We're going to put an altar out here, and the God who answers by fire, He is God. And His God answered.
Unfortunately, we respect the wrong people sometimes. They tell us how to go about preaching the faith. You know, many of the great revivals started in places where the people weren't that intelligent. When I say intelligent, they weren't that educated. They were just hungry for God. They just want a change in their lives.
My point is, that's all we need. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with part two of his study called The King Who Cleaned House in 2 Chronicles chapter 29.
Now listen to this. Therefore, the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, to jeering, and you see it with your eyes. They're mocking us.
They are laughing at us. They are hissing at the people of God because we're not serving Him, but yet we still have His name. He says, For indeed because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity. Assyria had just made sport.
The Edomites had made sport also. The Edomites, Assyrians, they were, Babylon had not yet come to power, but these two nations were just coming into the land, taking people captive, enslaving them, and Hezekiah was right in associating this with what his father had framed for the nation by making God's word irrelevant. His father Ahaz had gone up to Damascus, was so taken and thrilled by the things he saw there that he brought them back to Israel and got rid of the things that had come to his people through Moses and through David and through so many other righteous people. And so today they're filling pews and withholding what the Bible calls the word of life, and that's what the Bible calls God's word. The New Testament calls it the word of life.
Peter says, You have the words of life, nobody else, but that's not relevant anymore because we now meet more people. This tribal God, you know, this is our God, and we don't care about anybody else with their make-believe God. That stuff's got to go away.
We've got to become more friendly with everybody and make them all feel good. That is what they're doing. At what point do we knock the dust off of our shoes? At what point do we say, I don't want this contaminant on me? At what point do we call apostates what they are? At what point do we say, well, let me get this right. You go to a church where the word is not preached, but everybody there is quick to say that they're saved and that Jesus is their Savior, but they're not interested in what God has to say. At what point do I say to you, this is apostasy, or this is heresy, or this is unacceptable, or this is the kind of rubbish in God's house that needs to be taken out. And if you're not there yet, you're running with the pack, who is there already?
If I love you, should I applaud this sort of behavior? Second Chronicles chapter 31, verse 1, Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession. In other words, Edgar Hezekiah began to reform the nation into the image that God had set before them to be. The people got up and they did something about all the fake worship in the land. They confronted it. Now this was a theocratic nation, and there, by law, they had the right to physically go and remove this stuff. That's not how we conduct business physically, but spiritually, in our minds, it is identical.
The weapons of our warfare are not physical. They are spiritual. They are mighty in God. They are mighty in God. They are mighty in God.
Do you believe it or do you not? Learning how to engage those who are trampling the Word of God in the name of God is a skill. There are some that are absolute waste of time, and you won't know that until the Lord shows it to you.
And there are others that you must invest in regardless of whatever happens. But in all cases, we have to do so with truth, with fearlessness, with gentleness when needed, when firmness is necessary, which is all the time. And sometimes we even have to be a little harsh, because that's what it takes. Jesus said to Capernaum, you think you're big stuff, but if the people of Tyre and Sidon heard the messages that I've been giving, if they saw the miracles that I've been giving, if Sodom and Gomorrah saw it, they would have turned. Because you throw it down on the ground like a common thing, your judgment's going to be fierce. Do you believe these words of Jesus?
Or do you think that they were just for those around Capernaum? I believe them. Where I struggle is how do I deliver them? I will never be able to cookie-cut my delivery. I will never be able to put it in bullet points and follow it. I must be led by the Holy Spirit of God, and I cannot just depend on Him to lead me when I need to evangelize and stand up for the faith.
I need Him to lead me all the time. Today, while I was preparing this message, which I wasn't too thrilled about until maybe the last 40 minutes before I came out, but I sense this is where God wanted me to go. But while I was preparing it, the whole of my Word documents crashed and I couldn't get it back. It was all gone, except for about 500 words.
And I usually have it up to about 1,000 in my outline. And I said, okay, Lord, I'll just do something else. I'll just start again. That's what you want. I'm not wild about this, but okay.
Well, I got the document back. And here I am. And my point is, to be led by God, it's not child's play. But what is? What is as an adult?
What is child's play? What comes easily? What stays easily? What does not require maintenance? You know, it's mowing season.
It's coming. So I mean, who springs here? And I'm like, I got to mow every chance I get. But that's what life is, by the sweat of your brow.
Whether you are reaping a harvest to feed from or whether you are maintaining the simple things of life, caulking around windows and other such things, that's life. We accept that. Maybe not back down from it. All this standing for God cost something. It cost Hezekiah something. We're told in 2 Chronicles 32, in verse 1, this is about, Isaiah tells us actually, it's 14 years after he had become king. Remember, in the first year of his reign as king, he starts cleaning the house. And that lasts for some time.
But then in the 14th year, Sennacherib, the Syrian king whom Hezekiah said, take a hike. We're not paying you anything else. All those things from the temple that my father cut up and gave to you, the gold, the silver, so that you could come help him. And then you backstabbed him. Well anyway, you both deserved each other.
