Sermon #9                                                                                                                      Haggai Sermons


      Title:                                 The Greater Glory


      Text:                                 Haggai 2:1-9

      Subject:               The Greater Glory of the Gospel

      Date:                                Sunday Evening — July 27, 2008

      Tape:                    Haggai #9

      Readings:           Merle Hart and Ron Wood



(Haggai 2:1-9) “In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, (2) Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, (3) Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? (4) Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (5) According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.


(6) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; (7) And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. (8) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. (9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”


Three times Haggai uses the word “glory” with reference to the temple. In verse 3 he speaks of the house of God that Solomon built and the splendor of Solomon’s temple “in her first glory.” Many of the people had seen the first temple and recognized that the temple being built by Zerubbabel was “in comparison of it as nothing.” So the Lord God sent Haggai to encourage Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people to go on with he work, assuring them in verse 7 that he would fill this temple with “glory.”


Christ’s Incarnation


The “glory” with which he promised to fill this second temple was an obvious reference to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, “the desire of all nations.” When he came into the temple glory filled the house. The glory of Solomon’s temple was not the rich splendor with displayed in all the silver and gold with which it was built. The glory of the temple was not the magnificence of its furnishings. The glory of Solomon’s temple was the Shechinah, the presence of God with his people in the most holy place, upon the mercy seat, behind the veil Exodus 25:22; Isaiah 6:1-7).


(Exodus 25:22) “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”


(Isaiah 6:1-7) “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”


When the Lord promised that he would fill this second temple with “glory” he was declaring that everything prophetically symbolized in the glory of the first house would be fulfilled in this house. He was declaring that he who is the image of the invisible God and the brightness of the glory of God, would come into this house.

·      At His Circumcision (Luke 2:21-40)

·      When He was Twelve Years Old (Luke 2:41-52)

·      When He Drove Out the Money Changers at the Beginning of His Earthly Ministry (John 2:15-25)

·      When He Drove Out the Money Changers Three Years Later, at the End of His Earthly Ministry (Matthew 21:12-13)


In the temple our Lord Jesus healed the blind and the lame (Matthew 21:14). When he did, the children broke out into a song, proclaiming him the Christ of God, singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:15). Day after day, in the temple at Jerusalem, the Son of God taught the people, personally preaching the gospel to them (Mark 12:35; 14:19; Luke 21:37-38; John 7:28). It was in the temple, as he walked in Solomon’s porch, that our blessed Savior gave us that wonderful discourse about the Good Shepherd (John 10:23).


Greater Glory


Then, in verse 9, Haggai spoke of “the glory of this latter house” and said that it would be “greater glory than the former.” That is my subject tonight: — The Greater Glory. What is this “greater glory” of which the Prophet Haggai spoke? Was he talking about the glory of a material building in Jerusalem? Or was he talking about the glory of something greater than that building, the glory of something represented by that building?


Clearly, he is talking about something represented by that building. Haggai told Zerubbabel, Joshua and the children of Israel that the building they were building would symbolize and represent something far greater than the mere structure itself. — That temple at Jerusalem, with all its priesthood, rituals and ceremonies, with all its symbolic, typical sacrifices represented something indescribably greater and indescribably more glorious.

·      The temple was symbolic of our Savior himself (John 2:18-22).

·      The temple symbolized the believer’s body (1 Corinthians 6:19).

·      The temple at Jerusalem was typical of the local church (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:21).

·      The temple also symbolized the church universal, the whole kingdom of God, the whole body of Christ (2 Corinthians 6:16).

·      And the physical temple erected at Jerusalem was symbolic of our eternal habitation with God in heavenly glory (Revelation 3:12; 7:15; 11:1-2, 19).


(Revelation 3:12) “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”


(Revelation 7:15) “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”


(Revelation 11:1-2) “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”


(Revelation 11:19) “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”


·      In fact, the temple at Jerusalem represented the whole of our complete salvation by Christ proclaimed in the gospel, “the Holy Jerusalem…having the glory of God.” There is no temple in the heavenly Jerusalem, “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (Revelation 21:10-22).


You will remember that our Lord told Nathanael that he would see (John 1:50) and told his disciples that they would do “greater things(John 14:12) than the mere display of the miraculous. He said, there is a greater glory than all that has been seen by the eyes of men. What is that greater glory?

·      It is that which Paul calls “the glory that excelleth” (2 Corinthians 3:10).

·      The greater glory is the glory of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ, the glory of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:6).

·      The ministration of righteousness and life by the gospel is unspeakably more glorious than the law, which was a ministration of death and condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:1-18).


(2 Corinthians 3) “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? (2) Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (3) Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.


(4) And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: (5) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (6) Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (7) But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: (8) How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? (9) For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. (10) For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.


(11) For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. (12) Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: (13) And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: (14) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.


(15) But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. (16) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. (17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”


The Shaking


By the preaching of the gospel God shakes heaven and earth, the sea and the dry land, — that is to say, he shakes all nations and fills his house with his sons and daughters, fills his house with saved sinners to the praise of the glory of his grace. By his Spirit, through the preaching of the gospel, he shakes the hearts of men with a sense of sin and guilt, awaking the dead, and graciously causes them to trust Christ, giving them peace. — “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The Psalmist, foretelling the coming of Christ and the sweet good news of the gospel called for heaven and earth to rejoice (Psalm 96:11-13; 98:7-9).


(Psalms 96:11-13) “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. (12) Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice (13) Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”


(Psalms 98:7-9) “Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (8) Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together (9) Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”


What a great shaking there was, in the physical universe, when the Son of God came to earth in human flesh and accomplished redemption for us!

