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The High Places
“Yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God, and kept not His testimonies:
but turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned
aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high
places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images” (Psalms 78:
Six times in the Books of Kings and twice in Chronicles are the basic
words repeated: “But the high places were not removed.” The
Holy Spirit of God made the point several times. He only does that when
there is something
very serious happening.
The Lord often pointed
out that the high places should have been removed.
What are the high places? Are they referred to as “high” because they
were on hills? Were they referred to as “high” because they were tall and
impressive structures, overshadowing those around them? Or were they “high” because
they were esteemed so in importance? I think all three, sometimes all at once.
It is written that they worshiped in those high places. It is
said that they worshiped the true God, but also false gods - mainly Ashtoreth
(Astarte, Ishtar, Easter) and Baal - but several
others, as well. In any event, the Lord was very jealous and angry, often
pointing out that they should have been, but were not, removed.
pointed out when they were removed. Only those kings who served the
Lord with all their might removed them. These kings were Hezekiah,
Josiah, and Jehoshaphat. Yes, these men had their infirmities
their sins like any other, but they were the few that removed
the high places, and the record of that is a high honor to them.
not only the high places of Judah, but of Israel as well, though he was
only monarch of Judah. He alone, after many reigns of other monarchs, including
Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat, even removed the high place of Jeroboam,
in Israel, of whom it is written several times: “Because of the
sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his
he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.” Jeroboam had founded a
high place, as a substitute for the Temple of God in Jerusalem, lest his nation
should leave off following him. Apparently he was more concerned that they
should follow him, rather than God.
So then where were the Israelites to worship? Obviously, they could not
all go to the Temple in Jerusalem all the time. As many as were willing and
able, would make their journeys to Jerusalem for the feast days, but what
about the rest of the time? The answer is that they were to worship Him
according to faith and the law of God, every day, everywhere, in all things.
That is what true worship is all about.
True worship is not about a place; it is not
about only certain things; it is not about certain appointed times; it is
not about religious activities, such as Sunday “church services.” It
is about LIFE, everyday life, everywhere, in all
Micah says, “He
has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of
you, but to love
mercy, to do justly, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
There is no “secular” and “religious” to God. There
is no division with Him concerning those things that He has created. He
is interested in all because He created
all. Did He do so in vain? Does God do anything for nothing? Does God putter
I don’t think so.
It is still about the lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
I say to you, reader, that the high places continue today, that they
are presided over by those like Jeroboam, who are more concerned that
worshipers follow them, rather than the Lord God. Today, in the Name
of the Lord Jesus
Christ, the gods Ashtoreth and Baal are worshiped, their characteristics
attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ, and some of His to them. The whole
thing is an unholy mixture, even as in the days of Noah when the sons of
God went in unto the daughters of men, defiling everything so much so that
the Lord had to destroy all but a tiny handful. In those days it was about
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. As
it is written: “The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that
they were fair, and took them for wives.”
is no different
today. It is still about the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life. Today they speak of love, joy,
prosperity, abundance, and of freedom “in Christ.” These things
are truths, but misapplied and misinterpreted. They speak of a false love,
kind of love. They live in the realm of passion, emotion, and affection
- all these are neither good nor bad in and of themselves, but the trouble
they hold these as the core substance of worship and their relationship
to their gods. They think that the God of Heaven and earth values the
sentimentalities of the flesh, supposing to be saved and prospered in the
flesh, but it is
not necessarily so.
At the same time, when a prophet or servant of the Lord speaks of His
anger and wrath concerning sins, idolatry and false religion, they think
these messengers represent the Devil himself. “God is a God of love,
not anger, not judgment,” they complain. “We will listen to God,
not you! You make your choice and we make ours! Stop judging us! We don’t
tell you what to do!”
they cry, while they perish in their sins and in their high places, worshipping
the gods of their choice.
They rashly discount the possibility that Christ
comes in the flesh, by His servants to tell His people their sins. Ironically,
those gods His people and others look to for love and comfort are so cruel,
so destructive, so vicious and judgmental, and so deceptive because they
introduce themselves as otherwise. Their subtlety and deception are quite
remarkable. They come as lambs and finish as ferocious, devouring lions.
The Lord comes, as a Lion, and finishes as a Lamb. The saved perceive His
sacrifice in the end.
What do the
high places look like? Go into any city and you will see several of them. They
are the church buildings, often set on hills, or
in prominent locations. The structures are often tall, with steeples,
formerly with bell towers. They will sometimes demonstrate a tall cross, often
lit up, to be seen for miles, if possible. And it is only lack of finances
that prevent many from building greater, more outstanding edifices to
their gods. All this they do in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well
to Mary or some saint.
Is it sacrifice and decorum He desires, or
is it faith and obedience?
How do I know that these are those same high places spoken of in Kings
and Chronicles? First of all, God has revealed these things to me,
and He has warned me to flee from the wrath to come upon these places
the builders of them. But furthermore, allow me to reason with my readers,
and so I will do, being compelled to do so, although I know well that
only the grace and will of God can prevail and enable one to understand of
I ask you: Does God want tall spires, steeples, and huge crosses?
