Friday, October 2, 2020

Zerubbabel's Temple Verses Solomon's Temple

Zechariah 4:8-10, “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

For their habitual sins against the Lord, Jerusalem was completely destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC. The city was pillaged and burned. Solomon's magnificent temple, adorned with gold shields and all manner of exquisite beauty and wealth was totally stripped bare and utterly destroyed. After their captivity in Babylon, under the Medo-Persian empire, the Jews returned in waves to Jerusalem. Zerubbabel was commission by God to rebuild the temple, Ezra rebuilt the city wall, and Nehemiah rebuilt the city of Jerusalem. 

I love that little phrase from Zechariah 4:10a, “For who hath despised the day of small things?To understand that phrase, you need to know that Solomon's temple was the most grandeur building which the Jews had ever seen. Someone has calculated that in today's money, Solomon's temple would be worth a staggering $216,603,576,000. The temple walls were lined with cedar, on which were carved figures of cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, which were overlaid with pure gold (1st Kings 6:29-30). What a sight to behold! But it was all destroyed during the third and final Babylonian invasion in 586 BC.

After the Jews returned from captivity the temple was rebuilt. The new temple was so inferior to Solomon's temple, that the old men who remembered the old temple wept sorely, while the naïve young people rejoiced, having no idea what the Jews had lost. This is such an important truth, that I want to quote a rather lengthy passage of Scripture from the Old testament book of Ezra:

Ezra 3:8-13, “Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel.  And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.  But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

So now let me explain the meaning of the phrase in Zechariah 4:10a, “For who hath despised the day of small things?Yes, it is true that the new temple was not anywhere near as glorious, expensive and magnificent in appearance than Solomon's temple, but it was still the house of the Lord! There are tens of thousands of small Bible-believing churches all across America, some so small that a big day for their church would encompass about 25 people! Yet God is there in their midst, and the Lord is using those churches to make an impact around the world.

One such church is the Heritage Baptist Bible Church in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. The town has a population of about 1,200 people. This is the town where the famous television series, “The Little House On The Prairie” was filmed. Dr. Younce has been their faithful pastor now since 1991. That small church, in a small town, with a humble pastor, with a small congregation, is doing a big work for God! 

Also, I have lived on Guam since 2004. I am a humble man, with a small laptop, and a small website ministry, on a small island, out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but God is doing a big work through my earnest labors! Zechariah 4:10a, “For who hath despised the day of small things?” To God alone be the glory!!! Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Don't underestimate the power of God folks! One man plus God equals a majority. You don't have to be a perfect person to be used of God, you just have to be willing to be used. The greatest ability is availability! Samson was a crooked stick, but God still used him because he was willing to be used of God. 

I heard a beautiful sermon the other night by Pastor Jack Hyles called: “I'm A Failure!” It is a beautiful sermon. If you feel like you've failed at everything in life, this sermon will help and encourage you dear friend. Perhaps you've failed as a wife or a husband. You've failed as a parent. You've failed as a Christian. You've failed with people. You've failed at the Stock market. You've failed at the career you wanted. You've failed with churches you've attended; something always goes wrong. You've failed and you've failed and you've failed. But dear reader, you're not a failure unless you make it the final chapter of your book in life!!! Everyone is a failure at something! I have failed at things my whole life, but I am not quitting! 

I don't care what you may have done dear friend—no matter how vile of crimes you may have committed and been forgiven of by God—the Lord can still use you to serve Him! If God can use murderers like Moses, David and Saul (later Paul), He can use you too! You might not be able to be a pastor or a deacon, but you can still preach the Gospel. You can drive a church bus! You can contend for the Christian faith! You can still volunteer to help in a rescue mission ministry! You can mow the church lawn, clean the restrooms, donate to help meet church needs and share Gospel tracts! I've heard some pastor criticize the use of Gospel tract, but they do plant seeds in people's souls. Passing out Gospel tracts is important!

