The Law and the Prophets were until John...

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Someone emailed:

Hey Robert,

I have a couple scriptural questions. I was watching a video the other day of a pastor who said that we are no longer under the law of moses, and he quoted Matt. 11:13 and Luke 16:16 as proof texts, and I was wondering what is the proper interpretation of those verses, how would you respond? Also in Jeremiah it says that the word of the Lord came to him during the reign of Josiah (and a few others) and in Jer. 5 it sure seems like there is not a single righteous individual in all the land, but in 2 Chronicles it says that Josiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, so I was wondering if you had some insight. Also when Josiah goes to the prophetess in 2 Chron. 34, she [the prophetess Hulda] says that God will surely bring evil upon Jerusalem even though Josiah turned the kingdom to righteousness, and this seems to contradict Jer. 18:7-10. I would really appreciate your thoughts.


My reply:

Then you heard a "pastor" who does not understand the Word of God and who does not understand God Himself.

God is Immutable.  He cannot change.  His Holiness and Perfection cannot change.  His Standard for Holiness for us cannot change (or we cannot "be holy as I am Holy" as He commanded); that Standard is His Law.  David said it was perfect.  Paul said it was holy, just, and good.  John in his First Epistle, one of last books written in the entire NT (even after Revelation) said if a person does not keep God's Law he does not even know God and the Truth (Christ, the Holy Spirit) is not in him.  Revelation tells us twice that the only ones who will survive the Tribulation are those who both have the Testimony / Faith of Christ Jesus and who keep the Commandments of God.  Interesting word that word "Testimony".  This infers that it is not a "hidden faith"; as Christ said we are the light—and part of the reason for light is to DISPELL DARKNESS (not "include" the darkness) which cannot be done if the light is hid under a bushel.  Christ said those who are ashamed of Him before men, them will He be ashamed of before His Father in Heaven.  As I have written for years, confessing or denying Christ before men is not talking about your private closet, but public proclamation; and each time that evil raises its perverse head in public and Christians say and do nothing, they DENY Christ.  If they don't speak up when Christ would have spoken up, they are not followers of Christ.  If they are ashamed of Christ's Doctrine because it is NOT "world friendly", they are not of Christ.  Deliverance is not forthcoming and shall not be anytime soon.  God is culling His herd of all those who are not His.  Christendom is dying because Christendom has rejected the true Christ for a "world friendly" "Touched By An Angel" (God loves you just the way you are; no need to change a thing) "christ".  They reject God's Law and as God declared through Solomon, even their prayers are an abomination to God; and David said if we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us.  Sin has consequences.  Those consequences, like an unpaid debt, continue to accrue until dealt with.  Sin block fellowship, prayer, blessing, protection, and deliverance.  Lambs are supposed to stay close to their Shepherd; when they stray on their own, they are prey to any drooling predator... if they long enough, they forget their shepherd and become HUMANISTS who think they are their own moral free agent, independent, that they order their own steps, control their own destiny, and can "do their own thing".

Christ said not one jot or tittle would pass from the Law.  Christ said if we keep His Commandments (which are God's Commandments, the very same ones that He kept to show us how) we would abide in His Love even as He kept the Father's (same) Commandments and abides in His Love.  Christ said if ye love Me keep My Commandments.  The inverse of this is also true, even as if a sheep does not know and obey the Shepherd's Voice, but that of a stranger, then he is not Christ's sheep.

Christ said that His Words (not the individual words; the Greek word is not hreymata, but Logon—the message, the logic, the doctrine conveyed in the words) shall NEVER pass away.

Peter and David said that the Word of the Lord abideth / endureth forever.

Solomon said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man".  That duty has never changed.  Non-doctrinal Christianity is not Christianity but humanism.

Those who don't obey God don't fear Him and don't know Him.  If they knew Him they would realize that He is HOLY and JUST and that He will PUNISH sin.  Sin is transgression of the Law.  Repentance entails turning from what God forbade and turning to what He commanded, confessing the sin and asking forgiveness for it.  Anything less is pseudo-spiritual delusion.  Had the Law been abolished it would be impossible for anyone to repent (turn from disobedience) or do good [works] (obey).