I'm not paying another cent to you. And so Sennacherib, he was busy with Babylon and other business, but he turned finally towards Judah. And there in 32 we read it, after these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib, king of Syria, came and entered Judah. He encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself. He wasn't going to win them over by speeches. He was going to kill them to submission. But after these deeds of faithfulness, here's a righteous king doing the right thing.
Come on, God, how about a little flank defense? How about, couldn't that guy get a rash of something that made him too itchy to come into my territory? God let him come. And we know there were at least 185,000 of them. That's a sizable force. That's how many of the angel killed in one night. There were others. They didn't all die.
But back to what I'm saying about this. Here he is, a man of God, cleaning out the rubbish from the house of God. And with the passage of time, all this city that he had built up, all the expansions that he made, he had to rip much of it down to fortify against this king. You see, the writers of the chronicles were trying to say this to the Jew. This is our house of God. These are the good kings. These are the bad kings. These are the prophets. These are the false prophets. But this is God's house. This is its ritual, and it must be maintained. And when they wrote this, they had history enough to say, after all the good deeds of this righteous man and his faithfulness, he still has to fight.
He's never in the clear. Purification is an enemy of Satan without exception. Purification is an enemy to the world, and it is an enemy to our own flesh. Romans chapter 8, verse 7, the carnal mind is at war against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. This New Testament, we are still under the law of God. The moral law, absolutely. The ceremonial law, fulfilled in Christ. But the law of grace is just as demanding as any other law has ever been.
The difference is, is that God energizes us even when we fail. We go back to the time that he starts the Passover. The Passover was supposed to be the first month of the Jewish New Year. They're so dirty. They took so much time to clean house that the first month went away.
So they have it in the second month. And God permits it. What does that tell me about God's grace? That he is bigger, that he is greater than my inability to be right on time. He is greater than my inabilities, all of them.
He loves me nonetheless. He did it for them, and now that the blood of Christ is on me, he's doing it for me too. Why would anybody want to mess with Christianity? Why would anybody want to say, I've been a pastor for 20 years and the Bible's not relevant.
Why? What they can't understand is that it is a take it or leave it. I am not going to line up with your Hinduism or your Buddhism or your bloodthirsty Islam. I'm going to stay where I believe. I'm going to make the offer to you.
You take it or you leave it. Back to our text, 2 Chronicles chapter 30, but this time, verse 10, he dispatches the runners. So the runners pass from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun.
Pause there. You see, Hezekiah's vision was for all the people of God to come to the house of God. It had been 215 years there about since the time that they had the joined nation, the joint nation, the north, what was left of the north, and the south, shoulder to shoulder, praising God. And it was his vision to bring his brothers from the north that started with Jeroboam's prohibition to let them come and worship.
He wanted to bring them back. And this is some of their response. But they laughed at them and mocked them. Some didn't want to hear it.
It's not relevant anymore. We come down there to you, Sennacherib, the Assyrians. Christianity, Judaism doesn't work. Jehovah is not on the throne. We are.
Well, Sennacherib is. It continues in verse 11, nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also, the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders at the word of the Lord.
What's wrong with the scripture? Why are these guys out there trying to bury it? Why are they using it as their shovel?
Well, I believe Jesus is the only way. Then proceed to contradict everything that statement said. Why do they do that? Because they know that well-meaning people are going to be dumb enough to fall for it. And they line their pockets with it. And they get a name for themselves.
And they get on shows that want to talk about how cutting edge they are and what magnificent things that they're doing and how open-minded they are. Purification is provocation of war against the enslavement of man by his own impurity. Our own sinful nature, God says sinlessness is true freedom. We, our flesh, that is, our flesh side, says, no, no, freedom to indulge. If this sin were just legal with God, life would be sweet. God says, you're crazy. The spirit says, your own spirit says, that's craziness. I will stick to the Lord. When Joshua said, hey, you go whichever direction you're going in because the word of God is taken to leave it. I've decided to take it and so is my house. If you want to leave it, it's on you. We come back to the scripture, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. First Peter chapter 2 verse 11, beloved, I urge you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lust which war against the soul. And so we have this king, his refusal to settle for the inheritance of a nation corrupted by his own daddy.
That's what we said. And now it's time to look a little bit at Ahaz. Second Chronicles chapter 29.
Now, there's a lot of places we can go with this person. Ahaz was king for 16 years. Verse 5, let's read about some of the things that he did because after all, the gods of Damascus were better. Second Chronicles 28 verse 5. Therefore the Lord, his God, delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him and carried away a great multitude of them as captives and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel who defeated him with great slaughter. And the story continues, but get to the point of it, we turn to verse 19 of Second Chronicles 28.
For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz, king of Israel, for he encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord. Well, you cannot encourage moral decline unless you first attack spiritual righteousness, spiritual highness. That's how you get to moral decline, by going at what God has said and putting in its place what you think is best.
And here's one of the problems we've noticed over the centuries. Those who were borderline heretics, their generation may slip through with the skin of their teeth as it says in Job, but the next generation doesn't have a chance. You see, even in a house of God where the word is adhered to and held strong, that next generation is going to have to fight for themselves.
