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Been in a series. We started this series a couple of weeks ago about the Nathaniel calls. I just can’t do it. The Baby books of the Bible, the small books of the Bible, the very small books that are contained in Scripture. And so for the last two weeks, we’ve been going through a couple of them in the New Testament. Does anybody remember what they were? Who can tell me what Philemon and I heard second. Second. John That’s right. So those are the two you’ve been paying attention. That’s good. The two books that we’ve covered so far. But this week I’m going to I’m going to go old school. Okay. I’m going to go into the Old Testament. One of my favorite books is in is called Haggai or Haggai. I asked our our resident theologian, Mike Rowe, who is in disguise of an optometrist, but he’s really a wonderful theologian. I said, Well, how do you pronounce it? He goes, It depends on what part of the country you’re at. So I was born in Colorado, and that’s somewhat in the middle. So sometimes I go, Hey, guy, sometimes I go, Haggai, I’m allowed because I’m right there in the middle. All right, that’s enough of the jokes. I guess so. So, hey, guys, where are we going to be? And actually, we’re going to be doing a lot of reading this morning. So if you have your Bibles with you, I just I would recommend that you pull those out, open up the Haggai.

We’re going to basically stick there, but it’s going to be a lot of reading. I just don’t want to miss anything. So we’re going to do a lot of reading. If you have your your smartphone, you have a Bible app, go ahead and pull that out and follow along with us. It’s between you and the Lord if you’re really going to check Facebook or not, how do we do this? But please do that. And so we’re going to get into it now. So Haggai is in the Old Testament. He’s an Old Testament prophet. And he had he was in a very important time in Israel’s history in 586 BCE. First of all, it’s he’s got four messages there in the book. There’s only two chapters in the book. It’s a small book, but he’s got four different messages that are easily identified because it gives the the day that he preached them, he gave them to the children of Israel. And so there’s four messages there. The first and third messages are pretty similar to with one another, and the second and fourth are pretty similar with one another. And so for brevity’s sake, I want to just focus on the first and and second messages this morning and we should be able to get a good understanding of what Haggai was sent by God to do in this important time in in the children of Israel’s history. So in 586 BC, that’s the time Haggai was being used by God or no, actually a little bit later than that.

But in 586 BCE, the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem. And so if you read the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, you’ll understand that because of the children of Israel’s disobedience and and their continuous neglect of God and turning their back on God, God says, okay, look, I must send judgment. And so I’m going to I’m going to send judgment. And God sent judgment in the form of the Babylonians. And so they sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple there and took most of the Jews into exile, into Babylon. And so that’s what happened around 586 BC, just as the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied would happen. But the prophet Jeremiah also prophesied that God would again one day restore and return the children of Israel back to Jerusalem, that the story wasn’t ending there in Babylon, that God had other plans. And so we get to see in Haggai the fact that God did indeed deliver his children out of Babylon once again. And so approximately 50 years later, Cyrus from Persia, the Persian King, he sacked Babylon. Babylon. He came in and took them over. And God used that Cyrus from Persia there of Persia to, to to do his will for the children of Israel. And so about a year later, 538 BC he allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. So God stirred the heart of of Cyrus the Persian, and allowed the Jews to return back to Jerusalem to be able to rebuild the temple and so this fulfilled the prophecies given by Jeremiah.

And so that’s where Haggai is. And so Haggai is a prophet of God who gets to go with them out of Babylon, back into Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. But as we see here, God uses Haggai to to correct a few things. And that’s what prophets normally do. Right? And so we’re going to get into that. So the first chapter of Haggai starts like this. It says the first message that he’s given in the second year of Darius the King. On the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah and Joshua and the son of Jehozadak, the high priest saying thus, says the Lord of Hosts, this people says the time has not come, even the time for the House of the Lord to be rebuilt. But then the word of the Lord came by Haggai, the prophet, saying, Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your. Paneled houses while this house lies desolate. So as we understand what’s happened, they go back and and they begin to build. But over time, the people became complacent. They they stopped doing what was so important, what they originally set out to do, and that is to go back to Jerusalem, not only to go back to Jerusalem, to build their houses, but to restore the temple of the Lord.

And as we see here, God uses Haggai to let them know, look, you’ve you’ve gone back and you’ve you’ve built your houses, right? And you’ve done all these things. Your paneled houses. Right. They got the good the good stuff in their own houses. But his temple, his house, this house lies desolate. What’s going on here? So verse five picks up, says now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, consider your ways. You have sown much, but harvest little you eat. But there is not enough to be satisfied. You drink, but there is not enough to become drunk. You put on clothing, but no one is warm enough. And he who earns earns wages to put him to to put into a purse with holes. I really identify with that one. Right. I earned my wages. Just seems like I like to drive around for about two hours before I cashed that paycheck because I feel like I have money. And then once it’s cashed, I know it’s gone. Right. So what he’s saying here, he’s saying, look, you guys, your your priorities are all out of skew. You’re you’re focusing on your desires and your individual gain and not on the kingdom of God and what God’s desiring to do. And so because of that, even though you’re focusing on your own self, you’re just spinning your wheels. It just ends up in frustration and and vanity. Right. You so much. But harvest little you eat.

