no respect for the things of the supernatural world

  And interesting enough….four verses later, Balaam is mentioned

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

  2 Peter goes on to describe Balaam and people like him as: wells without water and clouds that bring no rain. They speak great words of vanity and they use lust and greed to get what they want. And this verse ends with a lovely Christian OSAS debatable verse-

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

And since I’ve been sidetracked onto that subject, I thought this verse was interesting in 1 Corinthians 15:  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

   Let’s look at this: We are saved by the gospel of Jesus by which we stand IF we keep it in memory unless we have believed in vain. All these ifs and no ifs in different versions get really tricky- so let’s assume there is no if there- we find an unless we have believed in vain.  Can someone believe in Jesus in vain, idly, to believe but have no affect?… apparently so. Yet it seems that this would only happen at a christians first moment of belief, but also possibly after one has become a Christian. It’s like the parable of the seed- the guy was super excited at church waving his white flag and accepting Jesus as his savior- started reading his bible, going to church…. But the pull of the world, troubles, trials, material wealth snatched that seed out of his heart and his religion becomes vain- could it be? I got sidetracked, but if you want to know my theory on this: Can a Christian lose their salvation? Exposing satan’s schemes

        The Doctrine of Balaam is alive and thriving- it’s an important warning for today. Balaam is mentioned in 2 Peter 2, Jude 1, and Revelation 2:14. We are warned of teachers/ prophets of religion who will use God’s word for greed and personal gain. These false teachers/prophets intentionally deceive people and do not care about the salvation of others. They gather in the people to commit great sins, specifically idolatry and sexual immorality.  They do not care about God’s lost sheep. They appear to be powerful and wise full of good works. Honestly, is there anyone righteous out there? I just don’t know. The wisest decision you can make is to spend time with the Lord and study His word so you won’t be deceived.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect Matthew 24:24 

Well known verse spoken by Balaam:  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23

 
It’s interesting that God made the donkey talk like a human and Balaam, a false prophet, spoke as a real prophet when he wasn’t. Is there more to the story? The angel first stood standing in the way, then in the path of the vineyards, and finally the angel stood in a narrow place. I would get mad at my donkey if it was being disobedient, but it seems that Balaam was angry at the donkey for embarrassing him. “Because thou hast mocked me” Hebrew word means- to make a fool of, to act childish. Just thoughts…. anyways, Balaam finally shows some respect to the mighty angel and bows down and falls flat on his face. The lure of riches, wealth and fame were too much for Balaam- let’s face it, it could happen to us if we are not careful. Balaam hit his donkey 3x and God spoke to Balaam at 4or more different times in the story. 

Judas and Balaam?  As I read the story of Balaam, it reminded me of Judas. Judas was (or seemed to be) a disciple of Jesus just as Balaam seemed to be a prophet of God. Both men tried to bring destruction on God’s people. Both were religious men who were greedy for money and popularity. Greed, money, materials, fame, man’s approval are things we are not to seek out. Are these sins in our heart?   Are Christians are immune to these sins? I don’t think so- look at Solomon’s downfall. Not only should we be aware of false teachers and deceivers, but maybe we should make sure these sins have not crept into our own hearts. David asked the Lord to search out his heart:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139

  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever 1 Chronicles 28:9

  I have much more to say on Balaam- but I think this is a good place to end today. May God search our hearts and show us any wrong way that might have crept in so we might be cleansed in Jesus name, keeping our feet on that narrow path that leads to salvation.

Related articles:

Wolves in Sheeps clothing actively working in pentacostal churches ; Charisma Magazine

Doctrine of Balaam : the good, the bad, and the hidden deceit

  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Revelation 2:14

Balaam is mentioned 7 different times in scripture as a warning. His story is found in Numbers 22-24.  Why is this ancient prophet mentioned so many times ???????? 

This is what we know about Balaam:

  1. He was a well-known prophet
  2. His curses and his blessings came about
  3. he was a teacher who tried to teach others to trip/stumble/sin
  4. he showed Balak how to trip the people of Israel to sin
  5. He taught people to sin by eating food offered to idols
  6. he taught people to sin by committing sexual sin or idolatry
  7. he intentionally tried to destroy God’s people
  8. he deceived people for money Jude 1:11
  9. false prophets of today follow in his footsteps Jude 1:11, 2 Peter 2:15-16
  10. loved to earn money for doing evil 2 Peter2
  11. a talking donkey stopped him 2 Peter 2:15-16 (or was it the angel?)
  12. he was eventually killed by the Israelites (Joshua 13:22)
  13. he used magic to tell the future J 13:22
  14. he was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel
  15. he heard from God
  16. he told half-truths and obeyed only partial to what he was told to do.
  17. he was the son of Beor which means ‘burning’, so I guess we could call him the son of fire

