AT THIS JUNCTION IN HISTORY (520 B.C.) ROUGHLY 35 YEARS AFTER THE FIRST JEWISH EXILES RETURNED TO JUDAH, AND DURING THE REIGN OF THE 4TH KING OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE, KING DARIUS, THE 2 PROPHETS HAGGAI AND ZECHARIAH WERE ENCOURAGING THE JEWS TO GET BACK TO WORK TO BUILD YAHUAH’S TEMPLE.
THE JEWS ONLY GOT SO FAR AS TO LAY THE NEW FOUNDATION WHEN THE PROTESTS BECAME SO INTIMIDATING THAT THEY QUIT THE WORK ALTOGETHER. THEN AFTER 35 YEARS OF INACTIVITY, YAHUAH HAD WAITED LONG ENOUGH AND SO SENT 2 PROPHETS TO JAR THE RETURNED JEWS FROM THEIR SPIRITUAL SLUMBER.
DON'T FORGET THAT EVERYTHING THESE GUYS WENT THROUGH (HERE IN EZRA & NEHEMIAH) TRYING TO BUILD THE TEMPLE AND WALLS AGAIN IN ORDER TO BE CLEANSED AND WORSHIP THE WAY YAHUAH INSTRUCTED IN SCRIPTURE . . . IS EVERYTHING WE (THE BRIDE) ARE GOING THROUGH TODAY . . . OVERCOMING THE FLESH SO THAT OUR BEHAVIOUR IS CLEAN AND ACCEPTABLE TO YAHUSHA . . . HAVING HIS PRESENCE STAY IN OUR FELLOWSHIP DESPITE ALL ADVERSITY & PRESSURE.
1At that time the prophets Haggai and Zechariah began to prophesy in the Name of YAHUAH, encouraging the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem.
2So Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel) and Jeshua (son of Jozadak) again started working on the Temple in Jerusalem. All of YAHUAH’S prophets were with them and were supporting the work.
REMEMBER EZRA HIMSELF IS NOT ON THE SCENE YET - AND ZERUBBABEL IS IN CHARGE OF THE RENO!
3At that time Tattenai was the Governor of the area west of the Euphrates River. Tattenai, Shethar Bozenai, and the men with them went to Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the others who were building, and asked, “Who gave you permission to build this Temple again and repair it like new?” 4They also asked Zerubbabel, “What are the names of the men who are working on this building?” TRYING TO INTIMIDATE THEM THRU BULLY TACTICS!
5But YAHUAH was watching over Zerubbabel and the Jewish leaders, and the builders didn’t have to stop working until a report could be sent to King Darius. So they continued working on the Temple Reno until the King sent his answer back. 6Tattenai the Governor of the area west of the Euphrates River, Shethar Bozenai, and the important people with them sent a letter to King Darius. 7This is a copy of that letter:
To King Darius.
8King Darius, you should know that we went to the province of Judah. We went to the Temple of the great YAHUAH. The people in Judah are building that Temple with large stones. They are putting big wooden timbers in the walls. The work is being done with much care and the people of Judah are working very hard. They are building very fast, and it will soon be done.
9We asked their leaders some questions about the work they are doing, saying, 'Who gave you permission to build this Temple and repair it like new again?'10We also asked for their names, to write them down so that you would know who they are.
11This is the answer they gave us:
“We are the servants of the Alahim of Heaven and earth. We are building the Temple that a great King of Israel (SOLOMON) built and finished many years ago. 12But our ancestors made the Alahim of Heaven angry, so YAHUAH gave our ancestors over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed this Temple, and he forced the people to go to Babylon as prisoners.
13But, in the first year that Cyrus was King of Babylon, King Cyrus gave a special order for YAHUAH’S Temple to be built again new. 14And from his false deity’s temple in Babylon, Cyrus brought out the gold and silver furniture and utensils that were taken from YAHUAH’S Temple in the past. Nebuchadnezzar took them from the Temple in Jerusalem and brought them to his false idol's Temple in Babylon. Then King Cyrus gave those gold and silver things to Sheshbazzar, choosing him to be the Governor.
15Then Cyrus said to Sheshbazzar, 'Take these gold and silver things and put them back in the Temple in Jerusalem. Build YAHUAH’S Temple again fresh in the same place it was in the past.'
16So Sheshbazzar came and built the foundations of YAHUAH’S Temple in Jerusalem.
From that day until now, the work has continued, but it's not yet finished.