But there’s not enough to be satisfied. You drink but there’s not enough to be drunk. All these things that were they’re turning to these things to be satisfied and to fill a need. And they’re not feeling the need because their priorities are out of whack. So God uses Haggai to do to bring this message to them, Hey, consider your ways. Verse seven, thus says, The Lord says the Lord, consider your ways. Go up to the mountains and bring wood and rebuild the temple. This might be a good passage of scripture for a building program, right? We have a building program. But, you know, maybe we could get out there and say, look, guilty into it. You know, you got to get out there and we got to build build for God. We got to rebuild and all those things. But but I think there’s something more deeper that a deeper understanding that we can have what what Haggai and what the Lord is trying to use Haggai to say here, okay, go up to the mountains, bring bring wood and rebuild the temple. He’s calling them back to what he originally commanded them to do. But something deeper is going on here that I may be pleased with it and be glorified right. What is the purpose? What was the purpose of the temple? The tabernacle before the temple was Solomon’s temple was built and the temple Solomon’s Temple before the Babylonians came to destruction. What was it there for? It was for God to dwell with his people.

It was for God to be glorified. That was the whole purpose. It wasn’t a build a temple just to build. It was so God could dwell with his people and be glorified. And then Solomon’s Temple, if you read about it in Second Chronicles, chapters three, four, five and six, and maybe even seven a little bit There you’ll see how beautiful and amazing it was. And the nations just odd at its splendor, right? And that’s honestly one of the problems that these people, these Jews that had come back into Babylon, they were struggling with that we read on here in the second message there in chapter two on the 21st day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, Speak now to Zerubabel, the son of Shealtiel, son of Judah, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, and here it is, who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory. That’s the question. And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? And so these people had come had spent that time in captivity, that 50 years of captivity in there. They’re there and they’re looking at this meager temple. And they they hearken back to how beautiful and how glorious Solomon’s Temple was. And they’re just like, there’s just no way this is ever going to be that.

And so they became discouraged. And if you read other Ezra and other Old Testament books, you’ll see that the people around them were were attacking them and working against them. And so they were discouraged and and so understandably right. We all can feel the same way. I think the application in this book is pretty easy. I don’t have to lay it out for us. We can become discouraged just as much as these were, and we can tend to have our priorities shift to to us and not on the things of the Lord. And and so Haggai, thankfully, God used Haggai to to call them back to it, to what was important and to God’s command, to see God dwell with his people, and that God would be glorified in it. So it goes on here. But now take courage. That’s what’s great. You know, the first one is more of a message of admonishment. But but the second message is more of a message of encouragement. Right. We we have plenty of guilt and shame already. But. But, boy, I love to see how God encourages us in his word as well. And that’s what he’s using Haggai to do in this second message. But now take courage, Zerubabel declares the Lord. Take courage. Also. Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage, declares the Lord, and work right. He wants them to rebuild. Doesn’t just happen with magic pixie fairy dust.

They have to work. But the important part here is for I am with you. Work for. I am with you, declares the Lord of Hosts. As for the promises which I made you when you came out of Egypt, my spirit is abiding in your midst. Do not fear. Work. Yes, but remember, God is with you. God is in the midst of you. God’s strength, God’s power. God is providing. God will provide you first the desire to build for him, but also give you the strength and the grace necessary to do so. Take courage, be encouraged. It’s not about your strength and power. It’s about what God is doing in you and through you. Be encouraged in that, He says to them, verse six goes on, for thus says the Lord of Hosts once more in a little while I’m going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also, and the dry land. I will shake all the nations and they will come with the wealth of all nations. And I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of Hosts. He goes on and verse nine says, The latter glory of this house, Solomon’s Temple will be I’m sorry. This the current temple that’s being built, the latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, and that’s Solomon’s Temple, says the Lord of Hosts. And in this place, I will give peace, declares the Lord of Hosts.

