Temple Builders Prophetic Web Nehemiah--Temple Builders: The High Calling
by John Robert Lucas
 
Temple Builders Prophetic Web

Nehemiah: The book of Nehemiah

Chapter 22
Nehemiah the Governor

The book of Nehemiah is a picture of the church of the last days and also a picture of our race to the finishing line. The course that lays ahead of us is full of pitfalls and traps and it takes knowing the Wisdom of God to SEE and AVOID these traps. Why can’t God just totally reveal to me the ENTIRE COURSE in an instant? The reason is threefold; God desires to “cause to see” only those that are truly seeking Him in all the wonders of His Person. Secondly, God knows that the outcome of complete and instant revelation would produce a spiritual pride that would cause us to act like the enemy, where we would become spiritually proud. Secondly, we must have the character of Love and Humility in our “seeing” so that our ministry to others will be edifying in that same Love and Humility. Lastly, If God were to totally reveal the race that lies ahead of you – it would cause you to be overwhelmed and faint. Imagine seeing the length of the course, the many afflictions, and all those traps and pitfalls. Add to that all the discipline, ministry, and labors you are destined to perform – It would be too much for us. Therefore God’s WAY is to REVEAL AS WE WALK! This is a “way” that causes us to cling to Jesus, to cling to “His feet” as “our feet” are walking ahead. There will always be enough light on our path for the NEXT STEP. As you read this book there will be truths from heaven that you will not see because your walk has not taken you to that place yet. As you walk then you will see more clearly unto the day of Jesus.

God called Nehemiah to leave his service in the Persian king’s courts - to go to Jerusalem. He was sent to rebuild its walls, which had been destroyed when Babylon attacked Judah and led them into captivity. Nehemiah became the governor of a very important building project that revealed God’s plan in Christ and in His body. Nehemiah is seen, as a “type” of Jesus Who is the Governor that controls our helm. Nehemiah was a governor just like Zerubbabel, who ruled before him. Nehemiah came to Jerusalem with the “King’s letters” even as Jesus declared that He came on the authority of Him Who sent Him – His Father. Nehemiah was equipped with all the materials to complete the job just like Jesus was anointed and equipped by the Spirit to complete the job before Him. Observe very carefully the responses and activities of Nehemiah. God wants us to see a MODEL of how He wants to respond - through us. Nehemiah is a “type” representing Jesus and we must see that Jesus the Hope of glory in us wants to manifest in these adversities.

Neh 2:10

When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

When one comes with the intention of building the walls, he will immediately acquire enemies. Let us observe Nehemiah’s enemies for a moment. Nehemiah’s enemies are represented throughout the entire book under the names of two leaders, Sanballat and Tobiah. History records Sanballat as the governor of Samaria. Samaria in the time of Nehemiah were a mixed race of Israelites and Assyrian, they were mixed in their religion as well. Their religious beliefs in Nehemiah’s day taught that only the first five books of the scriptures were from God and REJECTED the rest of God’s word. There are Samaritans to this day in Israel and they still believe the same thing. There will always be the “religious” like the Samaritans that receive only part of God’s Word and they will OPPOSE anyone that builds with the rest of the scriptures. Spiritual Samaritans today are those who are MIXED – they are a well of fresh and salt water – this ought to not be says James. Surely we are mixed as well as these Samaritans but the difference is - we are in the process of becoming UNMIXED!

Tobiah was the governor of Ammon – an enemy outside of Israel. Tobiah represents an enemy that comes from the world system. The world will also oppose your building of the walls. Now what we see here is a collaboration of “the religious” and “the world” to oppose God’s builders. This is a demonic union that we see in its maturity in the book of Revelation concerning the people of the earth and the great harlot. Even today we can observe Christians that use the secular media to oppose other Christians – this is the same exact spirit that is seen in Sanballat and Tobiah. Count on this, when you seek the welfare of others in Christ, you will have these evil governors opposing you.

Arise and Let Us Build

The first activity of Nehemiah upon his arrival was to assess the damage to the present walls. This is what the overall purpose of this book is all about – to see God’s plan concerning your present walls and the walls of others in Christ. You see the CURRENT condition of the walls and you devise a BUILDING PLAN, but more accurately, you obtain what God has already devised for you.

