Josiah [Or A Type Of N.T. Believer]... a Message from the Messenger
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(Or The Type Of A New Testament Believer Living On The Threshold Of The Time Of The Coming Translation And Judgment)
Portrays Josiah as a type of a New Testament believer living on the threshold of the coming translation just before The Great Tribulation.
In Alaska, 45 miles north of Anchorage, in the Matanuska-Susitna bowl, the glacial Knik River forms what we called "Hidden Valley."
Hidden Valley was our home.
In July 1990, I preached a message there to the children and adults gathered on our front lawn in celebration of my daughters eleventh birthday. It was then that I latched on to this Old Testament "hero of the faith" whose story is recorded in II Kings 22, 23 and II Chronicles 34, 35.
In this exposition, I want you to remember what the New Testament teaches about the importance of the things God has given in the Old Testament. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" [I Corinthians 10:11].
We are they, "upon whom the ends the world are come."
We are they, which are "partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" [II Peter 1:4].
Something the apostle Paul gave to us by the Holy Ghost in Colossians 1:26-27 is concerning us. "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of glory:"
There it is! This mystery of us (the Gentiles) having been "graffed in" [Romans 11:19] is now revealed. This thing of "Christ in you" is for us, but was unknown to Josiah in II Chronicles. In I Peter 1:10, the Scripture saith: "of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you".
Josiah had only the prophets. He had what God gave to Israel through Moses and the prophets. This business of being in Christ, of the New Testament church, of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, and the truth that all believers are in the priesthood, was unknown to Josiah.
Now let's consider Josiah's ways: "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left" [II Chronicles 43:2]. This guy was quite a different fellow than the weak-kneed Christians populating our Laodicean church (1900-present). Talk about zealous. Wow! Look at what follows: "He began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images."
Just look at this! Read in verse 4: "And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them."
Now verse 5: "And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem."
In verse 6, Josiah performed all this to the land, even including the former kingdom of the northern ten tribes of Israel (Israel was taken into captivity by Assyria in the days of Hezekiah [II Kings 18:11,12].
What made Josiah behave with such vehemence and hatred toward the things that were an abomination to God, things that God would not forgive Judah, which had happened in the previous generation during the reign of Manasseh [II Chronicles 33:2-9]?
It was because Josiah's heart was "prepared". "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord." [Proverbs 16:1]. "He began to seek after the God of David". It really boils down to this: it was the Book of God that did the work. It happens when the human heart "finds the Book" (II Kings 22:8) "I have found the book". Have you found the Book?
Now take that book, with the "preparations" of the heart, and you will have what the Spirit of God records in verse eleven of this chapter [II Chronicles 34:19, II Kings 22:11] "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes."
Wow! This is it! It is the cataclysmic event that happens when a man's heart is "fixed" and can say, "my heart is fixed, O God, My heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."
All of a sudden the heart of that man, woman, or child will shout and say: "I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the clouds."
And wow! Look at the heart that would proclaim this! "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, let thy glory be above all the earth." (Psalm 57:7-11). This will happen every time a man "finds the BOOK" in conjunction with "a prepared heart."
Therefore, Josiah only does what a man does when he is in his right mind!
Do you remember what happened to Legion (Mark 5), which is the affect of Jesus Christ in the heart? He was "sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind." That is an interesting thought! Those that are not "in Christ" are not in their right mind.
One does not have to look very long or very far around in this world to realize that. The mass of lost humanity are "filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, back biters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:" [Romans 1:29-31].
Now that Josiah has:
1. "Prepared" his heart to seek God
2. Found God's Book
3. Had his heart "fixed"
He goes on to:
4. Inquire of the Lord with the heart of a believer about "the words of the book that is found" and finds the prophetic truth of the impending judgment of God hanging over Judah because of the sins of Ahaz and Manasseh. "For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book" [II Chronicles 34:21].
The believer knows that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" [II Timothy 3:16-17].
Knowing this, a Bible believer will "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" [II Timothy 2:15] Then, he will be equipped in the practical application of God's Holy Word in his daily life.
After a man:
1. "Prepares his heart" to seek God
2. And finds His Book
3. His heart gets "fixed"
4. He then inquires of the Lord
5. He does "good works" [II Chronicles 34:3-7]
Good works are recorded or chronicled by God for all believers. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is heaven." [Matthew 5:16] Also see James 2:18.6.
Next Josiah openly publishes his covenant with the Lord before all those present. Look, at it! Josiah, like the New Testament Christian, gives, by way of a covenant, a public testimony before the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers." [II Chronicles 34:32]
And while it is admitted, that this is a king of a theocratic kingdom, in the lineage of King David, can cause his people “to stand to it”, like Josiah did, the Christian, however, can do the equivalent, preach with boldness the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In II Corinthians 5:19-20, the Scripture saith: "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
Now, any government on this earth has ambassadors. Those ambassadors represent and promote, speak and act in behalf of their government or ruler. Is Jesus Christ your Lord? Is He your ruler? Do you obey him, who is God? Then, if that is so, you need to get out there and fish for lost souls of men! "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
After a man
1. "Prepares his heart" to seek God
2. And finds His Book
3. His heart gets "fixed"
4. He then inquires of the Lord
5.He does "good works" which are chronicled by God [II Chronicles 34:3-7]
6. He openly publishes his covenant with the Lord before all present.
7. He will be in a celebration of a worship of praise.
With the very opening of chapter 35 of II Chronicles, we see a marvelous thing unfolding before all in Jerusalem. Read it! See verses 1-17. This is the very height of the fruit shown in Josiah's life. God sees fit to make the following declaration. Verse 18: "And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem."
