Wednesday, Dec 07th

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2 Kings 17

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I constantly urge those who attend our Bible studies to apply what they read in 2 Kings to what is happening today. In this chapter, the closeness to today is almost frightening. Here we read what God thought of the paganised Jews. The same anger is surely aimed at us today! As we read this chapter think of it applied to the evils that are now smashing their way across the world with demonic force. Then, change your life. Follow the Lord you claim to have followed thus far! I mean everybody, including myself.

Verses 1&2

  1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.

  2. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.

When Ahaz the king of Judah had ruled for 12 years, the final king of Israel, Hoshea, began to reign. He lasted nine years before the nation was lost to its own history. He was a bad king, but not as evil as others before him. Is that a matter of praise? No. Sin is sin, and anyone in a position of authority that allows or encourages people to sin is held liable by God. This includes bad pastors and preachers... and there are huge numbers of these... some held in high regard.

Verses 3-5

  1. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.

  2. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

  3. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

The name of Assyria’s king at this time means ‘fire worshipper’, and may have been a common name for kings in this period. Hoshea became a vassal-king to Assyria, thus dishonouring the Lord in yet another way. He paid tribute annually to Shalmaneser, and sent him a constant stream of presents. Is this not how Britain is related to the EU? We pay vast sums to allay its wrath and as an appeasement. But, appeasement never lasts or works! It is also dishonourable, because if there is a perceived need for appeasement, there is a time to fight. The USA is playing the same game of vassal, with the equally wicked UN. And both are trying to appease evil Islamists, as Europe plans to give presents to Turkey – free travel via visas. Other presents are free housing to Islamists, with free-everything, with a promise not to use law against its criminal elements.

After some years of appeasement, Hoshea stopped paying his dues to Assyria, and no longer gave presents to the king. As with any despot, Shalmaneser sent envoys to see why. He discovered that Hosea was conspiring with So, the king of Egypt, against Assyria. The result was immediate – Hosea was taken prisoner and kept in a prison. Appeasement only leads to even worse harm, for to appease is to admit to fear of the enemy and a willingness to submit the neck in obedience. Again, today, we see this occurring in the West as Islam gains greater footholds every day. Instead of repulsing this enemy, the West feeds its ego and desires with submission. Indeed, the West has done this to several other great enemies – homosexuals, environmentalism, socialism… every evil we witness today has been allowed-in and fed by weak leaders, who thus involve the people in their wickedness.

In the New Testament we see that if the house is not occupied and kept clean, it will be filled with even worse demons. This is certainly true of our modern lives. The king of Assyria, knowing the weak-spined leadership of Israel, took advantage of it and swept his way through Israel, easily conquering the nation. This was God’s judgment upon those He would no longer support. He is the same with modern Christians who cannot be bothered to live holy lives. The inroad by Islam is only one example of this divine retraction of His active presence. Assyria besieged Samaria for three years, bringing to an end the once mighty nation of Israel.

Verses 6-12

  1. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

  2. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,

  3. And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.

  4. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

  5. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

  6. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:

  7. For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

Finally, Samaria was conquered, and many Israelites were enslaved in Assyria. Most were taken to the vassal towns of Halah and Habor, and the cities of the Medes. Halah defined the situation, for its name means ‘painful’. This place was in Mesopotamia, another vassal state. Habor was built on the banks of a tributary of the Euphrates in Assyria. The tributary, Gozan, means ‘a cutting off’, which also defines the lost estate of Israel. The land of the Medes was to the east of Assyria, and was another vassal state.

Not only did these vassals benefit from having Israelite slaves as free labour, but the Israelites were thus brought up in a foreign environment, which weakened their hold on their own land and citizenship. This is what happened later when Jews were taken into bondage at Babylon.

Today, Christianised* people are being taken captive by satanic movements. They are eating and drinking the poison of modern living, changing what was a godly culture for what is pagan or atheistic – one’s culture matters! This is paving the way for a one world government, which will be atheistic and socialistic, but filled with fake religions and fake religious leaders. (* That is, influenced by godly mores and values, and not necessarily saved).

