Bringing Forth My Servant Hear, O Joshua the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign;  for behold I am bringing forth my servant, the BRANCH.”  Zechariah 3:8   A new day dawned as the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after 70 years in Babylonian captivity.  Restoration was mandated for the neglected temple.  The rebuilding of the temple: the center of worship, the place of sacrifice, the Lord’s meeting place, was the primary focus on the heart of God. And, in this crucial time, the focus must be on our hearts as well.  The rebuilding of the outer structure mirrors the   inner sanctuary of our hearts, the place of worship, sacrifice, and meeting with the Lord Himself.     Zechariah and Ezra spoke the charge. Within the first year Joshua, the priest, and Zerubbabel, the governmental leader, built the altar (Ezra 3).  This duo represents a kingly priesthood, what we are called in this day (Ex. 19:6, 1Peter 2:9, Rev. 1:6). The foundation had not yet been laid (vs. 6), yet with reverence sacrifices were made, the Feast of Tabernacles was kept, and offerings were given to the Lord (vs. 2-7).  The altar of our hearts must first be restored, willingly and with reverence, “tabernacling” with Him.     In the second year, the builders were appointed. The foundation was laid. The chorus was sung, “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever …” (vs. 3-11).  Oh happy day. Or was it?  Immediately conflicts arose.  The young rejoiced entering the new temple, yet those older mourned the glory of the old house (vs. 12-13). For miles the mingling of shouts of joy and wailing could be heard.  Next the adversaries arrived offering their “assistance.” The discerning leaders responded, “You may do nothing with us to build this house for our God... (4:1-3)”   And then the people of the land sought to hinder the building with political backing. It worked. Inner disunity, discouragement, and a king’s decree halted the work.   The old man within us, the old ways of thinking, old structures must shift and rejoice with the new movement of the Spirit.  The familiar adversaries within us will try to intervene and lend a “helping assistance” in the work. Yet the ways of resistance and compromise (pride, fear, apathy, etc.) must be rejected.  And it’s time to stand strong against opposition and resistance of the “king’s decrees”.  The work will not cease. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  (Zech. 4:6).   Our foundation is laid. Prophetically we are in the 3rd year, the 3rd Day, the day of completing the temple and seeing the fullness of the Lord indwell His people and the knowledge of the  glory of His presence cover the earth (Hab. 2:14).  Now Zechariah’s voice sounded the Word of the Lord. “Return to Me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts (Zech. 1:3).” As priests we stand as Joshua, the high priest.  The vision Zechariah had of Joshua is comforting, encouraging and motivating.  Put yourself in Joshua’s role. As believers, we are called to restore the temple for the Lord’s glory. Let’s look at Zechariah 3 ~ Joshua was before the Lord. Satan was opposing, yet when he accused, the Lord rebuked him. ~ He let his filthy garments of generational priestly unrighteousness be removed ~ Joshua received new robes, of salvation, righteousness, and partnering authority. (Is. 61:10) ~ A new, clean turban was put on his head.  A turban means “to wrap,” to gird the loins of his mind, guarding his heart with    agreement for new movement forward. ~ He was told to walk in the ways of the Lord and, instead of being accused, he would judge ! ~ And he and his companions would bring forth the Servant, the BRANCH ! ~ An elaborate silver and gold crown was placed on his head.   Behold the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out and He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory.” (6:12-13)  Let Him do the work within. Let Him bear the glory.       In Him, Rev. Sharon Carlson IAM Overseer and V.P. 9/12