“These are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3 Are you being tested?

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“these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3

When I read this  verse in Judges, I thought NO! That’s horrible, no more testing! They need a break, but wait….  He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. In  the wilderness, the tests and trials they experienced were to refine them, to humble them, to know what was in their heart, to see if they loved the Lord with all their heart and whether they would keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 8:2  Deuteronomy 13:3Judges 2:22

The people of Israel finally reached their promised land after wandering for 40 years but God did not destroy all their enemies.  The Lord left Israel’s enemies so that they might be tested. I couldn’t believe it when I read it, why!? They experienced plagues, death, sword, leprosy, sickness, they even saw those who rebelled be swallowed up by the ground. Finally – they reached the promise land, the promise given to Abraham but their testing and proving still was not completed. You’d think, phew! Finally! They made it, but they were still not at their final destination, they needed more testing in order teach the next generation.

 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.1 Peter 4:12-13

HE RIDES ACROSS THE HEAVENS TO HELP YOU

Even in all Israel’s trials, God always wanted them to know how much He loved them. This same truth is for you today, He wants you to know that He loves you and He has always loved you. His thoughts for you outnumber the sands on  the shore, He loves you with an everlasting love. Isaiah 40:30 tells us that those who wait on the Lord (that means to reach out to Him/trust) will renew their strength, mount with eagle wings, run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. He is your source of strength. Reach out to Him. “ Indeed He loves His people, His holy ones are in His hands” Dt 33:3 and also “He will never leave you nor forsake you” Dt 31:8. Jesus said “and lo, I am with your always, even until the end of this age”

 Who rides the heavens to help you,And in His excellency on the clouds Dt 33

  To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.ps 68:33

Even though the people of Israel endured many trials and still had much more ahead, they knew the Lord was with them. We know the Lord doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He still rides the heavens to help you.  Every time the people cried out to the Lord, He came to help them.  They cried out to the Lord 50X

We, like the Israelites in the wilderness, look forward to our heavenly country 

Hebrews 11:10, 13-16 :  Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God……. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

As I read the verse above, I wonder if the walk of the Israelites through the wilderness to the promised land represents our walk on this earth as we journey to our promised land. Just as Israel reached their promised land, so we have received our promise but our enemies are still here – just as they were with Israel. Jesus defeated death, He made a way for us but we still have much work do to. We are told we wage an invisible war, we are soldiers of the cross not to be entangled with the things of this world.  We embrace these promises as we walk as strangers and pilgrims on this earth.We, like the Israelites, are headed to the promise, our heavenly country. We, like them, will die in faith seeing this promise afar off. We don’t see the heavens, we don’t see eternity just as Israel didn’t see the promise, but they knew it was ahead- it was in their heart. We know that there is a heavenly country ahead that we journey to also. Maybe the walk of the Israelites is symbolic of our walk today.  Yet, we are also told that as we walk here, we are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God because of Christ Jesus.  Even on this journey, the Lord is with us just as He was with Israel as they walked. (Eph 2:19)

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,  having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.1 Peter 1:11-12

In Ecclesiastics 3, King Solomon wrote that everything has it’s time

 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

 

Image result for refined  gold

How do we handle life during seasons of testing?

  1. Cry out to Him
  2. Patiently Endure
  3. Reach out to Him and He will help you Isaiah
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Put on the Armor of God- we don’t fight flesh and blood, but the unseen
  6. Rejoice and Count it all Joy (it develops great endurance)

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and then there are other times when God brings peace and lets you rest for a while. It’s good to know that in whatever circumstance you are in, God is always there for you. Have you cried out to Him? Are you too overwhelmed to pray? Ask someone for prayer to help you though this time.  Romans 5:3-5 tells us to rejoice in our trials, because it is during these times that we change. James 1:12-15 promises God’s blessing on those who patiently endure testing and temptation.

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-4

 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:12-15

The testing of our faith produces patience and this testing refines us as silver is refined or gold is tested.

Image result for refined  gold

  •  Revelation 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
  • 1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
  • James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
  • Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
  • Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
  • Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
  • Psalm 66:10 For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
  • Zechariah 13:9I will bring the one–third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
  • 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
  •   In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.  We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 cor 6
  • James 5:11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy

 

 The great men and women in the bible had to go through testing and trials. Consider Joseph, Job, Abraham, Joshua, Moses, David, Jeremiah, the prophets, Jesus, Paul, Esther, Gideon, Elijah and many more. Every great man and woman of God endured trials.

