Haggai – The Desire of All Nations

Haggai 2:1-9

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson comments on the reference to Christ's second coming in Haggai's prophecy and its connection to God's covenant with Israel.

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[Prayer] Father, we are grateful again to Thee for the privilege an opportunity of the study of this hour, and the hour that follows, and we pray Thy blessing upon the ministry of the word. May each of us receive from the Scriptures that which Thou wast have us to receive, and may we be profited by it. We do ask that, as we consider the prophet Haggai, that the lessons that the prophet sought to inculcate in the children of Israel in a time of discouragement may be lessons that will be helpful to us when we pass through similar experience. We ask Thy blessing upon each one present, and may Lord the spiritual needs that we have be met through the Scriptures, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

[Message] Our subject for tonight is the second of the prophecies in the prophecy of Haggai and the subject is the Desire of all the Nations. We have been saying in the first of the series, and of course will make reference to it in the other two of our studies that follow this one. That in Ezra chapter 5, and chapter 6 we have some of the historical background of what we are reading about here. We remember that in 586 B.C. Jerusalem was captured, and the old temple of Solomon was destroyed. Then in 536 B.C. fifty years later, Cyrus, the kind of Persia granted the rebuilding of the temple with the money to be supplied by his own empire, so in 536 B.C. there was a return to the land of about forty three thousand who came under Zerubbabel, who was the governor of the children of Israel. Their eagerness, which they had to carry out the desire to rebuild the temple, was cooled by the hostility of the Samaritans, and perhaps also by the hard labor that was involved in that work. So as their order to rebuild the house of the Lord cooled, they turned to the rebuilding of their own houses. In 522 B.C. Darius the Great gained power after the suicide of Cambyses and two years later the prophets Haggai and Zechariah began, through their prophecies, to urge the people to get on with the task for which they had come back to the land. The rebuilding of the temple.

And so we are reading in the prophecy of Haggai the prophecies, the words of exhortation and the words of promise which the prophet gave in order to stir the children of Israel up to do that which God desired for them to do. I am sure that as you ponder those words in the Book of Ezra, particularly you probably get the feel of the disappointment that came to the returning remnant, as they contemplated the temple that was to be rebuilt and thought about the smallness of it and the lack of the glory of it in comparison with the great temple that Solomon had constructed, and so their enthusiasm began to flag because of the inferiority of the temple. No doubt the observance of the feasts aided the people from time to time, and it is striking fact that as we open this second chapter we read that on the twenty-first day of the seventh month. Well, that happens to be the last day of the feasts of the tabernacles, and that was the time of the harvest, and it may well have been that the time of harvest was a time of a little bit of encouragement from the natural standpoint, and particularly since they had been suffering the discipline of God. Prophecy, they had used as a narcotic, and not as a tonic. For remember they had said, using this as an excuse, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, this people says the time has not come even for the house of the Lord to be built. “

Now, there were no Calvinists in those days, which of course makes those days a great deal poorer because of that, [Laughter] but nevertheless they had some of the ideas that some Calvinists have unfortunately obtained from the study of the Scriptures, and that is that God will accomplish his will regardless of what we do. In other words, they over stress divine sovereignty in comparison with human responsibility, and so they were saying in effect, well, it’s not yet the time. The time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt. He will do his work when desires. It reminds us of the attitude of gruff old Dr. Ryland of Northampton, who when young William Carey spoke about bringing the gospel to the heathen, he gave Carey the rejoined the young man, “Sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, he’ll do it without your aid or mine.”

Now, that was too strong a statement. Incidentally, this Dr. Ryland has been unjustly criticized. He at least believed in the sovereignty of God, and there are some people who don’t even believe in the sovereignty of God, who use the term, but don’t really believe in it. But we can overdo even a good thing like the sovereignty of God, and so prophecy had become for the retiring remnant a kind of narcotic. They were saying in effect, “God is going to do his work, and he will do it in his time. It’s not the time yet. It’s the time for us to build our own houses.” And so the prophets Haggai and Zechariah arise in order that they may make prophecy a tonic rather than a narcotic. And that of course is what we hope that is always is for us as we read the Scriptures too.

