By John D. Mean
To all animate things there is a process of time and purpose. Who knows in the middle of its span of being what it will or will not be in relation to its quality or worth? This is perhaps the reason we have such strong exhortation in the Good Book to keep our hands off God’s property and mind our own business: Don’t judge another one’s servant; but light up the sunshine of God’s love before the evil and the good. Don’t be too quick to squirm out of your lot while watching the metamorphosis of the worm; a beautiful butterfly just might be ready to emerge!
Just as there are trends that inevitably progress in defeating the short lived and laying hold of eternal things, there are also paths traveled upon by the intellect that tend to beckon for our ego and it’s excitement. These trends vie for the stance our Lord and Saviour portrayed as He said, “Not my will.” This was the fixed and settled answer of all questions filtered through His mind.
The Book of Jude seems to carry a note of forced expediency rather than the theme the writer initially embarked upon. He was becoming excited with the theme of God’s Great Salvation, when all of a sudden his spirit became grieved as the Morse Code of God’s Holy Spirit began tapping on his mind. The Lord revealed to Jude the sinister way by which the evil one was making inroads into the very Body of Christ, to dissuade its purpose, its goals, and its message.
Jude 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.
It seems that Jude gave the three steps to apostasy in a progressive manner, revealing to us how that one level of experience of these creepers always bumped them off onto another level of experience. All the while, these victims held fast to the roller coaster of their own egos and spirits. We have quite well covered Cain’s dilemma, however, the folly of Cain’s experience should be pondered more than once. Why not? The Holy Scriptures followed this stance.
Through all of Cain’s relationships with his brother, one thing cries loud and clear: “You can’t have God’s favor and ignore your brother’s role in the work of God’s kingdom.” Remember, the sign still remains upon the door of that special entrance into the throne room. “First, be reconciled to your brother, then come for an audience.” Balaam was one who learned the voice of God, yet seemed to learn the skill of scooping up all the profits into his own dish and running off with the spoils for personal advantage.
Did you ever get that thought of how wonderful it would be to be free from all the pressures of fund drives and spend the blessings of God upon our Local setting? Name the burdens of togetherness if you wish, give the reasons of your rejection of the body that brought you to birth if you can, however, the Scriptures shout loud and clear that Balaam was an
independent, on the loose, severed from the body of Jehovah’s chosen.
“No, Balak. I won’t curse them. But do you remember those rewards your noble princes showed me that day, when you sent the invitation? I would like to take them home with me.”
We must understand, however, that in God’s books there is something deeper than being doctrinally sound. Our God is more interested in the person than He is in his loud utterances. “Go home, Balaam. You’re not getting anything I promised you. Scat! Your message didn’t match the tone of the meeting we had together.”
Just a word to those who separate themselves from precious brethren, thinking the pasture is greener in a plain of forbidden freedoms, uncharted and not carefully explored. God is still waiting for the humble and contrite spirit, free from the bitter and vengeful attitudes of the unforgiving. “Hey, Balaam! Don’t you think it’s time to become part of a people so special and beloved of Jehovah as you informed Balak they were? Why would you enter into a marriage, or even flirt with a nation out of step with the mind and will of the One True God? Why not seek an audience with Moses to see if a welcome mat might be rolled out for you?”
Of course, Balaam knew welcome mats in Israel were not placed frivolously before a stranger. There was only one way into the Old Covenant, and no other, that the newcomer might be safe beneath the protection of the blood covenant. Circumcision was mandatory. The Scriptures do not even suggest that Balaam entertained these thoughts. However, the New Testament writer seemed to see more than the casual reader of Numbers 22-24.
Revelation 2:14 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. In deciphering what indeed did happen, it seems that Balsam had further conversation with Balak and gave him information of how Israel could be defeated without engaging them in the frontlines of the battle. “Send your women to allure their men to your very impressive love feasts unto their idols. Likewise, let your men beckon their ladies. They will lose their strength and become as other people.”
As Balaam left with his treasures, wagons loaded high, making his strut back (with Balak’s gesture of approval) to garnish the palace of his independent kingdom, in all probability the words of Micah were playing notes on the heart strings of his inner life that weren’t the most pleasant to hear, or at least not allow him to sleep well. Micah 6:5-16 0 my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord…
The Gainsaying Of Korah
We all would like to think we have it altogether, but we don’t. We are very proud creatures, thinking we have all the answers. Come on. It seems I’ve read somewhere in the eternal Script we were all dust, and to dust we shall return. Even as God ordained that all His creatures, in a very particular sense, are dependent upon each segment to form the whole, so is the Body of Christ.
