EZRA - Chapter 6 - God's House is Finished Print E-mail

EZRA – Chapter 6 – God’s House is Finished

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

November 24, 2015, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

 This chapter reveals truths and principles that will usher in the consummation and unlimited fullness of the Kingdom of God unveiled in a people who have become His eternal abode in a Temple of living stones.  God has laid the foundation of His purpose in the earth.

 

1 Pet. 2:5-6: “You as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded.”

 

This chapter concludes the times of Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the first twenty plus years of the return of the exiles.  A new age, that of Era and Nehemiah, will open in chapter 7, a lifetime away from these events.

 

The twenty years of building the temple represents a time of dispensation and visitation of the Lord God in Kingdom  authority, power, and strength on the earth. 

 

Chapter 5 closed with the governor of Syria, Tattenai, writing a letter to King Darius requiring a copy of the decree of King Cyrus giving the Jews authority to rebuild the temple.  Tattenai probably felt that finding such a decree after 16 years was unlikely, if not impossible. 

 

King Darius is the king who had Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. 

 

Dan. 6:26:  Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; peace be multiplied unto you.  I made a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his domino shall be even unto the end.  He delivers rescues and works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Ezra, chapter 6 opens with Dairius making a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls where the treasures were laid up in Babylon.  However, the decree made by Cyrus was not found.  The document had been transferred to the summer residence of the Persian kings.  However, it was found in Ecbatana (Iran) and its wording is given in verses 3-5.  The wording here differs from the wording as given in 1: 2-4.  The decree as found at Ecbatana contained brief details of the size and structure of the temple which was to be built as well as authorizing the return of the temple vessels. 

 

Darius supplemented the original decree of Cyrus by decreeing himself that all the money and material provisions which the Jews needed to continue and complete the temple’s rebuilding should be supplied to them.  Anyone who tried to hinder the work should be severely punished.

 

6: 11-12:  I made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.  The God that has caused His name to dwell there destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem.  I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.”

 

The enemies of God who would have hindered and stayed the progress of the building were compelled to not only not hinder, but to help finish the temple with great gifts.  God will use everything to his advantage!

 

All kings (kingdoms) and people, who attempt to hurt, alter or destroy the work and calling of the Lord shall be destroyed.  It is a serious matter to touch what God has anointed.   

 

The rolls were the Word of God.

 

 Jer. 15:16: “Your words were found, I did eat them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”

 

All These instructions Tattenai and his associates put into effect.  So the complaints of the neighbors to the north (Syria)  which had been aimed to obstruct the Jews in their rebuilding of the temple resulted ultimately in the Jews being greatly helped in their project. 

 

They were further helped by the regular prophetic ministry which was carried out among them at this time by Haggai and Zechariah.

 

I didn’t pin down the exact year of King Darius’ reign when he put Daniel in the lion’s den, but I believe it would have been within the first year. 

 

In Haggai 1:1: “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel…”

 

If Daniel’s encounter with the lions was in the first year, by the time the Syrian governor got to Darius, the Lord God had already proven Himself to the king.

 

Ezra 6:7:  Let the work of this house of God alone.”

 

6: 9-10: Give them what they have need of “young bullocks, rams, and lambs for the burned offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail; that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savors to the God of Heaven, and pray for the life of the king and of his sons.”

 

Young bullocks  = reproduction

Rams =  consecration

Seven Lambs --- Kelly Varner ties the offering of the seven lambs to the Seven spirits of God:  Wisdom and understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of God.

 

Lev. 23:18: “You shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year…”

 

“The seven Lambs point to the fullness of the Feast of Tabernacles of which Pentecost is the earnest (Eph. 1:13-14) and the first fruits (Rom. 8:23).  It speaks of the seven spirits of God in Rev. 4:5 and Isa. 11:1-2.  It also reveals the church will be brought to completion and maturity through suffering (Acts 14:22). Pentecost is preparation for tribulation (Joel 2:28-32 with Acts 2: 12-21). “(Principles of Present Truth on Leviticus by: Kelly Varner – page 116).

 

I had not connected the seven lambs with the seven spirits of God, but I offer it because it is worthy of consideration.

 

Wheat =Word

Salt =     Covenant

Wine=    Joy

Oil =       The Holy Spirit

 

Darius decreed that the enemies of the King-Priest ministry (Zerubbabel-Jeshua) give of the king’s goods” and the “tribute”.  This shows the principle of Joseph’s brethren bowing before him.

 

They were to offer sacrifices of sweet savors. “You have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently(1 Peter 2:22).

 

6:15:The house was finished on the third day of the month Adar.”  This was the sixth year of the reign of Darius the King. 

 

Adar means “exceeding glorious”.

 

Verse 14 reveals the model of the way that God works.  He commands and decrees; then the Kings decree; then the Elders finish the House.  The catalyst for all this is the prophets of God!

 

The mention of Artaxerxes (Longimanus) in 6:14 takes us forward to the future restoring of the city walls by Nehemiah. 

 

His name as the third royal patron in addition to Cyrus and Darius of the Restoration is added in this verse to complete the picture of God using Kings of nations for His Kingdom purposes.

 

 

The Sovereign God presses men who do not know Him into service for Him for His Kingdom purposes.   He reveals the eventual achievement of His purpose against all opposition.

 

They offered at the dedication of the house of God:

 

100 Bullocks = Full and complete sacrifice and surrender

200 Rams =      Full witness of dedication

400 Lambs =    Full atonement for the creation.

12 he goats =   A sin offer for the 12 tribes of Israel

 

6:19:  The children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the 14th day of the first month”. 

 

The Passover of the Kingdom speaks of the full deliverance of God’s people into the Kingdom (passing over into a new age).  It is a Passover to bring judgment upon the whole earth.

