The Pilgrims Progress Continues Today- The Battle Between Good And Evil
Ezr 4:1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple unto Jehovah, the God of Israel;
Ezr 4:2 then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' houses, and said unto them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as ye do; and we sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.
Ezr 4:3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us in building a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
Ezr 4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
Ezr 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.
Ezr 4:6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
Ezr 4:7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of his companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian character, and set forth in the Syrian tongue.
Ezr 4:8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort:
Ezr 4:9 then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites,
Ezr 4:10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth.
Ezr 4:11 This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto Artaxerxes the king: Thy servants the men beyond the River, and so forth.
Ezr 4:12 Be it known unto the king, that the Jews that came up from thee are come to us unto Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations.
Ezr 4:13 Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful unto the kings.
Ezr 4:14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not meet for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified the king;
Ezr 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 laid waste.
Ezr 4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded, and the walls finished, by this means thou shalt have no portion beyond the River.
Ezr 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 in the rest of the country beyond the River: Peace, and so forth.
Ezr 4:18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.
Ezr 4:19 And I decreed, 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.
Ezr 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all the country beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid unto them.
Ezr 4:21 Make ye now a decree to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until a decree shall be made by me.
Ezr 4:22 And take heed that ye be not slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?
Ezr 4:23 Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum, and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power.
Ezr 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
the Building of the Temple Opposed
So long as you lead a languid and unaggressive life, the enemy will leave you alone, but when you begin to build God’s temple, you may count on His strenuous opposition. When we are permitted to go on from day to day without much temptation, we may fear that we are doing little to destroy evil and construct good. But the virulent hate of the wicked one is a comfortable sign that his kingdom is suffering serious damage.
Let us so live that we may give the devil good reason to fear and hate us. There is a stronger than he. We must beware of the proposal to join in with the ungodly. Their arguments may sound very fair and appeal to a false liberality of sentiment, but the golden cup contains poison, and beneath the kiss is the traitor’s hand. This is why so many fair enterprises have miscarried. They have seemed to afford common ground for cooperation with the false and counterfeit Israel, but they have ended in disillusion and disappointment. Though the Jews excited the intense hatred and opposition of their would-be helpers, their policy of exclusiveness was amply justified by the result. The old proverb reminds us that we must never trust our enemies when they offer blandishments and gifts.
the Enemy’s Short-Lived Triumph
The promoters of this letter were descendants of the heathen colonists who had been sent into the land by the Assyrians, 2Ki_17:24. It was written to the then reigning monarch, Artaxerxes, which Ezra seems to have copied from the records of Persia, because it stands in the original in the Chaldee language. Notice that now the Israelites are first called Jews, i.e., Judahites, Ezr_4:12. They urge that the Temple-building should be stayed for the king’s own sake. Secret enmity to God’s kingdom is often hidden under pretended devotion to Caesar, Joh_19:12. We, too, have our maintenance from the God of heaven, we have eaten the salt of the palace, Ezr_4:14; and we should never allow His name to be dishonored without doing our best to prevent it. The king was imposed upon by their representations, and ordered the work to cease. But it is probable that something was due to the supineness of the Jews, who were already half-hearted in their endeavors, Hag_1:2-9. The rebuilding of the Temple stopped during the reigns of Cambyses and the Magia Smerdis; but in the second year of Darius Hystaspes it was recommenced, and was then finished in four years, or nineteen years after its commencement, Zec_8:9; Hag_2:18.
Dear Reader, follow the lord, make a impact of any kind that is ordered of the lord, chose to live a Godly, holy life, and this happens. Let downs, hindrances, and false words from the enemies camp. If you do not want any spiritual attacks, any assaults of Character, any trouble, than simply do nothing, through in the towel, and all the hell will end.
Paul faced this , he said he wanted to come and visit Churches but the Devil hindered him time and again. Paul the Apostle hindered from coming to a Church he planted? Yes, and this happens today. When you make a bold stand for Christ, cross included,you will face all our lord did, he was called of the devil, so will you be so called, he took reproach, so will you, he had nowhere to lay his head, so will you in this world, a temporary lodging, yes, if that. He was always confronted by the religious Pharisees, and so will you be. This is always number one the religious Pharisee, always.
Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
I have said to a few concerning this word the lord gave to us concerning our off line ministry, the spirit of Sanballat and Tobiah would rear their heads in opposition, and just as we were warned so it has been. The enemy will not let up, and you reader, you must not let up, in the power of the Holy Spirit. You will face set backs, you will be misunderstood, your words and actions will be twisted, and the liars will wag the tongue of evil, let them fight, if it be of the lord, they will be fighting the one that commissioned you, and not just you.