17Now, if it pleases the King, please search the official records of the King and see if it's true that King Cyrus gave an order to build YAHUAH’S Temple in Jerusalem again.
And then, sir, please send us a letter to let us know what you have decided to do about this.
END OF EZRA.5
IF EVER THERE WAS PROOF THAT HISTORY IS CYCLICAL AND THAT YAHUSHA-PATTERNS REPEAT THEMSELVES ENDLESSLY, THEN CHECK OUT THE FASCINATING SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE CHALLENGES THAT THE JEWS OF EZRA’S DAY FACED TRYING TO RESTORE THEIR UNIQUE SUPERNATURAL SCRIPTURE-BASED CULTURE OF SACRIFICE AND PRAISE IN THEIR OWN HISTORIC HOMELAND AFTER YEARS OF BEING BARRED FROM IT, WITH WHAT WE (THE IMMERSED BRIDE) ALL FACE TODAY, AS THE TRUTH OF THE TRUE LIVING TEMPLES OF YAHUSHA'S FELLOWSHIP ARE BEING SUPERNATURALLY RESTORED TO HOUSE THE PRESENCE OF THE LIVING ALAHIM IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
THE PROPHETS HAGGAI & ZECHARIAH WERE PROPHESYING AT THIS TIME AND THEY WERE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH TRYING TO KICK-START THE TEMPLE RENO PROJECT, WHICH CURRENTLY LAY DORMANT DUE TO THE JEWS’ FEAR OF FURTHER ANGERING THE SURROUNDING LOCALS. THE PROPHETS’ ENCOURAGEMENT WORKED AND THE TEMPLE RENO STARTED UP AGAIN DESPITE ALL THE ADVERSITY AND THREATS OF THE LOCAL SAMARITANS. LET’S BE CLEAR: AT THIS POINT THE JEWS STILL HAD THE FULL SUPPORT AND FORCE OF KING DARIUS AS THEY HAD WITH THE 3 KINGS WHO PRECEDED HIM. SO IT WAS NOT FOR LACK OF ROYAL PERMISSION, OR FOR CLEAR DIRECTION FROM YAHUAH, IT WAS FOR OTHER REASONS THAT THE JEWS WERE NOT BUILDING THE TEMPLE . . . AND THE PROPHETS HAGGAI & ZECHARIAH ADDRESSED THOSE REASONS HEAD-ON.
AS DISCUSSED, THE BOOKS OF HAGGAI AND ZECHARIAH SUPPLY SO MUCH OF THE NEEDED SPIRITUAL CONTEXT (YAHUAH’S VIEWPOINT), WHICH AT TIMES OFFERS A VERY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE FROM THE EARTHLY CONTEXT (THE JEWS’ LOCAL VIEWPOINT WHILE BUILDING THE TEMPLE... OR NOT BUILDING IT!)
HAGGAI 1 “HAGGAI SPOKE A MESSAGE FROM YAHUAH: “SO YOU PEOPLE THINK IT'S THE RIGHT TIME TO START LIVING IN NICE HOUSES WITH BEAUTIFUL WOODEN PANELING ON THE WALLS, DO YOU? WHAT ABOUT YAHUAH’S HOUSE THAT'S STILL SITTING IN RUINS?
NOW YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAYS, ‘THINK ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING TO YOU! YOU'VE PLANTED MANY SEEDS, BUT HAVE GATHERED ONLY A FEW CROPS. YOU HAVE FOOD TO EAT, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO GET FULL. YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DRINK, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO GET DRUNK. YOU HAVE SOME CLOTHES TO WEAR, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP WARM. YOU EARN A LITTLE MONEY, BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE IT ALL GOES. IT’S AS THOUGH THERE IS A HOLE IN YOUR POCKET! … IT'S TIME NOW ... SO GET OFF YOUR ORTS, GO UP TO THE MOUNTAINS, GET THE WOOD, AND BUILD MY TEMPLE. THEN I'LL BE PLEASED WITH THE TEMPLE, AND WILL BE HONOURED.'
SO THESE MEN AND ALL THE PEOPLE LISTENED TO THE VOICE OF YAHUAH THEIR ALAHIM AND TO THE WORDS OF HAGGAI THE PROPHET. AND THE PEOPLE SHOWED THEIR FEAR AND RESPECT FOR YAHUAH. THEN HAGGAI DELIVERED THIS MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE: YAHUAH SAYS, ‘DON'T FORGET THAT I AM WITH YOU!’ … SO THEY BEGAN THIS WORK ON THE 24TH DAY OF THE SIXTH MONTH IN THE SECOND YEAR THAT DARIUS WAS THE KING.
