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'I' will build

Years after the completion and dedication of the second Temple, King Artaxerxes of Persia felt compelled to give this order to Ezra: ''Any of the Israelites living in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who want to go with you to Jerusalem, may go.

I and my seven advisors send you to Judah and Jerusalem. Go and see how your people are doing in obeying the law of your God. You have that law with you.''

According to Ezra 7:11, Ezra was a priest, a teacher of the Law, and a man learned in matters concerning the commands and decrees of the Lord for Israel. This order, however, was not a request by him or any Jewish leader as in the case of Nehemiah the governor who had appealed to King Artaxerxes. This was in fact the King Artaxerxes following his divinely stirred-up spirit just as Cyrus king of Persia before him had initiated the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

The rebuilding of the second Temple was a series of moves of the Spirit of God on men-in-power to cause his words spoken decades earlier by his prophet Jeremiah to come to pass.

Now was a progression; the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, the Temple had been restored and YHWH deemed it necessary to send a scribe to teach His people how to walk with him. Once more, he inspired a non-Jew - the King of Persia to call this order. King Artaxerxes' inspiration was so exact as his instruction reveals: ''And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them. Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king must surely be punished by death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.'' Ezra 7:25 -26 NIV

Just as in the days of Cyrus and Darius, the King had a precise conviction that transcended all opposition: Jerusalem must be rebuilt now but not just with bricks but with the Law of YHWH.

What I am sharing is that in the stages of YHWH's plan, each stage and step is being directed and overseen. He inspires leaders and as they yield to that inspiration, his stages are executed.

Jesus proclaimed: ''...I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.'' in Matthew 16:18.

As his words to the Apostle Peter, are his words to his Church leaders today:

''When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.''

The flock of Christ will be built up. But as Jesus himself said:

''The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.''[John 6:63]. The divine food and energy that builds and strengthens God's household is the very words of YHWH and Jesus our Lord. This is what is needed and is provided.

As the King was inspired to send not just a builder of infrastructure but a teacher of the law, the Lord is calling and raising up Teachers after his own heart. Skilled teachers who are committed to teaching to build up God's people. They are enabled by the Spirit of God to teach the full Gospel as servants commissioned by YHWH.

This season has shown just how focused this crop of people are. They are those who realize that the child, man, or woman before them is their responsibility. They are not distracted by anything. They have put their hand to the plough and are not looking back. Their inspiration is not from external sources but from the leading of the spirit of God. It is a mission.

I encourage you that if Teaching is not your calling, expose yourself and others to those called to teach the Bible in Spirit and Truth. The only thing that keeps us standing is the strength of the foundation we have. The subtility of the deception in our times is such that even ''some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.'' Daniel 11:35


But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

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