Transcript The Great Restoration: Nehemiah

Episode 011-

Audio mp3 Download Important Notice- The date of 561 B.C. at the beginning of the Nehemiah talk has been corrected to 461 B.C. Those who have downloaded copies before sunset ending 28 March  should update their downloads. 

Good morning world, welcome to TheShiningLight

55 years after the reconstruction of the Jerusalem temple was completed in 516 B.C. in the third year of the new king Ahaseurus whose reginal name was Artaxerxes Longimanus; in his third year which was 461 B.C. Vashti rebelled against the command of the king and she was put away and replaced with Queen by Hadassah a young woman of the tribe of Benjamin who had been raised by her uncle Mordacai to be zealous for godliness.

Later, in the seventh year of the king which was 457 B.C. the king decreed that the city of Jerusalem should be rebuilt and true religion should be restored and sent Ezra to accomplish those tasks.

Ezra on arriving in Jerusalem was appalled at the spiritual condition of the people and he immediately began to correct that situation setting up a government and administration and restoring true religion, meanwhile building the city walls was neglected.

Five years later in 452 B.C. Haman set out to destroy the Jews. Outraged that Mordecai would not flatter him, he was motivated by Satan to attempt to destroy all the Jews.

Satan’s purpose in this was to prevent the building of the walls of the city of Jerusalem and thereby break the Word of God and the prophecy that God had given to Daniel.

Then God through the influence of Mordecai and Esther on the king, saved the Jews and delivered them from Satan and Haman. This deliverance is celebrated by the feast of Purim.

Some eight years after that in 444 B.C. Nehemiah was appointed Terhasha or governor of the Jews in Judea by king Ahaseurus and he was sent to Jerusalem to help Ezra.

The story of Nehemiah begins in 444 B.C. which was the 20th year of the reign of king Ahaseurus whose reginal name was Artaxerxes Longimanus.

Nehemiah a Jew was the king’s cup bearer or wine steward and one day some of his brethren from Judah arrived in Shushan where the king’s palace was. Nehemiah inquired of them about the conditions in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of  Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

Of course the city had been broken up with the temple and burned way back in 586 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar; and these people coming from Judea where the temple had now been rebuilt were telling Nehemiah that the city was still in ruins.

Ezra had been forced to focus on restoring true religion and setting up a governmental system. Ezra obviously needed help in order to build the city and the city walls.

Nehemiah was deeply concerned that the city remained in ruins; he was motivated both by his natural love of his people and his land and his city, but also by the fact that he knew that God had promised that the city would be rebuilt before Messiah would come.

Nehemiah lamented and then he began to pray.

Nehemiah 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Nehemiah 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Nehemiah 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Yes, there is hope for the sincerely repentant even in great tribulation, there is hope because those that God has scattered he will yet gather up again.

If and when they sincerely repent the truly wholeheartedly sincerely repentant will be accepted back into the family of God the Father.

Nehemiah 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.

Nehemiah was asking God to give him grace in the eyes of king Ahaseurus so that he could do something to further the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem and thereby fulfill the prophecies given by Almighty God.

Sometime after that Nehemiah was called before the king to serve him wine and in Nehemiah 2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year [444 B.C.] of Artaxerxes [Longimanus] the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

The king noticed that Nehemiah was very downcast and made a point of asking him why.

Nehemiah 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

Nehemiah explained the cause of his sorrow: And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Nehemiah immediately prayed to God to give him wisdom and understanding and only then did he make his request to the king.

Nehemiah 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

The king responded and the second decree of Artaxerxes which reconfirmed the building of the city of Jerusalem was issued in 444 B.C. to Nehemiah.  The first decree having been issued to Ezra in 457 B.C. when the king Ahaseurus decreed that Ezra should build the city and restore true religion.

Ezra had given priority to setting up a system of government and restoring true religion and now the king was sending Nehemiah to help Ezra; and Nehemiah would build the walls of the city.

Now notice an important point; Queen Esther who had had such an important role in supporting the king and in working with Mordecai to save the Jews from Haman and who had had an incredibly important role in influencing the king and helping Mordecai, Ezra, Nehemiah and others restore true religion in Babylon through her influence with the king: this very Queen Esther was sitting beside the king Artaxerxes when Nehemiah made his request that the king send him to Jerusalem to help Ezra and to build the walls of the city

Nehemiah 2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen [Esther] also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

In 457 B.C. Ezra was commissioned to restore true religion, to build the city and to set up a government. Because of the spiritual laxity of the people Ezra concentrated on establishing a government and restoring true religion.

In 444 B.C. Nehemiah was appointed governor and sent to help Ezra build the city.  Nehemiah immediately began building the walls which was carried out and recorded in Nehemiah 3 through 8.

After Nehemiah arrived as Terhasah or governor, together with the prophet priest Ezra,  they read the book of the law before all the people at the Feast of Tabernacles (Nehemiah 9).

On the second day after the Feast of the eighth day they held a day of fasting and repentance (Nehemiah 10), and many people repented and recommitted themselves to the Covenant (Nehemiah 11).