HAGGAI 2 "YAHUAH SAYS ‘HOW MANY OF YOU PEOPLE LOOK AT THIS TEMPLE AND TRY TO COMPARE IT TO THE BEAUTIFUL TEMPLE THAT SOLOMON BUILT (THAT WAS DESTROYED)? WHAT DO YOU THINK? DOES THIS TEMPLE SEEM LIKE NOTHING WHEN YOU COMPARE IT WITH THE FIRST TEMPLE?'
BUT YAHUAH SAYS, 'ZERUBBABEL, DON’T BE DISCOURAGED!' JOSHUA SON OF JEHOZADAK, YOU ARE THE HIGH PRIEST. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED! AND ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE LAND, DON’T BE DISCOURAGED! CONTINUE THIS WORK, BECAUSE I AM WITH YOU.'
THIS IS WHAT YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAID. ‘I MADE A BLOOD-COVENANT WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEFT EGYPT, AND I HAVE KEPT MY PROMISE. MY SPIRIT IS WITH YOU, SO DON’T BE AFRAID!’
THIS IS WHAT YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAYS, ‘IN JUST A LITTLE WHILE, I WILL ONCE AGAIN SHAKE THINGS UP. I WILL SHAKE HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA AND THE DRY LAND. I WILL SHAKE UP THE NATIONS, AND THEY WILL COME TO YOU WITH WEALTH FROM EVERY NATION. AND THEN I WILL FILL THIS TEMPLE WITH MY ESTEEM.’
THAT IS WHAT YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAID! ‘ALL THEIR SILVER REALLY BELONGS TO ME! AND ALL THE GOLD IS MINE! THIS LAST TEMPLE WILL BE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN THE FIRST ONE, AND I WILL BRING PEACE TO THIS PLACE.’
(THE LAST TEMPLE IS HUMAN BODIES)
NOW REMEMBER, THIS IS WHAT YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAID … 'THE PEOPLE WERE NOT PURE AND SET-APART BEFORE ME. SO ANYTHING THEY DID WITH THEIR HANDS AND ANYTHING THEY OFFERED AT THE ALTAR BECAME UNCLEAN … SO I SENT THE DISEASES THAT KILLED YOUR PLANTS AND THE HAIL THAT DESTROYED THE THINGS YOU MADE WITH YOUR HANDS. I DID THIS, BUT STILL YOU DID NOT COME TO ME AND REPENT … LOOK AT THE VINES, THE FIG TREES AND THE POMEGRANATE AND OLIVE TREES. THEY'VE NOT YET PRODUCED FRUIT. BUT STARTING TODAY, I'LL BLESS YOU.’”
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS LONG TERM PROCRASTINATION AND PARALYSIS. NOTHING COULD BE MORE HUMAN THAN FOR PEOPLE WHO FACE STRONG ADVERSITY TO SOMETHING (ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS SOMETHING THAT YAHUSHA HAS TOLD US TO DO) THAN TO DECLARE THAT THIS PRESSURE MUST BE A SIGN FROM YAHUSHA THAT IT’S NOT YET TIME TO ACT. SO THEY SIT ON THEIR HANDS AND WAIT - FOR WHAT EXACTLY ... IS NEVER CLEAR.
IT HAD BEEN ABOUT 70 YEARS SINCE DANIEL, JEREMIAH AND EZEKIEL HAD ISSUED BOTH WARNINGS AND PROCLAIMED HOPE AND RESTORATION. HAGGAI WAS THE FIRST PROPHET TO ARISE SINCE THE JEWS’ RELEASE FROM THEIR BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY. BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNISE THAT THIS ACCUSATION FROM YAHUAH IS AIMED MORE AT THE CLAN LEADERS AND THE WEALTHY THAN IT IS THE COMMON FOLKS OR THE LEVITES AND PRIESTS. PANELLED HOUSES ARE REFERRING TO LUXURY HOMES THAT HAVE WOOD PANELING ON THE INTERIOR FOR ORNAMENTATION. THIS IS ENORMOUSLY EXPENSIVE AS WOOD GENERALLY HAD TO BE IMPORTED ALL THE WAY FROM THE FORESTS OF LEBANON.
