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The Loss of a Kingdom (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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August 23, 2023 6:00 am

The Loss of a Kingdom (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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August 23, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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God knew that the heart of sin gravitates to sin, so he's putting it in writing to put it down. Deuteronomy 4 19. Take heed, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them, serve them, which Yahweh your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heavens, as a heritage. God has given us the stars to enjoy and to admire, not to worship.

Now, here's Pastor Rick with the conclusion of his message called, The Loss of a Kingdom, in 2 Kings Chapter 17. That's what it is. Some of the commentators use vulgar language. Well, not really vulgar.

They're being very, just to the point. And we may say, whoa, boy, he really got off the reservation with that one. But he's right.

He's just not appropriate in all forums. So, it appears only in the plural, this Hebrew word. And I've covered this from time to time. Always a reference to idols. Ezekiel 14, Son of man, these men have set their idols, and that's that word, yilam, in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity.

Should I let myself be inquired at all by them? And in the next verse, he says, I'm not. I'm not going to hear it. They can pray to me all they want.

I am not listening. And that's, again, part of our message. Well, does God hear the prayer of the sinner? Well, certainly when the sinner repents, but I also think God hears the cry of the sinner when he's giving them time to repent. We find this in Revelation.

I gave her space to repent. Anyway, the disgusting nature of the idolatry, what it did to lives, is reflected mostly, I think, in the child sacrifices that we're going to come to. So, the prophets, they weren't pulling punches with this stuff. You know, you sit in the car, boy, pastor, that was a little hard. Well, let me quote you some Ezekiel in the Hebrew and tell me if that's harsh.

I'd rather you be offended by me than go to hell happy. Verse 13, yet Yahweh testified against Israel and against Judah by all of his prophets, every seer, saying, turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. So, the historian, he's fired up because he uses old-school terminology, which it's the same meaning the way he's using it. In a strict sense, the seer refers to the one that's able to see the hidden things because God has shown him, and the prophet is the one that speaks what God has to say. But the author of Chronicles uses them interchangeably because it is the same thing. God shows them things and then they speak it.

And so, it's not, at this time in Israel history, that was the old-school phrase. If you look at some of the writings of great pastors, many of them are called reverends because their positions were reverend positions. I prefer pastor.

I don't want anyone to call me reverend. Turn from your evil ways. No. Keep my commandments and my statutes. No. According to all the law which I commanded your father. No. And which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

No. That would be a good sermon to a Jewish person today who follows the rabbis, the rabbinical writings, but they're not listening to their own scripture. They're not paying it. They think Isaiah 53 is about the nation Israel. They make, you know, some people make everything, they're race-centric or they're sexually-centric.

Everything's a little dirty joke. Israel has a tendency of making everything Israel-centric and missed the Messiah by doing it. The only thing that should be central is God and for us, the Lord Jesus Christ, central to everything. That would be a good way to say, take them to this verse and say, you don't listen to Hosea. You don't listen to any of them. Verse 14, nevertheless, they would not hear but stiffen their necks like the necks of their fathers who did not believe in the Lord their God. And when Stephen told them this to their face, they killed him for it. The scripture, their scripture. They were adamant about rejecting Yahweh just as there are those raised in a Christian home and church and adamant about rejecting him. Yeah, we're adamant about not giving up on them and we will pray and continue to intercede on their behalf whether hell likes it or not. And we will not become jaded and say, why even bother because sin gets away with so much. Yeah, it doesn't get away with everything.

It didn't get away with you. Verse 15, and they rejected his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and his testimonies which he had testified against them. They followed idols, the dung gods, became idolaters and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom Yahweh had charged them that they should not do like them. To be separate. And the Jews have maintained separation after the last fall of Jerusalem. But they're still not listening.

They're just, as a people, retaining their separate nature and that's what's caused them to survive. And that is God's doing because they're going to be there when the revelation of Jesus Christ begins to take place. Well, he delivered them, verse 15 is what the writer is saying, and yet they have no use for him.

Alright God, thank you very much now. Get out of my face. Verse 16, so they left all the commandments of Yahweh their God, made for themselves, molded images, two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the hosts of heaven and served Baal. See, he's into this. He's laying it out. He's departed from telling history. His history ended, of course. But now he's just focused on his sermon. I think as he's writing the history, he gets to a point where the Holy Spirit inspires him to unleash these truths. Paul said this, not, he may have had such a verse in mind, but it's just standing fact.

Who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever, amen. So when Paul writes that, he gets emotional and it's okay. It's not emotional-ism with the tails wagging the dog. True Christianity is the dog wagging the tail. I can make it wag, I can make it stand up straight like I'm going to attack.

I can do anything and let you know with this. And I think when we sing, when we worship, it's okay to let go a little bit. I'm not trying to coach you. I would be saying this to any audience. It's okay to just worship the Lord with your feelings involved. And I mainly have the church where I grew up and it wasn't much of a Bible preaching church, but they did light a lot of candles.

