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In this Issue

Pryamids

The Child King Josiah



In Other News

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Pryamids

Definition:

Pyramids are the earliest form of massive monumental architecture built by humans.
Pyramids are shaped like big three-dimensional triangles, with larger bases narrowing towards the top; this architectural design is extremely durable, numerous examples can still be seen today preserved after thousands of years.

The pyramid is the most logical form of architecture if you want to build something to last.
You can find examples of pyramids in Egyptian, Mayan, and Incan civilizations; and also in China.

Religious organizations have adopted the classical Pyramid model. In the classic (Pyramid) model of Church structure the capstone is the Pastor. The capstone sits on top and oversees the whole structure. The capstone of Catholicism is the Pope. The Capstone of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury and so on.

The Capstone is primary to all the others.
The “solo shepherd” (pastor) is the capstone of his pyramid with many stones below him graduated down to the base.

The picture is clear, easy to see and understand. It’s like looking down on a sliced pie in a round dish. We have a vast assortment of Pyramids but the shape of the structure is always the same, They vary in size but never in form and shape.

Pyramid systems cannot be seen in the New Testament.

The Keystone:

It is the central wedge-shaped stone of an arch that locks its parts together; also called the Headstone. It is the central supporting element of a whole. It is the strength of the whole. Without it everything else would collapse. It bares the total weight of the whole structure. You cannot overload it.

Ephesians 2:20-21 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an Holy Temple in the Lord.

Zechariah 4:7 who art thou, O great mountain before Zerubbabel, thou shall become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone with shoutings, crying, Grace, Grace unto it.
The great mountain the prophet referred to was Darius who made a decree that the work on the Temple should cease (Ezra 4). His opposition was swept aside like a mountain and ground to dust.
Stand aside “sola” Pastor you have exalted yourself, you are a usurper; you hinder God’s people when you stand between them and their Lord. You can’t support yourself let alone anybody else. How much authority does a “Pastor singular” have over Christ’s body? To dismantle a pyramid you start at the top.

Spiritual admiration:

Isaiah 42:8. “I AM” the Lord, that is My name, and I will not give my glory unto another or my praise to graven images.
Admiration for tasks well done is a minefield that true saints seek to avoid. It is undeniably clear in the judgment of scripture, that the love of admiration and praise is basically corrupt as it tends to exalt self, to take pride in, and assume credit and merit for God given abilities.

Pride chooses self esteem instead of attributing all honor and glory to whom it belongs. We constantly need reminding that we have nothing that we didn’t receive. It’s wrong because it exalts that which we should demean, and it is inappropriate when it intrudes upon God’s domain.

When Christians aspire to outlandish claims it often offends and even disgusts, leaving one with a sense of inferiority. Great testimonies don’t necessarily build faith. They can often do quite the opposite.

When recognition and honor come our way it is only acceptable when it has not been solicited. It is seen as being given by God for present comfort as a reward for virtue. It can be accepted for further service of our fellow man, but not for self-aggrandizement.
“If ye then be raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” Colossians 3:1-2.
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord” Jer 9:23- 24. (RSV)


THE CHILD KING JOSIAH

There is a widespread feeling of disappointment amongst true children of God at the present time because of the apparent non-success of their Gospel labours. The masses are less and less disposed to accept our invitations, and come together to hear the marvellous story of God’s grace. TV, Sunday sport, the internet and many other distractions for fleshly indulgence such as our fathers never dreamed of, are doing their deadly work in so many lives.

Even Britain, so long favoured with an open Bible, is rapidly becoming a pagan land. In conversation with individuals, one is frequently amazed at their absolute ignorance of even the outlines of Divine truth.

Someone recently asked me who Moses was, for he had never heard the name before! Possibly the people in Central Africa are now more familiar with the things of God than the people of Britain. The need for revival is anxiously expressed every where we go; so the following may serve to point the way to a true revival in spiritual things.

Some years ago in England religious denominations organized a ”Come to hurch” Campaign. The aim was to fill the ”Churches” for at least one occasion. But much more than this is needed if souls are to be eternally blessed. In our Lord’s familiar parable of the Great Supper in Luke 14, the man who spread the feast said, “that my house may be filled.” Generous grace! But the house of the parable is not a Parish Church, but the house of the Lord. It’s His house that He wants filled, and there’s plenty of room in it.

Josiah accomplished wonderful things for God in a particularly difficult time, because:

  1. He sought the Lord with all his heart
  2. Because he was determined to be obedient in every detail to the Word of God
  3. Because he set himself diligently to cast away from himself and from everything that was inconsistent with the divine law

Given these conditions we will see great things take place in any locality in this day, so gracious is our God. But shortened addresses solos, choruses, and other non-apostolic methods are poor substitutes for the spiritual features which characterized King Josiah, and which drew such a response from God in the closing days of Israel’s sad national history.

THE CHILD-KING

In the book of Ecclesiastes (which contains an abundance of sound wisdom concerning “things under the sun”) Solomon says, “Woe to thee, O land, when thy King is a child (Eccles. 10:16). In earlier days than those of Josiah, Jehovah said with regard to Israel: “I will give children to be their princes, and with childishness shall they rule over them”
Infants - little children - young men - and fathers. John said “I speak unto you fathers”. Here somebody speaking to “you fathers”. Who and what was John? He was an elderly man, a Patriarch; a respected resource of wisdom and experience; in the Koinonia of God.

The adage “There’s no fool like an old fool may have some merit. But make no Mistake “the honorary head is a crown of Gold”. Particularly when they’ve walked with the Master as John did. True Patriarchs maybe few but their contribution will be sorely missed when they are simply pushed aside. Such a resource should not be ignored. The loss will be immeasurable to be sure.

