PROSTITUTION IN THE CHURCH
Prostitution, which is often called the world’s oldest profession, is the act of indulging in promiscuous sexual relations for money or other special favors.
To be prostituted is to devote to corrupt for monetary gain. The prostitution of God’s people is the story of a preacher, who for the love of money, self exaltation, social acceptance, and worldly popularity, placed a stumbling block in front of God’s people.
BACKGROUND: The children of Israel had come up out of Egypt; they had conquered all their enemies utterly destroying them. God had provided from them abundantly and was continually blessing them in spite of their rebellious ways and bouts of disobedience. They had come to the top of Mt. Pisgah and Moses sent messengers to the king of the Amorites saying “Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink [of] the waters of the well: [but] we will go along by the king’s [high] way, until we be past thy borders.” Numbers 21:22. However, Sihon, the king of the Amorites refused to let them pass through his borders peacefully and gathered his people together and fought against the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel prevailed, took their land, (Numbers 21: 24-35) and settled in the plains of Moab.
Numbers 22:1 says “And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan [by] Jericho.” Balak, the king of Moab, the son of Zippor and all of Moab became distressed because of Israel and they saw what Israel had done to the Amorites Numbers 22:3 “And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they [were] many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.”
Balak, the king, feared that Israel would destroy the Moabites like they had the Amorites. Therefore he met with the board of elders of the Moabites Numbers 22:4 “And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all [that are] round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor [was] king of the Moabites at that time.” Balak along with this board of elders discussed a plan of action against the Israelites and set out to hire a spiritual hit-man by the name of Balaam. Numbers 22:5-6 “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this peoplefor they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.”
THE PREACHER: Balaam, the son of Beor, was a prophet of God that lived in Pethor, which is on the banks of the Euphrates River. His reputation had been established as one that had the power to curse or bless Numbers 22:6. Balaam understood the divine blessings of God as well as the curse brought on through disobedience. Balaam lived and understood Matthew 16:19 & 18:18 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Someone may ask what makes you say Balaam was a prophet of the Lord Numbers 22:8-9 God spoke to Balaam, if Balaam was not His he would not have heard him for God hears not a sinner)
The Inquirery: Numbers 22:5-7 “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.”
THE MESSAGE: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land.
THE REWARD OF DIVINATION: Divination is the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.
Reward is something that is given in return for good or evil done or received and especially that is offered or given for some service or attainment a stimulus administered to an organism following a correct or desired response that increases the probability of occurrence of the response, recompense to pay for.
So we see here that the elders came to Balaam with a message from the King to curse Israel that he may prevail against them and they were going to pay Balaam for doing this service with his extraordinary gift for them. Remember to be prostituted is to devote to corrupt for monetary gain.
**NOTE: Understand that at this point Balaam has done nothing wrong, he is simply here being tempted, James 1:2 says “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” When we call ourselves a Christian then we open the door to temptations, that is the job of the devil. It is when we are tempted that we should count it all joy; however, many people fall when tempted because they do what Balaam did. Here we will endeavor to see the downward spiral of Balaam and compare it to the fall of many people today.
1. He listened to what they said. Numbers 22:7 “And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.” Balaam listened to what they had to say. When you listen to the (devil) the words of the enemy it plants the seed in the mind to go contrary to what is right.
2. He slept with the enemy. Numbers 22:8 “And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.” The thought had been planted when he listen and by having them stay the night gave him time to think on that which was planted in his mind. Many times when the enemy plants a contrary thought in our minds instead of rebuking that thought right away we ponder it, which is the same as sleep with it.
3. In one ear out the other: Numbers 22:12 “And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed.” Balaam did what he should have done and inquired of the Lord, but like many people today he didn’t listen to what the Lord said. He let the words of the Lord go in one ear and out the other.
4. He didn’t close the door of opportunity: Numbers 22:13 “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you.” Here Balaam says the Lord refuseth me to leave. He didn’t say NO I WILL NOT GO, but he left the door of opportunity open by saying the Lord refuseth me. It was not his desire not to go, but he wanted to, which left the door of opportunity open for them to come yet again. Many times we will ask God for something and because we don’t like His answer will leave the door of opportunity for the devil to come again wide open.
**Pay close attention to verses 14 & 15 “And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us. And Balak sent yet again princes, more honourable than they.” The devil may leave you for a little while, but if you left the door of opportunity open he will come again and the next time will be more cunning and more persuasive then before.**
5. He listened to them again: Numbers 22:16-18 “And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.” Because he failed to close the door of opportunity they came again and this time they were more cunning and offered even a greater physical reward.
