Light for the Last Days

Who/what is the Glory of God?

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“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Haggai 2.6-9

Hebrew scripture: the evidence

Today I want to talk about the subject of the return of the Glory.

Three weeks ago, I spoke to you about Malachi. I spoke from a verse from Malachi chapter three where it says,

“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

Malachi 3.6

I said on that occasion that one way to keep sane and stable in this world which is changing all the time is to have our eyes fixed on the God who doesn’t change: the Lord our God who is unchanging, who’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His love, whose purpose is unchanging in the world.

In that passage from Malachi there was also an interesting verse which I’m going to look at which says, (in chapter 3 verse 1)

And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,

Malachi 3.1

Another verse in the Book of Haggai says something else is going to happen during the time of the Second Temple. It says,

‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Haggai 2.9

So, what is this about? Is there some significance in these verses?

Just to put it in a historical setting, this was written after the time of the destruction of the First Temple when the Jews were deported to Babylon after the Babylonians came and destroyed the city.

These are excavations in Jerusalem of the ruins of the city at the time of the Babylonians.

Jerusalem was the subject to great trauma as the Israelites were deported from Jerusalem to Babylon.

And there, they were to through a time of judgment in effect, because one of the reasons why God allowed this to happen was because they had been unfaithful to Him. They had been worshiping the false gods of the idols, so He took them to the place which is most associated with idolatry and false gods, to Babylon to learn that they should keep faithful to the one true God to God Himself.

And as it says in the Book of Jeremiah that, after 70 years in Babylon, they were going to return to Jerusalem and there’s a promise in Jeremiah that they would return to Jerusalem but also, that the Temple would be rebuilt on their return.

The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.”

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

Jeremiah 24.1-7

Reproduction of Solomon’s Temple

Reproduction of the 2nd Temple (rebuilt)

And the subject of the prophets who we’re looking at today of Haggai, Zechariah, Zephaniah, and Malachi was the encouragement of the Jews to rebuild the Temple and to get back to worshiping the God revealed in the scriptures, in Moses and in the prophets.

This period of the return is known as ‘the Second Temple Period’, a period between the restoration of the temple which was completed sometime around 500 BC. (Some people put it much later, after its destruction in the year 70, 40 years after Jesus came.)

The Temple at the time of Jesus had been rebuilt by Herod about 20 BC but it was on the same place and carried out the same function.

One of the interesting things about these prophecies is that they speak about something very unusual which is going to happen during the time of the Second Temple and that will change the way in which God relates to humans in the times that follow it.

This is passage in Malachi that gives you the whole message. It says,

“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

“But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3.1-3

In that passage it says that God is going to come in some form which will be visible to the people in the days of the Second Temple, and He’s going to come suddenly into his Temple. As a result of His coming, He’s going to purge, He’s going to cleanse the Temple from what is wrong in it, and He’s going to bring in some way in which they can offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Question: Who’s that about?

Who is this all about?

Another Prophecy from roughly the same time is the prophecy in the Book of Haggai, another one of the prophets, minor prophet. He spoke before at the time of the building of the Second Temple and you have this prophecy where he says:

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Haggai 2.6-9

I will give peace.

There’s actually an end-time application to that scripture, but he’s also speaking about the Temple which was being rebuilt at that time. And he says that, at this time, the Glory of this latter Temple will be greater than the Glory of the former Temple (the Temple of Solomon). So he’s saying something’s going to come into this Second Temple which is going to be greater than the Glory which came into the first temple of Solomon. He says, ‘in this place I will give peace‘.

Therefore, we have two prophecies about something happening in the days of the Second Temple which is going to be greater than what happened in the days of the First Temple.

You also have a prophecy concerning the restoration of the Temple which is given in the Book of Daniel. When we read Daniel chapter 9 (one of the great chapters of the Bible) that Daniel has recognized (Daniel is living in Babylon) that the 70 years of captivity of the Jewish people which Jeremiah has spoken of have come to a conclusion, and he prays to God that God would restore Jerusalem and would restore the Temple, as he’s praying and confessing the sins of the people, God sends him the angel Gabriel, and Gabriel reveals to him something which is going to happen during the days of the Second Temple.

These are famous words from Daniel. It is quite an amazing prophecy. I won’t have time to go into it in detail but just hear what he says:

24 “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

Daniel 9.24-27

As with other prophecies, this has a reference to both the First Coming and the Second Coming of the Messiah, to events which are going to take place in the days of the Second Temple and also, in the last verse, to something which is going to happen at the end of days, something which has yet to happen even in our time.

