UPDATE THE CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY
False Teachings God’s Pioneer–A. J. Tomlinson That we mention this as a distinct doctrine may not occasion any great degree of surprise, but to find it unconsciously taught and practiced in these last days might be rather astonishing to some, especially as it may be pointed out in such unexpected places. There are many doctrines taught in these days, but none to my knowledge is designated as Balaam’s Doctrine. But this does not say that such a doctrine does not exist. Modern names are used to express old theories. We are told that one of the old heathen religions now takes a modern name as it is introduced into this country by Mary Baker Eddy, viz., “Christian Science.” This is a time to be particular and careful lest one should become tainted or marred by some false doctrine or delusive spirit and thus be disqualified for the rapture. God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, has given us His Holy Word and in it is the instructions necessary for our spiritual welfare here in this world and our eternal happiness in the world to come. Although Balaam evidently had some notoriety before, the first time his name is mentioned in history is where Balak, king of the Moabites, called on him to curse Israel. It is very probable that Balaam was a descendant from Abraham by his second wife, Keturah. It is evident that Balaam was regarded by his people as a mighty man of God. His doctrine was known by the king, for when he called Balaam to curse Israel, he said, “For I woth that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed” (Numbers 22:6). In the history concerning this man it shows that Balaam had communication with God, and that he regarded Him as his God. He declared that he could not go beyond the word of the Lord, his God, to do less or more. He is further represented in history as practicing divination which thing is spoken of as an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). He is further represented as an enchanter which also made him an abomination to the Lord. When Balaam was slain the record shows he was called a soothsayer (Joshua 13:22). Through the counsel of this man, the children of Israel joined themselves unto Baalpeor and bowed down to the gods of Moab and committed fornication with the Midianitish women. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel for this, and 24,000 of them died of the plague that was sent on them. It is conjectured that Balaam’s doctrine was so attractive and fascination that its influence was almost, if not wholly, irresistible. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that Zimri, an Israelite, brought a Midianitish woman right into the camp in the sight of Moses and all the congregation while they were weeping for sorrow over the matter. If he had not been strongly influenced by Balaam’s doctrine and peculiar power, he certainly would not have had the courage to commit such a daring deed. This doctrine of Balaam and the effect it had on the children of Israel was such an offense to God that His wrath was only appeased when Zimri and Cozbi, the Midianitish woman, were both slain.. God compliments Phinehas, who slew them, in the very highest terms saying, he “hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel” (Numbers 25:11-13). To more fully show His hatred toward Balaam and his doctrine (because the record shows that Balaam was the cause of the trespass (31:16), God orders Moses to vex the Midianites and smite them (25:17), and avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites (31:2). In this
battle Balaam was slain with the sword (v. 8). Now that Balaam had a particular doctrine is shown in the message to the pastor and church Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-14). While the pastor was a good man, and held to the faith of Jesus under the most trying circumstances, yet the Lord had a few things against him, among which was “Because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.” The record goes on to state that he taught Balak to cast a “stumblingblock before the children of Israel,” and also shows that they taught Israel to eat things sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication. It is plainly seen that this same Balaam doctrine was introduced in the church at Pergamos in the Gospel era, 1,548 years after it had appeared in Israel just before the death of Moses. The Lord shows the same displeasure toward it, but this time blames the pastor of the church for allowing it to exist among his members. His wrath is again kindled against the doctrine and those that held to it and the one who allowed it to exist. He accused this pastor of a crime which could only be eliminated by repentance. Then He told him if he did not repent (which infers that this doctrine must be exterminated from his congregation), God Himself would fight against them that held to the abominable doctrine with the sword of His mouth. Seeing how God’s anger was kindled against this doctrine every time it made its appearance, we readily conclude we are on safe footing when we say He would be just as strongly opposed to it should it make its appearance again. Arriving at this conclusion, it behooves us as God’s people to be on the watchtower for fear we might be tolerating the very thing that God hates. This doctrine has five distinct qualities that should claim our attention. First, it is fascinating. Second, it despises government. Third, it is a stumblingblock. Fourth, it teaches to eat things sacrificed to idols. Fifth, it teaches to commit fornication. We will consider these characteristics in the order named. FASCINATING Webster defines the word “fascinate” thusly: “To influence the mind or will as if by enchantment; bewitch; captivate; to exercise a bewitching or captivating power.” This is the very thing that caught the Israelites and caused them to err and thus courted the displeasure of God. It had such influence over them that they could scarcely extricate themselves from its cruel grasp when once it had them enfolded in its coils. It was beautiful because it always honored God as being its foundation. Call attention to the first answer Balaam gave to the elders of Moab who came to him as messengers when Balak sent to call him to curse Israel, “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me” (Numbers 22:8). How much does that sound like something a true man of God would do? DESPISES GOVERNMENT That this doctrine despises government is shown by the way Israel yielded to its influence in the face of God-given laws that forbade intermingling with other nations and their gods. The influence over them was so strong, that, right in the face of God, His laws, and Moses with all of his objections and warning, this continued until 24,000 people perished under God’s wrath. That it despises government is shown by Peter and Jude, both of whom mention the Balaam doctrine in connection with those who despise government (2 Peter 2:10; Jude 8:13).
