Building the House of God

Building the Tabernacle

Book of Exodus Chapters 36 through Chapter 40

We love our freedoms here in the USA but we are slowly giving up our freedoms to corruptness.

There is one freedom we had better be willing to fight for!

Of all the freedoms we must maintain, it is the freedom to Worship that we had better cling to the most!

When we have this freedom, then we need to build places to gather and worship!

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We see that this is a command of the Lord who is to be the object of our worship!

It is those who are going to worship who should make donations to the construction of this worship center and these donations are to be given willingly with no strings attached.

The key to our worship of the Lord Jesus Christ is the setting aside of our own desires of the flesh.

If we go into a worship service thinking only of what Jehovah can provide for us, then we have gone for the wrong reason!

Only as we give heed to the Word of God and “rest” in our Savior, can it be said we came to worship our Holy God!

Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

It is only when we can ignore our flesh, that we can be free to enjoy the worship of our Awesome God.

We begin with something that is never heard in the modern Church Era.

*Exo 36:4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
Exo 36:5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.

Today in every place of worship we only hear that we could do more if we had more.

People need a place to worship much more than they need to figure out how to spend or in many cases to save that donation!

These people finally began to realize they were becoming a part of something incredibly special, at least most of them did.

Today we raise money to see what we can do with it, when we should make better plans for the ministry and raise what it would take to accomplish that ministry.

I have found that most Christians are generous, but these same Christians do not like to see waste!

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Sometimes too much can cause corruption in the spending of these offerings!

Remember we are not talking about tithes. The tithes are commanded, and they too are to be spent wisely and for the upkeep of the Church buildings and Church ministries, those key ministries of the Church, such as making disciples.

After salvation must come discipleship!

Most of the modern-day Church has forgotten about sacrificial giving and refuse to give even the tithe.

Most modern Churches have strayed from these two key issues!

Maybe then we could hear our pastors say as Moses said.

*Exo 36:6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

We should understand this principle!

From last weeks lesson we must remember that too much that the Lord has provided is spent on false worship!

If the Lord has given us a work to do, He will lay the financing of that work on the hearts of the people to contribute what is necessary.

Where many a Church fail today is acting upon their own thoughts and undertaking projects before the provision of that project has been made.

I am not speaking of a work of “faith” here.

We should clearly understand the gifts that come by human means can seldom be used to gain a Heavenly Blessing!

We seem to forget that Jehovah knows what He is doing, and He uses the Holy Spirit to accomplish His wishes.

If God is not in it, it will surely not succeed!

The giving to the work of the Lord is a privilege and is not intended to ever become a burden!

This is not to say we are not to give sacrificially!

Whenever all these things are met according to the ways of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will also raise up qualified people in which this work will be assigned.

*Exo 37:1 And Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it:
Exo 37:2 And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about.

We should understand that the Ark symbolized the throne of God and His presence among the believers.

We must keep in the forefront of our minds, that all those who are ignorant of the truth of our Savior are bound for Hell!

All those who cannot relate to the truth of Jehovah, just do not know about Holiness.
They do not know how merciful and loving He is.
They cannot explain the loneliness and emptiness they feel in their heart.
They have no direction and fall into the traps of Satan, and they cannot understand why.
They have no power outside themselves.
They have no hope as they see the end of the world before them, no matter what the world does or says in trying to stop it.
They have no assurance in this life.

God has provided a sure, but straightforward way to approach Him, but it is a narrow path!

The Ark was made of shittim wood and over laid with gold.

Shittim wood is sometimes referred to as iron wood and is considered almost indestructible.

This wood symbolizes the human side of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also His sinlessness.

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Act 13:35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

The Ark was completely over laid with gold within and without.

This reminds us that our Lord Jesus retained His full deity in union with His fullness of humanity!

Our Lord voluntarily emptied Himself of some unique things to come to our world and be that salvation plan of our Holy God.

Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

We should keep in mind that there was never a time that our Lord Jesus was not God, the Creator of this world!

*Exo 37:17 And he made the candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work made he the candlestick; his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same:

The candlestick was actually a lampstand.

It symbolized the Lord Jesus Christ as the Light in this dark world!

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

He was not only the Light in this dark world, but He is the Light of Life.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Without the Light that Our Lord has provided, all the world would be lost in darkness.

No one could see a way out of this darkness! Most are still blind to it today!

No one could see a purpose, or have meaning, or know the significance of what life is all about.