The passage(s) quoted by the "pastor" you heard as his "proof" text have NOTHING to do with God's Law being abolished. 

Christ said: "Think NOT that I am come to destroy the Law... I am NOT..."

Christ does not contradict Himself.   God does not contradict Himself.  God is TRUE.  God is FAITHFUL.  God is IMMUTABLE.

Keeping the Law does not save.  It never did.  It cannot.  It is the Moral Code by which He commanded us to live.  It is the "HOUSE RULES" that He commanded His children to obey.  Those who don't keep it are either dishonorable children whom He will chasten—and / or if they are not chastened God says they are bastards and not His children.  "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh".  What are the lusts of the flesh? —the violation of everything that God commanded.  Why is this accomplished if we walk in the Spirit...? —because the Holy Spirit will not lead into sin!  If we follow where the Spirit leads, where the Spirit is going, and do not turn aside to the left hand or the right (but hear His Voice in our ear, "THIS is the Way, walk ye in it") then we will walk in obedience, pleasing to God.  This is not for salvation—this is BECAUSE of salvation, the Holy Spirit REGENERATING us to NEW LIFE and if that new life ever occurred, there will be the natural fulfillment of the life God commanded.  "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all is become new."  As I have long written: Where no fruit is evident the Holy Spirit is not Resident.  If we are truly one with Christ, a branch on His Vine, receiving His Life Force, we will bear HIS fruit; not the counterfeit "world friendly" fruit that the majority of "Christians" and so-called "Christian" churches bear.  This is why Christ declares that on the Day of Judgment, MANY who thought they were good "Christians", even doing "wonderful works" in His Name, will hear Him say, "I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity".  [The Greek word here rendered iniquity is anomos / anomia, and should be rendered lawlessness; the word means, "no law"; iniquity means something else.]  Keeping the Law does not save.  It establishes one as an honorable son whom the Father will bless, hear, defend, protect, deliver, and it also establishes status in the Kingdom.

If the Law was abolished then it is impossible for anyone to sin, and therefore, there is no need for anyone to repent from or to, or be saved from anything!

I John defines sin, "sin is transgression of the Law".  I guess the PROPHET John, didn't get the "memo" that the Law was allegedly abolished...!   I guess the mail (note in a bottle) didn't run too regularly to the Isle of Patmos!  But of course, a PROPHET receiving DIRECT DIVINE REVELATION does not need "mail".  Furthermore, John wrote his epistles in Ephesus after being released from exile on Patomos, after the one Roman Emperor died and a new one arose.  The Epistle of I John mentions sin / sins / sinned, etc. 27 times.  I John and II John mentioned "transgress" 1 time each (II John 1:9 says false doctrine is a transgression, thus, a sin). 

This pastor does not understand the "Big Picture" or even the "little picture".

What Christ says in those passages is not talking about the Law in general; anyone with one good eye can see from even a cursory reading that He is referring to PROPHECY and those portions of the Law, the sacrifices, that foreshadowed Christ's Sacrifice (not Law itself in general).  He does not even understand the Greek (or Hebrew) word "all" (as most do not understand the word "world" in many key passages) which does NOT mean "every last possible individual", but the "all" of the limited group that is being spoken of. 

