"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."
It's one of the saddest paragraphs in Scripture,
2nd Kings 16:10-16.
There wicked King Ahaz tampers with the House of God, even
changing God ordained patterns of worship!
me show you how it all started.
"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." 2nd Kings 16:10
This Ahaz was the son of King Jotham and grandson of King Uzziah.
He also was the father of King Hezekiah. All three men, his
Grandfather and Daddy as well as his Son were good men, doing
"right" in the sight of the Lord.
we shall begin where our Text does.
verb "went," describing the King's trip, is "yalak" and means
"to walk, to go or to travel." The King is out of town. He has
gone to Damascus, capital city of Syria. However, the city had
recently been captured by the Assyrians under fierce King
This trip may have been business related. Or it may have been
for pleasure. We are not told. What we do know is that Damascus
was an extremely wicked city, a stronghold of idolatry and
debauchery. It was not a good place to be, if you were King of
many problems begin when folks get in the wrong place! Dinah,
daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to "town" one day. She was
raped! And her life was ruined, due to sin! Lot pitched his tent
"toward Sodom." The rest of that story is history. David the
King stayed at home, when he should have been at battle! From
his roof he saw Bathsheba, another man's wife!
I'll go so far as to say this. King Ahaz is out of God's Will
here! He has no legitimate reason for being in Damascus.
careful where you go, friend!
verb "meet" is "qirah" in Hebrew and means to meet in this
sense, "to encounter" someone. Once in the King James Text it is
"to seek" a person. While again we do not know the exact
circumstances of this visit, we do know that this Assyrian King
is wicked and incompatible with godliness!
King who sits on David's Throne does not need such a companion!
we have not only the wrong place!
the wrong company too!
While in town, apparently observing some kind of religious
ritual, Ahaz "saw" an altar. Now this had to be an altar to some
heathen deity, to an idol! Probably a base filthy one!
verb "saw" translates "raah," seeing with concentration and
consideration and perception. He studied that evil thing!
Another violation of God's Will!
Lord prohibits His children from learning about evil, at least
in excess. Know as little as possible about that stuff!
Ahaz even copied the "plans" of the altar! The words "fashion"
and "pattern" indicate "likeness" and "form" respectively.
King feels that God's Altar back in Jerusalem is no longer
of date perhaps!
wishes a replica, an exact one apparently, to be constructed
But, don't worry. The Priests of God will never agree! They will
oppose such apostasy! That's what Priests do, keeping things
holy and pure!
one Priest, Urijah, was a "yes" man to the King!
whose name means "Jehovah is my Light" did not live accordingly!
noun "workmanship," in Hebrew "maaseh," can mean an artfully
in God's Eyes, wrong!
Ahaz would have been much wiser to have stayed with the "old
God's Altar, the Brass Altar, blood stained from end to end!
Readers today, be careful importing new things into the House of
Such could get you into trouble!
Let's be like Jeremiah who, quoting God Himself, wrote:
"Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the
ways, and ask for tHE
OLD PATHS, where is the good way, and walk therein, and
ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
We have no business
changing things that God designed to function in a specific way!
For example, from the very
beginning marriage consisted of a man and a woman being joined
together as one, as in Adam and Eve! To change God's
arrangement, by joining two men or two women, is a flagrant
violation of God's standard!
This is also true in the
vital area of worship.
The very first piece of
holy "furniture" a Jew encountered as He approached God, down at
the Tabernacle I mean, was an altar. A brass altar. It's size
and substance and attending vessels and pots and shovels and
fleshhooks were all precisely dictated by God alone!
And each precise activity
performed there had a meaning, a deep spiritual meaning
Here, at the brazen Altar,
was the Blood shed!
Do not "tamper" with it!
But wicked King Ahaz,
having made a trip to the ungodly and heathen city of Damascus,
saw another altar. It pleased him much more than God's original!
So the King sent a copy
back home to his Priest! I say "his" Priest because Urijah was
certainly not currently acting like God's Priest!
Here's the sordid history,
right from the Scriptures. Having received the "plans" for the
"new" altar ... "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." 2nd Kings 16:11
Here was a priest for sale!
Ignoring God's Will,
forgetting the purpose behind the old Brazen Altar, Urijah
"sells out" to political correctness!
The verb "built" translates
"banah," a word indicating some type of construction, but
revealing "continuous action." This took the priest a while!
Perhaps he needed some time away from all that "blood
The corresponding verb
"made" is "asah," meaning "to fashion or shape or prepare or
perform" an object. Here, building that thing! But by now, later
in the verse, the work is about done. I say that because "asah"
reveals punctiliar action, something now finished.