FOR WHILE THERE WERE THOSE ZEALOUS AND SPIRITUAL JEWS WHO RETURNED WITH THE LOFTY AND HIGH-MINDED GOAL OF RESTORING THE PRIESTHOOD, THE TEMPLE AND A SCRIPTURE-BASED WORSHIP AND LIFESTYLE, THERE WERE OTHERS WHO CAME BACK TO JUDAH, HIDING THEIR TRUE INTENTIONS UNDER A VEIL OF SPIRITUALITY - BUT WHAT THEY REALLY WANTED WAS NOT A CLEAN FRESH RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHUAH, BUT RATHER A NEW PERSONAL PROPERTY PORTFOLIO.
AS SOLOMON SO WISELY POINTED OUT: THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN. A SPIRITUALISED RATIONALISING AND INSINCERITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF MANKIND’S WAY .. AND WE MUST GUARD OUR FELLOWSHIPS FROM THE POWER-HUNGRY ENTREPRENEURS WHO’VE FAILED IN MAINSTREAM RELIGION AND SEEK TO USE US FOR PERSONAL POWER AND GAIN.
WOULD EZRA’S NEW TEMPLE EVER RIGHTFULLY FULFIL THE PROPHECY OF HAGGAI? WOULD THIS NEW HOUSE SURPASS THE ESTEEM OF THE OLD? YES (FROM A WORLDY PERSEPCTIVE). EZRA’S TEMPLE WOULD BE BUILD BRAND NEW, THEN REMODELLED AND EXPANDED BY KING HEROD 500 YEARS LATER. THE GRANTEUR OF HEROD’S TEMPLE WOULD INDEED SURPASS SOLOMON’S, AND THIS SAME PATTERN OF COURSE HAPPENED WITH YAHUSHA’S NEXT AND FINAL TEMPLE SOLUTION (OFTEN CALLED THE 3RD TEMPLE) THE ONE THAT IS ACTUALLY BEING BUILT UP FRESH AND NEW WITHIN THE IMMERSED BODIES OF YAHUSHA'S BRIDE ALL OVER THE WORLD - IT WILL NEVER BE A BUILDING AGAIN!
ZECHARIAH 1 “YAHUAH BECAME VERY ANGRY WITH YOUR ANCESTORS. SO YOU MUST TELL THE PEOPLE WHAT YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAYS, 'RETURN TO ME, SAYS YAHUAH ALMIGHTY, AND I WILL RETURN TO YOU. DON’T BE LIKE YOUR ANCESTORS. IN THE PAST THE PROPHETS SPOKE TO THEM AND SAID, ‘YAHUAH ALMIGHTY WANTS YOU TO REPENT AND CHANGE YOUR WRONG BEHAVIOUR. STOP SINNING!’ BUT YOUR ANCESTORS DID NOT LISTEN TO ME. YOUR ANCESTORS ARE GONE, AND THOSE PROPHETS DID NOT LIVE FOREVER. THE PROPHETS WERE MY SERVANTS. I USED THEM TO TELL YOUR ANCESTORS ABOUT MY LAWS AND TEACHINGS. YOUR ANCESTORS FINALLY LEARNED THEIR LESSON AND SAID, ‘YAHUAH ALMIGHTY DID WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO. HE PUNISHED US FOR THE WAY WE LIVED AND FOR ALL THE EVIL THINGS WE DID.’ SO THEY CAME BACK TO YAHUAH.
I HAVE A STRONG LOVE FOR JERUSALEM AND ZION. AND I AM VERY ANGRY AT THE NATIONS THAT FEEL SO SAFE. I WAS ONLY A LITTLE ANGRY, AND I USED THEM TO PUNISH MY PEOPLE. BUT THEY CAUSED TOO MUCH DAMAGE.' SO YAHUAH SAYS, 'I WILL RETURN TO JERUSALEM AND COMFORT HER.' YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAYS, 'JERUSALEM WILL BE BUILT UP AGAIN, AND MY HOUSE WILL BE THERE.' THE ANGEL ALSO SAID, 'YAHUAH ALMIGHTY SAYS, ‘MY TOWNS WILL BE RICH AGAIN. I WILL COMFORT ZION. I WILL AGAIN CHOOSE JERUSALEM TO BE MY SPECIAL CITY.’
REMEMBER `JERUSALEM' IS A SHADOW (CODEWORD) FOR YAHUSHA'S LOCAL FELLOWSHIPS THAT HOUSE HIS TEMPLES OF LIGHT AND LIFE TODAY!!
YAHUAH WAS EXTREMELY ANGRY WITH THE ANCESTORS OF THESE PRESENT JEWS WHOM HE IS ADDRESSING BECAUSE THEY TURNED AWAY FROM HIM. THEREFORE, “RETURN TO ME" IS THE MESSAGE. AND IF THEY WILL RETURN TO YAHUAH, THEN HE WILL RETURN TO THEM, WHICH MEANS DELIVERANCE.
