EVEN THE FALSE PROPHET, BALAAM,
KNEW OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE COMING MESSIAH.
This man Balaam, the son of Beor, allowed the contamination of witchcraft and enchantments to defile his ministry. He is much like many false prophets of today. We need to beware of false prophets, and yet many today are convinced by some deceived false prophets. These false prophets, including Balaam, strayed from hearing from God Himself. Their message was designed to "please the people", and had come from the human spirit of the "prophet", or from the evil spirits of deception. Sometimes, they related messages that true prophets, or the writings of true prophets had foretold.
Balaam related a prophecy from true prophets before his time. Some of his prophetic knowledge comes from writings of the patriarchs, and not from God. This is fine, and is done by all the prophets, but this little bit of knowledge is to be mixed with the loving relationship with the Lord.
Since Abraham was a prophet, and had even known of the New Jerusalem, had entertained the pre-incarnate Messiah before the destruction of Sodom, was familiar with the prophecies of Enoch (Jude 14-15), he had knowledge of the coming of the Messiah.
Descendants of Abraham knew of the coming Messiah, and of the sign of the "star" that would announce His coming. For in the ancient writings we read of such:
Testimony of Judah (Testimonies of the Twelve Patriarchs) 4:20-27
"Then, after these things shall a Star arise to you from Jacob, in peace. A man shall arise from my seed, like unto the sun of righteousness. No sin will be found in Him. The heavens shall receive Him so that the Spirit of God may come down from the Father; and He shall pour out this Spirit of mercy upon many. Then shall many be like sons to God, and walk in all of God's ways. Finally, the scepter of the kingdom shall shine forth; and from the root of my seed shall arise a Branch; and this Branch will become a Rod of Righteousness to the Gentiles to judge and save all t hat call upon the Lord. After these thins happen shall Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be resurrected to life."
This prophecy was common knowledge in ancient days, and the false prophet, Balaam, knew of such prophecy.
In a prophetic word, claimed by Balaam, but sourced from real prophets before his day, we read:
"There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel."
In the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs", each of the twelve sons of Jacob tells his life story upon the event of their death. They impart wisdom and understanding that they have learned in their lives to their children, grandchildren, etc. Sins, failures, life's lessons, rewards of righteousness, blessings from God, and trials of life are vividly, frankly, and honestly related.
These sons of Jacob are the namesakes for the twelve gates to the city of the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:12, 21
"And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel... the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl."
So these twelve patriarchs were saintly men, for whom God has reserved not only the honor of being the namesake for the twelve tribes of Israel, but the namesake for the twelve gates to the New Jerusalem, our eternal home, and God's eternal home.
We have too long thought only, or mostly, of their failure concerning the mistreatment of Joseph, but these men grew in the Lord, learned from their sins, and were mighty men of God.
The Testaments of each reveal surprising evidence of prophetic revelation to these men about the coming Messiah, His work, His rejection, His crucifixion, His resurrection, His turning to the Gentiles for acceptance, the future failures of the twelve tribes concerning the Messiah, and the eventual restoration of the tribes under the Messiah in His return.
Critics date these writings to 107 to 137 B.C. since copies that old exist. Yet, if they were pseudo-pigrapha, why did Christ, and the apostles accept them, and quote from them. If God allowed such to be incorporated by these quotes within the New Testament, this alone validates them, and eliminates the person of faith from calling them forgeries.
The reason that these books are not accepted by the Jewish people of today, is that the prophetic revelations within clearly describe the Lord Jesus, His life, ministry, rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection. The early church noted this, and began to use and quote these books regularly. Over the centuries many Christians have ignored, neglected, or been ignorant of these "Testaments"
Take note of some amazing prophecies related through these "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs" to us concerning the coming of the Messiah.
Testament of Simeon 3:7-9
"For the Lord God shall appear on earth, and Himself save men... The shall I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High because of His marvelous works, because God hath taken a body, and eaten with men, and saved men."
Testament of Judah 4:21-27
"And a man shall arise from my seed, like the sun of righteousness; and no sin shall be found in Him... and after these things shall Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob arise unto life, and I and my brethren shall be chiefs of the tribes of Israel."
Testament of Naphtali 2:25
"...shall God appear dwelling among men on earth, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from amongst the Gentiles."
Testament of Joseph 2:74-78
"And I saw that from Judah was born a virgin wearing a linen garment, and from her was born a lamb, without spot; and on His left hand there was as it were a lion; and all the beasts rushed against Him, and the lamb overcame them, and destroyed them, and trod them under foot. And because of Him, the angels and men rejoiced... from them (Levi and Judah) shall arise unto you the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sin of the world, One Who saveth all the Gentiles and Israel. For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away; but my kingdom among you shall come to an end."
Testament of Benjamin 2:6-8, 26-28
"...the Most High shall send forth His salvation in the visitation of an only-begotten prophet... and there shall the Lord be treated with outrage, and He shall be lifted up upon a tree. And the veil of the temple shall be rent, and the Spirit of God shall pass on to the Gentiles as fire poured forth... And there shall arise in the latter days One beloved of the Lord, of the tribe of Judah... with new knowledge enlightening the Gentiles. Until the consummation of the age shall He be in the synagogues of the Gentiles... He shall be inscribed in the holy books, both His work, and His word, and He shall be a chosen One of God for ever."
Prophecy was revealed to Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and all the patriarchs. We are often smug in Christianity, thinking we are so smart, and the past saints had no prophetic revelation as we do. However, Abraham looked for the New Jerusalem, and many saints today do not even know about a New Jerusalem. These past patriarchs had much prophetic revelation, including the revelation of the virgin birth, and the coming of Deity to this earth. At times different generations rejected it, or ignored it. Prophecy should have an effect upon us, as it did these patriarchs.
What effect should prophetic revelation of Jesus’ incarnation have upon us? Peter answers that in his epistles:
II Peter 3:1-2
"STIR UP YOUR PURE MINDS."
The words "STIR UP" come from the Greek - "diegeiro" - meaning "to arouse and to awaken". The words "PURE MINDS" come from "eilikrine", which means "sincere.
There are still ‘scoffers’, and scrooges, and deniers of the coming of One of the Godhead to this earth.
II Peter 3:3
Beware of "SCOFFERS"
The word "SCOFFERS" is from the Greek -"empaiktai" - which means "to play with, to trifle with".
II Peter 3:5-6
"...THEY WILLINGLY ARE IGNORANT OF."
It is not just the second coming of Jesus that some are ‘willingly ignorant’, but the first coming is scoffed at, denied, and forbidden in the ‘politically correct’ culture.
II Peter 3:9
"NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH"
The Lord is not willing that any perish, and He came as a babe to redeem, and soon will return in a second coming, all for the reason, that He does not want any to perish. Believing in His incarnation, and His atonement work on the cross, on His literal resurrection, ascension, and soon return, is key to our salvation.
The prophecies of this wonderful plan of God began its revelation in Genesis, and the Old Testament saints knew or should have known well of it. We too have no excuse but to know of the incarnation of Jesus, and His plan to keep us from perishing. We need to be willingly un-ignorant of the glorious truth of God’s plan.