Well, let’s read now first the first section of this prophecy, which I have entitled a divine challenge. Verses 1 through 3.

“In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying, (Now, notice there are three groups or objects of this speaking, and they new one is the remnant of the people and this is what is to be said.) Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?”

So, the prophet first of all then issues a divine challenge, a challenge from the Lord to Zerubbabel and to Joshua, and to the remnant of the people. It is the twenty-first day of the seventh month. This is October the 21st. And so it is almost a month after the preceding statement of verse 15 of the 2nd chapter. And when the children of Israel had begun to work, now the foundations of the temple were laid, and as they looked at the foundation of the temple and compared it with the temple that Solomon had built is was natural that they should reflect upon the greatness of the former temple, as over against the smallness of this new temple. It’s possible that Haggai was alive and saw the temple of Solomon. If he were an old man, as many believe, then it would have been possible for him to have seen that temple, and surely a great number of the children of Israel had seen that marvelous, glorious temple of Solomon.

Now, this temple is going to be a temple much smaller in comparison, much poorer in its decorations, and so it would be natural for the people to compare temples, and you can hear them saying, “Well if you had only seen the temple, when we saw it.” And I can imagine the young people talking behind the backs of the older people and saying, “All they are talking about is how things used to be.” So the content then of this challenge is directed directly to what must have been the feeling of many of them. Haggai does not beat around the bush. He says, “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory.” Question number one. “How do you see it now?” Question number two. “Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?” So he comes right to the point, and he says comparing these temples, you can see that the new temple does not really compare at all.

I think that he was trying to meet the discouragement that had been spread among the people by older ones who sought to compare it with the glorious temple of Solomon. You know there is I think a very important practical lesson here, and it is this. It is very easy to spread discouragement among the people of God by the use of the tongue. James speaks with a great deal of force about the tongue. You can hear one of the older ones saying, “We’re getting on. It’s beginning to look like something, but oh my dear, you should have seen the old temple by comparison with that one, this one is as nothing.” But James wrote that the tongue is a little member. It is small isn’t it? But then the also wrote, “Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire.”

Now, James was not exaggerating. A great deal of difficulty can be caused by the unwise use of the tongue. Remarks that are intended to discourage the people of God. These remarks were intended to discourage the builders, retard the work, and there is a grave peril evidentially that the work would cease a second time simply because some people do not know how to control their tongue. It’s important. These words of James are very important for us, and particularly important in an assembly of God’s people.

Now, in this audience here, we have people here who are not only from Believer’s Chapel but from other groups as well, and I am sure you recognize the sinfulness of allowing criticism to discourage the people of God. So here is a direct challenge, directed to the people. Take a look it is smaller in comparison. By the way it is not said here why this temple is smaller than the Solomonic temple, and one might ask, “Well, why is this new temple smaller?” Well, I think that the reason for is that God did not want them to then that because this remnant has returned to the land, that they enjoy the fullness of the blessing of God according to the promises because it is only a remnant. There is only a partial obedience on the part of the nation. And so the smallness of the temple in comparison with the temple of Solomon is designed to impress upon them that these days are not the glorious days that Old Testament prophets spoke about when they spoke about a great temple, in which all of the riches of all of the nations upon the earth, would come into that temple. So he wanted to impress upon them the fact that while there had been a partial obedience, the nation still abode as a whole in disobedience and this should be constant reminder to them of that fact because after all the return was not the return to the twelve tribes, but only of the two, and a small number at that. So it was a constant reminder of ht fact that they were in national disobedience even at that point.

So that’s the reason for the smaller temple. Sometimes incidentally, I think when we look out, and we do see that God has not blessed us it may be because there is sin in the midst of the saints too.

Well, after this divine challenge there is a command. In verses 4 and 5. Let’s read this divine command, and the command takes the form of three exhortations, three imparities and some causes are given for these commands, and the successful response to them.