Korah was born in a prestigious family in Israel. He was a Kohathite of the sons of Levi who worked the closest to the sons of Aaron, the High Priest of all Levi’s sons. His work was to care for the furniture of the Tabernacle, bearing it upon his shoulders, when the tent was to be moved, very close to the Holy Oracles. “Why do I always have to bear the ark with nothing but badger’s skins showing? Why can’t I view the ark like Aaron and his sons, and see the gold, and perhaps investigate what’s inside. Well, I’m able to communicate with God as well as Aaron and Moses. I’m acquainted with the ABC’s of the Tabernacle. I’m so familiar with the routine of this place I could even do Aaron’s job with my eyes shut!”
Like a mad driver who ignores the caution lights and drives through the red light thinking he has made gains. The sad result, however, is just another cubit added to his ego as he speeds on the highway to his destruction. You can’t ignore those to whom we are responsible. And every man should be responsible to someone. No man taketh this calling unto himself, but he that is called of God. To ignore counsel from your elders and separate yourself, placing yourself on the throne of spiritual stardom this is totally unbiblical. We are a body. God never did intend anyone to function in the arena of independency. Wandering stars losing the purpose of their calling.
Like the great universe, those wandering stars that lose their purpose are sucked into the big dark holes lost forgotten. However, those stars that remain and function in the purpose for which they were created remain solid and secure and with the smile of God. Come on, Big Chief we take over churches with saints that others have toiled long hours to win. We boast of the few that were there when “I” went there, and now look at the number. Did you ever consider when there was no one? Just Jesus and you? What are we trying to prove? It’s not beneath the dignity of a man of God to be humble. Jesus our Lord didn’t think so. To love your neighbor, brother you’ve fulfilled the whole law. Remember the two prerequisites.
The sower is important, too. Although he may not be associated with the glamorous harvest, our Lord said the harvester and the sower would share together. The Scriptures attest to the fact that the Harvester, not the planter, receives wages (now). But then the assets will be shared between both. How can you run off with the harvest, claiming all the profits for yourself, when you had very little to do with the breaking upon of the soil and sowing the good seed? Some will say, “My, what a sermon Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and won 3,000 converts!”
Oh? Could Peter really take all the credit while our Lord had just walked from a foot washing service and the reprimand for building walls between brethren in the darkest hour of rejection to look at Peter cursing and swearing? I hardly think that Peter could take the credit for this one. It was our Lord who planted the good Seed (Himself) away down deep in what the Bible describes as being the heart of the Earth. That produced the first glorious Pentecost. Let’s try it. It still works today. Furthermore, Peter realized the reason for this Harvest, and accepted it graciously.
Notice the scriptures confirm that the children of Korah died not. I well remember some refreshing conversations with Brother Ralph Cook in Lancaster, Ohio, while we were with him in revival services. He had the unique way of drawing you out for an opinion on Bible interpretation on various subjects. One question he asked was: “Why do you suppose there are so many Psalms directed to the sons of Korah?” Then he quoted Numbers 26:11.
Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not. It was not easy for children in Israel to have different opinions than Dad, especially amongst the Priesthood. These boys knew that Dad was wrong in his rebellion. It wasn’t easy for them to walk in a different direction than Dad, but they did. It must have literally crushed them that day to see Dad’s life go down the drain because of lack of submission and carnal rebellion. Their eyes were upon higher goals. They just couldn’t succumb.
“Dad, remember no one lives to himself and no man dies to himself.” Can you see the three steps of losing it your purpose? First, my brother really doesn’t count. The way of Cain.
Secondly, there are big bucks in the ministry if you just learn to do and say the right things not necessarily Biblically correct things. Thirdly, yes there is a day coming for all of us when the counsels of the heart are weighed. It just might be we needed more answers from someone else in charting life’s course. The detour has taken us almost too far to get back on track. God have mercy!
A humble and a contrite spirit, 0 Lord, thou wilt not despise. If the spirit of Korah is our companion in the direction we are taking, stop! Run back to your brethren, the priests of the Lord, and follow what they have to tell you. This may be difficult and hard, but you can do it. The sons of Korah did.
This article “Three Steps to Apostasy” was taken from “A Sinister Lot” by John D. Mean and may only be used for study and research purposes only.