Life is not about these few years we live in these aging worthless bodies!

Life is about living eternally with the God of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ!

This first Lampstand was hammered out from one piece of gold. I cannot even fathom how this was accomplished.

This Lampstand illuminated the persons who came into the Holy of Holies. Remember God can see at all times.

This Light is for each believer! As each believer enters into the presence of God, the Light of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will shine upon them.

Each believer then becomes Jehovah’s light to this world!

Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

We must become children of the Light of Christ!

Psa 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

As darkness approaches, we must let our little light shine even brighter!

Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

*Exo 37:25 And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same.

The Altar of Incense was about 18 inches square and was covered with pure gold.

The Altar of Incense symbolized our prayers reaching into Heaven!

Our Prayers are the most powerful tool we have in our relationship with our Heavenly Father!

We really do not pray enough, and we always seem to forget about prayer when we are in need of something that only Jehovah can provide.

The Apostle Paul said we should stay in prayer mode all the time!

Many Christians have forgotten how to approach our Savior and our Heavenly Father, and it is through prayer!

God loves to hear our prayers! Our prayers are like a sweet aroma ascending up to our Heavenly Father.

Our prayers are so special to our Heavenly Father that He bottles them up so He can hear them again whenever He has not heard from us!

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

We must seek the Lord continuously, if we ever want to make things better in our nation!

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

*Exo 38:24 All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
Exo 38:25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:

Moses kept inventory of all the materials used to construct the Tabernacle.

We must remember God caused the Egyptians, through Holy Ghost conviction to provide all these things to the Children of Israel.

Of the gold and silver given freely and willingly for the work on the Tabernacle all was accounted for.

Jehovah makes us aware that all the gifts given to the Church, must be accounted for and nothing is to be wasted!

We do not think much about an old tent as a worship center, but there was in fact many precious metals and jewels used with the best of wood in God’s design for this House of God!

We must understand that everything, “everything” in the design of the Tabernacle was intended to lead these people to the Messiah.

Gold reminds us of the Deity and the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is all we need!

Silver reminds us of the Atonement!

Exo 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
Exo 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
Exo 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

Our “Atonement” is being reconciled to Jehovah, but not by silver and gold, but something much more precious!

It is by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!

1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

It all goes back to obedience to the Word of God and those He calls to do the work!

*Exo 39:32 Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.

It seems that in about five months all the work for the Tabernacle was completed.

We can say this was an amazing feat, but when the plan of God is followed by people that He has personally called, things happen accordingly.

It all begins with a great plan.

God’s plan is perfect.
God’s plan is precise.
God’s plan cannot fail.

All the work was done. We have no need to present to God work that is not complete!

God entrusted this work to specific people!

Exo 31:2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:

Exo 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: “and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee”;

God did not trust this work to unbelievers!

These workmen were taught of Jehovah, God the Holy Spirit. There was no room for error!

God did not trust this plan to be man-made. It was God’s plan! There was no human input in this plan and no human was allowed to make changes to this plan!

All the work was done! There was none of the work on the Tabernacle left undone!

There is very little if any work that is done by the world that can be said to be completely done!

Something will always be lacking in man-made worship!

Once this work was done then there was a need of an inspection.

Exo 39:42 According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
Exo 39:43 And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.

We must understand that no matter what task the Lord calls us to do. No matter our profession. We are to work hard to accomplish what God has called us to do.

God does not call us just to see us fail!

We are to be faithful to the work God has called us to do!

We must understand that if we do our best, the results are in the hands of the Holy Spirit who called us!

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

When the Lord is pleased with our work, He will show up when we worship Him!

*Exo 40:34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exo 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

The Tabernacle implies that Jehovah requires a specific worship!

The Tabernacle also implies Jehovah’s sovereign rule over the Jews and having said this, it also implies complete Authority over the Church as everything about the Tabernacle will lead us to the Lord Jesus Christ!

1) Having only one gate to enter into the Tabernacle offers Jehovah’s invitation to humanity.

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

2) The burnt offering at the Altar shows our need for atonement.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

3) The Brazen Laver shows our need for sanctification.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

4) The Lampstand shows our need to walk with the Lord.

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

5) The table of shewbread shows our need for the Lord’s nourishment.

Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

6) The Altar of incense shows our need for a continuous prayer life.

Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

7) The Inner Veil, the Ark, the Mercy Seat shows our need for personal fellowship with Jehovah.

