At the end of his life, when the Israelites had entered into the promise land, Joshua reminded the people of the Lord’s ongoing faithfulness. After reviewing all that God had done, Joshua told them that they had to make a choice. Choose to serve the Lord with all that they are, or walk away. “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve – and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship GOD.” – (Joshua 24:15, The Message)
Each one of us comes to a point in life where we must choose whom we will serve. We might not consciously make the choice, but we either choose God, or we choose the things of this world. Where our priorities lie, are excellent indicators as to where our heart is aligned. Are we serving God, or self?
miracles made known.
Whom will you serve?
Is your heart your own?
One way brings life,
the other, sure end;
are you willing,
on Him to depend?
Great is the price,
to trust and obey;
yet far greater,
our promised one day.
Presence for now,
hope for forever;
He will not leave,
or forsake, ever.
For me, it’s clear,
there’s no turning back;
I’ll serve the Lord,
wherever I’m at.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the freedom of choice. Thank You that You love us so much, that You give us a free will, and You are willing to allow us to walk our own way. Thank You that You receive us with open arms when we are ready to run to You, and that You embrace us and cover us with Your grace. Forgive us for thinking that there is any other way to live, aside from total surrender to You. Teach us to trust You completely in all things and at all times. May we love and serve with all that we are, just as You do for us. Let those who are looking, find the peace of Your presence and the hope that is held in You alone. May our every word and deed reflect Your radiance. Be exalted, Lord God. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – I Peter 2:19
“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” – (Exodus 17:12)
This passage comes from the story in Exodus 17, when the Amalekites came to attack the Israelites. Whenever Moses’ hands were raised, the Israelites were winning, yet if he lowered his hands, the Amalekites would take the lead. Though Moses was a strong leader, called by God, he was still subject to human frailty. He grew weary, as all of us do. Fortunately, Moses had men who came along side him, and saw the need in their leader, and extended the practical help that was possible for them to supply.
We too, need to lift up our spiritual leaders. Our pastors shoulder a tremendous responsibility, and readily work around the clock. Though they may be physically present during office hours, their hours of service extend well beyond the traditional work day. Medical emergencies, family crisis, and personal problems are just a few of the after hours calls that these selfless servants readily answer. They too, grow weary, despite their being both called and equipped for the position. Praying for our pastors is a must. Offering encouragement and whatever else the Lord may ask, are practical ways in which we too, can lift up the hands of our leaders. “Let us not grow weary of doing good…” (Galatians 6:9)
let us lift up,
Reach out our hands,
speak words to exhort;
be what we report.
Let our hearts hear,
how we might too, bless;
ways to offer rest.
Father, be near,
to the ones You’ve called;
protect them, Lord,
these blessings installed.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for those whom You have called and equipped to lead. Thank You for their faithfulness to listen to You, so that they may answer all that You ask, and serve You and the body whom You’ve called them to lead. Please protect them and their families, and bless and refresh them with sweet rest. Forgive us for not always lifting up our leaders, and help us to do a better job of praying for and encouraging our pastors, as You call us to do. May we come along side them and lift up their hands when they grow weary, and may we bless and encourage them as You ask us to do. May many come to know You as we love one another well, and may they recognize a place where people are loved and cared for – from pastor to each person that is present. Let Your light and love be evident in us, through all that we say and do. Be glorified, our good and gracious God. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
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:
- He was a well-known prophet
- His curses and his blessings came about
- he was a teacher who tried to teach others to trip/stumble/sin
- he showed Balak how to trip the people of Israel to sin
- He taught people to sin by eating food offered to idols
- he taught people to sin by committing sexual sin or idolatry
- he intentionally tried to destroy God’s people
- he deceived people for money Jude 1:11
- false prophets of today follow in his footsteps Jude 1:11, 2 Peter 2:15-16
- loved to earn money for doing evil 2 Peter2
- a talking donkey stopped him 2 Peter 2:15-16 (or was it the angel?)
- he was eventually killed by the Israelites (Joshua 13:22)
- he used magic to tell the future J 13:22
- he was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel
- he heard from God
- he told half-truths and obeyed only partial to what he was told to do.
