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BY C. F.
Lesson 4. October 22.
REBUILDING THE TEMPLE.- Ezra 3:10 to 4:5.
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Jehovah, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals to praise Jehovah, after the order of David king of Israel.
And they sang one to another in praising and giving thanks unto Jehovah, saying. For he is good, for his loving kindness endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised Jehovah, because the foundation of the house of Jehovah was laid.
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
13. So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard 'afar off.
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded a temple unto Jehovah, the God of Israel;
Then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' houses, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.
But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, said unto them. Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
5. And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
GOLDEN Text -- For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.- I. Cor. 3:17.
The return of the children of Israel, and the rebuilding of the temple, is a symbolical description of what occurs in the consciousness of one who has been mentally confused for a season and has returned to normal conditions. The priests are the thoughts that relate us to spiritual things, and the builders the
thoughts that relate us to material things. In order to build harmoniously we must set our thoughts to work along all lines — this includes both the spiritual and material.
The one who would construct an harmonious consciousness, which includes mind and body, must see to it that joy has its place in his spiritual thoughts. Whenever the name David appears, we may know that some phase of the love or emotional nature is involved. The body is supplied with spiritual energies through the heart-centre, or solarplexus, and the presiding genius of this function is David, or Love.
Singing, praising and giving thanks are known to the spiritually-minded as the great building impulses of the man. When we rejoice in spirit, and our hearts are filled with gratitude, and we express ourselves in thanksgiving to the Author of our being, there goes to every part of mentality and body thrills and waves of harmonious energy. These thrills and waves are the “trumpts" and “cymbals” in the hands of the priests and Levites.
The priests and Levites and ancient ones who “ wept with a loud voice," are regrets. See to it that the shouts of joy over present achievements drown these out.
The enduring temple is founded in the understanding of Spirit as the one and only causing factor of all things. There are would-be helpers in this building process, who claim to be co-workers with the spiritual builders, but when their methods are uncovered they are found to be adverse to the pure spiritual way.
In the building of the spiritual body we should distinguish between the constructive cause and the adjustment of conditions that already exist, to the end that that cause may be more fully expressed. When breathing exercises, dieting and other physical adaptations claim to be causes in spiritual development, they become adversaries, and those who have not yet gained an understanding of their right relation in the erection of the temple would better exclude them from any part in it.
Lesson 5. October 29.
POWER THROUGH GOD'S SPIRIT.- Zecb. 4:1-10.
And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.
And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have seen, and behold, a candlestick all of gold, with its bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
3. And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
4. And I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me saying, What are these, my Lord?
5. Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said, No,
6. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying. This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts. 7.
Who ari thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the top stone with shoutings of Grace, grace unto it.
8. Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 9.
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto you.
For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, even these seven, which are the eyes of Jehovah; they run to and fro through the whole earth.
GOLDEN TEXT- Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts.- Zech. 4:6.
Man is frequently called the lamp of God in Scripture writings. God may be compared to the universal electrical energy that is made visible by concentrating it in a bulb. Man is the bulb that consciously receives the Universal Mind of Being, and through his thought lets it forth into another realm of consciousness. All is God's Life, Wisdom, Love and Substance, but having given it to his creation, Man, God virtually relinquishes control. But when man sets up a conscious communion with this inner Source of his being, a unity is established and all sense of separation abolished. Then the