Sanballat-Tobiah, the first line of resistance during the building of the wall, the text was later when the buildings, temple were being built. Neh. His wall took only 40 days, the people had a mind to work, the temple the people did not have a mind to work, this is why the lord used the two Prophets to encourage and exhort them later to finish what they never finished. A mind to work, one that follows hard after God, this is key, a willing heart, a ready heart, a mind to work for the lord . This is so important it can not be stressed enough, for no man is an island to himself, it takes others. Others to help with a mind to work. The commission may be given to only one or two people, but later the big heavy work, taking a place for the lord takes, people, funds and work. It is also why the Church is in decline no commitment. Pastors have told me this, I have experienced it and it is worse these days than ever.
A prayer meeting, what are you kidding me, I am busy, but pizza and bowling I will be there. The worldly do nothing apostate Church that has shrunk because the people do not have the mind to work, and if they dare to impact a place for the lord, pray and win souls, in will come the attacks and out goes the short lived vision.
This is why the remnant are being tried so hard, the lords last day army ca not go A.W.O.L. The lord must know who will go all the way, no matter what, all the way. Is that you, or on you on A.W.O.L. from the lords army, or segregated by your own vision, and not the lords will?
Think on this, it is time to make a stand, it is now or never. I repeat what Meyers commentary said concerning the text.
So long as you lead a languid and unaggressive life, the enemy will leave you alone, but when you begin to build God’s temple, you may count on His strenuous opposition. When we are permitted to go on from day to day without much temptation, we may fear that we are doing little to destroy evil and construct good. ( Meyer )
Let us so live that we may give the devil good reason to fear and hate us. There is a stronger than he. We must beware of the proposal to join in with the ungodly. Their arguments may sound very fair and appeal to a false liberality of sentiment, but the golden cup contains poison, and beneath the kiss is the traitor’s hand.
This is the summation of the whole, and this is why I say, it is time Christian to make a bold stand for Jesus. The body of Christ is becoming limp, weak, ineffective, and worse of all silent. Silent to sin, silent to apostasy, silent to enemy’s in the body, silent to false doctrine, silence of true humble love, silence of victorious prayer, silent in battle.
It is time to let the lord make you into a new wineskin, where he can put his holy wine, his presence, the patch work of the wine skin, the old wineskin of good intentions only burst open every time, over time, it can notwork like this. We are new creations in Jesus, we are to put off self, and put on Jesus. We must arise with a humble boldness that will turn the world upside down, expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and come into the place of hell shaking prayer. There is prayer once a week in corporate worship, it is mostly dull, dead, lifeless, and never does damage to the kingdom of darkness, these prayers and meetings that never preach repentance,never confront sin, never preach with a holy boldness, all that is seen is the work of man, and the world has seen enough of this, the world is looking for more, much more, a God thing, not a man thing, they want to see, experience the living, breathing presence of the Jesus they have heard about, its time for them to see.
The moment a true move of the lord happens , in come the spirit of the ones who will try everything to take it down. David Wilkerson said, in the first 5 years of founding Time Square Church, rumors were flying, they became so bad, even friends turned against him, even his own young adult kids said, " Dad tell us all this is not true" he said he almost said that’s it, I do not need this, I am done, I can travel and speak around the world as I do, but this church in the bowls of hell, time square, I just d not need the hassle and grief, so you see, when a God thing happens the attacks can become so intensive, the best men of God, think of tossing in the towel, it was in 1994 that Pastor Carter Conlon, his wife and a couple others were supernaturally sent, placed by the lord to hold David Wilkerson’s arms up, and the rest is history. This is what I mean, it takes others, also friends and family will, not maybe, will turn on you. Jesus said, the mans worse enemies will be those of his own household, and when a good friend becomes a Judas, and I have experienced this, it is very painful. Our alliances must be checked and double checked, so we do not form an alliance from someone bearing gifts , but there is poison in their cup they are offering. The wolves in sheep’s clothing, agent provocateurs for the kingdom of Satan, and all in the name of Jesus, take heed beloved, take heed of this, for in these days and the hard days ahead, this will increase 100 fold, but let them fight, let them play games, let them touch the lords anointed holy bride, they are in for a surprise, for some greater will answer the door.
Be not afraid of men, nor what they can do to you, or worse what they can do for you, that is more dangerous, be full of discernment, and forge ahead and assault the devils kingdom in Jesus name, let man whisper, gossip, rant, rave, the lord laughs, and he has you dear one covered, now go out