God created order in the rebuilding of the walls. Nehemiah allotted to every man a portion of the wall to build upon. “Arise and let us build” is the cry of Nehemiah and it is we who must heed this sound today. I am responsible for my portion of the wall that God allotted me and you are responsible for your portion of the wall. One plants and one waters is what we are taught in 1Corinthians chapter 3; one man is responsible to lay a foundation in the lives of others and another is called to build upon that foundation. Desire not another man’s portion; desire not any building activity that has not been allotted to you. Hear God’s voice in this matter, we MUST LABOR TOGETHER in UNITY. God will not use exclusively any one person or ministry; God will not use just part of the five-fold ministry – He uses apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. God does not use JUST the five-fold ministry but includes all of us, for we all are assigned a part.

The walls of our city need rebuilding. Walls represent that which keeps the enemy out of the city. A defenseless wall, a broken down wall represents an area of our life where we are vulnerable to the enemy. This is a place where we have yet to fortify; it is a place of sin, a place of immaturity, a place we have not overcome and a place of self-will. For example, if you can become depressed, your walls are not fortified yet, if you can lose your joy then the walls surrounding your inner man are too weak.

Neh 2:17

Then I said to them, "You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem that we may no longer be a reproach." (NAS)

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ as a whole has been a reproach with her walls in a shambles. God's voice from His prophets say “Let us arise and build” for God shall raise up His city in the last days that will no longer be a reproach, they shall be a true reflection of the One Whom they serve. We talked earlier about the forerunners being the office of apostles and prophets, this is an example of what they do when they run ahead. They simply see the present walls and gain a vision of the walls God wants to build, then they proclaim to others – ARISE AND LET US BUILD. They do not stop there, they teach you how to build, and they encourage you as you build, and they also will correct your improper building.

Neh 2:18-20

And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me, and also about the king's words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, "Let us arise and build." So they put their hands to the good {work.} But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard {it,} they mocked us and despised us and said, "What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?" So I answered them and said to them, "The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right, or memorial in Jerusalem." (NAS)

The enemy says, “How dare you build”, “Do you really think you can minister to others”. We are a mocked people as soon as we make the decision to build. “How dare you rebel against the world system!” the enemy constantly shouts to us. What is the response that pleases God? “Our God in heaven will “GIVE US SUCCESS” in our labor”. Nehemiah and all of Jerusalem just continued to start this monumental project.

The Attacks

As much building had been accomplished the attack of the enemy grew more intense.

Neh 4:1-2

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-- burned as they are?" (NIV)

Sanballat who represented “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” heard of Israel’s rebuilding labors, he became angry. No doubt we can see this very easily today in some theological circles. When one starts building with gold, silver and precious stone then you can EXPECT an attack from “scriptural learned” men who have no learning about God’s plans about building. This is NORMAL and is the rule, not the exception. Sanballat continues his blasphemies; he starts by calling us weak. Satan will qui ckly resort to name calling for the purpose of getting you to believe it; he also uses name-calling to gather together a following against you. Satan will tell you that your condition is hopeless, how could you possibly restore these walls as damaged as they are? Satan will magnify the damage and diminish the work that has already been performed. “How can you ever become a worshipper? ”, “you cannot enter into God’s chambers” – Satan will spin off lie after lie such as these till he can wear you down to accept one of them. Satan says “You cannot make it to the finishing line”, “maturity is for another” and finally “your burnt up stone is BEYOND GOD’S ABILITY TO RESTORE”. Satan attacks through others and he attacks in your thought processes; it is life and death – resist these attacks because their end is death. Satan’s ONLY power against you is – you believing him.

Neh 4:3

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, "What they are building-- if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!" (NIV)

To make matters worse, the world jumps in and attacks with words as well. “Surely whatever you do build will not matter, it will never be fruit that remains”. “I see you are delivered but it will never last”. The enemy knows that it will last but he also knows that if he can get you to accept the lie then by your doubt the walls will fall.

