Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - March 29, 2017

Today's Reading:

Matthew 23:13-39

Numbers 23:27-24:25

Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

There is a powerful statement at the beginning of our reading from Matthew 23. Remarkably, the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the church leaders of Christ's day, were unconverted! What a concept! It is possible to be in the right place and go through the right motions without having a heart change or a real experience with Christ. What a sobering thought!

Lest any should be similarly self-deceived, I would like to look a bit more deeply into this passage and its implications:

Matthew  23:13-15   "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."   

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life." I John 5:11-12 

Are You a Real Christian?

(quoted from Empowered Living Ministries' December 2015 Newsletter)

Why of course I am! Why do you ask such a thing? The question even irritates me! Don't you know I go to church, pay my tithes and offerings, believe in Christ, believe in the tenets of the church, live a clean lifestyle, and basically try to be a good person? I even do some witnessing and hand out some literature. Besides I belong to the right church. Certainly I'm a Christian! You are not going to make me question my Christianity are you?

If you had been a member of the Jewish church in Christ's day you would probably have believed that because you were a Jew you were thereby in good standing with God. You were a member of the right church, God's church, paid a faithful tithe and offering, went to the temple on Sabbath, refrained from unclean meats, followed the ordinances of the church and looked for the coming of the Messiah. Thus you would have felt quite confident of your standing with God.

But when the Messiah came friends, only a handful recognized Him, only a handful followed Him, only a handful found their salvation "in Him." The vast majority of Jews were not real Jews. In fact scripture validates this. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly." (Romans 2:28,29) It is apparent not only from scripture but history as well that most of the Jews were Jews only outwardly. In other words they followed a form, a routine, a ritual, they went to the right church and believed in the Bible.

These "professed" Jews were the very ones who crucified Christ Himself! They rejected Him and hung Him on the cross. It wasn't just the church leadership but also most of its members that in the end were only Jews outwardly. Romans 9:6 puts it this way, "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." In other words they are not all Jews (Christians) who professed to be Jews (Christians).

Are you going to be a Christian outwardly or inwardly? Don't rely on your church membership because it won't save you. Don't rely on your mental assent to certain truths, for that won't save you. Don't rely on your lifestyle changes nor your donations, for they won't save you either! Salvation is found "in Christ" only!

In the day of final reckoning there is going to be a lot of "weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Luke 13:28) For millions of "Christians" have been led to trust in their church, in their creeds, in their leaders, in their lifestyle--but have not been led "into Christ."

Only those found "in Christ" will in the end be saved and found to be true Christians versus professed Christians. Let's validate this first with Scripture then define what it means to be in Christ.
Let's start with I John 5:11,12. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." Could it be any plainer, any clearer? Even I can understand and see it. Eternal life is "in His Son." Not in the church, in a doctrine or in a lifestyle but "in His Son." Verse 12 now expounds upon it, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
We must have Jesus, we must be "in Christ" for in Him only is eternal life. But what does it mean to be in Christ?

Well it is the opposite of "out". When Lucifer stepped "out" of Christ, he decided his way was better than God's way. He lost eternal life because he chose to disconnect himself from the Source of life. He chose to follow his will and way instead of God's will and way. Whose will and way are you choosing--your's or Christ's?

When Adam chose to step "out" of the will of Christ, he became fallen and selfish. He died spiritually right then, and would have died physically as well without Jesus giving Himself as Savior for him, and for the entire fallen human race. He too wanted it his way instead of God's way. Which way is it with you? God's way or your own?

So understanding what it means to be "in Christ" is crucial for us. In fact it is the apostle Paul's favorite expression occurring in his epistles more than 70 times. Six of his epistles are addressed to the saints and faithful who are "in Christ."

Are you "in Christ?" Or are you merely in the church, in the truth, into reforms, into outreach, into end time events? Without living "in Christ" these activities can be a curse. Why? Because they become a substitute, a counterfeit, a cover up for the real, the genuine experience. They have a subtle way of convincing us that we are the "enlightened ones," when in essence we may be the "foolish ones." Are you a wise or a foolish virgin? The only difference between them was that the wise virgins possessed the oil, which represents the Holy Spirit. The wise virgins lived under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Day by day, hour-by-hour, moment-by-moment they surrendered to do the will of God. They were "in Christ" by faith. They had a faith that worked and cooperated with God in all things.