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

If we love the Lord Jesus Christ, it will show, and the Tabernacle of God will lead us to Him!

Amen

Coming Back to the House of God

Back to Bethel

Book of Genesis Chapters 34 and 35

As we study the Old Testament, we see that these people who preserved the Word of God were just historical people as we are.

These are real people with real problems who found out that it is Yahweh who has all the answers.

These stories of life in the Old Testament are real and they are true.

We see that it is not always easy to be a believer.

We will face many challenges as we try to serve the Lord.

The best solution is the solution the Lord gives us, which is to keep the commandments to God, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jacob had to live with the decisions he had made, and he had to find God’s “Grace”.

The best place to begin in search of God’s “Grace” is at the House of God!

We must always understand God does not need our sacrifices God needs our obedience!

*Gen 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Jacob had made a vow at Bethel. God had kept His side of the vow, but Jacob had wavered in his vow.

Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Many a Christian today, who were on fire for God, when they first asked Jesus to come into their heart, have now cooled off and they need to go back to Bethel, the House of God, and renew their vow as did Jacob.

Jacob had been blessed many times over. Jacob had not given his tenth and Jacob had not given his heart to God which is far more important.

During this “Covid” Plague, many of God’s children have grown cold and afraid and they no longer give their heart to God.

In fact many have even forgotten to support the House of God!

They have just quit on the Lord no matter their excuse!

Ecc 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Ecc 5:5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

We make a vow to the Lord the day of our salvation, the very moment of our salvation, or we are not saved!

God wanted the heart of Jacob just as he had the heart of Abraham!

Jacob did not need to go alone, he needed to take all his family so they too could join him at the altar of God.

But there are always some things that need to be left behind!

*Gen 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

No matter who we are or where we come from, as Christians we need to renew our commitments to the Lord first and then to each other.

The second will not work without the first!

The family is the first government that our Creator endorsed.

We might say “I have never had strange gods in my life”, but we are fools to think so!

Gal 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

All these things are false gods that we have allowed into our lives without thinking that they are false.

Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

We must keep the Lord “first” at all times and those weak and beggarly elements, which are worldly things, need to be replaced with the Word of God, that is the Word of Truth!

We need to be clean!

The Bible does say come as you are, but in this instance, we are talking about the children who are already in the family of God.

We must cleanse ourselves because we spend every day in a wicked and sinful and corrupt world.

Jesus said to Peter:

Joh_13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

To wash our feet as Christians is to walk holy and undefiled.

We must wash the filth of this world off before we make request of the Lord.

It is called recognizing we are sinners, asking for forgiveness every day and asking for a refilling of the Holy Spirit every day or more often as the need arises.

We still live in this filthy flesh!
We are still dirty rotten sinners saved only by God’s Grace!

That “Grace” comes only by Jesus Christ!

In our Spiritual life, that has been “justified” by the Lord and purified by the Lord, need not think that we are undone if in our walk in this life we will contract some stains.

We need to wash away those stains!

We get this same meaning where it says a change our garments.

We need to wash away the filth of this world and the Word of God is that cleansing agent.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

This washing occurs as we are doers of the Word, we are obedient to the Word of God!

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: “but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.
1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

We cannot allow ourselves to be brought under the power of this world when our power is of the Lord.

We just need to go to the “House of God”.

*Gen 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

We are foolish if we do not remember from where God has brought us from.

Where were we?

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We must never forget the power of our “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must remember our deliverance!

The Lord will always, “Always”, deliver those who come to Him in faith and repentance!

2Sa 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
2Sa 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
2Sa 22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: “so shall I be saved from mine enemies”.

If we love the Lord, truly love the Lord, He will always deliver us from our day of distress!

As far as Jacob was concerned Laban was in the past and it was Esau, his own brother who brought these fears to him.

Jacob may not have known just how to approach Esau but as God does, God said to “let his journey begin at Bethel, the House of God”.

This is a great lesson for us all.

No matter what we are going through, we need to go to the Lord in prayer and there is no better place to pray than the altar at the house of God.

Yes, we are to go to our closet and get alone with God.

But a Spirit filled House of God, where others who love the Lord can bring great peace of mind.

God is our deliverer!

Psa 18:17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
Psa 18:18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

Jacob had asked his family to give up all false gods and to go with him to the House of God.

Anything people worship is to them a god!

Anything we put before the Lord has become our god!

But there is only one true God!

