“And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.” – Numbers 22:15-17
God’s hand of protection was on the Isrialites for they were His people, holy, humbled, and walking in obedience to His words at this point in their history. As they passed through the land of Moab, Balak the king (an archetype for the devil) sought to destroy them. However he knew that he couldn’t as long as they were protected by God being the pure and righteous people of God that they were. So he sought to corrupt them that they might loose this divinely protected status that caused them to walk in such authority, power, favor, and strength that he might overpower and destroy them. However, Balak (like the devil) knew that the people would not listen directly to him to the ends of being influenced to partake in evil acts that would grieve the heart of God and cause His hand to be withdrawn from them. So as the devil often does knowing that they would not listen if they knew it was coming from him, he sought a front man that they would listen to… a preacher.
Here inters Balaam into the story. Balak knows that he cannot influence the whole congregation because they know who he is and what his agendas are. So instead he focuses on influencing one individual, the prophet Balaam. In like manner, if the devil can’t get to a congregation he will surely try to corrupt a pastor knowing that the people who would not listen to him directly will be easily led astray buy the pastor that does.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (lies).” – 2 Timothy 4:2-4
You see the thing about Balaam was that he had clearly heard from the Lord. God had warned him not to allow himself to be used against His people, yet for the promise of wealth, pomp, and prestige he set forth with intent to encourage this people to sin. In doing so, he became the devil’s front man. This is a common and ever effective tactic of the devil. Which is why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul warned continuously to watch out for the “wolves in sheep’s clothing“. Outwardly they appear to be of God’s fold but inwardly they are demonic spiritual predators seeking to destroy your soul for their own personal benefit and greed.
“But I (Jesus) have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” – Revelation 2:14-16
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:15-23
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” – Acts 20:29-31
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” – 2 Peter 2:1-3
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 5:20-24
Always remember that Jesus also warned us that the devil comes as an angel of light; pretending to be that which is of God outwardly while inwardly, is anything but. Therefor Jesus tells us to judge all ministers by their fruits. Not by the size of their congregation, for Jesus only had 12 followers while Hitler had millions. Not by their gifts, for the bible warns that the antichrist (and often those operating with a spirit of antichrist) will work in signs and “lying” or “counterfeit” wonders. Not by their smooth words and flattering lips that tell you to stay as you are, for the kingdom of God is the power to be changed into something far better then what you are and could ever have imagined or hoped to be. This is the fruit, or evidence that God has truly touched the life of a man. God never changes, but everything He touches does. Scripture says that God is an all consuming fire and everything that real fire touches is changed into something new right down to the Adam! If there is no change then it has not been touched by real fire but possibly a false fire. It might have the look and sound of fire but has no power to change things like real fire does. This is why Jesus said to “judge them by their fruits” to see if they really be of God. Examine their lives and see what they are producing, because the devil can counterfeit congregations, he can counterfeit gifts, he can counterfeit charisma, but the one thing that the devil can not counterfeit is a holy life.
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16
You can rest assured of this, God isn’t as concerned with making you happy as He is with making you Holy, nor is He trying to build a bigger church, but rather a better church. Don’t be led astray by the smooth words of men who have sold their soul to hell for gain and now intend to sell yours for prophet, as Balaam did. Jesus says to repent, turn away from your sins, touch not the unclean thing, and then He will receive you. He also says that no man who remains in his sins, unhumbled, unrepented, and unchanged will enter the kingdom of heaven. There will be a great many people burning in hell who will be quite surprised to not only be there, but to meat there pastor there also. Search your heart and ask the Lord if it is pleasing unto Him and if it is not, then submit and repent. Then search your pastor’s life as Jesus commanded us to and see if it is pleasing to the Lord and if it is not then pray for him and run for your life.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” – Romans 16:17-18
“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” – Psalms 5:9-12