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Pulverizing Paganism (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 13, 2023 6:00 am

Pulverizing Paganism (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 13, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

Sin is everywhere. Where does trouble come from? Where does it come from? Is there like a little trouble cloud that moves around and rains on people?

Think about it. Some troubles self-inflict itself into it, but other troubles, man, it's like a blanket of darkness, like a fog that rolls in and it is spiritual. And sometimes you have to identify, is this God or is this the devil?

Is God doing a work or is Satan, has he gotten access? 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 Second 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. Pulverizing Paganism is Pastor Rick's study today. He'll be teaching in Second Kings Chapter 23. Those who burned incense to bow to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations and all the host of heaven. Interesting, that Hebrew word, there's two words in the English, the idolatrous priest, well in the Hebrew it's a single word, and it's believed that word means scorched and has something to do with their black robes, the idolatrous priest wearing the black robes. In contrast, or as opposed to the priests of Yahweh who wore white robes, has something to think about.

There's enough evidence to lean that way. You know, the Bible doesn't come out with explicit statements for us because of the generations, the cultural change, but for those that were alive at the time these things were written, they understood, they knew what was going on. It'd sort of be like writing about texting somebody forty years ago. I mean, you would have no knowledge of that.

You'd need someone with some history to kind of lay it out. Anyway, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense. So here they are, they're desecrating their own constitution. There were these priests in Judah, Levitical priests, but they were not serving at the temple. Well, the temple was taken over by the bow worshipers, but they continued to serve as priests at the high places. Well, this was forbidden. There's no auxiliary altars. It wasn't, well, okay, if we can't offer sacrifices in Jerusalem, we'll just do it over here.

And they're going to be penalized for that, and Josiah's going to go a little easier on them. Zephaniah writes about these things in his first chapter. It says, whom the kings of Judah ordained to burn incense. Well, the people, they fawned over these demonic renderings of deity, provoking the true God, the Creator, of course. Verse 6, And He brought out the wooden image from the house of Yahweh to the brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, burned it in the brook Kidron, and ground it to ashes, and threw its ashes on the graves of the common people. He was, this man is just on his mission, his cause, his crusade.

Here he is. This stuff is in the house of the Lord. He grounds it to ashes.

He pulverizes it. Great contempt for every false representation of God that existed, and this because they found the Word of God. And what happened on a national level can happen on an individual level. A person finds the Word of God, and really the Word of God finds them.

So much more to say about these things. Verse 7, Then He tore down the ritual booths of the perverted persons that were in the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image. Paul talks about, gives an overview of this kind of behavior in Romans 1, that they knew who God was, but they threw it away. And they got into also, they were turned over to their lewd behavior. Here these ritual booths are portable chambers set up at the house of God, the Temple of Solomon, for the lewd acts of sexual religion, or religion that included sexual practices, to worship Ashtoreth, and it was steeped in perversity. They were, here we have brothels nested in God's house, where it says of the perverted persons, this goes back to Deuteronomy, I'll get to that in a second, but these were men wanting to be as much like their goddess Ashtoreth, Ashtoreth as they could be, to the point of behaving like women. These were the first transsexuals, you could say. This transition from behaving and being a man to trying to be a woman, and this was homosexuality. The perverted persons, and well, take New Testament first, 1 Corinthians 6, 9, do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Don't be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, and the word sodomites there in the Greek is the effeminate men who want to be women. Deuteronomy 23, 17, there shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel, and there it is, forbidden, that is talking about sexual rituals in their worship of the idols.

Ashtoreth, you know, she's the goddess of fertility. Well, that's when the sexual activity comes in. Romans 1, likewise, also men leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lusts, for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error, which was due, the consequences, the judgment. And so we are hated by the sexually militant people today. You have no right to disagree with them. In fact, you better honor them, or suffer the consequence.

And so we have it now that if you're going to be in the workplace, you have to watch it. You don't use the word homosexual, because they have made it a euphemism in their term gay. You know, the old songs and old movies, you know, I was happy and gay. Now you say that has a whole other meaning.

I would advise don't give them that. Don't refer to it as being gay, because there's nothing gay about it in the eyes of God. This is not self-righteousness. Josiah was not self-righteous for pulverizing pagan idols that had overtaken the house of God. It says we're the woman wove hangings for the wooden image. If you were to say to Jesus Christ, when he walked, Lord, do you think Josiah was right? What do you think he would say?

Absolutely, I'm the one that sent him. These women were making decorations, tapestries, to adorn their fake gods to help promote them. Ezekiel talks about a lot of this stuff.

He comes later. Verse 8, and he brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense from Geba to Beersheba. Also, he broke down the high places at the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the governor of the city, which were to the left of the city gate. So again, these are Levitical priests from various cities in Judah who had conducted worship at these various high places throughout the land, which again was forbidden. They were not allowed to serve outside of the Jewish temple any sacrifices or offerings to the Lord. Well, they couldn't serve at the temple itself either.