*Gen 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
Gen 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

If we go back to where Jacob had begun his journey to escape from Esau, we will understand this better.

Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob had vowed a vow to Yahweh and God was doing His part and had done His part.

God always does what He says He will do!

We must repent of our old life and walk in the Word of God!

We must bury our old gods and seek the Living God!

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We must put away our own thoughts and seek the “Mind of Christ”!

1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

What was the mind of Christ?

To do the will of His Father!

Joh_8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

When we are doing the will of our Heavenly Father, we will be doing the will of our Savior!

Until the Lord takes us home, we will still be amongst our enemies!

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy!

*Gen 35:6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
Gen 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

Luz was a royal city of the Canaanites.

By the direction of God, Jacob was directed right into the mouth of the enemy.

This is the location of the Church today.

As long as we are upon this earth we will live amongst our enemies.

In reality, this nothing to be frightened of.

We are strangers and pilgrims in the land.

Even in the midst of our enemies we can find the “House of God”!

Mat_18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Notice that Jacob had found something that is more important than the House of God.

Jacob came to realize if God is not in the House, then it is not a true House of God.

It is El-bethel, the “God of House” that makes a true Church!

So many places of worship today have forgotten this.

Jesus is finding that in America, He is no longer welcome, much like when He came the first time.

Luk_9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

My question is how have we allowed this to happen?

We as Christians have to be the laziest people on the face of the earth!

We think once we are saved, we can forget the world we live in.

We are left in this world to make a difference and we are failing because we refuse to do the work of God.

It is the “God of the Church” that makes the difference, and He must live within us!

We cannot abandon our places of worship as we are told to today, but we had better bring Jesus with us when we go.

We need revival in America.

Not just for lost souls, as many believe, but to revive all the Church, the “Body of Christ”!

There can be no revival if it does not begin with each Church member, each believer!

Jacob built an altar to sacrifice the tenth he had promised to complete his vow, and he was now much closer to the Lord, the God of the House.

It was not the animals that made the sacrifice, it was the heart of Jacob that was important if he was to be Israel.

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

If we do not look to Jesus, then we have not laid aside every weight we carry, and we will be worn out before our journey begins.

It was not the journey Jacob made to get to the House of God, it was the journey he made after he had been to the House of God.

Will the God of the House be with him?

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

It was a good time for one to repent and give her heart to God.

*Gen 35:8 But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

We do not know for sure, but Deborah would have been more than 140 years old at the time of her death.

Gen 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

Compare

Gen 35:28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years.

Deborah had left Haran with Rebekah 140 years before this death.

“Allonbachuth” means, the “Oak of Weeping”.

No doubt this nurse had spent many of Jacob’s early years teaching him and helping to raise him.

If we set our roots down in a Bible believing Church, we will see over time, many of the Saints of God go home to glory.

These will be days of sadness until we wake up to the fact that they went to where we want to go, to the Glory World of Heaven.

Death and burial is in all our future unless the Rapture of the Church takes place before our day comes!

We must also understand that on our journey to Heaven the true “Promised Land”, we will not be exempt from the things that happen to all humans.

Our journey will not always be easy nor is it intended to be.

Life is not all that fun especially as we get older, but we live, knowing that a life given to the Lord is a life that cannot die.

I am so glad I am no longer a “dead man” but am alive forever in Christ Jesus!

So Yahweh came to visit Jacob another time.

*Gen 35:9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
Gen 35:10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

We might miss this if we are not looking.

God takes the time to remind us who we are!

God provides us that assurance we need to stay motivated!

Once Jacob had given his heart to Yahweh, The Almighty God, He then reminds Jacob he is no longer the supplanter, but he is a prince in the family of God and the priest of his own family.

Rev_1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev_5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Our Lord God likes it get up close and personal and He tries much more than we do to get close to us.

We sometimes forget just how much we are loved by our Creator.

And God said:

*Gen 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
Gen 35:12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

The great “I Am” said call me “El Shaddai” there is nothing in this Universe as powerful as the Almighty God.

Why do we express the fears that we do?

He is God “All Sufficient”!

He is able to make good on every promise He has ever made!

We must allow El Shaddai to do His work at His own pace and in His own time.

We can see that He had His watchful eyes on Israel, the man, as He has always had His eyes on Israel, the nation.

