BALAAM: A PROPHET FOR PROFIT

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved



Balaam and Salvation - How We Know He Was a Believer

1. Balaam not only knew the Lord Jesus Christ, but confessed Him in the presence of King Balak and the messengers from Moab.

2. Balaam also asked the Lord's will and, to some extent, followed it. Then, he went in direct opposition to it as stated in Numbers 22:8,13,18,38 and Numbers 23:12.

"Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me." So the Moabite princes stayed with him. (Numbers 22:8)

The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you." (Numbers 22:13)

But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. (Numbers 22:18)

"Well, I have come to you now," Balaam replied. "But can I say just anything? I must speak only what God puts in my mouth." (Numbers 22:38)

He answered, "Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?" (Numbers 23:12)

3. Initially, Balaam would not leave Pethor without the Lord's permission as seen in Numbers 22:20. This verse also teaches the principle of the direct will of God. This "hireling prophet" had a lust for riches, but being a believer, he was under restraint at this point.

That night God came to Balaam and said, "Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you." (Numbers 22:20)

4. The Lord Jesus Christ meets Balaam and speaks with him along the way as in Numbers 22:22. This verse relates to us the principle of the permissive will of God. This point is not conclusive in itself but strengthens our argument for Balaam being a believer. In the Bible, God does not generally converse with unbelievers, only believers.

But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. (Numbers 22:22)

5. The Lord puts words in the mouth of Balaam when he tries to curse Israel - the opposite words as stated in Numbers 23:5,12,16. These passages give us the principle of the over-ruling will of God.

The LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message." (Numbers 23:5)

He answered, "Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?" (Numbers 23:12)

The LORD met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message." (Numbers 23:16)

6. Balaam calls Jehovah,"his God" in Numbers 22:18. This denotes a salvation relationship with the Lord.

But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. (Numbers 22:18)

7. The Holy Spirit came upon Balaam in Numbers 24:2. This passage gives us the principle of the sovereign ministry of the temporary indwelling of the Holy Spirit to Old Testament believers. This Old Testament ministry of the Holy Spirit was known as endeument.

When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him (Numbers 24:2)

8. In 2 Peter 2:15-16, Balaam is referred to as a prophet (for profit).

They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. (2 Peter 2:15-16)

9. In Numbers 31:8, Balaam dies the Sin Unto Death. Generally, the Scripture only records believers dying the Sin Unto Death. This is maximum divine discipline to the retrogressive believer.

Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba--the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. (Numbers 31:8)

10. The New Testament parallel to Balaam is "Simon Magus, the Sorcerer." Simon was a believer as seen in Acts 8:13. He was also retrogressive as seen in Acts 8:21.

Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. (Acts 8:13)

You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. (Acts 8:21)

Balaam and Sinfulness - How We Know He Was "Backslidden"

1. Balaam was a Gentile believer who=s cursing of the regenerate within the client nation of Israel was frustrated by God.

2. King Balak hired Balaam to curse the Jews.

3. Balaam's lust for money caused him to find another way to get the Jews into a jam when he discovered that he could not curse them. He caused the born-again Jews to be defeated by appealing to their lust pattern from their Old Sin Natures. The different facets of this lust pattern are: Power, Ego, Approbation, Social, Sexual, Chemical, Monetary, Inordinate Ambition, Crusader, Revenge, Cruelty, Criminal, Pleasure, and Wander Lust.

4. lnstead of Balaam cursing the Jews, the Holy Spirit came upon him and cause him to foretell the glorious future of Israel during the Millennium.

5. King Balak figured that he had been cheated.

Balaam and Sanctification - How He Was Used to Get Believers out of Fellowship

1. Sanctification by grace means the believer is maintaining fellowship with God through confession of sin and metabolization of Bible truth.

2. Balaam's first step in eliminating Israel's experiential sanctification was to advise King Balak to neutralize them by getting them out of fellowship. Balaam placed beautiful women in their way as temptation. Keep in mind that the Old Sin Nature with its lust patterns is Satan's inside agent to tempt us toward sin, human good, and evil.

3. When Balaam and Balak parted company in Numbers 24:25, Balaam had earned his fee, but not by cursing the Jews, but by corrupting the Jews.

Then Balaam got up and returned home and Balak went his own way. (Numbers 24:25)

4. By comparing Numbers 25:1 with Numbers 31:16, we see the story of how Balaam earned his fee.

While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, (Numbers 25:1)

"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD'S people. (Numbers 31:16)

5. First of all, the doctrine of Balaam is the principle of neutralizing believers by getting them out of fellowship. This separates them from the source of divine power - the filling of the Holy Spirit.

6. Secondly, application of the Doctrine of Balaam involves any system whereby believers get out of fellowship and stay out of fellowship which eventuates in retrogression.

7. Balaamism in the New Testament

a. The "Way of Balaam" is seen in 2 Peter 2:15-18 where the apostate believer becomes psychopathic and/or psychotic.

They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. (2 Peter 2:15-18)

b. The "Error of Balaam" is presented in Jude 2 and 11. This refers to the believer under the frantic search for happiness and enslaved to the details of life. This enslavement causes him to think human viewpoint instead of divine viewpoint.

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. (Jude 1:2)

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. (Jude 1:11)

c. The "Doctrine of Balaam" in Revelation 2:14-15 refers to the frantic search for happiness through sexual immorality.

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:14-15)


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