Shibboleth – Identify the Enemy

Shibboleth - Identifying the Enemy

“And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites:  and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, art thou am Ephraimite?  If he said, Nay;

Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth:  And he said Shibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right.   They then took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites Forty and two thousand.”

Judges 12: 5-6

“Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?  If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, Let him of himself think this again, that, as He is Christ’s, even so, are we Christ’s.”

II Corinthians 10:7

Here, we see a war between the East and West Jordanic Tribes:  the Ephraimites that had escaped tried to pass over as a Gileadite…

But they were identified; their language (linguistic) identified them and they could not pass over.

It is interesting to note:  The word Shibboleth means a flowing stream or flowing waters…living waters.

An Ephraimite, because of his nature of dialect said Sibboleth…substituting the “s” sound for the “sh” sound, which is of the Hebrew dialect (as in Shalom) which means peace and wholeness, but also used to say hello or goodbye in Hebrew.

So when they said “shibboleth,” the Gileadites said, “Goodbye” (Shalom) and forty and two thousand fell.

It is also interesting to note, on the other hand, “Shibboleth” is identified with a “heavy burden.”  It brings to mind when Jesus said, “Come unto me all those that are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.”

For He is the “Fountain of Living Waters.”
Jeremiah 2:13

“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the Fountain of Living Waters” and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

Those that said “Sibboleth” did not hold water!

They could not pass over.

So it is that many will not be able to pass over when the Lord comes, for He says:

“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?

And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you.  Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Matthew 7: 22-23

You can act “look” like a soldier
You can “act” like a soldier…

but the Word of God says…

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.”

II Timothy 3:5

When Paul was saying:

“Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?”

It was a reproof of making the judgment of persons and things.  For he knew that many judged him by:

the meanness of his person
the weakness of his body
the lowness of his voice
his outward circumstances of life
his poverty, afflictions, and persecutions.

They despised him…
while they looked upon:

the riches
haughty airs…

of the false apostles and admired them.  Later, Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, warned us:

“For there are certain men crept in unawares who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jude 1:4

Look out at the world today;  Look what they say about grace.  They do not know what grace means…that is why Jude exhorted that we “should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

We need to know what is real.  Only by studying the Word of God will we know what is real, and can
Identify the Enemy.

Not long ago, I read about a professor that had studied bugs from creation down.  He knew his bugs.  Two biology students in their biology class put together their own bug in order to try and trick the professor.  They took the head off of one bug and placed it on another.  They changed the legs and so forth and came up with their own bug.  They later took it to the professor and asked him:  “What sort of bug is this, professor?”
The professor took one glance at the bug, and said,
“Why, that there is a humbug.”

They could not fool him.  Why?  Because he knew his bugs.  He studied.

Out in the political arena today; in the religious arena today, they’re humbugs.  They’re not real.  When you study, you can identify them right away.  For instance, there are men that say certain things under oath, and are sworn in to protect the Constitution of the United States of America” and when you see it being chipped away…they’re humbugs. You can tell them by their fruit. When they say one thing and do another, they’re humbugs.  When Christians say one thing, and they do another…they’re humbugs.  They’re not real!

We’re soldiers for the Lord.  We “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:12

Satan has lost…and he knows his time is short.  Things are going to get worse.  We’re in the end times.  Satan has many humbugs out there deceiving and being deceived.

We must study, and take on the “whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand the evil day.”

We must study to show ourselves approved before God.

Enlist in God’s Boot Camp!  Start each day with prayer.
Pray, fast, and study!  These are our training grounds.  He wants to make soldiers out of us…He will equip us with the armor that we need in order to stand and allow us to pass over.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

II Corinthians 10: 3-5

In the Army of the Lord, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

God has given us His orders…”A good man’s steps are ordered of the Lord.”  We must become qualified.

You can look like a soldier, sound like a soldier, and act like a soldier…but can you say:


We must be born again, of the water
and of the Spirit!

Only then we will have that heavenly language that will allow us to pass over.

In Jesus Name,

David Underwood


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