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Unwasted Scripture (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 11, 2023 6:00 am

Unwasted Scripture (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 11, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

There's not going to be a fluke. It's not a whim of mine. It's not that, oh, I miss that. I didn't see the Babylonians coming.

None of that. God is saying this is a deliberate judgment for me. When you see those Babylonians show up, you understand this is my judgment. Daniel, he adjusted to it, as did Ezekiel. Many Jews did not. They had disrespected the true God. Respected the fake gods, brought this upon themselves.

We do not read of him saying, well, how do I know this is the word of God? Well, the content did to him what nothing else could do. And it's true to this day. One thing the Bible does unlike anything else on earth is it lays bare the cross. It lays bare the roots of our nature. When I say that, you know, you dig down to get to the roots of your nature.

It uncovers them. There is no moral mirror that comes close to that of the Bible. What else are you going to read that can cut like the Bible does?

You belittle it. One old pastor, Arno Gebelon, he said, men do not trouble themselves so much to discover and point out flaws and discrepancies in Homer or Herodotus or Aristotle or Shakespeare. No, but scripture judges them, judges their ways and their lust. That's why everybody likes quoting Shakespeare or, you know, or Homer or one of these other folks or someone new, Johnny-come-lately, because it doesn't do what the scripture does. The scripture carries its own credentials to the heart. When you hear it, you say, that's me. I can't get away from that.

And that's what you're faced with. Righteousness and judgment to come. We read, now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, go away for now.

When I have a convenient time, I will call for you. The word of God living in power, sharper, powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. Now I'm going to quote D.L.

Moody in a minute. I've used this, quoted this before, but it's just so appropriate for this section. France, and I'm not quoting him yet, France thought that the Bible stood in the way of their progress, especially during their reign of terror.

And they threw it overboard. Psalm 11 verse 3, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Well, here's Moody preaching on this very thing. It is said that a century ago, now remember Moody is in the late 1800s, that's when this was preached. It is said that a century ago, men were spending millions every year in France in the publication and distribution of infidel literature. Voltaire would be one of them. What has been the harvest has France reaped?

Mark the result, the Bible was suppressed, God was denied and hell broke loose. Half the children born in Paris were bastards. More than a million of persons were beheaded, shot, drowned, outraged and done to death between September 1792 and December 1795. Since that time, France has had 13 revolutions in 80 years. And in the Republic, there has been an overturn on an average once in nine months. One third of the births in Paris are illegitimate.

10,000 newborn infants have been fished out at the outlet of the city sewers in a single year. Well, we're not around to get where Moody's sources were, but we do know that France just lost it all. And that is enough of history to attest to this. And so what we're talking about is what happens when there is not God's word because men have outlawed it. We're looking at attempts in this country. But let's go back to one phrase Moody says, the Bible was suppressed, God was denied and hell broke loose.

How many times has that happened? Even in the book of Kings. Josiah will bring the reform to the people, but they had swung already too far to be retrieved.

As he gets rid of a lot of this, there will be a righteous remnant, there will be those that will be made righteous, but overall they're too far gone. And they're the ones that are going to bring the judgment through Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah 3 10, and yet for all this their treacherous sister Judah has not turned to me with her whole heart, but in pretense says Yahweh. As the prophet could see, these people are just acting like they're righteous because of Josiah, but in reality, they love their idolatry.

Some people do put on their best behavior only when they go to church, unless you step on their toe. Verse 12, then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahaiacam the son of Shaphan, Akbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, Asiah a servant of the king, saying. This is the detail that's being dispatched to the prophetess. This is what Josiah says. When he hears the word preached, he's got to do something. He says, Go inquire, verse 13, of Yahweh for me, for the people in all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of Yahweh that is aroused against us because of our father, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book to do according to all that is written concerning us. And so he is saying this is God's word. It is real. His judgments.

He's not playing around. We need to do something. And so the man of God moves men into action.

And whenever this happens, it's going to yield a testimony. That's fruit. But we can think of fruit as being something, you know, very pleasant and wonderful to the flesh when the fruit can come in the way of persecution, of martyrdom, of death, the fruit of the life of the apostles. You know, they all died. Of course, maybe one did not, but they all died through persecution.

That's righteous fruit. They stood their ground giving testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the king heard the word of God, there was no debate or discussion about it being trustworthy.

Well, ancient manuscripts. There was none of that. He went right to action. And I fear we complicate things when we overthink them when it comes to God's word and we dismiss that initial hit. When you first read the Bible and you found out you were a sinner, did you need a theologian to tell you what you were reading? That's what Paul said. Having begun in the spirit, you're now being made perfect by your intellect, your flesh. Don't drift.

Drop that anchor down and stop drifting away. Anyway, Josiah wanted no part of God's judgment upon them, himself included. Even David, the prophet king, subjected himself to the office of the prophets on spiritual matters as did Hezekiah and Uzziah.

Even Uzziah got out of bounds, but he got back to it. God maintains his distance between the church and the state, and that's why the prophet and king aren't, you know, operating at the same strength. Wherever you find a strong Christian, you're going to find a Bible reading Christian. That is a fact. Have you ever met a Christian ignorant of the Bible that you admired in their faith?