·      The Star at Bethlehem

·      The Sun Darkened at Calvary

·      The Rent Veil

·      The Opened Graves


Historians tell us of “strange and stupendous commotions that occurred even according to the letter, in heaven, earth, and sea, about the time of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and soon after his ascension, when he rode about the world upon his white horse, the apostles and their successors (Psalm 45:4), with a crown upon his head, as King of his Church, and a bow in his hand, the doctrine of the gospel, whereby the people fall under him, ‘and he went forth conquering, and to conquer’ (Revelation 6:2).” — John Trapp


With the coming of our Savior, when he accomplished our redemption, when he fulfilled the law, and when he brings immortality and life to light by the gospel, everything that can be shaken is shaken to destruction. Only that which cannot be shaken remains (Hebrews 10:9-10; 12:25-27; Isaiah 28:14-22).


(Hebrews 10:9-10) “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”


(Hebrews 12:25-27) “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (27) And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”


(Isaiah 28:14-22) “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (19) From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. (21) For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (22) Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.”


The Excelling Glory


The second temple, this temple built by Zerubbabel, was not as large as Solomon’s temple. It was not as splendidly adorned with silver and gold as Solomon’s temple. And, I remind you that, the second temple built at Jerusalem was lacking five things that were found in Solomon’s temple. These five things made the second temple far inferior to Solomon’s temple. So the words of Haggai in our text cannot possibly refer to the physical temple that was built by Zerubbabel. They must be understood as referring to that which is spiritual.


Haggai’s prophecy refers to and speaks of the far greater glory of the gospel, the glory of God proclaimed and revealed in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, our mighty Zerubbabel (Zechariah 4:6-10).


(Zechariah 4:6-10) “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (7) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (8) Moreover the word of the LORD 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 the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. (10) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”


Those five things that never were in the second temple are all found in the gospel. This is “the glory that excelleth.”


1.    The Ark of the Covenant


The Ark of the Covenant, with its Mercy Seat, was a picture of Christ Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, who is the propitiation for our sins (Hebrews 9:3-5; Luke 18:13; Romans 3:24-26; 1 John 2:1-2).


(Hebrews 9:3-5) “And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; (4) Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; (5) And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”


(Luke 18:13) “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”


(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


2.    The Urim and Thummim


The Urim and Thummim were placed along with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel in the breastplate worn by Aaron. Specifically they were worn upon the heart of God’s high-priest. And it was by these, through the intercessory work of the high-priest, that God gave direction to the children of Israel and settled all important matters of judgment and justice (Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21).


Like the other things that distinguished Solomon’s temple with a greater glory than the second temple, the Urim and Thummim were never recovered after the Babylonian Captivity. Therefore, Nehemiah forbade those of the priesthood to “eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with the Urim and Thummim” (Ezra 2:63).


With those words of Nehemiah, the Holy Spirit showed the deficiency and imperfection of the Levitical priesthood and the great need of another priest, not after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek, a great High Priest over the house of God, with whom would be the true Urim and Thummim. That is the Priest of whom Moses spoke in the prophecy of Deuteronomy 33:8. Our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is that Priest with whom is the Urim (Lights) and Thummim (Perfections).


·      Christ is Light. — He is the Light of the World. — He brought life and immortality to light by the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-11).


(2 Timothy 1:9-11) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (11) Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”


·      Christ is Perfection. — The Perfect God and Perfect Man — The Perfect Redeemer and Perfect Savior — The Perfection of His Elect and the Perfect Advocate on High — The Perfect Gift of God and the Perfect Righteousness of his Saints.


3.    The Continually Burning Fire


The continually burning fire that fell from heaven, by which all the sacrifices of the people were accepted was never found in the second temple. But that fire is set before us in the gospel. Christ is our acceptance with the Father; and he makes our gifts and sacrifices acceptable (Matthew17:5; Ephesians 1:3-7; 1 Peter 2:5).


(Matthew 17:5) “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”


(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”


(1 Peter 2:5) “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”


4.    The Spirit of Prophecy


The Spirit of prophecy, by which Moses and God’s prophets were, throughout the Old Testament, given direction by God, by which men were taught the will of God, was never found in the second temple. — But Christ gives the Spirit to all his people. — “Ye are the temple of the living God!” — “The Spirit of God dwelleth in you!


5.    The Shechinah


The Shechinah, the manifest glory and presence of God was never in that second temple. God was not there. But in the gospel the glory of God is proclaimed and revealed in redemption by Christ our Substitute (Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; 5:17-21).


(Romans 3:24-26) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


(2 Corinthians 4:4-6) “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”


(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


Peace Bestowed


Go back to Haggai 2:9. Look at the last line of God’s message to his people by Haggai. — “And in this place will I give peace.” Remember, Haggai is still talking about the greater glory of this gospel age. That glory culminates in the peace that is ours by Christ, the Prince of peace.

·      Peace of heart and of conscience. — The “peace of God that passeth all understanding” is the legacy of our Savior to his people (John 14:27).

·      Christ was brought from heaven, with that song of peace, (Luke 2:14) — “On earth peace, good will toward men.”

·      When he returned to Glory he left his Church with his peace (John 14:27), and left to the world the doctrine of peace, the gospel of peace (Ephesians 2:17).

·      Our God is the God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

·      His servants are ministers of peace (Romans 10:15).

·      God’s people are the children of peace (Luke 10:6).

·      Our unity is in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3), people who study peace (Romans 12:18).

·      Soon we shall enter into peace, every one walking in his uprightness (Isaiah 57:2; Psalm 37:33).


What is “the glory that excelleth”? What is the greater glory of this latter house? It is the glory of God in the salvation of sinners by Christ. It is the glory of God in the crucified Substitute. It is the glory of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ. — Have you seen the glory? Oh, may God the Holy Spirit cause the glory to shine forth in your heart, for Christ’s sake.






Don Fortner



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