STUMBLING BLOCK That it is a stumbling block is plainly shown in Revelation 2:14. The doctrine is the cause, for Balaam taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before Israel. This signifies that Balak would not have been able to do what he did had it not been for the teaching (doctrine) of Balaam. Balak thought Balaam was the great power of God, just like the people of Samaria thought Simon was the great power of God. Indeed Balaam recognized God in all the delusive actions he performed before Balak. This is, no doubt, what caught Israel, because he always represented himself as being “led of the Lord.” Having, on the face of it, the name of God, and its constituents claiming to be led of the Lord is what makes it such a dangerous stumbling block. That which is, or looks to be, the nearest right, yet not right, is the most apt to deceive those who want to be right. THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS Right in the face of Acts 14:29, that doctrine taught to eat things sacrificed to idols. “That you abstain from meats offered to idols.” It is evident that Paul had to contend with some who were influenced by this doctrine when he wrote and advised them to have nothing to do with meats offered to idols, for the sake of the weaker bretheren who accounted it as sin against Christ to sit at meat in the idol’s temple. This doctrine carries with it a self-willed disposition. “I’m going to do what the Lord shows me, whether it pleases folks or not.” I have often heard this and similar expressions, but never thought of it at the time in connection with the Balaam doctrine. FORNICATION The fifth and last characteristic of this doctrine is that it teaches to commit fornication. Of course it has its slick, magical way to do it, until the victim is innocently deceived and wholly in the dark. Zimri, the character above referred to, was so duped by its wily influence that he brought the Midianitish woman into the camp of Israel and took her into one of the tents right in the presence of Moses and the congregation. It is the Balaam doctrine that leads into “free loveism.” It is the Balaam doctrine that is followed when men and women get to kissing each other in obedience, as they say, to Paul and Peter where they teach to greet each other with a kiss. It carries them on into more daring deeds of sin and vice and all the time declares “the Lord led me.” Peter, as well as Revelation 2:14, shows that this doctrine comes right into the Church and takes hold of those who may be very spiritual. Notice, he states that they have forsaken the right way as if they have once been in the right way (2 Peter 2:15). The first description of them, as he gives it, is that they refuse to recognize government. They say haughtily, “I’m going to let the Lord lead me. I don’t expect to be governed by man. I’ll do so and so if the Lord shows me. The Lord showed me to do this, and I’m going to do it whether anybody likes it or not.” Peter says they are presumptuous, self-willed and not afraid to speak evil of dignities (those in authority) (2 Peter 2:10). Peter shows further that they are spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving, while they feast with you. Then they will come right into the midst of the true worshippers, and appear to be the most spiritual of any, while they boast of how the Lord has led them and revealed to them such great things. Their testimonies will sound like a real child of God, but you can soon locate them when they reject or show that they despise government or authority. Peter further describes them, saying, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 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” (2 Peter 2:14, 15).
Continued in December Issue
Alexander City: The church at Alex City surprised our pastor’s wife with a dinner last month. She informed us that was the first time a church had ever done that for her. The church also honored Bro t he r and Sister Browder on their anniversary with a card and gift certificate to eat at Ruby Tuesday. We are so blessed here at Alex City to have such a loving pastor and family as Bro t he r and Sister Browder and Siva. “Hard Work” is their middle name. They hit the ground running and have not slowed up one bit. They love all the people and visit everyone without exception. We thank God every day that He sent them our way. Anniston-Praise and Worship: We are thanking God for the nights of revival with Bishop Stephen Spears. Bayou La Batre: We experienced a 14 day revival with our pastor doing the evangelizing. We had prayer for this revival months in advance with instructions about revival, putting up signs and inviting people. We were blessed to have members and pastors from the local Church of God of Prophecy to come and assist. Also, people curious about the signs, came to see what it was about. The revival was great for our little congregation. We had one family connect heavily with the church and will be attending on a regular base. We saw a physical change in her life as God dealt with her nightly. We are praying that God lets the Spirit of revival continue and we press toward what He has called us to do. Calera-Harvest Chapel: We entered
the County Fair and won 2nd Place.