IS ALLAH THE SAME GOD AS THE GOD OF THE CHRISTIANS AND JEWS ? “MUSLIMS, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD”

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The title above is straight from America’s World History Books taught in every public school. It is also spoken by Muslims so we would, as they request, worship no other god but Allah, but is this the same God? Are the words we hear true? We will go straight to the source to discover the truth. No opinions, no theories, no lies. We will go straight to the quran/koran and the bible and see if these words are  true.

Not knowing the truth is detrimental to your life, the generations to come and the future of your country. The masses are told and the children are taught that Allah of Islam is the same God of the ‘People of the book’ aka Christians and Jews. It is important that you make sure you know the truth because lack of knowledge can destroy your very soul. Please tell your children, your grandchildren and your family the truth I will share below. I have seen much confusion on this and knowing the truth will clear up any confusion. There is a scheme to turn all to Allah and since so many Christians and church goers don’t read or study the bible, they will never know the truth – they will be those in the last days that will be easily deceived, but today we can change that.

To accept and believe in Allah as  the one true God is to reject God’s Son

The Quran says that Allah has no son, in fact, it is blasphemy to say he has a son
Allah says that Jesus was only a messenger; a son of Mary. Their book teaches that Jesus was a prophet sent from Allah to deceive Christians, that Jesus was never crucified, it was only made to appear that way. Quran Surah (Chapter) 171,5:35,43:81-82, 30, 4:157, 4:142,4:159

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not: Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness The Christian say, ‘The Messiah is the son of God.’ These are but baseless assertions made in earlier times by those who deny the truth. May God destroy them 9:30

The bible tells us that anyone who denies that God has a Son has the spirit of Antichrist, anyone who does not acknowledge the truth of Jesus is a deceiver and the antichrist: Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7

• 1 John 2:22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.
• 1 John 4:3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
• 2 John 1:7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.

We were forewarned of this

In 2 Corinthians 11:3-5 and Galatians 1:6-9 we are told to beware, lest we also be deceived as Eve was, of anyone who preaches another Jesus or if you receive a different spirit that you have not received or a different gospel- DO NOT ACCEPT IT, DO NOT PUT UP WITH IT. Beware of those who pervert the gospel – even if an angel from heaven preach another gospel to you, let him be accursed. Listen carefully : if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed!

Does God have a Son?

Let’s stop and go back to the scripture of the prophets and Torah – before Jesus was born. What did Israel know? What was written in their holy scriptures?

1. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 30:4 that God has a son (fulfilled Matt 27:54, 1 John 5:13, Rev 2:18, John 3:19, John 1:1-3)
2. Isaiah 7:14 tells us a virgin will conceive and His name will mean ‘God with us” Immanuel, He will be a ruler and a priest (fulfilled Matthew 1:23)
3. David said God has a Son in Psalm 2:4-12 and His inheritance would be the ends of the earth (Matthew 1:23)
4. Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us a Son will be given, His name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace

What do we know about this Son? What was foretold before His coming?

1. He would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 (fulfilled Matthew 2:1)
2. He will come riding upon a donkey, He is just and bringing salvation Zechariah 9:9(fulfilled John 12. Matthew 21)
3. The price they appraised Him at was 30 pieces of silver Zach 11:12 (fulfilled Matthew 27:3. Matthew 24:14-16)
4. The money was to be cast to the potter in the house of the Lord Zech 11:13 (fulfilled Matthew 27:10)
5. His hands would be wounded in the house of his friends. Zechariah 13:6 (fulfilled Mark 15:20, John 19, John 20:26-27)
6. He would be oppressed, afflicted, would open not his mouth as a lamb to the slaughter Isaiah 53:7 ( fulfilled Mark 15, John 19, Luke 23)
7. His grave was with the wicked and with the rich in death because he had done no violence neither was their deceit in His mouth Isaiah 53;9 (Matthew 27, Mark 15)
8. His hands and feet would be pierced. Psalm 22:12 (fulfilled Mark 15:20, John 19, John 20:26-27)
9. Daniel prophesied the exact days until his triumphant arrival. March 445BC – April 32AD) Daniel 9:25