- 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:
- scoff at what they don’t understand
- indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight (No fear of God, prideful, haughty)
- delight in deception
- commit adultery with their eyes
- their desire for sin is never satisfied
- lure unstable people to sin
- 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. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 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 there 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;2 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
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.
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21 And when they heardthat, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.
But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23 saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,28 saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Evil comes in many forms, sometimes it is in those who are closest to us. Abigail faced evil in her life in the form of her husband, Nabal. He was a man that did without nothing that he desired but his greed caused him to lose everything including his life. When David‘s messengers approached him, he threatened them and turned them away. If he had not been so greedy the outcome of his life and the life of Abigail would have been very different.
One of David’s men warned Abigail of what David planned to do, and had she not listened she would have died as David had intended to destroy Nabal and everything living around him. She acted on her own and met David on the road and provided him with food and drink generously. Had David not listened to her, and continued in his plans to destroy Nabal, his life would have been very different.
So many time we have the opportunity to listen and yet we are often so busy that we neglect to do so, and sometimes in our own arrogance we think we know the best for us and what we hear doesn’t quite fit in with what we hear. Because Nabal didn’t listen, he died without grace from God, because Abigail listened she met David and went on to become his wife. Because David listened he did not commit an act that would have change the course of his future.
1 Samuel 25
King James Version (KJV)
25 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
6 And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
7 And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
8 Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
9 And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
12 So David’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.
15 But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:
16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19 And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
21 Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.
22 So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
34 For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.
39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.
40 And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.
41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42 And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between you eyes.
“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
“And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,
“that your days and the days of your children be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.
“For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do— to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him—
“then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.
As far a Homosexuality, I think that it is morally wrong, because this is the word of God, if you are not a follower of Christ, you have the right to your opinion, explain it to Him when you get to judgment, I personally believe in God and the Bible as the written Word of Him, therefore, for my eternal soul, I will not and can not take what He tells me in vain.
1 Corinthians 6:9-18 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God.
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
And God both raise up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “The two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
For further reference: Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, Rom. 1:26-28
Abortion, how can any sane person who believes in life see it as anything but murder is what I would like to know. If you accept the fact that cells that are dividing are life, how can you by any stretch of imagination deny that a fetus is life. And if you accept that the fetus is alive, how can you say that you are not killing it with abortion, and how can you say that it is not murder? Who gives you the right to decide the meaning of murder? And if a mother can decide her baby inside her is elgible for murder because she doesn’t want it for some reason, what is the difference with her children outside her womb? Only a single matter divides them, and that is time, and yet for some strange reason this makes sense to some. It is truly a horrendous decision that people have reasoned out for themselves, but if you are a follower of Christ, you know that no matter what excuse you have for sin, it is still sin.
In Psalm 106 God speaks specifically against killing innocent children and babies. He says of His people: They mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshipped their idols which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan and the land was desecrated by their blood.
In Exodus 21:22 God gives a specific law regarding social order for the Israelites. He stated that if two men were fighting and hit a pregnant woman, thus causing her to give birth prematurely, they must be fined according to any damage done to the baby. The fine must be paid in relation to the amount of damage inflicted upon the child. If God would make a law specifically referring to the rights of the unborn, then surely the unborn must mean something to Him!
If you want to save your mortal soul I hope that you repent from your foolish views and understand that while God forgives sin, once you understand that it is sin you are committing and you refuse to give it up, you are saying that the sacrifice of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, had no meaning. You are denying Him and risking losing your eternal soul to damnation forever.
In conclusion, what ever you may think of homosexuality and abortion, I hope that you understand my personal views and what I believe that the Bible says. If you do not, let me sum it up. Homosexuality is a sin against God, He will punish the person who continues in this sin, I am not the judge, but neither will I accept the foolish idea that this is somehow okay. Abortion is murder, there is no other way to look at it, no one has the right to decide that someone should live or die, just because they are in another persons womb. I sincerely hope that you understand that I have very decided and forceful views on both these subjects and if you have any further questions I will be glad to answer them.
Hebrews Chapter 11
Defination of Faith
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visable.
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, “and was not found because God had translated him”; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude— innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such thngs declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Thereofre God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promised offered up by his only begotten son,
of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”
accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
Joshua and Rahab
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
Many Other Heros of Faith
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jepthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not recieve the promise,
God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Are there yet the treasures of wickedness
In the house of the wicked,
And the short measure that is abomination?
