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The Consequences of Prophecy-Burning the Bones of the Bethel Prophets

Prophecy is not limited by time and simply because a judgement has not occurred during your lifetime, does not mean that it will not be executed as God has commanded. The prophets and priests at Bethel were warned that a champion would come to not only destroy their pagan idols and altars, but that their bones and future worshipers would be burned upon their sacred sites.

King Josiah’s birth had been prophesied several hundred years earlier against the prophets and priests at Bethel; he would stamp out the pagan worship of the country and desecrate their graves. King Josiah was an incredibly young boy when he became king of Judah, the Southern Kingdom of Israel. But even at the age of eight, he was already beginning to differentiate himself from his fathers, who had turned away from worshipping the Lord, and instead “began to seek the God of his father David” and “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning to the right or to the left” (ref. 2 Chronicles 34:1-2; 2 Kings 22:1-2).

When Josiah was twenty years old, he ordered a great purging of Judah and Jerusalem of their high places, Asherah poles, and idols. Josiah destroyed the altars of Baal, cut down their incense altars, and smashed the Asherah poles and idols. He took the destroyed remains and ruins and placed them over the graves of those who had sacrificed at these sites. King Josiah even retrieved the bones of the priests who had conducted worship on these altars and had their remains burned to dust upon their sacred platforms (ref. 2 Chronicles 34:3-7).

King Josiah began to further purify the land and the Temple during the eighteenth year of his reign and had major repair and restoration work done on the Temple. The men in charge of the reconstruction project gave the money collected for the Temple repairs to Hilkiah the High Priest. Hilkiah divided the money amongst the laborers to pay for their services and to buy required materials. The workers labored so faithfully that no records were kept of the expenditures because their righteous hearts prevented them from being dishonest in the managing of the Temple’s expenses (2 Chronicles 34:8-12; 2 Kings 22:3-7).

During the reconstruction, High Priest Hilkiah found a copy of the Book of the Law of the Lord, who gave it to Shapham the Scribe. Shapham the Scribe presented and read the Book of the Law to King Josiah and Josiah tore his clothes in anguish recognizing that the vengeance of the Lord would fall upon Judah because his father and grandfather had turned the nation towards corrupt pagan worship rather than keeping the Word of the Lord (ref. 2 Chronicles 34: 14-21; 2 Kings 22:8-13).

King Josiah sent an envoy to Huldah the Prophetess to ask her to inquire of the Lord.

Huldah prophesied: “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.”

“Regarding the King of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which though hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when you heard His Words against this place and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbled yourself before me, and tore your clothes, and wept before me; I have heard you as well”.

“Behold, you will be buried with your fathers, and you will go to your grave in peace, and you will not see the destruction that I will bring upon this nation and its citizens” (ref. 2 Chronicles 34:22-28; 2 Kings 22:14-20).

After hearing the words of Huldah the Prophetess, King Josiah gathered the elders of Judah and Jerusalem into the House of the Lord and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, to keep his commandments, his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart and soul, and to perform the words of the covenant. And he had all who were present declare their devotion to serving God solely and keeping His Covenant, which the nation did as long as Josiah lived (ref. 2 Chronicles 34: 29-33; 2 Kings 23:1-3).

And Josiah began another cleansing of the nation and destroyed all the abominations within the country starting with the vessels of the worship of Baal which remained in the Temple. The citizens set out to cut down the Asherah poles and the high places and defiled Topheth which was where worshipers had passed their sons and daughters through the fire to Molech. Josiah destroyed the places of worship that King Solomon had built for his foreign wives.

Most importantly, he slaughtered the priests which continued to offer incense to other gods and burned their corpses and the bones of their past priests and prophets on their altars before being ground to a fine dust. And the altar at Bethel was crushed like the bones of the priest and prophets burned upon it.

And King Josiah died never seeing the destruction that Judah would experience for their previous worship of false idols.

Because Josiah intensely desired to follow the Lord, he not only used his leadership position to guide others as an example of serving God wholly, but also removed the false worship his forefathers had introduced to lead the people astray. King Josiah made bold public statements and completely changed how he ran his kingdom when confronted with the reality of what happens to a nation that turns away from God and His Commandments. Most importantly, Josiah fulfilled the prophecy concerning the destruction of the altar at Bethel and the restoring of Judah to the One True God.

While the nation of Judah had been free to operate freely without full repercussions during their long period of idolatrous worship, their coming exile was foreshadowed with the mass slaughtering of the false prophets and priests of Bethel and the destruction of the altar. But even those who had died hundreds of years ago were unable to escape retribution as their tombs were desecrated and their bones burned upon the very altar that they worshipped upon. Modern defilers of His Name will in time have their names, reputations, and memories tarnished and destroyed. God’s Words do not fail and His Prophecies and Punishments will be executed even outside a lifetime.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

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