I have not. A person can be ill-educated, not well-educated, but they love the Lord and they know enough of the Bible and it is right, and that person is admirable. Acts 20, verse 32, So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I got a few minutes here, so I like telling this story again. Years ago, there was a car stuck on the road, they were in a dangerous spot, and I just was able to push the car off the road. Can't do that now, everybody's got airbags.

But back then, you just, you know, you ease up to them, you put it in neutral, you push them off the road. It was a car full of people going to church. I know because the driver was an old man, probably three, four hundred years old, and he had a collar on, and I know he was a Pentecostal, you know, and he wanted to give me money. I just love telling this story because this is God, not because it's me, but he went to give me money and I quoted, I've never seen the righteous forsaken, though the offspring begging for bread.

I'm not going to take your money. And he started weeping because he knew the scripture, and he knew its application. He knew instantly that God sent an angel, and he was just moved by that.

And you just, you know, you don't have to share. Yeah, his theology, according to me, is all messed up, and he probably would say, yeah, but you're dry as, you know, dead man bones. He loved the Lord, I got that.

Just a beautiful moment, and I had a lot of hair, so, and it's a side note. Anyway, verse 14, so Hichai the priest, Ahakim, Akbor, Shaphan, okay, these names, went to Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of, okay, those more names. Well, Tikvah is an easy one. The son of Harhaz, keeper of the wardrobe, sounds like a fairy boy, but he's not. Since he dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter, and they spoke with her.

All right, there's a lot of parts here. The keeper of the wardrobe, either the king or the priest, it's not specified, but again, there were vestments to be managed. The second quarter probably comes about when the Jews were escaping the northern kingdom, the Assyrians coming, and many of the tribes from the north were coming into Jerusalem, refugees.

And they had to expand the city to make room for them, and that's likely the second quarter there. Well, when there are not enough men doing what they are supposed to do before the Lord, God finds a woman who will do it. This is the story of Deborah, this is the story of Huldah. Barak, he didn't trust, you know, I'm not going unless you go.

The right response would have been, what are my orders? God said this, I'm off, but that's not what Barak does. He said, I'm not going if you don't go with me, and she tells him right out, if I go with you, the battle's not going to be, you know, you're not going to get all the glory you should have gotten for your faith, that's the implication. And so this is just a fact, and if you are under the influence of anti-Christ culture, you'd be offended by this.

Well, you have to be offended by this, but the Bible stands. As mentioned, Jeremiah had been around as a prophet for five years, Zephaniah was likely around. Why did they not go to them? I think two reasons why. One is they probably weren't available. Jeremiah lived about three miles away, I don't know where Zephaniah lived, he was actually a member of the court. But anyway, I think that's one reason. The second reason is the king felt the matter was so urgent it couldn't wait.

I don't want you to send out, I want the answers now, and they picked up on that. And they said, well, hold the prophetess, she's here, she's close by, let's go to her. And of course she is genuinely a prophet of the Lord. As I mentioned, the two times the women show up as prophetesses is when the men are not doing their job, not enough of the men are doing it. It's sort of a rebuke from the Lord on the men, and they do seem to recover. Once there are enough men re-established themselves, then they resume the leading role.

So that is just the way it is. It says here, she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter, I already explained that in verse 15 now. Then she said to them, Thus says Yahweh, God of Israel, tell the man who sent you to me, thus says Yahweh, behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.

I'm going to go back to hold on a moment. The idea is not that women can't do it, it's that God has a different structure, and that is what must be followed. Because the whole cart gets upside down, and we're seeing this. We're seeing men being, you know, it's not cool to be, you know, a man. It's a male aggression or some other junk, and they're trying to turn men into women and women into men. I saw a headline, Why Men Don't Want to Date Nowadays. You know, because femininity is gone. That's one of the reasons.

How about asking that question and why? So, okay, I don't want to go on a personal rant, but I do strongly believe, as I know that Bible-believing Christians do, God has outlined the role of the male and the female without devaluing any of them. A woman is not less valuable to God because she is in the role of a helpmate, and a man is not more valuable to God because he is supposed to be the leader.

It is supposed to be teamwork. Well, coming back to this, where she now speaks with the prophecy, and God essentially says, I'm going to bring calamity on Jerusalem and Judah. God reaffirms his commitment to judge a stubborn people who kept provoking him. His patience, doing everything he could to stop this. All the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.

So there it is. Here it is from 2 Chronicles, her speaking, which they have read before the king. So she is saying the curses read before the king will be fulfilled on Judah.

Where are those curses found in Moses' writing? Again, chapters 28 through 30 of Deuteronomy, that's where they really are. You could pick any chapter almost in Deuteronomy and it would benefit the king. Chapter 4 is one of the most powerful verses in Deuteronomy.

Chapter 13, you know, you don't get your little weird old dreams. If they take you away from my word, then it's the devil. Just powerful book Deuteronomy is. Anyway, imminent judgment for insolent blasphemy.

