“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.”

2 Peter 2:15-16 KJV

Balaam was a Gentile prophet, whose prophesies are recorded in scripture.  He even predicted the Star of Bethlehem.  However, his love of the world became the source of his infamy.  Balaam loved money, prostitution, and worldly fame.  He was famous as a soothsayer, who would pronounce a curse for money. Balaam was the classic case of the worldly prophet.  He was so overcome by worldliness that his values reflected not the Righteousness of God but the corruption of the lusts of the flesh.  When the lusts of the flesh replace the love of God, the believer travels down the path of reversionism. He is the classic example of a person who knew the right way, but rejected it to pursue the Frantic Search for Happiness of worldly lusts. He was like Moses in that he would talk to God and ask for help. Important people would come to him for help. There was just ONE big difference between Moses and Balaam. Moses loved God and loved Him with all his heart. Moses told the people what God said because he obeyed God and wanted the people to listen and obey. Balaam helped people if he received money to do it. He did not know God personally in his heart. He only knew God in his head. When  prophets or Church Age pastors enter into reversionism, they are doubly destructive.  Not only do they hurt themselves, but they lead others astray.  Balaam was responsible for the death of 24,000 Jews.  He was the pawn of Baal.  He was the friend of anti-Semitism, the unfaithful servant, and corrupt prophet.  His reversionism was so perverse, that his own donkey was used to preach him a sermon in trying to restrain his reversionistic insanity.  His infamy was so great that throughout history the mere mention of the name Balaam was a cause for insult.  In the epistles to the Church, Peter uses him as an example of the reversionist, and the Lord Jesus Christ uses him as an example of the apostasy in the Church at Pergammon. It says in the Bible, “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 stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Revelation 2:14 KJV  Because the story of Balaam is as relevant today as any other time in history.  Just as prophets like Balaam existed in Moses’ day, pastors exist in the Church Age with a striking similarity.  Today the apostasy of Balaam is everywhere.  It fills the pulpits of apostate churches all over the world.  Unlike Balaam, however, the pastors of today do not have the luxury of a talking donkey to awaken them from their own apostasy.  Unless they have a near-death experience or some other shock to wake them up, most of them continue to operate as Balaam in the power of the Cosmic System.  They don’t know the meaning of grace.  They have no concept of experiential sanctification, and they are slaves to the devil’s world. One day the king of the land sent special messengers to Balaam to ask for help. His name was Balak. Balak is derived from the Hebrew , balaq, which means to lay waste, to destroy.  He was the son of Zippor. The Bible says, “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.” Numbers 22:5-6 KJV  Balaam was a world-famous soothsayer in Pethor, a city south of Carchemish on the west bank of the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia, now Iraq.  Balaam is Hebrew Bile`am, from balu (to swallow, destroy) and `am (the people) or “destroyer of the people (nation).”  Thus, Balaam’s name came true.  He was responsible for the deaths of 24,000 Jews, “And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” Numbers 25:9 KJV  Balaam was the son of Beor, from Hebrew ba`ar which means “to burn.”  The Jews in Jeremiah’s day burned their children as sacrifices to Baal, “And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.” Jeremiah 7:31 KJV  He wanted Balaam to ask God to curse His own people. This sounds strange to us. Why would anyone think that they could get God to curse the people who He loved and helped? Balaam asked God what to do and God told him not to go with the men. When the king heard the answer, he sent other more distinguished princes to ask Balaam to help them. He also made sure that Balaam knew that he would be given much money if he came and cursed God’s people. Balaam asked God what to do. God told him to go, but only to speak what He said. Balaam proceeded to return with the princes of Moab the next day.  When it says that he “saddled his donkey,” this does not mean that he used a saddle of leather as is commonly used for a horse or mule.  The donkey’s back was covered with layers of thick cloth on which a flat straw pad was bound “and the whole was covered with a bright cloth or carpet. Thus, Balaam set out on a trip that was contrary to the will of God.  This is called reversionism, departure from the will of God.  There are only two strategic paths in life for the believer.  One leads to maturity and dying grace while the other leads intensified discipline and finally to the sin that terminates in death.  At this point Balaam is headed down into reversionism and things will get progressively worse. Even though Balaam seemed to be following God, God knew that he had other plans in his heart. God knew the greed for money and things that was in Balaam’s heart. An angel of the Lord stood in the road with a sword. Balaam could not see the angel, but the donkey could. When the donkey saw the angel, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam could not believe what his donkey was doing. He beat the donkey for going off the path. It says in the Bible, “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. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.” Numbers 22:22-23 KJV  Balaam’s reversionistic discipline began with discipline for distraction, or departure from the will of God.  The phrase, “God was angry,” is an anthropopathism, which ascribes to God a human feeling to communicate with mankind.  God does not get angry, but He did not approve of Balaam’s strategic advance down into reversionism.  As the angel of the Lord stood in the path it was the Lord,  preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, who in the form of an angel in front of Balaam’s donkey.  Balaam in the spiritual blindness of reversionism could not see the angel, but his donkey saw, turned aside. This is one of the first evidences of reversionism, or distraction.  Rather than follow the straight path, the reversionist takes an exit and winds up in the wrong field or in the wrong neighborhood. Again the angel stood near a narrow path with walls on each side. When the donkey saw the angel again, she pressed close to the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot. Again Balaam beat the donkey. It says, “But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.” Numbers 22:24-25 KJV  Since Balaam was still spiritually asleep, the Lord intensified the discipline.  