S1E 21: Epoch 5 – The Return 2

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Epoch 5 – The Return 2

Now that we have investigated the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, we take a look at the three prophets who taught and encouraged them in their rigorous work during the return to the Land. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi bring wisdom and encouragement to God’s builders – in every century! Page 67 is home base for this convo. Check this out:

“And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  – 1 Peter 2:4

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  – Ephesians 2:19-22

So the earthly Tabernacle and Temple were copies of what is in heaven (Hebrews 9) and the new Jerusalem which descends from heaven (Revelation 21:10) is completely connected with us becoming a holy temple. This is amazing. The words for living stones literally mean we are “vibrating with life.” And so we correlate the rebuilding of the temple and the walls of the city with God’s new kingdom work through preparing His church to be His Bride (Revelation 21:2). And just as the builders were encouraged by Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi – we bring their messages into our own Kingdom building lives. Let’s take a look.

Haggai tells us we need two very key ingredients as we build our own spiritual lives and fulfill God’s vision for us. The first is reverence, or better yet, honor for our Father. When we keep God priorities we produce God’s fruit (chapter 1). This results in encouragement from God in the things which matter to Him (chapter 2). This is what Paul meant when he defined building carefully (1 Corinthians 3:10). As you read this short prophecy in light of the building occurring in Ezra and Nehemiah, what do you see for your own journey?

Zechariah is a little longer and more complicated. Imagine the rigors of building and having Zechariah showing up to tell you about his eight night visions (chapters 1-6) and His prophecies which include the Branch, whom we know to be the coming Christ. Each vision is inseparably linked to the building of God’s Temple (His holiness) and His people (the walls of Jerusalem). You will notice that throughout the process there is a man named Zerubbabel carrying the load. His name means scorched and waterless. What is the picture here?

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”  – Zechariah 4:6-7
What in the world?!

Malachi completes God’s message to all builders who embrace the work of lifting up His holiness and rejoicing in His glory as we do His work. His people (and all people) are and always have been stubborn, leading us to believe that pharisees are everyone else but us. These Six questions are key as we are honestly humbled (3:13) before the Lord of the earth, and choose honor rather than pride. Malachi ends with a promise to send Elijah the prophet (4:5-6; see Mark 9:12-13). And this is exactly what happens. Prepare the way of the Lord – because if you don’t do it – the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40)

Page 68 recaps the story of the 400 “silent years” which is anything but. God moves rulers and nations into position to encounter and respond to the coming of His Son. In the apocryphal writings there is a book named 1 Maccabees. Check it out on-line for some further backdrop into what will occur within the explosion which occurs with the mission of Messiah and in the wake of His resurrection.

And His second coming will be even more mind-blowing!
Dave & Burnadette

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