Joshua 8:1-35 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. (2) And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it." (3) So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night. (4) And he commanded them, "Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. (5) And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us just as before, we shall flee before them. (6) And they will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city. For they will say, 'They are fleeing from us, just as before.' So we will flee before them. (7) Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the LORD your God will give it into your hand. (8) And as soon as you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire. You shall do according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you." (9) So Joshua sent them out. And they went to the place of ambush and lay between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai, but Joshua spent that night among the people. (10) Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. (11) And all the fighting men who were with him went up and drew near before the city and encamped on the north side of Ai, with a ravine between them and Ai. (12) He took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. (13) So they stationed the forces, the main encampment that was north of the city and its rear guard west of the city. But Joshua spent that night in the valley. (14) And as soon as the king of Ai saw this, he and all his people, the men of the city, hurried and went out early to the appointed place toward the Arabah to meet Israel in battle. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. (15) And Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them and fled in the direction of the wilderness. (16) So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city. (17) Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. They left the city open and pursued Israel. (18) Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. (19) And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire. (20) So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers. (21) And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. (22) And the others came out from the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And Israel struck them down, until there was left none that survived or escaped. (23) But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him near to Joshua. (24) When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword. (25) And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai. (26) But Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction. (27) Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their plunder, according to the word of the LORD that he commanded Joshua. (28) So Joshua burned Ai and made it forever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day. (29) And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. And at sunset Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the gate of the city and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day. (30) At that time Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, (31) just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, "an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool." And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings. (32) And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. (33) And all Israel, sojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel. (34) And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. (35) There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
"You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?" declares the LORD of hosts, "Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not from the Father but from the world.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.
As it is, you boast in your proud intentions. All such boasting is evil.
1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (45) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, (46) who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (47) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. (48) When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. (49) So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous (50) and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (51) "Have you understood all these things?" They said to him, "Yes."
Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread, (12) and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
How does Christ become our treasure?
1.) You have to see and agree with your great need for him. It’s not just knowledge. It’s revelation. Not revelation of facts, but revelation of Truth. Are you convinced, does your attitude, heart, relationships, service – reflect the Truth of your confession? If not, be content to continue to cry out, be sincere. The spiritual revelation of Truth is miraculous. It can’t be bought, bargained, traded, earned. It’s received by grace because of God’s mercy. Cry out. Stop playing the game. Stop pretending. Cry out. Weep, lament, beg.
Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble (Hebrew kaw-nah' – Subdue - hence, to humiliate, vanquish -- bring down (low), into subjection.) themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2.) Give it all up. Know it’s gone. It’s finished. You’re done fighting, winning, being right, gaining, surpassing. You’re finished. You’re dead. Now it’s all for Him, by Him, through Him. Worship Him as the King of the Universe. If #1 is true, then #2 is sure to follow. If you truly see yourself in a true biblical light, then all you can do is live for Him.
Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing (Greek - kat-arg-eh'-o to render entirely useless), so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 2:23-24 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Malachi 2:16 "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless."
Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 "When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, (2) and if she goes and becomes another man's wife, (3) and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, (4) then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.
Jeremiah 3:1 "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD.
Matthew 5:31-32 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' (32) But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Luke 16:17-18 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void. (18) "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
Purposes for Marriage:
(1 Corinthians 7:1) Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."
(1 Corinthians 7:2) But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
(1 Corinthians 7:3) The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
(1 Corinthians 7:4) For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
(1 Corinthians 7:5) Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Paul Recommends to Stay Single (See Matthew 19 and Mark 10):
(1 Corinthians 7:6) Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.
(1 Corinthians 7:7) I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
(1 Corinthians 7:8) To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.
The Lords Command (Which lines up with Matthew, OT, Mark, Romans):
(1 Corinthians 7:9) But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
(1 Corinthians 7:10) To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband
(1 Corinthians 7:11) (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
Paul’s Counsel to those who are in difficult Marriages:
(1 Corinthians 7:12) To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
(1 Corinthians 7:13) If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
(1 Corinthians 7:14) For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
(1 Corinthians 7:15) But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.
Paul’s Counsel Ends and Returns to Holy Spirit Hermeneutics and Exegesis:
(1 Corinthians 7:16) For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
(1 Corinthians 7:17) Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
(1 Corinthians 7:18) Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.
