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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.

The Holy Scriptures

"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)

"7:21 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 [see Friends Of Jesus]. 7:22 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? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you [see Antichristians]: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)

"19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone [see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?]. 19:21 And the remnant [i.e. all of the other false prophets] were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Revelation 19:20-21 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.

22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 22:3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

22:4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field.

And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 22:5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: 22:6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed." (Numbers 22:1-6 KJV)

"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.

Balaam and His Donkey

"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.

22:24 But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 22:25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

22:26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 22:27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?

And he said, Nay." (Numbers 22:21-30 KJV)

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.

22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 22:33 And 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.

22:34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.

22:35 And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

22:36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. 22:37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?

22:38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak." (Numbers 22:31-38 KJV)

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.

31:3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. 31:4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. 31:5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword." (Numbers 31:1-8 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is Balaam described in the New Testament as a typical "for profit" false prophet who brings destruction upon himself?
2 Peter 2:1-3, 2:15-16; see also Is Your Church A Cult?


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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.





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