Some have wondered why God was so lenient towards the Israelites all this time. Perhaps we forget that to the Lord time is irrelevant and that He ALWAYS exacts judgment upon erring people. This was the time the Israelites discovered that the God Who chose them as a special people was now going to abandon them to their unbelieving fate (until many are saved much, much later), just as He does with all Christians who defy Him time and again and yet do not repent.

Thus, verse seven shows us God’s judgment against Israel, which lasted hundreds of years, finally ending with the diaspora in 70 AD: “the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God” and the immense privileges known only to them were cut off. The same Lord they kicked against had rescued them from Egypt and slavery, and from the paganism they embraced during their enslavement. Now, because of the same failure to obey God, they were returned to slavery.

All this time, from the second half of Solomon’s reign to the time of Hosea, the people worshipped false gods as well as the true God, thus demeaning the true God and casting down His uniqueness. Sadly, they thought what they did was ‘secret’! Even today, Christians do sinful things which they hope no-one will discover. How do they think they can get away with it? God sees, hears and knows EVERYTHING a Christian says, thinks and does! And, often, He gives the same knowledge to his servants on earth. That is how the prophets kept kings and people in check. Never think that your sins will not catch you out! They always do.

The people thus built their groves and ritual pagan sites. They KNEW it was against the one true God’s will, yet they did it anyway. In a lesser way modern churches follow traditions rather than pure scripture. They think this is in God’s will, but it is not. And, one day, they will discover the truth of their errors. Unfortunately, like these Jewish failures, they “wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger”. Each Christian persuaded by the Spirit to change, must therefore repent immediately and live life as they should have lived it from the start, no matter what the consequences are. This is urgent.

Note that the Israelites built these pagan shrines “in all their cities”, from the watchmen on their towers to the most remote fortified cities on hills. It is even likely that the watchmen, the natsar, closed their eyes to the dangers in paganism. All the while the Israelites thought it was ‘secret’! God knows. He told the people time and again that He did not tolerate their worship of false gods: “Ye shall not do this thing”! Yet, they ignored the command… just as many of us do today, our false gods ranging from tradition to bad behaviour and erroneous teaching.

Throughout the hundreds of years of bad rule, God gave opportunity for the people of Israel and Judah to turn back to Him. He “testified against Israel, and against Judah”. Similarly, He testified to all Christians in Revelation, to change and repent. “Turn ye from your evil ways” and “keep my commandments and my statutes…”.

He warned and taught through the Patriarchs, and through the prophets. They were sent by God to bring the people to their senses. But, as we read in the New Testament, “they have killed thy prophets” (Romans 11:3)! Today, many Christians ‘kill’ God’s prophets, teachers and preachers. They abhor sound pastors, preferring traditions and bad teaching; they throw out those who disturb their slumber, hating them, but love bad pastors and easy-listening, and their own worldly ‘interpretations’. God forbid that this continues in a time of growing darkness!

Verses 13-17

  1. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

  2. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.

  3. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.

  4. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.

  5. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Though the Jews were a chosen nation, “Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah.” He did it through the prophets and seers (prophets who can ‘see’ the signs of the day and interpret them, sometimes by visions; a type of prophet). Christians must never take God’s approval or support for granted: if they sin greatly or continuously, He WILL judge and testify against them.

Always, the prophets and seers warned Israel and Judah, to stop doing what was evil and to keep His commandments and laws. These were the same laws given to the fathers of Israel and Judah, so the people had no excuse, not even when they had wicked kings. No, they hardened their necks and refused to hear! This was almost congenital for the same sins were done generation after generation. Christians are no better off, for they follow the useless traditions and teachings of those before them, thinking they are safe and spiritually-minded. There is no excuse.

The people deliberately rejected God’s requirements and the promises given to their forefathers, yet they claimed to follow Abraham! Instead, they became ‘vain’ – empty headed and living sinfully, hoping in things outside the promises of God. Their end had now come, after God gave them two centuries of goodness and warnings. “They went after the heathen that were round about them” even though God specifically “charged them, that they should not do like them.” When a people deliberately rejects God’s commands in this way and adds the atrocities of heathenism, God is bound to act against them. Christians today are just like them, following evil ways and teachings. And, those who once stood firm have slipped downwards, entering the den of Satan, slowly but surely. In particular, charismatics have done this consistently, defying the Lord, becoming heathen.