Chuck Misler did the math on these 8 prophecies and the chances of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000 – that’s 28 zeros behind the 10. That would be like putting a mark on one silver dollar and mix it with others – enough to fill the entire earth all the way up to the moon. The chances of the one silver dollar you pick up to be the one with the mark on it is the same chance that one man – Jesus Christ- 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000 would fulfill all 8 of the above prophecies. (Cosmic Codes by Chuck Misler) There are only 8 prophecies listed above, but there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament of Jesus.

Daniel prophesied the exact days until his triumphant arrival. Daniel 9:25
“Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem (March 445 BC)
Until Messiah the Prince, (April 32AD)
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; (477 years=68.14 weeks- difference is days March 14- to entry in April)
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

For more prophecies on God’s Son Jesus :Is Jesus a Prophet or was He the Son of God? , Prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament , Who is Jesus? Let the ancient prophets speak  and  Is Jesus here? Last days Prophecy Warning: Jesus Messiah vs. False Messiah Isa predicted in Hadith

God loves the Jewish people : “ I have loved you with an everlasting love;Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel! Jer 31:1-4
Allah hates/despises the Jews : 5:60-65Say “Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allah and His Wrath, those of whom (some) He transformed into monkeys and swines, those who worshipped Taghut (false deities); such are worse in rank (on the Day of Resurrection in the Hell-fire), and far more astray from the Right Path (in the life of this world). The Jews say: “Allah’s hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief. And if only the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) had believed (in Muhammad SAW) and warded off evil (sin, ascribing partners to Allah) and had become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2) We would indeed have blotted out their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise). Anyone who does not believe, Allah has put a disease in their hearts : http://quran.com/search?q=disease+heart

ARE MUSLIMS PEACE LOVING? Verses from the Quran: “Unbelievers are your enemies” Surah 4:101 “Rouse them to fight for they are without understanding. 8:65 You cannot have a prisoner of war until you have subdued the land 8:67. You must fight all who fight allah 2S196And slay them wherever ye catch 2S191 Fight them and allah will punish them by your hands 9:14 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing that is good for you, and that you love a think that is bad for you. 2S216 Fight the cause of Allah to him who fighteth in the cause of allah soon shall we give him a reward of great value 474 Fight allahs cause 484 Seize them and slay them wherever you get them, we have provided you with a clear argument against them. 491 fight those who believe not in allah nor the law even if they are people of the book, until they pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel subdued 929 when you meet unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks, at length when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them. Those who are slain in the way of a. he will never let their deeds be lost Surah 473-4. Allah loves those who fight his cause Surah 61:4 and the people of the book , did a cast terror in their hearts, so some you slew, and some you made prisoners. Suah 31 “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment Surah 5 33
Jesus taught:  “ I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE! YOU MUST WARN EVERYONE AROUND YOU – it may seen insignificant to many, but the souls of many are about to fall to eternal destruction.

GOD SAVE ISRAEL! GOD BLESS ISRAEL! GOD SAVE YOUR PEOPLE AND MAY THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DECEIVED OPEN THEIR EYES AND FIND THEIR SALVATION IN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD, IMMANUEL.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSEOVER WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM WOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, John 3:16

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

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  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.

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Walking through Ezekiel 13: A Word for Today

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    Ezekiel 13 addresses two people: the lying prophets of Israel and the lying daughters who prophesied out of their own heart. Ezekiel 13 is also a message for each one of us. Are the words we hear God’s truth? God’s absolute truth must be our foundation. We must make sure the teachings we have heard are truth so we don’t build our lives on lies.