“But now take courage, Zerubbabel, declares the LORD; take courage also, Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, you people of the land take courage declares the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: As for the promise which I made with you (By the way these words in the original text are very suggestive.) As for the work, which I cut with you. (Now, you know that the language of the Hebrew for the making of a covenant is the cutting of a covenant, so that the expression, carafe baref is to cut a covenant. We say make a covenant. They said, cut a covenant. That was their expression, and so evidentially this is a reference to that covenant, as for the word, the Hebrew is.) As for the word, which I cut with you when you came out of Egypt, my spirit is abiding in your midst. Do not fear.”

Now, let’s look at the content of the command. There are three of the imperatives. The first one is take courage. The Authorized Version has “be strong.” Three times they are told to take courage, “Take courage Zerubbabel. Take courage also Joshua, and you people of the land, take courage.” This word is a word is a word that refers to God. Take courage in the Godward direction. It is the kind of thing the Apostle Paul was refereeing to when he said, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his light.” That means to become subject to the divine authority and power. Allow the divine authority and power to under gird you.

Then the second part of the command is in the latter part of verse 4, “And work.” That has to do with the outward side of things. “Work.” There is such a thing as activity in the Christian life. We do believe in the sovereignty of God. We do believe that God is sovereign. We do believe that he initiates all work. We do believe that he is responsible for what we do, but we are reasonable to work, and this work that he refers to is a legitimate exhortation. It’s a legitimate exhortation for every Christian too, and when we accept the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, we do not accept the doctrine of no work. But human responsibility demands response to the divine activity and initiative.

Now, the third thing that he says is “Do not fear.” Now, that’s inward. That has to do with the inner man. Now, previously in chapter 1, it was said that the children of Israel returned to the fear of ht Lord. Remember in chapter 1. They obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and in verse 12, in the last sentence, “And the people showed reverence or feared the Lord.”

Now, here he says, “Do not fear.” What’s the sense? Of the one case in which they seem to be praised for the fact that they have come to fear to Lord, and now they are told not to fear. Incidentally, the word is the same in the original text. Well, the point is simply this, that when we fear God there is nothing else to fear. If we have come into the relationship of reverence and awe before God and recognize him in our lives, what do we have to fear?

If he is for us, what do we have to fear? “If he is for us,” as Paul says, “who can be against us?” So why do we have to fear? So it is a word of praise that they feared the Lord, but here he says, “Do not fear” Do not fear anything else. Fear the Lord. That’s right. In Westminster Abbey there is a tablet commemorating the life of lord Napier, who did such great work for the British Empire in India, and on the tablet under his name, are these words. “He feared man so little because he feared God so much.”

I am reminded of one the reformers, the most implacable of all the reformers, the man who was probably the toughest character of all the reformers at times, and then he had an Elijah habit. That is he was tough in critical moments, and then in the next, he would be running. I am refereeing to John Knox. He had enough sense to run when he saw that his neck was at stake. He was the implacable reformer. The one, who it was said of him, he never feared nor flattered any flesh and especially Mary’s.

Now, then why? Why the content of this command? Let’s look at these verses again, and I want you to notice the reasons that are given here for this command to be strong, and to work, and don’t fear. Well, first of all he said, in verse 4, “Take courage, Zerubbabel, take courage also, Joshua, and all you people of the land take courage: for I am with you,” It is the presence of God.

Now, if God is present with us, if he is with us then it does make sense for us to take courage, “For I am with you.” And then he says, in verse 5, “As for the word, which I cut with you when you came out of Egypt.” So here he refers them to the covenant that he has consummated with them.

Now, incidentally I think that he is referring to, not simply, the giving of the commandments, but referring to Exodus chapter 24, when that covenant was ratified by blood sacrifice, so he talks about the word, which he covenanted with them. So he causes them to look at his presence and to his word. These are the reasons why we ought to take courage. These are the reasons why we ought to work. You remember Pilgrim’s Progress? Everybody ought to read Pilgrim’s Progress, over and over, and over again. I have just started to read it again. And I think that everybody ought to read it over and over and over again. It’s a wonderful commentary on Scripture and human nature, and you may remember the experience of Christian and Hopeful, as they are making their way on to the celestial city, and it so happens that at one point, they are led off the direct road into By-Path Meadow. Lots of Christians gather in By-Path Meadow from time to time. There are some Calvinists there [Laughter] and there are some others in By-Path Meadow.

