Tag Archives: temple

In Ezra, Christ is the ruler of Kings

26 May

A Scarlet Thread is a hint in the O.T. that gave us a picture of what the Messiah would be like. While not a picture of Jesus Himself, the book of Ezra does paint an allegorical picture of the gospel invitation and the Christian’s walk in the face of enemies.
In this book, we see Christ as the ruler of kings. He moves earthly monarchs to fulfill His will. Behind the movements of men and nations, there is the unseen and omnipotent hand of God. Three pagan kings are presented in this book, each one doing what he desires to do, yet fulfilling the purposes of God in their plans. God stirs up the spirits of those people by regeneration and makes them willing. God raises them out of slavery to sin into the liberty of the children of God. This is how the heavenly Canaan will be filled. God first calls, then He enables us to respond. Some choose to stay in Babylon, unwilling to leave behind the familiar world they’ve always known.
Cyrus’ proclamation is itself a picture of the general call of the gospel for people to leave this world and go to the Promised Land. The bringing back of the Jews from captivity represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.
An account is kept of the names of the people of the kingdom. Likewise our names are written in the Book of Life. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15
Some who had no evidence of their priesthood were rejected. Ezra 3:62 If people have no evidence that by the new birth they are priests to God, through Jesus Christ, they have no rights to the comforts and privileges of Christians. See the parable of the marriage feast in Matthew 22:11-13.
When the tabernacle was being constructed in the wilderness, the people gave more than was needed, and had to be restrained from giving. When the first temple was constructed, the people gave generously at all stages of the construction and later for the worship. Now again, they are giving (Ezra 2:69) 25 tons of silver, 4 tons of gold, and 100 priestly garments.

In the New Covenant, we are not living in a theocracy. Our taxes support our society, and our givings are never referred to as a tithe, but only ever as offerings and gifts. We are to give cheerfully, willingly, deliberately, as God has prospered us.

In Zechariah, the Branch will remove iniquity in one day, will build the temple, and be king and priest

6 May

branch

In Zechariah, the Branch will remove iniquity in one day, will build the temple, and be king and priest:
‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
You and your companions who sit before you,
For they are a wondrous sign;
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
For behold, the stone
That I have laid before Joshua:
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
Says the LORD of hosts,
‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zech. 3:4,8,9
“Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying:
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ Zech. 6:11-13
“And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—‘The LORD is one’, and His name one.” Zech. 14:9
In these verses, believed to be Messianic, He is called “My Servant,” “the Man,” and “the Branch” who will “remove the iniquity of the land in one day,” “build the temple of the LORD,” “bear the glory,” “rule on His throne,” “be a priest of His throne,” and “there will be peace between those roles.”
Jesus is called God’s servant in many other Scriptures (Isa. 42:1-4, Isa. 52:13, 53:11, Ezek. 37:24,25, Hag. 2:23, Matt. 12:18). Here He is also identified as a Man. This tells us He will be a Man, not an angel. He is also called the Branch. We know from other verses that use this designation, that He will be a descendant of David, the son of Jesse.
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isa. 11:1
“In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.” Jer. 33:15
According to the genealogies, Jesus was a descendant of David legally, through Joseph, and by blood through Mary. (Matt. 1:6, Luke 3:31.32) so He fulfilled the requirement. This same Branch will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. This was accomplished when He died on the cross as a sin offering.

It also says He will build the temple. Some believe this means He will build a physical temple during the Millennium, but we know in the New Covenant the church is the temple, and individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19) Jesus promises to build His church. Just as the work of the temple was started by Zerubbabel and would be completed by him, so the work of building the church which was started by Jesus, will be completed by Him. “…I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18b
This is the temple He is building. He is the glory of the temple, because He would physically be in the temple built by Zerubbabel (Hag. 2:7), and then because He indwells His people through His Spirit.

As a sign of His current favour to them, He assured them that as Zerubbabel had laid the foundation of the temple, he would also complete it, because he would be empowered by God’s Spirit, and all obstacles which seemed like mountains, would become as a plain.

“The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.” Zech. 4:9

“So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 4:6

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” Zech. 4:7

Further, He will rule on a throne, as well as a priest on His throne. These roles are not usually mingled, in fact, they are forbidden to be mingled, as King Uzziah learned (2 Chron. 26:16-23). But with the Messiah, He will be prophet, priest and king. There will be no disharmony among the roles. He will be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. (Psalm 110:4, Heb. 5:6,10,6:20,7:1,10-21)
This is further demonstrated when Zechariah is instructed to make an elaborate (kingly) crown for Joshua the High Priest to wear. This crown was not to be worn by Joshua, but placed in the temple as a memorial, to remind them that the fulfillment was for a future date by One who was yet to come.
Joshua (the High Priest) and Zerubbabel (from the kingly line) together foreshadowed Jesus, who is both King and Priest.
His reign will be universal. He is King over all the earth.

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