False Prophets and white washed walls   

        The prophets were to protect the people by building a wall of defense around them. This wall would protect them from their enemies. Was this literal? Figurative? Or both?  Whatever the answer, the message is clear – the prophets were not building a sturdy and safe wall of protection for the people.  This left an open door for the enemy to come in and attack. Scripture uses the word ‘white wash’ or a slimy mortar as the filing agent the prophets used to fix the breaks in the wall. Instead of building their wall of protection with a true and fortified defense, they only covered up the cracks.  They tried to make everything look right, saying their words were from God, but they were only covering up the truth. What was the truth? The breaks in the walls were still there even though they hid them. This white wash seems to symbolize the lies and false teachings of these prophets. Building our foundation on lies is like covering the breaks in the wall or building a house on sand. The scripture reminds me of the parable of the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on the sand. One house crumbled down and one house stood firm. Their structures were the same, but the foundation beneath them caused them to either stand firm or crumble.

     Notice-when the defense or wall was weak (unstable with cracks), the enemy came in. In Genesis 4:6, the Lord warns Cain

 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

      Sin is always crouching at our door to overtake us. What is the foundation you rely on? Are you relying on the whitewash of the walls or are you fully grounded and rooted in the Word of God as in Jeremiah 17:7-8 and unshakable? Have you allowed the desires of the world and worries to come in and steal God’s Word from your heart?

    The false prophets prophesied of their own heart. The Hebrew meaning of the word heart is: feelings, reflection, inner man and thinking. In other words, the words were made up prophesies that did not come from God. This same thing is happening today. Ezekiel’s words may be ancient but the message stands forever. Remember back in Jeremiah we were taught that if a prophet prophesies Peace! Good Tidings! Money! And the Whoo Hoo’s – we are to consider it, but don’t believe it until it happens. On the other hand, when we hear a warning we are to listen and take heed.

            The true work of the prophet in Ezekiel 13:

  1. To fortify the walls, fill in the breaks and make it a strong defense from enemies
  2. To protect and warn the people
  3. To keep the people safe

           The False prophets of Ezekiel 13

  1. They claim “The Lord saith” but the Lord did not speak to them
  2. They expected God to make their claims come true, hoping the Lord would cause it to happen
  3. Covered the truth with lies building the walls with whitewash, a slimy mortar that wouldn’t hold. Foolishness
  4. They envisioned futility and devise lies
  5. Made people hope in their false predictions
  6. They were like foxes in the desert- to devour and destroy. They were sly and seducing
  7. Seduced God’s people with false promises and good tidings- Peace! When there was no peace. Prosperity! Peace! Money! (Coexist?!)  
  8. They caused the people to wander far from God.

     The lies the people believed and listened to would soon be their downfall. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? The sheep were punished because they followed the wrong shepherds.  We are each individually responsible to consider and search out the truth. You are responsible to search the bible, to seek God and make sure the teachings you have been taught are true and reliable. Claiming ignorance before the throne won’t work. He knows you.  And know this- just because you see miracles in the way you do things doesn’t mean it is the hand of God. We are warned the antichrist will come with signs and miracles also, this is why knowing the truth of God’s Word is so important. In Jeremiah, the people prayed and worshipped the Queen of Heaven. When they did, the people lived in peace and had all they had. Jeremiah warned them by the Word of God to stop but they refused. Their reply was – We have been worshipping the Queen of Heaven all these years and we have lived in health and prosperity and we won’t change. The people continued to mix pagan rituals and brought them into the temple. I wonder if we have done the same. I know there might be traditions engrained in my life that are not of God, or maybe there are things I should be doing that I’m not. The days are no different now than the days of Ezekiel or Jeremiah . Imagine throwing away one of your family traditions, that’s how the people in Ezekiel’s day felt. They went to the temple, feeling all holy and righteous; they would bow down to the Sun god and perform pagan rituals at the gates of the temple. Am I talking about a certain religion? No- it’s a warning to consider all our teachings, everything we hear, and ask for discernment. There are many tv preachers that have mixed up God’s Word , just be careful. God promises us that if we Seek, we will Find. If we knock, He will open the door. If we Ask, He will answer. Seek, Ask, Knock – find the truth.

 LYING WOMEN Prophets

      Besides the false prophets, The Lord also spoke against false prophetesses who would prophesy from their own heart. They sewed magic charms to attach to their sleeves and made veils for their heads as they searched for lost spirits. I’ve read different views on this, so this is my take on it. Read it for yourself and ask God to give you discernment. I believe there are many lessons and many layers to scripture, so maybe there is another message for you written within the words.