Chickasaw: We have enjoyed another wonderful month given to us by God. The women enjoyed lunch out together and the men did also. We are blessed beyond measure! Citronelle: Thank God for one getting baptized. East Lake Highlands: Thank God for our newest member, Nanette Roden. Gadsden: We welcomed Brother Sam Farr into the fellowship here at Gadsden. Brother Sam transferred in from the Collinsville church. On the 17th our ladies met at the home of Sister Gene Hunter for a delicious pot luck. We praise God for two souls that were led to the Lord, one at the hospital and another on the way from service. PTL! Gordo: We praise the Lord for a wonderful Homecoming/Family Day! Our attendance was 94 since the congregation did a great job inviting family and friends! Pastor Daniel Stronge did a great job bringing the Word and we were blessed by the singing of Rodney Anglin! Green Pond: We are thanking God for
His blessings to us. We were honored to have Brother Ted Cooper as our guest in both Sunday services. Brother Cooper spoke of the mission work in Haiti in the morning and Peru in the evening. The slides and to hear how God is blessing in these countries was outstanding. The Seniors enjoyed the day at Homestead Hollow in Springville, Alabama Plans are in full swing for our Fall Festival. Haleyville-Pathway: We had a work day to get ready for our 48th Annual Homecoming. Every thing looks so nice and a big “thank you” to everyone that came to help. We had 90 come out for our Homecoming and one received Christ into their heart. Also, we had one saved and one joined the church the week before! God is working in our youth with several being saved. Harris Chapel: Thank God for 3 being baptized. Jasper-Airport Road: God is continuing to bless us and pour His Spirit out in our services. We are praising God that our parking lot project is coming along and God is blessing with finance. We are having several new visitors and we are praying they desire to make Airport Road their church. We are now looking forward to our Annual Fall Festival. Last year was very successful and we anticipate the same or even greater turn out. Jasper is alive and well , all credit goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We desire your prayers for continued growth and revival Spirit! Moulton: God still answers prayer! The Moulton COGOP had been praying about a small strip of land between the church building and the main highway (AL 157) for many years. Recently, the landowner contacted the church to say he would consider selling the land. The church was able to purchase and pay for the property. To God be the glory.
Pelham: Thank God for our newest member, Norman Curtis Dill. Pinson Valley: What a wonderful revival with the Lord of Heaven. There was a great Spirit felt each night. The messages were very timely and to the point. Brother Wynn Knowles is a wonderful man and blessed us with a good Word each night. Robertsdale: Thank God for our newest member, Sharon Horton. Sterrett: It was positively an eventful month for Sterrett in September. We started out on the 3rd with a Turkey Shoot in the morning followed by a Children’s Day with around 40 kids present. We had 14 ladies attend the Believe Conference in Hoover and they had an amazing time together. We experienced a wonderful, anointed revival with Pastor Mack Berseygay (Morgan City, LA) on the 15-17 and was attended and enjoyed by many. There were about 35 to enjoy soup and sandwiches on the 21st for Friends & Family Night. Then on the 15th, the youth were blessed by a message from Allison St. Clair (Huntsville, AL ) and special worship from various Alabama youth. Our pastor, worship leader, and several youth represented our church at “See You At The Pole” at the Vincent Middle High School. Yes, it was positively an eventful month! Tarrant: The Alabama Ladies Conference was awesome and ten of our ladies were blessed by attending at the Embassy Suite in Hoover. Family Night was enjoyed by everyone with good old homemade ice cream. We honored our pastor and husband by sending them to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for their 50th Anniversary. Please join with us in prayer for our country and our churches. Trinity: The Trinity people are busy planning our Fall Festival, meeting with staff each Tuesday evening. Also, Christmas program rehearsal has begun but we are glad to report, God is doing amazing things here. Every Sunday night is designated praying for Prodigals. Winfield City Family: We thank God for helping us so for on the new building on Hwy 129. The colors are going on the walls of all the Sunday School rooms.