Neh 4:4-5

Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

Nehemiah’s response to the words was prayer. It is possible that this prayer does not need to be prayed by us for in the “Day of the Lord” at the “battle of Armageddon” in Megiddo Valley “in Samaria” the enemy will become a prey. On that day God’s anger shall be revealed in its fullness. Jesus calls this location a place where “the vultures gather at the dead body”.

Neh 4:6-8

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. (NIV)

Praise God, they did not stop, they were half way there, and they worked with all their heart. Now the gaps were being closed - and that brought the anger of the enemy. Satan will attack you to a degree, but it is when he sees unity that he goes ballistic. When you come into unity with your brethren, the plots of Satan come forth in full force. Satan will use doctrinal differences to separate, he will use personality differences to separate, he will put a wedge between you and your fellow believer anyway he can. Unity causes a walking in agreement and it is to those that walk in agreement that we hear Jesus say “your request is granted”, it is those walking in love, forbearing one another and esteeming the other as more important then himself – “I am in their midst”! The gaps are closing as we build together. As we said before, unity does not come because we all get along, it comes as we grow up in Christ and labor together to build according to the blueprint. If you come into just one relationship in your church where you forbear their faults, where you edify and admonish with compassion, where you are loyal to them no matter what the cost and where you lay down your very life for them - that is where Satan will attempt to "Arise and tear down”.

Neh 4:9

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. (NIV)

Nehemiah responds to the threat with prayer and warfare. We will not endeavor into all the weapons of our warfare because there are many edifying teachings concerning our part in standing in warfare. What we should observe is this –Nehemiah again responds towards God and in His Wisdom.

Neh 4:10

Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall." (NIV)

There are attacks from outside the walls and there are problems that occur within the walls as well. As you will see it appears that the “building of walls” is problem after problem, you put out one fire and another one pops up. I feel like this often, if you can also identify then we can assuredly learn from Nehemiah’s responses.

Neh 4:11-12

Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work." Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us." (NIV)

  Satan roams as a roaring lion seeking to devour, seeking to kill. The people of God get weak and you can see the lion crouch down to spring upon his prey. Nehemiah now faces an internal problem and now a very dangerous attack from the enemy. The word of God is meant to sober you as to the seriousness of this project we have undertaken. It is not a project that you can say, “well I will try to build”, or “I will see if it works out”. IT IS LIFE AND DEATH!

Neh 4:13-17

Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, (NIV)

There is a Wisdom that comes from heaven that frustrates the plans of the enemy - every time. God’s message to us is to obtain His Wisdom, hear God’s instructions in these situations then DO NOT FEAR. We must be a people that can “work with one hand” and “hold a weapon with the other hand”. Some of us have no problem encouraging a brother but sometimes you have to war for your brother, sometimes you have to admonish in love. Some of us have no problem with simply praying for someone but sometimes you have to war against all the demonic principalities that they have invited into their life. Finally we learn that the “lowest points” of the wall are those in the faith that have yet to have strengthened their walls. Many times in the church we criticize them saying “look at my walls, what is your problem, why do you have such shabby walls?” What God requires, is for us to defend their walls even as we help them build up their section. In ministry you sometimes can observe a competition where everyone builds their ministry, but God is causing His mature ministers to defend the walls of other ministries. Therefore observe God’s response to the attack – UNITY.

Neh 5:1-3

Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers. Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain." Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine." (NIV)

We will continue point by point through the book of Nehemiah to show you the relentlessness of how Satan devises to thwart the purposes of God. Nehemiah now faces another internal problem that caused him to turn his attention away from the walls of Jerusalem and to the burdens of the poor. Nehemiah was angry because the leaders were fleecing the sheep of Israel. Nehemiah reversed the poverty of the poor and restored their finances. What God did for the poor in Nehemiah’s day, He will do for us today. Nehemiah had the rich give from their abundance and the result is much like what we saw in Acts with the Jerusalem church – “ALL THINGS WERE COMMON”. God is doing a shaking in these last days where we shall see those with wealth shall lose it if they do not give out of their abundance to their fellow laborers.

