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Phrase - Temple services ( 39 )
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 Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
temple  services
Related phrase:   temple and its services  ( below )
About seventy years after the return of the first company of exiles under Zerubbabel and Joshua, Artaxerxes Longimanus came to the throne of Medo-Persia. The name of this king is connected with sacred history by a series of remarkable providences. It was during his reign that Ezra and Nehemiah lived and labored. Artaxerxes Longimanus is the one who issued the third and final decree for the restoration of Jerusalem, 457 B. C. While on the throne, he saw the return of a company of Jews under Ezra, the completion of the walls round about Jerusalem by Nehemiah and his associates, the reorganization of the temple services, and great religious reformations instituted by Ezra and Nehemiah. During the long period when Artaxerxes held universal sway, he often showed favor to God’s people, and recognized in his trusted and well-beloved Jewish friends, Ezra and Nehemiah, men of God’s appointment, raised up for special work.  Prophets and Kings, page 607.1  read entire chapter 50  { RH January 30, 1908, par. 1 }
 
 
Those who stood in the temple court listening to Jeremiah understood clearly this reference to Shiloh, when in the days of Eli the Philistines had carried away the ark of the testament. The sin of Eli consisted in passing lightly over the evils prevailing in the land. His neglect to correct these evils had brought on Israel a fearful calamity. Eli lost his life, the ark had been taken from Israel, thirty thousand people had been slain—all because sin had flourished unrebuked and unchecked. Israel had vainly thought that, notwithstanding their sinful practices, the ark would ensure victory over the Philistines. In like manner, during the days of Jeremiah, the people of Judah were prone to believe that observance of the appointed temple services would preserve them from punishment for their wicked course.  Prophets and Kings, page 416.1  Read entire chapter 34  { SS 216.3 }  { RR 147.7 } 
 
 
This outward prosperity, however, was not accompanied by a corresponding revival of spiritual power. The temple services were continued as in former years, and multitudes assembled to worship the living God; but pride and formality gradually took the place of humility and sincerity. Of Uzziah himself it is written: “When he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God.” Verse 16. { PK 303.2}  Read entire chapter 25  { RH March 4, 1915, par. 2 }
 
In the crisis, Hezekiah proved to be a man of opportunity. No sooner had he ascended the throne than he began to plan and to execute. He first turned his attention to the restoration of the temple services, so long neglected; and in this work he earnestly solicited the co-operation of a band of priests and Levites who had remained true to their sacred calling. Confident of their loyal support, he spoke with them freely concerning his desire to institute immediate and far-reaching reforms. “Our fathers have trespassed,” he confessed, “and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord.” “Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.” 2 Chronicles 29:6, 10.  Prophets and Kings, page 331.2  Read entire chapter 28
In the crisis Hezekiah proved to be a man of opportunity. No sooner had he ascended the throne than he began to plan and to execute. He first turned his attention to the restoration of the temple services, so long neglected; and in this work he earnestly solicited the cooperation of a band of priests and Levites who had remained true to their sacred calling. Confident of their loyal support, he spoke with them freely concerning his desire to institute immediate and far-reaching reforms. { RH April 22, 1915, par. 2 }
 
The good beginning made at the time of the purification of the temple was followed by a broader movement, in which Israel as well as Judah participated. In his zeal to make the temple services a real blessing to the people, Hezekiah determined to revive the ancient custom of gathering the Israelites together for the celebration of the Passover feast. { PK 335.3}   Read entire chapter 28  { RH April 29, 1915, par. 1 }
 
By messengers from Judea the Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach. The temple and portions of the city had been rebuilt; but the work of restoration was hindered, the temple services were disturbed, and the people kept in constant alarm by the fact that the walls of the city were still largely in ruins. { Pr 148.1 } { PK 628.2} 
 
Like the tabernacle, the temple had been built in accordance with specifications divinely given. And it was through the Lord’s blessing that the people were enabled to give and prepare the necessary material. All the temple services were divinely instituted. And yet the honor was diverted from God, and given to Solomon. He finally allowed men to speak of him as the one most worthy of praise for the matchless splendor of the building that had been planned and erected for the honor of “the name of the Lord God of Israel.” { RH January 11, 1906, par. 8 }
 
Nearly fifty thousand, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, took advantage of this providential opportunity to return. These were, however, comparatively speaking, only a few, a mere “remnant,” of all the Israelites scattered throughout the provinces of Medo-Persia. Many chose to remain in the land of their captivity, rather than to accompany their brethren, and to assist in restoring the temple services. { RH January 23, 1908, par. 4 }
 
The judgment that befell Uzziah seemed to have a restraining influence on his son. Jotham bore heavy responsibilities during the remaining years of his father’s reign, and succeeded to the throne after Uzziah’s death. Of Jotham it is written: “He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places.” 2 Kings 15:34, 35. Had Jotham inaugurated a thorough reformation, and torn down these favorite meeting places, encouraging the people to engage unitedly in the temple services, he might have done much to strengthen faith in the true God. But although he failed of making a wise use of his opportunities, his rule was not without good results: he “became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” 2 Chronicles 27:6. { RH March 4, 1915, par. 6 }
 