So his promise, guess what? This house going to have much more glory than Solomon’s ever did. And so if we look at history and we see look back to Zerubbabel’s Temple and then Herod later would come and remodel it and build onto it and add and add more stuff to it, but it would never match up as far as the physical aspects of the temple go, it would never match up to Solomon’s Temple. And so we’re faced with what is this talking about, that God promised something and it didn’t come true? Well, it’s actually this is a Haggai speaking prophetically here. This is a messianic prophecy. This is something far greater than the physical beauty of a building. We’re talking about the glory of the God, the glory of God being made known. And through Haggai, God promises that God’s the glory of God will be made greater in the latter temple than in Solomon’s Temple. And so how does this fit then? If Herod’s temple never quite matched up to Solomon’s Temple? Well, it’s because the messianic prophecy who was to walk into this temple and to cleanse it. According to John chapter two, it’s the Messiah Jesus. The Christ would walk into this temple and He would, as John chapter two records for us, he cleanses it. And so the Pharisees, the religious leaders surround him and asking him, What’s going on? Destroy this. And so in John two Chapter nine, John Chapter two, verse 19.

Jesus is having this discussion with the the religious leaders of the day and he says this destroy this temple. And in three days I will raise it up. The Jews then said it took 46 years to build this temple. And will you raise it up in three days? In verse 21, this is what we’re trying to allude to here. But he was speaking of the temple of his body. So if you haven’t already read the book of Hebrews, I suggest you do it because the Book of Hebrews is just a wonderful book, explaining and and dovetailing how the Old Testament fits so nicely with the New Testament and how Jesus, how the Old Testament Temple and all the sacrifices and stuff that were going on were all pointing towards the future Messiah that was to come and that Jesus fulfilled all those things. Those things were all pointing to the Messiah that would come. But when Jesus came, he fulfilled them all. And that’s what Jesus is referring to here. Jesus is the temple. It’s. God’s chosen Jesus as God’s chosen way for God to dwell with his people. John 114. John One is a great book on the deity of Jesus that Jesus is God in the flesh. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God and all things were created through Him. Write this wonderful scripture passages of inspired Scripture that we can turn to, to see that Jesus is God in the flesh and in John 114 says this and the word became flesh.

And who is that? That is Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. And dwelt. And that word there is rooted back to the Hebrew word of tent Tabernacled. Jesus Tabernacled among us. And we saw His glory. Glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, the glory that Haggai spoke of, that God promised through Haggai, was made known and Jesus the Christ. That’s the amazing truth. But the demonstration of God’s glory and dwelling among us goes on, does it not? You know, Jesus goes to the cross. He goes to the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. And this great term called the substitutionary atonement is available to all who understand that they fall short, that they are separated from their God, and that it’s amazing. Gift of salvation is given to us by Jesus, the Christ going to the cross, not just being a good example, but taking on the God’s wrath, taking our penalty for our sin on his on him so that we might be made righteous, have his righteousness given to our account. It’s substitution. He went to the cross for us, for all who not get baptized or join a church, but for all who believe, who all who trust that Jesus is enough. This wonderful gift of salvation is given to us. But the Scriptures go on.

Titus. Chapter three talks about the Holy God, the Spirit coming and regenerating us and giving us a new heart and adopting us into God’s family. And the wonderful and beautiful thing is, once we’re saved, God comes and dwells in us. Jesus is now our great high priest, The high priest that was in the that was pointed in the Old Testament who would go in and offer the blood sacrifice once a year for the sins of Israel. On their account, he would go into the holy of holies and sprinkle, sprinkle the blood, all pointing to the lamb of God who would one day come and provide that final sacrifice once and for all, and the Lord Jesus. So He’s our Jesus is now our great high priest after the Order of Melchizedek, according to the book of Hebrews, who sits at the right hand of the father forever making intercession for the saints. And so Jesus is there. But just before he he rose and ascended to that position, he told his disciples, I will send you a comforter, the great Paraclete God, the Spirit and this amazing work of salvation. When we trust and are regenerated by God, the Spirit God comes and dwells in the hearts of believers. We are now God’s dwelling place for God’s glory to be made known in the world. All who are saved were dwelt in, dwelt by God, the Spirit. We are God’s temple here on Earth. Second Corinthians 616 says this or what agreement has? This is the Apostle Paul writing here talking or what agreement has the Temple of God with idols for? We are the temple of the living God.

Just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them and I will be their God and they shall be my people. He’s quoting Ezekiel 37. There another Old Testament prophecy of what God would do one day. He would dwell in them and walk among them and be their God, and they shall be my people. What an amazing gift we’ve been given. We are now the Temple of God. God dwells inside of us for His glory to be made known to the world through us. Ephesians two, 19 through 22 says This is just a beautiful passage of Scripture. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of and are of God’s household. Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone in Him. The whole building being fitted together is growing into a temple, a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together, and the dwelling of God in the Spirit we are now. If you’re a. Of Christ today, the Temple of God. And so people would ask, I remember when I first got saved, you know, well, doesn’t there need to be a temple? There was a temple in the Old Testament. And so I’d quote him.