And so they engaged in unauthorized worship. You find this in Christianity. You find Christians making excuses for things that God has clearly forbidden. Yeah, but you know, to get people saved, no it won't. Your two wrongs don't make a right.

I mean, even the world has a proverb for that. Doing anything that was unclean, it was you're accountable to the Lord. In Josiah, he was doing anything he could do to render the unclean contemptuous. Where he says from Geba to Beersheba is idiomatic throughout the land of Judah. When Israel was one kingdom, it was from Beersheba to Dan, the northernmost tribe. Also, he broke down the high places at the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the governor of the city. Now, they had lucky charms on the gates, shrines as you entered the city, as you left the city.

This one is by the mayor, mayor's house, probably the city of Beersheba. Verse 9, nevertheless, the priest of the high places did not come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brethren. So Josiah recalls them to Jerusalem, the priests who served at these various high places, and because they practiced semi-idolatry, which is idolatry, they were disqualified from service at the temple of God. They were treated much like the priest, according to the Levitical law in chapter 21 of Leviticus, if a priest had a bodily defect or a handicap, could not suffer.

But he wasn't cut off either. He was still provisions were made for him to feed him because the priest lived off of the offerings. And so he treats them, he bars them from further service, but he gives them a share of the unleavened bread, verse 10, and he defiled tofet, which is in the valley of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to molech. That's just a human sacrifice, which is disgusting and vile on any level, but when you do it to children who can't even defend themselves, it takes, it's just demonic. When human beings behave this way, it is not just sin. It is demonic sin.

There are spiritual entities that are pulling strings inside the lives of people who are engaging in this. This valley of tofet, it's, you know, around Jerusalem is an elevated city, and it has the Kidron Valley and the Hinnom Valley, and they come together. And that Hinnom Valley today is very beautiful. Pasture and sheep, you look at that and you say, man, they were offering child sacrifices there routinely in the days of the kings.

It's real stuff. Ahaz, Manasseh, Ammon, these guys were all sending, not all of their children, but some of their children to these hellish places. Jeremiah 731, and they have built the high places of tofet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my heart. God says, I never even thought of such a thing as this. Now the Hebrew valley of Hinnom, when it becomes used in, translated into the Greek, becomes Gehenna.

Gehenna is the valley, the valley of Hinnom. In the days of Christ, that's where they burned trash and rubbish. They weren't doing the child sacrifices there by that time, but when the Jews came back from Babylon, that became where they would dispose of rubbish, and so the fires burned hot all the time. This is a picture of fire, a picture of hell. Christ used it, used the word, it shows up 12 times in the New Testament. Christ uses it 11 times, James uses it once, and each one is referring to hell, Gehenna, the judgment of God on the soul.

So a very serious picture here. In verse 11, then he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun and at the entrance of the house of Yahweh by the chamber of Nathan Melek, the officer who was in the court, and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. Archaeologists have discovered little hammerings of little horses with the sun on them, you know, the pagan idols, and they found them in Jerusalem and other places too. The horses to the pagans symbolize the means of the gods traveling across the heavens, much like the horse of Thor, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, and so again they're demonic shrines. Here David laid out his heart into the development of the temple of God, and this is what's happening to it. Deuteronomy 32, 17, so when we say these are demonic, it's because God says they're demonic. Paul brings it up in 1 Corinthians, but I'll just quote Deuteronomy. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals.

Those are the Johnny-come-latelys. They're not eternal, they just came along with people and made them up. And this by the house of a civil authority, a person in a civil office. Well, you know, you have politicians that are in total anti-Christ, anti-God. Verse 12, the altars that were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh, the king broke down and pulverized there, and threw their dust into the brook Kidron. Well, this is how you do it.

This is how you deal with lies. You pulverize them with truth, and the truth is these gods couldn't protect their little images. This is, we mentioned the last two times, I think, in Kings, how infested the land of Judah was with idolatry, and here we're seeing it.

It's being detailed for us. Verse 13, then the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, which were on the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon, king of Israel, had built to Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Sidonians for Chemosh, the abomination of the Moabites for Milcom, the abomination of the people of Ammon. Well, Solomon had wives from all these places, and he wanted to, look, I don't believe in that stuff, but, you know, if it'll make you happy, here you go. And, you know, Solomon prided himself.

He was quite the statesman, and he was just totally deceived. He introduced these spiritual viruses to Jerusalem, and they could never get them out. God had to do that when he sent them to Babylon.

That dealt with idolatry in the Jews, but then they had other issues. But here's an interesting play on words, the mount of corruption. You say, well, where is that on the map? What's the mount of olives?

Where Solomon built shrines of the pagan gods, according to 1 Kings 11, verse 7. So the Hebrew play on words, the Hebrew name for the mount of olives, or the mount of ointment, and you get the, crush the olives, you get the oil. It's Har Hamishkah. But the Hebrew for mount of corruption is Har Hamishkith. So you see the slight little play. We can pick it up phonetically.

