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Summary: When God’s people get stirred the enemy’s radar goes off & he goes into high alert.

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What The World Needs Now Is A Word From God.

Haggai Sermon Series (1 of 3) 7/24/11 FBC Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson Speaker

Introduction:

A In 607 BC (or 587 BC), Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian war machine destroyed Jerusalem & the Jewish Temple (AKA, Solomon’s Temple)

1 The Temple was stone, so the timbers would have been the only thing burned, stones displaced but not destroyed.

a The Temple furniture was carted off to the temple in Babylon until 50 years later.

b After Nebuchadnezzar’s death, the toppling of Babylonian government (Medo-Persian), the establishment of King Cyrus rule sent the Jews back to their home land: God had moved the heart of a nonbelieving (Gentile) monarchy to release the Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem, rebuild Temple, restore worship, and gave them his black American Exp. Card.aa November 1953, just a few months after leaving the presidency of the United States, Harry S. Truman was brought to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York to meet a group of Jewish dignitaries. Accompanying him was his good friend Eddie Jacobson, a comrade from his Army days and former business partner in a short-lived men's haberdashery 30 years earlier. Jacobson introduced his friend to the assembled theologians: "This is the man who helped create the State of Israel." Truman retorted, "What do you mean, 'helped to create'? I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus."

bb In 538 BC, the Jews with the full support, backing, financing, authority of the King of the Empire went back to Judea (Israel) to rebuild the House of the Lord. Ezra 5.13-1

cc Ordered wood (Ezra 3.7), organized Temple furniture, prepared to build.

c Ezra 3.10-13, The people rejoiced, experienced revival, shouts of joy, tears of repentance . . . worship being restored in Jerusalem.

d Israel should I have been posed for victory, restoration, re-establishment, reinstating, revival.

2 When God’s people get stirred (Ezra 1.5; Haggai 1.14) the enemy’s radar goes off & he goes into high alert.

a He calls out the soldiers and armies of hell to do everything in his power to “stop the stir.”

b Ezra 4.1-4 (A few people rumble, questioning motives, complaining, . . . and the move of God came to a halt for 16 years.)

aa What I find amazing is that the enemy offered to help build the Temple. (Devil masquerading not as an angel of light but as a church consultant)

bb IL. In the 1970's, during the Cold War, the U.S. and the USSR agreed to build new embassies for each other in Moscow & Washington. The 8 story building has cost America over half-a-billion dollars. When the Soviets built the building they put secret microphones, bugs everywhere they could. The best bugged building ever built! NO WONDER IT WAS NEVER USED . . . IT WAS TAPPED BY THE ENEMY!

c We should never listen to the enemy when he offers advice or assistance to the church (Comes as criticizers, grumblers, fault-finders often in the disguise of someone wanting to help.)

B The enemy found a like minded king to agree with their side (Ezra 4.7, 21-24). (Sent a letter telling them to stop!)

1 God’s house stood untouched for 16 years because somebody complained and broke their spirit.

a They had the approval of a bigger, stronger king in Cyrus.

aa Operated with his full blessing, approval, support, resources, favor, authority.

bb A little pion tells them to stop and they did!

b What they should have said is . . .

aa You can go back to your boss and tell him that he has no say so here,

bb My King is bigger than yours, more powerful than yours, richer than yours . . .

cc And if your king doesn’t like it tell him to take up with the Kings whom authority I operate under.

2 16 years later, Ezra 5.1-3, God sent a prophet Haggai (& Zechariah) to speak & stir the people once again. . . once again the enemy wants to act like he’s in control. (BTW, the enemy has a new name but nothing has changed with his motive.) “Who issued you a decree to rebuild this temple?”

a King Darius gets his legal department on it and finds King Cyrus original grant letter (cf. Ezra 6.1b-12)

aa v.3, 12.

bb The enemy gets the letter and then leaves the people of God alone! (V.13)

cc The enemy has to obey the orders from the King.

b Haggai was sent to Zerubbabel (the governor), Joshua (the priest) & the people.

aa Zerubbabel was a great, great way on back grandson of David; Joshua was a great (w.o.b.) Grandson of Aaron. (Haggai 1.1)

bb Although Zerubbabel/Joshua had made some mistakes/were not always right . . . they were in authority so God went to them. (Your leaders are not always right . . . but they are always in authority because they were put there by God.)

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