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The Prophets Weren’t Joking (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 15, 2023 6:00 am

The Prophets Weren’t Joking (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 15, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts


It says here in verse 1, And Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. He was a servant king to Babylon, but not a king who serves. And that's what the Jewish kings were supposed to be shepherds. They were supposed to serve the people and look out for them while they served God. And most of them did not. Then he turned and rebelled against him.

Well, because he hoped Egypt You know, just sort of selling out one tyrant for another. 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 2 Kings.

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 in the Book of 2 Kings chapter 24 as he begins his message, The Prophets Weren't Joking. When I think of the coming of Christ, the birth, I always think with it the prophecies. So many prophecies announcing His coming. The prophets weren't joking.

That's the title of the message. And we shouldn't be either when we're conveying the message of Jesus Christ. Daniel, in his ninth chapter, tells us about a prayer he made.

In verse 3 of Daniel 9, he said, Then I set my face toward the Lord God and made requests by prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth, and ashers, which means he's very serious. And then he continues, and he says, We have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. And there Daniel, of course, showing deference to the prophets because they spoke what God told them to say. Who would want a lesson on 2 Kings or anything in the Old Testament, with maybe the exception of Genesis? Rather, who would not want a lesson?

What Christian would not want any lesson on any part of the Bible that they could get? We've been considering Josiah, that righteous king, and of course, he was killed in action last chapter. His son, Jehoiachim, comes to the throne.

We'll talk much about him. But the people overall did not catch the vision of Josiah. Many of them faked it. And of course, that did not go well for the nation. It went very poorly because Josiah was the last good king. The next four would bring in the destruction of Jerusalem.

They did not catch his vision, nor did they heed the warnings of the prophets, lessons that hopefully we get a chance to talk to unbelievers about. In this chapter, we'll talk about the reign of Jehoiachin and then his son, Jehoiachin, and Jerusalem's capture, and then Zedekiah, the last of the Judean kings, will come to the throne. Next chapter, Jerusalem falls. Now this conflict between Judah and Babylon that leads to the downfall of the kingdom really begins with this king. Three years earlier, from where we're going to start, his father was killed in action, Josiah. It's about 609 BC, before the coming of Christ.

We're going to start at about 606 BC, and it's always about. And this king, Jehoiachin, he's going to submit initially to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. Then he's going to rebel, and he's going to pay for that, and Nebuchadnezzar is going to deploy troops from surrounding nations and harass Judah and bring misery to the people. And while the Jews that were idolatrous were calling on Yahweh to help them while they continued in their idolatry, and Jeremiah dealt with all that mostly, these judgments were directly from Yahweh.

They were from God on the people called to be God's people because they weren't behaving like God's people. It is the beginning of woes for Jerusalem, this chapter. Israel in her history has some unfulfilled prophecy to go through, as we are here right now. There's still more prophecy to be fulfilled, and it's going to be terrible for them. We call it the Great Tribulation. Jesus said it will be tribulation such as the world has never known. Well, verse 1, in his days Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years.

Then he turned and rebelled against him. Poor Jeremiah, that righteous man. Jeremiah was probably, of all the prophets, he was one that got to see many of his prophecies fulfilled, especially when he pronounced death on someone. No less than four people died when Jeremiah said, you know what, you're going to die next month.

That'd be it. You would think, you would think the people would say this guy is the guy to be lined up with. No, they would try to kill him instead. Well, he's stuck, this righteous man is stuck with Josiah's sons.