Does God want large arched doors, plush carpets, chandeliers, oak pews,
huge bouquets of flowers and plants, choir gowns, expensive pulpits,
baptismals and the like? Does God want formal, stuffy “church services” wherein people
are not free to speak or to express themselves because of a programmed atmosphere
under the full control of formal leaders?
You may think so, saying, “It
is appropriate to honor God with the best!” But IS this the
best? Is this what He wants? Is it sacrifice and decorum He desires,
or is it faith and
obedience? On what basis do you think He desires any of these things?
There is no Scriptural direction for them; on the contrary, the Spirit
as well as the letter of the Scriptures are quite against them.
do men build these great buildings? Is it not because they worship
in the flesh, rather than in the spirit? Is it not to please and
to impress men? Is it not because they are trying to reach Heaven by
of persuasion, persuading God to hear and to honor them? Is it
not because they seek glory of men rather than of God?
blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven,” the Scriptures
say. Did you know that these structures and their basic designs and intent
have no origin, no foundation in genuine
faith? God will not accept carnal worship. That is why Christ died
for us, that we may be delivered from our righteousness, and know His.
The only structures ever built, as recorded in the Bible to honor God,
were the Tabernacle of Moses, a glorious tent, portable and temporary,
and Solomon’s Temple, much more glorious, built to replace the
Tabernacle. Now the Temple was built not just anywhere, but in the
capital of Israel, even
Jerusalem. Nor were these structures fashioned just any way. They
were built according to strict patterns revealed from Heaven to the
prophets and builders.
The Temple was not any mere structure. I am told that it was once a candidate
for, if not one of the Seven Wonders of the World, not that the
esteem of men matters. The Temple was glorious indeed, as described in Scripture.
Furthermore, both these structures were commissioned by none other
than the Lord God Himself, the first through Moses, the second through
David and Solomon. Consider that these places of worship looked like nothing
at all compared to any of the churches since Christ, and the churches
these past two thousand years look nothing like those holy structures.
Have you ever wondered why church buildings
have spires and arched doors?
Clearly it cannot be said that church buildings should look similar
to the Temple or the Tabernacle, even as the Tabernacle and the Temple
were quite dissimilar to each other in many respects. But what are the
determinant influences of “Christian” church buildings? I tell you now that they pattern
the high places of old, the worship places of pagans, of idolaters, of
the worshipers of Baal and Ashtoreth and other foreign gods. Foreign, I
say, not to the world, but foreign to the apostles, prophets, and saints
of the Lord God Most High, foreign to God Himself.
It is true that
many of the pagan religions were expressly sexual in content and conduct.
Ishtar (Astarte, Ashtarte, Ashtoreth) for
example, was the sex goddess of fertility. She was the “many-breasted one.” There
were temple priests and priestesses who would perform sexual
acts with congregants, not only in the worship of Ishtar, but of many others.
Some worship services
would be sexual orgies.
Have you ever wondered why many traditional church
buildings have spires and arched doors? Looking from a distance,
when one sees spires, one would say, “Look, there’s a church.” He
or she would not say, “Look, there’s an office building,
or a store, or a school, or a home, or city hall.” When one thinks
of arched doors, the first thought that comes to mind is “church.” Why
spires and arched doors? The spires, I am told (and this could be researched
and verified), represented the male organ,
and the arched doors the female organ. These were architectural representations
of pagan religions in honor of deities, worshiped in sexual contexts.
you ever wondered about the Maypole? At May Day, as an altar boy
in my church (Catholic), along with the girls, we would gather around
a tall pole. From the top of it would issue forth streamers, one of which
each of us would
take the end, and circle the pole till the streamers were
wrapped around the pole to the bottom. Every May Day we would do this.
ever determined the origin of this ceremony? I am told that the
pole represents the male organ, that the whole celebration has its origin
fertility rites. Tell me, where in the Bible does one see any
direction or justification for this religious event? Nowhere. Then why
it done? Why is it done in the Name of God and worship of Christ?
many people indulge in many religious ceremonies and doctrines without
to ask, “Why?” and “Where did this come from?” and “Is
this what God wants?”
They simply do these things as tradition. They follow blind religious
leaders who direct them to do these things, the leaders themselves
not knowing nor
caring about the origin or significance. There are many traditions
and doctrines in nominal Christendom that have nothing whatsoever
to do with God, true
Christianity, or the Bible. On the contrary, they are quite anti-Christ.
God constantly rebuked
and punished His nation for going awhoring from Him.
is incumbent upon the partakers thereof to determine the right
and the wrong of all these. This is not a teaching of righteousness by
the law, but neither
will grace save you when you willingly partake of these things.
Indeed, if one continues in these things in the Name of Christ or any
other, I would
have to conclude that he or she is still in their sins, far,
far from grace.
In the days of Old Testament Israel, God would constantly warn,
rebuke and punish His nation for going awhoring from Him, and for adultery.