In fact, almost every good doctrine can be misused, and when you misuse it, whatever it may be there they are in By-Path Meadow. Many students of prophecy are in By-Path Meadow at the present day and various other types of doctrines and of course it’s populated with a lot of Arminians who don’t like the Calvinists, so [Laughter] By-Path Meadow. And remember that they passed through By-Path Meadow and then they feel into the hands of Giant Despair, who ruled Doubting Castle, and they were sat upon by Giant Despair, and his wife incidentally had the name of Diffidence, and Giant Despair took Christian and Hopeful and cast them into his very dark dungeon, Bunyan says, where another pilgrim had perished once before and incited by his wife Giant Despair goes down to the dungeon, and he beats his prisoners with what Bunyan calls a grievous Crabtree caudal.

Now, it was an interesting thing about this Giant Despair. When ever the sun came out he fell into some sort of fit, which rendered him powerless to do anything at all, and while there is some debate over what Bunyan meant by that, because he doesn’t explain, many think that what is meant by that, that is when the sun comes out, is when pilgrim begins to think or Christian begins to think about the hope that he has as a Christian believer, and as he mediates upon the hope that he has as a Christian believer, light comes into his life, and Giant Despair falls into one of his fits.

Now, they were bemoaning their fate, in the dungeon, and wondering how in the world they would ever get out of it, and remember Christian remembered that he had something in his bosom. It was what? Remember? It was the key of promise, the key of promise, the word of God, and he remembered he had it. And so he pulled out the key of promise, and he sticks the key of promise into the door of his prison, and of course it opens it and he finds that that key of promise opens every one of the gates of the castle, and he escapes from Giant Despair by the use of the key of promise, the word of God.

Now, that it exactly what he is speaking about here. “As for the word which I cut you when you came out of Egypt my spirit is abiding in your midst, do not fear.” And you’ll notice a third of the supports here is the Spirit of God, so they are told that they are to be strong, be courageous. They are told to work. They are told not to fear because God is with them in his presence. His Word sustains them, his promises, which he has given to them, and his Holy Spirit is abiding in their midst.

Now, at this point, we have third a divine communication that touches not only the present, but launches out into the distant future. G. Campbell Morgan in one of his statement of exposition concerning this prophecy of Haggai speaks bout the snare of comparisons. This is what was bothering the children of Israel at this time. They were comparing temples, and as a result of it they were very discouraged. And Mr. Morgan goes on to draw the parallels between that snare of comparisons that they had and the snare of comparisons that we so often have in our assembly or church life. We look around and on Sunday morning, we say there are not nearly so many here this morning as there were last Sunday, and we feel bad over the fact that they are not, and we look at the collection plate. And we discover that there was not quite as much money in the collection plate as there was the Sunday before and the inevitable conclusion is reached which does not have any spiritual logic behind it at all. God therefore is not blessing us as he formerly blessed us, and the snare of comparisons is one of the things that grips Christians more easily that almost anything else.

Who ever said, that numbers was a sign of the blessing of God? Whoever said, that the money that comes in the collection plate is a sing of the blessing of God. There are churches that do not have any semblance of doctrine that compares with the doctrine of the word of God, and they have lavish buildings. Is that the sign of the blessing of God? And on Sunday morning there will be vast crowds to attend the service. Once a week, it’s true. They won’t study the Scriptures but nevertheless they’ll be there. Is that the sign of the blessing God? Who ever said, that numbers is the sign of the blessing of God, or that money is the sign of ht blessing of God. The snare of comparisons, it is a great snare.

Now, of course I don’t think by that we ought to say that the evidence of the blessing of God is dwindling numbers, or the sign of the blessing of God is dwindling finances, so we have to trust the Lord a little more fervently. Although that wouldn’t hurt itself. And well, you get the point.