Days of peculiar trial and affliction had come to the chosen city. Messengers from Judah described to Nehemiah its condition. The second temple had been reared, and portions of the city rebuilt; but its prosperity was impeded, the temple services disturbed, and the people kept in constant alarm, by the fact that its walls were still in ruins, and its gates burned with fire. The capital of Judah was fast becoming a desolate place, and the few inhabitants remaining were daily embittered by the taunts of their idolatrous assailants, “Where is your God?” The soul of the Hebrew patriot was overwhelmed by these evil tidings. So great was his sorrow, that he could not eat or drink; he “wept and mourned certain days, and fasted.” But when the first outburst of his grief was over, he turned in his affliction to the sure Helper. “I prayed,” says he, “before the God of Heaven.” He knew that all this ruin had come because of the transgressions of Israel; and in deep humiliation he came before God for pardon of sin and a renewal of the divine favor. He addressed his petitions to the God of Heaven, “the great and terrible God;” for such the Lord had shown himself to be in the fearful judgments brought upon Israel. But with a gleam of hope, Nehemiah continues, “that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and observe his commandments.” For repentant and believing Israel there was still mercy. { ST November 29, 1883, par. 2 }
 
Spiritual power, however, did not accompany the outward prosperity. The temple services continued, and multitudes assembled to worship the living God, but pride and formality took the place of humility and sincerity. Of Uzziah the Bible says, “When he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God.” Verse 16. In violation of the Lord’s plain command, the king entered the sanctuary “to burn incense on the altar.” Azariah the high priest and his associates rebuked him: “You have trespassed!” they told him. “You shall have no honor from the Lord God.” Verses 16, 18. { RR 112.2 } 
 
Nehemiah learned from messengers from Judea that the returned exiles in the chosen city were suffering. Opposition hindered the restoration work, the temple services were disturbed, and the walls of the city were still mostly in ruins. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Nehemiah could neither eat nor drink. In grief he turned to the divine Helper. “I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” He pleaded that God would support the cause of Israel, restore their courage and strength, and help them build the devastated city. { RR 221.2 } 
 
 
the  temple  and  its  services
This phrase appears 16 times in the writings of EGW
The unwillingness of the Lord to chastise is here vividly shown. He stays His judgments that He may plead with the impenitent. He who exercises “loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth” yearns over His erring children; in every way possible He seeks to teach them the way of life everlasting. Jeremiah 9:24. He had brought the Israelites out of bondage that they might serve Him, the only true and living God. Though they had wandered long in idolatry and had slighted His warnings, yet He now declares His willingness to defer chastisement and grant yet another opportunity for repentance. He makes plain the fact that only by the most thorough heart reformationcould the impending doom be averted. In vain would be the trust they might place in the temple and its services. Rites and ceremonies could not atone for sin. Notwithstanding their claim to be the chosen people of God, reformation of heart and of the life practice alone could save them from the inevitable result of continued transgression.  Prophets and Kings, page 413.3   Read entire chapter 34
 
 
The Saviour’s words, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” had a deeper meaning than the hearers perceived. The temple services were typical of the sacrifice of the Son of God. The entire plan of sacrificial worship was a foreshadowing of the Saviour’s death to redeem the world. The ritual economy had no value apart from Him. When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by delivering Him to death, they rejected all that gave significance to the temple and its services. Its sacredness had departed. It was doomed to destruction. From that day sacrificial offerings were meaningless. In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made. The system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end. { HLv 103.3 }  { HH 69.1 } 
 
 
Since the whole ritual economy was symbolical of Christ, it had no value apart from Him. When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by delivering Him to death, they rejected all that gave significance to the temple and its services. Its sacredness had departed. It was doomed to destruction. From that day sacrificial offerings and the service connected with them were meaningless. Like the offering of Cain, they did not express faith in the Saviour. In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made, and that the system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end. { DA 165.4} 
 
This was a time of wonderful opportunity for the Jews. The highest agencies of heaven were working on the hearts of kings, and it was for the people of God to labor with the utmost activity to carry out the decree of Cyrus. They should have spared no effort to restore the temple and its services, and to re-establish themselves in their Judean homes. But in the day of God’s power many proved unwilling. The opposition of their enemies was strong and determined, and gradually the builders lost heart. Some could not forget the scene at the laying of the cornerstone, when many had given expression to their lack of confidence in the enterprise. And as the Samaritans grew more bold, many of the Jews questioned whether, after all, the time had come to rebuild. The feeling soon became widespread. Many of the workmen, discouraged and disheartened, returned to their homes to take up the ordinary pursuits of life. { PK 572.1}  Read entire chapter 46
 
This was a startling statement to the disciples. The matter was now made plain: The glorious edifice, built at immense cost, which had been the pride of the Jewish nation, was to be destroyed from its very foundation. Not one of those massive stones—some of which had borne the devastation of Nebuchadnezzar’s army, and stood firmly through the storm and tempest of centuries—was to be left upon another. They did not clearly comprehend the purpose of all this ruin. They did not discern that in a few days their Saviour was to be offered up as a victim for the sins of the world. The temple and its services would then be of no more use. The blood of beasts would be of no virtue to expiate sin, for type would then have met antitype, in the Lamb of God who would have voluntarily offered his life to take away the sins of the world. Later, when all had been accomplished, the disciples understood fully the words of Jesus, and the reason of the calamity which he foretold. { 3SP 71.1 } 
 
This account shows vividly that the Lord is unwilling to chastise. He yearns over His erring children. In every way possible He seeks to teach them the way of life. See Jeremiah 9:24. Though the Israelites had wandered in idolatry for a long time and ignored His warnings, yet He now declares His willingness to postpone punishment and grant yet another opportunity to repent. He makes plain that they could avoid the coming doom only by complete heart reformation. Their trust in the temple and its services would be in vain. Ceremonies could not atone for sin. Only reformation of heart and of the life practice could save them from the result of transgression. { RR 147.3 } 
 
The highest agencies of heaven were working on the hearts of kings, and the people of God should have spared no effort to restore the temple and its services and to reestablish themselves in their Judean homes. { RR 200.5 } 
 
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