“This is the season to be jolly, fa-la la la la la la la la…” Why? Because of the “good news” (“b’sorah” in Hebrew). But is it really time to be happy and celebrate? The book of Haggai gives us reason to believe that this is a time to, “consider our ways,” humble ourselves in the “fear of YHVH” and “work for the restoration of YHVH’s house.” Two significant dates are mentioned in Haggai’s writings: the 21st day of the 7th month (the last day of Succot), and the 24th of the 9th month (which is the start of Hanukah, although Haggai had obviously written hundreds of years before that feast actually came into being).
The returnees from Babylon had been given ample provisions by Cyrus and Darius for the building of the Temple, but those donations were used by the people to build their own houses. While utilizing these precious gifts for their personal needs, they declared that, "The time has not come, the time that YHVH's house should be built" (Haggai 1:2). But then “the word of YHVH came” (and here let us ask: Who is that Word that came?) saying: "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple is in ruins? Now therefore,’ thus says YHVH of the Armies: ‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.’ Thus says YHVH of the Armies: ‘Consider your ways!’” (Haggai 1:3-7 emphases added). When the Word of YHVH repeats ‘Himself,’ it is time to listen.
Thus, “Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people obeyed the voice of YHVH their Elohim…” (1: 12) and succeeded in building an altar, and so could celebrate Succot. It was only after that Feast that they began to lay the foundations for YHVH’s House.
Who or what is the House of YHVH in our day and age? Some contend that after the house of Judah gets rid of the abomination on the Mount and rebuilds the Temple, YHVH’s House will be established. But let us consider what Yeshua’s mother was told before His conception: "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Yeshua… And He will reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:31-33 emphasis added). Clearly Yeshua came to set up His Kingdom here on earth and rule in the house of Jacob, which is to become YHVH’s living dwelling place/Temple. Incidentally, the fact that these verses are read in all Christian circles at this time of year is quite ironic.
Yet even though Yeshua came to restore the house of Jacob, so that He can return and rule in the midst of Jacob’s descendants, at this point in time most of the latter are in the grave of non-awareness as to their identity. But the remnant that has received His breath (His Spirit) may now arise and build. They form the Zerubabbel and Joshua company of today. These are the ones that see the “two sticks” in the hand of the prophet. They acknowledge that alongside the stick/house of Judah that has been restored as a nation, they too, the spirit filled saved non-Jews of the house of Joseph (see Zechariah 10) must also return as a people/nation. Yeshua’s role, as He sits in His place in the heavens, is to fulfill all that has been spoken through the mouths of the holy prophets of old. His Father will not send Him back until all that was spoken by these prophets comes to pass (ref. Acts 3:19-21).
Yeshua told His disciples why He had to go to His Father: " Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12). What are the greater works? I believe they are to raise an entire nation from the grave and restore the Kingdom to whom it belongs, that is, to the whole house of Israel under Yeshua’s rule. The restoration of YHVH’s Kingdom to Israel is at the heart of the Father’s purposes for His Son and His sons.
On the last day of the Succot celebration (21st of the 7th month), YHVH made a promise and gave a word of encouragement to Zerubabbel and Joshua: “'Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says YHVH; 'and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,' says YHVH, 'and work; for I am with you'”… (Haggai 2:4). He then added words that may have taken them by surprise: “For thus says YHVH of the Armies: 'Once more in a little while I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this temple/house with glory'” (Haggai 2:6-7 literal translation). Immediately following this proclamation, YHVH stakes claim to all these riches that the nations desire and which He will cause them to bring to His restored House/Temple (see also Isaiah 60). No other nation has been called or chosen to receive this honor. What a privilege to be about the greater works that Yeshua and the Father are doing at this time!
Two months after the above cited promise, YHVH spoke again, this time setting His former words in a greater global context: “…the word of YHVH came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month [present day first day of Hanukah], saying, it is the time about which YHVH of the Armies said: ‘I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them; the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother’” (Haggai 2:21-22). Certainly this became true at the time designated by YHVH for bringing Judah back to the land, using two world wars and a holocaust to accomplish His goal. What about today? Are all the ethnic/religious wars in the nations surrounding Israel and beyond, happening in preparation for bringing the house of Joseph back to these very areas? If so, then we need to be prepared just as the early Zionists did one hundred years or more before the Jewish state was established.
“Consider your ways!” YHVH wants to restore His Temple/House and will shake heaven and earth in order to accomplish His purposes. Will we be like our ancestors, and use the time and provision for our own purposes, or will we be counted among the remnant (mentioned in Haggai 1:14) who were obedient to the call to “work” to restore the House of YHVH?
The ‘construction company’ will meet (Yah willing) for a congress the day after Shavuot 2015 to begin to strategize and plan the laying of the foundations. Anyone who is longing for this house/nation of Joseph/Ephraim to be ‘constructed’ is invited to participate. YHVH’s glory and the glory of the nations will not descend or come on a heap of rubble scattered all over the earth… In fact, He promises that, “’The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former,' says YHVH of the Armies. 'And in this place I will give peace…’" (Haggai 2:9).
The 24th day of the ninth month (December 16th) is the first day of Hanukah. Let us dedicate ourselves to the work of the Father and Yeshua.
Shalom, and Hag Same’ach