Today, many Christians allow, and enjoin, false worship. They borrow pagan symbols and ideas. They show sympathy for evils such as Romanism and Islam. They do not speak against all the other cults and occults, and meekly stand by as ‘authorities’ silence them. There are almost no real men in our world to raise God’s standard in battle. Instead, as we see in this chapter, they appease and encourage pagans and do what they do, thus acting against Almighty God, Who watches them with anger. Do not doubt that these infringements are noted by God and He will exact punishment. They will not escape His anger, though they boast of salvation.
As we see the end times unfolding before us, we see many cords being pulled together by Satan, through his envoys. It does not matter who they are – godless activity is recognisable. But, when these activities can be seen in our churches, we can be assured that God will treat them as He did the bad churches in Revelation. The Lord graciously gives us pastors of His own choosing, and they do His bidding (Jeremiah 3:15). But, many of today’s pastors are professionals, not godly men, and they are condemned by God (Jeremiah 10:21). They have destroyed God’s vineyard (Jeremiah 12:10), and the people follow them, to their shame (Jeremiah 22:22). Such pastors are doomed to destruction (Jeremiah 23:1,2). Do not be a part of this end-times folly. Come away from it and worship God truly.
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.
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.
And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
When Jotham (’Jehovah is perfect’) of Judah died, his son, Ahaz (‘he has grasped’), aged 20, began his reign. By that time Pekah (‘opened’) had been king of Israel for 17 years. Ahaz reigned for 16 years and was a bad king. Even worse, he followed the devilish ways of Israel, worshipping Baal and Molech, offering his own small son on the altar of fire... an ‘abomination’. (We are seeing the same abomination amongst Muslim jihadists today, who kill children for Allah). Note that God had cast these followers out of Israel at one point, but men loved what was wrong and brought them back, worshipping false gods with that of the true God.
Christians are doing this today. They do not burn their children as sacrifices, but they certainly follow bad practices and ideas. (I have written of them elsewhere). God knows and He sees the error of these unholy believers. Verse four indicates just how widespread these evil practices were in Judah. Is EVERYTHING you do consistent with God’s law? With what He commands? With our duty as believers?
Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
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.
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.
And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
Pekah joined forces with the king of Syria, Rezin (‘firm’), to attack Jerusalem. Though they besieged the city they could not prevail (Jerusalem had its own water supply). Therefore, Rezin attacked the city of Elath, driving out the Jews, instead. Elath was known for its plentiful supply of tall trees, on the coast of the Red Sea, and the city had been rebuilt earlier, so it was a prime port bringing in much revenue.
Ahaz made the mistake of asking the Assyrian king, Tiglath-pileser (‘thou will uncover the wonderful bond’), to help him remove Rezin and Pekah from his land. As today, he used words of appeasement (which never works). Once again all the treasures of the Temple and the king’s palace were given to the king of Syria. He and his army attacked Damascus, took the people as slaves to Kir (‘wall’), but killed Rezin.
Can you imagine the wrath of God built up over these several pillages of His house? The Lord will only remain silent for a time. The people and kings KNEW what God required of them, yet they disobeyed and humiliated His Name time and again. Be assured, God will not be silent for long! This should be remembered by those today who claim to belong to Him. Even if they do, He will come against them with great wrath for their disobedience. (See O-397).
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.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
When the Assyrian king had completed the task, Ahaz travelled to Damascus to thank him. When he was there, he saw an altar he thought looked attractive, but it was an altar to a false god. He sent an instruction to Urijah, a priest (Urijah= ‘Jehovah is my light’). He was tasked to copy and rebuild the altar, which he did before the king returned from Damascus.
Many believers today copy and rebuild what is unholy. They do so either because they like what they see, or because they are afraid to reject the command. Either way, their actions are deplorable and unholy. Many employees comply with unholy demands by employers, whether governmental or otherwise. God remembers their complicity and silence! They will bear the cost in their own souls and perhaps their outward lives. It is better to be poor and put-down than to do what we are told by unbelievers. The penalty is far too great. Such disobedience is also how hatred and godlessness arises – note how ‘believers’ handed fellow believers over to Stalin, and to Hitler, and how similar actions are found in China, and today in Syria, etc. Fear of attack is not an excuse to do evil to our fellow believers. Also, lack of support for our fellow believers is just as bad a sin, when they suffer and we do not.
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 altar.
And he brought also the brasen 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.
And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
Ahaz returned from Damascus and saw the altar, immediately sacrificing upon it. He used a similar method used by the genuine priests of God, burning meat and offering a wine libation, before sprinkling blood on the altar. He appears to have replaced the genuine altar in the Temple and instead used this one dedicated to Baal/Molech. He then added insult to God by moving the true altar from the position required by God, putting it to one side, so that his new pagan altar could replace it.
Ahaz went even further by instructing Urijah to perform sacrifices on behalf of the king. Then, to add further insult to injury, he said he would personally enquire of the brasen altar that was once dedicated to God. Thus, Ahaz introduced wickedness into the Temple and expected God to give him instructions as if he were the high priest! The priest complied, thus ensuring that his part in this wickedness was not forgotten by God. Remember – God sees us, hears us, knows what is in our minds.
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 brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
The king even ordered parts of the Temple bowls, etc., to be removed, though each piece had been designed and commanded by God! Even the giant laver that stood on oxen at each corner was lowered to stand on a layer of flat stones. Then, he ordered the meycak or covering, used each sabbath, and having a special entrance door for the king, to be removed from the Temple. He did all these things to please the king of Assyria. In doing so he condemned himself. He died a wicked king but was buried in Jerusalem. His son, Hezekiah (‘Jehovah is my strength’) ruled in his stead.
God will not be mocked. Obey and live. Look at what your local church does and says. Challenge those who do not comply with scripture, not legalistically but out of concern for their well-being. Cast away false traditions. Tell your pastor to stop bad pastoring, or be removed. These are dark times and we must get right before Almighty God, or suffer His wrath. We must be strong before the filth of this world crashes upon us.
© April 2016
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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