Isn't that often the case in life? You're stuck with somebody else's child who doesn't want to behave. And there's Jehoias, his name will be changed to Shalom by Egypt, Jehoiakim, and then Zedekiah and Jehoiachin, there's a bunch of them, all of them rotten. Now Jehoias, before Jehoiakim becomes king, he rules for three months, but Israel is the dominant force in Jerusalem, and they take him away, and then the Babylonians of course enter the picture, but Jehoiakim is now on the throne. Now just to get ahead of it, so we can briefly touch on it when we get to it later in the chapter, not far, not deep into it, but Jehoiakim, he dies in chains. Nebuchadnezzar will come to Jerusalem and have him cuffed to take him back to Babylon, but he's going to die or he is executed. It's not explicitly stated what happens after he is chained, except Jeremiah said, well this is what's going to happen to his body. And so he dies in chains, his body is treated like a donkey, unworthy of any association with Yahweh or whatever. Second Chronicles 36, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon, but Jeremiah had prophesied earlier. Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah king of Judah, they shall not lament for him saying, alas my brother or alas my sister. They shall not lament for him saying, alas master or alas his glory. Jeremiah is saying, they're not going to miss this guy, they're not going to say, oh man how are we going to do, when Josiah died, he left this void in Judah, in Isaiah's prophecy, in the year king Josiah died, I saw the Lord, I lifted up.

Well that's not the case with Jehoiakim. And then the prophecy continues, verse 19 of Jeremiah 22, he shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. That's how they treated that king. Josephus the Jewish historian says they threw him over the wall. Here's more, I'll come to that in a minute, how his body laid out and at night and day, the scavengers had their way with it, but continuing here it says Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up. This is the first of the last three sieges of Jerusalem, because others had come, the Assyrians had come 116 years earlier and they were chased away, but these are the last three and they're all Babylonian sieges. This drama will play out for 20 years before the city is finally destroyed. And God is working through the prophets all the time, he had already been working day and night through the prophets.

They weren't joking with them what they were saying, and now it's coming to roost, it's going to happen. Now Nebuchadnezzar's father, Nebuchadnezzar, he founded the Babylonian empire as it was known, it was very, you know, the occult, very spiritual, the Chaldees, they were into the mysticism and the nation had become known as the Chaldeans also, and that's a spiritual element and that's how they are chiefly known in scripture as the Chaldeans. Well Nebuchadnezzar of course succeeded his father and he brought Babylon to the height of what it was, we remember in Daniel he's boast about, this is the great Babylon that I built and God dealt with him on that, but he was king for 43 years and there probably was no other king known in history that had the power that Nebuchadnezzar had.

He could just order death for anybody anytime and not all kings had that kind of power. Well Jerusalem assaulted over this 20 year period by Babylon because they're subjecting the Jews to the Babylonian authority and the Judean kings would resist because they were godless and they were carnal and they were wicked and just spiritually moronic. So here's one timeline, I'll go over this again a little bit more detail later, but about 605 years before the coming of Christ Babylon conquers Jerusalem, they'd already moved the Assyrian Empire out of the way and they kept Egypt in its place. Israel was a youth when the first siege took place and they took captives off to Babylon with Daniel, Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, they also went. Eight years later after Daniel's in Babylon with them, the Babylonians come again because the Judean kings, Jehoiakim this time, would not submit. Israel is then taken away in that wave of captives and he is 25 years old, Ezekiel is, when that takes place. Eleven years later the Babylonians come again and they destroy Jerusalem and the temple is lost.

All of it avoidable. The prophets were not joking because God was not joking. This was not just some religious exercise.

This was the God of Genesis 1 who created everything we know out of nothing, unlike anyone else. It says here in verse 1, Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. He was a servant king to Babylon but not a king who serves and that's what the Jewish kings were supposed to be shepherds, they were supposed to serve the people and look out for them while they served God and most of them did not. Then he turned and rebelled against him. Well because he hoped Egypt, you know, just sort of selling out one tyrant for another, he thought Egypt would protect him from Babylon.

Well who's going to protect you from Egypt? God wanted to protect you from everything but you didn't believe him. Jeremiah later warned the last Judean king against this behavior and this profound, this satire and prophecy rolled into one.

