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Haggai prophesied in the years after the end of Judah's captivity to Babylon. The first major project was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. This project actually prophesied of a greater temple that was yet to be built made of living stones.
Category - Bible Commentaries
In Hag. 2:9 the prophet concludes his revelation that was given on the seventh day of Tabernacles, saying,
9 The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts.
It is plain, as we have already shown, that the second temple was never going to be greater than the former (Solomon’s temple). It was, as Haggai himself admitted, “nothing in comparison” (Hag. 2:3). Yet this was a faith work, that is, a prophetic work.
Their temple would eventually be torn down and replaced by Herod’s temple—which was much greater from a carnal viewpoint—but even Herod’s temple would last only a short time before being destroyed in 70 A.D. Neither Zerubbabel’s nor Herod’s temple could fulfill Haggai’s prophecy.
It is only by the revelation of the Pentecostal Age that we see clearly that Haggai spoke of a temple made of living stones that was being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).
Nonetheless, the faith-work of the builders in Haggai’s time laid foundations for the apostolic work that began many centuries later. Furthermore, everyone throughout past ages who has done faith-work is a fellow-laborer in the same building project and will be rewarded accordingly. In other words, the laborers in Haggai’s day did not labor in vain, even though their temple lacked the glory seen in Solomon’s temple.
However, it should be noted that if, in the future, an earthly temple is rebuilt on the old mount in Jerusalem, it will not be a work of faith, but of rebellion, regardless of their religious zeal. Their motives are wrong, springing from carnal minds and fleshly perspectives. The glory of God will not come to Hagar, which is the earthly Jerusalem, as Paul tells us in Gal. 4:25. The glory will be given to Sarah, the heavenly city and her children.
The attempt to fulfill the prophecies through Hagar-Jerusalem is an attempt to prove that her fleshly children are the chosen ones. They may build, but God will never glorify such a temple with His presence. He forsook Jerusalem as Shiloh. Even as the glory departed from Shiloh (Psalm 78:60), so also did the glory depart from Jerusalem (Jer. 7:12-14). It has gone to a new temple made of better materials.
Those who have confidence in the flesh and in the earthly city are in danger of building things that can only be shaken and destroyed when God arises to shake the heavens and the earth.