 

Hag. 2: 5-9: “According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My spirit remains among you; fear not.  Thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.”

 

The encouragement of Haggai stirs a reminder of their great deliverance of the Exodus and the Passover of Salvation in Exodus 12.  The parallel is enforced by the message to Joshua in Haggai 2:4, “”Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest, and be strong all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts.”

 

This echoes the encouragement given to another Joshua as Israel entered the promised land and celebrated the Passover of conquest and the full possessing of the Kingdom – the overcomer defeating our demons.

 

One night they were slaves and the next night they were free, and possessed the wealth of Egypt.  There is a complete deliverance from afflictions.  The first Passover includes divine healing; the second divine health; the third includes divine life.

 

In Luke 22, there are two cups and two Passovers.  The Passover of the Kingdom is Luke 22: 14-20:

 

When the hour was come, Jesus sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.  He said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take, this, and divide  it among yourselves.”

 

This was the first cup indicating the end of the Old Testament Covenant.

 

Luke 22:20: Likewise also the cup after supper saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you.

 

The second cup is the sacrament of the covenant of Jesus’ body and blood;  and the Passover of the Kingdom of God.

 

Ezra 6:18: They set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem.  All this was done according “as it is written in the book of Moses.” 

 

The priests and the Levites were purified together.  All of them were pure.  Thus they killed the Passover Lamb for all the sons of Captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.  All those who had come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat.  These kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy for the Lord had made them joyful and turned about the heart of the King of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”

 

So ends the first section of the book of Ezra, the story of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and the remnant of the remnant who returned to build the Temple.  In chapter 7, we shall meet Ezra himself.

 

Zerubbabel had been “the man of the building,” but Ezra would be “the man of the book!” 

 

The Nehemiah-Ezra ministry is the same principle of the King-Priest ministry of Zerubbabel and Jeshua.  God has a King-Priest ministry for every generation.

 

Rev. 1:6: “Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests to God and His father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

It is important to note, though I don’t have time to teach it, in Zechariah 6: 9-15, Zechariah is commanded by the word of the Lord to receive three exiles from Babylon carrying offerings for the new temple.  Zechariah is then commanded to make a crown and is instructed to set it on the high priest, Joshua, son of Jehozadak.  This is prophetic of a King-Priest yet to be born, King Jesus,  who will be both King and Priest and will reign forever. 

 

Zerubbabel is the same “Zerobabel” of Matthew 1:12, who is of the natural lineage of Jesus Christ.

 

Zech 4:7: “…Zerubbabel shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shouting’s, crying, Grace, grace to it.”

 

1 Pet. 2:5: “Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded.”  

 

Zech 4:9: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; and his hands shall also finish it…”

 

Isa. 28:16: “…Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried, stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation…”

 

The headstone of verse 7 is the final stone, set apart, and separated for the glorious completion of the house of God. 

 

“The seven eyes of the Lord, which runs to and fro through the whole earth” in Zech 4:10 again reflect Rev. 4:5, “the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Zech 4:2: “I looked and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon…”

 

Zech 4: 11-14: “…What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and up the left side thereof?  I answered again and said to him, What are these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves.  He answered me and said…”these are the two anointed ones, who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

 

There have been many things written about the “two anointed ones”.  I will not presume to say that I have been given the revelation.

 

It would appear from the context of the prophecies that the two trees are symbols of Joshua and Zerubbabel.  “Two anointed ones” are literally “sons of Oil”.  Anointed ones are those who have been clearly filled with oil to act as God’s appointed agents.

 

John Owen 1612-1683 suggests that “Suffering and Glory are the two anointed ones that stand before the Lord of the whole earth, from which all the golden oil, by which the church is dedicated to God and sanctified flows.”

 

Matthew Henry writes the candlestick is the church of the first-born, of true believers.  These “sons of oil” may be meant of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  From Christ the olive tree, by the Spirit, the olive branch.

 

Kelly Varner writes Christ is the central shaft and His Body is the branches.  The entire lamp stand was created in one piece of gold---unity of Christ and His Church.   

 

Dake identifies the “two anointed ones” as men who have been translated not seeing death, who stand before God until the time they are to appear on earth again as the witnesses of Rev. 11: 3-11: “I will give power to my two witnessesThese are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”  (This is not my persuasion—but I offer it as the persuasion of Finish J. Dake).

 

Van Tanner in The Seven Thunders of God identifies the “two anointed ones” with  the “two witnesses” as Spirit and Truth in the Elect.  “This is the power of the witnesses.  They reveal Christ, and anyone who comes face-to-face with Christ will be transformed.  In reality, these Elect are so sold-out to Christ that they become living judgments, bringing wrath to the earth (carnality)”.

 

God acts to sovereignly choose, anoint and position His elect in the nations for His Kingdom purposes.  Zerubbabel and Jeshua were elect of God, and anointed to fulfill His Kingdom purposes for their time.

 

Blessed be the name of the Lord! 

 

Next week we will have our annual Tuesday Morning Christmas luncheon with guest speaker, John Mark and Sandy Pool.  We will resume the study of Ezra on January 11, 2016, the Year of Our Lord.

 

(The Book of Esther takes place between the 6th and 7th chapters of Ezra.

The Book of Esther covers about 10 years from the third year of the reign of Ahaseurus (Xersus) to the twelfth year of his reign as King of Persia.   It illustrates God’s providential care for the Jews who did not return with the first remnant.)

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth from Ezra by: Kelly Varner; The International Bible Commentary; The Seven Thunders of God by Van Tanner; Matthew Henry; John Owen; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.   Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I gleaned.

 
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