The Dedication Our History
Table of Contents Title The Rebuilding The Dedication of the Altar The Dedication of the Foundation
Page 3-7 8-12 13-15
By Evelyn Pointer
Seventy years after Israel had been in captivity in Babylon the Lord set up Cyrus, King of Persia, as was prophesized by the prophet Jeremiah to loose the bands of his people and to build him a house in Jerusalem. Thus a decree went forward to this effect in the 1st year of Cyrus. So began a fairly long process of about a hundred years under the Medes and the Persians that the temple and the Holy City were built again unto the Lord, the God of Israel. God gave wisdom, strength and grace to four men who would lead out in this work, Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah. In around 536 BC Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel, a direct descendant of the Kings of Judah returned to Jerusalem to the site of the temple , carrying the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar had taken and 42,360 of the children of Israel. In the first year of return in the 7th month they set up the altar and began to offer burnt offerings.
In the 2nd year they laid the foundation of the temple, and when the people saw it may many shouted and cheered, while others cried remembering the magnificence of Solomon's temple. But they were surrounded by enemies ion every side. Enemies who lived in the land and did not want to see Israel return and rebuild. There enemies hired counselors who managed to deceive King Ahasuerus who halted the progress of the work and it lay incomplete until the 2nd year of the reign of Darius. The Lord raised up two prophets Haggai and Zechariah who encouraged Joshua and Zerubbabel to complete the work Haggai 1: 4-15. The temple was completed on the 3rd day of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius about 516 BC. In the 7th year of the reign of Artaxerxes about 458 BC Ezra the scribe, priest of the Lord was sent with commission of the King to teach the Law to the people,
5 to enquire of the welfare of Jerusalem, to set up magistrates and judges in Israel who would keep law and order, God's law and the king's law. King Artaxerxes sent him with great gifts of gold and silver from his own treasury and from His counselors and from any are in the land willing to give, in order to beautify and maintain the temple and also in order that prayer and offerings could be made on his behalf to the God of Heaven so He would bless him. With Ezra came many more of the people--who ever were willing to return. Ezra weighed and catalogued all of the treasures on the way to Jerusalem, but when he arrived he found that all was not as it should be. The children of Israel had intermarried with the heathen and had born children of mixed ancestry. When Ezra heard this he fasted and wept--was it not for sins such as this that God had punished them in the first place? Yet even after their return the people were taken in the same fault. After much fasting and prayer Ezra and the elders called together the people to convince them of their sins. They comprehended their sin and promised to put away the strange wives and strange children.
Thirteen years later Nehemiah the Jew was sad and concerned about the city of Jerusalem and requested that King Artaxerxes allow him to go to seek the welfare of his people who were in affliction and reproach by all of the enemies that surrounded them. The king granted the request and when Nehemiah returned and Jerusalem he found that the wall was broken down and the gate was burned. Nehemiah did an enormous work in a short period of time. He build the wall all around Jerusalem in 52 days! This was accomplished by organizing the people in groups all around the wall, who were responsible to build a certain section. But the enemies of Israel continued to try to stop the work. It became so bad that the people had to set up watches and might, and had to be armed all around the wall at all times while they were building. After the wall was build Nehemiah as governor had to deal with other concerns of the people, such as the rich exacting usury on the poor, which he stopped. In the 7th month Ezra the priest read the law to the people and gave them understanding. In this month also the people fasted, confessed their sins and separated themselves from strangers. They also renewed the covenant to the lord and set up ordinances to bring in the tithes and offerings and to hallow the Sabbath and the elders of the people sealed the covenant. Nehemiah continued to work with the people by instituting reforms according to the law of God.
