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Sunday, September 11 2011
The Miracle Of The Talking Jenny
The English words "prophet" and "profit," although sounding the same when spoken in English, are actually two very different words. "Prophet" is from a Greek word, pronounced prophetase, which means someone who preaches future events, or warns of future events that will happen if another warning is ignored (see The Prophets: What Is A Prophet?). On the other hand, "profit" is from a Latin word, profectus, which means to increase, as in money or property.
The world today is infested with false prophets (see What's The Bible Word For False Prophet?) who most-often seek only to profit from what they "preach" i.e. what they "preach" can only be obtained by purchasing their books, recordings or videos. Jesus Christ warned, us, to beware of them, and them, for what is coming upon them if they don't repent of their evil.
"24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin], the same shall be saved." (Matthew 24:11-13 KJV)
The ancient world had false and/or mercenary prophets too. Among them was Balaam, a for-hire prophet among the Midianites who, although he was somewhat aware of the true God, would preach almost anything to anyone who paid him to be their spokesman. When the Israelites arrived at Moab on the way to their physical promised land, the king of Moab hired Balaam to prophesy evil upon the people of Israel.
"22:1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.
"The ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive"
When Balaam set off to meet with his latest employer, his route was blocked by an angel. Balaam's female donkey (a female donkey is called a "Jenny," while a male is called a "Jack" - the only "jackass" there that day was Balaam) was able to see the angel, while Balaam didn't.
"22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22:22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
While Balaam is a prime example of a false prophet, he is also an example of potential repentance - even though he turned from his evil, literally turned from his evil, the hard way.
"22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
Balaam's repentance was apparently shallow and temporary. The LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ e.g. see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and The LORD And The Two Angels) later commanded Moses to "avenge the LORD" against Midian. Among those killed by Moses was Balaam, who had returned to Midian after rejecting his opportunity to join with Israel.
"31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 31:2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
Fact Finder: Is Balaam described in the New Testament as a typical "for profit" false prophet who brings destruction upon himself?
This Day In History, September 11
9: The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, fought in Germany between Roman legions and tribes of German "barbarians," ended with a victory of the Germans over the Romans - three Roman legions were annihilated.
1297: The Scots under William Wallace battled a large English force under the Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
1541: Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids above Montreal on his third voyage to Canada.
1609: English naval explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island.
1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.
1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars.
1792: The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels.
1922: Under the authority of a UN Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine") and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan") came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).
1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).
1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the United States. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare.
1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.
1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.
1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.
2001: Using hijacked airliners, Pakistani and Saudi Arabian terrorists killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt). The terrorist attacks triggered the US military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the US were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a partial justification for the US invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.