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Misinterpretation of Prophecy Hindered God’s Work

Written by: John Sernaque

Call to Worship

Haggai 1: 2

1:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built.

Misinterpretation of Prophecy Hindered God’s Work—

The Lord has resources. His hand is on the machinery. When the time came for His temple to be rebuilt, He moved upon Cyrus as His agent to discern the prophecies concerning Himself, and to grant the Jewish people their liberty. And more, Cyrus furnished them the necessary facilities for rebuilding the temple of the Lord. This work began under Cyrus, and his successor carried on the work begun. {4BC 1175.6} [Isaiah 45:1 and 44:28, quoted.] {4BC 1175.7}

The Samaritans tried to hinder this work. By their false reports they aroused suspicion in minds easily stirred up to suspect; and because of this discouragement, the Jews became unbelieving and indifferent in regard to the work that the Lord had signified He would have done. They were opposed by Smerdis the usurper. “Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.” When Darius came to the throne, he set aside the work and prohibition of the usurper. But even then the people that should have been the most interested continued to be indifferent. They misapplied the prophecy given by Inspiration. They misinterpreted the Word of God, and declared that the time to build had not yet come, and that until the days were fully accomplished, they would not undertake the work. But while they left the building of the house of the Lord, the temple in which they could worship God, until the end of the time specified as the captivity of the Jews had fully come, they built mansions for themselves (MS 116, 1897). {4BC 1175.8}

The Israelites used excuse after excuse not to rebuild God’s temple. These excuses and delays dishonored God. This is why through the prophet Haggai; God refers to the Israelites as “this people” instead of “my people.” Instead of the Israelites persevering through the difficulties, obstacles, and objections before them, they chose to disregard the prophecy given to them by God to rebuild the temple. King Cyrus provided the necessary facilities and then King Darius set aside the work and prohibition of the usurper. Yet, they continued in their own way, continuing to disregard the prophecy given by God. God expected their prompt obedience. They lacked faith to go forward with the work. They did not want to arouse the opposition of their enemies. They did not trust in God. This history will repeat itself in these last days. Religious men will fail because of their lack of faith. They will only look at things seen instead of looking at the unseen, the divine. There will be difficult times ahead. Satan knows he has but a short time. However, we are to remember that he is already a defeated foe. Persevere in faith, claim the victory Jesus won, and keep your eyes on Jesus.

Our kind and gracious heavenly Father,

We faithfully come before Thee in thanksgiving, praise, and prayer. We thank You for giving us this day and every day You give us. We thank You for giving us Your breath of life. We thank You for all the prophets sent before us. For speaking through them and laying before us all the prophecies fulfilled and those yet to come. It is our privilege to know these things before they happen. You have said, You tell us these things before they happen, so that when they happen, we might believe. We believe on You as our Lord and Savior, having died for us that we may live. However, not that we live, but that You live in us. Thank You for giving us Your testimony, which is the Spirit of Prophecy. For now, we have a more sure word of prophecy and that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. That no prophecy came by the will of man but by Holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Help us to beware of false prophets and false teachers that will bring in damnable heresies, prophesying deceits, even denying You. Prophesying in Thy name, by sword and famine shall those “prophets” be consumed. Thank You for the promise of the Holy Spirit that You will pour out Your spirit upon all flesh, and sons and daughters shall prophesy, old men will dream dreams, and young men shall see visions. We pray for and desire Spiritual Gifts, to not quench the Sprit and despise not prophesying. Great is he that prophesies to edify the church. In times past, God spoke unto the fathers by the prophets. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and by whom also He made the worlds. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. However, when You come, then that which is in part shall be done away. We pray for Your great day to come that we may be with You forever and always. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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