  Those who follow in his footsteps:

  1. scoff at what they don’t understand
  2. indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight (No fear of God, prideful, haughty)
  3. delight in deception
  4. commit adultery with their eyes
  5. their desire for sin is never satisfied
  6. lure unstable people to sin
  7. they are trained in greed and live under God’s curse

     There’s got to be more to this Balaam story than what we see. I  think it’s very interesting that he is mentioned so many times. Of all the people to use as a warning- why him? Jesus mentioned Jonah on two different occasions in 3 gospels. Noah, David, Solomon and other godly men are mentioned often but this man Balaam is mentioned throughout scripture even to the last book of Revelation as a warning to those living in the last days.  

  With all the warnings we are given about Balaam, we read that he continually blessed Israel, he obeyed God’s voice (sometimes), and he prophesied about Jesus!

  I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth vs 17

    At first, you may wonder- What did he do wrong? We find one of the many clues in Numbers 31  “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord

And so we can conclude, although it is not mentioned in Numbers 25, that Balaam and his leading was behind the great sin spoken of in Numbers 25 that brought about the destruction of the Israelites

 “and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”

  Do you see how sneaky that was? You have to really search to find out he was a bad prophet- same with prophets today. It’s unbelievable that a prophet who hears God’s word and obeys Him can do the exact opposite at the same time. Balaam did all the right things- but then we see that he actually caused the people to sin so their own sin would curse themselves. Balaam didn’t actually curse them, but he caused the people to curse themselves. Interesting….. 

      Balaam was a prophet/seer, possibly a soothsayer as history records, he had the ability to bless and to curse. He also had the ability to hear God. What? I thought only godly prophets heard God, but then who exactly is godly? Jonah was a prophet of God but we see a man who was disobedient, rebellious and angry- even until the end! His last words were “Yes! I’m even angry enough to die”. Yikes, I bet he regrets that, or does he? Do prophets curse people? In 2 Kings 2:24, we read that some kids made fun of Elisha and he cursed them to death- all 42 of them were all eaten by 2 bears. Ezekiel was a prophet of God- but God created him to be hardheaded like the rest of the people. Hardhat Ezekiel probably wasn’t the nicest guy or mr. churchman who walks around smiling. Maybe I’m wrong, but the hardhats I know are only happy when they get their own way. Ezekiel was disobedient also- he didn’t speak when he was told to. Well, maybe that is up for debate, but I think there were many times Ezekiel didn’t speak when he was told to- and possibly why he was tied up and wasn’t allowed to speak unless God allowed him. Look at Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father…he was made(temporarily) mute because of his unbelief. What’s my point? Well, I’m guessing that prophets of God are not perfect people like I would suspect (and hope), in fact, they still have their own free will. For instance,  we have the prophet Balaam, who heard God’s voice, but made his own way and sought out things for himself. He used his ability for his own gain and greed while he destroyed people by leading them to live sinful lives. His intention was to destroy them. We are told he was out for his own good – greedy for money among other things. Why would God give such a wicked person a prophetic gift? Let’s look at the parable of the talents- each of the three was given a gift, they each had their own free will to do whatever they wanted with that gift. It wasn’t until the end when they received their reward/punishment.

 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven

   In Matthew 7 we are told that some people who PROPHESY IN Jesus’ name, cast out devils, and do miraculous works in Jesus’ name will not enter heaven. Here we have the same situation as Balaam. They are workers of iniquity and don’t belong to the Kingdom of God. They mingle among us (or do we put up with them) and have many followers. They are mighty in works, words, power, and seem super holy and wise but their deep motive is greed and possibly their sin is pride.

   All this is quite frightening if you ask me – I hope I don’t get complacent or vain in my life as a Christian. And exactly who is fake? Would the real Balaam please stand up? They wont- and I wonder if their conscience could be so seared they wouldn’t know it? Yet, the message is clear- these false teachers and prophets – fakers – INTENTIONALLY deceive. Come on! Balaam totally knew the Israelites were God’s people, His mighty works drove nations to fear. Balaam knew he was not to curse them – but sneaky, sneaky- he figured a way to get around it. He decided to tempt them with sin. How crafty. This is our warning- that there are teachers and prophets that have full intention to lead people away from God. It’s difficult for me to get that thought processed in my head, it just doesn’t make sense to me – but it’s true.

       Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock

   We find another interesting story in 1 Kings 13 of a prophet who- disobeyed  because another prophet of God lied to him. What? That story always has my head spinning. What a jerk! Or was he? What!

  
Let’s look at the elephant in the room. Balaam had an argument with a donkey. You would think that a talking donkey would have made him run far, far away, but he talked back to him like it was normal. Did Balaam have no respect for the supernatural? I would pass out if my dog asked me why I just threw him off the couch. I certainly wouldn’t have the nerve or strength to argue back with him like Balaam did! “Look you dumb dog, and I don’t care if you are talking to me- you crapped on my floor, ate my shoe, and I just stepped in your vomit, you deserve a beating!. Uhhhh no, none of that would come out- I’d be passed out in fear or screaming my head off trying to claw my way out of a window.  The first thing that comes to mind is this verse in Jude 1:10

 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

  And interesting enough…. The next verse mentions Balaam

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core

And this verse in 2 Peter 2

they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.- Balaam had no respect for the things of the supernatural world

  And interesting enough….four verses later, Balaam is mentioned

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

  2 Peter goes on to describe Balaam and people like him as: wells without water and clouds that bring no rain. They speak great words of vanity and they use lust and greed to get what they want. And this verse ends with a lovely Christian OSAS debatable verse-

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

And since I’ve been sidetracked onto that subject, I thought this verse was interesting in 1 Corinthians 15:  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

   Let’s look at this: We are saved by the gospel of Jesus by which we stand IF we keep it in memory unless we have believed in vain. All these ifs and no ifs in different versions get really tricky- so let’s assume there is no if there- we find an unless we have believed in vain.  Can someone believe in Jesus in vain, idly, to believe but have no affect?… apparently so. Yet it seems that this would only happen at a christians first moment of belief, but also possibly after one has become a Christian. It’s like the parable of the seed- the guy was super excited at church waving his white flag and accepting Jesus as his savior- started reading his bible, going to church…. But the pull of the world, troubles, trials, material wealth snatched that seed out of his heart and his religion becomes vain- could it be? I got sidetracked, but if you want to know my theory on this: Can a Christian lose their salvation? Exposing satan’s schemes

        The Doctrine of Balaam is alive and thriving- it’s an important warning for today. Balaam is mentioned in 2 Peter 2, Jude 1, and Revelation 2:14. We are warned of teachers/ prophets of religion who will use God’s word for greed and personal gain. These false teachers/prophets intentionally deceive people and do not care about the salvation of others. They gather in the people to commit great sins, specifically idolatry and sexual immorality.  They do not care about God’s lost sheep. They appear to be powerful and wise full of good works. Honestly, is there anyone righteous out there? I just don’t know. The wisest decision you can make is to spend time with the Lord and study His word so you won’t be deceived.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect Matthew 24:24 

Well known verse spoken by Balaam:  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23

 
It’s interesting that God made the donkey talk like a human and Balaam, a false prophet, spoke as a real prophet when he wasn’t. Is there more to the story? The angel first stood standing in the way, then in the path of the vineyards, and finally the angel stood in a narrow place. I would get mad at my donkey if it was being disobedient, but it seems that Balaam was angry at the donkey for embarrassing him. “Because thou hast mocked me” Hebrew word means- to make a fool of, to act childish. Just thoughts…. anyways, Balaam finally shows some respect to the mighty angel and bows down and falls flat on his face. The lure of riches, wealth and fame were too much for Balaam- let’s face it, it could happen to us if we are not careful. Balaam hit his donkey 3x and God spoke to Balaam at 4or more different times in the story. 

Judas and Balaam?  As I read the story of Balaam, it reminded me of Judas. Judas was (or seemed to be) a disciple of Jesus just as Balaam seemed to be a prophet of God. Both men tried to bring destruction on God’s people. Both were religious men who were greedy for money and popularity. Greed, money, materials, fame, man’s approval are things we are not to seek out. Are these sins in our heart?   Are Christians are immune to these sins? I don’t think so- look at Solomon’s downfall. Not only should we be aware of false teachers and deceivers, but maybe we should make sure these sins have not crept into our own hearts. David asked the Lord to search out his heart:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139

  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever 1 Chronicles 28:9

  I have much more to say on Balaam- but I think this is a good place to end today. May God search our hearts and show us any wrong way that might have crept in so we might be cleansed in Jesus name, keeping our feet on that narrow path that leads to salvation.

Related articles:

Wolves in Sheeps clothing actively working in pentacostal churches ; Charisma Magazine