"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
(Ezra 1:2 KJV)
Our Awesome God started the rebuilding of Jerusalem with a visit to Cyrus king of Persia, which included Judah at the time (Ezra 1 tells of the preparation to go). Sheshbazzar, a son of the exiled king Jechoniah, was appointed governor of Judah by Cyrus (Ezra 5:14) and with his nephew, Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), led the first group of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. They took with them money and all the vessels of the Temple (Ezra 1:8, 11) which Nebuchadnezzar had taken (2 Kings 24:13). When they got there, they laid the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 5:16). Note that Sheshbazzar was about 60 years old when they left for Jerusalem. He died shortly after arriving and Zarubbabel was appointed governor of Judah (Ezra 5:1-2).
It took 23 years to complete the temple, including a space of 6 years that the next king of Persia told them to stop building (This was Esther's king, Ahasuerus, sometimes called Artaxerxes). Later Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the people the law and establish judges (Ezra 7:8,10).
Then, 58 years later, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. (Nehemiah 2:1) It took 12 years before he went back to king Artaxerxes (not Ahasuerus) in Babylon (Nehemiah 2:6). When he returned to Jerusalem it was as governor and he reorganized the government according to Mosaic Law (Nehemiah 12:26). In Nehemiah 12, Zerubbabel and Ezra brought priests and Levites to dedicate the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem.
It took about 93 years to rebuild the walls and the Temple before the people began rebuilding their houses, but through all the problems and delays, nobody gave up. Our Awesome God had His people chosen to help accomplish His purpose of rebuilding His Temple and city. He supplied different people with different skills for different parts of the task and they did it all in Our Awesome God’s sequence and timing.
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM) Then again Sunday evening (6:00 PM) for Bible Study along with the children’s AWANA clubs, which run until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) there is Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts."
(Haggai 2:23 KJV)
Zerubbabel was Our Awesome God's choice for the man to be in charge of getting Jerusalem rebuilt during the last of Israel's captivity in Babylon. As a descendent of King David, (1 Chronicles 3:10-19) he might have been king except for a curse placed on his grandfather, king Jeconiah, by God (Jeremiah 36:29-30). According to their custom, the Persian kings made him governor of Judea (Haggai 1:1) for the purpose of rebuilding the temple.
Zerubbabel understood that his assignment was Our Awesome God's work, ordered and supported by the king of Persia, and that he had responsibilities to both. When local leaders seeking to hinder the progress asked to join in the work, Zerubbabel said, "No!" (Ezra 4:1-4). He knew that God had ordained the sons of David to build the temple (1 Chronicles 11-12). When the king of Persia banned work on the temple, he stopped the work until the ban was lifted six years later. Under a patient and persistent Zerubbabel, the slow and painstaking work on the temple continued through local opposition and royal decree. In all, it took 23 years to finish rebuilding just the temple.
Zerubbabel was one of Our Awesome God's silent heroes. He didn't win a war. He didn't write a book. He just finished the job as best he could and in compliance with the applicable laws. How do you approach God's work? Do you do your best work and wait patiently for God to give the results? Are you satisfied with having completed a job for God, even when there is no recognition by people? Zerubbabel did what God wanted without public recognition.
Come join us in our church as we seek the will of God and work to expand His kingdom. There is always a need for Christian teachers and new ideas in presenting Our Awesome God to others so that all may hear the Word of the Lord correctly.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Join us this Sunday as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard to tell everyone about Jesus Christ and His salvation. We start with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a children's program called AWANA until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and Bible Study along with a separate Spanish Bible Study until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
(John 11:25-26 KJV)
The Apostle John wrote the above Holy Scripture with the help of Our Awesome God. In all five of the Books of the Bible that he wrote, and were later included in the King James Holy Bible, his words emphasized that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, sent by the Father to take away the sins of the world. John often referred to himself as "the disciple Jesus loved".
Before becoming disciples, he and his brother, James were fishermen and were among the first called by Jesus. John, James, and Peter were the inner circle around Jesus during His ministry on earth. John, though the youngest, was honored to be with Jesus along with James and Peter at the time when Jairus' daughter was brought back from the dead, during the transfiguration on the mountain top and as witnesses to the agony of Jesus at Gethsemane.
