By Larry Ray Hafley
From Nigeria: “1. In Numbers 22-24, how did Balaam get to know Jehovah? Was he an Israelite? 2. In Luke 10:18, was this the time Satan was hauled down to earth as it is said in Revelation 1.2:9 ? 3. In Luke 10:20, when did registration of the saved begin in Heaven? Was it before or after the establishment of the church?”
Questions About Balaam
References to Balaam appear in Num. 22-24; 31:8, 16; Deut. 23:4; Josh, 13:22; 24:9; Neb. 13:2,; Mic. 6:5; 2.Pet. 2:15-16; Jude 11; Rev. 2:14.
Balaam was a. “prophet” (2 Pet. 2:16), “and the Spirit of God came upon him, And he took up his parable and said . . .” (Num. 24:2,3). “And the Lord put a word in Balawn’s moutin” (Num. 23:5, 16). Balaam “I heard the words of God, and knew the kriowled-ge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open” (Num. 24:16) Balaam “knew the knowledge of the inost High’ because God revealed it unto him. He knew God’s voice because God “put a word in his mouth.” It does not say Balaarn knew the Lord as his Savior, Rather, he knew the Lord’s mind or knowledge by revelation. The only way to know the Lord as Savior is to obey Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 Jn. 2:3). That has ever been true. Whether at “sundry times” or “in these last days,” one must keep or obey God’s word in order to know Him as Savior arid Sanctifier.
“Balaam (was) the son of Boor of Pethor of Mesopotamia” (Deut. 23:4). “Balak the king of Moab hath brouaht me from Aram out of the mountains of the east” (Num. 23:7). Balaam. is never listed and labeled as an Israelite. Citations to Balaarn separate him from the children of Israel (Cf. Num. 31:8, 16; Josh. 13:22; 24:9; Neb. 13:2). “Balaam. is one of those instances which meet us in Scripture of persons dwelling among heathens, but possessing a certain knowledge of the one true God. . . . His religion, therefore, was probably such as would be the natural result of a general acquaintance with God (though) not confirmed by any covenant” (Wm. Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, p. 93).
Luke 10:18 and Satan’s Fail
“And. the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Lk. 10:17, 18). The text shows that Satan’s fall was seen in his loss of power. “The devils are subject unto us through thy name.” In this way, Satan fell.
Compare Matthew 12:29, “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then be will spoil his house.” In the context, Jesus bad cast out a demon, It was obvious that He had done so, thus, many began to inquire, “Is not this the Son of David.?” The Pharisees could not deny the miracle, so they cast reflection on the source of it. They said, “He casts out (lemons, but he does it by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” Jesus proceeds to manifest the folly of their contention. First, their argument would meav that Satan is fighting against himself. He is using Jesus to cast out himself. Second, the Jews claimed that their disciples cast out demons. Therefore, Jesirs asks them, “by whom do your children cast thf~m (the devils) out?” The inference is that they must do it by Beelzebub as you say I do. In effect, their ebildven are also in league with Satan in casting out demons. Third, in Matthew 12:29, the verse quoted above, the strong man is Satan. His goods are his dernons. The one who spoils the goods must first bind Satan, the strong man. So, Jesus is showing that He has bound Satan in order to “spoil his house,” i.e., cast out devils. The same principle is in Luke 10:18. Satan fell because Jesus power overthrew him in that “the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
The text in Revelation 12:1-12 is not directly related. There the victory was achieved “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” when Satan was cast out into the earth. This refers to the death of Jesus, whereas, Luke 10:18 recalls an event in His ministry. John 12:31-33 may be conipared. to Revelation 12:1-12.
Question Three: The Lamb’s Book of Life
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). See also Ex. 32:32, Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; Heb. 12:23. Exodus 32:32, 33 shows “registration of the saved began ir heaven before the establishment of the church.”
Truth Magazine XX: 35, p. 546
September 2, 1976