Part 32, PERGAMOS, SECTION 2

OBJECTIVE: This article will investigate Balaam and his teaching (doctrine) in the OT (Old Testament), through the NT (New Testament) churches, through the modern churches on to the prophetic church in Pergamos. In this article the Christians who follow the Balaam doctrine will be called Balaamite or Balaamites simply for identification purposes (neither is a Biblical word).

Church: In every instance the word church or churches is used in the NT the definition is the same: a calling out, a popular meeting especially a religious congregation, Jewish synagogue, Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both, an assembly.

Congregation: Used one time in the NT: (Acts 13:43) defined: to struggle in company with, to be a partner (assistant), strive together with. Congregation is used numerous times in the OT and has several different definitions.

Assembly: (Acts 19:32, 39, 41) Same definition as church. (Heb. 12:23) Defined: mass meeting, universal companionship. (James 2:2) Defined: assemblage of persons specifically a Jewish synagogue (the meeting or the place), by analogy a Christian church, congregation.

SATAN

Old serpent identifies Lucifer from the Garden of Eden as Satan the Devil (Gen. 3:13-15) because he left there as the serpent. (Isa. 14:12-15) Here Lucifer is called son of the morning and his 5 "I wills" against God are given; #1) "I will ascend (to be high, to take away) into heaven, #2) I will exalt (proud, presumptuous, take away) my throne above the stars (princes) of God: #3) I will sit also upon the mount (mountain) of the congregation (place of meeting), in the sides of the north (gloomy and unknown): #4) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; #5) I will be like the most High (God)."

(Rev. 12:1-17 esp. V.11- remember this- keywords: they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.) #1) Satan planned to take over the angels in heaven. #2) One third of the angels did follow him. #3) Satan did defeat Israel as a nation by leading them away from God's word and into sin. Israel disappeared for almost 2,000 years. #4) He plans to take over the church, #5) defeat God and become God. Do not underestimate him!

(Ezek. 28:13-17) This scripture describes Lucifer and states he had been in Eden, the garden of God, that he had a heart (mind, emotions, soul), that he was lifted up (proud) because of his beauty and he is the anointed (expansion, outspread, to consecrate; 1Ki. 6:24-25 think: cherub wings) cherub that covereth (to defend and protect).

Satan was an especially beautiful angel with a special anointing to do the assigned job of defending Adam and Eve from disobeying God (Gen. 3:1-7) but he rebelled against God's orders, sweetly tempted Eve (Gen.2:17-19) so they would disobey God (sin) and die. He has the same plan for you. Satan is proud, rebellious and willful!

(Ezek. 28:13-17) (V.15) The iniquity (wickedness, evil) in Lucifer had been revealed by his teaching and deception of Eve in Eden (V.17) and it had sprung from Lucifer's pride (lifted up) in his beauty (harmony of form and color, excellence of craftsmanship), wisdom (to be wise, to teach) and his brightness (splendor). AND:

(Gen. 1:26 & 2:7) His pride caused his jealousy because God had given special attention to this man (Adam) He had formed (to mold as a potter) out of the dust of the earth in His own image, God had given Adam the breath of life (Gen. 2:8-25) and then God had started a companionship, friendship relationship with Adam whom He had formed. Satan is proud, jealous, wise and he teaches!

God changed Lucifer's name to Satan (adversary) due to Lucifer's rebellion in Eden (Isa. 14:12-15) because he had become God's adversary through his 5 "I wills" (1Pet. 5:8 keywords: your adversary the devil) and he is also every Christian's adversary. (John 8:44) The devil is a murderer, he is a liar and the father of lying and liars.

(Luke 4:2 keyword: devil) The Devil tempted Jesus. (Matt. 4:3) The Devil is called the tempter (tester). The word Devil defined is a slanderer, a false accuser, a traducer. A traducer speaks falsely, maliciously, to lead. Satan is our adversary, a tempter (tester), a false accuser, a slanderer, speaks maliciously and he leads!

(Rev. 12:9) Satan is identified as the great dragon (to fascinate, to capture, to grasp, to entrap, to take). Satan is also identified as that old serpent. Old serpent signifies he was in Eden. (Isa. 14:29 keyword: serpent's) Serpent's defined is to hiss like a snake, to whisper, #1) to prognosticate, #2) is an enchanter, #3) and uses incantation.

DEFINITIONS: #1) To prognosticate means to diligently observe and learn by experience and to predict by using present indications as a guide. #2) To enchant means to cast under a spell, bewitch, to attract and delight completely. #3) An incantation is verbal charms spoken, chanted or sung designed to produce a particular emotional effect. And incantation is the basis of sorcery, magic and witchcraft.