6. He set his sight on the gift and not the giver: verse 17 says “For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.” This is also how the devil tempted Jesus Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Often times people will look at what they get right now, what seems to glitter. However God said he will give us everlasting life and because we believe everlasting life is something that will only happen after we die we look at the right now gift and not the ultimate giver of gifts.
7. He knew what to do but failed to obey: verse 18 says “And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.” Balaam knew that he was not allowed to go and curse Israel because God told him so and they were blessed, that is what was told him the first time in verse 12. So many times people of God know what they are not supposed to do, but go ahead and do it anyway; therefore, bringing upon themselves unnecessary tribulations.
8. He slept with the enemy again: verse 19 says “Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more.” He kept playing around with them. He knew what God had said yet he continued pondering what they had planted in his head. When you do not close the door of opportunity the devil will come again and temp you. If you continue to ponder on those things, if you continue playing with temptations you will fall. How many times in your life have you either been told by your parents coming up or tell your children don’t do something, but being hard-headed keep doing it until finally ending up in some situation that would have been avoided if listen to in the first place.
9. He got on God’s last nerve: verse 20 says “And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, [and] go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.” Many times a parent will tell their child they can do something simply because the child gets on their last nerve, they don’t want them to do it, but they allow them to do so, so they can find out for themselves what the parent is trying to teach them in the long run. This is called the permissive will. Luke 18:5 “Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” THE TWO WILLS OF GOD. The Perfect will and the Permissive will. Will is purpose, desire, delight, determination, and plan. God’s will is that man would present his body a living sacrifice; the word sacrifice refers to total submission unto God. The perfect will of God comes from the Greek word “Teleios” and means that which has reached its end; nothing else to accomplish, it is completed. God’s desire is that all men, woman, boys, and girls would be saved, and the accomplishment of this would be the completion of His will in all perfection.
The permissive will of God is that he gives us the opportunity to make a conscious decision. The freedom and power to make conscious decisions is our will. Adam was made to have a free will he was given the ability to choose. When God told Adam that in the day you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that you shall surely die, Genesis 2:17, this was a choice that Adam was allowed to make of his own free will. Adam knew what was right and what was wrong, yet God allowed him to make the decision based on his own free will. Our will is predicated on the desires of the flesh. If the flesh desires for something our will is to satisfy the desire of the flesh. Many times you have no doubt heard of will power, if a person wanted to lose weight or quite smoking they would often say I have the will power to do so. The Bible says: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Our will then is determined many times by what has control, the spirit or the flesh. Balaam’s will was to go with them because the flesh desired the wealth and promotion he was offered. God’s perfect will was for Balaam not to go with them; however, the permissive will let him make his own choice. Understand God never gave him permission to go, but afforded him the chance to make a conscious decisions.
10. He was a dead man walking: verse 21 says “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.” God’s permissive will let Balaam make his own decision. Balaam’s decision was base upon his flesh and decided to go with the princes of Moab, which was against the Will of God. Whenever one goes against the will of God they have literally turned their back on God and are subject to His Judgments and Wrath. Because Balaam went against the will of God he became a dead man walking.
**Verse 22 says “And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants [were] with him.” Many people ask the question why was God angered when He told him to go? God never told Balaam to go in verse 12 God said “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed.” He allowed Balaam to make a conscious decision, which was the permissive will of God. Balaam’s decision, which was based upon his flesh and not the will and word of God, sent him down the path of God’s judgment and not His blessings.
11. He had a one track mind: verses 22-30 describe the actions of the ass which saw the angel of the Lord standing ready to kill Balaam for his disobedience. The ass tried to warn Balaam on three different occasions that danger was just ahead, but Balaam’s mind was determined to do what Balak had requested of him in order to receive the reward of divination rather than listen to and obey the Will of God. In verse 28 the ass says “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” This proves that Balaam had a one track mind. Even though God opened the mouth of the ass to speak, it was not then and is not now a common practice for any animal to speak, Balaam was so focused on his own personal satisfaction that he could not see what God had done. In verse 29 “And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.” Balaam communicated with the talking ass yet his mind was so focused upon himself for he said thou hast mocked me. Verse 30 says “And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? The ass ask him a question and Balaam sounds like an ass And he said, Nay.”
