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Originally published in Creation 19, no 3 (June 1997): 15-17.
What is the doctrine of Balaam?
In Revelation 2:14 God, chastening the church in Pergamos, states, ‘But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.’ What is the doctrine of Balaam?
In Numbers 22–24 we read how the Moabite King Balak tried to get Balaam to curse the people of Israel, to destroy their effectiveness in warfare. However, God would not allow Balaam to do this. But in Numbers 25, we read that the Israelites sinned against God and so God judged them accordingly—thousands died. What caused this?
Balaam wanted God to be angry with the people of Israel, so he advised Balak to get some of the most beautiful women in his kingdom to draw the men of Israel into unclean and idolatrous practices.
Balaam knew that if the Israelites adopted pagan ways, God would not bless them as He had done. And so, the Israelites let the pagans influence them, instead of standing firm on the sure Word of God and His Holy Law!
Satan has used this ‘trick’ time and time again. The church at Pergamos had committed spiritual ‘fornication’ in allowing people to compromise the Word of God—allowing pagan ideas to be adopted into the church. 2 Peter 2:15 and Jude 11 also refer to people who have rebelled against God and are compared to Balaam.
Many Christian leaders have committed a form of ‘spiritual fornication’ in compromising with the world.Now what has all this to do with millions and billions of years? I believe Satan has used the same trick on the church today, as many Christian leaders have committed a form of ‘spiritual fornication’ in compromising with the world and thus have undermined the authority of the Word of the living God. How?
Read the following representative quotes from respected
Christian leaders and look for the common element!
I have many other such quotes from Christian leaders—all saying basically the same thing—that they can’t believe in or insist upon six literal days of creation because they have accepted (or been influenced by) the evolutionary teaching of millions and billions of years.
Let’s be honest—if one just reads God’s Word, without any outside influences whatsoever, one would never get the idea anywhere of millions of years. This idea, which contradicts Scripture, comes from outside of it.
In fact, in my 20 years of creation ministry, I have found that in every instance where Christian leaders reject the six literal days and young Earth, it is ultimately because they have been influenced from outside of Scripture—particularly by the idea of millions and billions of years. Some will claim they reject the six literal days because of Scripture—but on further investigation, I have always found that the so called ‘scientific’ age of the Earth issue is the root cause.
As with the ‘doctrine of Balaam’, such leaders have let the world seduce them, and thus have compromised the Word of God. So what is wrong with Christian leaders believing in millions or billions of years?
Why would Christians be so quick to accept the results of man’s fallible dating methods as absolute? We have been so indoctrinated by the media and the education system, that it seems radical to believe in a universe created a few thousand years ago. There is a fear of being seen to deny ‘facts’. However, all dating methods are based on fallible assumptions by fallible humans (even the many which suggest a young age), and so should not be taken as absolute truth over the clear teaching of God’s Word!
Sadly, what seems to have happened within the church, is that the Bible is viewed as a book just like many others—it’s written by fallible men, so it needs to be interpreted according to the latest scientific theories, etc. But the Bible is not the word of fallible men—‘… it is in truth, the word of God …’ (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Christian leaders would do well to consider the warning that the Lord gave the church in Pergamos concerning those who compromised the Word by holding the ‘doctrine of Balaam’. ‘Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth’ (Revelation 2:16).
The church is weak in our Western world—evolution-based humanism is taking over our nations. God is judging his church because of ‘spiritual fornication’—compromise with the world’s teachings.
My attitude to these Christian leaders of today is summed up nicely by the man who started the Reformation—the man who challenged the church to say Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), and return to the authority of Scripture—Martin Luther, who wrote:
’The “Days” of Creation were ordinary days in length. We must undertand that these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the holy fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.’9
We need to give Christian leaders honour where it is due. Because they compromise in one area, does not mean everything they say cannot be trusted or used. However, Genesis is foundational to the rest of the Bible, and the way we approach Genesis will affect the way we approach the rest of Scripture. So if such leaders compromise the book of beginnings with man’s theories, then they must be lovingly held to account! The future of nations will be determined by what happens in this regard—it is indeed a serious issue.