Part of those promises given to Abraham would be given to Israel and many of those promises are not yet fulfilled even today, and we should understand that we can only be a living part of God’s plan if we listen to what He says and then do as He has commanded us.

Israel would be the father of a great nation.

The tiny nation of Israel today stands a small but powerful nation, because of these blessings given to Jacob on this day we are reading of.

Also the Lord Jesus Christ is the “promised seed” and all nations have within their borders those who love and serve the Lord.

We know that Heaven where the Lord is today is that true “Promised Land”, open to all to give their heart to God Almighty, El Shaddai!

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

The things of this world from Creation until today, have come about exactly as the Word of God has said, and things will continue until they reach their climax at the return of our Savior.

We have no reason to doubt the Word of God!

How can we doubt something that has proven to be true over and over again?

*Gen 35:13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
Gen 35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

We know God did not meet Jacob face to face or Jacob would have died on the spot, but God did meet with Israel in some visible display of His glory that hovered over him while God talked to Israel just as He did in the time of Moses over the Tabernacle.

When Jacob had first met the Lord at Bethel, he set up a stone he had used for his pillow.

Israel now took the time to erect a more stately and more lasting memorial probably placing that first stone in some part of it.

Israel then hallowed it with freewill offerings.

If our offerings are not given freely then they are meaningless!

This is the first place the drink offering is mentioned in the Bible.

In many places we will see the English word wine, but alcohol would have never been used in an offering to God.

The Bible says we are not even to look upon fermented grape juice.

Pro_23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

We know that God will never go against His own Word!

Many so-religions forsake these words, but Israel would not have.

This grape juice was to be poured on the altar as a sacrifice!

There is more to a drink offering than we think!

We can call it symbolism, but we use the phrase “typology” which is more appropriate.

He first poured a drink offering of wine and then he poured oil over it.

If we look closely, we can see Jacob was prophesying about the sacrifice of Jesus by his actions.

We know that Jacob was the father of twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

One of Jacob’s sons was Judah; where we get the word Jew, and we know that Jesus was a Jewish Man from the tribe of Judah.

Jesus stated emphatically, “Salvation comes by the Jews”.

Salvation came by the Jews in their act of preserving the Word of God and teaching us by example!

Jacob poured the offering on a stone that he had set up.

Jacob did not just see a stone and use it; he set it up to make an altar. It was a pillar it was a cornerstone!

The Bible says God was going to lay a Cornerstone of salvation, a sure foundation.

The scriptures tell us Jesus is that Cornerstone, set up by God!

The drink offering of wine or grape juice symbolizes Jesus’ blood, poured out for us.

After the ‘blood’ came the oil, which symbolizes the third Person of the Godhead; the Holy Spirit, Who has been poured into Christians for us to
‘drink’.

We know of course, we receive the Holy Spirit after we have been washed in the blood of Jesus; so Jacob poured the offerings in the correct order.

The “blood of Jesus” is poured upon that lost soul, then the oil the Holy Spirit is pour into that lost soul to cause a New Life!

We see over and over again we can find salvation in the Old Testament played out to teach the Jews of the coming New Covenant by the “Blood of Jesus Christ.

God would never use some fermented corrupt liquid to show us these things!

“Fermentation” is a corruption of the “Fruit of the Vine”!

Jesus Christ was without sin and without corruption.

if we want to pour out our own drink offering, then when we go to the altar, we need to pour out our heart to a “Righteous Savior” and not some “fermented substitute”.

The best place to do this is at the House of God!

*Gen 35:15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

Remember the only city that was near this place was Luz a royal city of the Canaanites.

In the future this place would be named Bethel.

In this day of Jacob (Israel), he was saying the House of God!

God will speak to us anywhere and at any time but there is just something special about meeting with the Lord at the House of God.

Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Amen

Getting Your Priorities In Order

Reordering Priorities

Book of Haggai

Last week we saw that the 70 -year prophesy of Jeremiah had been true and many of those of Israel in captivity were released by King Cyrus to return home and to rebuild the Temple.

It got off to a great start, but it soon ran out of steam and came to a complete stop, as these people began to think of themselves instead of the House of God.

So God sent the Prophet Haggai with a new message.

This is a great lesson for the Church today.

Sometimes God may seem to silent and it seems prayers go unanswered and we wonder what has happened.

We must understand that 100% of the time it will be because we have moved away from God and not that God has forgotten about us.