No one is safe unless they are "in Christ," in the present, in the now, experientially. Theoretically we are to assent to what is true, but experientially we are to be doers not hearers only. All of humanity was embraced in Christ on the cross, all of humanity was in Him. What He did, He did for all of us. But that's only half of the "in Christ" equation. Christ also invites us, by His empowering grace, to surrender ourselves; mind, body, soul and will to His Lordship over our lives in the present. Because what He has done for us and what He is doing in us are to be inseparable. You cannot have one without the other. Christ cannot be divided, you are complete in Him not apart from Him. If you accept His substitutionary death for your sins you must also accept His role as Lord of your life.
It was the choice that Lucifer and Adam made in not allowing God to be their Lord that got us all into this mess of sin today. Adam repented and allowed Christ to regain His position of Lordship over him. Lucifer rebelled against surrendering to Christ's control and is now Satan, the cruel enemy of God and all humanity. Who are you following--Adam or Lucifer?

Millions of Christians have accepted Christ's substitutionary death for them, but are resisting in allowing Him to be Lord of their entire life, right now. Until they do, they are not "in Christ." You see "in" denotes that you are presently in, right now, you are cooperating with Him in the present, in all your known choices. No resistance, no rebellion, just a conscious, "Yes, Lord."

For example, it may be -40 F below zero outside. You may know that in Christ's house it is a pleasant 80 degrees F. But if you're out in the cold, you receive no real benefit because you're still outside. Knowing about the 80 degrees in Christ's house does not warm you. Talking about it does you no saving good. Telling others about it does you little practical good. The fact that Christ's house is paid for and you have a title to it in your safe deposit box, still brings you no present benefit unless you choose to come into Christ. As long as you remain "in Christ" you receive all the benefits of His protection, warmth and security. They are yours, they are free, but you have to choose to enter in and remain in. You can at any time step outside, but if you do, you lose all the benefits of its warmth, security and protection.

That's what Paul meant when he said in Colossians 2:10, "Ye are complete in Him." Not in a knowledge or profession of Him, but abiding "in Him." In an article in Signs of the Times July 4, 1892 a well-known author put it this way, "We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved only as we abide in Him by faith." Also we find in the book of Acts 17:28 informs us, "For in Him, we live and move, and have our being."

Isaiah also understood when he declared, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength." and "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified." (Isaiah 45:24,25) May I also quote just a couple more passages so as to remove all lingering doubt? "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." (2 Corinthians 5:17) It doesn't say if you are in the church or in the truth, or into the doctrine of salvation, or into a good lifestyle, it says we must be "in Christ," not just legally but experientially. It is a here and now experience of letting Christ have all of me, that I may have all of Him.

Hopefully one more text will help cement in our hearts and minds what constitutes salvation and consequently a true living Christian. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1) Who are them? Can "them" be an Adventist? Yes! Can "them" be a Baptist? Yes! Can "them" be a Catholic? Yes! You mean to say there are going to be Catholics, and Baptists as well as Adventists in heaven? Yes, if they meet the condition, which is not walking in the flesh but in the Spirit by a living faith experience in Christ Jesus.

You say, "I hear you Jim, but will you spell out practically not theologically, how I am to be found in Christ daily, hourly? I'm glad you asked, because conversion and righteousness are not received or retained apart from being "in Christ" and continuing to abide in Christ. For no man is in a saving relationship any longer than he abides in Christ and exercises a living faith in Him.

Being a Christian is not a one time choice but rather a moment by moment, continuous choice to let God have all of me. Day in and day out I am to live for Jesus. My focus is to be in His will, His way. Many attempt to accomplish this through their own humanity. They set out with their strong will power and their teeth gritted in determination to live the Christian life. It always ends in defeat.
How then is it possible to live everyday, every hour, every moment to the glory of God? It's very simple. We are to live as Jesus did. 
Every morning Jesus took time with God His Father. We too, must take time to give ourselves to God every morning, to surrender at the beginning of every day. It can't be rushed, but has to allow time for us to commune with God and really listen to what He's saying to us individually. God speaks to us through the Bible, nature, providence and His impressions in our mind. Then after communing with our Father, and making sure there is nothing to prevent us from hearing His voice, we can rest assured that He will guide us.

When we leave our place of quiet devotion, it is essential to continue walking with God in order to commune with Him throughout the day. We need to learn to ask, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" Acts 9:6 God wants us to know we are not in this alone. We need help from a source outside of ourselves at the beginning of the day and then all through the day. As we learn to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting upon our hearts and submit our wills to always do His will, then it is that, "Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20.