Now, this is not just an interesting story as a piece of history. The rebuilding of the temple and of the city of Jerusalem is a pattern that points to a greater promise; each step that was taken in the rebuilding, from the setting up of the altar to the walls of Jerusalem in sequence is finally repeated in the end. We know this from the words of the prophets. What did the lord revealed to Daniel? Daniel 9: 22-25. Pay particular attention to verse 24â€”to finish the transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity. Here we see a spiritual house, here we see the atonement, and here we see everybody's righteousness. Those four men, no matter or righteous or strong could not accomplish such a task. Such a task is for the Lamb of God. Haggai spake about this house that Christ would build with these words Haggai 2:6-9 and vs 21-23. Zechariah spake this way Zechariah 3:8-10 and 4:6-10, 6:10-15. Zerubbabel and Joshua represented Christ, they build the house just as Christ is building the house. What we are waiting for in the end, final decree and atonement--everlasting righteousness. What we are waiting for is the beginning the sealing of the 144,000. How this is going to happen follows a pattern that we can find is the prophets and compose with the books Ezra and Jeremiah.
The Dedication of the Altar
By Evelyn Pointer
On the 25th day of the ninth month the Abomination of Desolation was sacrificed on the altar of God under the orders of the Greek king Antiochus. Three years later on the exact date, the 25th day of the ninth month, the family of the Maccabees fought their enemies, took back the temple, purified it and built another altar. They celebrated this great victory with days of dedication, with songs and prayers worshiping God and making sacrifices. They declared that these days of dedication should be kept yearly in the same manner as the feast of Tabernacles. But why should we acknowledge this day? We have so many feast days already, why add more and do we have to? What is the day of Dedication about, and why should we celebrate it? In reading the bible we have learned exactly what the feast days are those were established from the beginning. We know that we have three great or major feasts required by law. They are Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles
9 We know that there was a day of memorial called Trumpets that was to be kept as a holy convocation. We also have a fast called the Atonement that we keep every year. When we learned about the Wisdom of God we set apart a Sabbath every year to give honor to Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding. After the time of Moses the children of Israel decided to add additional days of fasting pertaining to sorrowful events that occurred in Israel such as the destruction of the Temple. They also elevated other days as feast days to commemorate the blessing and deliverance by God in their time. These days include Purim, the day of Dedication of the Altar and the day of dedication of the Temple. It is a good and wonderful thing to always come before God and thank him for his goodness. These days of commemoration helps us to remember important events that happened in our history Let us remember that the history is ours, not the fake Jews, It did not belong only to the ancient Israelites. As we remember and acknowledge these things we are having a revival.
10 Isaiah 58: 12 says "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." These things are part of the old waste places and the foundations of many generations. Not only do the days of commemoration help us to remember our history--taking hold on the heritage that rightly belongs to us, but they also point toward the future just as the three great feasts, the great fast, and the day of Trumpets recall the past and point toward the future. We know that the things written in the bible are for our learning, gives us lessons in righteousness and are examples of sacrifice and holiness. As we grow in knowledge we also see that many things that happened before in the bible will also happen again in a different way in the future. As we say, they refrain. One refrain pertains to the time of Maccabees. We know that Antiochus Ephiphanes was a forerunner of the Man of sin. Judas Maccabeus and his family were forerunners of the Martyrs with power.
11 The other poor people who were slaughtered in their innocence without a sword or strength to fight like the woman and her seven sons, are forerunners of the Martyrs without power. On the 25th day of the ninth month, which corresponds loosely to December 25th, they sacrificed the Abomination of Desolation that was set upon the altar of God. This day was not chosen by accident. This was the great feast day of the Greeks who made sacrifices to their gods and celebrated the rebirth of the sun. We know what this day became. However three years later on the exact day and month the temples was cleansed and offerings were mad on the new altar. I Maccabees 4: 52-59. How did they celeb rate the days of dedication? Exactly like the feast of Tabernacles. They rejoiced with branched of trees and palms. Spiritually what does this mean? 1. We have no center of worship. The truth has been trampled to the ground. Every false church is like swine on the idols altars placed on the on the altar of God because they use Christ's name, they use the bible which is the word of God and they misinterpret scripture in order to justify themselves.