God is always listening for us, but God will not answer if we have unconfessed sin. We must confess “all” our sin and repent if we want God to answer our prayers! (Psalms 66:18)

Our lesson today is aimed toward those churches that were one time on fire for God, but have now ceased and are cold or just luke warm.

Our lesson is also aimed at the Christian who was once on fire for God but now have ceased even going to church.

Why does it seem God is silent in America today?

God has been asked to leave!
Many of the Church have rejected the truth of God and allowed the world to dictate what God means when they cannot know the truth!
Many have rejected the Word of God and listen to false science!
Many have forced God to take a back seat to our own personal pursuits!
Many have allowed the government to influence the Church!
Many have just worshiped self and left off to worship God!

So what was the message of Haggai?

*****Hag 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
Hag 1:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.

According to modern calendars the first message of Haggai came August the 29th of 520 BC.

The first message was aimed at Zerubbabel who was the governor assigned by King Cyrus to be in charge of Judah (a puppet king) and the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon, which Nebuchadnezzar destroyed.

Zerubbabel was a descendant of the royal line of King David. In the Book of Ezra he is sometimes called by Sheshbazzar, which was his Persian name.

In Haggai we will see Zerubbabel called the “Signet” which means a seal or a signet, which means he had absolute authority in Judah but still a puppet of Persia.

To be honest it is our duty to serve the Lord, just as it was these people of Judah on this day.

These who had return from captivity had decided it was not time to finish the work on the Temple, but it was time for them to do as they pleased.

They had allowed their neighbors to dictate their behavior!

Ezr 4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Ezr 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Shimshai was a trouble maker and these Jews did not question his authority but just went to their homes and left off the building of the Temple.

What does God say?

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.
Pro 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

So God sent His Word by Haggai.

*****Hag 1:3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 1:4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?

God’s people had forgotten that they were God’s people!

We do the same thing today!

They were not to fear those around them. God had said they would go home after 70 years in captivity, and God did not say this just so they would be ruled by Samaria or foolish men harassing God’s people.

One thing we must understand is, God will not do things that we can do ourselves!

God helps us with things that we cannot do ourselves!!!!!!!!!!

God simply said, if it is not time to complete the work on the Temple, then was it time to dwell in their ceiled, houses, houses already secure from the elements?

These people were celebrating in their homes while the House of God still lay in ruins just partially rebuilt.

Nothing much more than the foundation had been laid.

Nothing looks worse than a building that began as a great plan, but now lay in ruins because it could not be completed.

If things were as bad as these people made it out to be, then how could they sit in their homes in safety with no worries?

If we think back to the time of King David, these people were nothing like David at all.

2Sa 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
2Sa 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

The thoughts of David were why the first Temple was built, and these people who had been released from bondage by King Cyrus, who had bragged on the God of creation, were not as obligated to serve the Lord as they should have been.

This is a picture of the Laodicean Church Age of today!

The Lord has reached down and pulled His people out of the miry clay of sin, surely, we have a duty to commit to the work of the Lord.

Today we are the Temple of God and when we are first saved, we are babes in Christ, surely, we feel the duty to grow in Christ!

We should not need anyone to urge us to get closer to God, but thank God for our Pastor, who continues to teach us the truth.

What does the Bible teach us to do?

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We must be building onto our Temple at all times!

It was not time for these Jews of Judah to be sitting around doing nothing when the Temple of God needed so much work to be done.

It is never time for us to stop building onto our temple, which we are.

1Co_6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

We have a duty to be busy working on our own Temple at all times!

The first message of God through Haggai, was aimed directly at Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest.

We must remember when Haggai spoke, he was saying what God told Him to say and to whom God told him to say it to.

Neither of these men could deny that the prophecies of Jeremiah and of Isaiah had been true just as the words of Haggai would be true and not just true “but be the truth”.

*****Hag 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

This something we all should do every day. We need take a look at our Christian life as compared to Jesus Christ and consider our ways!

These people were guilty of selfishness and covetousness.

What does prophecy do?

We could say that prophecy is God in communication with the Church.

We know that God was speaking to these Jews, but we also know that God has the same message for the Church today, and these words of the Old Testament has lessons that we are to learn.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We need to take a close look into our mirror every day to see if we are who we say we are!

These Jews were neglecting the only thing that could save them, when times did get hard!

God did not expect these people to live in tents while the construction of the Temple was going on, but God did expect them to finish the work they had started at the Temple.

Everything they did since returning to their homeland would determine how God would react to them!