The people showed evils in their outward lives, building shrines and altars to false gods, including the two statues of calves. Overall they worshipped Baal, though the earlier Hebrews were commanded to put to death all who worshipped him in their new land of Canaan.

Not only that, but the people murdered their own sons and daughters in sacrificial fires dedicated to Baal and Molech. They resorted to divination and enchantments, two things of witchcraft that God said should be punished by death. Even today, many charismatics use these same witchcrafts (as they did at Azusa Street). They did not just blindly follow these awful practices – they “sold themselves” to them, fully endorsing, doing and teaching what God had spoken against. They were, and are, practices “given over to death”. That is, they totally acted against God “to provoke Him to anger”.

This is why, when I issue similar warnings, I do not stand alongside the sinner, but tell them bluntly, they MUST stop, repent, and change, IMMEDIATELY. No-one knows if God will otherwise cut short their lives, even if they are believers. The times we are now in demand this blunt and urgent response, for time is coming to an end, and we have no future in following evil or self-appointed teachings.

Verses 18-23

  1. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

  2. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

  3. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

  4. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.

  5. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

  6. Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

Because of their godless lives, the Lord was “very angry” with the Israelites. The king was included, but each individual KNEW they were rejecting the God Who chose them, so deserved their punishment. Yet, God allowed Judah to continue, even though Judah followed the same path as Israel; it is true that Judah had a few good kings, but this did not excuse their general sinfulness. As for Israel, God rejected the whole nation, gave them many troubles, and allowed them to be captured or killed by “spoilers”, until they were cast out of His sight.

Note that He did not just allow them to be ill-treated – He SENT these plunderers to spoil the nation with woes, troubles and punishments! Do you think God turns a blind eye to those in our day who claim to belong to Him, and yet sin openly? No! He is already bringing Islam against us as a dire warning to repent. Muslims follow-on from homosexuals, who did their part in destroying our lives. And others are soon to follow. Friends, we are in God’s sight right now. Repent and change. Stand firm for Him and be loyal to the Gospel. Do it as a matter of great urgency.

God tore away Israel from the House of David, when they chose a wicked king, Jeroboam. He led by example and caused the nation to reject God’s word and ways. God graciously protected Israel despite their evils, but it had to come to an end... and Hosea’s era was that end-point at which God said “Enough is enough”. Things might seem alright for modern Christians, but God’s hammer falls when we least expect it. Beware and change! Israel as a nation was removed; they became vassals to enemies of God, because of their sins.

I often speak of Christians being in mortal and spiritual danger. Do readers understand why I say this? Do readers know what danger they are in, and what they do that is so sinful? If not, they are far gone and God will fall upon them with great wrath. We are not protected from God’s judgments because we are saved... He watches and hears what we say and do, and will not tolerate our sins much longer. As happened with Ananias and Sapphira, some of us will suffer death rather than be allowed to continue in our sins. Is this your desire?

We have all received warnings to obey the Lord. We all know the penalty for not doing so. Yet many of us continue in sin, as if sin was just a myth or something we can perform, ignoring God’s wrath. Beware, for time is short.

Verses 24-27

  1. And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

  2. And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.

  3. Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

  4. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

The king of Assyria placed the people of Israel into Assyrian-held cities. Then, He filled the Israelite cities and land with godless strangers. THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY IN THE WEST! He is removing us from our formerly safe havens, and replacing us with the followers of Satan, Islamists. Like the people who were taken to Israel to occupy the land, so Islamists today come from many countries, as a penalty for our sickening sins and disobedience.

Look at the list of places these pagans came from: Babylon (note the meaning – ‘confusion by mixing’: is this not what is happening in the West today under the guise of ‘mutliculturalism’?); Cutha or Cuth, probably about 20 miles north east of Babylon (its name, too, is descriptive of the Israelite fate, for it means ‘crushing’); Ava also has meaning – ‘ruin’ (possibly a city in Phoenicia); Hamath was a main city of Assyria in the valley of the Orontes, so was already godless (but a formerly great city ruled by a friend of David); Sepharvaim was another city conquered by Assyria, in Syria: sited on the Euphrates north of Babylon. Between them they ravaged Israel and brought it fully under pagan, false-god rule. Make no mistake, this is what is now happening. A once Christian West is being demolished by invading colonies of satanic believers. And it is all our own fault. Even so, we MUST repent.