(1 Corinthians 7:19) For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.
(1 Corinthians 7:20) Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.
(1 Corinthians 7:21) Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)
(1 Corinthians 7:22) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 7:23) You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.
(1 Corinthians 7:24) So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
Concerning Engaged Couples, Paul Gives His Counsel Again:
(1 Corinthians 7:25) Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
(1 Corinthians 7:26) I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.
(1 Corinthians 7:27) Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
(1 Corinthians 7:28) But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
(1 Corinthians 7:29) This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
(1 Corinthians 7:30) and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
(1 Corinthians 7:31) and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
(1 Corinthians 7:32) I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:33) But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,
(1 Corinthians 7:34) and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
(1 Corinthians 7:35) I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:36) If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry--it is no sin.
(1 Corinthians 7:37) But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well.
(1 Corinthians 7:38) So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
No where is Remariage Spoken of or alluded to:
(1 Corinthians 7:39) A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:40) Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
The Wicked Intents of Mankind:
Matthew 19:3-12 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" (4) He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, (5) and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? (6) So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
NOTICE JESUS’ ANSWER WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH…
(7) They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" (8) He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. (9) And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (***NOTE: 4202 porneía (the root of the English terms "pornography, pornographic"; cf. 4205 /pórnos) which is derived from pernaō, "to sell off") – properly, a selling off (surrendering) of sexual purity; promiscuity of any (every) type).,(NOT.3429, 3430 moichaó which specifically is sexual relations with someone who is married or while you are married) and marries another, commits adultery.)" (10) The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." (11) But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. (12) For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it."
Mark 10 Illustrates Jesus’ teaching that all remarriage is unlawful and holds to the interpretation of the OT and Matthew.
Mark 10:2-12 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" (3) He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" (4) They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." (5) And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. (6) But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' (7) 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, (8) and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. (9) What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (10) And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. (11) And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, (12) and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Romans 7:2-6 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. (3) Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. (4) Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (5) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (6) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
So to summarize, except in the case that the spouse has died, remarriage is not supported biblically under any circumstances. And if you do end up in a divorce, you are to stay unmarried as long as your spouse lives.
Ephesians 4:13 is the exegesis of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and Proverbs 22:6. The grand purpose of all Scripture is to point to the revelation of the person of Jesus Christ Himself, John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,”
Notice the continual reference of the Christian illustrated by Paul as a child that needs assistance by the Scriptures through the ministry of a teacher in order that he may “grow up”…
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, (12) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (13) until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (14) so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (15) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (16) from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Therefore, if Ephesians 4:11-16 is our base of understanding the previous two portions of Scripture, it will bring to light the intent in two basic principles that point us to our great need for Jesus Christ.
Keeping in mind that from a reformational perspective, we are not born again not by fleshly means or efforts, “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13 – we are called as God’s people to establish, by God’s grace, the culture of the Kingdom of God within our spheres of influence, specifically for this article is the question of raising and educating our children. How are we to do this?
I. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
When considering the book of the law we must remember that, “as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; (11) no one understands; no one seeks for God. (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." (13) "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." (14) "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." (15) "Their feet are swift to shed blood; (16) in their paths are ruin and misery, (17) and the way of peace they have not known." (18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (19) Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. (20) For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:10-20.
Our purpose is to use the law lawfully, 1 Timothy 1:8 “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,” since no one can come to redemption by a mere adherence to the law. But that the law can and should be used as a taskmaster to drive us to the cross of Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:23-26 “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. (24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. (25) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, (26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith”
So under this context of the right use of the law, Moses in the Torah is calling Israel to rehearse in the hearts and minds of their children the law continuously, persistently, and faithfully. The Hebrew word being to whet, or sharpen (H8150 shanan). Therefore, one can illustrate a workman, daily whetting the mind and heart of his child to prepare him for the correct and appropriate worldview that will in no doubt be necessary to confront the vain philosophies and ideologies and –isms of the world. Again, this having no bearing on the converted heart of the child, but just as a light and banner of truth that will be able to wage war against the contradicting worldviews that stands at odds against God’s Kingdom.
II. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Here in the above verse God is faithfully committing to establish the path of our children when we direct them in the way that God has established. This is further encouragement as illustrated in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 yet, this being directly attached with a promise.
