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Ezra 3:12f

“But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, ancient men that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice and many shouted aloud for joy so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout and the noise was heard afar off.”

Many wonderful events had taken place to bring the children of Israel to this point in time and each of them essential to one another. It was imperative that the nation of Israel apostate as it did to be taken into captivity and the first temple destroyed. It was also necessary that the love of many should wax cold so as to bring forth out of captivity a remnant as one man. With this deliverance came a totally unexpected decree with provisions and protections that could only be described by man as too good to be true. And now in the second year of their exodus from the land of the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Medes and Persians the children of Israel were set in the proper order to commence the work. They did not have try-outs to see who best fit the job description and there was not a resume to be found because Yeshua, with His sons and His brethren, and Kadmiel (he who is before God) and the sons of praise (Judah) SET FORWARD THE WORKMEN in the hose of God. Yeshua assigned the workers and the work and they were made willing in that day to perform the work exactly as Yeshua and Zerrubabel prescribed. No alterations, amendments or improvisations and certainly no power of Adam. He had delivered them from captivity, stirred up their spirits and made them willing to go, give and work and to “sing together and give thanks unto Jehovah for His good mercy toward Israel forever”.

But what was it that caused these men to cry? The temple was destroyed in the tenth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:1) and it was now the third year of the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia (Ezra 1:1). In order for these Levites to have remembered the glory of the first house, since God had determined 70 years of captivity, they had to be at least 70 years of age and yet what did they remember? The house which Solomon had built almost 340 years earlier had be steadily diminishing in its appearance, content and glory until the time when Nebuchadnezzar raised it to the ground. Jeremiah lamented this when he wrote, “How dim the gold has become and the most fine gold has changed. The stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold are esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of a potter!” (Lam. 4:2). So the remembrance of the ‘glory’ was not the ‘glory’ at the first and now the perception of the people was to shout for joy as the hole in the ground became the foundation of the building. Two sets of people seeing the same thing with contrasting reactions.

The disciples of Jesus were with Him when He went into the temple at Jerusalem and chased out the money changers. As He departed the temple, the disciples wanted to shew Him the “how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts” (Luke 21:5). They were impressed with the “manner of stones and what building” (Mark 13:1) as they tried to draw His attention to “the buildings of the temple” (Matt. 24:1). They were admiring the glory of a temporal building being drawn away after the lust of the eyes. This is the same as what transpired in the garden with Eve and the serpent; “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also to her husband with her and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). Man from the beginning has been tempted through the medium of the eyes and has had his line of sight distracted by the pleasantries of this world.

Jesus said that He would raise His temple up in three days and no man understood whereof He spoke. He spoke of the tabernacle of God wherein He would dwell with men, He spoke of Immanuel. He spoke of the place wherein the Spirit of Holiness dwells and where no unclean thing can pass through. He spoke of His church. This is not a separate entity from the Godhead or a separate structure which shall be entered into by the Beloved. It is the Beloved. Her walls are salvation for she has been redeemed and delivered from the wrath of God and Her gates are praise unto our God forever. She is One with the Father as He is One with the Son and cannot be separated in any way from Him.

The Word of Jehovah by the mouth of the prophet Haggai said that the comparison between the glory of the first temple and that of this latter one was as none at all (Hag. 2:3) yet the glory of the last temple, which is the body of Messiah, shall be, in comparison to the first, most glorious (1:9). The first temple with all its gold and marble sparkled in the brilliance of the sun and it attracted kings and nobles from across the globe to come and see its wonder (I Kings 10:24). This is dull and worthless when compared to the purity of the slender of His temple which is transparent (Rev. 212:10-21) and no man can imagine such beauty nor will he ever cast his eyes upon it. The child of grace shall see this with untrammeled eyes, when faith is no more. Then shall the evidence be not of things unseen but of things realized and beheld.

The world wants to look upon the tangible and assess success by appearance, brethren be not so easily moved. The things of this world shall fade away for they are weak, temporal and worthless. The things of the Spirit are eternal and unseen by the natural eyes. We are, if we be of the household of faith, drawn away, as pleases the Lord, after the desires of this flesh, the desires of our eyes and the pride of our achievements and accomplishments. These are wood, hay and stubble which are consumed by the refiners fire and removed by the chastening hand of a loving Father according to His good pleasure. What is seen is temporary and shall not endure and what a man sees he has no need to hope for it. But we are saved by hope, the anticipation of the manifestation of the life eternal as we walk by faith.

Now the course is set and the race is engaged. The will of the flesh and the arm of Adam are useless for they are buffeted by the trials and tribulations which have been assigned unto each runner. The patience that is gained by enduring these trials and temptations is a necessary component to the running of the race and the Father gives the exact amount to each of His children to sustain them through the course. He enables them to take note of the great cloud of witnesses that have run the race by faith and have overcome the world. He blesses them to set aside the weight and sin which so easily besets them and look unto Yeshua the champion and finisher of their faith, by which they run. We cannot see the forest for the trees as the race course meanders through those woods yet each tree is part and parcel to the run and when we are given to stop and admire the stones and the buildings we, like Peter, have taken our eyes off the one “who for the joy that was seat before Him endured the cross, despised the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). This is the temptation that is common to all men and there is nothing new under the sun but to every child Yeshua who has imputed faith unto His people, has prayed that that faith will not fail.

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 20, 2012