That's what she is saying. This place is going to get judged. Verse 17, because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore my wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched. So God is standing by his judgment to come. He is saying this is not going to be a fluke. It's not a whim of mine. It's not that, oh, I missed that. I didn't see the Babylonians coming.

None of that. God is saying this is a deliberate judgment for me. When you see the Babylonians show up, you understand this is my judgment. Daniel, he adjusted to it, as did Ezekiel. Many Jews did not. They had disrespected the true God, respected the fake gods, brought this upon themselves. They provoked God when they had every chance not to provoke God, and they invited this judgment. What was abominable to God was honored by them. And the righteous would say to this, as Josiah and Huldah would say, Amen. Therefore my wrath shall be aroused against this place. God retains this right, even over sacred places, sacred gifts, which was the temple.

The temple was a gift of God. And he's going to be the one that allows it to be destroyed. It says, And it shall not be quenched.

God says it's final. Verse 18, But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yahweh in this manner, you shall speak to him. Thus says Yahweh, God of Israel, concerning the words which you have heard. Verse 19, Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before Yahweh, when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse. You tore your clothes and wept before me.

I also have heard you, says Yahweh. So Huldah is still pronouncing the word of God, again pointing to Deuteronomy 28 to 30 with, you know, what God is saying, what I spoke against the people for their corruption, the curse that would come. And then God says, I saw that it broke your heart that you had offended me. Isaiah 57, 15, I dwell in the high and holy place, going back to keeping things sacred, right? With him who has a contrite and humble spirit to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. So when the woman reached out and touched the robe of Christ and he said, Who touched me? And Peter said, What are you talking about?

The crowd's oppressing me. Who touched you? And Christ was saying, I make a distinction between those who are curious about me and those who are serious about me. Those who eat the word and those who just want to peck.

And that's what we're getting here. God is saying, I see your sincere heart. He says, because, verse 19, your heart was tender. It was responsive to the word of God, even wounded. He humbled his heart rather than hardening his heart in unbelief or resentment.

I mean, what, are you going to judge us? You know, that wasn't his response. That they would become a desolation and a curse, severe judgment, just as Deuteronomy pronounced. And you tore your clothes and wept before me, the outward sign of torn peace. I also have heard you, bottom of verse 19, Scripture not wasted on this man, verse 20. Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace. And your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.

So they brought back word to the king. Surely, it says in verse 20, I will gather you to your fathers and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace. If we understand that by peace, God means peace with him, the prophecy is valid. If you carnalize the verse and say, no, this is worldly peace, then you have a big problem.

I say this because Josiah dies on the battlefield. He doesn't die a peaceful death, he dies in war. And you say, well, how did he die in peace? Well, he's right with God and he does not see the judgment of God upon, as God said, your eyes will not see it upon the people.

His death was not a judgment on him, but it did precipitate the judgment to come. Peace with God is the highest known peace to man. If the lions are chewing you in the Colosseum because you believe in Christ and devouring your children along with you, you have peace with God because of your faith. Romans 5-1, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, Paul didn't lose that peace when he was beheaded, he retained it. He was beheaded because he had peace with God. And to have peace with God is to not have peace with Satan by default.

You cannot have the two together. All those who live godly in Christ Jesus suffer persecution. The faithful church is spared judgment, the great tribulation.

Revelation 3, for you have a little strength and kept my word and have not denied my name. Verse 10, he's talking to that church at Philadelphia, because you have kept my word to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. I don't know how people say the church is going to go through the tribulation period. I mean, yeah, there will be no church in the great tribulation period, just the false church, the apostate church will survive the rapture, if you could say it that way, not much of a survival. They will continue on and they will be joined to Antichrist, but the true Christians will be removed. And those who are converted and there will be millions of converts, tribulation converts, they won't have a church to go to because churches will be outlawed. But they will be believers and they will die for their faith. So, the established church, the local church in Philadelphia, God using them as a template for future faithful churches saying, you will not go through the great tribulation period because it is my wrath on the unbelievers, not on the church. And I don't know why, there's this Christian, no, we got to go through it. I have a guilt complex. I think they're just too much into the Old Testament, not into the New.

That will happen. If you are imbalanced, you're just a Christian that stays in the Old Testament, you will become legalistic and guilty all the time. But if you come to the New, you're liberated.

You begin to see things that you otherwise would have missed. So, when you find a new convert, you don't say, hey, why don't you go read Genesis? Go read Leviticus.

You don't do that. You take him to the New Testament. Paul said, we are ministers of the New Covenant. That old covenant is an acorn. You can't get the oak without it. But it's not the finished product.

Well, that's a hard lesson for some. He says, and your eyes shall not see the calamity which I will bring on this place. That's the peace. Herein is the priest that he's promising him. Jeremiah has peace with God, but he's going to see the whole horrible thing. As he writes the lamentation of Jeremiah from a cave, and he borderlines blasphemy. He gets like Job. He gets right up to the end. He says, I hate this.

I hate my life. But he brings it back before he goes too far. 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 / 2023-10-07 07:19:29 / 2023-10-07 07:28:57 / 9

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