Important again to note that the promise is NOT that the child will be born again, or converted if we are diligent to train them according to the Scriptures. The promise is that he will cause the child to not depart from the culture that reveres the Kingdom, its dominion, and its Lord. Therefore, there is great honor is this training even if it is not attached directly to the conversion of our children.
III. The conclusion and summary of these verses teach us that although God is directly, and solely responsible for conversion, the Law which He has supplied to His people is good for the purposes of preparing the hearts as a taskmaster and drive us to Christ. When parents and educators rely on God’s Word for the establishment of the worldview of their children, God Has covenanted with His people to use those children as lights that would reflect God’s great goodness through the person of Jesus Christ, our Living Word.2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Numbers 22:1-41 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. (2) And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. (3) And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. (4) And Moab said to the elders of Midian, "This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field." So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, (5) sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, "Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. (6) Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed." (7) So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message. (8) And he said to them, "Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me." So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. (9) And God came to Balaam and said, "Who are these men with you?" (10) And Balaam said to God, "Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, (11) 'Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.'" (12) God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed." (13) So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, "Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you." (14) So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, "Balaam refuses to come with us." (15) Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. (16) And they came to Balaam and said to him, "Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: 'Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, (17) for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.'" (18) But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, "Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more. (19) So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me." (20) And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you." (21) So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. (22) But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. (23) And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. (24) Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. (25) And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. (26) Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. (27) When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. (28) Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" (29) And Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you." (30) And the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?" And he said, "No." (31) Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. (32) And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. (33) The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live." (34) Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back." (35) And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you." So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak. (36) When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. (37) And Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?" (38) Balaam said to Balak, "Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak." (39) Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. (40) And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him. (41) And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.
Numbers 23:1-30 And Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams." (2) Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam offered on each altar a bull and a ram. (3) And Balaam said to Balak, "Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you." And he went to a bare height, (4) and God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, "I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram." (5) And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." (6) And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering. (7) And Balaam took up his discourse and said, "From Aram Balak has brought me, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: 'Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!' (8) How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? (9) For from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I behold him; behold, a people dwelling alone, and not counting itself among the nations! (10) Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!" (11) And Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them." (12) And he answered and said, "Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?" (13) And Balak said to him, "Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there." (14) And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. (15) Balaam said to Balak, "Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the LORD over there." (16) And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak." (17) And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, "What has the LORD spoken?" (18) And Balaam took up his discourse and said, "Rise, Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor: (19) God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (20) Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it. (21) He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them. (22) God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of the wild ox. (23) For there is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel; now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, 'What has God wrought!' (24) Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up and as a lion it lifts itself; it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey and drunk the blood of the slain." (25) And Balak said to Balaam, "Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all." (26) But Balaam answered Balak, "Did I not tell you, 'All that the LORD says, that I must do'?" (27) And Balak said to Balaam, "Come now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there." (28) So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the desert. (29) And Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me here seven altars and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams." (30) And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
Numbers 24:1-25 When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. (2) And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, (3) and he took up his discourse and said, "The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, (4) the oracle of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: (5) How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! (6) Like palm groves that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. (7) Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. (8) God brings him out of Egypt and is for him like the horns of the wild ox; he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces and pierce them through with his arrows. (9) He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you." (10) And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. (11) Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, 'I will certainly honor you,' but the LORD has held you back from honor." (12) And Balaam said to Balak, "Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, (13) 'If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak'? (14) And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days." (15) And he took up his discourse and said, "The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, (16) the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: (17) I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. (18) Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. (19) And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!" (20) Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said, "Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction." (21) And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, "Enduring is your dwelling place, and your nest is set in the rock. (22) Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned when Asshur takes you away captive." (23) And he took up his discourse and said, "Alas, who shall live when God does this? (24) But ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction." (25) Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.
Numbers 25:1-18 While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. (2) These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. (3) So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. (4) And the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel." (5) And Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor." (6) And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. (7) When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand (8) and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. (9) Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. (10) And the LORD said to Moses, (11) "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. (12) Therefore say, 'Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, (13) and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.'" (14) The name of the slain man of Israel, who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, chief of a father's house belonging to the Simeonites. (15) And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the tribal head of a father's house in Midian. (16) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (17) "Harass the Midianites and strike them down, (18) for they have harassed you with their wiles, with which they beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the chief of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague on account of Peor."