Josiah's vibrant powerful stride could not be broken. He had fruit! Likewise, the New Testament Bible believing Christian will exhibit a new life in celebration in a worship of praise. "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;" being "filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" [Ephesians 5:9 18b-20]
In these seven things shown, Josiah has been given as a picture, to point to a future time. It is to, and for, another people "which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." [I Peter 2:10] That is, to Christians! ("Christ in you").
In John 7:39, we see a very important proclamation made in the word of God to a future event that would not occur until Jesus Christ was glorified. "But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified." In John 12:16, this glorification was still in the future tense. "These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified."
Not, until his ministry on the earth was completed did the Lord show that His son was glorified. This occurred at the Last Supper. Verse 31 of John 13; "Now is the Son of man glorified..."
Still yet, there was a future component to this glorification. Verse 32; "And shall straightway glorify him" points to something still in the future: the Cross of Calvary, and his resurrection from the dead! Go to 1 Corinthians 15, verses 1-4, and see the pinnacle of all this!
This is the gospel in a "nutshell". Verse 3-4; "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Not until Jesus Christ is "risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept," could what was prophesied in John 7:39 be fulfilled: this mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
This great New Testament revelation was not completely understood by Josiah and the prophets. But that didn't stop them. They still looked for it (they searched). "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven: which things the angels desire to look into" [I Peter 1:11,12].
Look at Josiah. See his fruit. Yet realize that Josiah did not have what we have, "Christ in you," the indwelling of the Spirit of God You can see this by Josiah giving the order "to repair the house of the Lord his God" [II Chronicles 34:8b]. Josiah, (and all Israel) had known only of a physical temple of God, located in Jerusalem, not the New Testament revelation, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" [I Corinthians 3:16]
This is a tremendous truth. Oh! Let it sink into your heart. We have received so much from God. Yes! His presence in our heart, this Holy Ghost indwelling in our body, which is the temple of God. Remember how the Lord Our God signified the timing of this change? Nothing less than a physical temple (located in Jerusalem) was to be replaced by the temple of the New Testament Bible believer. Luke 23:45; "And the sun was darkened and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
Have you my friend, seen these seven things in your life?
1) Do you have a "prepared heart" to seek God?
2) Have you found His Book?
3) Is your heart "fixed"? John 3:5 "born of water and of the Spirit"
4) Do you inquire of the LORD? II Timothy 3:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"
5) Do you show forth your light by your good works? Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine..."
6) Are you openly, before all men, publishing your relationship to Jesus? [I Tim. 6:11-12] Are you following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness? Do you possess "a good profession before many witnesses" as Josiah did?
7) Do you have a heart in communion with the Spirit of God in a celebration of a worship of praise?
Now having brought the narrative of Josiah before you; God performs a peculiar thing. This strange thing is this: (please note several things), Josiah has been fighting a good fight. He is young, only 39 years old. He is God's hero. He was doing "that which was right in the sight of the Lord." Yet God takes him out this earth and brings him home.
We can see the story for ourselves in verses 20-24 of chapter 35: “After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day.”
Oh! Why did this happen? Why would a man of God go off to a certain end (a tragic end, in this case)? Well; possibly the explanation is wrapped up in the dialogue "of between the inner workings" of the Spirit of God and the "inner man”, the heart of man.
Please consider what happened to the Apostle Paul in Acts 19:21. "Paul purposed in the spirit," and in Acts 20:16, "had determined" or hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem. Again, in Acts 20:22, "I go bound in the spirit," and in Acts 21:4, "Who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go to Jerusalem." Read Acts 21:11-14 and note the phrase, "The will of the Lord be done." Now let's go back to our text in II Chronicles 35:21 and see the parallel. "Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, ... and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God." The will of the Lord be done!
I do not know how many times over the years that I would read of Josiah's life and could not for the life of me figure out why this great man of God was "taken out" in this manner so early in his life. This was one of the many times that I just had "to believe what God had said" without necessarily understanding it. It was for me to just to believe it.
My friend, how many times have you seen something in God's Book and you just did not understand it, but you, nevertheless, knew that God asked you to just believe it? It has happened many times to me. I learned early on in my walk to make a mental list of "those hard things" and tuck them away and wait on the Lord. When I came across this thing about Josiah and about how he loved the Lord and did right, yet snuffed out so early in his life; I had to say: "Lord, I will have wait on you for this one. I know you will show me in your perfect time."
Then it came to me (years later) that what God was doing was this. Josiah was living on the threshold of the time of the coming judgment of God. Look what the wife of Shallum (Huldah) the prophetess said: “And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched. And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto.”
Do you not see how this Old Testament passage on Josiah sheds light on the New Testament passage of I Thessalonians chapter one and five. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," [I Thessalonians 5:9]; and again, "to nail it down," "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised form the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
Josiah is a type of a New Testament believer living on the threshold of the time of the coming translation and judgment. God took Josiah out before the judgment came. God will take us out before the tribulation judgment.
I Thessalonians 4:16-18 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
... Bible 1611 - King James Bible Study
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