Distributing Wealth

Neh 5:13

I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, "In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise. (The promise to make sure the poor would no longer be poor) So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!" At this the whole assembly said, "Amen," and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised. (NIV)

Why would God redirect Nehemiah’s attention away from the walls and to such a natural problem as providing for the poor? Because greed and a lack of providing for the poor in the church, will cause separation in God’s plan of unity. If those who adhered to the prosperity message and received financial blessing had provided for the poor in the Church, so that they no longer stayed poor, then it could have bore fruit. Instead Nehemiah’s promise was not kept by most of the rich in the Church. Blessed are those that did heed Nehemiah’s promise.

Neh 5:15-16

But the earlier governors-- those preceding me-- placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. (NIV)

Leaders should always observe Nehemiah’s example. If a leader is called to oversee a work then they must refrain from lording it over the people, they must not place heavy burdens of any kind upon God’s people; instead they should be DEVOTED to do the work of the ministry.

Neh 6:1-2

When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it-- though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates-- Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono." But they were scheming to harm me; (NIV)

The enemy plots again to thwart God’s plan. The walls are finished, the gaps are closed, and all we have left is to set the doors. If the enemy cannot get into your camp, he will try to get you into his camp. GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL. Invitations will go out to meet with the enemy but the motives are a scheme to harm you. Do not enter into the camp of the enemy, do not be a friend of the world. The word “Ono” means “vigorous”. The enemy’s meeting place is a place where the enemy is strong and a place where you are weak.

Neh 6:3

so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" (NIV)

As a mature people we must PERCEIVE what the enemy is doing. If you get busy with the labors of God - you will be too busy to accept the devil’s invitations. Sometimes the church comes to a place where they want to be entertained instead of laboring for God. Entertainment can be a place of the strength of the enemy and can cause your weakness; instead we should become involved in God’s GREAT PROJECT!

Wearing Out the Saints

Neh 6:4-7

Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written: "It is reported among the nations-- and Geshem says it is true-- that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: 'There is a king in Judah!' Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us confer together." (NIV)

FIVE TIMES the enemy sends the same message to wear Nehemiah down. Wearing us down is a device of Satan to stop completion. Just reading these accounts can cause us to be weary, we say, “here we go again”. But do not drop, God will prove over and over that He is faithful to uncover the schemes of the enemy. Nehemiah receives a letter and in the letter comes another attack – FALSE ACCUSATION. False accusation is the newest attack on Nehemiah via this letter. False accusations can come from any source, sometimes from the ones closest to you. It is painful to be falsely accused of something and in Nehemiah’s case it was an accusation that hit him where it hurt the most. The very king that Nehemiah sought to serve, will now think him to be a rebel. It was a lie but if the king believes the lie then it will become devastating for Nehemiah. This accusation is designed to produce one thing – FEAR! The enemy figured it would weaken their hands so that they could not complete the walls. Nehemiah again responded in prayer – “God strengthen my hand”. The response again confounded the enemy. In the book of Ezra we see the temple of God being rebuilt by the governor Zerubbabel, The high priest Jeshua, and the two prophets Hagai and Zechariah. The enemy sent false accusations against them in the same manner to the king but it backfired on the enemy. Not only did Zerubbabel not have to stop building the temple but also the king gave out of the treasury and PAID IN FULL the cost of the temple building project. God can turn around that false accusation for you as you build His temple.

Neh 6:10-13

One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, "Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you-- by night they are coming to kill you." But I said, "Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!" I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. (NIV)

This attack was meant to get Nehemiah to RUN! We have to rise up and tell the enemy “I WILL NOT GO!” I will not be in fear, I will not quit the activity you have called me to, and I will not give in to the sin of running from God’s building project. We must perceive the enemy as Nehemiah did - stand up, do not be reactionary to his devices. If you give in to the persuading of the enemy then he will discredit you.

Neh 6:15-16

So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. (NIV)

There will be a day my friend when the wall that surrounds the present day Jerusalem (the church) will be completed and the entire world shall lose their self-confidence, they shall fear and see God’s hand in us. Does that mean that these relentless attacks are finally over with? No, they still sent letters of intimidation, but the response was always the response of Jesus Christ the Anointed One. The “intended destruction” of the enemy never accomplished anything for the Jerusalem that was governed by Nehemiah; likewise we shall avoid every pitfall that Satan devises against us if we allow Jesus to govern our lives. There are those in the church that will refuse to be like Nehemiah’s Jerusalem, they will instead become a Jerusalem that is “trample upon”.

