COMMUNING WITH AMMON
Judges 11:12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land? 13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably. 14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: 16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh. 18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. 20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan. 23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. 25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them, 26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? 27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon. 28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.
We have listed out a larger than usual portion of scripture in order to show the extensive communication that Jephthah had with the king of Ammon. And as you will notice in reading that last verse, it was all to no avail. And the reason is found in this one verse: 1 Corin. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For as we shall see, Ammon represents the natural man, or man born of the flesh, while Jephthah reveals the character of the spiritual man. And you could as well teach Einstein’s theory of relativity to a poodle dog as to regenerate the natural man by illumination or education! For that, dear soul, is exclusively accomplished by revelation! John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
So just who is Ammon? In Genesis 19:36-38 we find that he was born of incest as Lot and his daughters dwelt in a cave after the fiery destruction of Sodom. Thinking themselves to be the only survivors of the entire human race, Lot’s daughters got him drunk in order to preserve human life. Both had sons, and those two sons became the nations of Moab and Ammon. And it is as the Lord instructed Nicodemus; That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6). So here we have Jephthah, the mighty man of valour trying to commune with that which was born of the flesh! – And isn’t that our daily struggle? It is as Galatians 5:17 states, For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Then why commune with Ammon at all? Simply stated, because the Lord commanded it! Deuteronomy 20:10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. It is our responsibility to make the gospel available to everyone. But be assured, it is the Holy Spirit alone who can make it acceptable to the heart by his life-giving power!
And it is the responsibility of the true church to preach the gospel to every creature! We are to faithfully plant and water, leaving the increase to God! (1 Cor. 3:7). At any one time of declaring the word, we can be an aroma of life to one, but an odor of death to another, both sitting on the same bench! 2 Corin. 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
But when the effectual word of the gospel does have its effect upon us, we are then to see that this flesh is brought into the obedience of Christ! 2 Corin. 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And why are their Ammonites dwelling in our Gilead? Gilead is the place of our public testimony that we shall keep our pledges to men due to our awareness of God! (Genesis 31:48,49). The Lord gave the reason why he left the Canaanites in the land that was promised to Israel. Deuteronomy 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.
He would progressively get rid of the Canaanites, for to do otherwise would allow the wild beast population to explode, causing Israel an even greater problem. And so it is with the natural man within every believer. Justification – God invading the soul by grace, thereby giving spiritual life – is a one time thing. You can’t be born either naturally or spiritually but once! But then comes sanctification wherein the spiritual man begins progressively to overcome the natural lusts and self-centered tendencies of the old man by degrees as it grows. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Corin. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
And just as Canaanites remaining within Israel’s real estate were necessary to monitor the wild beasts, so remaining corruptions are left within the true believer to cause him to war against the flesh in order to hold down the wild beasts of pride, a lying tongue, a heart devising wickedness, the sowing of discord among the brethren …etc. (Prov. 6:16-19).
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
One word of caution to believers struggling with indwelling sin: You will never find true peace from the aggravations of Satan concerning your salvation on the ground of sanctification. That is, you will never “feel” good enough due to the inner struggles with unholy thoughts and feelings! But it is only on the ground of justification – what Christ did, not how you feel – that you will find your soul’s inner peace and rest!
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
The Father is completely satisfied with the Son’s work of justification of the entire body of the elect, insomuch that he raised him from the dead! So, shouldn’t you be, as well? Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for (or, “because of”), our justification.
The Lord Jesus beat Satan at the cross. It would therefore do well that we always remain close thereby! Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Remember, the natural man has a spirit. 1 Corin. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. And if you would take time to read the first twelve verses of the tenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, you would see that the human spirit coupled with religion can be a wicked and dangerous thing! For even though all experienced the same blessings, (vs. 1-4), many of them experienced the displeasure of the Lord! (v.5). Just look at the list of wickedness that they manifest in verses 6 through 10. They lusted after evil things, were idolaters, committed fornication, tempted the Lord and murmured against God’s ways. – Yet they were identified in the number of them who came out of Egypt with the Lord’s people!
Our Lord warned us of these who will have such false religious zeal that they can even justify murder in his name as being super spiritual! And then he gives the reason for their actions! – They have never known Christ or the Father! – Ever! John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
He even disavows them, refusing them fellowship with himself, even though they seem devoted to him in their religious manner and activities! Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
We really have never met that many truly, Spirit-born Christians! What we have encountered are those whom the gospel has caused to become more moral, cleaning up their lives outwardly. But this has only set them up for greater possession by unholy spirits! Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
The Apostle Peter says that just coming to the knowledge of the truth, that is coming to be aware of the bare word of the gospel, without an inner possession of Christ, will render you irrecoverable. 2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
And the Apostle Paul says that those influenced by gospel blessings who fail to believe cannot be renewed again! Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. May God have mercy on poor, lost church members!
Pastor Gene Breed