Here, in the Matthew passage when Christ uses the Greek word pas (pahss) "all" [which word Luke does not record Christ saying: which does not mean that either Matthew or Luke are incorrect, but that either they were 2 different things that Christ had said or that the word "all" is not the main point of the sentence and the sentence can stand with or without it and the spirit is the same—NO Evangelist claims that what he recorded was verbatim all that Christ said exactly as He said it and that He said nothing more at any time)... Christ is referring not to the whole Law of God on every single topic, not to every single prophecy on every single topic; He is referring to ALL LAWS AND PROPHETS THAT POINTED TO OR PROPHECIED OF HIM!  If as this "pastor" is claiming, Christ says that ALL Law and Prophecy WAS ABOLISHED AT THIS POINT IN TIME (which words, sentiment, or inference are NOWHERE to be found in either passage—this is a BLIND guide leading the blind!)—then it means that Christ did not die according to the prophecies, nor was He resurrected according to the prophecies, neither did He ascend into Heaven according to the prophecies, nor will He return according to the prophecies!  But thankfully Christ said no such thing.  The Law cannot be separated from the Prophecies (or the Covenants) since the Law governs what the Prophets foretold: the Christ coming to redeem His people for their sin, their violation of God's Law, His unchanging Standard of Morality.  Christ said that He did NOT come to destroy the Law or the Prophets and not one jot or tittle would pass from the Law or the Prophets.  So why does this pastor say otherwise?  He is either not of Christ's sheep or he is a very stupid, ignorant sheep and has no business being a shepherd, but should go back to eating grass himself until he learns how to digest it!  Christ said My sheep know My Voice and follow (obey) Me... the voice of stranger they will not follow.  Anyone who believes the very opposite of what Christ said is following the voice of a stranger.  According to what Christ said, that could very well mean that those who believe the voice of a stranger in defiance of what Christ Himself said, are not His sheep.

This "pastor" does not understand logic (the building blocks of intelligent thought) and therefore cannot understand Scripture or even Mother Goose!

In Matthew 11:13 Christ says, "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John [the Baptist]."  The Law prophecied, Moses, the intermediary giver of the Law from God, was also a Prophet, as well as a Deliverer, Governor, and Lawgiver.

NOWHERE does Christ say: For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John [the Baptist]and now the Law and Prophets are abolished.  NOWHERE.

AMAZINGLY in Luke 16, the very verse after the one this "pastor" quoted disproves his very spurious false interpretation:

16The Law and the Prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.*  17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the Law to fail.

[* This is not a "good thing".  This is the parallel passage to Christ saying in the very passage of Matthew (but before 11:13), "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12)  The Greek word translated "presseth" in Luke means, "to force, violence, seize".]

Read v.17 of Luke 16 above again and then ask yourself how can this "pastor" make the declaration that he did?  BECAUSE HE IS BLIND.  Because he is a humanist and reads into the Word of God what he wants it to say while IGNORING what it does say.

The parallel passage in Matthew 5:18 reads:

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled."

Note again: Those who do not understand logic and who cannot understand a simple sentence will read an INVALID INFERENCE into this verse and claim that it means once that heaven* and earth pass away then the Law and the Prophets will pass away too.  But this is not true.  In keeping with the rest of Scripture, the proper inference of this declaration is, "EVEN IF heaven and earth passed away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law". 

[* --which refers to earth's atmosphere, or possibly the immediate space of our solar system, or all of outer space, but not Heaven proper.]

Likewise, Christ does NOT say "when all prophecy has been fulfilled, then the Law will be abolished".

[* "Abolishment", "doing away" with means cancellation!  Our sins were cancelled, our debt was cancelled, NOT the Law of God itself!  Anyone who believes that God abolished the Law, His Moral Standard by which He commanded us to live throughout all our generations forever, probably opens up a box of food and throws the food away and puts the empty box in the oven!  He actually might be healthier if he did so, but that is not the point.  The point is mindlessness and interpreting the facts and reality to mean the very opposite of what it actually means.  It seems that many such persons become pastors because they can't understand anything else in life, because their minds are utterly illogical, and they could not function in the performance of real job, since clearly they are mentally incapable of being able to follow simply successive steps of logic in order to accomplish a given task—because they can't understand the flow of logic.  Now, if they ARE able to function in most other areas of life employing simple logic, then the issue is MORE serious—they are not mentally challenged, it is a SPIRITUAL problem: they are spiritually blind and spiritually dead, and thus have no business being pastors! 