Let’ s look now at the divine communication. In verse 6 thorough verse 9,

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, also and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and they will come with the wealth of all nations (that’s perfectly all right. It’s perfectly appropriate that it do that because my TV just went out night before last, and whatever I touch is going out these days, which maybe illustrate the snare of comparisons. [Laughter] maybe the punctuation from divine providence of the remarks that I have just made. [Laughter] Now, verse 7,) I will shake all the nations and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.”

This divine communication contains three prophecies. And I will give you the outline. A. We have the prophecy of judgment in verse 6. “For thus says the Lord of hosts, once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.” To what is the prophet referring when he says that he will shake not only the earth, but the heavens also, and further he will also shake the sea and the dry land? To what it he referring? Well, let’s turn over to the book of Hebrews in chapter 12. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews studied the Book of Haggai, and in his study of the Book of Haggai he interprets these words. And since it’s always much more reliable to have a divine interpretation rather than a human interpretation, listen to what the writer of the Epistle of the Hebrews says about this prophecy. Verse 25 of chapter 12,

“See to it that you do not refuse not him who is speaking. For if those did not escaped when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape, who turn away from him who warns from heaven: And his voice then shook the earth then. (Now, he refers back to the time when the ten commandments were given, and the ground was shaken as God dealt with Israel around Mt. Sinai, but now interpreting the passage from Haggai he says,) his voice shook the earth then but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.”

So he said, remember back when Israel came out of the land of Egypt and came to Mt. Sinai, God shook the ground then, shook the land. Gave the ten commandments, but he has promised in Haggai that the time is coming in the future when he will shake not only the earth, but he will also shake the heavens. He’ll shake the seas. He’ll shake the dry land, and he goes on to say verse 27,

“And this expression, Yet once more, denotes the removing of those things, which can be shaken, as of created things in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable with reverence and awe.”

Now, if the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews were here with us, who he is, we do not know. Apollous, Luke, Paul, no one knows, but if one of these men were here, for it wasn’t Pricilla remember. [Laughter] If one of these men were here, and we were to ask him now how should we interpret this prophecy in Haggai? Is this a reference to the first coming of Christ? Is that the time when God shook the heavens and the earth? When the Messiah came the first time? Is that the time when he filled the house with glory? Is that the time that he refers to when he says the latter of this house will be greater than the glory? Or does he refer to the future, at the Second Advent, or the writer of the Epistle of the Hebrews would have said, “Who ever said, that that referred to the First Advent. It refers to the Second Advent. Don’t you remember what I wrote in chapter 12?” And he takes this prophecy and says, in verse 26, “Now, he has promised saying yet once more I will shake, not only the earth, but also the heaven.” And he says that denotes the removing of the things which can be shaken as of created things in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, and therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken let’s show gratitude.” So he says that refers to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus when we do receive this Messianic kingdom.

Then this prophecy of judgment in verse 6, then of Haggai chapter 2, is a prophecy of judgment that will be fulfilled at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus. Well, now then we read secondly of the prophecy of glory, verses 7 and 8. “And I will shake all the nations, and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.”

Now, here we have a passage that has been interpreted in several different ways. The Authorized Version at this point, if you should happen to have one, reads, “I will shake the nations and the desire (singular.) The desire of all nations shall come.” And that prophecy has been interpreted almost universally by students for hundreds of years, as a reference to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Some have interpreted of the first coming, but the desire of all nations is thought to be a reference to the perusal Messiah the Lord Jesus. He is the desire of all the nations according to this interpretation.

The great translation reads at this point, “And the chosen things of all the nations shall come. (Notice the plural.) The chosen things (Not the desire singular, but) the chosen things of all nations shall come.” The Latin Vulgate translation read. The Latin went like this, Vini ette decea deratus. In other words, singular the desire, decea deratus shall come, conteus gintuvus, which means the desired person shall come to all the nations, and it’s on the basis of the Latin Vulgate that the translators of the Authorized Version have given us the desire, singular of all the nations shall come. The difficulty with the interpretation is that while the term, desire, in the Hebrew text, chemdah is singular. The verb is plural.