But then temptation comes, perhaps the same temptation where we have often failed before. In the past we have gritted our teeth and tried to resist the temptation until, we either failed or forced ourselves to obey. There is no peace or joy in such an experience. Friends, the true conflict of temptation occurs in the heart. I first must decide if I want to remain surrendered to God. When surrender is my choice, then self dies and the victory is won and then God supplies all the power to meet the temptation. This experience is hard because self, my way and will must die; but it is the only path to peace and joy as a Christian! I must choose to remain in Christ, daily, hourly.
Now choice doesn't merit me anything with God. I am not saved by my choices. The very desire to make the choice of submission to God is a gift from His grace. Salvation is fully the gift of God, yet it is my choice to submit which allows God the freedom to transform my life through the ministry of His grace upon my heart.

It is vitally important to see this, for most who have taken the name of Christ live in a strange amalgamation of Christ and self-contending for the management of their life. This type of Christian life is like a yo-yo, continuously up and down. Being born of the Spirit is going from this experience to allowing Christ to be sole Ruler of the life. When this amalgamation of self versus Christ ends, there is rest for the soul. Then we learn the true science of salvation and the language of heaven, which is simply how to allow Christ full access to all my decisions and then by His grace, through a living faith, to say "yes" to God and "no" to self.

It all has to do with faith, a living faith, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul; where we are enabled to live above the pull of the flesh in the present. Faith is not only a belief in what Christ has done for me but also a surrender of all my known choices to Him, where all my thoughts, feelings and actions are in obedience to His known will, where I choose by His empowering grace to depend only on Him. This is a faith that works!

Are all your known choices surrendered to Him? Do you trust only in His merits for your standing before God? Do you depend on His power to choose right over wrong? If you do then you are a Christian. If this is a continuous choice, a continuous acceptance, a continuous dependence, then you are continuing to be a Christian. Welcome to the body of Christ!

Just a final note. Someone might think that I am anti-church or anti-doctrine or anti-lifestyle because I de-emphasize these things. This is not so! I believe in the church but not as the solution only as a tool. I love the truth but only as a means - not an end. My lifestyle changes have given me better health and a greater awareness of His presence but I'm not made righteous by carrots and bananas. All these are good only as they direct us to Christ. They are the dock that leads us onto the ship; which is Christ. Let's not just be excited about being on the dock, lets get aboard the Ship which is Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - March 28, 2017

Today's Reading:

Matthew 23:1-12

Numbers 22:41-23:26

Song of Solomon 3:6-5:1

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Uncurseable! That's what God's people are, when they remain fully and faithfully under His Wings and Will! And that is the powerful and encouraging message we find in Numbers 22-23. Let's take a closer look at the amazing story of Balaam (the following is quoted from our book Called to Canaan Vol 3 pp 242-250)

The story of Balaam and his balking donkey has been a favorite among children for generations. The tale unfolds in Numbers 22, where we read that Israel had set up camp on the edge of the land of Moab, their last location before crossing the Jordan River. The reception they received, especially from the enticing, heathen women, was legendary. No one told them that the Moabite King Balak had sent for the most powerful wizard in all of Mesopotamia, to come against them.

Balak feared that Israel would do to Moab what had been done to other nations. No one could defeat Arad’s Amalekite forces (whose very name means “giants”), but, by the power of Yahweh, Israel had! Feeling threatened by the nomadic Israelite multitudes now occupying his border territory, Balak, the King of the Moabites, sought advice from his neighboring dignitaries. No army had stood against Israel, nor prevailed against them in battle in the last 38 years. Fear gripped Balak’s heart. From among the gods, he had to find a powerful curse that would destroy this threat, which is still a common practice in witchcraft today.

The fact that Balak regarded devil curses as his highest line of defense, speaks volumes about their value of witchcraft as believed and practiced by these people of Moab and their neighbors. It also gives a loud warning to us on the “Revelation-edge” of the “Promised Inheritance.” Today, like Israel in Moab, most Christians ignore the dangers of witchcraft, which are stealthfully gaining entrance into positions of power.

In his quest to destroy Israel, Balak was counseled to send for Balaam, renowned as the best sorcerer witchcraft had to offer. The Hebrew word, translated as Balaam, means “one who destroys” is referenced elsewhere in Scripture as the worship of Baal or Baalim (Hosea 2:17). Balaam could conjure the most powerful curses known among the nations. So, while Israel was being “hospitably” entertained in Balak’s land, Balak was privately seeking Balaam’s services, at any price.

A delegation from Moab was sent to find and hire Balaam, the son of Beor (which means “burning”). Balaam was the soothsayer who some claim had once been a prophet of Yahweh, God of Israel, although evidence is missing for that claim. What we can find, historically and biblically, is tremendous evidence of his skill and knowledge as a wizard, going all the way back to his childhood.

