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a warning from Jeroboam's ministry 
6th-Dec-2005 10:57 pm
Jeroboam, the first king of nothern Israel

26 Jeroboam thought to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam."
28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." 29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there.
31 Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. 32 He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. 33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.
Comments 
7th-Dec-2005 05:08 am (UTC)
I have found a very interesting passage in 1 Kings 12:25-33. It is a story about Jeroboam. He was one of King Solomon’s officials (1 Kings 11:26-12:24). Because Solomon committed sin against God, God planned to split his kingdom and give it to Jeroboam. God made a very clear promise to him through a prophet saying, “However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my6 servant did, I will be with you, I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.”

Jeroboam was chosen by God to become a king over Israel and God gave him his word on that. But when he became a king in chapter 12:25-33, he began to worry about his kingship and his kingdom. It was absolutely unnecessary fear since God clearly gave him his word that he would establish a dynasty as enduring as the one he build for David. But he didn't have absolute faith in God's promise. His most serious concern about his kingdom was what if his people run away from his kingdom to go to Jerusalem. In his fear, he began to twist how to worship God. He invented all kinds of unbiblical theologies and practices in his kingdom to keep his people from running away from his kingdom. In this way not only he committed great sin against God but he also led his people astray from God.

I think this is a perfect picture of unbiblical Christian ministry. Many Christian pastors might have the same fear as Jeroboam had to face, the fear of losing people to other ministry or the fear of unsuccessful ministry. So like Jeroboam, they do things to keep people running away from their ministry.

Jeroboam made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” His intention was to make his people worship God only in his kingdom and not anywhere else. So he twisted the Bible. He said that the two golden calves were the gods who rescued them from Egypt. So they had to actually worship the two calves instead of going down to Jerusalem to worship God there. In this way he spiritually isolated his people from Jerusalem. He also built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. They were not trained/ordained priests. Probably they were the people who were very loyal to him and devoted to serve his kingdom. I wonder how they might have interpreted the Bible. He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This could be equivalent to many church activities/meetings/conferences to make the people busy. Anyway he cleverly twisted the Bible teachings and trained all sorts of people to be bible teachers and instituted church activities so that he could keep the people from running away from his kingdom.

He seemed to be doing all these things to serve God and to help his people serve God better. But at the bottom of all these things was his selfish/unspiritual desire to keep and maintain his kingship and his kingdom. If he could maintain his kingship and his kingdom, he was ready to do anything even twisting the Bible by instituting his own religion. I think this is a perfect warning against unbiblical Christian ministry. The reason there are many problems with Christian churches around world is because there are so many Jeroboams in this world. I think Mr. Samuel Lee was a Jeroboam and Pastor Jun, Kwang-Hun is also a Jeroboam. Jeroboam was not a man of faith but of fear. He did not trust God's promise but invented many terrible theologies, maybe such as sufferings and punishments, and unbiblical practices.
3rd-Feb-2006 04:09 pm (UTC) - Warning from Gideon
This is an excerpt from an essay found at http://safechurch.com/cultic.htm:

Erwin W. Lutzer described the beginning of a cult rather aptly, in my opinion, when he discussed the beginnings of idolatry which Gideon brought into the land. He said: "Once Gideon had set himself up as a high priest and placed the center of worship in his hometown, idolatry swiftly followed. The biblical account says starkly, : "All Israel prostituted themselves by worshipping it [the ephod] there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family" (Jud. 8:27) WHEN A GOOD MAN FALLS, Erwin W. Lutzer, Victor Books, 1986, p. 47.
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