Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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As we review the kings of Judah and Israel, we discover Israel, the ten northern tribes, did not have one king that followed the Lord. And Judah, the two southern tribes, had only a few that pleased the Lord. So why did we have the two divisions of Judah and Israel?
To answer this question, we must start with David. David was Israel's first king who ruled over the whole nation of Israel. David became king after Saul. Saul was a corrupt king who took no responsibility for anything that happened in the nation. He constantly took credit for the good, and put the blame on others when things did not go right.
When David died, Solomon his son became king. Solomon, also, was not pleasing in the sight of God. Solomon was known for his wisdom and wealth; but when we check his life, we come to understand that he did not put his wisdom to very good use. Solomon built the temple, but the people of Israel who worked on the temple were practically slave labor. At the death of Solomon, the people were fed up with the servitude attitude of the government. Sure sounds like today! After his death, his son Rehoboam became king, whereupon the people came to Rehoboam, and declared:
"Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee." I Kings 12:4
The leader of those who came to King Rehoboam was Jeroboam, Solomon's servant. It was prophesied that Jeroboam would become king over the ten northern tribes of Israel, so he began to plot and scheme to become king by his own hand. When Solomon found out, he attempted to kill Jeroboam; but he fled into Egypt where he remained until the death of Solomon.
When the people confronted King Rehoboam, Jeroboam was their leader. Rehoboam asked for three days to consider the people's request. He then sought counsel of the old men who had counseled Solomon. Their advice was for Rehoboam to do as the people asked, but Rehoboam refused the counsel of the old men. Rehoboam then sought counsel of the young men. The young men's counsel was that he should not appease the people, but . . .
"And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." I Kings 12:11
Rehoboam then followed the advice of the `young men'. This is Spiritually significant. Who are the young men in the Bible? The beloved John explains:
"I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." I John 2:13b and 14b
The young men in the Bible are those who have the Word of God abiding in them, and they have overcome the wicked one. These young men are strong, and the Spirit of God dwells in them.
Rehoboam's young men knew the principle of chastisement, as Solomon before them had declared:
"My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:" Proverbs 3:11
Paul also knew this principle, when he declared:
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" Hebrews 12:7
As we continue to learn about Rehoboam and Jeroboam, we discover the people rejected Rehoboam, and followed Jeroboam. This then became the ten northern tribes, and Jeroboam set up his government in Samaria. So the division of Israel and Judah came to pass. The two southern tribes who remained with Rehoboam became known as Judah. The ten northern tribes who followed Jeroboam retained the name of Israel.
In these two names, Rehoboam and Jeroboam, we discover the two types of church systems of our day.
Rehoboam's name means "enlarger of the people."
Jeroboam's name means "increaser of the people."
The Rehoboam churches are intent on teaching the people the truths of God's Word. These churches are not concerned about adding numbers. Their whole purpose is to enlarge the people in the knowledge of God.
While the Jeroboam type church systems are only interested in increasing the number of people in their congregations. Their whole purpose is to increase - - - more people, more buildings, more opulence, more, more, more. Paul wrote to Timothy about this type of church:
"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts," II Timothy 3:6
The divers lusts are:
The lust of the eye
The Jeroboam church system must always look good in the eyes of the world.
The lust of the flesh
The Jeroboam church system must always teach the prosperity message which encourages the people to desire the things of the flesh - - - although God has informed us to get all these things out of our lives.
And the pride of life, I John 2:16
These teach the people they are something God has not called them to be. They end up giving everyone a title and flattering names. The heads of these churches go by the name of `Reverend'.
An unknown Psalmist records:
"He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name." Psalm 111:9
There is only one who sent redemption unto His people. There is only one who commanded His eternal covenant. There is only one who can be called holy and reverend, and that is Christ Jesus. Any man who uses the name of holy or reverend is desiring part of the glory that only belongs to God. The prophet Isaiah explains God's feelings toward those who want to share His glory:
"I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
Those who desire to be called holy or reverend stand in the same place as those who give their praise to graven images.
Job also knew this principle:
"Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away." Job 32:21 - 22
Most of the church system believes Rehoboam took the wrong counsel when he heeded the young men's advice. But the church is going to discover that God is serious about such things as righteousness, truthfulness, and holiness in the Lord.
Throughout the Bible, God gives us examples of the things He does not want in our lives. Yes, Judah did have more good kings then Israel did, but one of Judah's bad kings was Ahaz, and we can relate Ahaz's reign as king to this day in which we live.
"In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah began to reign. Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord his God, like David his father." II Kings 16:1-2
Ahaz became king in troublesome times. At this time, Pekah the son of Remaliah, was King of the ten northern tribes of Israel, and there was war between Israel and Judah. The prophet Isaiah recorded what happened with this young king, Ahaz:
"And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it." Isaiah 7:1
Israel had become a corrupt kingdom, and they had allied themselves with Rezin, king of Syria. Their intent was to attack Jerusalem, but they could not prevail:
"And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind." Isaiah 7:2
When Ahaz was informed of the plans of Syria and Israel, he and his people feared greatly. Their fear caused them to be moved back and forth in their thinking, as when the wind blows the trees. Just as with Judah, when people today hear what the government is doing, they too are blown about, not knowing which way to turn.
"Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;" Isaiah 7:3
God sent Isaiah to Ahaz and the people of Judah to calm their fears, and told Isaiah to speak to Ahaz and Judah:
"And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah." Isaiah 7:4
Isaiah explained to Ahaz and the people the plans Syria and Israel had against Judah, but he encouraged them by calming their fears.
"Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass." Isaiah 7:7
Isaiah informed Ahaz he had nothing to fear from Syria and Israel.
"For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people." Isaiah 7:8
Isaiah assured Ahaz God was going to destroy Ephraim, the capital of Israel within sixty-five years. It actually only took twenty-five years for Ephraim to be destroyed by the Assyrians, and the ten northern tribes were then scattered all over the earth.
"Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above." Isaiah 7:10-11
Ahaz was a weak king, and God tried to bolster his confidence. He told Ahaz to ask Him for a sign. But Ahaz refused, and this angered God.
"And He said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:13-14
The Lord spoke to Ahaz about the birth of Jesus, the Savior and Deliverer. This prophecy would happen about seven hundred and forty years later. It is not clear to this writer why God gave Ahaz this sign, because as stated before, Ahaz was not a good king. His ways were continually evil. It is recorded of Ahaz.
"But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel." II Kings 16:3
When Ahaz made his son pass through the fire, this was the worship of the false God, Molech. Molech was a brazen statue with outstretched arms. They would heat this false god, red hot - - - and the worshipers of Molech would lay their children in his red hot arms. The screams of these children could be heard afar off. Ahaz practiced this heathen ritual, as did many in Israel. Many would say today, we would never do something as horrendous, and yet doctors tell us that when a child is aborted, the child feels pain. And if we could hear the child, we would hear them screaming. Yes, abortion is the killing of children, just as the precious children who were killed in the arms of Molech.
When the male sperm makes contact with the female egg, that egg begins to pulsate like a heartbeat. From the time of inception, the fertilized egg produces its own blood, and the blood is circulated through the egg. So, that fertilized egg becomes a child at the time of inception.
This nation has legalized abortion. Even pastors say abortion is Ok if the mother's life is in danger. When you look closer at this statement, anytime a woman gives birth, her life is in danger. So, to say if a mother's life is in danger, and that abortion is permissible, it is the same as saying abortion is OK. Abortion is nothing more than the worship of Molech.
The life of Ahaz is recorded in the book of II Kings and also in the book of II Chronicles:
"For he (Ahaz) walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim." II Chronicles 28:2
Ahaz walked in the ways of the king of Israel, but he was the king in Judah. Ahaz made molten images to Baalim. Baalim had caused Israel to sin. Baalim was also associated with the false goddess, Ashteroth. These were the gods of sex. The god of sex runs rampant in this nation today. All advertizing today is based upon a sex motive - - - if you use their right shaving lotion, buy the right car, or the right toothpaste - - - all the girls will flock to you. Ahaz's life parallels what has happened in our government, and also what has taken place in the church in our day. Both the government and the church serve the god of sex.
Abortion is nothing more than serving the god of sex. Girls declare, "If I get pregnant, so what. I can get rid of the baby, and go back to my pleasures." Those in the government have their drunken drug infested, sex parties. And if one of the party girls gets pregnant, she has an abortion; or she comes up missing.
It was further recorded of Ahaz's life:
"And he (Ahaz) sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree." II Kings 16:4
This went on for years. Ahaz worshiped all the false gods of the heathen. Even when Judah had good kings, they did not destroy the high places or the groves. This is when one puts away the sin, but does not destroy the cause of that sin. These things become their high places. Many who repent of their sin, continue to hang onto that which caused them to sin. They may have ceased to play golf on Sunday, but they keep the golf clubs in the closet. The same is true with bowling. They may no longer go out with the boys to party while bowling, but they would never think of getting rid of their favorite ball. It is the same with boating, or anything else that takes their minds off of God. All these things are high places and groves in peoples' lives. We need to ask, "Did Ahaz get away with his sin?"
"Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus, and he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter." II Chronicles 28:5
You may ask "Is the government going to get away with their sin, or will God deal with sin wherever it is found? Will God deal with the sin that is in the church?" We know by the words of Peter:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:7
Yes, judgment has already begun on the house of God and the government. No, Ahaz did not get away with his sin, neither will the government or the church today.
"For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers,." II Chronicles 28:6
This nation has forsaken the God of their founding fathers. The church has forsaken the God upon whom their work should be founded.
Syria killed 120,000 in Judah in one day. We need to see this through the eyes of today. Syria is a Moslem nation. It was the Moslems who killed more than three thousand in the World Trade Center bombing. The Moslems are terrorists who are taught from birth to hate the infidels, and that it is alright to kill all those who are not of the Moslem beliefs. The three thousand killed at the World Trade Center are only a drop in the bucket to what is coming with nuclear weapons in the hands of these Moslem terrorists. And why is this going to happen? It is going to happen for the same reason it happened to Ahaz and Judah.
God allowed Syria and Israel to attack Judah and Ahaz because they had forsaken the God of their fathers. Can the United States expect any less? Judah and Ahaz had forsaken their God, but God had not forsaken His people.
When Israel took thousands of Judah captive, they planned to make them slaves. But God sent the prophet Obed to Israel to warn them:
"And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?" II Chronicles 28:10
God has sent a multitude of His prophets to warn the government to repent of their ways, or feel the wrath of God. We witness God's wrath almost daily upon this nation with the fires, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, and now the oil spill in the gulf. God, alone, knows what is coming next.
The same is true of the church. God has sent His servants into the church to tell them to repent of their wicked ways, of their watered-down words, and their false doctrines. The people cannot say they have not been warned.
When Israel wanted to make slaves of the people of Judah, some of the rulers in Ephraim stood up against the people. . .
"And said unto them, Ye shall not bring the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel." II Chronicles 28:13
The lesson we need to learn through this is, that even though our brothers and sisters sin against the Lord, we are not to take advantage of their misfortunes when God judges them.
When Ahaz fell into gross sin, his life and that of Judah, began to go down hill in a hurry. The same is true with this nation. Every time Congress or the Supreme Court meets, they legislate against the will of God and His people, by allowing abortion and same sex marriage. Sodomites are allowed to serve in the armed forces, hold public office, teach in our schools, and march in our streets. This nation stands against everything that is godly, righteous, and holy; and then give their blessing to everything that is ungodly, unholy, and corrupt. The church is no different. They place sodomites, lesbians, and transvestites in the pulpits, and call them reverend. Sin did not work for Ahaz, and God will judge it in this nation and in the church.
"So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me." II Kings 16:7
When Ahaz's sin came to the place where God would no longer hear his prayers, he went to the king of Assyria for help. But this did not stop Ahaz's down fall.
"At that time did Ahaz send unto the king of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives. The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof; and they dwelt there. For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Judah: for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord." II Chronicles 28:16-19
Ahaz's kingdom was coming apart at the seams. The Edomites and the Philistines also rose up against him. Through this, God brought Judah low. Ahaz was responsible for making Judah naked against their enemies. When a godly people lose the presence of God, they become naked against their enemies. God was no longer any help in Judah's defense.
The same is true in the United States. The U.S. has not been successful in any military activity since the Second World War. It backed out of Korea, crawled out of Cambodia and Vietnam, turned its back on Bosnia, and the list goes on. Then comes Iraq and Afghanistan which will also be left defenseless before their enemies, when the United States leaves these nations to their own defense.
"And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. II Kings 16:8
In order to gain help from the Assyrians to fight their enemies, Ahaz bankrupted Judah. Assyria came to the defense of Judah, but at what cost? Judah had defiled themselves before God when they turned their backs on Him, and looked to the arm of flesh for their help. This is exactly what the United States has done. They have emptied the treasures, trying to buy friends to help them get out of the mess they have made for themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan.
America has traded their silver and gold for Federal Reserve Notes. This has caused their money to no longer have any backing. For years after the Civil War, their money was imprinted with the words `Silver and gold certificate', and their money was backed by these precious metals. But today nothing backs their money, except the word of the federal reserve. When a counterfeiter makes his money, it is worthless because there is nothing to back the money they make. The same is true of the green back dollar today. There is nothing backing the multi-trillion dollars that the federal reserve is printing. This is nothing more than federal counterfeiting. The United States is bankrupt of silver and gold.
"And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the god of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and all Israel. II Chronicles 28:22-23
This is exactly what the United States has done. The Moslems, who bombed the trade centers in New York and the Pentagon, and who have attacked innocent people all over the world, are now being looked up to by this government. This nation is afraid to call them `terrorists'. In any military conflict, one must identify the enemy they are fighting. Yet the U.S. will not recognize Islam as the enemy. They simply state it is only the `radical faction' of that religion that is causing the problem.
What we must realize is, all Moslems adhere to the Koran - - - and the Koran plainly states it is the duty of every Moslem to kill the unbelievers of the Moslem faith. The government and the news media state it is only the violent or extremist who cause the problems. But every Moslem has taken their solemn oath on the Koran. Therefore, every Moslem is sworn to violence and extremism. America, like Ahaz, is sinning more against their God daily.
Ahaz sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus because he thought their gods were stronger than the God he had forsaken. But this only brought more ruin upon Judah. Will the United States and the church never learn the lessons that are throughout the Bible?
"And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof." II Kings 16:10
Ahaz saw an altar made for the worship of the false gods at Damascus, and desired one just like it. So he called the priest, Urijah; and instead of refusing to build the altar, he agreed to build it as Ahaz ordered. Nothing is different today. The church blindly follows the dictates of a godless government and their leadership.
"And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings upon the alter." II Kings 16:12-13
When Ahaz came back from Damascus, he began to worship before the altar of Damascus, pouring out his drink offerings, his burnt offerings, and his meat offerings before this false altar. You may say, "As long as Ahaz was worshiping God, what difference did it make what altar he did it on?" This is the same thing we hear today - - - All religions are the same. This nation gives more credence to Islam than they do to Christ. Jesus spoke of this blasphemy and the way His people chose to show their worship toward Him.
"This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
Even though Ahaz seemed to be worshiping God, his heart was far from God when he offered sacrifices upon this foreign altar, and directed the people to do the same. In essence, this is what the church has done today, also.
"And he brought also the brazen altar, which was before the Lord, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of the altar." II Kings 16:14
The brazen altar is the altar of repentance. This is where we bring the sin offering to be burnt before the Lord. Ahaz made this foreign altar the main altar for the people to offer their sacrifices on. This is the altar of religion. Religion declares we do not have to have a change of heart to serve God.
Ahaz commanded the priests to do all the sacrifices on his altar of religion. He changed the worship of the one true God to the worship of religion. He called his new altar "The Great Altar." This was not the end of Ahaz's sacrilege before God.
"Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones." II Kings 16:16-17
The laver represents baptism. Ahaz cut off the border of the bases and took the oxen upon which the laver sat, and placed it directly on the pavement. What Ahaz did, is what the church system has done today, and that is to change the order of baptism.
The word baptism is the transliterated Greek word BAPTIMOS and means "to change the color of a garment by dipping." To die a material, it must be immersed into the dye. You would not try to change the color of a garment by sprinkling it with the dye, or by pouring the dye upon it. This would be impossible. Yet, many churches still sprinkle and pour the water upon the people, and tell them they are baptized.
Baptism should be one of the unifying forces in the body, and yet, in many denominations, it has become the dividing force. Luke recorded in the book of Acts:
`Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
The Pentecostals teach we must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and they will almost fight you to make their point. But we have Jesus' own words on baptism.
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:18-19
He did not say we should baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost until Peter came to straighten us out. Other churches proclaim baptism was replaced by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Someone should have told them Jesus, our example, did not receive the Holy Spirit until after John baptized Him in the Jordan. It should be plain to all who study the Word, that it is not the name we use when we baptize, but it is the change that takes place in the heart of the one being baptized. Many churches have ceased to baptize anyone. Ahaz should be an example to all these churches that we are not to change God's directions on how we are to worship Him.
"And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem." II Chronicles 28:24
Ahaz desecrated the Outer Court by sitting aside the brazen altar and replacing it with a foreign altar. He removed the laver and sat it on the pavement; signifying it was no longer of any value in their worship of God. Then he cut in pieces, the vessels of the house of God; and shut the doors to the house of God. In doing this, he was actually shutting the doors to the Holy Place. In doing this, the priests could no longer enter to do their daily duties as God had ordained.
Ahaz had taken over the worship of God. The same is true today. The government has all but taken over how the church is to be run. If anything is said from the pulpit against Jews, Sodomites, Islam, or any race, it is deemed a `hate crime'; and the pastor faces prison time. The church is told by government that it cannot discriminate against sodomites in hiring practices: as pastors, as teachers, or any other activity in the church. Churches must go to the government to receive tax exempt status. In doing so, these churches pay more attention to the government, than they do to God.
Ahaz made his new altar of religion in every corner of Jerusalem. This is what the denominations today have done. They have built their churches in every corner of the land to allure God's people to their way of thinking. The prophet Isaiah spoke of these denominational churches as prison houses:
`But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." Isaiah 42:22
God's people are snared in holes of religious ruts, and there are none crying, "Restore!"The word restore means "to turn back from the way we are going." It has the same meaning as "to repent." The message of repentance has all but left the church. The message in the church today is that God accepts you just the way you are, and no one is crying Restore!
Then one may ask, "What is it that must be restored?" It is the relationship God had with man in the Garden when He walked and talked with man in the cool of the day. Man must again establish a close, intimate relationship with His God.
The church system has removed the brazen altar of repentance, and replaced it with the altar Ahaz brought from Syria - - - the altar of opulence and plenty. But this system is coming to a close, as they go further away from the direction God has given in His Word.
"And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz." II Chronicles 28:22
When a person turns away from God, they begin to allow doubt to set in, and they begin to question God and His word. They may not even intend to turn away from God, but as they allow doubt - - - fear takes over, and they begin to look around for something else to believe in. This is what happened to Ahaz, until he digressed to a reprobate mind. Paul explained this in his letter to the Romans:
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" Romans 1:28
The word reprobate means "rejected, cast away, unfit for use, and unproved." This is where Ahaz had come - - - and unfortunately, much of the church system has come to the same place. Like Ahaz when the church comes to this place, God leaves them to their own devices, letting them go their own way to do their own thing. At this point, God will take His hand off them. This was the sad testimony of Ahaz:
"For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel." II Chronicles 28:23
The same is true with many of the young people today. They look to other beliefs because they look good on the outside. They turn to New Age, Ultimate Reconciliation, Islam, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholicism, and many other false religions, seeking what the world has turned to. As Ahaz, they turn to these false religions because they believe these will accomplish their purpose in life. But if they only understood that there is only one who can forgive their sins and renew them to life, and that is Christ Jesus.
These false religions, like what Ahaz turned to, will all fail the people in the final end. Only those who serve the one true God will spend eternity with Him.
These false religions, as with Ahaz, have built multitudes of places to worship their false religions. It is said of Ahaz:
"And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers." II Chronicles 28:25
Ahaz continued his downward ways, and the people began to be fed up with him. All his ways seemed evil. But we must remember it is the Lord who gives man his breath of life. Ahaz's reign lasted for sixteen years.
"And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchers of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead." II Chronicles 28:27
Those sixteen years must have seemed like an eternity to the people who lived through them. When Ahaz died, the people did not honor him to be buried with the former kings. He was buried in Jerusalem, but he was buried in a common grave. He may have lived in luxury while he was alive, but he was buried as a commoner.
Ahaz is a sign of the times we live in. Everything we look at seems to be corrupted. The government is completely out of control. It would appear that every decision the legislators, the judicial system, and the supreme court makes is against God, the church, and decent people. The supreme court has made it legal to kill the unborn, and has made it against the law to pray in any public building, or in schools. If a teacher mentions Jesus Christ, it is a threat to their job.
Our President is not a legal President, and is a Moslem with Communist and socialistic ideas. He has violated the very oath of office he has taken. Then, too, when the people vote on something, the federal judges rule against the will of the people and overturn their decisions.
The same is true in the church systems of today. The message in many churches today is a `social message'. No longer are the people convicted of their sin. Instead they are given a watered-down message that states, "You are alright in the sight of God." To keep the people in their prison houses, they are taught the message of "Bloom where you grow!" We need to realize that when a plant blooms, it is because it has come to maturity, and it is ready to produce new life. The leaders who teach a watered down Word cannot bring a people to maturity.
Ahaz's name means "possessor, or one who had." God has blessed the church down through the ages. But this end time Ahaz church is going to be judged severely by God - - - and there will be no glory in its death.
But praise the Lord, God is raising up His true church in the wilderness. It is maturing and it is ready to bring new life to God's people.
At the death of Ahaz, Hezekiah his son, became king. Hezekiah was one of Judah's better kings.
"And he (Hezekiah) did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan." II Kings 18:3-4
Hezekiah did that which was right in God's sight. He cut down the groves and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made. Because of Israel's sin in the time of Moses, God had sent snakes into their midst. Then all who looked on this snake on the pole were healed of the poisonous snake bites. But in the days of Ahaz, they made a god out of this brazen serpent on the pole, and burnt incense before it.
Why was it necessary for Hezekiah to break the brazen serpent on the pole into pieces? Although this was something God had ordained in the past, the people were now worshiping the snake on the pole, more than they were the God who had saved their life with it. It was recorded of Hezekiah:
"He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses." II Kings 18:5-6
Hezekiah's name means "God is my strength." God is going to raise up His Kingdom church. And these are going to know their strength is in the one true God. These will be the manifested sons of God, the young men who have overcome the wicked one. These will be strong in the Word, and know their God. These will destroy all false worship that is left of the Ahaz church, and replace it with the true Word of God, so God can once again bless His church and His people. God makes us a promise through the pen of Jeremiah:
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." Jeremiah 23:1 - 5
Do not be disheartened by this Ahaz generation. God is going to raise up His manifested son ministry to reestablish His Word in the earth. We have this promise from Jesus' own lips:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." John 14:12
God is preparing His `greater works ministry' in the wilderness, and He will manifest it upon the earth. And as Hezekiah, these will throw down all the false religions, cut down their places of worship, and break down and destroy their idols.
God is going to have a victorious army. This is what His Word is all about. Do not look through the eyes of today. Let your eyes see by God's Spiritual direction in His Word. Our hope is not in the government, nor in the modern church system of our day. Our hope is in our relationship with Christ Jesus, the risen, glorified Christ. Praise God!
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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