God’s Truth Explored, chapter 14

To: “10,562 in resident churches” people desiring to be “At One with God.” 4/23/18, God’s 2nd month, Iyar 8, 5778 until sunset.

      Much can be learned about God’s thinking, characteristics and mankind’s stubborn nature from the Pentateuch “meaning the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.” Jesus and His apostles quoted from these, the prophets and Psalms often. The word Pentateuch comes from two Greek words that mean “five books” or “five scrolls.”

      Followers of Jesus have mindsets likened to king Josiah’s, “when truth is revealed to our minds.” Some previous rulers of Israel and Judah had led the Israelites in the ways and customs of the pagan’s around them after the time of the judges; “as false teachers are leading people today.” King Josiah’s actions likely parallels much of what’s to take place when Jesus reigns as King of Kings.

       (2 Kings 23:4-30; “The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, and the guards to bring out of the Lord’s temple all the items that were used in the worship of Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. The king burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He eliminated the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.) (6) He removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard. He tore down the quarters of the male cultic prostitutes in the Lord’s temple, where women were weaving shrines for Asherah. He brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and ruined the high places where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba to Beer Sheba. He tore down the high place of the goat idols situated at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city official, on the left side of the city gate. (9) (Now the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened cakes among their fellow priests.) The king ruined Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that no one could pass his son or his daughter through the fire to Molech. He removed from the entrance to the Lord’s temple the statues of horses that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god. The king tore down the altars the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Ahaz’s upper room, as well as the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple. He crushed them up and threw the dust in the Kidron Valley. The king ruined the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Destruction, that King Solomon of Israel had built for the detestable Sidonian goddess Astarte, the detestable Moabite god Chemosh, and the horrible Ammonite god Milcom. He smashed the sacred pillars to bits, cut down the Asherah pole, and filled those shrines with human bones. (15) He also tore down the altar in Bethel at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole. When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the Lord’s announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this. He asked, “What is this grave marker I see?” The men from the city replied, “It’s the grave of the prophet who came from Judah and foretold these very things you have done to the altar of Bethel.” The king said, “Leave it alone! No one must touch his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the Israelite prophet buried beside him. (19) Josiah also removed all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria. The kings of Israel had made them and angered the Lord. He did to them what he had done to the high place in Bethel. He sacrificed all the priests of the high places on the altars located there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem. The king ordered all the people, “Observe the Passover of the Lord your God, as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant.” He issued this edict because a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, such a Passover of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem. Josiah also got rid of the ritual pits used to conjure up spirits, the magicians, personal idols, disgusting images, and all the detestable idols that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. In this way he carried out the terms of the law recorded on the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the Lord’s temple. No king before or after repented before the Lord as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses. Yet the Lord’s great anger against Judah did not subside; he was still infuriated by all the things Manasseh had done. The Lord announced, “I will also spurn Judah, just as I spurned Israel. I will reject this city that I chose – both Jerusalem and the temple, about which I said, “I will live there.” The rest of the events of Josiah’s reign and all his accomplishments are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. During Josiah’s reign Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt marched toward the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to fight him, but Necho killed him at Megiddo when he saw him. (30) His servants transported his dead body from Megiddo in a chariot and brought it to Jerusalem, where they buried him in his tomb. The people of the land took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz, poured olive oil on his head, and made him king in his father’s place.”)

       Josiah’s end wasn’t because of his conduct; God had planned Judah’s disbursement, “like Israel before them their sinful practices and punishment was planned.”  

       Consider how many of these detestable practices, King Josiah ridded Judah of that’s practiced today? Believers IN are looking forward to these things being destroyed again! Unbelievers enjoy the status quo. Believers IN are led to be submissive to the authority of our creator, “Jesus” honoring things holy to Him! Christians are spirit led to heed the words of Paul as recorded in the following Hebrews text.

      (Hebrews 13:1-17; “Brotherly love must continue. Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment. Marriage must be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers. Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” (6) So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you; reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals, which have never benefited those who participated in them. We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from. For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp.(12) Therefore, to sanctify the people by His own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. We must go out to Him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse He experienced. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging His name, (nature). And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. (17) Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. I especially ask you to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.”)

       Remember: “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (SO, we should know, from God’s view, an unbeliever is one in whom God has not revealed Himself. A Believer is one in whom God has revealed Himself.)

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