The next discipline that Balaam faced was the strait.  A strait is a narrow passage designed to illustrate the importance of staying on course and the danger of straying off course.  Unlike the previous discipline of distraction, the discipline of a strait can produce injury.  It is therefore more intensified discipline.  Straits in the ocean may be flanked by rocks.  In Balaam’s case the strait was between two stone walls.  When the angel of the Lord stood in the path, the donkey veered to the side and jammed Balaam’s foot against the wall, which brought him pain.  Balaam reacted with vindictiveness toward his donkey and struck her again.The believer is expected to navigate by faith as it says in the Bible, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV  For a third time, the angel stood near a narrow place with no room to go around. This time the donkey sat down. Balaam was furious with the donkey and beat her again. The Bible says, “And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.” Numbers 22:26-27 KJV  As Balaam continued in his spiritual blindness, the Lord stood in a very narrow place, and the donkey sat down, or went down, fell down, stopped, stalled.  Again Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. It says in the Bible, “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? 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. 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? And he said, Nay.” Numbers 22:28-30 KJV  Here the donkey  was not walking, nor even standing.  Failure to stand represents Intensive Discipline.  Examples of Intensive Discipline include sickness, injury, and mechanical failure, a crash or accident. As if things couldn’t worse, they did.  Balaam was having a bad day.  Things were going wrong right and left.  Then the Lord opened the mouth of Balaam’s donkey and she asked him what she had done to deserve being beaten with a stick three times.  To add insult to injury, now his donkey was talking back to him, or, as many somewhat inaccurate translations, “But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:16 KJV  Balaam’s donkey was allowed to speak to make a point for all of history to remember.Balaam answered that the donkey had made a fool out of him in front of the special princes. He was embarrassed. The donkey defended herself against a callous and insensitive manager who had no respect for God or God’s creation. Balaam in his anger, told the donkey he would have killed her if he had a sword.  This shows clearly that Balaam did not understand the system that he was using.  The system was a transportation system that depended upon the faithful support of his donkey. Then the Bible says, “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.” Numbers 22:31-33 KJV  After discussing the problem with his donkey, Balaam was none the wiser.  He was still in his reversionistic stupor asleep on the job.  Those who live by emotion are irrational.  Even after being put down by a donkey, Balaam didn’t have a clue that he was headed into bad trouble.  He was on the road to curse Israel, and that will bring down the roof.  Yet, he carried on a conversation with his donkey as if it were nothing unusual. It wasn’t until the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, or revealed Himself to him in the form of an angel, that Balaam awoke.  The angel of the Lord was a preincarnate manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord was standing in Balaam’s path with a drawn sword in hand.  The sword was a symbol of capital punishment from the Supreme Court of Heaven.  Balaam in his reversionism was on the way to the sin that would end in his death, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” 1 John 5:16 KJV  The Lord was revealing to Balaam his danger. The Lord defended the donkey and pointed out Balaam’s guilt.  He explained to Balaam that the problem with the system was that Balaam was advancing in opposition to the Lord.  The reversionist is the “enemy of the cross,”For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:” Philippians 3:18 KJV  Balaam in reversionism was not executing the Plan of God.  He was fulfilling his own lusts.  The Lord caused the problem with Balaam’s donkey.  He even performed a miracle by enabling the donkey to talk.  Still Balaam still did not understand that he was advancing contrary to the will of God and headed for severe judgment.  Balaam was willing to entertain the thought of cursing God’s chosen people because he was in reversionism.  The reversionist is concerned about himself and his own lust, not the Plan of God.  Balaam in reversionism loved money, not God. Lust is the desire, or motivation to sin.  Lust is enticement to sin.  Lust is temptation.  The process is as follows, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14-15 KJV  Balaam may have looked like a follower of God on the outside, but inside, he really was doing whatever got money and fame. Balaam might have fooled many people, but he did not fool God. Money is the coin of the realm in the devil’s world, but virtue-love is the prize possession of the spiritual life. When life is over, everyone departs this life without their worldly possessions.  Those who seek worldly riches are lusting after false values.  These things will not go to heaven. The lust attraction for money and worldly riches is based upon a false value. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:7-10 KJV  There are only two roads in life.  One road leads to spiritual maturity and dying grace while the other road leads to reversionism and the sin that ends with death. There are no other choices according to the Bible. For those who reject Bible Doctrine and live in lust, the result will be a horrible death. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30 KJV  We may fool others and they may think that we believe in Jesus and know Him. Inside, God knows our hearts. He knows if we REALLY trust Him or just say we do in front of others. God sees us wherever we are and knows if we act one way in church and another way at home or at school. God cares for us and He will carry out His good plans for us, even if He has to use animals and rebellious people to do so. How has God spoken to you or cared for you through unusual circumstances? What reasons do you have to praise Him for His protection and leading? Do you know God in your heart or do you just know Him in your head. Have you been playing a game pretending to be a Christian, when you really are not? God wants us to trust in Him and believe in Him with all our hearts. We must believe in Him because we love Him and know that He loves us and sent His only Son, Jesus, to make a way for us to get to Heaven. So why not today open up your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



