Friday, September 16, 2016

Mixing Heaven and Hell: New Church Model



14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
     “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17   Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
     and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18   and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
     says the Lord Almighty.”

7 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

           The critical and recurring problem across the testaments is the fact that God’s chosen people often flirt with the world.  In this passage Paul cited from many different Old Testament verses to make a point.  He wanted to point out the desire of the true God in taking up Israel as His own and as His alone, and the fact that actually God’s chosen people belongs to God as children of God that is holy (separate) from the world.  Verse 16 “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them” is cited from Leviticus 26:12 and Exodus 29:45.  The next clause “and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” is cited from Exodus 6:7, Jeremiah 31:33, and Ezekiel 11:20.  Verse 17 “go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you” is cited from Isaiah 52:11.  Verse 18 “and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” is cited from Exodus 4:22, 2 Samuel 7:8 & 14, Isaiah 43:6, Jeremiah 31:9, and Hosea 1:10.  This point Paul made aimed at the principle conduct they ought to do as God’s people, in which God’s people ought to separate themselves qualitatively from the world.  This means that God’s people can’t and mustn’t adopt the way of the world. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Balaamian Pastor: Pastor for Hire



 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.”
Numbers 22:22-33


Balaam shouldn’t have gone to Balak.  He should have just stayed at home.  He should have just refused Balak’s request plain.  When the first envoy came from Balak, God already revealed to Balaam His will: