Sermon 16: THE BALAAM SPIRIT

By Douglas E. Amobi

In the book of Numbers 22, we come across a man of a complex manifestation and his name was Balaam, a Moabite. He was able to talk to God and God was also able to answer him. What a privilege, some of us on earth have the same opportunity; the question is how we handle it. Some of us like to do our will but claim we desire to follow God's guidance. This was the case with Balaam.

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Israel on their way to the promise land was a terror to the nations. One of those nations was Moab offspring of Lot and his daughter after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Balak was the king of Moab and the fear of Israel got the best of him. Sometimes we act like Balak, we allow fear overwhelm us and we start looking for help from every strange source possible; making all kinds of compromise but generally out of God's will. Balak sent for a prophet called Balaam. Balak had his information mixed up with his desires. He wanted Balaam to curse Israel, a people God already blessed. He wanted to prevail and smite the people of God; and drive them out of the land. Balak was so sure that whom Balaam blessed or cursed must come to pass. Balak forgot that Balaam was but a man and that God controls the destiny of all people.

God's words are either yes or no and He does not play games. Balaam's visitors came with the rewards of divination in their hands and Balaam asked them to spend the night with him while he talks to God about their visit. Notice here that Balaam was sure he could talk to God and that God would talk back to him. Every Christian should be able to talk to God with confidence; but beware of divination rewards. Balaam talked to God in prayer and told God what his visitors came for and God replied, saying in Numbers 22:12 "THOU SHALT NOT GO WITH THEM; THOU SHALT NOT CURSE THE PEOPLE: FOR THEY ARE BLESSED."

Balaam rose up in the morning and told the visitors from Balak what God told him; which is "THE LORD REFUSETH TO GIVE ME LEAVE TO GO WITH YOU." The visitors narrated to Balak what Balaam told them. Balak sent back more honorable princes, promising Balaam promotion to great honor and will do whatsoever Balaam says to him. Just like today men in honor, wealth and power have prophets of their own, who talk to God for them. Very often these people want the prophet to tell God to do what these men like Balak want, such as curse Israel or child of God. Balaam did not get it straight that you cannot curse what God has blessed.

In Numbers 22:18 Balaam was battling with a fact clear to him, that no matter the amount of gold and silver Balak offers him he Balaam could not go beyond the word of the Lord MY God. Balaam called THE LORD, MY GOD; he knew the Lord, spoke to him and heard from him. The first problem with Balaam and many today is trying to see if God will change His mind on an issue. Balaam in verse 20 decided to talk to God again and see what He will say. God knows the end from the beginning he already told Balaam his decision but Balaam kept trying to see if God would change. God then told Balaam he could go but could not curse those that have been blessed.

Balaam saddled his ass and went with the princes of Moab. Verse 22 reads that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Balaam for going to Balak when the Lord already said do not go to Balak; and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Perfect and Permissive will of God at play in people's lives. On the way to see Balak, Balaam lost his cool with his faithful ass that was able to see the angel of the Lord with sword drawn and suffered being beaten by Balaam who could not see the angel of the Lord.


Numbers 22:28-31



Balaam saddled his ass and went with the princes of Moab. Verse 22 reads that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Balaam for going to Balak when the Lord already said do not go to Balak; and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Perfect and Permissive will of God at play in people's lives. On the way to see Balak, Balaam lost his cool with his faithful ass that was able to see the angel of the Lord with sword drawn and suffered being beaten by Balaam who could not see the angel of the Lord.

When Balaam could not discern the actions of the ass, the Lord decided to talk to Balaam through the ass with the voice of a man. God had no other way to reach the prophet but to do something unusual; make an ass speak and respond with the voice and thinking of a man. Numbers 22:28-31 summarizes the interaction between Balaam and his ass. Balaam was so upset with his ass like many of us often do that we do not reason with the word of God. Balaam was so angry with his ass that he struck it thrice, threatened to kill the ass if he had a sword in his hand. Here a prophet was arguing with an animal with a man's voice; and it never occurred to the man, how could the ass be talking with a man's voice and stating accurate facts. The prophet was consumed with his desire to get to Balak which was against the will of God. Many times we find ourselves doing things which are against the will of God and we think we are right because they are our heart's desire.

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In Numbers 22:32 the angel of the Lord opened Balaam's eyes and also said to him I went out to withstand thee because thy way was perverse before me. This was the Lord talking with Balaam; and imagine the Lord saying; his way (Balaam) was perverse before me (THE LORD). Balaam offered sacrifices unto the Lord on behalf of Balak and Moab against Jacob but God continued to bless Jacob. Numbers 23: 23 states "that SURELY THERE IS NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB, NEITHER IS THERE ANY DIVINATION AGAINST ISRAEL." Remember Balaam was offering sacrifices in the high places of Baal. The ass thrice saw the angel of the Lord but Balaam could not. If the ass did not change course to avoid the angel Balaam could have been slain.

In verse 41, Balak took Balaam and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that from there he might see the utmost part of the people. Imagine a man who talks and hears from God standing in the high places of Baal. When you step aside to get mixed up with other gods and their followers; you are standing in the high places of Baal as a guest of Balak. People of God can make the mistakes of Balaam, in Numbers 23:1 Balaam a prophet told Balak a pagan, to build him altars and prepare him oxen and rams for a sacrifice to God. Balaam made it look like any man can sacrifice to God. What has the temple of God with Baal. Balaam spoke to God and God put His word in the mouth of Balaam saying in verse 8: How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Rev. 2:14



This should have told Balaam clearly that nothing could be done against Israel and it was time to depart from Balak whom he should not have come to meet with in the first place, because in the beginning the Lord told Balaam not to go. To compound the disobedience Balaam went ahead to listen to Balak and to offer more sacrifices to God instead of avoiding Balak. From this scripture it should be clear to all humanity that nobody can curse or defy Israel and that Israel must dwell alone and must not be reckoned among the nations; God choose them as a nation and nothing can be done about it. In Numbers 25:1-3, the children of Israel in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab; and they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor; and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. In Numbers 31:16 reads, "behold, these caused the children of Israel through THE COUNSEL OF BALAAM, TO COMMIT TRESPASS AGAINST THE LORD IN THE MATTER OF PEOR AND THERE WAS A PLAGUE AMONG THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD." Balaam the prophet who used to talk to God and hear from Him is now encouraging the people of God to go against their God. Balaam planted a terrible seed among the children of Israel and is even affecting Christianity today. It is a spirit that misleads people leading them away from God.

In Revelations 2:14 the same Lord that spoke with Balaam is the same Lord confirming what the deeds of Balaam meant to Him (THE LORD). The Lord said to the church Pergamum, 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. This is hundreds of years before the book of Revelation was written. The problem is that the doctrine of Balaam is well and alive in many churches today as the TRANSLATION (rapture) draws near. Many people are under the influence of the doctrine of Balaam. Examine yourself and see if the doctrine of Balaam has taken possession of your spiritual life. The doctrine of Balaam encourages Christians to defile their separation and abandon their characters as strangers and pilgrims on earth finding consolation in pleasing the desires of other gods. Remember that whatever you worship becomes your God.

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Jude verse 11, talks about running greedily after the error of Balaam for reward. In these last days many people gravitate towards material rewards, even in Christian circles. Powerful men in government, politicians and lots of wealthy people often have religious men, prophets, gurus, seers etc to depend on as to know what the future holds for them. These middlemen like Balaam expect rewards and promotions from people like Balak. There are many people like Balaam in the church today, some are ministers, some are gifted, compelling but have the spirit of Balaam. Beware of the spirit of Balaam God is against it. Is the spirit of Balaam influencing your life? When you hear the voice of a man from another creature of God that is not a man then know that the spirit of Balaam is around.