2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV) An Old Testament Type of Transitioning Faith

2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV)
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.

I once was given a book entitled Transitioning that was meant to lay out in step by step measures how to turn a church from conservative philosophy to modern.  The person who gave the book to me did so to help me recognize when a church is making such a transition and it was not long before I saw a number of churches, including some with whom I had connections, begin the transition.

Transitioning is not, however, a modern problem. Ahaz transitioned Judah thousands of years ago. He used the same facilities Judah had always used for worship and made gradual, in some ways, subtle changes:

He built a new altar to be the centerpiece in the Temple courtyard.
I understand this altar would have been smaller perhaps seeming more functional.

He did not remove the old altar but moved it to a less prominent place.
Transitioning pastors will very often say that they are not really changing things but making things more efficient and functional. Many time they will not completely abandon conservative worship but simply make a new time slot for those who want to continue in the old fashioned services.

He removed the laver
Which was a vessel used to wash prior after the offering and prior to entering the tabernacle.

Transitioning pastors want little to do with sanctification and separation.  Their whole “come as you are” mentality is geared to make the sinner feel good about themselves.

He changed sea for a pavement of stones.
The sea, many believe, represents heaven where God’s throne is seated upon a sea of glass. The stones are more “earthy”.

Transitioning pastors want to make church relevant and practical. They aren’t as concerned about heaven and hell as they are about “your best life now.”

Ahaz was a modern transitioning pastor. The Bible gives us specifically what was God’s opinion of him,

2 Kings 16:2
Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

2 Kings 16:10-18 (KJV) An Old Testament Type of Transitioning Faith

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Luke 20:6 (KJV) Committed to Christ?

Luke 20:6 (KJV)
But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

The same people who would later cry out they wanted Jesus crucified here would have, the Pharisees believed, stoned them for speaking lightly of John the Baptist.

  • It is easier to accept a man is a prophet than to accept He is God
  • It is easier to support a good man than to stay faithful to Christ as Saviour
  • It is more natural to defend the character of a leader than to defend the deity of Christ

Whether they would have stoned the Pharisees is impossible to tell. We do know that, though they were intrigued with Jesus, in the end they turned against Him.

Professing believers ought to take this to heart and examine closely their faith. Are we merely loyal to a preacher and intrigued by Christ? Or are we genuinely committed to our relationship with Him?

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Luke 20:6 (KJV) Committed to Christ?

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Luke 16:31 (KJV) Something More than the Bible?

Luke 16:31 (KJV)
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

We live in such a materialistic, flesh driven world that we believe people need something more than the Bible and faith to believe. We have therefore created any number of ways to “attract” people to the truth with something other than the truth.

Sometimes it’s excitement
Somebody gets all pumped up and tries to get others pumped up with them.

Sometimes it’s entertainment
Somebody focuses a so-called ministry on entertaining music and messages and then tries to sneak in a piece of truth here and there.

Sometimes it’s opulence
Someone presents himself as wealthy and successful and implies his followers can have the same if they only believe.

Sometimes it’s staged miracles
Someone claims to be able to do miraculous things like healing the sick pronouncing new prophecies or even raising the dead. The rich man in hell thought if someone was raised from the dead his family would believe.

Interestingly, Jesus did raise a man named Lazarus from the dead. Did people believe? No, the Pharisees sought to kill the resurrected Lazarus to prevent people from leaving Judaism.

Abraham told the rich man a truth we need to grab hold of; if they won’t believe the Bible they won’t believe at all.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Luke 16:31 (KJV) Something More than the Bible?

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Luke 15:6 (KJV) Be Happy God is Happy

Luke 15:6 (KJV)
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

There are two parables where the subject calls on others to rejoice with them for their success. In the third parable this same rejoicing is had except we are given the account of the older son who refuses to rejoice.

Life is filled with people who, for whatever reason, cannot bring themselves to be happy for the successes of others.

This same can be said in the spiritual world. Some, usually those who see themselves as better than others, refuse or at least find it difficult and unnatural to rejoice

  • When a backslider repents
  • When a lost man is saved
  • When a fallen one gets back up

There are a lot of reasons they may not rejoice in these successes

  • Maybe they feel they ought to have more successes
  • Maybe they don’t trust that the one recovered has truly gotten right
  • Maybe they see their success as competing with their own
  • Maybe they just don’t want them celebrating that someone is, in their eyes, being rewarded for failure

Whichever excuse we might have for not rejoicing in their success I propose a fix. That is to rejoice that God rejoices. If you are unable to rejoice with the one who has been lifted, then rejoice with the one who did the lifting.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Luke 15:6 (KJV) Be Happy God is Happy

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2 Kings 12:4-5 (KJV) The Business of Every Believer

2 Kings 12:4-5 (KJV)
And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.

Though this passage is directed to the priests, it has a New Testament application to every Christian. The King instructed the priests to take whatever money was given and to apply it “wheresoever any breach shall be found.” There was:

  • Personal responsibility
  • Personal accountability and
  • Personal participation

expected of every priest and every man the priest could recruit.