God brought Assyria to Israel to finish its rule, but He did not tolerate its godlessness. Therefore, He brought lions to attack and consume some of the new inhabitants. Those who lived in fear of these lion attacks approached the king of Assyria, complaining of the problem, which they recognised immediately as God’s anger because the new people did not acknowledge the Lord. The king wanted to pacify the newcomers, and sent them a priest from amongst the enslaved Israelites to deal with it. The priest was commanded to teach the pagans the ways of God, so that the scourge by lions would be removed. Many Christians live this superficial life, by outwardly showing deference to God, but inwardly defying Him. God knows!

Verses 28-33

  1. Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

  2. Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

  3. And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

  4. And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

  5. So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.

  6. They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

Thus, a priest was sent to live in Bethel, and he “taught them how they should fear the LORD”. Obviously, this did not convert the newcomers, but they at least began to live in outwardly godly ways. In my view this is acceptable for social coherence and peace, even though the net result was a people doomed to hell.

Despite this outward obedience to God, the invading people also made other gods, placing them in the high places built by the Israelites. This is what Islamists are doing in the West. They are demanding more mosques, to signify their superiority over the decadent West, even though Islam is just as decadent! Schools send pupils to mosques for ‘cultural studies’ and so the children are taught that Islam is an ‘equivalent’ religion.

The incomers from Babylon thus made images to Succothbenoth (‘the daughter’s booth’; in other words, brothels in places of worship); the men of Cuth made images of Nergal (‘hero’, and possibly the same as Mars), a chief god; men of Hamath made figures to Ashima (‘guiltiness: I will make desolate’); the Avites made images of Nibhaz (‘the barker’...; the image of a dog, representing the lord of darkness, an evil demon. Note how modern charismatics bark like dogs) – they also had images of a second god, Tartak (‘prince of [profound] darkness’, shaped like an ass). The Sepharvites worshipped Adrammelech (‘honour of the king’) and Anammelech (‘image of the king’, similar to Molech), related to a group of stars shaped like cattle.

What a complete mess Israel was reduced to! Any and every false god now ruled and the latter worshippers killed their children, as they did to Molech. Outwardly, these wicked people feared the God of Israel and Judah, but they made their worst citizens into false priests who tended the high places and centres of idols contained in small temples. Again, in verse 33, we see that they “feared the LORD” though they knew Him not, just as the idolatrous nations acknowledged the power of Abraham’s God, and feared Him, though they did not worship Him. They served their own gods “after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence” (i.e. the Israelites). There was no difference between what the Israelites did, and what their replacements did. It is a truly frightening fact. And it is the same today in churches.

Verses 34-41

  1. Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;

  2. With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:

  3. But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

  4. And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.

  5. And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.

  6. But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

  7. Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.

  8. So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.

Note that these people acted this way “unto this day”. They do not fear the true God and ignore His commands. This is why the Middle East is in the death-grip of Allah (who some believe is simply a type of Baal). God made a covenant with Israel, but they ignored it. God commanded them not to bow down to idols, but they did. This is exactly what is now taking over the world through Islam, and it is why no Christian can align themselves with Muslims. They are a curse upon us from God.

We are to fear the God Who took Israel out of captivity in Egypt. Everything He commands we must do. This was not just for the Hebrews, it was “for evermore”. To forget these promises is deadly to our souls, as Israel discovered, not just then, but finally in 70 AD, and later in multiple casting-out from many countries, and even in the Holocaust. If you think this is just for the Jews, then think again – we are grafted onto the ancient people of God and can suffer similar penalties. On the other hand, if we obey, repent, and worship only Him, then He will protect us from our enemies. The fact that we are not protected in our own day, speaks volumes.

“Howbeit they did not hearken”! The Jews rejected what God gave to them, so He sold them into slavery and destroyed their citizenship. As with drug addicts, they kept returning to their “former manner”, like dogs returning to their own vomit.

The land of Israel was thus filled with godless peoples who at once feared the true God and yet worshipped false gods, in an unholy mixture reflecting their wicked state. The last phrase of verse 41 was prophetic, and we still see this same wickedness in the Middle East today. Soon to be transplanted to the West.


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