The preposition "against"
is "ad" in Hebrew and means "before" as well as "against." This
monster was constructed hurriedly, the priest being in a race
against the King's impending arrival back in Jerusalem.
By the way, the noun
"altar," which is "mizbeach," is derived from a root verb "zabach"
meaning "to slaughter an animal."
Folks, we all need to make
a list of things on which we will not change!
I used to wear little
narrow neckties. When first pastoring and in Bible College in
Atlanta, I bought four of them. The total price was one dollar!
I don't wear narrow ties now. The one in which I preached last
night was an inch or two wider than those old ones! I have
changed in my necktie procedures!
But there are some things
in which I will not change! Some of you may say "amen" and
others of you will "groan!"
I will not change the Bible
from which I preach, an old fashioned King James Version!
I will not change my belief
in the Virgin Birth of Jesus!
I will not change my stand
against sin! If something was wrong thirty years ago today, it's
still wrong right now!
I will not change my
convictions regarding Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God,
I will not, even for the
king, alter my belief on the power of the Blood of the Lamb!
That, and that alone, washes away sin!
My list is much longer, but
by now you see the way I am traveling.
I am an old-fashioned,
Bible-believing, born-again Preacher, one who wants to be
"stubborn" when it comes to the prevailing winds of change!
Paul wrote to the
Ephesians, "and having done all, stand!"
I say "Amen!"
Is anyone with me?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
was a crazy mixed-up age!
many ways similar to the conditions in the Biblical Book of
Judges, "every man did that which was
right in his own eyes." Both Judges 17:6 and 21:25 use
these very words.
one King of Judah, one among several, fell into the godless
are told of King Ahaz, "When he was come
from Damascus, the king saw the altar, and the king approached
to the altar, and offered thereon." 2nd Kings 16:12
This was a new altar too, one built after the pattern of the
idolatrous and ungodly Syrians with their polytheistic
"approach" the altar is acceptable. Any "sinner" in Israel could
do so, provided he had brought a suitable animal to sacrifice. "Qarab"
simply means "to come near."
then it happened!
Ahaz "offered" upon that altar a sacrifice, really more than
actual "offering" of such an animal was NOT the prerogative of
the King either! Only the priests on duty could officiate at
such a holy event.
Once Ahaz's Grandfather, King Uzziah, had tried to do such a
thing, entering the Temple to conduct worship! His effort failed
miserably, bringing upon himself the judgment of God! Leprosy I
Look how sin impacts the generations!
Grandfather to Grandson!
Uzziah stepped out of bounds and did priest's work!
Grandson Ahaz follows in his steps!
What we actually have here is a "type." A symbol or emblem of
some deeper truth!
Here, represented by the King, government intrudes into the
religious life of the Nation! Religion and worship can be
controlled, so think the Babylonians!
that happens more and more in the Western world, we ourselves
will hear Washington or London or Ottawa telling the pulpits
what is allowed and what is not! What can be preached and what
must be omitted!
truthfully the reason such things are beginning to happen is
that the priests, the religious establishment, Urijah here in
our Text being just an example, compromised in the first place
and changed the pattern of worship to fit the spirit of the
God, help us to learn to "stand alone" and say "no" when such
trials come our way!
... to trips to heathen lands, especially into pagan temples!
... to mimicking and replicating the altars of the world!
... to any person who encourages us to side-step the Blood of
the Lamb of God!
... to man-made worship!
no ... to using the devil's "ways" to try to build the Church of
Loosing control ... by default!
Lord, give us courage!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Perhaps the best illustration came from the lips of Jesus.
more than anyone, knew that the great Conclaves of Passover and
Pentecost and Tabernacles were Feasts ... Feasts unto the Lord
Great celebrations and memorials of Blood Atonement, the
ripening of the first fruits of the year, and even the final
Again I say it, quoting numerous Scripture verses including
Exodus 10:9, each of these was "a Feast
unto the Lord."
when Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth and found such blatant
hypocrisy and hatred among the Jews, among the Pharisees and
Sadducees and Scribes and Chief Priests for example, He at some
point quit calling Passover or Pentecost a Feast of the Lord! In
John 6:4 it is merely "a feast of the
They, the legalists of that day, had so perverted those great
Holy Days that Jesus no longer acknowledged their belonging to
similar thing happened in 2nd Kings 16:13. There wicked King
Ahaz intruded into Temple life, usurping the authority of the
High Priest, and began to enact the rituals of Old Testament
he did so at a false altar, one designed after the heathen
religions of Assyria!
also did so with an idolatrous heart, having earlier sacrificed
to the "gods of Damascus" according
to 2nd Chronicles 28:23.