Lev 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Lev 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

God had not changed, and He never will!!!!!!!!!!

*****Hag 1:6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

Even though they were now free, this was no way to live. Never enough food and not enough clothes to stay warm.

To live in sin soon becomes a life of misery!

When we get our priorities out of order, things just do not go well for us!

It is a fact that when we forget where our blessings come from, we will not get blessings that we could have had!

God is always standing ready to dump a truck load of blessings out upon us!!!!!!

By not having a place of worship these people were robbing God.

They were robbing God of His worship.
They were robbing God of His truth.
They were robbing God of His tithes.

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Gathering to worship the Lord is much, much more than these things.

We lose opportunities to learn the Scriptures.
We lose opportunities to carry our burdens to the Lord.
We lose opportunities to fellowship with each other and pray with one another and for one another.
And most important we lose opportunities to fellowship with the Lord.

Remember the power of the Church lies in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit abides in each of us.

These Jews were more interested in gaining riches for themselves, but those riches were as if they had their money in a bag and that bag had a hole in it, those riches were being lost.

Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God

Though drugs have become more popular with the lost, still the over powering enemy of the working class is alcoholic beverages.

Pro 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Pro 23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
Pro 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

No matter who we are, we need to consider the things we do and how those things affect our lives.

*****Hag 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

These Jews had received the command of God to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. They had started off with the right attitude, but now it had been 16 years since they had last worked on the Temple.

The materials were on the job site!

They knew the will of God!

They were lacking in commitment!

We must understand to receive the blessings of God, we must be a blessing to God!

God really only asks us to do one thing and that is to obey Him!

If God has saved us it is our duty to be obedient to Him!

Psa 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
Psa 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

Before we can ever be glorified, we must glorify the Lord in what we have now, and it is not to hard nor is it asking too much of us!

*****Hag 1:8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
We must understand that what pleases God is when we are at work to grow His Kingdom, and also to work and support our families.

These are not two separate things these are one thing that we do for the glory of God!!!!!!

We cannot do this thing if we are not obedient to God.

The Jews were free and living in hardship simply because they left off to do what the Lord God had asked them to do.

It was the Temple that would hold this people together for several centuries to come.

God loves to see His people busy!

We know that the Lord never changes, so it is obvious when the house of God lies in waste, as many do today, then God will not be very pleased.

It does not matter so much what the world is doing, as it matters what the people of God are doing!

Remember Haggai is addressing these things to Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest.

If the government and the Church did not solve this issue, then their freedom did not mean anything!

In America today, the government, through taxpayers, does nothing but feed those who are too lazy to work, while the Church sits on its hands and does nothing to curb sin, not only in our nation, but even allow it inside the church.

A lazy church is a useless church!!!!!

Now, Muslims are elected in to the government along with every liberal minded kook that comes out of the closet.

Freedom is not on the top of the list of the things we need in America today!!!!!

The people who truly needed help were the same ones who did not get the help they needed because they had become lazy and useless to the Lord God.

The Church needs to get back to the business of being obedient to what “Thus Sayeth the Lord” and work for the glory of God, and many of the problems we face as a nation would go away.

The forest around Jerusalem had not been touched in 70 years and much of the material that was needed was already on the Temple Mount. It was time to get busy about the work of the Lord!

We must keep our priorities in order!

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

When these people had left captivity, they had expected everything to be so wonderful.

They needed to be awakened to the fact they lived in a cruel and evil world just as we do today, and we need the Lords help in everything we do, but if we refuse to glorify God in the things we do, that help will never come when we need it the most!!!!!

*****Hag 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

When we forget that the Lord is in control of our environment, and everything else, and start placing the blame on things such as global warming, or any other dreamed up thing we are on our way to more misery.

Look around at what is going on in our world and you can see that God has withdrawn His hand of mercy!!!!!

All the things that assured a good life was lacking, because these people had neglected the God who had caused them to be set free.

When we allow the house of God to lie in waste, we can be sure our own homes will go to waste.

When we expect too much from others, and do not give back to our God in our time and our tithes, our nation will lie in waste.

We are foolish to ask why our government is like it is, when we reject the God who places the right people in the right positions.

We have the freedom to vote and more than a 100 million stay home and forget how important this freed is!!!!!!

When God does place someone in position who has faith in God, and we do not do everything we can to help them, we are just digging a hole so deep that we will never come out of it.

This could be said of our President today.

