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Sunday, September 7 2014

Ezra 4: The Temple Obstruction

"Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose"

Satan was the first of every kind of loser. When the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) planted a garden in Eden, Satan came to obstruct the purpose of it. Eve, the second human, became the first human to hear a lie, from the Devil, and the first human to sin because of that lie. Her husband, who was the one who was directly given the commandment not to take of the off-limits fruit before Eve was even created (Genesis 2:16-18), meekly followed his wife into sin (the LORD doesn't create pansies, Satan does, so Satan's influence was obviously already affecting Adam while the lie was being delivered to Eve). Eve then became the first sinner, while Adam became the first wimp (see How Did Adam And Eve Sin Differently?).

The Garden of Eden

"3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?

And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:1-15 KJV)

One of the Satanic-influenced flaws of human character that developed after the first humans chose to become sinners is the knee-jerk lust to oppose what others are doing - often even when such opposition is harmful to the obstructionist. History is filled with needless wars and disasters that were caused by human meddlers and obstructionists who foolishly did not simply mind their own business (see also Striving For Strife).

So also did it happen when the returned people of the Kingdom of Judah (the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah, The Census Of The Return To Jerusalem and Zerubbabel's Return) began work to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. While all people will benefit from the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual purpose of the "Temple" (see The Temple Heart Prophecy), the people of the Messianic line of Judah were to complete the work. Nevertheless, "Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose."

"4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 4:5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia." (Ezra 4:1-5 KJV)

The obstructionists then sent a letter to the Persian king, under whom the land of Israel was still being ruled as part of the Persian Empire - keeping in mind that it was also a Persian king, Cyrus, who the LORD used to order the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem and do the rebuilding work that they were doing (see The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia).

Rebulding The Walls Of Jerusalem

"4:6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

4:7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

4:8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:

4:9 Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites, 4:10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.

4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king;

Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time. 4:12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

4:13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. 4:14 Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 4:15 That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. 4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river." (Ezra 4:6-16 KJV)

The later king of Persia, Artaxerxes, was ignorant of his own history (i.e. what his predecessor Cyrus had ordered to be done), so Artaxerxes ordered the restoration work to stop.

"4:17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

4:18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. 4:19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them. 4:21 Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 4:22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezra 4:17-22 KJV)

So it was then that the work was temporarily halted "unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia."

"4:23 Now when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.

4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia." (Ezra 4:23-24 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did grace exist in the Garden of Eden?
See Grace In The Garden


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This Day In History, September 7

70: Roman Legions (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) under Titus occupied and plundered Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?).

1087: Norman King William I, known as "William the Conqueror," died. During his reign, he produced the Domesday Book, the first exhaustive survey of England.

1191: The Battle of Arsuf during the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). Richard I of England defeated Saladin at Arsuf.

1228: During the Sixth Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II landed in Acre, "Palestine" ("Palestine" is merely a variant pronunciation of "Philistine"; see Where Is Palestine?). The Roman "Kingdom of Jerusalem" was thereafter briefly restored (see A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1533: Queen Elizabeth I of England was born. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, her reign began with the defeat of the Spanish Armada. During her time, Britain rose to international power and prominence, beginning colonization that produced its worldwide empire of commerce and civilization over the next 400 years. A golden age for Britain, Elizabeth's contemporaries were the likes of Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Martin Frobisher and many others.

1543: Mary, Queen of Scots was coronated.

1630: The town of Trimontaine, Massachusetts, was renamed as Boston.

1714: The Treaty of Badan was signed. It was one of the Treaties included in the Peace of Utrecht which ended the War of The Spanish Succession.

1763: King George III issued a proclamation inviting citizens of the British Empire to settle in Canada. A large number of people did, including many patriotic, law-abiding conservatives (hard-working, successful people of all walks of life i.e. farmers, merchants, tradesmen, educators) from the New England colonies who saw no need for a rebellion. Totaling about 1/3 of the population of the New England colonies, they were later known as United Empire Loyalists. When the U.S. invaded Canada a few years later in the War of 1812 (1812-1814), United Empire Loyalists and their adult children and grandchildren served among the British Army and Canadian militias that successfully defended Canada from U.S. "annexation" (i.e. to destroy Canada as a nation and rule it as a colony from Washington) - the publicly-stated goal of U.S. President James Madison when he started the war.

A plaque in Hamilton, Ontario (as well as many others across Canada) commemorates them:

United Empire Loyalists

"This monument is dedicated to the lasting memory of

THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS

Who, after the Declaration of Independence, came into British North America from the seceded American colonies and who, with faith and fortitude, and under great pioneering difficulties, largely laid the foundations of this Canadian nation as an integral part of the British Empire.

Neither confiscation of their property, the pitiless persecution of their kinsmen in revolt, nor the galling chains of imprisonment could break their spirits, or divorce them from a loyalty almost without parallel.

No country ever had such founders --

No country in the world --

No, not since the days of Abraham."

1812: Russian forces retreated from the army of Napoleon after the Battle of Borodino, near Moscow. Like Adolf Hitler 130 years later however, the invaders were eventually "stopped cold" by the Russian winter.

1822: Brazil declared independence from Portugal.

1860 "Red Shirt" forces under Giuseppe Garibaldi took Naples. The victory permitted Victor Emmanuel to become king of Italy.

1867: Adolphus abdicated as duke of Nassau and was granted 8.5 million thalers (origin of "dollars") and a few castles as compensation.

1940: During the Second World War, the Nazi "Blitz" of London began. The city was heavily bombed for 57 consecutive nights.

1953: Nikita Khrushchev became the leader ("First Secretary of the Communist Party") of the Soviet Union.

1979: The Chrysler Corporation requested $1.5 billion from the U.S. government to avoid bankruptcy.

1986: Bishop Desmond Tutu was enthroned as Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. He was the first black head of South Africa's Anglicans.

1988: Abdul Ahad Mohmand, the first Afghan in space, returned to earth aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-5 after 9 days on the Mir space station.

1999: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Athens, Greece. Over 140 people were killed, 500 injured and 50,000 people had their homes destroyed.

2004: Hurricane Ivan killed 39 people on Grenada and destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island.

2005: Egypt held its first-ever multi-party presidential election.

2008: To delay further economic collapse of the housing industry, the U.S. Government took control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

2012: Canada cut diplomatic ties with Iran by closing its embassy in Tehran and ordering the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, over support for Syria, nuclear plans and alleged rights abuses.





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