Birmingham District October 16, was our district meeting with all the churches. Bishop Jones brought forth the message. What an awesome God we serve.
comfort. I’m feeling convicted over that. I am not living on this earth for myself. I am here to bring glory to God by helping others to know Him and live out their own purpose. That doesn’t mean I am not supposed to enjoy the journey; quite the contrary. However, my personal comfort should not be my primary focus. I need to embrace discomfort rather than avoid it. W hy? Growth. Have you noticed that it is during the times of struggle and pain that you grow – both spiritually and personally? Sickness, loss of loved ones, financial problems, losing a job, and on and on it goes. W e do what we have to do and rely on God like never before. These times help us recognize what we are capable of and that God is always there for us. Did you know that you don’t have to wait for troubles to come your way to grow? You can put yourself into situations that cause you to grow just by stepping outside the norm. God calls us to those places – often where we think we are not capable of going. Just as He is there in the times of pain we didn’t ask for, He definitely shows up when we follow Him into places unknown to us. That is where growth occurs – outside our comfort zone. As I have often heard Tim Beck say, “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.” God’s Plan. I firmly believe that God created each of us with the strengths and talents to fulfill the specific plan He has for us. I also believe that His plan will take us outside our comfort zone. He wants us to live up to the potential He put in us. Just as the servant with one talent was cast into outer darkness because he didn’t use and develop it, God expects us to use what He has given us. W e will be held accountable. Fulfillment. There is a place of amazing, awesome, incredible abundance and relationship with God that is available for all of us. If we just stroll along living life as usual, we will never experience this place. Move on out of your comfort zone and begin living the abundant life God planned just for you.
Tips For Abundant Life Carolyn Guyton Uncomfortable. I heard a statement several times recently that has really stayed with me. It is telling me that I need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It was not until I started really working through this statement for myself that I realized just how much I do to maintain my own
Carolyn Guyton, Speaker and Life Purpose Coach Subscribe to Live! mailing list at liveyourfullestlife. com and receive a free gift facebook.com/live yourfullestlife; firstname.lastname@example.org
W EDDINGS Alexander City: Judy 2, was the wedding
Prayer Line with Dr. W essly Saturdays 9:00 - 10:00 AM
day for Alex W ade to Tyler Mock. She is the daughter of Adam and Misty W ade of
Dial 712-432-1690 Access Code: 650786#
Kentucky and the granddaughter of Jimmy and Carol W ade of Alex City.
Alton COGOP is interviewing for a Youth Pastor. “W e are looking for someone called by God to the Youth Ministry”.
BIRTHS Bayou La Batre: Congratulations to W alter and Sarah DeGeer on the birth of a son,
Contact: Pastor, Daniel Stronge, Alton C hurch, 2 3 0 5 O ld A lto n R o a d ,
Ethan, born October 13 th. He weighed in at 9lb 3.6oz.
Birmingham, AL 35210, 2 0 5 - 2 3 3 -
email@example.com Pinson Valley: Seeking a Youth Minister, W infield City Family: November 5 at
DEATHS Happy Hill: Virginia Childers, wife of Bud Childers, passed from us this September.
3:00 pm there is a chili cookoff. Twentyfive dollars entry fee with 1 st prize
Twilley Town: Curtis Englebert was called to his final resting place September 25 th.
$100.00. Proceeds go to Building Fund.
Twilley Town: Shirley Stanton left this world behind for a better place, September
STATE W EB SITES Alabama Update Blog:
W W W .alabamaupd ate.blogspot.com Alabama W eb Site: alcogop.org
NOVEM BER PASTORS/W IVES BIRTHDAYS Morris Bates Charles Boyd
Y outh-T im B eck W eb : www.experiencehydrate.com
John Billy Butler Tamera Pate
Church Legal Conference COGOP Attorney Steve Lentz NAG Presbyter Tim Coalter W oodland Hills, Bessemer Children’s Ministry Training Sandy & Curt Knowles W oodland Hills, Bessemer
M arch 16-19 Gordon-Conwell Masters Alabama— “Intro to Preaching” Camp Boothe April Launch of Pentecostal Theological Studies, Alabama M ay Camp Directors & Staff Training June Youth Camps July 20-23 Alabama State Convention Embassy Suite Hoover, Alabama September 27-29 N o r t h America P asto r’s Conference Chattanooga, TN Convention Center 2018 July 18-22 100 th International Assembly Convention Center, Chatt, TN Pre-Assembly at Fields of W ood
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer Lord, so often times, as any other day When we sit down to our meal and pray
AVAILABLE FOR REVIVALS Earlean Emerson, P O Box 1863,
Vicki Pigorsch Daniel Stronge
Hamilton, AL 35570. Telephone (205) 921-5637.
Bobbie Smith Thomas Lloyd Smith
Brenda Kay Pate, P O Box 156 W oodstock, AL 35188; 205-388-1087 or
Johnnie Ruth Stanton James W allace
388-3129. Fill in for pastors also.
