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SOJOURNINGIN BETH-AVEN

BY J.P. TIMMONS

JUNE 26, 2016

©2016 CCI PUBLISHING

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

For my people have committed two evils: they have

Forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed

Out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold

No water.”

Jeremiah 2:13

 

“Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the

Cisterns; they find no water; they return with their vessels

Empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads.”

Jeremiah 14:3

 

 

 

Have you ever been to Beth-aven? I’m pretty sure that you have; it’s becoming easier and easier each day to sojourn there. It’s also a really great place to go on vacation and many fall in love with it, live and die there. It is such a nice place to hang out on Sundays; so peaceful and quiet; no stress because nothing is expected of you there, and you can even enjoy a very good cup of coffee at a reasonable price.  There was nothing like it when I was a kid growing up in the Methodist and Baptist churches. Oh we had our youth groups and in the Southern Baptist churches they had what was called Training Union for the boys in the evening before the evening worship service.

 

Training Union was good because it actually was a vehicle for teaching teenagers to witness to people and evangelize the town. Back then, most churches went out for evangelism and knocked on doors like the early Church did. But they don’t have it anymore in the Baptist churches; it’s no longer needed because it’s been superseded by a more modern approach.  After all, what worked for Jesus, Peter, John and Paul won’t work today, right? It’s too “old school”; too irrelevant to modern society. If you want to attract the youth then you need to hold rock concerts and dances or fill a basement with video games so they’ll come. And you needn’t worry about having the Scriptures taught either; wouldn’t want to offend somebody because if we do they probably won’t come back, right? And after all, it’s all about numbers if we want to make the Who’s Who list of the largest Mega churches in the USA. So in the name of “love” and grace we must change the meaning of the Scriptures to suit our modern day purposes. God is love so there’s no longer any sin and thus no longer a need to preach the true Gospel to people. Instead we’ll choose one of the false gospel messages, like prosperity, because unlike the principle of dying to self and being “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) wealth and materialism have more “appeal” for the masses. Why wait for Bethel when we can stop in Beth-aven and save ourselves a lot of heartache and be rich.

 

The first mention of Beth-aven in the Scriptures is in Joshua 7—it was one of the cities that were overthrown during the conquest of the Promised Land. It was given to the tribe of Benjamin and we see its importance during the time Saul was king and Jonathan his son routed the Philistines with the help of the Lord during a battle close by in Michmash. Now I’ve read Joshua hundreds of times but this morning as I was reading the Lord began to speak to me about Beth-aven and the similarity between Israel and the harlot churches today. So I looked up the meaning of Beth-aven and it means “house of nothingness” or “house of idols.” Consider the following verses of Scripture:

 

“Sound the alarm at Beth-aven … the inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the

Calf of Beth-aven.  Its people mourn for it as do its idolatrous priests—those

Who rejoiced over it and over its glory—for it has departed from them.”

† Hosea 5:8, 10:5

 

 

I’ve said for many years that each day, each month as I continue to read the Word of God I am awestruck at the content, wisdom and accuracy. And even though I’ve stated many times that it’s a fact that there is more scientific proof to support the Bible than any other piece of literature known to man, you don’t really need scientific proof to come to an inescapable conclusion—although the Bible had many writers to comprise the 66 books of the Bible, there is clearly only One Author.

 

And we know that for a number of reasons, one of which is Beth-aven.  For it’s at Beth-aven, the house of nothingness, that we continue to see the nature of man. We see the pattern of intelligent design unfold through the history of the Scriptures regarding man and, unfortunately, we continue to see the moral failures and resultant consequences of disobedience to the expressed commandments of the Lord. We see it with Israel and we see it today with the great civil war going on amidst the Church that I first prophesied would occur over 30 years ago.

 

So studying Beth-aven is prime time for preparing and warning the Church because the Church is spiritual Israel. And so the pattern continues from Israel to the modern day Church and the apostate “church”—Bethel and Beth-aven.  Like Israel as a type of the Lord Jesus, the Church is called “out of Egypt” (Ex. 4:22-23; Hos. 11:1, Mt 2:15) from being enslaved to the devil and the Law of Sin and Death to serve the living God.  But unbelief and doubt regarding the Word of God and the promises of God keeps most in bondage and unable to cross the River Jordan into their Promised Land. As a stark warning from the Book of Hebrews so aptly states:

 

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an

Evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God …

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

† Hebrews 3:12, 19

 

And we learn that it’s always the Moses generation—those “to whom it was first preached” (Heb. 4:6) who “entered not in because of unbelief.” It was true in Moses’ day; it was true in Jesus’ day—remember, it was the Pharisees and the Sadducees (the party of the high priest) of Jesus’ day—“they to whom it was first preached”—who continued to use Moses to refute the teachings and miracles of the Lord Jesus because of their unbelief when the Messiah was standing right in front of them, their wilderness wanderings continued and they died in their sins without hope because they refused the promises of God.  So we “see” the pattern if we possess the Eye of the Eagle by the Holy Spirit so we know that it continues today as well. There will always be more Beth-avens in our town than Bethels.

 

And we must learn another important fact, despite accurate teaching and miracles, signs and wonders, the Moses generation of unbelievers always tend to “appoint a new leader and return to Egypt” and that is what occurred at Beth-aven. The Moses’ generation, although they saw all the miracles of God in Egypt that confirmed His Word to them, loved the materialistic drumbeat that kept saying to them: “Return to Egypt where you will be rich; it’s okay to be in bondage to the world system.”

 

God must always raise up the Joshua generation—a generation who believes the Word of God and is not afraid to fight—to lead His people into the Promised Land. And yet, once in the Promised Land, there is in the North Country in the territory of Benjamin a town called Beth-aven. Are we going to sojourn there and make our abode with the people of the land or are we going to continue on the path that God has chosen for us—the path a little farther on to Bethel.

 

For it’s at Beth-aven that we first meet the Goliath’s of the land; they are the seed of the Watchers, the rebellious angels who comingled with the human race against the commandment of the Lord. They are the “giants” of the land that we cannot defeat on our own—we must have the help of the Holy Spirit like David did. We must know our covenant rights and believe the Promises of God. Any single man could have gone up against Goliath and defeated him but because of unbelief they could not—they believed what they saw instead of the Word of God. This is always the test at Beth-aven; are you going to believe the Bible that says, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7) or are you going to believe what your eyes tell you?

 

“Let us therefore labour to enter into that rest,

Lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”

† Hebrews 4:11

 

And like Israel under Joshua, it’s after we’ve had our first great victory at Jericho—the largest city of the land—that pride and the lure of the wealth and pleasures of this world hit us squarely in the face as we “near Beth-aven” (Joshua 7:2). For it was there that the sin of Achan was exposed and I prophesied at a church in Tulsa in 2011 that “the sin of Achan of Carmi is loose in the church.” Remember, this important fact—good is often the enemy of the best that God has for you. Why settle for something good when you can have so much more? Yet people make this choice at Beth-aven every single day. For you see, Beth-aven is just a short distance from Bethel, which means “House of God.” But if we stop and sojourn and make our dwelling at Beth-aven the Philistines will come against us in battle and we will never progress on to Bethel where Jacob wrestled with God and where the Lord Jesus is waiting on us as He promised through the “sign” of Jacob’s ladder.

 

Life is about choices. Although it’s popular in our day to make excuses for everybody, after all “terrorism” isn’t about the choices people make; it’s about guns and if we can just remove all the guns from everybody’s hands there won’t be any more mass shootings. No, that Muslim who just killed all those people in Orlando would have just used a suicide vest and probably killed more people. Joshua made the famous statement in Joshua 24:14-15—“Choose this day whom you shall serve: whether the gods which your fathers served beyond the River (Jordan) or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” We all have to make choices every day.

 

But it’s at Beth-aven where the choice is made; we’ve forsaken the golden calf that the false leaders made while Moses was on the mountain top meeting with God but Satan continues to lure us with his promises of wealth, beauty, fame and pride. We’ve arrived at Beth-aven on our journey to Bethel and we are almost there but like Achan we succumb to the lure of the golden calves again that King Jeroboam made for them and had them worship complete with their own temple and priests appointed by man and not by God. It’s the “sons of David” through the lineage of the Lord Jesus against the “sons of Jeroboam” who have set up a false church system that is the worship of idols:

 

“And now you think you to withstand the Kingdom of the Lord in the

Hands of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and

Have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you gods?”

† 2 Chron. 13:8

 

 

Yes, there will always be “a great multitude” who want to serve the idols of materialism and wealth; that is why there is such a plethora of false teachers and false prophets like Mike Murdock, Steve Munsey and hundreds more who amass a large following because the message that they preach inspires the greed of Beth-aven. Once they walked with the Lord but then they came to Beth-aven and were overcome by the sin of Achan. They followed in the footsteps of Balaam who received “fees for divination” from the Balaam networks who pose as Christian television. They say, “Thus saith the Lord, sow your seed of $58 to help David Cerullo (who makes around $3 million a year) blah, blah, blah” when the Lord is not speaking through them. They have become professional fundraisers after the model of Balaam and they get a fee and a percentage of all the money they raise through their divination techniques and lies; yet this type appeal works because all of these networks use it.

 

“Forsaking the right way, (the way to Bethel) they have gone

Astray and followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor,

Who loved gain from wrongdoing.”

† 2 Peter 2:15

 

“Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and

Abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to  Balaam’s

Error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.”

† Jude 11

 

Jesus, rightly said, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Satan is ready to bargain with you; I’ve seen it over and over again both here and abroad. Like Esau, many today sell their genuine anointing at Beth-aven and exchange it for a golden calf that they worship the rest of their lives. And most will never repent because they are unable to because God gives them over to a reprobate mind as stated in Romans 1. Yet their sin draws many genuine Christians to Beth-aven as well. These believe the lies (that by sowing a seed to a golden calf you will become a millionaire) and hypocrisy of these who build multi-million dollar homes with the money they fleece from God’s sheep.

 

The problem in most churches today is that people have not been taught the truth about  prosperity. Let’s face it; you must define prosperity correctly like Jesus did if you’re going to teach people the truth. As I’ve shared in my writings many times, the Lord spoke to me in 1982 during a conversation with Him while reading Psalm 73 that “Money is the lowest form of prosperity.” Then in 1998 while I was working on the book, The High Calling of God, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and defined “the highest form of prosperity”; He said, “The highest form of prosperity is to be in the Presence of God.”

 

Those who die in Beth-aven realize too late what true prosperity is—that they sold their birthright for a bowl of stew and all the money they sowed to false ministries only served to enable these “golden calves” to lure and fleece others. I say, “Let the dead bury the dead”; let all of these Balaam networks die; do not share in their sins because if you support them then you will share in their sins and you will be judged; follow the Holy Spirit on to Bethel and wrestle with God yourself. See God face to face; that’s true prosperity.

 

For at Bethel you learn something the Lord spoke to Evie decades ago—it’s the Jacob generation who enjoy the true and ultimate prosperity—the Jacob generation seeks the Face of God and not His Hand. It’s not the sons of Jeroboam but rather the sons of David who exclaim:

 

“Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who

Seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah”

† Psalms 24:6

 

MARANATHA!