12. Eyes wide open: verses 31-33 say “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because [thy] way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.” Many times we are like Balaam headed for danger. We are as the Bible says in Psalms 135:16 “They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not” Balaam had eyes wide open but for the wrong reasons. His eyes were open for himself and his prosperity, but closed to the things of God. Many people are living their life with their eyes wide open to the things of this world, but closed to the things of God.
13. He offered lip service: In verse 34 Balaam says “And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” Balaam did what many people will do today, when they are caught they will make promises never to do it again if only God will bring them through this trouble. Balaam was doing here Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.” Balaam’s heart was not right eventhough with his mouth he said one thing Related Church Media
**Verse 35-41 describe how Balaam said what the Lord had him say, he offered lip service, but as we will see his heart was not right. He had a form of godliness but denied the power thereof.**
** In chapter 23 Balaam still tries to hold on to the world and God. He tried to get the answer from God that benefited himself. In chapter 24 Balaam hears what God is saying and tells Balak that whom God has blessed no man can curse. Balak is upset with Balaam for not cursing Israel they depart their separate ways Balaam goes back to his land and Balak back to his.
However in chapter 25 the spam hit the fan. Let’s look at what happens.
Chapter 25:1-3 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom 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 Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.” Israel is still settled in the plains of Moab, Balaam had been hired to curse Israel, Balaam tells Balak that he cannot curse what God has blessed; however, we see here that Israel begins to commit whoredom with the daughters of Israel.
Remember all of Moab was distressed because of Israel and what they had done unto the Amorites yet they invite them to their sacrifices and commit whoredom with them. Something happened to cause them to be comfortable enough to invite these people whom they feared to eat, drink, and worship with them, but what. Remember we are talking about the prostitution of God’s people. Balaam could not curse what God had blessed, but he knew that God would not stand for disobedience and that disobedience would bring God’s curse upon the people.
Look at Numbers 31:16 the Bible says “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.”
The word counsel according to Webster’s Dictionary is advice given especially as a result of consultation : a policy or plan of action or behavior.
14. The next blunder of Balaam was he sold out for filthy lucre which was the rewards of divination. Balaam gave Balak a plan of action to cause the Children of Israel to disobey God which would bring the curse upon them. That’s what is meant by the counsel of Balaam.
15. The counsel of Balaam placed a stumbling block in front of the Children of Israel. Luke 17:2 says “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Revelations 2:14 says “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.”
THE EFFECT OF BALAAM’S ILL
Numbers 25:1-3 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom 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 Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.” 31:16 says “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.”
and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab: Whoredom is the practice of having unlawful sexual intercourse.. This was done because of the counsel of Balaam he prostituted the people of God. To be prostituted is to devote to corrupt for monetary gain.
Baalpeor: Baal –peor Baal = lord, master Peor = hole, opening. Baalpeor is lord of the opening. Balaam found an opening which caused the Children of Israel to fall and receive the rewards of divination.
THE PUNISHMENT: Numbers 25:4-9 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who [were] weeping [before] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw [it], he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand”
THE ORDER OF THE LORD: Numbers 25:17-18 “Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake”
THE DEATH OF BALAAM: Numbers 31:8 “And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; [namely], Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.”
What is interesting here is they slew Balaam along with them, back in the 23rd chapter we talked about how Balaam and Balak went their separate ways, yet here Balaam is killed with them, because he had come back and told Balak how they could defeat the Children of Israel and cause God to punish them. For this Balaam was given the rewards of divination and promoted to the place Balak promised him for prostituting the people of God. Numbers 31:16 says “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.” We see that through the ill advice of this money hungry preacher Balak found a way to cause the Children of Israel not to be a threat and for the punishment of God to fall upon them.
Balaam caused a stumblingblock to be set before God’s people causing them to fall. Revelation 2:14 says “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.”
Stumblingblock comes from the Greek word 4625 skandalon skan’-dal-on (“scandal;” probably from a derivative of 2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (figuratively, cause of displeasure or sin):–occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock. Matthew 18:6 says “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.
So we see here that Balaam, who for the love of money, popularity, prosperity, worldly fame, and prestige devised a plan counseling Balak how to set a stumbling block in front of God’s people causing them to fall. He prostituted the people of God.
Any preacher that does not hold to the gospel truth and seeks to become prosperous at the expense of God’s people is nothing more than a Pentecostal pimp prostituting the people of God.
2nd Peter 1-3 says “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 15-19 & 22 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”.
Beware of false teachers that are prostituting God’s people and make very sure that you are not a prostitute.