They put more wax to melt than probably, just anyway. But they would sing songs and there was just no feeling. It was just, you know, showing you how well they could sing. There was no love for God that you could discern. I remember my grandmother used to house veterans and there was one, Mr. Adams. And as a little boy, it would take me to see Mr. Adams because he was pretty much bedridden. And he would just light up when I would come in.

Well, who doesn't? But because he was an old man and here's a young life coming in who doesn't know anything about what's coming. But he does. And he would do like blankets and scripture verses on them, embroidery. And they were all scripture verses and he would just talk about Jesus.

And I didn't realize this until about 10 years ago. I remember it. I remember his face. I remember how much he loved Jesus.

And this is a man that was emotionally in love. And so when Paul writes, to exchange the truth of God for the lie and worship and serve the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen. He gets into that. It's like he was riled up at the fact that you've had this debauchery taking place. He's riled up because of the lifestyle and Corinth. He's appealing to Christians. And he hits that high note that his savior is blessed forever. Amen. See, that's what happens. God knew that the heart of sin gravitates to sin.

So he's putting it in writing to put it down. Deuteronomy 4 19, Take heed lest you lift up your eyes to heaven. And when you see the sun and the moon and the stars and all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them, serve them, which Yahweh your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heavens as a heritage. God has given us the stars to enjoy and to admire, not to worship. You can take that same language and put it into any sin. God has given sexual pleasures under the right context, not to be, you know, what we see happening today is never before, globally. And then there is just the abject atheism, the disbelief, the rejection of truth.

Why? Because you're worshiping other things. Other things are worthy of your devotion, not truth. Verse 17, And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, practice witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Yahweh to provoke him to anger.

So he's laying it out now. You guys aren't just worshiping little figurines in your kitchen. You're killing people. You're doing stuff because of your religion. Those who offer their unborn to the God of self today, the clinics are their altars and they call their priests doctors. And truly it is sin sick world and diseased, most diseased.

I do not feel superior to any of them, but my God is most certainly to superior to everyone and everything. Often, as is the case, the children suffer because of the sins of the parents. And this is what's happening in this verse, these child offerings.

This really happened. And it's even worse as we go through the scriptures, we get to, we'll come to other more graphic descriptions because of the language. Hosea 6, For I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Well, there's no mercy for the child here. The knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

I don't want your opinions about me or anything else if they come without truth. That's what he's saying and the knowledge of God. Behold it is better to sacrifice than to heed the fatter rams.

And people are going out committing sins and then they don't even care. Verse 18, Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel and removed them from his sight. There was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. And we just read about the north going into captivity.

Not captivity, they're just gone because they're not coming back. Verse 19, And Judah did not keep the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. So now this is, of course, is the indication that the writer is removed from the events probably a few hundred years.

But he's certainly close enough to know what's going on. Judah was not unscathed. Judah was mimicked.

They saw this defeat and they continued and it makes it even worse. At this time Judah is suffering military attacks from, well, no longer from the north but they were. No longer from Syria but they were from Edom.

Syria will continue to menace them until God deals with them. And the Babylonians will ultimately deal with the Syrians and the Babylonians will deal with Judah. Verse 17, And Yahweh rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them and delivered them into the hand of plunderers until he had cast them from his sight. Verse 21, For he tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nabat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following Yahweh and made them commit great sin. So Judah's king, David, is associated with Messiah and the millennial kingdom, but forever Jeroboam is associated with apostasy and evil.

Verse 22, For the children of Israel walked in the sins of Jeroboam, which he did. They did not depart from them. So you can't blame Jeroboam only. They're fault. They didn't depart. They're guilty too.

You have citizens following their evil leaders. Verse 23, Until Yahweh removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets, so Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria as it is to this day. And so they're still not back in the land when he wrote this, when he penned these words. This is what it got for them. That's what he's saying.

Again, I think we can hear the disgust and the indignation in his tone. Verse 24, Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cutha, Avah, Hamath, and from Sepharvazim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.

So there's the swap. He's importing pagan people. Their pagan practices will prevail. And then when the lions come, they will mix those practices with the religion of northern Israel, which is false. And they will be known as the Samaritans. When Jesus comes, the Jews look down on them.

They did not even want to go through their land if they could avoid it because of their religion. In fact, when the Samaritans tried to say, well, we have Yahweh too, Jesus, he put the brakes on that. He said, salvation is of the Jews. Man, he just blew that out of the water. Like, let me make sure you understand this.

You don't have it. And of course, he went on to say, the one who you speak to is in, he began the patchwork. But he stood up to her and wouldn't let her get away with anything. She admired him for it. Thank you, she would say, for telling me the truth about my fake religion.