Rev 11:2

But exclude the Outer Court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. (NIV)

Perhaps this end time scripture relates to a people who are to trample God’s holy city, but those who get trampled are believers that are not yielded to Jesus as the Governor of their entire life. No doubt you will be trampled if you are attacked like Nehemiah was attacked and respond in the natural instead of the spiritual.

The book of Nehemiah ends with a great gathering together in unity at which time they are numbered. At the end of our age there shall also be a great gathering together and we shall be numbered in the Lamb’s book of Life. – Praise God! The people of Nehemiah’s Jerusalem gathered together as ONE MAN in the Feast of Tabernacles to hear and perform the Word of the Lord. There was great rejoicing and Jerusalem was no longer a reproach. Then we will have a church without spot or wrinkle that is filled with glory and walking in Love to a measure that has not been seen since the days of the early church apostles. It is that day that the scriptures shall be fulfilled concerning us.

Hab 2:20

But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Rev 16:17

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

It shall be done. The culmination of all things shall be done. Jesus said on the cross "It is finished" and in Revelation He will say, "It is done". On the cross it was done in the spirit. From the Temple in Heaven it is accomplished in His body - His Temple! And the parts of the body shall be gathered together into the head; the living stones shall be gathered together into the headstone; the fruit shall be gathered together, the wheat shall be gathered together for the Bride is ready and is joined to her bridegroom forevermore.

Num 10:7

To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the same signal. (NIV)

      It will be a trumpet with a different yet certain sound.

Hosea 1:11

Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

It will be a gathering of saved natural Israel and saved natural Gentiles; both of which comprises what God is setting forth - SPIRITUAL ISRAEL! A Jerusalem that cannot be naturally observed.

1 Cor 15:52-54

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Eph 1:10

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him

Matt 24:31

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

There will be two gatherings; one of the wicked, and at the last trump there will be a gathering of the righteous; those of us in Christ shall forever be with the Lord.

Ezra’s Great Project

Ezra 3:1

And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.

At the beginning of the 7th month is the start of the feast of Tabernacles. It was a three-week special event. The first week is the week of trumpets, the second week, on the 10th day is called the Day of Atonement. The third week is called the week of tabernacles or booths. How this feast ends is important. It ends with the solemn assembly – a day of perfect unity. It is symbolic of the culmination of God’s plan for His church – It is the day of the appearing of Jesus to gather us together unto Him. Our walls shall be fully built individually and corporately, our temple shall be built, and our maturity shall be complete in all things. We have run the race faithfully and made it to the finishing line, we have made it to point “B”, and we have walked a life that Jesus prayed for.

The church has experienced the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Pentecost in their daily lives and to some degree the feast we speak of here – the Feast of Tabernacles. A book written by Kevin J. Conner called “The Feasts of Israel” is probably the best detailed teaching on the subject and therefore we will not try to duplicate his effort. What we wish to point out is that the month of Tabernacles starts with a gathering together and ends with a gathering together. It starts with Ezra’s gathering together at the start of the temple building project and ends with Nehemiah’s gathering together at the end of the “wall completion”. Ezra assembled on the first day of the month called “trumpets” and Nehemiah ended with the Solemn Assembly. In the church we assemble together to build the temple and the walls, and we end with an assembly together to rest.

Leaven in the Camp

Ezra 4:1-2

Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' {households,} and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; (NAS)

This is a familiar story, as we saw in Nehemiah’s building project, as soon as you start building - then comes the enemy. Here we see a different strategy of the enemy, the enemy actually desires to labor WITH US. Why would the enemy want to build with us? To sow discord internally! The enemy knows that a little leaven will spoil the whole lump of dough, therefore God will now have to purge out the leaven. We have allowed those who said they sought God, to build with us. God must purge them out of our fellowships, and God will have to purge out the heresy they taught. I have seen it myself where those that have posed as believers had entered into our love feasts (as Jude calls it).