2 Peter 2:12-19 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, (13) suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. (14) They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! (15) Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, (16) but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness. (17) These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. (18) For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. (19) They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
Jude 1:10-13 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. (11) Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. (12) These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; (13) wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
Revelation 2:13-14 "'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. (14) But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.
2 Timothy 3:5-7 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (6) For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, (7) always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Matthew 7:15-16 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (16) You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
James 1:13-25 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. (14) But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (16) Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. (17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (18) Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (19) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (20) for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (21) Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (25) But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (19) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, (20) for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
DETOX is a Bible study platform that cuts through all the clutter of church growth programs, organizational charts, and leadership strategies that in the end can make you feel frustrated, unprepared for ministry, and more confused about God's will for your life.
In four easy to follow modules you are empowered to discover and rediscover the power of the Gospel as it equips you to better marvel at the depth of the work of Jesus Christ.
"Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. (9) They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. (10) And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless."-1 Timothy 3:8-10
Come and join us tomorrow Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 10:30a.m. for the ordination service of Richard, Tony, and Charles into the office of deacons of Christ's congregation.
Many of you have been blessed over the years by their humble service and faithfulness to direct you to Jesus Christ. We are privileged as a church to recognize them into their official capacity as they continue to live out their calling to serve God and His people.
See you tomorrow morning!
For the Christian, the Bible teaches that there are no mistakes, but only events that God allows us to pass through for our good. These mistakes should properly be seen for what they truly are - rebellion against God's counsel.
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." - 2 Corinthians 4:15
"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." - 2 Corinthians 4:15
Take full ownership of your own bad decisions, repent of the attitude and selfishness that may have led you to make them, and trust God to see you through whatever situation you currently find yourself in.
God has revealed His redemptive power through Jesus Christ and can reconcile and make right any situation by His grace.
So instead of dwelling on your mistakes, don't give up, pray that God would allow you to see His perfect plan is forming Jesus Christ in you through those circumstances.
The report is out and it is bleak. 66% of school aged children and young adults have seen a 38% rise from 2014-2015 in sexually transmitted diseases. The U.S. is already the global leader of STD's.
The largest gender group being affected by in large is teen girls.
With all the efforts to educate our children with "safer sex" methods within our public school systems and other publicly funded organizations like Planned Parenthood - it is proving to do much more harm than good.
Share these stats with your kids. The safest sex to have is married, heterosexual sex.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control fact sheet for more information.
If God Himself has been shown to be the catalyst to awaken the sinner unto life, fill us with His Spirit, direct us to Christ for redemption and empower us to service, why would He stop short of rescuing us for Eternity and allow us to tumble out of His grace into Hell? The verses below just begin to tell the story of God relentless commitment to the Church, one which the Devil is no match for.
Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
1 Peter 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life.
1 John 2:25-26 And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life. (26) I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
Bear in mind, this is not "Once-Saved-Always-Saved" - Which teaches that if you simply recite a prayer, that all your sins are forgiven for all eternity without any responsibility on your part. This is a supernatural work of Eternal Security, that God ensures a change in your heart and a new creation being cultivated through Jesus Christ.
The question of the Christian’s confidence in inheriting eternal life is based not on our work, or ability - but instead on Jesus’ qualifications. Do you consider that Christ’s life, death, resurrection was sufficient to satisfy God’s just requirements of perfect Holiness? God is faithful to accomplish the promises that He has made on His own behalf for the sake of His bride and His glory. Rest in Christ, and manifest daily the committed faithfulness of God to the world through our washed lives.
God has prescribed a very specific way for His people to serve and worship Him. Failure to abide by His ways hasn't changed since the days of Adam and Eve.
“And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” - Leviticus 10:2 ESV
At first glance, this verse paints God to be some sort of short-tempered bully. However, the same God, Jesus Christ said:
“But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."”
- Luke 6:49 ESV
Thank God by His grace - the Holy Spirit and the revealed person of Jesus Christ through His Word will guide us into all truth. There is clear revelation through the Scripture for what God requires of His people.
Find out what God desires - the Truth of His Word should always prevail and not our own wisdom, emotion, or even our pastor if it contradicts Scripture. The consequence could be devastating.