Shall I count pure those with the wicked balances,
And with the bag of deceitful weights?
For her rich men are full of violence,
He inhabitants have spoken lies,
And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
“Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you,
By making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satified;
Hunger shall be in your midst.
You may carry some away, but shall not save them;
And what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.
“You shall sow, but not reap;
You shall tread the olives, but not
anoint yourselves with oil;
And make sweet wine, but not drink win.
For the statutes of Omri are kept;
All the works of Ahab‘s house are done;
And you walk in their counsels,
That I may make you a desolation,
And your inhabitants a hissing.
Therefore you shall bear the reproach
of My people.”
Woe is me!
For I am like those who gather summer fruits,
Like those who glean vintage grapes;
There is no cluster to eat
Of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires.
The faithful man has perished from the earth,
And there is no one upright among men.
They all lie in wait for blood;
Every man hunts his brother with a net.
That they may successfully do evil with both hands—
The prince asks for gifts,
The judge seeks a bribe,
And the great man utters his evil desire;
So they scheme together,
The best of them is like a brier;
The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge;
The day of your watchman and your punishment comes;
Now shall be their perplexity.
Do not trust in a friend;
Do not put your confidence in a companion;
Guard the doors of your mouth
From her who lies in your bosom.
For son dishonors father,
Daughter rises against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
Therefore I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The LORD will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case
And executes justice for me;
He will bring me forth to the light,
And I will see His righteousness.
Then she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the LORD your God?”
My eyes will see her;
Now she will be trampled down
Like mire in the streets.
In the day when your walls are to be built,
In that day the decree shall go far and wide.
In that day they shall come to you
From Assyria and the fortified cities,
From the fortress to the River,
From sea to sea,
And mountain to mountain.
Yet the land shall be desolate
Because of those who dwell in it,
And for the fruit of their deeds.
Shepherd Your people with Your staff,
The flock of Your heritage,
Who dwell solitarily in a woodland,
In the midst of Carmel;
As in days of old.
“As in thhe days when yu came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them marvelous things.”
The nations shall see and be ashamed
of all their might;
They shall put their hand over their mouth;
Their ears shall be deaf.
They shall lick the dust like a sperpent;
They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.
They shall be afraid of the LORD our God.
And shall fear because of You.
Who is a God like You,
And passing over the transgression of
the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forver,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old.
- Free from the Stronghold of Arrogance (ptl2010.com)
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD.
Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.
“But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
“I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgement and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of Egypt,’
but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”
My heart within me is broken Because of the prophets; All my bones shake. I am like a drunken man And like a man whom wine has overcome, Because of the LORD, And because of His holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers; For because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, And their might is not right.
“For both the prophet and priest are profane; Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the LORD.
“Therefore their way shall be to them Like slippery ways; In the darkness they shall be driven And fall in them; For I will bring disaster on them. The year of their punishment,” says the LORD.
Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, And make them drink the water of gall; For from the prophets of Jerusalem Profaneness has gone out into all the land.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Do not listen to the word of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD.
They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You shall have peace” ‘; And to everyone who walks according to the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.’ “
For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury— A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to the, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words,Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.
“Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
“How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,
“who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
“The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in peices?
“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor.
“Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’
“Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.
“So when these people or the prophet or the priest as you, saying ‘What is the oracle of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘What oracle?’ I will even forsake you,” says the LORD.
“And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ I will even punish that man and his house.
“Thus every one of you shall say to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’
“And the oracle of the LORD you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.
“Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken’
“But since you say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Because you say this word, “The oracle of the LORD!” and I have sent to you, saying, “Do not say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ “
‘therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence.
‘And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’ “
“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
“Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your moneybelts,
“nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; For a worker is worthy of his food.
“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
“And when you go into a household, greet it.
“If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
“Assuredly, I say to you, it will be nor more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
“And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
“But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
“for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
“It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
“Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them fall to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
“Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
“But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.’
“And ‘a man’s foes will be those of his own household.’
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
And I said: “I pray Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments,
“please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my fathers’s house and I have sinned.
“We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.
“Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,
‘but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
“Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.
“O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer.
via Samuel at Gilgal
via Samuel at Gilgal