I won’t go into the prophetic matters (the future prophetic matters), but just to say that what Daniel has been told (this is revealed to Daniel by the angel Gabriel who’s come expressively from the hand of God to tell him this so, it must be important) will happen during these days of the Second Temple is something that will deal with the sin problem to make reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in righteousness.

It says that, after a period of time which begins with the command to rebuild Jerusalem (which you’ll find is written of in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah), the Messiah is going to come ‘to be cut off but not for himself‘.

So, he says that during this time there’s going to be a period (and I won’t go into the details of this but the time actually does work out precisely to the coming of Jesus the Messiah) when Messiah Jesus is going to come, He’s going to be ‘cut off’ the Hebrew word being yik·kā·rêṯ יִכָּרֵ֥ת ‘shall be cut off’.

biblehub.com

Messiah will be cut off but not for Himself. The idea of being cut off actually means to be ‘cut down’, there is a sacrificial element in it as well.

Strong’s Hebrew: 3772. כָּרַת (karath)

Messiah will be cut down to be cut off but not for Himself, not for His own sins but for the sins of others.

And this prophecy parallels the words in Isaiah chapter 53 which speaks about the Messiah upon whom the Lord would lay the iniquity of us all, speaks about He being wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that the chastisement to our peace will be upon Him and that by His stripes we are healed because we, like sheep, have gone astray and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53.3-6

So this prophecy in Daniel is just speaking about an event that is going to come and it’s one of the prophecies in the Old Testament that use the word מָשִׁיחַ / mashiach / Messiah.

Strong’s Hebrew: 4899. מָשִׁ֫יחַ (mashiach)

It’s saying that the Messiah is going to come during the days of the Second Temple and sometime after this, it says, the people of the prince to come are going to destroy the city and the sanctuary. Therefore, he’s conveying a prophecy about the rebuilding of the Temple but he’s saying that after the Messiah has come and been cut off then, the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary are going to be destroyed.

If you know your history, you’ll know that 40 years after Jesus came and died on the cross and rose from the dead, the Romans came and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple and the period of the desolations of Jerusalem began.

The last verse, verse 27, describes the last days, and concerns the restoration of Jerusalem and the end of days.

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

Daniel 9.24-27

I’m not going to get into that one at the moment because we’re looking at what’s going to happen in the time of the Second Temple.

So, when we put that together then, the Bible is telling you that three things are going to happen during the days of the Second Temple.

Firstly, there is going to be some dramatic and visible (‘visible’ is the important word) coming of the Lord of God into the Temple which is going to take place during these days.

Secondly, it tells you that a greater glory is going to come into the Second Temple than the one which came into the First Temple.

And thirdly, scripture is telling you that the Messiah is going to come during the days of the Second Temple.

The question is therefore:

Did it happen?

The angel of the Lord

One of the issues which we have if we talk to Jewish people who don’t believe in Jesus, those who follow Judaism, is that there is nothing in Judaism that tells you anything like this happened.

The only way you’re going to see that this has happened is if you believe in Yeshua Jesus the Messiah.

Let’s have a look at one or two of the related issues.

The first the phrase Malachi uses is the ‘messenger of the Covenant’.

Malachi refers to the Lord coming suddenly into this Temple. He’s also described as the ‘messenger of the Covenant’.

In Hebrew the word for messenger of the Covenant is is a verb which means ‘messenger’. It’s also the common word for Angel so malach/malak means angel or it can be messenger.

Interestingly, in Greek you have the same situation, the word angelos means messenger but it also means angel from which we derive the word ‘angel’.

Strong’s Greek: 32. ἄγγελος (aggelos)

So, the prophecy speaks about somebody who is going to bring a message a message is going to come you’re going to come into the temple

Also, the phrase the malach hab berit has some kind of idea that he is more than just a common guardian messenger or even a common guardian angel.

Strong’s Hebrew: 1285. בְּרִית (berith)

The messenger that will come is connected in some way to the malach that you have in the Hebrew scriptures which means ‘the angel of the Lord’.

And you have a number of occasions, if you look through the Old Testament, where it mentions the appearance of the angel of the Lord. Wherever you have an appearance of the angel of the Lord and it says: יְהֹוָ֥ה מַלְאַ֨ךְ ha malach Yahweh and you know that it’s not talking about just an ordinary angel, it is talking about God appearing in some form.