Note: Some may think that my words are harsh.  God's are harsher!  Teaching the Word of God TRULY is an AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY.  Like any job (explosives engineer, explosives removal engineer, heavy equipment operator, surgeon, electrician, builder, pilot, etc.) in which PEOPLE COULD DIE if you do your job wrong—so also is being a pastor or Bible teacher.  Being a pastor, Bible teacher, evangelist, author is not for the purpose of being the center of attention, having prestige, being famous, being powerful... those are sinful delusions.  Being a pastor, Bible teacher, evangelist, author is being a servant, being a servant of GOD to lead God's people in God's Word.  HOWEVER, God Himself says,

"30Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal My Words every one from his neighbour.  31Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, 'He saith'.  [Although I have NOT so said!*]  32Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 23)

[* These words I have added are not in this passage, but that is the meaning; as it is actually expressed elsewhere, such as Jeremiah 23:21; 27:14-18; 29:8,9; Ezekiel 13:1-9; among others.]


"10Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." (Ezekiel 34)

Most of them teach error, not truth.  Most of them say, "Thus saith the Lord" when, in fact, the Lord has NOT said... and they say the VERY OPPOSITE of what He said... and HE SHALL JUDGE THEM even as He will judge a watchman on the wall who either falls asleep, or who sees the enemy approach and either out of cowardice or conspiracy does not sound the alarm... if one soul perishes, God declares that blood shall be required of that watchman (pastor, shepherd, prophet)... which means he is to be put to death.  God's Word, Truth is SACRED.  The majority today teach humanism, not Christianity... it has a thin veneer of Christian candy-coating, but though a pie that is full of poison (as some monarchs have historically been assassinated with), it may look pretty on the outside, but it is DEATH; and as Christ exposed the Pharisees, they are white washed tombs full of dead men's bones—corruption / putrefaction; ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, who make the Word of God of none effect by their tradition, they are the blind leading the blind.]

Morality never changes.  Once "all is fulfilled", will rape, murder, incest, fornication, robbery, blasphemy, homoperversion all be perfectly acceptable behaviours?  THAT is the only logical conclusion, that such behaviours shall be perfectly acceptable, if the Law is EVER abolished.  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." (Hosea 4:6)  "MY PEOPLE HATH BEEN LOST SHEEP—THEIR SHEPHERDS HAVE CAUSED THEM TO GO ASTRAY!" (Jeremiah 50:6)

We are not under the FINAL JUDGEMENT of the "Law of Moses" (God's Law that He used Moses to deliver to us), when this life is over and we stand before the Judgment Throne of God (the Bema Seat*) "the soul that sinneth shall die" because Christ paid that debt for us Himself; but, it would be a mockery to then return like a pig to wallow in the mire of his own urine and feces, or like a dog to eat his own vomit.  Christ forgave and said, "GO AND SIN NO MORE!"

[* I had one person tell me that his pastor said there is no such thing as a "Bema Seat" Judgment of Christ...!  Where did he get his preacher's diploma? from a box of Cracker Jack?  Scripture tells us (for those who learned how to use a Strong's Concordance, or who can read Greek "...for we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10).  The phrase translated, "Judgment Seat" is the Greek word Beyma.  God deliver Your people from their ignorant and / or evil "pastors"  ...!]

John, again, in his first epistle, showing that the Law is NOT abolished, says,

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus the Righteous" (2:1)

Paul says in Ephesians 2:

14For He is our Peace, Who hath made both* one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [that which separated us from God—not the Law, but OUR SIN, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies was there because God is Holy and will not tolerate sin in His Presence for fellowship]; 15Having abolished in His Flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances** [the enmity was not the Law itself, but the JUDGMENT, PENALTY, CURSE of the Law, the death sentence against us); for to make in Himself of twain* one new man,* so making peace [propitiation between God and the elect of His people]; 16And that He might reconcile both* unto God in one body* by the cross, having slain the enmity [paid the Judgment] thereby:"

