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Friday, October 14, 2016

Ezra 6:15

And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

For further study - Ezra 6:15-22

The portion of scripture for today's devotional reading, and the extended reading is a record of the completion of the building of the Second Temple and the dedicatory service to follow. It also records the observance of the first of the seven Jewish feast days, the Passover.

This sixth chapter of Ezra is key to understanding how God fulfills prophecy and how He will fulfill prophecy.

In chapter one of Ezra we read about the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy about a leader named Cyrus who would come to power and allow the Jews to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple destroyed by the Babylonians, Isaiah 44:28 Ezra 1:2-3.

In chapter two of this book written by the scribe, Ezra, we see the record of the families from the twelve tribes of Israel who did return to Jerusalem to rebuild that temple.

Ezra three to five records how the Jewish people did not set as a priority the building of the temple but instead looked to their own needs.

Notice Ezra 5:1 where we see that the two Jewish prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, are used by God to preach to the Jews in Judah to be about the task of building the temple (At this point in a reading through the Bible one should read both Haggai and Zechariah).

The prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah have both a short-term fulfillment and a long-term fulfillment. The Jewish returnees from Babylon were exhorted by these two prophets to rebuild the temple which they finally did as they had been directed.

Our key verse and the extended reading are the record of the temple being rebuilt and dedicated; however, this was done twenty-five years after the Jews returned to Jerusalem and only under pressure from Haggai and Zechariah.

This Temple was the Second Temple that was still standing in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount in the days of Jesus Christ. In 70 AD, this Temple was destroyed and another Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount; in fact, two more temples will stand there in Jerusalem.

Zechariah 6:12 tells us that the "Branch", another name for Jesus, will build His temple where He will rule and reign, in the Kingdom to come.

However, there will be another temple in Jerusalem before Messiah builds His Temple. Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15II Thessalonians 2:4 & Revelation 11:2 reveal there will be a Temple in the Tribulation Period. That Tribulation Temple will be the location for the "image of the beast", a symbol of the Antichrist, Revelation 13:14-15.

All preparations have been made for the building of that temple. The Jews could start erecting that temple any day. Please remember that our reading today in Ezra 6 reveals the Temple of his day was rebuilt. These other two temples are yet future. The stage has been set for the next two Temples to be built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.

There is only one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Jewish people can start to build that Temple. That prophecy is the Rapture of the Church, with Jesus calling us to join Him in the "air", in the heavens, and to be with Him forever, I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Rapture can happen at any moment, even today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for fulfilled prophecy that sets the stage for other prophecies to be fulfilled.