Kenneth W ilkins
But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for
ANNIVERSARIES Lynn and Kim Hitt Ernest and Vicki Pigorsch Curtis and Joyce Sutton
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head
Steve Puckett, 471 Co Rd 275, Arley, Al, 35541, Home: 205-295-5117; cell 864385-0626. SPEAKING AND SPECIAL PROGRAM S: Anita Falkner Parker, 3615 Moody Pkwy, Moody, AL 35004. (205) 640-6207.
Brenda Kay Pate, P O Box 156; W oodstock, AL, 35188; 205-388-1087 or 388-3129. M USICAL M INISTRY Breaking Chains, Elliot:251-454-8946, firstname.lastname@example.org
We hurry along and make fast the blessing Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing We're slaves to the olfactory overload We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know
Future Events November 3-6 Gordon-Conwell Camp Boothe “Old Testament Studies–Isaiah” December 30-Jan 2 W inter Conference Camp Boothe 2017 January
Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided And bless each and every person invited Amen!
INFILTRATE 12 . 30 . 16 - 1 . 2 . 17
Alexander City Aliceville Alton Connecting Pointe Altoona Anniston Praise Worship Bayou La Batre Bessemer Hopewell Rd Woodland Hills Boaz Boldo Brown’s Chapel Browntown Calera Harvest Chapel Carbon Hill Chickasaw Citronelle Clanton Collinsville Harvest Center Cordova Cottondale Cunningham Bridge Decatur Dothan Dry Valley East Lake Highlands Elba Elkmont Eoline Fayette-North Pointe Fort Payne Gadsden Living Waters Goodwater Joyful Praise Gordo Grant-Sanctuary Greenpond Grove Hill Hackleburg Haleyville Pathway Hamilton New Heights Happy Hill Harris Chapel Hartselle Hazel Green
38 No Report
91 101 9 30 -----
20021.00 12786.61 1251.20 1995.41 575.50 3555.80
76 118 26 16 10
--9490.69 1723.00 2034.00 2983.00
40 58 85 19 40 7 15 42 No Report No Report 30 80 12
4708.00 3529.00 --1158.00 2975.30 658.00 2464.43 1775.30
Huntsville Mastin Lake Bell Road Jasper Leesburg Lincoln Mentone Montgomery Moulton Munford Silver Run Odenville Parrish Pelham Pinson Parkway Poarch Red Bay Robertsdale Rock Cliff Sheffield Cliff Haven Short Creek Sterrett Summerbrook Tannehill Mission Tarrant City Trinity Worship Twilleytown West Blocton Winfield Family World Outreach
No Report No Report 40 149 19 24 14 16 18 47 No Report 27 31 No Report 24 39 No Report 119 23 83 53 31 30 57 41 12 55 ---
No Report 32 18 59 4 --46 No Report 80 45 7 No Report
3114.91 2572.90 586.50
6465.54 --6078.77 600.00 24038.16 3831.22 5046.29 5679.19 ---
4598.30 10386.20 1149.40 1137.00 1022.00 1413.80 1215.00 --6944.82 2750.00 2282.40 1319.00 19158.00 3277.98 6074.74 3520.80 --2314.14 8435.00 3149.00 --3605.20
THE ABOVE STATISTICS WERE TAKEN FROM TREASURERS’ REPORTS RECEIVED IN STATE OFFICE AS OF OCT 2016
Reports from Previous Months August Alton: Connecting Pointe Boldo Brown’s Chapel Cordova June Hazel Green
49 40 --60
3984.00 1752.51 853.10 3784.40
ALABAMA UPDATE Church of God of Prophecy P.O. Box 707 Bessemer, Alabama 35021-0707
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE A PAID Permit No.256 BESSEMER, AL ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Our Sympathy to our Ministers Families Ginger Bailey October 23, 2016 Bishop David (Trisha) Browder’s sister
Jane Brewer Septem ber, 2016 Deacon Mack Brewer’s wife
Rebecca Sue Allen Hankins October 7, 2016 Teresa (Dam on) Rose’s aunt
Jimmy Lowery October 11, 2016
Evelyn Smith October 24, 2016 Stacy (Valerie) Tuttle’s grandm other
The Alabama Update is the official monthly publication of the Church of God of Prophecy in Alabama. Yearly subscription rate is $7.00. Statements in this publication referring to the Church of God have reference to the Church of God of Prophecy. Articles and news briefs submitted for publication must be received by the fifth of the month for publication, and should be sent to: Alabama Update, PO Box 707, Bessemer, AL . 35021-0707. L. V. Jones, Editor Billie Ruth Jones, Assistant Editor C ========================================= SUBSCRIPTION BLANK Enclosed is $ for a year subscription ($7.00 per year) to the Alabama Update. Name (Please print)_______________________________ M ailing Address__________________________________ City________________________State________________ Church________________________________________