Satan fascinates, grasps, entraps, takes, whispers into man's thoughts, diligently observes, learns by experience, predicts by using present indicators such as a person's thoughts, actions, reactions and emotions as a guide, casts under a spell, bewitches, attracts and delights completely, inspires people by verbal charms spoken, chanted or sung which is designed to produce a particular effect, think English Rap, Jazz, Pop, Rock, C&W and etc. AND the music in other languages, which enhances the mood (emotions) for one to commit sin. He inspires sorcery, magic and witchcraft which is occultist idolatry.

Satan has had almost 6,000 Biblical years to observe mankind and learn about us and he can accurately predict what we think because basic man has not changed.

JESUS, SATAN AND GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE

(Dan. 10:1-21 esp. V.11 keywords: for unto thee am I now sent) An angel was sent to deliver a message to Daniel (V.13 keyword: prince of the kingdom of Persia) but Satan resisted him and he could not deliver it until Michael, a chief angel, came to help him. BECAUSE:

(Eph. 6:11-12 esp. V.12 keyword: principalities, powers) Satan is a powerful evil angel who rules a kingdom, (Rev. 12:3-9) composed of a hierarchy of lesser angels, of the darkness of this world comprised of spiritual wickedness in high places (Dan. 10:13) such as leading the kingdom of Persia and all nations and individuals that seek to destroy God's chosen people who are (Deut. 7:6-8 Keyword: chosen) Israel and individual Jews (Eph. 1:1-7 keyword: chosen) and the church and individual Christians. You and me!

(2Cor 4:4) Satan is the god of this world and he blinds people who do not believe in the gospel (a good message, good news, glad tidings) of Jesus. (2Cor. 11:13-15) Satan can transform himself into an angel of light and his ministers are also transformed as the ministers of righteousness. (John 8:44) The devil, (Isa. 14:13-14) the counterfeit god, is a liar and a murderer and (2Cor. 11:13-15) he deceives and leads his angel of light ministers of counterfeit righteousness to lie to Christians and spiritually murder us!

(2Cor. 11:13-15) Satan transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers are transformed into ministers of righteousness. The English word transformed is derived from the Greek word metamorphoo which is the base Greek word for the English word metamorphosis which is defined change, transfigure, transform. Remember how the butterfly goes through a metamorphosis and changes from a rather drab, almost ugly, crawling worm into a beautiful butterfly flitting among God's flowers?

(1Pet. 5:8) In his angel of light form Satan can make wrong appear right. He can invade a person's thought process and obscure certain scriptures, take certain scriptures out of context and focus on certain scriptures (Matt. 4:4 keywords: every word & 2Tim. 3:16 keywords: all scripture) instead of the whole word of God and deceive Christian preachers and teachers into leading Christians astray in individual congregations (1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-5) and even to the point of dividing Jesus' church into denominations.

(1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-7 esp. V.1 keyword; brethren) Satan did it to the Corinthian church, (Acts 20:17-30) the church at Ephesus (Jude 1-12 esp. V.1 keywords: to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and V.11 keyword: Balaam) and all churches and Christians.

Every religion has its list of rituals and its list of behaviors. (1Cor. 12:7) "But the manifestation (exhibition, expression, a bestowment) of the Spirit is given to every man to profit (bear together) withal (I bring together, collect)." The Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-15) is bestowed upon men by God at the time of their salvation and is the one event that differentiates Christianity from all other religions and is expressed and exhibited in the attitude and actions of men after salvation. (Rom. 8:5-17 esp. V.9) If a man does not have the Holy Spirit (John 14:23) dwelling within him he is not a true Christian.

(Eph. 2:22) Christians are a habitation of God through the Spirit. The Holy Spirit should be the unifying factor that binds all Christians together. (1Cor. 3:1-4 esp. V.1 keyword: babes & 3 keyword: carnal) But baby, carnal minded, preachers, teachers and dynamic personality Christian lay church members (Rom. 16:17-20 esp. V.20 keyword: Satan) are easy prey for the counterfeit angel of light, Satan, to mislead (1Cor. 12:31 keyword: covet: defined: to desire, to have warmth of feeling for, be zealous for) because they are weak (1Cor. 12:12) in the gift of discerning (to separate thoroughly) of spirits (key: good from evil, evil spirit-Satan from Holy Spirit-God).

If possible, Satan will steal the Jesus awareness out of a Christian's soul gradually, or rapidly, or any time frame between the two, by embellishing (1Cor. 3:3 keywords: For ye are yet carnal: defined: human nature with its frailties and passions. Carnal minded Christians? The scripture says yes!) the Biblically forbidden (read this: 1John 2:15-18 to the church) "things that are in the world" that carnal minded Christians desire. AND:

(Luke 4:1-13 key: V.2-4 perceived physical necessities more than God's word; V.5-8 greed, lust, pride, accomplishment, power; V.9-12 scripture taken out of context and misquoted; and V.13 Satan, the devil, will be back) Satan even tried to destroy Jesus but failed because Jesus used scriptures to defeat him. That is a glaring example and lesson for all Christians (John 8:44) because Satan is a liar and murderer. (John 6:63 & 2Tim. 3:16) God's word is all we have to defeat Satan (John 14:26) and the Holy Spirit cannot bring to our remembrance words we have refused to read and study. Think about it!

***(1Pet. 5:8 keywords: seeking whom he may devour) Christians, me, you, all of us, are hunted by an active predator who seeks to devour us. (Eph. 6:12 keywords: rulers of the darkness of this world) We are in a spiritual war with Satan, the devil, and his hierarchy (rulers of darkness defined: obscurity) of fallen angels. Obscurity defined is inconspicuousness, nonrecognition, opaqueness, unclearness, complexity.***

These definitions describe Satan, the counterfeit angel of light, and his method perfectly. (2Cor. 4:4 keyword: blinded the minds: defined: to obscure) Satan is inconspicuous as he obscures (blinds) "the minds of people to the glorious gospel of Christ and they refuse Jesus' offered salvation. (Col. 1:16) Man was created by God and for God so it is in man to worship God. Satan is inconspicuous as he obscures (blinds) the minds of men to the truth of Jesus into nonrecognition and inspires carnal men to found and foster the CHRIST-LESS RELIGIONS throughout the world such as Mohammad, Gautam Buddha, Confucius and etc.

Satan is inconspicuous as he obscures (blinds) the minds of individual people to the truth and into nonrecognition of Jesus and they make gods out of people, places and things and, for effect, they worship the god of pleasure which is god BIG ME, the god of SELF.

Satan is inconspicuous as he obscures (blinds) the minds of individual Christians to the truth and into nonrecognition of the personality of Jesus by building an opaqueness and unclearness into a Christian's understanding so the Christian's comprehension of Jesus is that Jesus becomes an object of study rather than understanding the living relationship Jesus desires with individual Christians. AND:

(John 14:15-27 esp. V.27 keyword: peace) That Christian misses the peace Jesus gives (John 14:20) instead of developing the personal relationship with (1John 2:2 Keyword: propitiation) Jesus our atoning victim, (Prov. 18:24 & John 15:14 keyword: friend) Jesus our friend, (Heb. 2:11 keyword: brethren) Jesus our brother, (1John 2:1) Jesus our advocate (intercessor, consoler) with the Father, (John 20:28) Jesus our Lord and our God, (Heb. 2:13-18) Jesus our merciful, faithful high priest (Heb. 4:14-16) who sits on a throne of grace where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Matt. 11:29) Jesus said; "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me;" How can you possibly have a relationship with Jesus if you don't know him? (2Tim. 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved (acceptable) unto God," Yes, it was to Timothy but when you look closely Paul, (2Tim. 3:16) through the Holy Spirit, (1Tim. 1:3 and 2Tim. 1:8-9 & 2:14) was teaching Timothy what to teach and preach (2Tim. 2:1-2) to others. So, it is God's word to all Christians!

(Eph. 6:10-17) Every piece of our spiritual armour is based on knowing and understanding God's word. (Eph. 6:18) We are in direct contact with Jesus when we pray in the Spirit (Holy Spirit). BECAUSE:

(John 6:63) Jesus said; "the words that I speak to you are life. (John 12:48 key: if you reject Jesus' words you have rejected Jesus because John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4 Jesus is the living word of God). (John 12:48 again) Jesus said; "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 14:15-27 esp. V.18, 21 & 23, Acts 2:1-4, 4:31 & etc., Eph. 1:12-14 and Heb. 4:12-16) Jesus is there for us if we want Him. And that brings us to the Balaamites.

SO, WHAT HAPPENED AT PERGAMOS

The relationship between Balac and Balaam was explained in SECTION 1. (Rev. 2:12-17) (V.12-13) <These verses were explained in SECTION 1. (V.14-15 esp. V.15 keyword: also) Obviously Jesus hates both (also) of the doctrines (teaching) of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes because they were at war with the doctrine of Jesus right there in the church at Pergamos. The Nicolaitanes will be addressed in SECTION 3.

The Balaamites were obviously Christians because they were part of the church at Pergamos (V.16) because God still offered them the opportunity to repent (Rom. 1:21-28 esp. V.24 & 26 keywords: gave them up- see God's reluctance and V.28) just like He had the Christians at Rome. (V.28) But they went their own way to the point "they did not like (approve, discern, examine) to retain (to hold relation or condition) God in their knowledge (recognition, full discernment, become fully acquainted with)" and "God gave them over to a reprobate mind (rejected, castaway soul)," (Heb. 6:4-6) They had gone too far, the Holy Spirit left and they couldn't get back!

The Holy Spirit (2Pet. 3:9 keyword: longsuffering: defined: suffer, patiently endure) was still suffering over the Balaamites and patiently enduring their doctrine (Eph. 4:30 keyword: grieve: defined: to distress, make sad, be in heaviness) even though they distressed Him and made Him sad (Rev. 2:16) because God still offered them the opportunity to repentBut what would have happened to one who died before he could repent? (1Cor. 6:8-10 & Gal. 5:13-21) Think about it very carefully! The Balaamite Christians were headed in the same direction as the fallen (apostate, desert, turn traitor) Christians in the church in Rome.

THE BALAAMITE FAILURE

(John 12:48 &) We have God's word to guide us. (Matt. 11:29-30 & 2Tim. 2:15) Jesus said for us to learn of him and we will find rest and we are supposed to (2Tim. 3:15-17) study to show ourselves approved (acceptable). (John 14:15-26 esp. V.26 keywords: teach and bring) The Holy Spirit will teach us and bring to our remembrance whatsoever Jesus has said but if a Christian won't study and learn Jesus' word the Holy Spirit has nothing to work with! (John 12:48) When a Christian rejects Jesus' words they have rejected Jesus and Jesus' words will judge each Christian in the last day.

(Luke 11:9-13) Jesus' promise; God, "the Father", will give Christians more Holy Spirit if we ask. BUT: (1John 2:15-18) (V.15) "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (2Tim. 2:4) "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." (Eph. 6:12 keyword: wrestle: defined: struggle, fight, conflict) Each Christian is in a war for his soul. SO: (Phil. 2:5) "Let the mind (set the affection on, be like, be of one with) of Christ be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

Each Balaamite had their capacity for love, intellect, ability to learn, concentration, loyalty and etc. They refused to turn all of it toward Jesus. Obviously, they did not pray and study as they should have. They did not get rid of worldly pursuits to make more room for God within themselves (Luke 11:9-13) and ask for more Holy Spirit.  Their capacity was toward carnal things instead of Jesus' promise (John 14:18-26 esp. V.26 keywords: teach and bring) to come back as the Holy Spirit and; "he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you".

(Mark 12:30) "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (life) and with all thy soul (personality, self), and with all thy mind (intellect) and with all thy strength (body)." All that you are. Jesus does not accept the backseat, the leftovers, or second best in your life and Jesus is not a spare tire you only use when your life experiences a blowout.

BALAAM

(Rev. 2:12-17 esp. V.13 keywords: doctrine of Balaam) The false doctrine (teachings) of the Balaamites was at war with the doctrine of Jesus in the church at Pergamos.

(Rev. 2:14) "But I have a few things against thee (the church at Pergamos), because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."

SATAN'S BLINDING THROUGH THE BALAAMITE LEADER

At the time of the Revelation writing by John; Peter and Paul's writings had been in circulation at least 30 years because Emperor Nero killed them both about 65-66 AD (source: biblehub.com), and the letters had been written before that time so the early Christians had ample opportunity to read them.

The Balaamites were deceived by their founder because they were (2Tim. 2:14-16 & 3:15-16) too lazy to study God's word, (1John 2:15-18 & 1Pet. 1:14-19) too preoccupied to learn, (2Tim. 3:8) too corrupt (carnal) to resist temptation (2Pet. 3:9-11 keyword: longsuffering) and too shallow of character to care how badly they hurt Jesus when they showed Jesus (Mark 12:30) they didn't love Jesus enough to serve Him but served god self (Rom. 16:17-18) "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".

(1Cor. 10:25 keyword: shambles defined as a meat market) It was common for idolaters to sell their meat sacrificed to idols to a meat market where it was mixed with other meat for resale. (Lev. 11:1-32, Deut. 14:3-21 & Rom. 14:12-23) Jews were forbidden to eat many kinds of meat (1Cor. 8:1-13) (V.4) but early Christians were told they could eat that meat (V.7-13) but not if it made a weak brother perish (destroy fully, lose). Don't forget; it was a time for sorting out (Jer. 31:31-34 & Heb. 12:24-29) that Christianity was a separate covenant than the covenant of Judaism and it took time (Part 29).

Let's take a walk with the dynamic Balaamite leader! Listen to him. "We are allowed to eat meat sacrificed unto idols." A couple finally did. "See, that didn't hurt a thing, you are still you and you didn't die." They had to agree. THEN: (1Cor. 8:4-6) "The Apostle said in his letter that an idol is nothing and there is none other God than one. Come on and go to the temple of Diana with me and I'll show you."

They went and their eyes popped out when they saw the unbridled sexual immorality. "See, you looked and it didn't hurt you, an idol is nothing. Its just like Paul wrote; (Heb. 13:5) You are under Jesus' blood and sin can't hurt you." Satan loved and inspired the Balaamite doctrine. (2Cor. 4:4 & 1Pet. 5:8-9) The devil had spiritually devoured them and they were well on the way to physically serving his purposes by spreading their Bible based counterfeit Christianity!

They went several times and observed. "Grace got us saved and grace will get us through. An idol is nothing, it didn't hurt anything, we are still alive!" Finally, the Balaamite leader/teacher joined the orgy right there in front of them. "Its OK we got saved by grace and grace will keep us." He quoted (John 13:16-17 keyword: happy). "Nothing bad happened to me. I'm very happy!" He was very happy and they had to agree.

Gradually, over time, now and then, another, then another, and another of those who followed him were "turned on" and participated in the orgy. "See, it didn't hurt you, you didn't die. What's wrong with you, everybody is doing it, its OK." Through Satan's inspiration the pressure of political correctness had been applied. When they visited Diana's temple sometimes more of them participated and their numbers gradually grew until they were a sect within the church in Pergamos.

Satan shouted his glee as he cavorted and gyrated with the worshippers of Diana while the Christians from the church in Pergamos (1Cor. 6:8-16) defiled their bodies because of their already defiled souls.

Either at Pergamos, or somewhere along the way, at some other church, in some other place the Balaamites split away and started their own churches their incorporated own belief of once in grace always in grace regardless of sin. The Balaam doctrine in modern denominations and churches that teach their members that they will go to heaven regardless of their sin was born in the church at Pergamos! Yes, it is a real belief because I have had personal confrontations with them!

Two Examples: 1) One was with a man who did some work for me. He said he was a Christian but he casually took God's name in vain (the worst way) three times in the span of a few minutes. I called him down about it and we had a discussion. To make a long conversation short; he said he was saved, named his church and said he was under the blood and sin didn't count. But he didn't curse anymore while he finished the job.

A couple of years later he died in a local hospital screaming and cursing God because God wasn't there with him. Even the heathen nurses were shocked by the event and it was the talk of the hospital. (Heb. 6:4-6) Obviously he was unaware when the Holy Spirit left (2Cor. 11:14) and the soothing angel of light, Satan, had moved in.

2) A friend of my wife who belonged to a different church than the above, but of the same belief, became suspicious her lay preacher husband was having an extramarital affair, she bought recording equipment, crawled under her floor, tapped their own telephone and caught her husband talking to his girlfriend. They went to war and she threatened divorce.

The next recorded conversation she let us listen to was when their pastor told her husband in no uncertain terms to stop the affair, put his marriage back together and when he 'felt the urge' to take a hundred or so dollars and visit a house of prostitution in a much larger nearby town. A pastor! She was done with that husband and church. He is still living and I wonder what his death will be like? (Rev. 2:14) Balaam is alive and well in the modern church. BUT:

Read closely> (Phil. 1:14-18 esp. V.18 keyword: pretense defined: outward showing) and you will see people can still get saved in those churches! A world-famous mega church pastor preaches; "After you've sinned enough God will just take you on to heaven because you aren't worth anything to Him here." Where is that in the Bible?

SO: My wife's friend said she was saved in that church. She showed us the visual recording of her and her daughter being baptized and her husband was rejoicing and praising God long and loud. But after her divorce she discovered her preacher husband was having an affair with another woman at that very same time.

I and my wife do know she has lived an exemplary life for God, she kept her children in another church, they are all three saved, she has several grandchildren from about one year old up into the early twenties and some of them are saved. No, I am not God that I can be a reader of hearts. (John 15:1-11 then Gal. 5:22-26) But I do know she bears good fruit in her family and in her life.

(Mal. 3:6) "God does not change (1Cor. 6:9-10) fornicators and idolaters shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Modern Examples: The Once in Grace Always in Grace Regardless of Sin churches and denominations and individual churches that accept homosexuality as a viable Christian lifestyle. BECAUSE: Jesus said; (Matt. 15:9) "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Which means; just because it is doctrinally accepted does not mean it is scripturally and spiritually correct!

(2Tim. 3:1-7) "This know also, that in the last days perilous (reducing the strength, to lower as into a void, difficult, dangerous) times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady high-minded, lovers of pleasures (spurious brother: spurious defined: counterfeit, imitation, invalid, pretend) more than lovers of God;

Having a form (shape, nature) of godliness (piety, the gospel scheme, holiness), but denying the power (force, abundance, meaning, miracle, strength) thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." This describes the Balaamites perfectly. (2Cor. 11:13-15) The Balaamites are easy, willing victims for the deception by their Satan blinded and led false ministers.

(Mark 12:30) Christians are told to love the Lord thy God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength If there are no physical and spiritual manifestations (effort expended) of that love, where is the proof? Jesus said; (Matt. 15:8) "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Jesus had said; Words are cheap! (2Pet. 3:9-18 esp. V9 & 15 keyword: longsuffering) It hurts Jesus when Christians don't love Him enough to expend the effort to be committed to Him.

Now you can understand why God gave His love the way He has.

Love must be given by a personality with a free will and the ability to make choices based on their values to a person for who and what that person is. Nothing more is needed and anything less is not enough.

GOD'S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

(John 3:16) God demonstrated the magnitude of His unconditional love for all people when He gave the life of His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to erase sins. To God, the life of His Child was worth more than His own life. Jesus was the best the God of all glory had to give, He had nothing greater.

Jesus was God's first move that demonstrated His unconditional love for all of mankind. God made a second first move in that He provided His word, the Holy Bible, to mankind as an introduction of Himself to mankind (John 6:44) and there is an attraction (a drawing toward) to Him and His relationship with people when you hear or read that word.

God made a third first move when He sent His people to proclaim His word through every available media at whatever time they were proclaiming His word and there is an attraction (a drawing toward) toward God when you really pay attention to what they say or write. (John 12:32) God made a fourth first move when He guaranteed every person who will ever live will have an opportunity (a drawing toward) to accept His salvation. Please see the commentary Is God Fair on this website.

(John 15:26-27 & 16:7-12) God made a fifth first move when (John 6:44 & 12:32 keyword: draw) He sent His Holy Spirit to be a part of God's drawing and the Holy Spirit brings the truth and confirmation of the reality of God's person based on God's word (the Bible). Five is God's Biblical number of grace. These five things show God's unconditional love and are God's introduction and drawing of the individual toward Jesus.

(Heb. 11:1) "Faith is the substance (the underlying reality of all things) of things hoped (to expect, trust) for, the evidence (something that proves a legal conclusion in a court of law) of things not seen." (Eph. 2:8-9) "For by grace (the divine influence upon the heart, graciousness) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift (a sacrifice) of God: Not of works (deeds, labor), lest any man should boast (vaunt self- brag)." As you follow God's drawing toward Jesus through the Holy Spirit God gives you the gift of His reality. Read the article About the Writer on this website if you wish to see how God established His reality in my life.

Luke 14:32-33 GOD'S CONDITIONAL LOVE

(Rom. 10:8-13 & 1Pet. 3:21) You probably didn't realize it but you had to meet certain conditions to get saved. (Rom. 10:9) You must believe (reliance upon Jesus for salvation, to entrust one's spiritual well-being to Jesus, commit yourself to Jesus) and confess with your mouth Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead. (1John 1:9) You must confess you are a sinner. (Acts 2:37-38) You must repent (change one's way of thinking, reversal). Ask God to save you and He will. (Eph. 1:12-14) You will know it because the Holy Spirit enters you and tells you. This is the scriptural process of salvation.

When the actual salvation event is happening, you will be bathed in God's love in a way you never thought possible and you will simply know what to say. (1Pet. 3:21) Then you must be baptized as a demonstration of your "answer of a good conscience toward God".

Then more conditions start. (Mark 12:30) a condition: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."

(Matt. 11:29-30) a condition: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Luke 9:23) a condition, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (2Pet. 3:17-18 & Phil. 2:5-16) It is the building of a personal relationship with Jesus; each Christian is a work in progress.

Your Christian relationship with God, depending on your values, is directly proportional to your reaction to and your attitude toward what the Devil (Satan), the world, its people and Church people offer you and do to you.

The devil (1Pet. 5:8 "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, seeking to devour you"), the world (2Cor. 6:14-18 esp. v.17 people and things in contact with you) and your flesh (Gal. 5:17 keywords: the *flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the *flesh THRU 6:8 keywords: shall of the flesh reap corruption-> *flesh defined is: the carnal human nature with its frailties and passions) will attempt to seduce you from your relationship with Jesus (Heb. 6:4-6) and destroy you as a Christian.

BRIDEGROOM

THE ALLEGORY OF JESUS' SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CHURCH

Understanding God's love: God expressed His unconditional love for mankind in general when (1John 2:2) He gave Jesus as the propitiation (atonement) for the sins of the whole world. When a person accepts God's offer of salvation through Jesus' blood the love relationship is ratcheted up to a whole new level.

The church and each individual Christian in it are called the bride of Christ to show the passionate intensity of Jesus' spiritual love for His own people (Christians). (John 3:28-36 & Matt. 25:1-3) Jesus, the bridegroom, loved His bride enough to die for her, (Acts 1:3) that's why His death is called Jesus' passion. Any betrothed is extremely jealous concerning his intended. (Deut. 5:8-9 & 1Cor. 10:22) God is a jealous God. Imagine Jesus' passion and red-hot jealousy concerning His bride. Just think about how badly we hurt Jesus when we don't love him enough to be completely devoted to Him!

The church and each individual Christian are in the spiritual, metaphoric, bridegroom/bride relationship with Jesus. (Matt 9:15 keyword: bridegroom) Jesus is the Bridegroom and the church is His bride (individual Christians comprising His church) are not married yet! (1Thess. 4:16-18) Jesus will rescue the church (Rev. 21:1-9) and their spiritual marriage will take place in heaven, He shall be our God (Rev. 21:10 thru 22:17) and we will share his kingdom forever. BUT: (Matt. 25:1-13, Rev. 2:4-5, 3:5 & 15-16) These scriptures describe what happens to a Christian who is unfaithful to the Bridegroom?

Why a rescue? (2Thess. 2:1-4 esp. V.3 keywords: a falling away first) The falling away has already started and the only thing a Christian can fall away from is his relationship with Jesus! (Matt. 24:22 keywords: days be shortened) If Jesus don't come soon, He won't have a church left. Jesus' spoken example; (Matt. 25:1-12) Half of the virgins were not ready and didn't get to go with the Bridegroom!

(Gen. 6:5 thru 7:24) Noah's ark was an example of a rescue and leaving when God rescued His people from a coming destruction due to sin. (Gen. 18:17 thru 19:28) Sodom is an example of a rescue and leaving because of a coming destruction due to sin. Three is the accepted number of God's completion. God always got His chosen people out of the way before He carried out His destruction. (1Thess. 4:16-18 keywords: caught up) The third time God rescues His people will be the catching away (a leaving) of the church.

Remember this: (2Pet. 2:8) Noah was a preacher of righteousness. (Gen. 6:3-7 esp. V.3) God gave the people before the flood one hundred and twenty years to repent. It had to be a time of repentance because many men lived more to be more than one hundred and twenty years old after the flood. (Gen. 6:5-6 keywords: wickedness, imagination, evil continually) We can only guess at the harassment and oppression Noah must have experienced as the people grew more and more wicked. (2Pet. 2:6-8 esp. V.7 keyword: vexed defined as: harass, oppress) Just Lot was vexed in Sodom and Gomorrah. The church will be harassed and oppressed before God takes us away.

(2Pet. 2:1-22) This scripture compares the church age people, lost and saved, to the Old Testament people who brought their own destruction upon themselves by their sins. (2Pet. 2:10-22) (V.14) "beguiling (entrap, delude) unstable (unfixed, vacillating) souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous (avarice, fraudulency) practices (V.15) and have gone astray following the way of Balaam----who loved the wages of unrighteousness," (V.19) "While they promise them liberty they are themselves the servants of corruption (ruin):"

(V.20) "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." (Rev. 2:5, 3:5 & 15-16) How can the latter end be worse with them than the beginning? (V.22) "The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (Heb. 6:4-6) They cannot be re-saved because it puts Jesus to an open shame.

(Mark 12:30) "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (life), and with all thy soul (self, personality, me), and with all thy mind (intellect, brain process), and with all thy strength (physical power, body): this is the first commandment."

Would you be stupid enough to marry a betrothed who didn't love you enough to be devoted to you, fornicated with others, who expected everything from you without giving anything back, who didn't love you enough to be dedicated to only you with all they are, whose love had grown cold? (Matt. 24:3-13 esp. V.12 keywords: And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold and 1Cor. 6:9 & Rev. 21:7-9 esp. V.8 keywords: fornicators, idolaters) Jesus won't either.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT

(Rom. 8:6-9) "if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." That is truly a frightening scripture; "Do you mean I can be in a church my whole life and not be admitted to heaven?" Yes! God said it!