Many young people today rejoice in the churches today, but I am weeping. I was there at the First Baptist Church of Hammond while Pastor Jack Hyles was still at the helm (1985-1993). I was there for Pentecost Sunday, when over 3,000 people were saved in one day! I was there each Sunday, watching hundreds of full-sized buses pull-up loaded with passengers, all freely coming to church to learn about Jesus! I voluntarily drove one of those church buses for the Lord for 4 1/2 years! That is how I got my permanent neck injury in 1992, when I was rear-ended by another bus. I served on bus route number 76-3 in Division 4 for 7 years, and then helped out in the bus garage with Rick Suba for my last year at Hyles-Anderson College. 

I would attend Hyles-Anderson College there again without hesitation, just to be under the ministry of Pastor Jack Hyles, my hero of the faith! I do not claim to be a good Christian, and neither did Brother Hyles, but I caught some of His passion for winning souls. Unfortunately, while the young people are rejoicing today at Hyles-Anderson, the older graduates like myself and Dr. Bob Gray Sr. are weeping, because we remember the old days when the school still believed that the King James Bible is verbally inspired by God. Since 2008 the FBCH and HAC deny that we have an inspired Bible. If I believed that, I'd throw it in the garbage and never preach again, and Dr. Hyles said that very exact same thing! . . .

“I must have every Word if I speak His message. If I didn't think I had a perfect Bible I'd close this one, walk out that door, I'd never walk in the pulpit again.” — Pastor Jack Hyles, “Get Your Stinking Feet Out Of My Drinking Water” | MP3

The new temple was nothing like the old temple. This is much like many believers today, who because of the consequences of sin are no longer beautiful as they once were. Sin has made your life ugly! We may have failed in life in countless ways. Our salvaged life is nothing compared to what our former life once was. We'll never again enjoy the blessings that we once did. Our Solomon's temple is gone. We may never own a home again. We may never reclaim our lost health again. We may never be married again. Our life may seem over. Ah, but there is a second temple. There is Zerubbabel's temple! No, it is not as glamorous and impressive as Solomon's temple, but it is still the house of the Lord!!! Dear friend, your life may never again be what it once was, as mine will never be, but my body is still the temple of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:16-17). God is still with me!!!

I may be despised by Neo-evangelicals for my uncompromising preaching against Lordship Salvation and Devil's Bibles, but I make no apologies. I may be hated by Calvinists, but God is on my side for being on the side of truth (Romans 3:4). I am going to preach THE BOOK (the inspired King James Bible), THE BLOOD (Jesus' liquid blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven), THE BODY (the importance of attending a local Bible-believing church) and THE BLESSED HOPE (the coming Rapture) until God's says I'm done! Pastor Lester Roloff (1914-1982) said the great need of this hour is PREACHING PREACHERS! Ain't it the truth!

I love Pastor Bob Gray Sr., who has an unquenchable zeal for soulwinning, who just started a new YouTube channel. I hope you will subscribe as I have to Dr. Gray's channel, and regularly stop by to glean nuggets of wisdom from this man's 33 years of experience as the faithful pastor of two church between 1976 and 2009. Thank God for Pastor Bob Gray Sr. and his family!!! I fully support and recommend their ministries!

We see two great truths in the story of Ezra, about Zerubbabel rebuilding the temple. By the way the Old Testament is not in chronological order. God gave us the Bible just the way He wanted us to have it. Even though the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther appear earlier in the Old Testament canon of Scripture, chronologically they happened toward the end of Jeremiah's life, during the Medo-Persian empire. We find two great truths in this beautiful story of the temple being rebuilt. 

The first truth is that the new temple was not anywhere near the splendor of the old temple. Zerubbabel's temple was a joke compared to Solomon's temple. To the old men it was a sight for sore eyes, and they wept profusely! They realized what they had lost! Many Christians have ruined their lives. That young lady who gave her virtue to the dogs, succumbing to the lustful advances of some ungodly male, will never be able to give the gift of her virginity to her future husband. That is very sad. She will never be a Solomon's temple again. At best, all she can offer her husband is Zerubbabel's inferior temple. And I'm telling you, young ladies, stay pure!!! Please save yourself for the man whom legally marries you. 