This is the spiritual Abomination of Desolation. The gospel of Jesus is compared to the table of the Lord or the altar; this is where the truth is served, I Corinthians 9: 13. We are looking forward to the day when Mystery Babylon is destroyed the lies removed from the truth, the truth resurrected and the gospel preached. As said before, everything that happened then is a forerunner of the time of trouble under the Man of Sin.
13 The Dedication of the Foundation
By Evelyn Pointer
During the reign of the Medes and Persians, Cyrus the great, in the first year of his reign, made a proclamation that the God of heaven had charged him to build him a house at Jerusalem. Ezra 1: 1-4 Isaiah 45: 1-4 & 13. They built the altar first, and began making sacrifices in the 7th month on the Day of Trumpets. Ezra 3: 1-3. The foundation was not laid until the second year on the 24th day of the ninth month. Ezra 3: 8-13. They celebrated the laying of the foundation with praising and giving thanks to God. Some people shouted with joy and others wept remembering the temple that Solomon built. Why are we celebrating the Dedication of the Foundation? The Dedication of the Foundation is a day in which we commemorate the laying of the foundation of our church. Our foundation was laid on the 24th day of the ninth month by accident and certainly not by design on our parts. We all wanted it to be done sooner. But Christ is our architect and master builder, and this is God's house and we are his building.
14 The timing of the laying of the foundation on the exact date is a sign for us that we are the true church of God. The prophecies concerning the laying of the foundation were not fulfilled in the time of the bible. The prophecies of peace and redemption are to be fulfilled at the end of time. We know that Zerubbabel laying the foundation is symbolic of the work of Christ. As it says in Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts." For example, we know that God has not shaken the heavens yet and all nations have not bowed to God. Haggai 2: 4-9. Haggai 2: 20-23. Also neither in that time, nor yet in our time have Israel been in prosperity. Zechariah 8: 9-15, and neither have all nations taken hold to Israel's skirt to walk in the ways of God Zechariah 8:20-23. (To take hold of a skirt means to cover me with thy skirt or to make a covenant, union or joining. Ruth 3:6. "Thy God will be my God." Like Ruth clinging to Naomi, Ruth 1: 16. Ruth represents the righteous gentiles, Naomi the children of Israel and Boaz represent Christ). Instead, after the Medes and Persians, we were afflicted by Greece and then Rome and today remain in affliction, scattered, blind lame and dead. Will God lie? Of course not! The promises will be fulfilled in the end. We know the seasons even if we do not know the day or hour of Christ's coming. Our time is like Noah and like Lot, this is the end.
15 God promised to build his house. What is the house of God? The church is! We are! His children are! I Peter 2: 5-6. God is the one who builds his house yet he does establish workers that assist him, just like the contractor hire carpenters. What is so important about a foundation? A foundation is a beginning, a basis upon which something stands. A builder needed to first dig deep to a stable rock level. Then they laid the foundation with great stones, the bigger the building the greater the foundation. If the foundation was laid in sandy ground the building could crack, sandy ground is not stable. The angles and the line of the entire building were determined by the corner stone. The corner stone was placed first with great precision. Matthew 21:42-44. If the corner stone was not perfect in every way the entire building would be off. Ephesians 2: 19-22. Christ is our cornerstone and sure foundation. Isaiah 28: 16-17. What is a plummet? A plummet is a plumb line, it is a line weighted with lead that helps a builder find a true vertical, so the building is not built leaning at an angle. It also means to measure something precisely and minutely. Zechariah 4: 10 spoke of Zerubbabel with the plummet with those seven which are eyes of God. God is coming to measure his church with precision and we must in every way come up to the measurement of Christ
The Dedication Our History The Rebuilding 3-7 The Dedication of the Altar 8-12 The Dedication of the Foundation 13-15 Page Title 3 By Evelyn...