Furthermore his worship was tainted by a covetous heart, one
which was soon to steal much of the gold and silver from God's
House and give it away to wicked kings, buying protection he
Therefore, when Ahaz offered his sacrifices, God carefully
records the acts in this manner. "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." Here 2nd
Kings 16:13 had just as well said "his" altar too! He had it
custom built you may remember! God's Brazen Altar would no
longer suffice! You did notice the underlined personal and
possessive pronouns in the verse, didn't you?
These offerings were originally the Lord's Offerings!
the King has so polluted them, God refuses to claim even a
That reminds me of Western religion nowadays!
still have a skeleton of Biblical Truth ... but in many places
it has been overtaken and personalized to the point of
Just as well say, "Brother Doe's prayers were offered!"
"Brother Smith's Bible was read!"
"Sister Green's Pastor led the service!"
"The White's Church" has a great many things for the youth!
much has been "sold out" in these last days!
reminds me of the man named Micah in Judges 17 who "bought" his
own priest! Read it!
Also notice this, even in apostasy, so very far away from God
... Ahaz still had the particulars of Jewish worship down to the
"burnt offering," in Hebrew "olah," ascended upward to the very
nostrils of God, smelling good and pleasurable because of Jesus'
total dedication and obedience to the Father's Will!
Then the "meal offering" was burnt, consisting of no blood, but
the very best of the flour they could produce! It pictured
Jesus' sinless life that so beautifully complemented His
vicarious Death for sinners!
Plus even a "drink offering," an outpouring of wine upon the
altar to show thanksgiving unto the Lord for His Salvation!
don't forget the "peace offering" too! Ahaz didn't! Here Jesus'
Death is a source of Blessing to the Lord in Heaven above, to
the priest officiating too, and in this offering alone ... to
the confessing sinner who gave the sacrificial animal just
slain! All these Parties ate of the sacrifice! See here the
fellowship and communion the Lord's Death and Blood have
this beauty is lost, solely because of the ugliness and
deadliness of sin!
fact, such hypocritical worship is sickening to the Lord!
"The sacrifice of the wicked is an
abomination unto the Lord" says Proverbs 15:8. It
literally disgusts our great God! That's one meaning of "toebah"
Such worship reminds me of something Paul said in 2nd Timothy
3:5. Many will some day have "a form of
godliness" but "deny the power
I reading something that happened 2700 years ago ... or just
Think about it!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
only are the pieces of furniture in the Old Testament Tabernacle
important, each heavily freighted with glorious meaning, but
even the order in which they are placed is significant!
Eternal life itself depended upon approaching God in His
Yes, Salvation is by Grace through faith alone, but only when
appropriated through the Blood of Jesus Christ, God's only
is not accidental that the first Item a worshipper viewed when
approaching the Tabernacle, later the Temple, was the large
was brass because that's the Bible metal signifying judgment!
Someone had to be judged, because of my sin, if I would ever be
able to fellowship with the Almighty! When Jesus returns in
Revelation chapter 1, His feet are seen as brass, indicating
judgment! In Deuteronomy 28:23 when God judged His people for
their rebellion and sin, withholding the rain, we are told that
the heavens above them would be "brass!"
This was the Place where the blood of innocent animals, millions
of them over the years presumably, was shed! It pictured the
coming Son of God, the Messiah, in His Death on the Cross, His
Blood Atonement for sinners!
nearly 8 feet square (5 cubits) and nearly 5 feet in height (3
cubits) this Altar was the biggest piece of furniture in the
House of God! That's because Blood Sacrifice is the heart of
communion with God! Only the Blood of Jesus cleanseth us from
all our sin! Being a square of 5 cubits each direction, Grace is
its message, God's Merciful Son dying for the sins of the world!
It therefore faced each direction of the compass! Souls north,
south, east and west could come!
Also the fire upon this Altar was never to be extinguished
according to Leviticus 6:13. Again a symbol of God's awesome
Holiness and God's never-ending fierce Judgment upon sin!
