“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory and how do you see it now? Is it nothing your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?”
The mighty hand of God once again was manifest in a most auspicious manner. The heart of the evil King, Cyrus, had been turned to make a decree to free all the children of Israel from their captivity if they return and build the temple at Jerusalem. Foreign policy makers could not have dreamed in their wildest imagination of how this act was in fulfillment of the eternal will of God. Man could not write a script more daring and bold that would have such an impact upon the world. The Babylonian empire had collapsed and was over thrown by the Medes. The Medio-Persian collaboration lasted only a few years and now evil Cyrus had ascended to the throne of Persia. Many would call these events fortuitous or the benevolent acts of fate but the hand of Almighty God had afore purposed the interweaving of this scenario into the tapestry of life so as to facilitate His design and pre-determined plan of all things.
When God stirred the heart (awakened, enticed, aroused) the heart of Cyrus to set forth this decree (Ez. 1:1), He also raised up a remnant to go and perform the task (1:5). He empowered Cyrus to grant protection and provisions (which only a king could do) and gave His residue the strength, knowledge and skill to complete the task. All elements necessary to the performance of this assignment were in place and the fullness of time had come to pass, therefore, He brought forth a captain of praise, the desire of Jehovah, with the remnant of His people, out of the confusion of captivity by the salvation of Jehovah by the Righteous High Priest of Jehovah (Hag. 2:4).
A select group of certain people came from a specific place for an exact cause to work according to the desire that was put in their hearts after the manner which was assigned unto them. They came to a specific place at the precise moment in time to build the temple of God. This was not a prime real estate plot that was in the middle of main street where business could be performed with success. It was a mountain in the land of the ‘down trodden’ which Jehovah had selected many years earlier. This was the exact spot which Abraham was led to with his son Isaac to sacrifice him unto the Lord (Gen. 22:2) and when his faith was revealed to him and the Angel of the Lord withheld his hand, Jehovah provided Himself a lamb for the sacrifice. It is also the place where David, the beloved, purchased the threshing place of the ‘down trodden’ (bought the field for the treasure within) and since he became the sin of Israel, he made the sacrifice unto God (II Sam. 24:18). He came to the house of the perpetual light (Ornan) and proclaiming the joy (Araunah) that was set before him, he endured the wrath of God and sacrificed the offering of peace for the sins of his people. Upon this same rock, chosen of God, Solomon built the temple of Jehovah, where He would put His name forever and establish His eternal kingdom (II Chr. 3:1).
Now if the will of God was for the children of Israel to kill all the inhabitants of the land when they took possession of their inheritance under Joshua, then these Jebusites would have been utterly destroyed. But neither the children of Judah (Josh. 15:63) nor of Benjamin (Jud. 1:21) could drive out the children of Jebus (down trodden) but they dwelt together with them. God had promised this land to Abram and his seed and they did indeed obtain it as an inheritance. He delivered them from Egypt to dwell in the land of the ‘down trodden’ to remind them that they were strangers in a foreign land. Therefore, since it did not come to pass, we may conclude that it was not the will of God to utterly destroy these people. Rather it was the will of God that these and many others who were not removed from the land, would be a thorn in the side of the nation forever. So even today, the child of grace cannot remove the Adamic nature from the earthen vessel and it remains a messenger of Satan to buffet them that they might not be exalted above measure (II Cor. 12:7).
Note well that the sacrifice of Abraham, the purchase of the mountain by David and his sacrifice came to pass without the Mosaic covenant in the wilderness. Abram had no hand writing of ordinances to refer to and David did not abide by them. He did not take his sacrifice to the High Priest at the tabernacle and have him do the honours. Each of these were without the ministration of condemnation and were of the new covenant, not like the one that was made in the wilderness which the fathers broke.
The remnant of people whose hearts were raised up had desire, passion and zeal. The sovereign God had not given them some vague celestial doctrinal theory, He has given a way of life that is practical, effectual and powerful. He makes His people willing in the day of His power (Ps. 110:3). He infuses them with wisdom, skill and knowledge (Ez. 36:1) and His Spirit causes them to walk according to His will. Many will accuse those who love the doctrine of the sovereignty of God wherein He has predestinated all things whatsoever comes to pass, of God creating robots. But do robots have passion to do His will? Are robots enabled to hunger and thirst after the righteousness of Jehovah? Are they zealous of and maintain good works? No! But a child of grace, born from above does and God has proclaimed that the man the Branch shall build His temple upon this Rock and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He has also promised that His people will come from afar and shall build in that temple (Zech. 6:12) but He did not promise that this temple would be on a hill top in Palestine constructed by man.
John saw this temple coming down from heaven adorned as a bride for her husband. He never saw it land on the earth or become contaminated with the dust of the earth. It had been granted unto her to awake and stand up and shake off the dust of the earth and to be arrayed in fine linens pure and white, which is the righteousness of the saints. She is adorn exactly as her husband is with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness (Is. 61:10). She is not of this world and never shall be.
When Jesus told the pharisees that if they tore down this temple He would build it up again in three days, He was not speaking of Solomon’s temple for that glory had faded away. He was not speaking of Ezra’s temple which took 20 years to build, He was not speaking of Herod’s temple which took 46 years to build, nor was He speaking of any building made with the hands of man on this temporal globe. He spoke of His body, His Bride and His temple which is that building that Wisdom hath builded (Pro. 9:1) which stands firm upon seven hewn pillars. This is the city that hath foundation, whose builder and maker is God and not some weak, flimsy structure polluted by the filthy corrupt hands of Adam and the tools of his wisdom and understanding. He spoke of that New Jerusalem wherein dwells no unclean thing, wherein is no sorrow no death and no tears and wherein the children of grace, whose names are eternally written in the Lamb’s book of life, are even seated now together with Him before the throne.
To this, when His people see the foundation laid, the walls of salvation and the gates of praise, is there great rejoicing and a shouting for joy (Araunah) because the work is complete. Herein is the surety for the souls of the saints because the will of God is performed in heaven and in earth and none can stay His hand. Herein is the peace that passes all understanding which keeps the hearts and minds of the willing people of God (Ammiel) in Christ Jesus. The immutable Sovereignty of Almighty God that loves His people, keeps His covenants and works in His people to both will and do His good pleasure.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
May 13, 2012