We can hear it and say, okay, instead of kah, it's kith. It's quite a clever insult, which the writers of Kings and Chronicles and the prophets were notorious for doing, insulting the pagan idols and emblems. Verse 14, and he broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images and filled their places with the bones of dead men. He did not care who was offended. In fact, if you were offended for offending God, you'd get in trouble around Josiah.

You better keep that under your hat. You know, it's odd. We hear Christian conservatives saying we want politicians who stand up and say what they mean, and then when they go to Washington and they cave, and they're disgusted. But then they get a pastor who will stand up and preach what he believes, and they get offended.

He goes, I mean, it's just a sin. It's everywhere. Where does trouble come from? I mean, where does it come from? Is there like a little trouble cloud that moves around and rains on people?

Think about it. I mean, some troubles self-inflict itself into, but other troubles like, man, it's like a blanket of darkness, like a fog that rolls in, and it is spiritual. And sometimes you have to identify, is this God or is this the devil? Is God doing a work or is Satan, has he gotten access? Verse 15, moreover the altar that was at Bethel, the high place which Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who made Israel sin, they always put that in there, that he is probably one of the most disliked people in the Bible, by the people in the Bible, had made both the altar and the high places, he broke down and burned the high place and crushed it to powder and burned the wooden image. So there he is pulverizing it again. Verse 16, as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and he filed it according to the word of Yahweh, which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. So there we see him there.

He turned and he saw, he's present, he is in the field with the troops. This is the fulfillment of about a 300-year prophecy. I mean, if it was a 50-day prophecy fulfilled, it would be impressive. But this is, you know, three centuries old. It goes back to 1 Kings 13. Then he cried out, this is the man of God, he came, Jeroboam built that altar in Bethel, and the man of God was sent up, and he pronounced judgment, and God said, don't go back the same way you came, don't stop to eat with anybody, he disobeyed God, and the lion killed, you might know the story.

So here's what we read in 1 Kings 13. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of Yahweh and said, O altar, altar! Thus says Yahweh, behold a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David, and on you he shall sacrifice the priest of the high places who burn incense on you, and men's bones shall be burned on you.

And here it is, being fulfilled. And that prophet is still referred to as the man of God. Just because he suffered the consequence of disobedience and poor judgment combination, he's still a man of God. God doesn't call him the backsliding prophet like he does Balaam. And Josiah, he's personally involved in cleansing the land, it's personal with him.

John the apostle in his first letter, how does he end that letter? We should never trivialize this. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

It's still around. False representations of deity. They're always out of hell. Even if men claim credit, they're from hell through that individual and out to whatever source that they have in mind.

Anyway, whatever goals. Verse 17, and he said, what gravestone is this that I see? So he's on it, man.

He's scanning the area. So the men of the city told him, it is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel. Well, it's remarkable how some people knew the prophecy, so Josiah didn't know. He mis-churched that sermon and he didn't hear about it. Because we didn't have the word of God like we have the word of God. And certainly in his upbringing in the palace, they didn't get it.

Somewhere there was a gap. It's so easy to disbelieve God's word. You know what a militant unbeliever would say about this? Ah, they wrote that in afterwards. Yeah, well, we've got about a hundred other prophecies that nobody could have written in afterwards.

What do you say about them being head? So, I mean, Satan love. You know, much of what is prophesied in Revelation, we don't really understand, but those who will be living through it, they're going to get it. They're going to be able to go right to Revelation. This is just what was said by John in the Revelation. We are increasing our knowledge.

One of the exciting things, I haven't been able to do a study on Revelation since these new technological advances. So now when you talk about a lot of these creatures and the teeth like a dragon and hair like a woman, all these, you know, these could be drones dressed up. I mean, there's a stinger within their tail. It's not these real creatures, mutant creatures.

This is an island off, right off of Connecticut and Long Island, the tip of Long Island in New York. And it's an island where they have a lot of scientific experiments and animals and there's a lot of lore about mutant creatures there. It's lore.

It's not real. Anyway, I digress. How encouraged you must have felt to hear that you have been named by God 300 years before by the bones, the man that owns these bones, this prophet for this high work. Psalm 139 verses two through four. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. In other words, before you even think of it, long before God knows it, you comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue. Behold, O Lord, that you know all together. God is as though he is, if I could just say it this way, it's like he's this incredibly spiritual computer that can sense everything before it even happens.

He's so plugged in, so intelligent. It goes beyond, you know, if you can exhaust an explanation your God, you got the wrong God. God is beyond our comprehension, our complete comprehension.

There's much about him we can get though. Verse 18, and he said, let him alone, let no one move his bones. So they let his bones alone with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. So the bones of the prophet of Judah who pronounced the curse on this altar that Josiah is destroying and the bones of the priest that are being burned as prophesied and the prophet who lied to the prophet and got him killed.

And I mean, that guy irritates me. The old prophet of Bethel, that's who he is. 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 07:38:15 / 2023-10-07 07:47:40 / 9

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