(Phil. 1:19) The Spirit of Christ, (Matt. 3:16) the Spirit of God, (Rom. 8:26-27) the Spirit, (John 15:26) the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, (1Cor. 6:19) the Holy Ghost and (Luke 11:13) the Holy Spirit are interchangeable names and are defined (Psa. 78:41 keywords: Holy One), as the Holy One which is an identity so the Holy Spirit is God's soul.

(John 14:17-26 esp. V.18 & 23) God the Father and Jesus the Son are in us because the Holy Spirit is God/Jesus' soul (1Cor. 6:16-20 esp. V.19) and Christians are the temple (to dwell) of God. (John 20:28-29) Thomas recognized the union of Jesus and God when he called Jesus my Lord and my God. Jesus did not correct Thomas; Jesus silently agreed and accepted the homage.

(Gen. 1:2 & John 4:24) God is a Spirit. (Deut. 33:27, Isa. 40:28 & Rom. 5:21) God is an eternal supernatural being who is the essence of life/existence. (Gen. 1:1-31) God creates (Gen. 2:15-20) and communicates. (Gen 2:7) God is life! God is the possessor and giver of the breath (spirit) of life which many men choose to call the spark of life, the essence of life itself that has nothing to do with breathing.

(Isa. 7:14) Isaiah prophesied that Immanuel, which, in Hebrew, means (with us is God), would be a Son born of a virgin and (Matt. 1:23) Matthew calls Jesus Emmanuel which, in Greek, means (God with us). (John 9:35-37) Jesus states He is the Son of God, (John 10:30 and 14:15-26 esp. V.18 & 23) and Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God are one. (John 14:18) JESUS IS THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God's presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31) #1 God-spirit-life itself/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour (John 14:15-23) and #3 Holy Spirit-soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily. (Col. 1:13-17 esp. V.15) Jesus is the image (representation) of the invisible God.

When God said; "Let US make man in our image" God's body (Jesus), soul (Holy Spirit), and spirit (life itself) was the US and man, made in God's image, (1Thess. 5:23) is also body, soul and spirit.

WHY DID GOD CREATE MAN

(Matt. 19:26) "but with God all things are possible." It would be safe to say God created man simply because He wanted to. It would also be safe to say God could have created anything He desired. But think about this: (1John 4:8 & 16) God is love. Love is God's basic personality, everything else about God's personality springs from love.

God has a free will. God has the ability to make choices based on His values. Love has need. Love needs to give love. Love needs to share with, to give to, to be happy with. One who loves needs to be loved by a personality with a free will, with the ability to make choices based on his values; one like Him. And God said; (Gen. 1:26) "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

THE TEMPLE OF GOD ON EARTH IS WHERE GOD LIVES

Ultimately the word (distributed throughout thirty-nine NT scriptures) fornication, Greek word porneia in its four forms, is defined: harlotry, incest, indulge in unlawful lust of either sex- homosexual or heterosexual-, strumpet, harlot, whore, a prostitute, idolater, debauchee, fornication, fornicator, adultery, libertine, and whoremonger. As you can see fornication is a catch-all word for every kind of Biblically forbidden sex. Porneia is also the base word from which the English word porn/pornography is derived.

(1Cor. 6:15-19)  (V.15) "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of an harlot? God forbid." (V.16) "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot (promiscuous woman or a paid prostitute) is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh." (V.19) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own."  In Jesus' words; (Matt. 19:8-9) fornication is a legitimate reason for divorce.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He took His body with Him and Christians, YOU, ME, ALL OF US CHRISTIANS are the bodies which Jesus lives in and accomplishes His work. If a Christian has a physical sexual joining with someone not sanctioned by marriage they have for effect taken Jesus' body, in which Jesus lives through the Holy Spirit, and committed physical fornication with His body!

That is a totally disgusting, repulsive and traitorous act and a sickening way to treat the sinless Son of God who gave His life on a bloody cross so you could be saved! (Rev. 2:14 doctrine) It is no great wonder Jesus hates the doctrine of Balaam.

Jesus said; (Matt 5:27-30): (V.27) "Ye have heard it said in old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: (V.28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust (to long for, desire) after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (soul). That is spiritual fornication and adultery.

(Rom. 1:7-32) (V.7) "beloved of God, called to be saints"- the church, (V.21) spiritual idolatry, V.22-23 physical idolatry, 24-25 heterosexual sex, possibly adultery, (26-27) homosexual and lesbian sex) This is physical fornication and idolatry which the Balaamite Doctrine permits.

(1Cor. 6:9-10 keywords: neither fornicators nor idolaters--shall inherit the kingdom of God) (Rev. 21:8) and the only other place to go is "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone". This concludes (Rev. 2:14) the examination of how the Balaamite doctrine proceeded from the OT to the NT, to my area in 'modern times' and it will also be in your area.

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