You have a example of that in Exodus chapter 3 when the angel of the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush Passage says in verse 2:

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

Exodus 3.2-6

So you have in that phrase an appearance of the angel of the Lord who is going to commission Moses to go down to Egypt and to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, bring about all the evidence of The Exodus.

And he says here that this one who is the angel of the Lord is also the God of your father. And Moses is so impressed by this that he’s afraid to look on this site because he’s afraid to look at God, because he has been told that, if you look on God, you may die.

So you have evidence here, as in other passages, that when prophets mention the angel of the Lord, they’re speaking about God himself appearing.

God’s Covenants

Also, you’ll find when you look at in the scriptures that when God gives a covenant, He appears in some visible form.

If you look in Genesis chapter 15, where God makes the Covenant with Abraham, the Covenant concerning the giving of the land and the multitude of descendants which Abraham is going to have, God tells Abraham to make a sacrifice and to part the animals. Then, the Lord goes between the parts of the animals in a Pillar of Fire. That is, the Lord appears in some visible form as he makes the Covenant with Abraham.

And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:

“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Genesis 15.8-20

When God makes the Covenant with Moses at Sinai, with Israel as a people through Moses at Mount Sinai, God appears in a visible form as He comes onto Mount of Sinai and you have the mountain shaking with fire as the Lord appears.

Therefore, when you have God giving a covenant, God appears in some visible form.

When Malachi speaks about the messenger of the Covenant going to come, he is speaking about some visible form coming of God to bring in this Covenant. When Malachi writes that the angel says, ‘I’ll fill this Temple with Glory‘ and ‘the Glory of the latter Temple will be greater than the former‘, he’s speaking about some Glory coming into the Second Temple which is going to be greater than what came in the First Temple, and the Glory which he’s speaking about doesn’t mean it’s going to be a more impressive building, it means it’s going to be something to do with the Shekinah, the Glory of God coming into the Temple.

You have a number of experiences of that in the Old Testament, particularly, when Moses makes the Tabernacle in the wilderness according to the plan which God gives him, with the Holy of Holies in the middle of the Tabernacle.

We read in Exodus chapter 40 that, when he has completed the job then, the Glory of God comes and fills the Tabernacle. There’s a visible coming of the Lord, coming in a Pillar of Fire by night and on a Pillar of Cloud by day. So, there too, you have a visible appearance of God in the Tabernacle.

16 Thus Moses did; according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

17 And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up. 18 So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars. 19 And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 20 He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark. 21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

22 He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil; 23 and he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 24 He put the lampstand in the tabernacle of meeting, across from the table, on the south side of the tabernacle; 25 and he lit the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 26 He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil; 27 and he burned sweet incense on it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 28 He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle. 29 And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 30 He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing; 31 and Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it. 32 Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting, and when they came near the altar, they washed, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Exodus 40.16-38

When Solomon makes the Temple and dedicates it again according to the specific command of God, it says in 1 Kings 8 verse 10,

10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

12 Then Solomon spoke:

“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
13 I have surely built You an exalted house,
And a place for You to dwell in forever.”

1 Kings 8.10-13

So, in both the Tabernacle and the Temple, you had a visible appearance of the Lord in what we call the Shekinah the glory Cloud which came into the Temple.

The Shekinah (Glory) of God

The Hebrew word Shekinah is actually a noun which is made from the Hebrew verb meaning ‘to dwell’, ‘God dwells’. God came in some visible form into His Temple. It was the Glory coming into the Temple. The Glory doesn’t mean it was a beautiful building, it meant that the glory of God came into the building.

SHEKINAH – JewishEncyclopedia.com

That was what was mentioned here, that’s what’s significant when Haggai says that the Glory of the latter house is going to be greater than the Glory of the First Temple. The glory Cloud, the Shekinah means the place where God dwells, where God dwells with his people.

Unfortunately, in the days of the First Temple, you have the departure of the Lord and the eventual destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians. The Glory didn’t dwell there forever.

Just before the destruction of the First Temple, if you read in Ezekiel chapters 8 through to 11, you have a passage which speaks about the departure of the Glory from the Temple.

Chapter 9 verse 3 says,

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple.

Ezekiel 9.3

Chapter 10 verse 3 says,

Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.

Ezekiel 10.3-5

Then, it goes on in verse 18 to say,

18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

Ezekiel 10.18-19

And in chapter 11 verse 22 it says,

22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.

