I want us to consider to the Minor Prophets:
Haggai and Zachariah
Be Not As Your Unspiritual Fathers.
To watch the video link: http://youtu.be/Ah7rbyisJWI
The remnant had returned from the 70 years captivity and with zeal had commenced rebuilding the temple. However, opposition arose and the mongrel inhabitants of the land, the Samaritans, had hindered the work. These interruptions had discouraged the people. Haggai, the Prophet, in the sixth month of the second year of Darius, gave a clarion call to give attention and effort into rebuilding the temple. Zachariah, the Priest, two months later, commenced a stir the people to immediate obedience to God.
And so, in the mouth of two witnesses every word is established.
In rebuilding the work of God and establishing pure worship, which must precede unity (the walls of Jerusalem were built after the temple) we must guard against two classes of opposition: the Samaritans & the carnal fathers.
These people dwell in the land with them, as it were. They are in amongst them as adulterers and adult presses, un-sanctified worldly stock, false leaders and prophets.
These, with mixed sexual practices, false doctrines and worldly methods of control and government, seek to hinder – that is, help in their way – the setting up of real spiritual worship.
We must separate ourselves from these. Put out adulterers – reject heretics – refuse man-made control.
A. Moral behaviour must be watched. We ruin our progress by allowing unsavoury sexual relationships to corrupt our fellowship. However severe it it might be, we must separate.
B. False doctrines must be purged out. Let us not, in our zeal to love, allow grievous wolves speaking perverse things to live in our ranks and to tear and devour and to draw way disciples to themselves.
C. Spiritual and Scriptural government must be sought. The mind of God by the word of wisdom, Ascension Ministry oversight, a multitude of councillors; or by the word of prophecy, we need a sanctified oversight praying, fasting and ministering to the Lord; or obedience to plain teaching; such Scriptural methods must be employed to get God’s governmental mind operative in the church.
Whatever is contrary to sound doctrine and righteous behaviour must go if the building is to continue.
Zachariah introduces his ministry by warning the people to take heed to the word through his lips.
He pictures the vehement rage of God against their worldly fathers. “The Lord has been sore displeased with your fathers”, he says.
The Jews boasted much over parentage. However, God is teaching them to despise the behaviour of their unrighteous fathers.
Many of the spiritual fathers of the church have often been unspiritual and un-Scriptural but we were babes in Christ and often honoured them because they had apparent fruit and could speak out of much experience. But what is the result of their rule? Maybe large crowds but we need holy righteous happy lives living in the glory of the presence of God in righteousness and truth.
God’s judgements will overtake these people because they behaved in unscriptural ways. They were unsound in doctrine, practice and government.
Let us not imitate our worldly fathers’ methods. Let us be suspicious of their carnal practices.
Whatever we do let us avoid the historical example of sinful ancestry. Are we being raised up in our fathers’ place? Are we going to condone their sinful behaviour?
Long usage and ancient practice does not justify unscriptural behaviour. Just because God winked before at unscriptural forms of government in the past, does mean that he will continue to do so. Let us remember that we are building for the second coming of Christ, just as the restored remnant built for his first coming.
Happy adherence to all New Testament commands & instructions must be urged upon all everywhere.
Let us question leaders’ methods if the works under them have disintegrated into worldliness.
The first lesson was to watch the Samaritans – the contemporary enemies. The second lesson was to watch the carnal fathers – the historical enemies.
“The Lord of Hosts” this is a favourite phrase frequently in both Haggai and Zachariah. It speaks of God’s boundless resources; his universal power over all peoples. This was a strong term to lift the faith of a week and reduced people. They were poor in resources and few in numbers.
God was going to develop a faith vision of himself fulfilling his name in the future generations, with a strong spiritually healthy people serving him. He will thus fulfil his name in the future if we believe and obey him now.
Today we have the spirit and the word. These two powerful witnesses are alive and well and will take hold of us to bless us or correct us according to our response to their message.
One. Separate from all immoral behaviour. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but reprove them.
Two. Reject all heretical believes when of a fundamental nature.
Three. Desist from governmental control that is carnal and patterned after Egypt and not after this Scriptural government of the Apostles.
Zachariah had nine visions given to him in one night to encourage Judah to continue with the temple building project and the restoration of Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah.
I would like us to take a short look at these nine visions and see how they can affect us develop righteous lives and holy worship.
To watch the video link: http://youtu.be/Ah7rbyisJWI