The Book of Jasher supplies the infamous history of Balaam. His prestigious and dark career began early. He was just fifteen years of age, when he was employed to conjure up demonic spirits for Egypt against their enemies:

Amongst the servants of Angeas [of Africa] was a youth fifteen years old, Balaam, the son of      Beor was his name, and the youth was very wise and understood the art of witchcraft. And Angeas said unto Balaam, Conjure for us, I pray thee, with the witchcraft, that we may know who will prevail in this battle in which we are now proceeding, Jasher 61:8, 9.

In ancient sorcery, polytheism was practiced. A skillful practioner of the dark arts of witchcraft knew how to appease all the “gods” of their intended victims. In so doing, the hapless victim’s protection was removed, allowing for a successful curse. This was Balaam’s approach, as we can discover from the records of Jasher, as well as in the Scriptures.

Balaam’s first recorded brush with Yahweh took place during his employment with Egypt, who was at war with Zepho of Africa. But, while Egypt won against its enemies, it wasn’t because of Balaam’s sorcery! Rather it was because Israel’s men fought on the side of Egypt, and the God of Israel prevailed. Balaam knew the victory was not his, but was Yahweh’s. Thus, his first encounter with Yahweh made quite an impression on young Balaam.

And Balaam rose up and tried the art of divination… But he was confused and the work was destroyed in his hand, 29And he tried it again but it did not succeed, and Balaam despaired of it and left it and did not complete it, for this was from the Lord, in order to cause Zepho [of Africa] and his people to fall into the hand of the Children of Israel, who had trusted in the Lord, the God of their ancestors, in their war, Jasher 64:28-29.

One of the amazing things about walking with God… is that (His) people are uncursable!

The next recorded mention of Balaam shows that he next joined the sorcerers of Egypt. He moved to Egypt, still a youth, where he continued to climb the ladder of success through witchcraft.  Moses, at that time was a young man, being educated to rule Egypt. Coming often into the palace, Balaam, who may have been much younger than Moses, brushed shoulders with him on occasion. As one of pharaoh’s youngest seers, Balaam’s spirits informed him that Moses would ultimately bring down Egypt. But Pharaoh didn’t heed this warning out of love for his “adopted son.” Perhaps, Pharaoh attributed Balaam’s concern to youthful jealousy.  But whatever the reason, Pharaoh’s failure to heed Balaam’s warning was yet another evidence of Yahweh’s protection over Moses’ life.

Later, Balaam again surfaced, according to the Book of Jasher, showing his fame throughout the Middle East. Under the employ of the Amorite king Sihon, he cursed the Moabites. This curse caused the Amorites to win territory from them, during the time while Israel was at Kadesh, in the first month of the fortieth year from their departure from Egypt. This success was credited to the witchcraft of Balaam. By this time, his fame was renowned throughout the Middle East.

And Sihon gave numerous presents of silver and gold to Beor and Balaam his son, and he dismissed them, and they went to Mesopotamia to their home and country, Jasher 84:22.

Yahweh told (Balaam) plainly that he would not be permitted to curse the ones whom He had blessed!

With that history of success, Balaam was called to bring victory to the Moabites against Israel. The Moabite emissaries found Balaam in Mesopotamia. They attempted to persuade him to return to Moab with them, but Balaam stalled, saying that he must consult Israel’s God for permission. The truth was, that from his prior experience, he knew his witchcraft would not work unless Yahweh was angry with Israel. He remembered his past brushes with the supreme power of the God of Israel.

Thus, Balaam waited and consulted with Yahweh, Who remarkably condescended to answer him! One of the amazing things about walking with our God, as Israel was as they descended the mountains of Abarim, is that His people are uncurseable! Balaam was motivated to curse Israel by Balak’s promise of great wealth. Yet, Yahweh told him plainly that he would not be permitted to curse the ones whom He had blessed.

With the answer from Yahweh that Israel may only be blessed, Balaam sent the messengers back to Moab with his rejection of their offer. He would not be embarrassed. There was no curse that could penetrate the shield of Yahweh’s Protection.

King Balak was not satisfied with Balaam’s answer. Believing Balaam was holding out for more money, he sent more incentives with greater appeal to the covetous and prideful heart. Once again, Balaam grudgingly realized that he must get permission from Israel’s God, or he would not be successful. This time, however, Yahweh told Balaam to go with Balak’s men IF they called for him again. But, instead of waiting for their call, Balaam excitedly pursued the ambassadors from Balak, stepping outside  God’s specific instructions.  He was eager to do what he wanted to gain the reward, yet thought he could do so without entering the “curse zone” of Yahweh, which would ruin his reputation, and maybe take his life.