  1. Great post, Jeff! I didn’t know all that about Balaam. Thanks for posting this. It was very informative and humbling. I pray I always heed God’s warnings and discipline. I pray I don’t seek my own path and walk in opposition to Him. Its funny how we think we can stand against God and win. His way is the only right way. Any other leads to death (in so many ways). God bless:)

  2. […] What Does the Bible Say About “The Story of Balaam” Which Path Are You Taking ? Man or D… (lnger.wordpress.com) […]

  3. there seems to be a contradiction when you say;
    “God told him to go, but only to speak what He said. Balaam proceeded to return with the princes of Moab the next day. When it says that he “saddled his donkey,” this does not mean that he used a saddle of leather as is commonly used for a horse or mule. The donkey’s back was covered with layers of thick cloth on which a flat straw pad was bound “and the whole was covered with a bright cloth or carpet. Thus, Balaam set out on a trip that was contrary to the will of God.
    If God told him to “go” how is he contrary to God for “going”?

    • lnger says:

      It is not a contradiction. I am glad you brought this up. I should have explained this in my blog. if you would have read the next sentence it would explain everything. it is in the word “REVERSIONISM” Reversionism is an act of reversing or turning in the opposite way, or a state of being so turned. As believers we were designed to execute the plan of God. But in reversionism we turn the other way and cannot be distinguished from our pre-salvation status. We are believers thinking human viewpoint. Reversionism is the act of reverting to a former state, habit, belief, or practice of sinning. Reversionism is a reversal of priorities, attitudes, affections, the object of personal love accompanied by the destruction of impersonal love, and the change of modus operandi and personality. Inside the cosmic system there is a complete change of personality. The process of reverting begins with implosion, or exploding within, by yielding to the temptations of the sin nature. Implosion leads to explosion or fragmentation. Fragmentation unchecked leads to reversionism. Reversionism is maximum control of the sin nature over the life of the believer so that the believer functions under the dictates of the sin nature exactly as he did as an unbeliever. The reversionistic believer is classified as a loser in the Christian life. He doesn’t lose his salvation; that’s impossible. But by failing to execute the plan of God, the loser loses his escrow blessings for time and eternity. Reversionism is a series of related failures in the spiritual life which results in failure to execute the plan of God, terminating in Christian degeneracy. Christian degeneracy is defined as the decline from the normal standards of the plan of God for the Church Age through the process of implosion, explosion, and reversion. In this process, the Church Age believer remains unchecked by the utilization of confession of sin, and by other post-salvation problem solving devices of the plan. Therefore, the believer unchecked by confession of sin sinks into subnormal categories of personal sinning. Reversionism is lack of spiritual growth, apostasy, failure to attain the three stages of spiritual adulthood: (1) spiritual self-esteem, (2) spiritual autonomy, and (3) spiritual maturity. Reversionism is the believer’s retrogression because of negative volition toward the mystery doctrine of the Church Age, which both defines and reveals God’s plan, will, and purpose for your life. Reversionism is recession from any stage of spiritual growth through negative volition to doctrine. Reversionism is characterized by negative volition to doctrine, being influenced by evil, and results in perpetual carnality causing a life of perpetual discipline. Reversion is a technical theological term used for rejecting absolute truth, and drawing into your mind or accepting relative truth. While the carnal believer can still be positive toward doctrine and faithful in using the confession of sin technique, the reversionistic believer is negative toward doctrine, has entered the vacuum of the soul, and does not consistently use the confession of sin technique. It takes only a moment to recover from carnality by the use of confession of sin, but it takes years to recover from reversionism. I hope this helps you understand this more. God Bless, Jeff

  4. juan c. rodiguez says:

    Wow I just loved this words it really touched my soul..thank u brother for letting God work thru you may the Lord Jesus bless you

  5. am really happy for such hidden things to be known by me.this means there a lot of churches following the steps balaam not speaking the truth but lies and deceit to the people also the bible says any priest or leader who lies to his follwers is a devil and his followers too are wicked. This story of balaam really shows an example in isaiah 30:10-12 that lucifer told the priest the seers,see not;the prophet,prophesy not the right things but speak smooth things………we sons must cry loud to Yaweh for him to direct us unto the right path and not lies so we can be his forever. Shalom

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