      Of course, the first thing we think of is fortune tellers, sorcerers, witches and such. This may be true, but I think these woman were hidden and blended among the Holy people. They seemed like holy godly woman. They claimed to hear from the Lord.  Scripture is clear that magic and sorcery is a sin, but these women mixed it up so you couldn’t tell Holy from evil. It was mixed. Does the bible say we can’t sew something on our sleeve? Uhhh no. Does the bible say we can’t wear a veil? Uhhhh, I don’t think so. ……and so the lying women deceived the people into using beads, charms, veils and other rituals that caused the people to wander far from God. You see, its key to ask yourself  ‘Does this honor God or does this take my focus off God?’

     We’re safe here, right? Well, I don’t know. Do we have magic charms? Crystals? Dream catchers? magic charms on your bracelet? necklace?Idols we hold on to for good luck? You didn’t like that one did you- oh no, I heard you making excuses for what you had. That’s exactly what the people of Israel did. “What’s the big deal Lord? It’s just a pillow on my sleeve, and so what If I chase after dead souls” yea, dead souls/ spirits they chased after. They searched out for the lost souls- the wording is different in different scriptures. If this is true, let’s look at what they did. They were calling out for people who had died.  God said:

 ” Why don’t you search out for the souls who are living!?!?!?!?! Why don’t you save the lives of the souls that are coming to you!?!?!?!!?”

                How would you answer that?

     As the prophets above were referred to as foxes, so the people who came to the prophetesses were their prey to devour and destroy. The Lord said that the lying daughters who prophesied from their own heart had made the hearts of the righteous sad and strengthened the hand of the wicked. “They made the hearts of the righteous sad”

       When we believe and trust in false words our wall of protection is no protection at all. It looks like it, but it’s not. Because they listened to false prophets, their protection was gone and now they were prey to their enemy. Believing in wrong teaching is dangerous and detrimental to your eternal life. You decide. Do you want to keep listening and believing everything that sounds so good or will you let God’s word pierce your heart and change you. When I watched Billy Graham last week, his words were so powerful. The message of the cross and repentance never gets old. Each day it’s a brand new message. Remember the Cross today and what the Lord did for you. Remember the blood that was shed for our wretched ways.  Decide to change and be Holy as God, your creator, created you to be.

   Lord,
    Search me and see if there is anyway that is not right, if  there is any way in me that is not in line with your scripture. Give me discernment between what is Holy and what is not Holy. Give me a heart like you O Lord, to love what you love and despise what you despise. Help me put away anything that is an abomination before you . Open my eyes so I can see the truth and that each one of us would save the souls that come to us.
In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen

Hear the Word of the Lord
Ezekiel 13

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, that prophesy, and say thou unto them, that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God, Woe unto the foolish Prophets that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing. O Israel, thy Prophets are like the foxes in the waste places.

Ye have not risen up in the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel, to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity, and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith it, and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word of their prophecy.  Have ye not seen a vain vision? and have ye not spoken a lying divination? ye say, The Lord saith it, albeit I have not spoken. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye have spoken vanity and have seen lies, therefore behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God,

And mine hand shall be upon the Prophets that see vanity, and divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.10 And therefore, because they have deceived my people, saying,Peace, and there was no peace: and one built up a wall, and behold, the others daubed it with untempered mortar,

11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: for there shall come a great shower, and I will send hailstones, which shall cause it to fall, and a stormy wind shall break it.12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in my wrath, and a great shower shall be in mine anger, and hailstones in mine indignation to consume it.14 So I will destroy the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof, and ye shall know, that I am the Lord.

15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither the daubers thereof,16 To wit, the Prophets of Israel, which prophesy upon Jerusalem, and see visions of peace for it, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God.

17 Likewise thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart: and prophesy thou against them, and say,

18 Thus saith the Lord God, Woe unto the women that sow pillows under all armholes, and make veils upon the head of everyone that standeth up, to hunt souls: will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye give life to the souls that come unto you?19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley, and for pieces of bread to slay the souls of them that should not die, and to give life to the souls that should not live, in lying to my people, that hear your lies? 20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will have to do with your pillows, wherewith ye hunt the souls to make them to flee, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them to flee. 21 Your veils also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hands to be hunted, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.22 Because with your lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life,23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.