Was He speaking of only the physical, bodily form? Was He not speaking of
the spiritual, as with the worship of other gods, of partaking of the ways
of the gentiles? Was this not fornication or adultery to Him?
You say, “We
are innocent! We do not do those things or know them in a sexual context!”
It does not matter. You are still guilty, because even if you don’t indulge
in your church activities in an evident physical manner, you indulge in spiritual
whoredoms. If spiritually, then all the physical activities involved are
included. You are in fornication against God. Physically or spiritually
does not matter to Him. Both are alike, and truly, both are one.
Now if you are His, indulging in these pagan and idolatrous practices,
you are in spiritual adultery (betraying your Husband, the Lord). If you
are not His, you are guilty of spiritual fornication (misconduct outside
of marriage) which still carries the penalty of sin, because sin it is.
Not much difference, except that those who are His surely have known better.
Therefore they are the more guilty.
I want to inform you, in all solemnity, that the partaking of these
things, whether ignorantly or wittingly, brings wrath upon the partakers,
understandably so. When my family and I were participants, we suffered
the consequences. We didn’t know it then, but I know it now. To be sure,
God does not hold the ignorant responsible to the same degree as He does
those who deliberately continue in these things, though they have been informed.
I am informing you now.
you read these words, it becomes incumbent upon
you to decide something. You will have to ask yourself: “Are these things
true? If so, shall I ignore the facts and continue as usual, or shall I
refrain myself, in the fear of God? Am I more concerned about pleasing
pastor, friends, and family, or God?” If you continue, you most certainly
bring wrath. No excuses will do.
If you choose to discontinue, God will
deliver you, and lead you to the next step of obedience. If you think you
will remain neutral, forget it. There is no neutrality. Remaining neutral,
and continuing as usual, you have decided, and your decision has not been
for God, but for other gods.
I see people
suffering the consequences of their ways and not knowing it.
Your spiritual leaders will give account for these
things, teaching and leading people to take part in abominations, and what’s
worse, in the Name of Jesus Christ. But so will you. You will not be able
to stand before God,
saying, “I was told it was right. My priest (pastor, bishop, or elder)
taught me to do this!”
No, believe it or not, we are responsible for ourselves,
and must not only put away our bad things (sins) but forsake the good things
for the sake of Christ. The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father
and mother.” It is true that parents may have been given you of God, but
when they lead and encourage you to do that which is against God, your
responsibility is then firstly to God. You will have to forsake your parents,
hence putting away the bad, and forsaking the good or the neutral.
And don’t think you can do these evil things, yet put your connotation
or meaning on them so that you may continue in them. “I know that
Christmas is pagan in origin, but I celebrate Christmas with a Christian
it. I honor Christ’s birth in it.” The Lord made it very clear
that we are not to take upon ourselves the ways of the heathen. Jeremiah
“Thus says the Lord: learn not the way of the heathen...” (Jeremiah
10). I see people everywhere suffering the consequences of their ways and not
knowing it. Honor God and He will honor you.
I have been asked, “If you don’t go to church, then where do you get
fed?” My response is, “The Shepherd feeds me! I am one of His sheep!” I
have been asked, “If I stop going to such-and-such church, where will I
go? What will I do?” People seem so lost without religious activity. It
is a social necessity to them.
I like social activities, too. We have all
been created as social beings, and those who have withdrawn from society
are in the minority, many of them because suffering certain handicaps.
So where does one go? Where did Noah go? Where
did Abraham go? Or Isaac, or Jacob, or Joseph, or Moses, or Job, or Elijah,
or John the Baptist,
or the disciples? The answer is: “To the Lord.” Consider
John 12:42-43 MKJV
(42) Still, however, even out of the rulers, many did believe on
Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should
be put out of the synagogue;
(43) for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not without, but within.
Repent of your sinful ways.
The choice is a matter of pleasing the flesh or pleasing God. If you
wish to indulge in false worship, you will favor men and their thoughts
and ways. If you will have God, you must come away from the ways and
thoughts of man. As Isaiah prophesied, God speaking by him, “For My thoughts
are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My
thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8,9).
A woman whom Jesus met
at Jacob’s well in Samaria said to Him:
“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem
is the place where men ought to worship” (John 4:20).
His reply answers the questions as to where and how we ought to worship:
John 4:21-24 MKJV
(21) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when
you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem.
(22) You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship,
for salvation is of the Jews.
(23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers
shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to
(24) God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in
spirit and in truth.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is not without, but within. Repent of your sinful
ways. Come away from external religion, which does not profit in God’s sight.
Indeed, it is contrary to true religion. Turn to the Lord with all your heart;
seek Him while He may be found. Seek His righteousness, forsaking your own.
Forsake the temples and organizations of men, as impressive as they
might be. The more impressive they are in our sight, the more abominable
are in God’s sight. As Jesus said, “That which is highly
esteemed among men is abomination to God” (Luke 16:15). Seek out
the True, Invisible Temple of God, made without hands, of which Jesus
Christ is the Head,
and wherein dwells
the righteousness of God.