Ezra died in 440 B.C. and after twelve years as governor during which he ruled with justice and righteousness Nehemiah returned to visit the king at Susa in 432 B.C.

Later after some time in the court of the king, he returned to Jerusalem only to be horrified that many Jews had again departed from their zeal for the Covenant and had taken strange unconverted wives and fallen back into the sin of Solomon and the sin of their immediate forefathers whom Ezra had corrected.

Nehemiah corrected the people and this is recorded in Nehemiah 13:1 to 14.

Brethren this physical sin of marrying unconverted wives has a spiritual corollary which is that we are not to commit adultery with false traditions and false doctrines,. We are to remain faithful to the God to whom we were called.  We are not to try and mix godliness with ungodliness, we are not to try and mix the profane with the holy, we are not to try and mix the clean with unclean.

There is another great sin that Nehemiah found in Judah beginning in Nehemiah 13 and verse 15. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals [food and drink on the Sabbath].

Nehemiah 13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 13:18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

Nehemiah was outraged at their apostasy; let us also consider how Jesus Christ drove the wicked out of the temple which was an example for us that he will likewise drive out self-justifying sinners from God’s Spiritual Ekklesia if they do not repent.

Do not forget how all those of Israel who sinned in the wilderness were destroyed and how the Canaanites were destroyed as an example for us, to teach us that if we sin we shall all likewise perish.

Remember that the whole earth was drowned in water for the wickedness of humanity and now we dare to think that we can usurp the authority of the Almighty to decide right and wrong for ourselves just like Adam and Eve in the garden and we think that we will not be expelled from God’s presence like they were.

Brethren, we are being deceived into thinking of Jesus Christ as a pansy who will not enforce his and God the Father’s Word.  Many of our organizations tolerate sin and teach that it is alright to break God’s Word a little here or there, saying “Jesus will understand for He loves us;” what absolute nonsense what spiritual filth polluting God’s spiritual temple today.

Those who pollute the temple of God and defile God’s holy Sabbath day with willful sin will be destroyed. 

God will not hold the guilty guiltless; in the resurrection the unrepentant wicked who sin willfully will be excluded from among the many men and women of God who have sacrificed and suffered so much throughout history.

1 Corinthians 3:17   If any man defile the temple of God [by sinning willfully, or justifying our sins], him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Did not Jesus Christ destroy those who wanted to turn back into Egypt?

This is a repeated issue throughout all the scriptures and throughout the period of building the temple and the city; this issue of unconverted wives leading people into apostasy and a lack of zeal to do the work and a lack of zeal to live by every Word of God and a lack of zeal to keep God’s holy Sabbath, holy.

Today’s unrepentant Spiritual Ekklesia is in danger of damnation and can only be saved by the application of stern correction.

It is time to quickly repent and rejoice in our Lord as these people did and as the disciples did when Christ came in the flesh and was rejected by the Pharisees.

During the 49 year period from 457 B.C. when the original decree was given to build the city, the city was built and the walls were built under extremely trying circumstances; being completed as the angel had foretold to Daniel in 49 years in 408 B.C.  After which another 62 weeks for a total of 434 years would pass before the revealing of Jesus Christ when he began his ministry in autumn 27 A.D.

This completely and absolutely fulfills the prophecy given to Daniel.

Daniel 9:25 says, Therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks or 49 years to build the city and sixty two weeks or another four hundred and thirty four years before Christ would appear.

We find that the city of Jerusalem and the temple were burned in 586 B.C. and precisely seventy years later the temple was reconstructed and the work was completed in 516 B.C.

In 457 B.C. king Ahasaurus decreed that the city of Jerusalem should be rebuilt and he commissioned Ezra and sent him to build the city, establish a government and to restore true religion, and in 444 B.C. the king sent Nehemiah to help Ezra; and Nehemiah built the walls of the city and after a time when the people had strayed once again he corrected the people; and in 408 B.C. precisely fulfilling the 49-year prophecy the walls of the city were completed.

So far in this “From Sinai to Babylon” project we have uncovered at least nine fulfilled, and miraculously fulfilled, prophecies.  These prophecies of God were fulfilled precisely and by the power of God.

They are proof positive that the Eternal is God and that he has the power and the ability to keep his Word; and that he will fulfill his promises and keep his Word. 

1 Rehoboam would lose ten tribes 

2 The inhabitants of Samaria would be deported by the Assyrians 

3  The three overthrows of the kings of Judah as prophesied in Ezekiel 

4 The prophecy that Zedekiah would be the last king of the line of David until the resurrected David comes

5 The Babylonian captivity

6 Cyrus the king of the Persians and Medes was called by name decades beforehand as the one who would decree to rebuild the temple 

7 The temple would be rebuilt in 70 years and it was rebuilt and completed precisely seventy years after the temple and the city were burned 

8 From the decree to rebuild the city Jerusalem it would take 49 years to complete the job

9  434 years after the city was completed Messiah would appear and begin his ministry.

Coming next in this series will be a program on the history from Nehemiah through to the appearance of Jesus Christ and that will be followed by a final program in this series which will be about John Baptist.

 

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