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Finding Scriptural Balance

by Charles Capps Some people will begin a sentence with, "Well, you know what the Bible says..." and then quote a scripture from the Old Testament to prove that God is the author of sickness, disease and death. It is important to understand that the Bible did not necessarily say that, even though it may sound that way on the surface. It is important to study these passages carefully in their entire context. For instance, let's take a look at Numbers 21:5-6.

And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

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Well, it sounds like God was the cause of their problems, doesn't it? But there is a scriptural balance if you continue in the Word. It is true that the King James Version says "the Lord sent fiery serpents." Let's analyze this statement in light of other scripture. Let's ask ourselves this question: If they had been obedient to what God told them to do, would the serpents have bitten them? The answer is, "No, the snakes were there all the time" (Deuteronomy 8:15). It was their murmuring and their disobedience that activated the s n a k e s . " Now let's go to Numbers 14:1-2. And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!" Notice, they prophesied their own judgment! Then, in so many words, God said, "You will have what you said": And the Lord spake unto

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Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness.... Numbers 14:26-29. There are many scriptures, especially in the Old Testament (and some in the New Testament), that are confusing if you don't give some time to study. On the surface, they seem to say one thing, but they really don't say that at all. In some cases, they seem to say that God caused it to come about, when He only allowed it. Dr. Robert Young was one of the foremost authorities of the Hebrew and Greek languages and the author of Young's Analytical Concordance. He said, "In Hebrew the active verb is frequently used to express permission of it." So there are many things that are attributed to God as causing something to happen or doing it, when He only allowed it to happen. In this

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case it was because of their words. Numbers 14:29 is what I call "the Mark 11:23 of the Old Testament." In Numbers 14:29, God told them, "You'll have what you say": Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. It was God's will for them to enter in their promised land, but they wouldn't say what God said, and they refused to act on His words. They quoted the devil and established his words: "We're going to die in the wilderness!" God had said to them in so many words, "The land belongs to you, go in and possess it." He even sent them supernatural help: Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the

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Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Exodus 23:20-23 Then look at Hebrews 3:16 - 4:2: For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Mixing Faith with God's Word

They wouldn't mix faith with God's Word. The tongue is the mixer, but they wouldn't say what God said. They, rather, quoted the devil -- "We're going to die in the wilderness" -- and it happened just like they said. Many times, whether we realize it or not, we pronounce our own judgment and establish our own

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Caleb had a different spirit. thank defeat by the words of our mouths. God for the different spirit! I The principle is found in Mark 11:23: believe it was a Spirit of Faith (2 "Whosoever shall say...and shall not Corinthians 4:13): doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith We having the same spirit of shall come to pass; he shall have...." faith, according as it is written, In other words, we'll eventually live I believed, and therefore have I out the reality spoken; we also of the things believe, and we continually therefore speak. speak. It becomes The ten our mentality. spies based their It motivates us, belief on what daily and we will live they saw, what out the reality they felt, and of that very most important, thing. Not because it's the on what they heard themselves say: will of God, but because we "We be not able." Everything they spoke it until we believed it. based their decision on disagreed The spoken word is powerful. The with God's words. They refused Word created all things: to mix faith with God's words, Through faith we understand but were quick to mix faith with that the worlds were framed by the devil's thought and voice it. the word of God, so that things So God was not the villain. It was which are seen were not made the condition of the people's heart of things which do appear. that caused them to die in the Hebrews 11:3 wilderness. Paul brings this out in God's Word framed the world, First Corinthians 10: 9,10: and our words are framing our Neither let us tempt Christ, world, daily. We can prophesy our as some of them also tempted, own judgment. We can prophesy and were destroyed of serpents. our own defeat or success. The Neither murmur ye, as some of tongue is the mixer. With it we them also murmured, and were can mix fear or faith that will bring destroyed of the destroyer. either defeat or success. the choice God is Not the is ours. Our promised land is the promises of the New Testament. Destroyer The ten spies brought back an evil report of defeat. But Joshua and Notice, he said they were

Our words are framing our world

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destroyed of the destroyer. God is never called the destroyer. It was the devil that did it. He is called the destroyer. The wilderness experience was not a blessing. It was a curse. Their untimely death was set in motion by their own words, and it came on them of their own doing. They opened the door for the devil to destroy. Their opportunity of entering into the promised land was gone forever. How different it could have been if their words had been as David's words: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 Today, many are defeated in life because of their own words. God has already said "yes" to all the New Testament promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). It is His will that you become partakers of His provision through His divine nature. But it is up to you to mix faith with and establish God's words on your part of the earth. What have your words established? As someone so aptly stated, "Those that say they can and those that say they can't are both right." Many times, whether we realize it or not, we pronounce our own judgment and establish our own defeat by the words of our mouths.

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