SO THE FORMULA IS:
REPENT (A PERSON RETURNS TO YAHUSHA), AND IN RESPONSE THERE WILL BE A DELIVERANCE (YAHUSHA RETURNS TO THE PERSON). YAHUAH IS DEMANDING THAT ISRAEL STOP PROCRASTINATING AND STOP WRINGING THEIR HANDS OVER THE ENEMY WHO DOESN’T WANT THE TEMPLE BUILT, AND INSTEAD TRUST THAT YAHUAH WILL BE WITH THEM IN THEIR EFFORTS TO SEE TO ITS COMPLETION. YAHUAH SEES THEIR PROCRASTINATION AS BEING THE INDICATIVE BEHAVIOUR OF HAVING TURNED AWAY FROM HIM.
HOW CAN THIS SITUATION BE REMEDIED?
BY BUILDING THE TEMPLE!
FOR THAT INDICATES TO YAHUAH THE JEWS’ REPENTANCE AND RETURN TO HIM. REPENTANCE MUST FIRST BE HEARTFELT AND SINCERE, BUT WITHOUT ACCOMPANYING ACTION YAHUAH SAYS HE WON’T ACCEPT IT. ACTIVE BEHAVIOUR MATTERS. ACTION REFLECTS WHAT WE BELIEVE. SO THE BEHAVIOUR OF LETTING THE TEMPLE BUILDING PROJECT LAY DORMANT FOR 35 YEARS REFLECTED THE TRUTH THAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM YAHUAH. AND REMEMBER: THESE WERE THE VERY SAME JEWS WHO CAME RUSHING BACK TO JERUSALEM FROM BABYLON FULL OF ENTHUSIASM AND ZEALOUSNESS TO BUILD AGAIN THE TEMPLE AND TO RESTORE THE SCRIPTURAL WORSHIP LIFESTYLE. BUT BECAUSE OF ADVERSITY (PRIMARILY FROM THOSE WHO CLAIMED THAT THEY WORSHIPPED THE SAME ALAHIM - THE SAMARITANS), IT ALL CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT.
"THEREFORE, TELL THEM THAT YAHUAH OF HOSTS SAYS THIS: 'RETURN TO ME AND I WILL RETURN TO YOU,' SAYS YAHUAH OF HOSTS".
H E B R E W U N D E R S T A N D I N G
Search results for "RETURN":
2015 - to turn about or over, to change, overturn, perverted, be converted, overthrow.
3427 - to sit down (specifically as judge in quiet), to dwell, to remain, to settle, to marry, endure, establish, habitation, tarry.
5437 - to revolve, surround, or border.
8421 - to come back, to reply:--answer, restore, return (an answer).
Now write this to the Messenger of the Fellowship in EPHESUS: I'm the One who holds the seven stars in My right hand, and walks among the seven golden lampstands, so listen to what I have to say.
YAHUSHA IS IN HIS BRIDAL FELLOWSHIP !
I know everything you’ve done, including your hard work and how you’ve endured. I know you won’t put up with anyone who’s evil, and when people pretend to be My followers, you’ve tested their behaviour and found them to be liars, and not My followers at all! Yes you’ve indeed endured and gone through hard times because of Me, and you haven’t given up ... But I do have something against you! You’ve lost the love you first had.
So think about where you’ve fallen from and turn back, repent and behave the way you first did. For if you don’t repent, I'll come quick-smart and take away your lampstand completely. (REMOVE HIS PRESENCE) But there is one thing you are doing right. You hate what the Nicolaitanes are doing, and so do I.
THE NICOLAITANES WERE CARPET-BAGGERS (OF ALL WALKS AND BELIEFS) WHO WANTED A HIERARCHY OF POSITION TO CONTROL THE SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOBILITY AND COMMONERS.
So if you have ears, then listen to what the Spirit says to the Bridal Fellowship (AND DO IT!) I will let everyone who overcomes eat from the Tree of Life in the midst of Yahuah’s Paradise.
REMEMBER YAHUSHA SAID THAT HE'S THE BREAD AND WATER OF LIFE AND ANYONE WHO EATS AND DRINKS OF HIM WILL NEVER HUNGER OR THIRST AGAIN' ... RETURNING TO YAHUSHA MEANS A FRESH WAVE OF HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE AND LOVE.