Now, it is true that sometimes because of a plural prepositional phrase, we’ll use that term so you will understand. A verb may be plural when the subject is singular. There are some rare cases of that. But it makes it very difficult to interpret this as meaning the desire, that is the person he Lord Jesus shall come. Therefore almost all of the interpreters in recent times have interpreted it somewhat similarly to that which you find in the New American Standard Bible. “And they will come with the wealth of all nations or the wealth or the desirable things of all the nations shall come.” Taking that singular in a kind of collective sense. It has been interpreted, “They have come to the desire of all nations.” But that is less likely.

If then this is not a reference to the person the Lord Jesus, what is meant by the statement “They will come with the wealth of all the nations.” Well, let’s turn over to Isaiah chapter 60 because I do think this passage tells us what Haggai meant when he gave this prophecy. Isaiah chapter 60, in Isaiah chapter 60, Isaiah writes about the millennial kingdom and in the course of his description of the millennial kingdom he makes some very interesting statements. Look at verse 5.

“Then you will see and become radiant, And your heart thrill and rejoice, Because (Now, notice.) The abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you. (Notice,) The wealth of all nations will come to you Israel. A multitude of camels will cover you. The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba shall come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And they will bear good news of the praises of the Lord All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify my glorious house the temple. (Notice verse 11.) And your gates will be opened continually. They will not be closed day or night so that men may bring to you the (Again.) the wealth of the nations, with their kings lead in procession. (Verse 16 and 17.) You will also suck the milk of nations, and will suck the breast of kings. (That is the nations will give you their riches. Don’t like that do you? You’ll like it then. Don’t really think that it’s so fair that we should give the nation Israel all of these things that they seem to gave so much of now, but we will feel differently then. They will be different too.) Then you will know that I the Lord am your Savior, and your redeemer the mighty one of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron, and I will make peace your administrators and righteousness your overseers.”

So you see the prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 60 is speaking of the kingdom over and over again emphasizes the fact that in the days of the kingdom the wealth of nations, is going to be brought into the great temple that will be constructed during and for that millennial age, so then I think that what is meant here is simply. “And they will come with the wealth of all nations. The nations are going to bring their wealth into the temple, and I will fill your house with glory says the Lord of hosts, (And notice the 8th verse which confirms, it) the silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.” That’s why I am able to do it. And finally there is a prophecy of peace in verse 9. “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts.” In other words, the temple of the millennial age is going to be even greater than the glory of the temple of Solomon. “And in this place I shall give peace.”

Now, that peace is a double kind of peace. It is not only peace between God and man. That of course is the primary meaning, but it is also peace between man and man, because the prince of peace will have come, and as a result there will be peace.

Now, watch how we say in just a word of conclusion, for our time is just about up. What do we think of when we are discouraged? Well, we think of the fact that if we have truly believed in the Lord Jesus, by his Spirit God is present with us. Furthermore, we have the covenanted word, which upholds us in the midst of all the disappointments and trials of life. The covenant of which we are apart, that everlasting covenant which God has made real in our life by virtue of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and faith, and we belong to him, and the guarantee of our belonging to him forever is his covenanted word which he has given us as promise. And then of course since we are his he has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us permanently, and we look forward to the future, and his coming with anticipation in the mean time helped and girded and encouraged by the presence of God, his Word and the Holy Spirit. Therefore be strong, work and fear not. Let’s close in a word of prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these great promises which while given to the nation Israel also encourage us because we stand upon the same ground, the redemptive ground of the blood of the new covenant shed for many for the remission of sins, and we thank Thee, Lord, that in the midst of discouragement and disappointment, we know that Thou art with us. In the midst of all the experiences of life, we have the assurance that Thy word upholds us, and now in this age we are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and we praise Thee and we worship Thee and we pray, oh God, that these great promises and great realities, may aid us as we look to the future, and the second coming and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. We ask in his name. Amen.

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