When we look for much and it comes to little, we can only blame ourselves.
When we bring that little home and even it blows away, we can only blame ourselves.
When we neglect God and the House of God, we cannot expect to receive the blessings of God!

Isa 17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
Isa 17:11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

Why is America suffering? It has nothing to do with global warming silly people, it because the Lord thy God has control of the heavens and the earth.

You see, God proves by facts, that it is He that sits on the throne in Heaven and He will deny these things sometimes, and in some places, to show us we are not being obedient to His Words. The only ones who know His words are those who are the true Christian.

God can blow away wages just as well as He can blow away our necessities, when we are suffering and do not know why.

Sometimes we just need to sit down and meditate to see why we are suffering so much in this world!

The biggest reason we all suffer so much, is because we have not obeyed the Word of God!

God does not play favorites, He has the same love for each of us and the same discipline for disobedience!

As Haggai confronts Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest, we can see that God was laying the blame on the government and the Church.

They had not led the people in the right direction, and it was the people who suffered the most, while these two and many others lived in their fine homes and lavish lifestyle.

These things never change, God will hold every government accountable for the suffering of the people and the Church for allowing the government to go without Church leadership.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When we get our priorities out of wack, there is only one place to go and that is to the Lord God Jehovah.

We know Him as Jesus Christ!

During this time when the rebuilding of the Temple had stopped for 16 years or more, God had to do some things for this people to take notice.

*****Hag 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

God sees the labor of our hands and if our hands are not Holy hands, then the things we do with those hands, will not be Holy.

There is no way the work that comes by our hands will prosper, without using them part of the time for the Lord and being committed to Him 100% of the time!!!!!

If the labor on the Temple had not ceased, God would never have brought a drought upon this people. It is just that simple!

A great lesson for the Church is, as long as the House of God lies in waste, God will not bless the labor of Church hands in America.

Gen 31:42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

The Lord will only bless the work of our hands when our priorities are in the right order!

When our own interest comes before the work of God, God will see, and God will not allow those interest to be fruitful.

What has God warned the Church?

1Pe_4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The Church needs to wake up to these warnings and get her priorities right!!!!!

When we do not heed the warnings of God, we are placing ourselves and our families in jeopardy!

What many see as climate change may be just God telling us we need to get back to the truth of God!

Or, could it be close to the time when the Antichrist will stick his evil head into the world and claim to be the Savior.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

If there is not a great falling away today, then explain why so many churches have closed their doors and many of the rest have become lazy in the work of God!

There is always the spirit of the Anti-Christ in our world.

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

These that had returned to Judah with a priority to build the Temple were facing an economic catastrophe and it was of their own doing!

The question we should ask is, when will we ever learn from our mistakes?

You there is a reason that our history is not being taught in our schools, our youth will never know of all the mistakes that have made that our nation has learned and have made us the great nation that we had become but today are going backwards!

These Jew quickly understood.

*****Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

We must understand that the Word of God in the mouth of God’s servants, will have no effect until God’s “authority” is realized and “acknowledged”!

What is wrong in America today? We have forgotten that Jehovah God is the King who sits on the throne in Heaven!!!!!

We must look at the message of the Lord, and see that God does not ever change!

God loves His people. God teaches us these things so we can remove all doubt of His sovereignty not just over the people but also all of nature!

1) God will always act to protect the integrity of His Holy Name!!!!!

Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

2) God will always act to correct His people of their sinful ways:

Deu 11:10 For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
Deu 11:11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
Deu 11:12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
Deu 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Deu 11:15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

3) God is the God of second chance: (praise the Lord)

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The truth is God will discipline, God will correct, and God will train, the ones He loves, and He shows us how He does things in the Word of God.

We already have the instruction manual. It’s called the Bible!!!!

We are to learn from these mistakes made by these, God’s chosen people, and through this day, Israel remains the apple of God’s eye!

The Church is still God’s redeemed and the Bride of Christ!

We must understand that God dealt with nations during this era, but today God deals with individuals.

When our priorities are not right, then we can expect the same or very similar things from our Creator, the true Ruler of all we see, and all we cannot see!

Pro 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Pro 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Pro 3:14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

We can expect our Father in Heaven to do whatever it takes to keep us as His children, who He loves us more than we can understand!

When the Lord speaks to us by the Holy Spirit, it is in our best interest to listen to what He says and be obedient to what He teaches us!

Amen

Let’s Pray!