Haggai's Prophecy of Blessing and Shaking
Dec 20, 2006
In Haggai 2:18 and 19 we read,
" (18) Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Lord was founded, consider: (19) Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you."
This year the 24th day of the 9th month fell on December 15, 2006. It was the day of the Washington storms that overwhelmed the sewer system and caused them to dump over 60 million gallons of raw sewage into the Puget Sound.
It was also the time of the high-level financial summit between the U.S. and China.
In Haggai's day, the 24th day of the 9th month was the day that the foundation was laid for the second temple (Hag. 2:18) back in 534 B.C. Haggai prophesied 14 years later beginning in 520 B.C., which was the second year of Darius the Persian King (Hag. 1:1). This blessing prophecy in Hag. 2:18, 19 is not specifically dated insofar as the year is concerned.
The context of the prophecy begins earlier, and it appears to be applicable to America today beginning in verse 13,
" (13) Then Haggai said, 'If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?' And the priests answered and said, 'It will become unclean.' (14) Then Haggai answered and said, 'So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,' declares the Lord, 'and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean'."
So the context tells us that the nation and people are unclean for touching a dead body, or touching the realm of death. This must have been a shock to the priests in Haggai's day, because no doubt they thought they were doing what was good and right. And they were! After all, they had obeyed the call of God and had returned to rebuild the nation after their Babylonian captivity.
What they probably did NOT know at the time was the principle of Cursed Time. The nation itself had "died" at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C., and so even when the nation came back to life in 534 after 70 years, it still required 76 more years of cleansing before the nation was cleansed. The number 76 is the number of cleansing, and we have observed this number every time we see the end of Cursed Time (414). Hence, 414 + 76 = 490.
This is why that revived nation of Judah could not begin its 490-year (10-Jubilee) countdown to the Messiah until 76 more years had passed (458 B.C.) in the seventh year of Artaxerxes of Persia (Ezra 7:8). Ezra was armed with the edict of the king (Ezra 7:12-26), which signaled the start of Daniel's 70 weeks.
But meanwhile, back in Haggai's day, the nation was still in the early stages of its cleansing time. The prophecy really could not be fulfilled in Haggai's day, for no doubt he died long before the Edict of Artaxerxes was decreed. The prophesy, however, was more for our day than for theirs, because that second temple was not really the temple that the Lord was speaking of at the time. He was speaking of a greater temple of our bodies, which the Holy Spirit was to inhabit at Pentecost in Acts 2 and then in a greater way at Tabernacles in a future time.
So I believe the prophecy of blessing was also applicable for a future time, not in a temple made with wood, stone, gold, and silver, but in a corporate temple made of Living Stones and a Melchizedek Priesthood that had been refined as gold and silver.
The year 2006 is the 2,520th anniversary of the completion of the second temple in 515 B.C. I have written about this in previous web logs. For many years we have been aware of the year 2006 in connection with Haggai's prophecy. And that brings us to the subject at hand--the blessing in Haggai 2:18, its timing, and its application.
In observing the actual events of the day this year, we have taken note that King County in Washington State saw a RELEASE of dung or sewage. This, I believe, is a sign of what is happening in Washington D.C. with a release of the idols of the heart, which Ezekiel calls "dung."
Haggai says that the nation is unclean. It looks to me like the Washington storm has revealed the uncleanness and heart idolatry in the heart of the nation's capital, Washington D.C. That is the bad news. The good news is that in His mercy, He is going to bless us in spite of this, as Hag. 2:19 indicates (quoted at the beginning).
There is a second part to this prophecy as well in verses 20-22,
" (20) Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month saying, (21) Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, 'I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. (22) And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations, and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another'."
This is the great shaking of the heavens and the earth that Haggai had prophesied earlier in verses 6 and 7. It did not happen in Haggai's day. These verses are also quoted in Hebrews 12:26, 27, telling us that God will shake all things so that only those things which are of His Kingdom will remain standing. This goes far beyond a mere earthquake, of course, for there are many ungodly things that a mere earthquake cannot shake.
It seems that on December 15, 2006 we passed a particularly important date for two events that should begin to manifest in the coming months and years:
1. From this day on, I will bless you.
2. I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
The signs pointing to the fulfillment of these prophecies in Haggai are first the Washington storm and the resulting release of the dung, and secondly, the economic talks with China, which have the potential of shaking America and the whole world in the near future.
But through it all, the final verse in Haggai gives us an added perspective:
"On that day, declares the Lord of Hosts, I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, my servant, declares the Lord, and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts."
Zerubbabel means "born in Babylon," but he was one of those who left Babylon to rebuild Judah, a type of the Kingdom of God in his day. In that sense he represents all of the people as their leader, or governor, for they had all left Babylon to rebuild the Kingdom. Thus, he foreshadows those who are working today in 2006 to build the Kingdom of God.
One does not need to "go" somewhere to do this, as if to leave this continent. We "leave" in our hearts and consider ourselves to be citizens of the Kingdom of God. Our efforts and resources are put into that work, and all that we do focuses upon that final goal. Many have done this in past generations. The difference today is that God appears poised to bless us and also to shake the heavens and the earth once again, in order to make our job easier. That has been the missing ingredient in the past.
Dr. Stephen Jones