[* The various "both" and "twain" seem to be referring to different things.  The first "both" seems to be referring to God and the elect of His people; the "twain" seems to refer to the elect of God's people being made ONE WITH CHRIST, reconciling us to God through Himself.  The final "both" seems to refer, likewise, to Christ reconciling to God both us and Himself through the cross (we with Him, through His Agency); Christ bore our Judgment and our sin for us, and that made Christ Himself, it would seem, unacceptable unto God ("My God, My God, why hast Thou forsake Me?") until Christ had triumphed through the cross, dying, and then resurrecting.  In II Corinthians 5:21 Paul says, "For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, [even Christ] Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."  First of all, God did it.  God offered Christ up.  God bruised Him.  Secondly, Christ actually became SIN for us, vicariously, and "the soul that sinneth shall die" and thus, Christ, Who in and of Himself knew no sin, was not guilty of sin, had committed no sin, as Hebrews 4:15 says, "but [Christ] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin", took our sin upon Himself.  He actually BECAME our sin and thus took our Judgment, and triumphed... reconciling to God those of His people whom God in Christ chose before the foundation of the world.  "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you."  "The wind [a metaphor for the Holy Spirit] bloweth where IT listeth [determines]... so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."  "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it [Christ being the Son of God] unto you but My Father which is in Heaven."  "No man cometh unto Me except the Father draw Him."  "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me."  Nonexistent fetuses don't choose to be conceived.  Infants don't choose to be born.  Children don't choose their parents (except in the perverse modern world that violates everything that God established).  Sheep don't choose their shepherds.  Branches don't choose their vine or vinedresser.  Olive trees don't choose their orchardist.  God uses all these analogies FOR A REASON.  NEVER did God use an analogy of salvation/redemption/regeneration of a job seeker going out and choosing his own job, or anything like that.  It is not of works lest any man should boast.  There is none that doeth good, no not one; there is none that seeketh after God; all have gone astray and become worthless.  Humanists call God a liar when they think that they participate in their own salvation, even in the "choosing" to be saved, even in thinking that water baptism saves them, it being their "choice" to be baptized.  They don't know the Word of God; they don't know God.

** Note: NOT all law, not all commandments, not all ordinances—only those specific ordinances commanded in the Law of God that dealt with the blood sacrifices for atonement; but the ordinance was not slain; the enmity, the curse / judgment against us—our guilt was cancelled because Christ paid the debt, if one is of the regenerated elect.  Christ gave His Life a ransom for "many".]

Specifically, Christ, in the passages in Matthew and Luke, is referring to John the Baptist.  But John did not exist for himself.  John's entire purpose—from conception!—was to herald Christ... to pave the way for Christ.  And thus, the Prophecies and ASPECTS OF THE LAW concerning ATONEMENT FOR SIN which were CONCERNING CHRIST up to that point were fulfilled (NOT "abolished", and only those specific laws and prophets to which He was referring) in Christ Himself of Whom they were written.  Christ did not disappear or cease to exist.  Neither did those specific laws of atonement or prophecies: as a man and wife are fulfilled in marriage—THEY FOREVER BECAME ONE.  NEITHER passed away, was abolished, or cease to exist!  Scripture also reveals in Luke 4:

"17And there was delivered unto Him [Christ] the Book of the Prophet Esaias.  And when He had opened the Book [scroll], He found the place where it was written, 18 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He [God] hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor [in need, oppressed, downcast]; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the Acceptable Year [of Redemption] of the Lord.'  20And He closed the Book [scroll], and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. [!!!]  21And He began to say unto them, 'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears'."