John knew Joseph Caiaphas which made him able to attend Jesus' trial at the high priest's house. He was the only one of the twelve apostles who was present at the cross. John knew Jesus and his love for Jesus helped make him fearless as he later proclaimed the gospel after Jesus' death. He became an elder in the early church and assisted in spreading the gospel message. After Pentecost, John joined Peter to fearlessly preach the gospel in Jerusalem where he suffered beatings and imprisonment for it.
John worked in the church in Jerusalem for years, then he went to work in the church at Ephesus. A legend says that John, during a persecution, was taken to Rome in chains and thrown into a pot of boiling oil but emerged unhurt. That was before he was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. John easily outlived all of the apostles and is reported to have died of old age at Ephesus about A.D. 98.
The love John had for Jesus Christ is an inspiration for all Christians. Are we as loving and faithful to Him as John was? Will we continue to serve Jesus Christ and spread His gospel to our world? Learn more about our Christian beliefs and Our Awesome God through the Holy Bible and preaching of that Bible.
Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
(Nahum 1:3 KJV)
Nahum, an obscure minor prophet of Our Awesome God from Elkosh, about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, rose up about 2600 years ago and preached about the coming destruction of the city of Nineveh by a coalition of Babylonians, Scythians and Medes. He wrote a short and concise Book in the Bible that that told of the total destruction of Nineveh around 600 BC, which was about 2 years before it happened.
Nineveh at that time was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which was one of the most powerful empires of the ancient world. The Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel in about 722 BC, about 2700 years ago, as Our Awesome God's prophets had foretold. The conquests of Israel and Nineveh were as ruthless and cruel as it was devastating. When reading this Book of Nahum, you realize the cruelty, the superstition, the idolatry, the injustice and the treachery that these people prided themselves for having.
This was a nation whose capital, Nineveh, had turned from their wicked ways when Our Awesome God had made Jonah preach to them. They knew about God and His creation and His standards but they ignored Nahum's prophecy. But Nahum was right. Nineveh would never again be a world power and today, it is little more than an archaeological site. In contrast, Israel is again a nation, and a relatively prosperous one at that.
Our Awesome God's holiness, justice and power are the foundation of Nahum's prophetic book. God rules over all the earth, even over those who do not acknowledge Him. Along with Nahum's writings about the destruction of Nineveh, there is also a message of hope that shines through. God is slow to anger (Nahum 1:3) and good (Nahum 1:7) and offers good tidings to those who want His blessings (Nahum 1:15). God remains the same always: slow to anger, blessing us, good to all and loving while giving us justice. We must remember that justice will occur for all, the consequences can be devastating.
Come join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM.. We have a Prayer Meeting and Bible Study that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday.
"But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col–hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David."
(Nehemiah 3:15 KJV)
Jerusalem had twelve gates, each with a Spiritual as well as a Physical Significance, each with an important part to play in the life and the historical experience of Jerusalem, and each with a possible way of reminding us of Our Awesome God. Yesterday, we mentioned the Sheep Gate, Fish Gate, Old Gate and the Dung Gate. While there are hints, not everyone agrees as to where most gates were located, nor does the Bible give exact locations, so precise gate positions are not all known.
The Fountain Gate was located close to Gihon Spring, which was Jerusalem's primary water supply and is the Physical Significance of the gate. While the Spiritual Significance can be the reminder that water is necessary for life, as is Our Awesome God, the actual Fountain Gate represents our access to the Spiritual Water that God gives.
Just 500 yards from the Dung Gate, the Valley Gate exits into the two main valleys that create Jerusalem both geographically and historically. The Physical Significance is that these valleys were made ceremonially unclean, both having a history of idol worship with human sacrifice. The Spiritual Significance is the reminder that as Christians we have been snatched from hell (represented by Gehenna) by the grace of Our Awesome God and we now can enter the valley of suffering and cleansing by our own choice to make us more Christ-like.
There are six more gates to make the twelve gates but you need to know more about Our Awesome God and His provisions for you. There is only one way He has made a "way out" for you and that is through Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. Attend Our Awesome God's church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ died for you, taking your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. God loves you! He wants you to know more about Him!