Ezekiel 11.22-23

If you understand what’s going on there, it’s quite a dramatic and picture of the Glory departing from the Temple.

The Glory departs the glory apart such in Hebrew is ‘Ichabod’ = the departure of the glory and you see that the glory of the god is actually departing slowly as though he doesn’t want to depart because he wants to stay with his people

ICHABOD – JewishEncyclopedia.com

And if you look in the later parts of the Book of Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48, they describe the Glory returning to the Temple in the Millennial Kingdom.

If you then look in the Book of Acts, you see the Lord Jesus departed from the Mount of Olives, and, it says in Zechariah, that He’s going to return to the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem.

So you see this departure and returning process. The departure happens just before the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians.

You have the departure of the Glory and you have the Captivity of the Jews in Babylon. Then, they return and they begin to rebuild the Temple after 70 years. People rejoice at the rebuilding of the Temple but, in the Book of Ezra it says they also weep as they remember the First Temple and remember what they’ve lost.

A vacant Holy of Holies

Now, coming back to what I said originally, Malachi says,

The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come into His Temple.

It says also that the Glory of this latter Temple is going to be greater than the Glory of the first. As I said, the Glory doesn’t refer to the external beauty of the building, it means that the Glory, the coming of the Lord into the building is going to be greater.

That leaves us with a problem, especially for rabbinic Judaism, because, according to the rabbis, the Second Temple lacked five things which are present in the first Temple. It didn’t have:

  • the Ark of the Covenant
  • the fire falling from Heaven onto the sacrifices
  • the Shekinah, the Glory cloud (it never came into the Second Temple)
  • the Urim and the Thumim on the priest garments (by which the will of God is discerned)
  • the spirit of Prophecy (which ceased after the prophet Malachi)

Notice what it says: one of the things is going to be lacking in the Second Temple is the Glory Cloud (Shekinah). It never came into the Second Temple. In fact, the Holy Place, according to some historians was vacant during the days of the Second Temple, there was no presence of the Lord there.

Even in the year 63AD, when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem beginning the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, he entered the Temple and went right into the Holy of Holies causing great offense to the Jewish people who thought he might be struck dead for committing that act of desecration, but he was not,

The historian Josephus says that what was surprising was what he found there. The Jewish historian tells us that, when Pompey and his troops entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple, they found it empty. There was no statue of God, no objects of worship. The sanctuary was in effect empty.

Josephus tells us ‘in the sanctuary stood nothing whatsoever. So, what was the problem about entering an empty room?

The Holy of Holies, according to Judaism is the most Sanctified place in the world. It is considered to be by Jewish people the place where God dwelt. That was separated from the rest of the temple by a great thick curtain which only the high priest would go through once a year, to offer the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement.

In the days of the First Temple, it contained the Ark of the Covenant and the presence of the Lord in the Shekinah Glory, but in the days of the Second Temple, it was empty.

Can you see there’s a bit of a problem there with what Haggai says?

The Glory of the latter house is going to be greater than the Glory of the former.

It wasn’t, there was no Glory in the Second Temple, nothing happened which filled that Temple with the Glory, the Shekinah Glory of God. In fact, the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple was empty.

The Messiah – Glory of God in the 2nd Temple

Are we to say then that Haggai is a false prophet? Was Malachi a false prophet when he said that the Glory of God is going to come into the Second Temple in some visible form? If the Glory Cloud never came into the Second Temple how then was its Glory greater than the First Temple’s?

There was no visitation from the Lord and there’s none recorded in the Bible or in Jewish history. How was the prophecy of Malachi fulfilled?

There’s only one way in which this prophecy can be fulfilled. That is, if these Old Testament prophets are talking about the coming of Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah into the Temple. Do you see that?

Through Yeshua / was Jesus, God in the flesh, come into the Temple, come amongst His people.

And, if you read through the New Testament, you’ll find there are a number of occasions when this happened as when Jesus came in as a 12-year-old boy, debating with the elders in Luke chapter 2.

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

Luke 2.41-50

And the many other times when He came into the Temple, many occasions recorded in the scriptures, to name one in John Chapter 7 verse 10, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, some six months before the crucifixion,

14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”

20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”

21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

John 7.14-24

And also, immediately before the crucifixion and recorded in Matthew chapter 21 verse 23 we read:

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”

24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”

And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 21.23-27

On all those occasions Jesus came in, in His Glory, He taught, He performed miracles, and He showed that He is indeed Emmanuel, God With Us.

Tony Pearce

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