(Isaiah 3:4). This was judgment upon a people who did not value His word, and. who had no desire to walk in His ways. It is hard to say which is worse for a nation, a child in years, or a man with a childish mind. In the book of Ecclesiastes we read again: “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished” (Eccles. 4: 13).

God’s thought in connection with kingship is expressed in His description of David in Psalm 78:72: “He fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.” A land blessed with such a ruler is blessed indeed; but David was far from perfect, and God’s ideal King would not be seen for a thousand years, and even then it was only a fleeting glimpse, as of a Lamb to be slain. He shall return, but not as a Lamb this time, but as a Lion; and King of Kings to rule and reign in Heaven and Earth.

It is startling to read in 2 Chron, 34:1: “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign.” This was not as it should be! Every nation needs strong and sound leadership, that evil may be suppressed, and that righteousness may prevail. What could a child of eight do with a tumultuous people completely immersed in iniquity, and dangerously near to overwhelming judgment? The sequel will show that Jehovah had mercy on the child, and also upon the nation. Josiah shines upon the page of Israel’s history as one of its few bright lights. His name means “Given of Jehovah.” This is suggestive. Such a pious and conscientious king was a priceless gift to the people of Judah at a critical point in time. Through him Jehovah made a last tender appeal to his disobedient people before expelling them from the land. Josiah’s reign could have been a long one! Amazingly his own folly cut it short! This young king’s father Amon was murdered at an early age, he was twenty-four. He was a very wicked man who profited nothing by Jehovah’s stern dealings with his own father Manasseh. The behaviour of these kings need to be kept in mind if we want to understand the wonderful work of the Spirit of God in Judah during the thirty-one years of Josiah’s administration (2 Chron. 33: 21-25).

Manasseh was twelve years old when he succeeded his father Hezekiah. He was therefore born during the fifteen years of extension of life which were granted to Hezekiah in answer to his prayers and tears (Isaiah 33: 5). There can be no doubt that Manasseh was carefully instructed in the ways of God, for Hezekiah said:

“The father to the children shall make known Thy truth” (Isaiah 38: 19).

Let every father take note to carefully follow Hezekiah’s good example (Psalm 78: 1-8). In spite of his early advantages Manasseh became the wickedest king that Judah had ever known. His enormities made it impossible for Jehovah to tolerate the presence of the people in His land. Manasseh practiced every form of idolatry; he indulged deeply in Spiritism; and with impunity he slaughtered all who dared to oppose his evil ways. After many years of these devilries, in defiance of many warning messages sent to him by Jehovah, the king of Assyria was allowed to come up against him.

In the days of Hezekiah, an earlier king of Assyria came against Jerusalem and its king to his own ruin. But it was otherwise with Manasseh; the invader dragged him from his throne, and carried him away to a prison in Babylon. (Babylon at that time was not an independent kingdom, but was subject to the king of Assyria). Manasseh’s downfall brought him to his senses. “When he was in affliction, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto Him: and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then and not before Manasseh knew that Jehovah He was God” (2 Chron. 33:12-13).

His energy after his return to his own country was remarkable. He sought to drive out all the evils that he had set up; he repaired the long disused altar of Jehovah, and “commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel” (2 Chron 33: 16). But whatever good Manasseh may have accomplished in his later years he failed to influence Amon his son. He had taught him to serve the Devil, and he persisted in that mode. “He humbled not himself before Jehovah as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more” (2 Chron 33: 23). When he ascended the throne of Judah after his father’s long reign of fifty-five years, his ways were so abomin-able that he was murdered within two years.

It is written of both these kings that “he was buried in the garden of Uzza” (2 Kings 21: 18 and 26). So buried beneath centuries of accumulated rubbish lie these two kings—Manasseh and Amon, father and son The father was sixty-seven years old when he died, and the son was twenty-four; the father has gone to Heaven, and the son has gone to Hell; and the horrible thought is this, his father taught him the way to Hell.

Manasseh would have gladly undone the mischief that he did in his unconverted days, but it was impossible? The evil had gone too deeply into the hearts of the people and of his own son in particular, to be eradicated later by his influence.

It is easier to put souls on the downward path than lo pull them off it again.

The early manifestation of piety in Josiah immediately arrests us.
His father, as we have seen, was an exceptionally wicked man; of his mother we know little save that she was “Jedidah, the daughter of Adiaah of Boscath” (2 Kings 22: 1). From whence then did the child Josiah get spiritual instruction? From his grandfather Manasseh, undoubtedly. The thoroughness with which the latter sought to undo the evil work of his former years would fill him with concern for his grandson. If Amon scoffed at his father’s entreaties and went more deeply into iniquity, there might be hope that this child would pay heed. This lesson should not be lost on us.

Josiah was six years old when Manasseh died. What is implanted in the mind of a child during the first six years of its life is not easily uprooted. Timothy owed much to his mother and grandmother. Of his father nothing is recorded save that he was a Greek. So carefully was Timothy trained spiritually that Paul could say to him later on: “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 1, 5, 3-15).

It has been said that filling the mind of a child with Scriptures is like the laying of a fire, which a simple match will cause to blaze up. Let the Christian parent that reads these lines not neglect their children. Children are a serious responsibility, for which we will give account in the day of the Lord Jesus.

I read this Quote: “I baptized a man eighty-five years old and a lad of fifteen. The contrast impressed me deeply, and I thought myself that I scarcely knew which of these we should be most thankful to God for. In one case we had a soul saved, but a life lost, and in the other we had not only a soul saved, but a life also. In Manasseh and Josiah we see this contrast. The former I shall undoubtedly meet in Heaven—a sinner saved by grace, but his life was largely wasted; we shall also meet Josiah in Heaven, but with him there was a life saved, which was fruitful in service to God for many years.

 

 
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Shaun Kearney
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