Join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others and reminding ourselves about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour and there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM) we meet for Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. We love to have visitors!
"Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel."
(Nehemiah 3:1 KJV)
According to Our Awesome God's Holy Bible, the first gate to be rebuilt in Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time was the Sheep Gate and it was built by the priests led by one whose name means "God restores." It was located near the Temple Mount and the road to Bethany. The Physical Significance is that this was the gate the sheep came in to be sacrifice in the Temple after being bought in the nearby sheep markets. The Spiritual Significance is that everything begins for man with the blood offering of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) for forgiveness of our sins, redemption and eternal life. So the High Priest (Jesus Christ) had to bring them in through the Gate he had set.
The Fish Gate's Physical Significance is that it is an ancient gate where the men sold their fish. The Spiritual Significance is that the Fish Gate represents the preaching of the gospel and the fishing for men to enter for Our Awesome God's kingdom.
The third gate is the Old Gate with its Physical Significance being that it was where the elders would meet to discuss important matters and to give their judgment on disputes. The Spiritual Significance is that the "old man" must die when you become a Christian so that you can put on the "new man" free from sin. So the Old Gate reminds us that the sinful man must die so the sin free man may live.
The Dung Gate led to the valley of Hinnom and was used for the removal of trash, garbage and dung from Jerusalem to keep the city clean and from smelling. The Physical Significance is that the fire from the burning refuse never went out in the Hinnom Valley. The Spiritual Significance is that when we are saved we become a new creation in Christ, an adopted child of God and must get rid of the "dung" from our old life to fully experience the glory of Christ.
Our Awesome God has used the gates of His city to remind us of what we should be doing. He knows what we need and gives us reminders. He does things perfectly!
LWBC is a loving church that tries to live by Biblical principles while encouraging all its members. Join us for church in the Sanctuary this coming Sunday at 10:30 AM. We have Bible Study on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Sunday evening at 6:00 PM our Bible Study starts at the same time as AWANA, a children's program which goes until 7:30 PM. We teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible that Jesus Christ died for you, taking your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. We love visitors!
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
(Hebrews 11:10 KJV)
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
(John 10:9 KJV)
Most ancient cities were more like fortresses than cities. Their perimeters consisted of massive stone walls (sometimes more than one) with gates to allow or to stop the entry of people, things and animals. When war came, enemy forces would focus their attacks on these gates, which were usually the weakest part of the cities' walls. To strengthen them, gates were built as part of the watch-towers for the guards.
Jerusalem had twelve gates in the time of Israel's occupation, each with a spiritual as well as a physical significance, each with an important part to play in the life and the historical experience of Jerusalem. Every gate has a spiritual part because they are a "shadow" of the reality that is or will come when God creates a new heaven, a new earth and a new Jerusalem at the end of the age (Hebrews 8:5; 10:1; Revelations 21:10-13). The gates in the New Jerusalem will each be made of a single pearl as found in Revelations 21:21. Our Christ is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46) and Christ is the only way to get into that majestic city (John 10:9; 14:6). So each gate shows parts of the completed work of the Cross, just as Our Awesome God foretold in His Holy Bible.
Jerusalem has had many different gates with many different names over the thousands of years of Biblical history. Many of the different names have been found in Our Awesome God's Bible, in manuscripts and in archeological finds. There are hints, but the Bible does not specify the location of any of the gates at any point in time. Today, you can still walk through some gates while others have been sealed or renamed, but the physical and spiritual significance of the named gates remains for the people of God.
It is awe inspiring to see the detail Our Awesome God has gone to so as to remind us that without His son, Jesus Christ, we would not one day be in the New Jerusalem. Since people forget, He has given us a structure to help us remember what we owe to Jesus Christ and His love for us that saves us.
Join us tomorrow at this website, 10/11/15, for #2 Significance, a continuation of the #1 Twelve Gates.
Learn more about Our Awesome God by reading His Holy Bible, praying to Him and worshipping in a church that preaches and teaches the Holy Bible. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. First, it is time that you should know and love Our Awesome God as your creator and Savior. We can show you how from the Word of God and we love visitors.
Flo & Bill