It's very building materials, acacia wood overlaid with brass,
pictured the humanity of Jesus, "a root out of dry ground," Who
was also able to bear the judgment of God upon Himself for our
sakes, dying in our stead! This special wood not only grew in
the desert, "dry ground again," but often bore thorns, a symbol
of the curse upon mankind! It also was very durable, resistant
to harmful insects, fragrant and extravagantly valuable! All
these traits may be applied directly or indirectly to Jesus! He
had no sin, but wore that crown on thorns in our stead! By the
way, it also had medicinal value to the people!
four horns typified the sheer Power of God too! Practically they
were used to hold the dying bleeding victim in place, being tied
there with ropes! Jesus was held to the Cross not simply by
nails or spikes, but by the overwhelming love of God!
what if I told you that Judah had a King who displace this
Altar? Ahaz the Son of Jotham and Grandson of Uzziah did such a
Read it with me: "And he brought also the
brazen 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." 2nd Kings 16:14
words "before" and "forefront" are identical in Hebrew,
appearing twice in this verse. And "paniym" means one's "Face!"
The Lord Himself, from the Mercy Seat within the Most Holy
Place, looked directly onto the Brass Altar! It too was at the
"face" of the House of God, directly at its wide entrance!
Standing between a sinless God and lost mankind, that's Jesus on
Calvary for sure!
When we are told that the brass altar was "between the altar and
the House of God," confusion might ensue. Where?
Remember that wicked King Ahaz has by now placed a man-made
altar, fashioned after an idolatrous one he recently saw in
Damascus, in the very door of the Tabernacle! So, as I
understand it, the brass altar was removed from between Ahaz's
new altar, blasphemous as it was, and the Tabernacle Tent
proper! Dislocating the initial token of God's Grace and Blood
Atonement and Salvation is an act of utmost treason against the
Ahaz had the bravado, or maybe I had better say stupidity, to
put his altar in the place of prominence! That's the very
opposite of what Paul would later teach, that "in all things
Jesus should have the preeminence!" See Colossians 1:18. Here
Ahaz increases while God is minimized! But hear John the Baptist
on this matter: "He must increase, but I
must decrease." John 3:30
Where did Ahaz reposition the brass Altar of God?
"put" it, in Hebrew "nathan," on the north side of the complex.
The verb means to "give" or "set" too. This King apparently
actually thought he was doing well, being magnanimous to God!
the north side was not a high traffic area!
accessible to the common Israelite!
nearly as visible, if at all!
NOT where God originally put It either!
Thus, the King was obscuring the Blood Atonement!
De-emphasizing God's Way to Heaven and eternal fellowship with
But, wait a minute!
that not what countless churches and preachers have today done
in this old sinful world?
Man's ideas are now being preached ... rather than God's!
Man's ornamental, or woman's for that matter, symbols and
rituals have been elevated above the Lord's!
And, let's face it, without the shedding of blood, there is no
remission of sin! So says Hebrews 9:22.
And, talking about being "elevated," many believe the altar of
brass was placed on a "hill" there at the gate of the
Tabernacle! Leviticus 9:22 says that the priests, upon
completing the offerings, "came down" from the altar! The
structure itself was just 3 cubits high, not quite the height of
a man, and being divinely prohibited from having any "steps,"
one wonders if the "coming down" might imply a raised ground
area! If so, the "hill" of the altar would parallel the "Hill"
of Golgotha or Mount Calvary!
Cross, let it alone!
Keep it central, in the forefront of all you do!
Like Paul, may we say: "But God forbid
that we should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ." Galatians 6:14
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Jewish Temple was modeled in the fashion of the Tabernacle in
the wilderness. Larger in size, it still housed holy pieces of
Furniture such as the Laver and Candlestick and Altar of
once, during the reign of wicked King Ahaz of Judah, two altars
of blood sacrifice were installed there!
was designed according to God's pattern, the other according to
the King's desires!
was genuine; the other, false!
Such "syncretism" was forbidden of the Lord!
"Syncretism" combines two Latin words. "Syn" or "sun" really,
the prefix and a preposition, merely means "with." "Cretism" is
thought to be a derivation of the proper noun "Cretian." People
from Crete, the Island in the Mediterranean! These were folks
who at that time were famously ungodly! Liars, reprobates and
exceedingly sensual according to many. Even Paul wrote:
"One of themselves, even a prophet of
their own, said: The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts,
slow bellies." Titus 1:12
Syncretism has come to mean a mixing, a combining, a putting
together of the old-fashioned godly things of religion right
beside new contemporary practices, especially those based on
once questionable actions!
Mixing the godly and the ungodly!
Hollywood singing in the Church!
Worldly dress in the pews!
Some new Christ-denying Bible in the pulpit!
Psychology instead of theology!
centered philosophy instead of God centered worship!
get the idea.