I want to read some of it. It's Jeremiah 37 verses 1 through 10. Well let me just give you the punchline. Jeremiah says don't think because the Egyptians have shown up then the Babylonians have gone away that they're going to stay away, they're coming back. And if you were to defeat their entire army, the Babylonian army, their wounded would rise up and burn the city down. That's God saying there's no way you're going to stop this. So I'll take those two verses. Thus says Yahweh, Jeremiah 37 9, do not deceive yourselves saying the Chaldeans will surely depart from us for they will not depart. For though you had defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent and burn the city with fire. Do you see why Jeremiah was so hated? He's telling them the truth that they deserve this judgment, but no, no, we don't. And this is when they came to Jeremiah to ask him to pray for them. The insanity that belongs to the rejection of Jesus Christ in human beings. When a person rejects the gospel, they become spiritually moronic and that can be accompanied by a host of other vices and attributes that range from everything from violent to hysterical and just insane. We're looking at it unfold today.

Well, this is interesting. The superiority of God, the sovereignty of God over everything, the Davidic line was going to be preserved. The Assyrians wanted to take it away, just kill it completely because the Assyrian policy was to amalgamate a conquered people to have them assimilate into various cultures so they no longer had their own identity and they did that to the northern kingdom. They came and conquered, they took all the people away and they just mixed them amongst other people and they brought other people into their land. And so by doing this, you divided the people, you took their culture, their religion and their identity and they could not get together against you.

They're too busy trying to survive and fend off other cultures and they would intermarry. Well, if the Assyrians conquered Jerusalem, there would be no Davidic line because they would have done that to Judah. But God stopped that through Isaiah the prophet and the angel that came and wiped out the army of the Assyrians. The Babylonian slash Medo-Persian policies were different. They did not come and wipe out a people.

They would come and take them prisoner, captive, but they allowed them to retain their culture and we see that in Daniel when he said we don't want to eat this meat, give us a chance and you know let us eat vegetables for a while and they did well until they were able to establish themselves. So that policy of the Babylonian Persian Empire preserved the culture thereby preserving the Judaic line so that when Zerubbabel, as recorded in the book of Ezra, comes back to repatriate Jerusalem, the Davidic line is intact. Not only in Zerubbabel, who is a descendant from Solomon's line, but also from another son of Solomon, Nathan. So Christ comes and he has two credentials. He has the one from the royal line of Solomon through Joseph and then he has the line through Mary which is the prophetic line. And so his total authority, if any of the Pharisees wanted to look it up, there was a short walk to the temple and they could have looked this up and said I'll be. He's a descendant of King David and he's doing miracles and he's preaching everything in line with Moses. Maybe he is the Messiah, but they wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

They wouldn't even bother. They were so ignorant of the scripture they said search and see that if any prophet has come out of Nahum's area, and they did, Nahum the prophet. Well verse two now, then Yahweh sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, bands of the people of Ammon, prime account users. He sent them against Judah to destroy it according to the word of Yahweh which he had spoken by his servants the prophets who were not joking.

What do you think they're telling you these things for? Some people just hate whatever nation they're born in. They just feel they have to criticize the nation they're born in.

And then they get caught smuggling drugs through customs and they go to jail and they get sentenced for nine years after taking a knee to the national anthem and all that stuff and all of a sudden they're begging to come back to America, complaining that they weren't fed, they weren't warm. The madness that all comes back to, what do you think about Jesus Christ? We're supposed to be part of this. May we pray for opportunities to remove the false ideas about Jesus Christ by preaching the truth of the gospel. Anyway, here the Lord sent these raiding bands. Nebuchadnezzar was never sovereign over earth or anything under God. God is sovereign.

This is judgment. So the Lord removed the hedge of protection. Remember Satan said to God about Job, well you put a hedge of protection around him.

I can't get to him. That's why he's so faithful. He removed that. We'll see how faithful he is. And God said okay, but you can't kill him. And of course Satan lost and Job suffered, such is life under the curse, under the sun.

But it won't be that way forever and it's not, right now Job is having a wonderful time. The Lord removed his protection and the surrounding nations sent by the Chaldeans because they were subject to the Chaldeans and they were raiding and enjoying what the loot they took. Habakkuk the prophet was shown these things and in his first chapters, I don't want to hear it anymore.

This is awful. The Chaldeans, they're going to be the ones coming against us. The prophet said listen, when they march they don't move to the left or the right. They are focused.