That's how that ended up. Anyway, eventually the Samaritans would build temples with this syncretistic religion, a little bit of Judaism, a lot of everything else. And their temples would be destroyed about a hundred years before Christ. Verse 25, and it was so at the beginning of their dwelling there that they did not fear Yahweh, therefore Yahweh sent lions among them which killed some of them. Well, with all of this traffic and people moving out and land not being kept, the lions just began to become squatters and prolific and a problem. And it is a judgment though because if it said, and the chipmunks overcame the land, it would not have been much of a, well, we just beat them up with sticks.

That would have been that. But lions is a tough customer, especially with, well, you got spears and arrows and rocks. Verse 20, well, pits.

It was a lion that coined that phrase, this is the pits. Anyway, verse 26, so they spoke to the king of Assyria saying, the nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the god of the land, therefore he sent lions among them and indeed they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the god of the land. So here is that belief in local deities which God hates because he is sovereign.

And when he is sovereign, he is sovereign over everything. Verse 27, then the king of Assyria commanded saying, send there one of the priests whom you brought from there, let him go and dwell there and let him teach them the rituals of the god of the land. Then one of the priests whom they carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel and taught them how they should fear Yahweh.

The historian is telling you what happened and he is telling you what the people were thinking, what was taking place. These are illegitimate priests, they are not of the Aaronic line. This is why the Jews were conquered in the first place, because of this kind of belief and this kind of behavior and all the things that came out of it. Verse 29, however every nation continued to make gods of its own and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt. And so there they were infesting the land further with idolatry, it was just religious gibberish, nor is there salvation in any other name given among men by which we must be saved.

This is sad to see, verse 30, I'm going to speed it up a little bit, unless you fall completely asleep. The men of Babylon made, now I'm not going to read all these names, so we'll get some time here, because I just used up explaining it. So the men of Babylon, well this is what's happening in verses 30 and 31. He's going to name the place, he names their god. Names the place, names their god. These are their false gods that they're just lumping in with Yahweh. Verse 32, so they feared Yahweh, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places and sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So the context is clear. They feared Yahweh as though, well he's the god of this area, but not as the god who he says he is.

That's what that means. And they went on just lumping him in with the rest. And from every class, verse 32, they appointed for themselves priests of the high places. And of course this trampled the Aaronic line and the commandment that belonged to it, verse 33.

They feared Yahweh, they served their own gods according to their rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away. The bottom line is you can't make up things about God. That is the message of the church.

Not only about how he does a thing, but who he is. This is ecumenicism at its greatest and alive today. Junk Christianity is what it is when it is embraced by people who dare to use Christ's name while they do this. Our Bibles condemn it. The Hindus today are growing more intolerant of other religions. And the Christians are growing more tolerant of other religions.

This is not magic. The lions coming in doing the damage they were doing, that was a judgment of God. And it made its point and it went away, not because the priests came down to get rid of it.

The lions got fat and full and were too fat to run away and they just shot them. Verse 34. To this day they continue practicing the former rituals and that irks them. You can tell, to this day they're still doing it. The Jewish people have let this happen.

To this day they are practicing the former rituals. They do not fear Yahweh, that has the true meaning. Nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law and the commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob whom he named Israel. God has the claim, the ownership. Verse 35.

With whom Yahweh made the covenant and charged them saying, You should not fear other gods, nor bow down to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them. Do you Christian do that? Do you show some respect to other peoples? Oh, you know, you got some good points. Yeah, I know, everybody's entitled.

No, no, not an inch. We don't, as Paul said, we didn't yield for an hour. If it's wrong, it's wrong. And we're not going to pretend that false worship is something to just dismiss because the consequences, they're not going to go away. Verse 36. With Yahweh who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, him you shall fear, him you shall worship, and him you shall offer sacrifice.

So he's laying it out, that's how it's supposed to be. Verse 37. And the statutes and ordinances, the law, the commandments which he wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever. You should not fear other gods. You get it? You should have put that there.

There's a golden moment, you could have put that there. Anyway, verse 38. And the covenant that I made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. One falls out of love with truth when they fall in love with a lie.

And it's true for everything. Truth just becomes, you know, ugh, when you start loving a lie. Verse 39. But Yahweh your God, you shall fear.

He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies. Not Egypt, God will do this is what he's saying. However, they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. So these nations, verse 31, feared Yahweh, yet served their carved images. Also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did even to this day.

Well, there's a lot more to say. We'll close with two verses. James 1, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. How much opportunity was in that to preach to the Jewish people? Romans 11, Paul says, so all Israel will be saved as it is written, the Deliverer will come out of Zion, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Yeah, when he steps, when he puts his feet on the Mount of Olives and splits that thing in two, he is going to be the Deliverer. Thanks for joining us for today's edition on Cross Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 2 Kings has been something to remember. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series, go to crossreferenceradio.com. Once more, that's crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just go to your favorite podcast app to subscribe. Our time is about up, but we hope you'll tune in again next time as we continue on in the book of 2 Kings. We look forward to that time with you, so make a note in your calendar to join Pastor Rick as he teaches from the Bible right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-26 17:41:09 / 2023-08-26 17:50:36 / 9

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