They're like the little turtles on the beach trying to make it to the water. God is either going to become real to them or he's just their parents' God. Now in the time of his distress, King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.
That's the opposite of his son. When pressure was on him, he went further away from God. Look for other measures, other means, whereas when Hezekiah came under pressure, he turned more to the Lord. And so in splendid contrast to Ahaz, this man, Hezekiah, invites the people to the house of God and he gave them the word, which is our text. He encouraged the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord. And the food that they ate, incidentally, in our text where it says, and they ate throughout the feast seven days. That's the people, but there's a section where he said, listen, you have got to support the men who are your spiritual leaders. This is what Paul dealt with in his letter to Timothy and Titus.
Otherwise, it all collapses. The government protected idolatry for 16 years under Hezekiah. The people were free to roam. Satan was free to loot in the promised land. The lives in the times were destabilized because of the corrupt methods of integration and starvation. They went together.
They starved them from the word of God and then they mixed in with the name of God all the false teachings that were outside of God. Sound familiar? Sound like what's happening today? Let's just reduce the Bible to something that goes on a coffee mug or a t-shirt, but let's just take those sections that make us feel good. But let's not go any further than that. Now, not by any means is this all of Christianity?
Not by any means. There are a great many of Christians fighting against this, but there is an alarming, an alarmingly increasing amount who are being seduced. How are they being seduced? Civility. They want to stand up in dialogue with them. You don't dialogue with an apostate. You condemn, you preach the word of God, let it condemn rather.
We don't condemn except outside to say we preach the word of God and we move on. And this stuff about, well, you know, you don't have to say all that about, oh yeah, I do. That's how they win. They win by dictating to us how we're supposed to carry on the battle. I return back to the IDF. This little piece of ground is too precious to us to let you fight over it where we are. We're going to fight where you are. We're not going to let you in. That's one of the lessons from Eve.
She got too close to the tree. Men are doing the same thing. Just don't think that this is just Eve's issue. When we deal with false teachers, we are under no obligation to hear them out. The minute they turn to the right or to the left is the minute we don't need to hear anymore. There are some that are gifted enough.
They are able to stomach what they have to say. I didn't see Elijah debating with the prophets of Baal. You know, as you sit up on Mount Carmel, you say, man, there was a day up here, right up here, where Elijah stood, totally disinterested in a civil debate. We're going to put an altar out here, and the God who answers by fire, He is God, and His God answered.
Unfortunately, we respect the wrong people sometimes. They tell us how to go about preaching the faith. You know, many of the great revivals started in places where the people weren't that intelligent. When I say intelligent, they weren't that educated. They were just hungry for God.
They just want a change in their lives. My point is, that's all we need. Regardless of how intelligent we are amongst men or not, what we need is to be hungry for God, to want what He has. The reality of it all is that Hezekiah did cleanse the house of God, because God to him is a God of truth.
He's a real God. I want to take that from Isaiah chapter 39. This tells us about the days in Hezekiah's life when Sennacherib came and the angels came and saved them from it. He also talks about the sundial being turned back in time, another miracle of the Lord.
Scientists can sit around that sundial until they're purple. They'll never figure it out, because it was a miracle. And a miracle is something that grates on the mind of carnal man, because carnal man thinks that reason is going to satisfy everything.
But a miracle stands outside of reason, yet it never violates reason. Here in chapter 8 of Isaiah 39, it says, Hezekiah said to Isaiah, the word of the Lord which you have spoken is good. For he said, at least there will be peace and truth in my days.
And that's what there was. That's how Isaiah ends the story of Hezekiah. What happened there? Because Hezekiah had taken men from Babylon and showed off the treasury of the Lord. And Isaiah comes and said, what did you do? And he says, well, I showed them everything. Because he got emotional. He got excited. He was so happy with what God had done.
His intention wasn't wrong, but he was a little bit too generous in his being a host. And Isaiah said, let me tell you what's going to happen. These guys are going to come back.
They're going to take it all with them. And that's when Hezekiah said, so Hezekiah said to Isaiah, the word of the Lord which you have spoken is good, because it's not going to happen in his day. And then Isaiah ends it, for he said, for at least there will be peace and truth in my days. And that is what characterizes the day of Hezekiah. And we'll close with this verse from 2 Chronicles 30 verse 27. During the beginning of this reformation as he's cleansed the house of God, then the priest, the Levites, arose and blessed the people and their voice was heard and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place to heaven. The priests in Hezekiah's day were restoring true ministry to a people who had not seen it for 16 years.
They were following Numbers 7. Listen to what God, God directs Moses to direct Aaron to direct the priest, the spiritual leaders. And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to Aaron and his son saying, this is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them, the Lord bless you, the Lord keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you. The Lord be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them.
I cringe at the thought of being anyone outside of Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's word each time you tune in.
As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, this teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can do so at crossreferenceradio.com or search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick next time for more character studies right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 00:06:27 / 2023-03-02 00:31:55 / 25