Jude - Balaam
Jude: 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
. . .
11Woe 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.
12These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
In our study in Jude, Balaam is given as an example of wickedness.
He was a professional wizard. You could pay him to bless or curse whoever you wanted.
There are people like him today. We get their cards through our doors.
Pass exams; make your husband love you; cure illness; remove curses; get you a jOB; etc.
Whatever you want, pay him to magic it for you.
We can recycle those cards - we know they are worse than useless. They are evil, but they do not deceive Christians, because we know they are pagan.
It is much more dangerous when supposed Christian come into the churches with false doctrines.
We can read Balaam's story in Numbers 22-25, 31. He seems to be a good man, only saying what the LORD tells him. Every word of Balaam recorded in Scripture is a blessing for Israel.
Balaam was not allowed by God to curse Israel, so he finds another way to make trouble for them.
He teaches the Moabites to make friends with the Israelites & commit adultery with them, even in their worship of the LORD.
Jude is concerned that people like Balaam have got into the church, and are deceiving & corrupting Christians.
Give to the Lord, they say - at their address - and you will receive your blessings from God. But, can we buy blessings? Of course not!
They say, "Pay to go to our special meetings, & begin to live a victorious Christian life." All your prOBlems will be solved.
These are Balaam ministries.
Benny Hinn & Matthew Ashimolowo are examples of such evil men.
They get rich by making false promises of blessing.
Many thousands of Christians are deceived by them.
We will look at 2 other NT warnings against Balaam ministries.
2 Peter 2:1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
. . .
14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
Balaam wasn't allowed to curse Israel, so he tried to destroy the people of Israel by joining with them & in their worship, & corrupting them.
God wants us to love him & enjoy him. He is our Lord & Saviour. And he has commanded us to be holy, as he is holy.
Balaam knew he could not harm Israel by cursing them - God turned the curse into a blessing, so he encouraged the women of Moab & Midian to invite the people of Israel to join them in their worship of Baal.
That "worship" became a sexual orgy - like today's drug & drink fueled rave-ups.
That worship was sexual, NOT holy. They were breaking God's commandments & calling it worship. (Numbers 25)
That corrupted worship brought a curse from God on Israel, & many died.
God has declared a curse on all who break his holy law. Balaam knew what he was doing - he even invoked the covenant name LORD. (Jehovah)
When Jesus died on the cross, he bore that curse on himself in our place.
Jesus himself wrote against Balaam in Revelation 2:
14But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
God blesses his children in our relationship with him. We may be poor or suffering in health, or suffering persecution, but Jesus calls us blessed.
He has promised heavenly blessings for all who follow him.
Those who lead Christians away from Jesus by promising riches & pleasure & freedom from living holy lives by following their way suffer the curse of Balaam, & the judgement of hell.
As Jesus warned, 41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41.
May we all walk in his light, & be blessed.
Our closing hymn is Jude's blessing. (24-25)
24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude - Balaam