I get chills and shudder and tears well up when I read such.  Any preacher who says that Christ abolished the Law of God does not understand the first thing about the Bible.  He only understands "Bible stories" on a child's level, and even those he misunderstands.  He does not understand the PURPOSE of the Law, which is NOT salvation; the Law cannot save, it shows us we are damned because we cannot keep it perfectly; but because we cannot be perfect does not mean we should not do what is right, but repent when we fail, "a just man falleth seven times BUT RISES UP AGAIN"...! (Proverbs 24:16)  The Law and our failure is to show that "it is in Him that we live and move and have our being".  That if we live godly lives, it is by His Grace, not by any goodness in us.  We don't choose to be saved any more than Lazarus chose to be raised from the dead.  God calls us forth!  It is not of our works, but by His Mercy and His Grace that we are saved, if indeed, we are.  Those who think that they choose, when God says that He is the one who chooses, quite possibly are unconverted, as they do not believe the Doctrine of Christ, nor OBEY (II Thessalonians 1:8; I Peter 4:17) the Gospel (and you can only obey that which is a COMMAND and commands are LAW; it is no "new" Law; it is the very same Law that includes the prophecies of the coming Redeemer; and true conversion results in obedience to the Law of God); they believe in humanism with a thin veneer of "Christianity"... and that is not faith.  "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the Purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth." (Romans 9:11)  False doctrine is a sin.  We are commanded:

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering"; "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard"; "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also"; "17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness"; and "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them"; and "3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry"; and "9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers"; "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle".

True Christianity is ANTI-HUMANISM!  That is why the world hates the True Faith and that is why the majority of "Christians" and "pastors" and "theologians" have perverted it into humanism.  The Law tells us what to do and what not to do in order NOT to be "saved" but TO AVOID SINNING; but since we are fallen creatures, born with a sin nature, we cannot obey perfectly... and Christ died to remedy that... but did NOT abolish God's Moral Standard (which is the entire Law of God*).  If God abolished the Law of God, as a "bad idea" then there was no need for Christ to die... if the Law no longer exists no one can be guilty of violating it.

[* How utterly incomprehensible is that fact that God gave us only about 613 laws (many of which are simply common sense!)... and they fit in the palm of your hand, they would easily fit in your pocket if reduced to a pocket-sized booklet.  There are over 300,000 Federal "Laws" alone—with more illegally being written each day by corrupt politicians—(not counting state, city, and county "laws") that occupy over 17 feet of shelf space, in 36 large Hardback volumes with six-point to seven-point sized print!  God's Laws are perfect and were given for our good.  Man's laws are unconstitutional and given to oppress and rob us.  Yet carnal "Christians" claim that God's Law is "too much"...!!!!!  God save Your STUPID, REBELLIOUS, STIFF-NECKED, ANTI-INTELLECTUAL, WAYWARD people...!  God's sinful people are still rejecting God in favor of sinful, corrupt rulers!  You reap what you sow.  I opt out.  Choose you this day.  But for me and my house, we shall serve the LORD!

There is nothing more offensive than a child who tells the father he loves him, yet rebels against what the father commanded.  It is a Judas kiss.  There is nothing more offensive than a bride who tells her husband that she loves him, yet is unsubmissive, serves herself, and is unfaithful, whether giving herself to others, or living as if she is her own independent authority over her life.  There is nothing more offensive than "Christians" who sing about God / Christ being their Lord—and yet violate the majority of what they commanded and turn a blind eye when others in society violate the rest that God commanded.  "The curse causeless shall not come."  "Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."]

To answer your other question: Josiah's repentance, like Nehemiah's prayer, like any godly, obedient Christian's intercession for those in sin... God honors those prayers FOR A TIME... during that time, it is the crossroads between Judgement and Deliverance, depending upon whether the others repent or continue in their sin.  God spared the Kingdom of Judah being conquered and deported IN JOSIAH'S LIFETIME because he was godly, and so he would not see it... but God prophecied that it would fall thereafter, because God controls all (His Omniscience is not passive).  The others did not repent.  Had they repented, God would not have sent Judgment.  Repentance and obedience is not merely doing it because others are doing it.  A monkey can do that!  Similarly, the part-godly king Joash followed God and did what was right during the entire lifetime of the godly High Priest (his brother-in-law) Jehoiada—who helped save Joah's life from the murderous evil of Joash's grandmother Queen Athaliah.  But when Jehoiada died (after a long and godly life) Joash defected and apostatized!  Thus, Joash incurred Judgment.  So also did the rest of Judah after Josiah died.