They get their job done. And Habakkuk says fine, I will stand my watch. I will be faithful to the Lord.

I don't have to like what my orders are. I have to obey them. And then he went on and said to Joseph, they live by faith. We trust in God. Fact, God is, it is his incontestable prerogative to exercise judgment on the wicked when he's good and ready and however he wants to do it. That is a fact. And of course lawless man doesn't want to hear that. It is a fact also that we who believe in the Lord side with him no matter what. We don't have to like it, we don't have to understand it, we just side with him. Mary illustrates that for us. Do what he says. That's what, you know, you had the wedding feast at Cana and we're out of wine. What does that have to do with me?

Do what he says. It's just an incredible moment of human interaction. Mom, kind of a moment, she could have said don't you know that I am the father of one, you're just a created being, but he doesn't do anything like that. He's too magnanimous, too special, too high and lifted up and never petty. God is never petty. He had a chance right there at the wedding to be petty. Out of wine, I'm out of here.

He doesn't do any of that. Anyway, the bands of Syrians, the Moabites, the Moabites and the people of Ammon on orders from Babylon, these are Lot's descendants, they are cousins, idol lovers, attacking idol lovers. According to the word of Yahweh, which he had spoken by his servants, the prophets. And so you see the title, the prophets again are not kidding around. The time of prophetic fulfillment is here and it is coming out slowly.

I talked about the three sieges of Jerusalem. There's a remnant now, there's a remnant of Jews that are faithful. Daniel, Ezekiel, Azariah, there are many of them that are faithful, but they have to suffer this nonsense.

There's just not enough of them. Ezekiel writes about this and Ezekiel 19, I mentioned he's 25, Ezekiel, when he gets taken as a hostage or captive, but he's five years later, he's called into prophetic ministry and then he just cuts loose. So Ezekiel 19, then the nation set against him for the provinces on every side and spread their net over him. He was trapped in their pit and so he's using metaphor to say Judah, the kingdom of Judah is trapped in a net and there's nothing they can do about it. Because there were those that were captives with Ezekiel, you know, let's have an uprising, we can still go back and he says, that ain't happening, you people don't even deserve it. You're going to be here. Jeremiah's letter to the captives, I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of peace to give you a future and a hope, build gardens.

Have a good time there because you're not coming back. That would be for your descendants. Verse 3, surely at the commandment of Yahweh this came upon Judah to remove them from his sight because of the sins of Manasseh according to all he had done, verse 4, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood which Yahweh would not pardon. So the historian is saying to the generations reading this, none of this was an accident. None of this was just, oh the Babylonians just built a bigger military, no, this was all Yahweh's doing because of man's doing. Manasseh, before he was saved, he caused irreparable damage, we covered this. It is possible to cause grief before you get saved. After Paul and the stoning of Stephen, Paul gets saved.

God used that guilt, those flashbacks to have Paul become the tiger of the faith that he became. Manasseh, his evil influence along with the people's pleasure in that influence, and there it is. It wasn't that we just got a wicked king. We've had some wicked presidents, we have and had, and you have just this extraordinary number of people supporting the evil they vote for, that they try to push forward.

It is madness. Israel's kings, they became tyrannical murderers, Jeremiah, how to deal with this, points it out. Anyway, verse 4 says he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and there's the tyranny, then there's reign of terror. Uriah the prophet was killed, not during Manasseh's reign, later at Jehoiachim, this present king, and they tried to kill Baruch and Jeremiah too, and they couldn't get them, but they killed others. Their continuous evil made it impossible for God to bypass the judgment. God pardoned the sins of Manasseh who repented, but not the sins of those who imitated him and upheld the evil that he brought in and repented not. And so if the people did not truly catch Josiah's vision for righteousness, then they would not escape the judgment.

If they wouldn't catch the vision of Josiah's righteousness, then they would catch the wrath of God. 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 Once more, that's 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 / 2023-10-07 07:57:26 / 2023-10-07 08:07:46 / 10

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