To understand Balaam’s actions, we need to remember that it was culturally and politically “correct” to acknowledge the gods of all religions, doing what was required by each in any given situation. It was the “When-in-Rome-do-as-the-Romans-do” principle. Balaam sought permission of Israel’s God, just as he had sought the approval of the false gods (demonic spirits) numerous times. It was all the same to him, except that Israel’s God was very powerful, as he knew from personal experience.

Balaam quickly pursued, in the hopes of overtaking Balak’s retreating envoy. And it was on this hasty journey that one of the most amazing stories in all of Bible took place.

Balaam met an angel of Yahweh who blocked his passage through a canyon. Three times, his donkey saw the angel and responded by shying away, crushing Balaam’s foot against the canyon rocks in the process. Unable to see the angel himself, Balaam jumped off his donkey and beat the animal unmercifully. Suddenly, Yahweh opened the donkey’s mouth and it spoke to him. But, so angry was Balaam, that he actually carried on a conversation with his donkey!

At last Yahweh opened Balaam’s eyes and let him behold the angel, standing before him with a drawn sword. Finally, Balaam understood why his faithful beast had shied those three times, saving his life.

Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Yahweh 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 Yahweh said unto him… 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. And Balaam said unto the angel of Yahweh, 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. And the angel of Yahweh said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak, Numbers 22:31-35.

Balaam, like so many today, tried to appear compliant with Yah’s Word, while justifying his willful disregard for His Authority. Balaam knew not that the Angel was opposing him, until his eyes were opened. Balaam then acknowledged his offense, and offered to return home. But the Angel of Yahweh told him to proceed, with the stipulation that he would only be able to speak what Yahweh put into his mouth.

Demons, as a rule, speak lies; yet, there have been times when demons were forced to speak the truth. An example is found in Luke 4:34, where the demon speaking through a man, said, “I know who You are, the Holy One of Yahweh!” Again, in Acts 19:13, a man with an evil spirit was encouraging the crowd to listen to Paul. Now, the demonically empowered Balaam was about to become such a case. Balaam was an evil sorcerer, but he would have to speak the Truth of the Almighty.


There was a time when one of my mother's high school student, obviously involved in the occult, interrupted English class to ask her, “What would you do if I put a curse on you?”

Responding aloud for all to hear she replied, “I wouldn’t do anything, José. I worship the Supreme God of the Universe, Who is much more powerful than your curses!”

The class resounded with “Ooooo’s!” at the “ultimate burn” and the subject was dropped.

Even the most powerful sorcerey of the greatest wizard of the then-known world, could not penetrate the Protection of Almighty God.

But clearly, without the protection of Yahweh, there is real danger from those who practice the occult. During those twenty-three years of high school teaching, Yahweh consistently turned the efforts of the Enemy into witnessing opportunities of His greater Power. This is exactly what Yahweh did for Israel in the story of Balaam.

Balaam soon arrived in Moab and accompanied Balak to the “high places” of Ba’al worship. Ba’al means “lord,” but is a reference to Satan. From these sites of devil worship, Balaam would be paid to curse Israel. He had just encountered an Angel of Yahweh, and had been in fear for his life. He had just been told that he would only be able to speak Yah’s Words over Israel. Yet, amazingly, he still tried to pronounce a curse over the protected people of the Almighty God of Israel!

Balaam attempted to curse Israel in numerous sites, all the way from Shittim unto Gilgal. But in spite of his repeated efforts, Balaam could only bless them. Israel was uncurseable.

O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of Yahweh, Micah 6:5.

From high place to high place, Balaam had altars built for sacrifice, in the hope of appeasing the God of Heaven. Pisgah was one of the seven sites from which Balaam attempted to curse Israel. He moved from place to place, finally concluding in Gilgal, which was across the river and only a few miles from Jericho.

Balaam was teamed with the dark “watchers,” going about at Satan’s command, “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But again and again, Yahweh blessed His people, and did not allow any of Balaam’s malicious plans to penetrate His Protective Shield. So uncursable was Israel, while they faithfully remained in Yahweh’s Hand, that Balaam was forced to prophesy blessing upon them.

And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath Yahweh spoken?  And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? Behold, I have received Commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: Yahweh his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel,” Numbers 23:17-23.

But, when God’s people trust and obey Him, He promises to be their Shield and Protection.Within the Shield of the Almighty, Israel was truly uncurseable. Even the most powerful sorcery of the greatest wizard of the then-known world, could not penetrate the Protection of Almighty God!