Principles of Revival: Ezra Part 6

Posted: April 30, 2009 by Josiah Batten in Bible Study, Current Issues, Emerging Church, Reform, Revival, The Church
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Looking at Ezra 4 through chapter 5 we find that those opposing the rebuilding of God’s Temple succeed, at least for a time.  It should be noted that they succeed through manipulation and making false charges (if the Temple is rebuilt, a revolt will ensue).  But we should expect nothing less from such people.

Ultimately, however, we see Haggai and Zechariah step up to the plate.  They prophesy in the name of God, and work is continued on the rebuilding of God’s Temple.  Of course, further opposition is faced.  Undoubtedly the question of “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure?” is familiar to many of us (5:3, NIV).

I believe there are a growing number of prophetic voices today saying “Look, we must rebuild the Church”.  At least I hope and pray there are.  Obviously many people will want to discount this, they will want to disregard what is said.  Some ruler’s of the synagogue will say we shouldn’t question their authority, others will disregard us as pie-in-the-sky idealists, some may even discount us as overly-energetic teenagers (and several of the authors of this blog are).  But in the end, that doesn’t matter when we know the work God has called us to do.  God will watch over us and this work will not be stopped.

“Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.”  -Martin Luther King Jr., Letter From a Birmingham Jail

God bless!


  1. Robert says:

    As always, Joey, a timely and thought provoking word.

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