There is a Satanic conspiracy in the world today, and there has been since the 1960's, to steal your innocence! That is why we see demonic filth like this in music videos. Look at the vulgar gesture that singer Taylor Swift is shamefully doing. She should be in prison for making this for teenagers! More importantly, please read the eye-opening powerful quotes by Commander William Guy Carr (1895-1959) in the article, about how Satanists are working to corrupt all levels of society with immorality. I weep when I consider what America once was. There was a time, even in the 1970's when I was a kid, that you felt safe to walk down the street. That is not the case today, you have to be alert and careful everywhere you go. Times have changed! 

The second truth to remember is that even though Zerubbabel's temple was inferior to Solomon's temple, it was still the house of the Lord. The presence of God filled the temple! The young people rejoiced with shouts and singing, just happy to have a temple back! I thank God for all the small churches today. I have been attending the Bethel Baptist Church on Guam for a few months now. I have known Pastor Steven Barnes vaguely since 2017, and since 2019 have become his friend. My family started attending his church in 2018, and now I am too. I love the guy! I love his family and that he makes my family feel that he cares, and I am fully convinced that he does. Our churches are filled with workers today, but if we're going to reach families for Christ, and build men, we must show them that we care.

I was curious why the Longview Baptist Temple (where Dr. Bob Gray Sr. pastored for 29 years) changed their church's name in 2019 to Emmanuel Baptist Church Longview. I found this video of Pastor Bob Gray II explaining their passion, reasons and outlook for the church changing their name. Dr. Gray cries during the speech, and you can tell that he cares about people. That is why they changed the church's name, to let people know that they care and want to be a caring church. I fully support the entire Bob Gray family and their ministries. I have the same Fundamentalist Baptist roots as Dr. Bob Gray Sr., having also graduated from Hyles-Anderson College. I wish everyone could have known Dr. Jack Hyles. If he was your friend, you had a friend for life! Pastor Hyles always gladly took people back into his ministry, who had ruined their lives by sin. He wasn't perfect, and he ruffled a lot of feathers, but wise people saw his heart for reaching people for Christ!

I preach against Harvest Baptist Church on Guam a lot, but it is because I am a friend toward them. I know they would laugh at that statement, but if they weren't so far from God they would see that I care enough about them to preach against them (Titus 1:13). Who is a true friend—someone who goes along with your wrong direction that is blinding you, or someone who gets in your face and tries to wake you up from your errors? The Bob Jones University crowd are deceived by the Devil, using Devil's Bibles and agreeing with Mormon theology on the plan of salvation. You better believe I'm going to make an issue buster! I offered to make peace with them, if they'd simply welcome me back into their church family in love. They refused. I am just a hurting dog. Hate me or love me, I am what I am by the grace of God.

I thank God for all the Zerubbabel's temples around the world—small churches that will never break a hundred in attendance, but God is just as present, powerful and real in those churches as he was at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana when Dr. Jack Hyles was still their pastor. We all judge by appearances, and appearances are important, but the size of a church in no way indicates whether God's Spirit is at work or not. Some of the biggest churches today, like the Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, are as spiritually dead as the Dead Sea! Yet, God is doing a great work through thousands of small churches that you'll never hear of. Zechariah 4:10a, “For who hath despised the day of small things?

In closing, here are some awesome quotes I gleaned from a sermon I heard recently by Pastor Max Younce:

“If you go to Hell, you'll go to Hell with all your sins paid for!” —Pastor Max Younce; Bible Prophecy #5 (https://youtu.be/RIq82qP_mdo)

“You can't fellow-help the truth if you don't have the truth!” —Pastor Max Younce - John 3, part one; https://youtu.be/nUseT3i34fE

“Everything in nature obeys God except man!” —Pastor Max Younce (“23 a - 1 John 3 - v.20” - https://youtu.be/UbYd2GvnhHI)

“Without the Lord, the family goes to pieces.” —Pastor Max Younce (Psalms 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”) “23 a - 1 John 3 - v.20” - https://youtu.be/UbYd2GvnhHI (Time in video - https://youtu.be/UbYd2GvnhHI?t=945)

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