Well, let me show you a classic example of this vile practice,
"And King Ahaz commanded Urijah the High
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." 2nd Kings 16:15
This is one of the most amazing verse in the Bible, as far as
rebellion is concerned I mean.
the "great" altar, "gadol" in Hebrew, the King means the larger
altar. That would be the new one! The one copied from the
heathen temple in Damascus!
King has changed locations for all the great offerings of
has usurped the authority of God Himself!
this is no religiously illiterate King either! Listen to him
name the offerings of God; burnt offering, meat offering, drink
offerings, including the blood therein!
paganism with Judaism!
Man's ideas with God's!
Combine lewd sex with holy and spiritual worship! The practices
of these heathen religions were so vile along this line, the
sensual, that they cannot even be described to a congregation of
godly men and women!
Then, things get worse!
Ahaz next takes the old Altar, the Brazen Altar, and
appropriates it for his own personal use!
Again it says, "And the brasen altar shall
be for me to enquire by." The verb "enquire" is "baqar"
and means "to seek or to consider," enquiring in that sense. As
if God in Heaven would answer anything for such a person!
Remember what Proverbs 28:9 tells us: "He
that turneth away his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer
shall be abomination." Such "enquiring" makes God sick!
Now, what's more serious?
Pulling God down to man's level? That's what offering holy burnt
offerings and such on a vile altar would have indicated!
elevating man, a wicked one at that, to the position of the
Almighty and omniscient God? Using God's Old Testament means of
blood atonement for selfish purposes!
Again I say, both practices are chronically repeated in today's
minimizing God ... just think of the religions now who are
putting vile men, not to mention women, in their pulpits!
Remember King Jeroboam, also ungodly, who
"made of the lowest of the people priests of the high places."
That's according to First Kings 13:33.
maximizing man, just think of the Pope, who claims to be the
very Vicar of Christ. Vicar is a noun derived from Latin again.
It originates in"vicarious," a "substitute!" One who has the
"office" (again in Latin, "vicus") of Christ!
Both are blasphemy; belittling God and deifying man!
This intrusion into the spiritual life of Israel is as serious
and as idolatrous as Nebuchadnezzar's golden image! "Bow and
worship" said the King! But, thank God, three Hebrew young men
said "no!" They "stood alone" against the raging tide of
Now, here, in Ahaz's case, will someone oppose him?
Will the High Priest Urijah intervene?
Surely a man of God will rebuke such apostasy?
But, not so!
Tomorrow's Lesson will tell us more!
Much to ponder today!
Bringing the world into the Church!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
name was Ahaz.
job was that of being a King of Judah.
he was a wicked man.
ordered the Brazen Altar, stained with the blood of countless
innocent animals, moved to an obscure part of the Temple
ordered a new altar be built! One that reflected the trends and
standards of a new day! An altar that was an exact copy of a
heathen edifice in Damascus!
also demanded a change in the order of worship! I mean down at
the House of God! All God's offerings would hereafter be
sacrificed on the new altar, not the old one! A modernization
program, you see!
furthermore planned to commandeer pieces of the holy furniture,
implements of holy origin, and use them solely for his personal
But, wait a minute!
these apostate actions were advanced by the King, wicked as he
Yet, even here, in vile Ahaz's days ... do remember that God
also has a Priest, a holy man of God. He is somewhere nearby no
will oppose such irreverence!
King will not get away with these acts of spiritual
Priest during these days was a man named Urijah.
was simply a "yes" man to the King!
was second place to Urijah!
Everything had to be politically correct!
Listen to 2nd Kings 16:16. "Thus did
Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded."
built that new heathen altar and put it in the Temple yard!
removed God's old Altar, the brass one!
changed the whole pattern of worship, doing things for cultural
reasons instead of godly ones!
allowed Ahaz to overtake the Altar of Blood Sacrifice, again the
brass altar, making it his personal play thing!
low can a Priest sink?
you imagine Elijah responding to such a series of requests? He
would have again said, "If the Lord be
God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him." 1st Kings
What if Micaiah had been nearby? Ungodly King Ahab of Israel
hated him! Why? "He doth not prophesy good
concerning me, but evil," wailed the King! 1st Kings
John the Baptist? "O generation of vipers!
Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance!" Matthew 3:7
But, again I point you to Urijah, the Priest with no backbone!