Jude 1:12

These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; (NAS)

I have seen among Spirit-filled, full gospel churches - those that were child molesters, habitual homosexuals, and pornographers, etc., etc. These are ones with UNCLEAN spirits that are there for one purpose - to defile the bride. They are hidden reefs; they are there to cause us to run aground. I counseled one pastor who deceived himself into thinking that a homosexual in his church was a “bruised reed” instead of a “hidden reef”. The pastor felt like his attitude was compassionate and he found scripture that would agree with him (Matt 12:20 – about Jesus not breaking the bruised reed). Because the pastor never learned to perceive by the Spirit he subjected his congregation to be led by a praise & worship leader that was unbeknownst to them – a practicing homosexual that believed that God approved of homosexuality. After I pressed them about Jude 1:12 they removed him though the people in the congregation were never told. Simply put, hidden reefs will shipwreck our faith. I am not saying that we are not to invite the homosexual to our love feast, but that means they are not hidden and you are trying to get the Gospel of salvation to them. If we do not have discernment in these last days, people in our midst shall be victims as a result. And do not be deceived in the matter of salvation, one cannot be born-again and be practicing that which is an abomination to God as the Apostle John wrote in his letter 1John. This should have been clearly taught to us.

Ezra 4:3

But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' {households} of Israel said to them, "You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel. (NAS)

God’s forerunners, God’s foundation will DISCERN those who have nothing “in common”. Zerubbabel is the governor of this Jerusalem and we see his response is much like Nehemiah’s response – one that reflects God’s way instead of the way of man. We must discern those who have "nothing in common" from those who are "in common" and build together - His House.

Ezra 4:4

Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, (NAS)

Temporarily we see defeat. In ministering to others there will be temporary setbacks. The enemy will try to discourage and cause fear. And at times we may see success on the devil’s side instead of on our side. If you see a setback, know that it shall be temporary, God will give us courage out of this discouragement.

To make matters worse for Zerubbabel, a letter was sent to the king containing false accusations; it resulted in the God’s project coming to a complete halt.

Ezra 5:1-2

When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them, then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them. (NAS)

God’s prophets will cause the building project that has stopped, to continue again. Of course the enemy sent accusation to the king to have the work cease but the response of the king was “"Leave this work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site.” God gives us favor with the kings of the land when what we are building is truly of the Lord. After the work of the temple was finished we see Ezra coming to the scene; he represents to us what is the result of a completed temple.

A Finished Temple

Ezra 7:10

For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice {it,} and to teach {His} statutes and ordinances in Israel. (NAS)

When we become a mature nation of priests, we will follow the example of Ezra. Ezra was a priest and a scribe; he represents God’s desire to have an undefiled temple. Ezra became a law to the people of Israel and he ridded the land from abominations that were occurring. This is a type of the “Day of Atonement”!

Ezra 9:2-4

"For they have taken some of their daughters {as wives} for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness." And when I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering. (NAS)

Temple defiling must cease in our midst. We must become a people that have an extreme hatred for sin; we must be appalled at its appearance. We must not be intermingled with the peoples of this land; we are a people with a different citizenship. We must not think as the world does, we must not take in the views of this world. For instance, the world views politics a certain way and when we have saturated ourselves with their views we resemble the world instead of the Government of God. We join with an idea here and an idea there that represents the world system instead of God’s system. Because of this we are influenced by the world’s media and entertainment, we have considered that which is important, that which God considers unimportant. Because we fellowship with that which does not serve Jesus Christ in total abandonment, we consider certain things as unimportant that God says is the most important. WE HAVE BECOME INTERMINGLED! In seeing this intermingling in our own life, does it bring a trembling? Proverbs teaches that the beginning of knowledge and wisdom - “fears God”. Hate that which is evil those who love God.

Ps 97:10

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (NIV)

The book of Ezra ends with the people of God having put away their foreign wives and their children. Surely it hurt, it was pain for them, but they chose to love and stay pure before their God. Make the tough choices in your life. Surely it will hurt but afterwards comes God’s good pleasure. Today is your valley of decision; today is the day of choices – WE MUST CHOOSE LIFE TODAY!

Deut 30:19-20

19     "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

"that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." (NKJ)

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Nehemiah: The book of Nehemiah
 
 

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