It ought to be the same in the work of God today. God’s business is not the business of a certain group of believers only. It is the business of every Christian to:

  • Identify the breaches in God’s work
  • Recruit others to help repair the breach and
  • Use whatever God has given them to get the work done.

This project was not successful until some were commissioned to organize and supervise that it be done. That is the work of the pastor today. He is not called to do the work alone. He is called to organize God’s people so it gets done.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

2 Kings 12:4-5 (KJV) The Business of Every Believer

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Luke 14:31-32 (KJV) The Condition of Peace is Truth

Luke 14:31-32 (KJV)
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

I am told that, during the Revolutionary War, a commander was expected to put up some form of battle before surrendering, even if he knew there was no chance of victory. It was a matter of honor and I suspect was a measure to discourage cowardice among the officers.

But there were exceptions. The Continentals, for instance, took Ticonderoga with hardly a shot being fired.

The lesson of this parable is not intended to encourage cowardice among believers but:

  • Alertness
  • Soberness and
  • Vigilance

Taken with the accompanying parables we find the Christian characters of:

  • Sacrifice
  • Persistence and
  • Forethought

The condition of peace is truth.

Sacrifice, persistence and planning leads to truth being victor.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Luke 14:31-32 (KJV) The Condition of Peace is Truth

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Luke 13:17 (KJV) Putting Our Enemies to Shame

Luke 13:17 (KJV)
And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.


I imagine that this is where we get the phrase, “Putting your enemies to shame.” The Pharisees had issued a rather hasty order for a new problem, “When is it permissible to heal the sick?” It’s almost laughable, isn’t it, that they would even consider such a question? If someone is able to heal the sick let him do it! They were so trapped in their religious rules (which had long ago quit being from God’s Word) that they could not grasp how ludicrous it was to try to stop Him from healing this crippled woman, even if it was on the Sabbath.

Jesus answered their objection by pointing out an obvious exception to their rules; every one of them would feed and water his animals on the Sabbath. In another passage it is added that if an animal falls in a well on the Sabbath no one would let it die there. They would pull it out. How much more ought we to do all in our power to help a suffering person, even on a Sabbath?

Common sense slays a whole lot of religious idiocy. I am not calling for a rejection of faith. Common sense could never out match God’s Word. But when religion leaves the Bible it generally throws good common sense out with it.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Luke 13:17 (KJV) Putting Our Enemies to Shame

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2 Kings 10:5-9 (KJV) Loyalty to the Things of God

2 Kings 10:5-9 (KJV)
And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king’s sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king’s sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

The commentaries I possess all focus on Jehu claiming that he has done and said all this in an effort to lessen the appearance of his own culpability in the deaths of the family of Ahab. That may well be the case yet Jehu has a point. Regardless of the reason, that the very men tasked with raising up these seventy sons of Ahab would kill those sons rather than die protecting them is a mark of

  • cowardice
  • carelessness and
  • lack of any sort of character

That this happens in the house of Ahab is significant. It stands to reason they would betray their loyalties as they had already betrayed their loyalty to God and to the family God had set up as the royal family in Israel. The next chapter takes us to Judah where indeed men and women of faith risked their lives to protect the royal seed.

This does not mean that the lack of character exhibited in this account never happens among the professed people of God. It does serve as a warning to those who would please the Lord that loyalty to the things of God is the premium.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

2 Kings 10:5-9 (KJV) Loyalty to the Things of God

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2 Kings 8:4-5 (KJV) Worldly Indeed

2 Kings 8:4-5 (KJV)
And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.

I note two men of worldly character, one interested to hear about Elisha and the other, excited to tell such an important man what he knows about Elisha. Neither of them is interested in either, talking about or hearing about the Lord.

There is a lesson for us here, if we will hear it. To make all our Christian conversation about great men of God, to either want to tell our own experiences or else to wish to hear about someone else experiences with them, and to have those conversations to the near exclusion of the Lord, is worldly indeed.

To my reader:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

2 Kings 8:4-5 (KJV) Worldly Indeed

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Luke 11:42 (KJV) Wash It All

Luke 11:42 (KJV)
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Jesus’ accusation against the Pharisees was that they concerned themselves only with the outward appearance and made little to no emphasis concerning the inner things. He used their complaint that His disciples didn’t wash enough as His object for the lesson. They, in effect, washed the outside of their plates so they looked clean but left the inside, where all the real filth was, alone.

Jesus doesn’t discourage washing our hands here. He tells them not to leave that undone. He does, however, urge that the inner plate is more important than the outer.

I think we see both extremes in modern Christianity.
On the one hand there are those whose only concern is appearances
They build extravagant buildings and put on the show for religion’s sake. It’s not just the big denominations that do it. We find this same action practiced all the way down to the single individual who dresses and behaves a particular way, all for appearance sake. If they have an inner spiritual concern it is barely recognizable under all their show.

On the other hand is the reactionary who, seeing the shallowness of religious appearance, has rejected all forms of outward conformity

  • They refuse to wear dress clothes to church.
  • They will not commit to regular church attendance.
  • They mock any form of separation or standards as legalism.

Jesus speaks to both crowds in this case and says, “these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

In others words, wash both the inside and the outside of the plate.

To my reader:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Luke 11:42 (KJV) Wash It All

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.