"Thus did Urijah the priest, according to
all that King Ahaz commanded."
verb "did" here is "asah" in Hebrew. It just means to
accomplish, to fashion, to produce, to work or make! And it is
set in a time frame that reveals constant action, durative
obedience, on-going apostasy! Urijah practiced following every
unrighteous order the King gave!
how much better it would have been for him to say with Romans
3:4, "Let God be true and every man a
liar!" Including Kings!
folks, that's exactly where we are in America today!
Effeminate Preachers, with no stamina and fortitude, yielding to
every worldly desire their congregations demand!
Little "yes" men, a whole new generation of "Urijahs," bowing
before the gods of popularity and expediency!
of whom it can be said: "They must increase. God must decrease!"
Such was their motto!
need more people with the fiber and caliber of Joshua.
"As for me and my house, we will serve the
What kind of Preacher do you have?
Could you write a list of your personal convictions?
what areas would you not yield, even to the king?
you a Urijah?
Think about it!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
have studied just a single section of the life of King Ahaz of
Judah. This man was the father of godly King Hezekiah, yet he
himself "did not that which was right in
the sight of the Lord." That's according to 2nd
particular Text for the past week has been 2nd Kings 16:10-16.
Let's remember what this King Ahaz did during that time.
visited an ungodly city, with his "guard" down it seems! There
he saw an altar to a heathen god, liked it, and sent a copy back
to Jerusalem! Commanding the High Priest Urijah to duplicate the
thing, Ahaz returned to Jerusalem and installed the false altar
in God's House!
actually moved the real altar, the Brazen Altar, to a more
remote location in the outer court, placed his altar at
the gate of the Temple, and transferred all sacrificial
offerings to that new "hypocritical" altar! The blood of
thousands of innocent animals, meant to prefigure the Death of
our Saviour, was then being shed on a defiled, filthy, sensual
platform of paganism!
Furthermore, King Ahaz appropriated the real altar, the Brass
Altar, blood-stained as it must have been, for his own personal
use! "And the brassen altar shall be for
me to enquire by," he proclaimed in 2nd Kings 16:15.
yesterday, when we finished our exposition of these seven
verses, I noticed that our glimpse of Azah had only been
Here's what I'm saying.
Once a man leaves the foundation of his faith, forsaking the
blood atonement and walking in utter disobedience to Almighty
God, there's no telling how far he will slide into sin and
someone like Ahaz will remove the most prominent piece of
furniture in the House of God, at least to the eyes of the
people, and replace it with an idolatrous substitute, he is
liable to do anything!
a man will so disregard God's Word, which carefully gave
instructions for building that brass altar according exactly to
God's standard, and substitute his own ideas ... worse yet ...
the ideas of the devil, he will stop at nothing!
Well, Ahaz was just beginning it seems!
to his list of sins not only this altar exchange situation, but
Ahaz also made molten images for Baal, idols! 2nd Chronicles
sacrificed his children alive, on the fires of Hinnom, to
appease the gods of Assyria and other heathen nations! 2nd
became a prolific idolater, sacrificing "under every green
tree!" 2nd Chronicles 28:4
"transgressed sore" against Lord
God of Israel! This expression is translated from "maal maal" in
Hebrew. It twice means "to be unfaithful!" It's doubled for
emphasis! This man is a super sinner! 2nd Chronicles 28:19
furthermore began to steal other pieces of furniture from the
Hosue of God and give them away to ungodly Kings, apparently to
appease them. You see, such Items as the altar of incense or the
seven-pronged candlestick would have been worth much money! They
were made of gold! 2nd Chronicles 28:21
And, after repeated "whippings" from God, chastisements for his
sin and rebellion, tearing his Nation to shreds, King Ahaz,
rather than repenting, "did trespass yet
the more against the Lord." 2nd Chronicles 28:22
"sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus"
too! He could muster plenty of faith in them, just not Jehovah
God! 2nd Chronicles 28: 23
finally "shut up the doors" to the
precious Jewish Temple with all its symbolism and beauty,
designed point men and women to the coming Messiah! He
"cut in pieces" the remaining
vessels of the Temple also! 2nd Chronicles 28:24
then he "made him altars in every corner
of Jerusalem" not counting every other city in Judah! 2nd
Here's what I'm saying today.
Sin, once being given full control, takes over a human life!
as James says, breeds more sin!
worsens rapidly, never remaining static!
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth
forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death!"
James 1: 15
"Evil men and seducers shall wax, or
become, worse and worse!" says Paul in 2nd Timothy 3:13
Warning has been given!
all take heed!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
WISDOM THE BIBLE CONTAINS! AND WHAT SERIOUS WARNINGS IT GIVES