X7, you know, the most high dwelleth not in temples made with hands, but I didn’t understand the full story. I didn’t understand that that the temple was was pointing towards Christ and that Jesus fulfilled all those things and that believers are now who believe and trust in that message are being regenerated and the spirit becomes and dwells in them. And now we are God’s dwelling place here on this earth for His glory to be made known. And this is the wonderful truth. And so what’s the application of this? All this, right? This was written to God’s people thousands of years ago, right? I can’t tell you to go out and build a temple right. Because there’s no need for it. We’re the temple now. So is there application for us? Well, I think there is. The first one building off of this aspect, this concept of us being the temple of God. If you look back in the Old Testament, we know that sacrifices were made and all those sacrifices were pointing or teaching the children of Israel the need for a sacrifice to be made for sin, and that our great high priest has done that for us once and for all. And so we no longer have to bring animals to the altar. But instead the New Testament covenant commands us to do this. I appeal to you, brothers by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Do not be me. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. That by testing you may discern what is the will of God and what is acceptable, what is good and acceptable and perfect. So yeah, we don’t take animal sacrifices to the altar anymore because Christ was the final sacrifice. But he then calls us out of the motivation of what he’s done for us. And that concept that God is now dwelling in us for His glory to be made known to the nations through us. He’s calling us, all of us, to be living sacrifices for him and that we might be transformed by the renewal of our mind. By and look at that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, right? What does that mean? Well, another application that we need to consider is found in Haggai. If that’s what God is now calling us to do, I think we need to as well consider our priorities, just as Haggai asked the children of Israel to do. We need to consider our priorities. And this hit me hard because this is so mean now. Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider your ways. You have so much but harvest little, you eat. But there is not enough to be satisfied. You drink, but there is not enough to become drunk. You put on clothing, but no one is warm enough. And he who earns earns wages to put it into a purse with holes.

Why am I worried about next week’s paycheck when I have so much more to work for and prioritize my life, my prioritize, my life for? And so, as Haggai did, as God used Haggai to do, God’s using Haggai, hopefully for us today to consider us, consider our ways, consider our priorities in life. What are we working for? Are we just spinning our wheels and vanity and frustration? And the next one? Go chop some wood. Right. Some spiritual wood. Thus, says the Lord of hosts, consider your ways. Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple. That I might be pleased and it and be glorified, says the Lord. So if we’re the spiritual dwelling place of God, right? We don’t have to go out and build a physical structure. But what are we doing in our bodies to glorify God, to make His presence known? What are we doing that we can that God can be pleased and be glorified in our lives? And I’m not the Holy Spirit. I can’t answer that for you. But this is what God is calling us to do, to consider our ways and to chop some spiritual wood. You know, we we harp on Bible reading and praying and and, you know, all these things, but these are all spiritual disciplines that are the spiritual axe that chops the spiritual wood in our lives. That right the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword.

It’s the tools God uses to to make us sanctify us, to set us apart and to grow. And so we don’t go to the word just to check a check box, to read the Bible. We go because we desire that God would be glorified in our lives and our bodies, and that he would be pleased out of a motivation of what he’s done for us. And so that’s a good application, I think, for us to do as well to think about and finally be encouraged, right? The second message that Haggai said, but now take courage is Zerubabel declares the Lord Take courage. Also Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage, declares the Lord and work. But this is the most important part. For if you’re like a self proclaimed legalist like I am, for I am with you, there’s a tendency for me to just pick myself up by my bootstraps and my own strength and power. Go out and show Jesus how good of a Christian I am. But I’m here to tell you I tried that many times and all I ended up doing is falling flat on my face. Yes, we need to work and we need to do all these things, but we can’t do it in our own strength and power. It is God’s willing in us His grace that gives us the strength, that stirs our hearts to do good works for him and his glory.

And we can only do that when we desire to dwell with him. When we sit at his feet, when we abide in the vine. It’s only when we do that kind of chopping of wood that God, the Spirit, can then change our hearts and our our desires to please him. And so God is working through us in that regard. He’s giving us the strength to do it for him and his glory. And we just get to be the joyful recipients of that. And so I just want to encourage you with that, be encouraged because God is with you. He dwells inside of you. If you’re a believer today, he desires to abide with you and to to have his glory be made known to those around you as you look to him and abide in him. Finally, that my spirit is abiding in your midst. Do not fear. Right. We have a special privilege because his spirit is inviting inside of us. That’s the down payment of our inheritance of heaven. The eternity to come. God says For now, I need you in this earth, on this earth to do, to dwell for me to be glorified. And I’m giving my spirit to comfort you and to empower you for the work of God’s kingdom.

2 John

3 John