He found these things had got right into the House of God itself and had established themselves there.
And he rooted and routed them out, but he was constantly being drawn out to deal with these encroachments and these impingements.
On the Sabbath day the traders came round the gates of Jerusalem trying to get in, and if they could not get in on the Sabbath day they waited there to get in immediately the doors were opened.
Nehemiah saw that this was a corrupting thing, it had gained the upper hand and would pollute what he was doing, and he recorded it of himself: "I testified against them".
Here is a man who is alive to the danger of these foreign elements coming in, and he is all the time dealing with that which he knows if once it gets in, will undo all that he is doing, which will destroy the testimony.
So it was with Ezra. And what business these two men had in the matter of the foreign wives even of the priests!
These foreign relationships had to be disentangled and cut off, and there had to be a breaking in between what was of God and what was not of God in order to establish the testimony in life.
It had to be done.
In many other illustrations and instances in the Old Testament we have this same thing, that whenever a testimony has to be brought back into fulness of life, everything that is of darkness, that is foreign to light, that is not of God, has got to be put out.
Otherwise our labor is in vain and the testimony will be nullified.
The enemy's persistent activity is to get something in that is not God.
If He gets in, it can carry that to the final issue.
That is why the Lord Jesus Himself, as the personification of the testimony of God, said: "the ruler [prince KJV, ] of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me" (John 14:30).
The enemy had tried all through His life to get something in. In the wilderness, in the temptations, he tried to get something in that was of himself and insinuate himself in some way.
All along he was trying to do that.
He knew quite well that if he could get a lodgement for something of his own kingdom that was not of the Father, of God, he was sure of triumph in the long run.The testimony of life triumphing over death would be nullified.
So he concentrated upon the chief and the inclusive vessel of that testimony, but the Lord was able to say at length, when the enemy had tried all his resources: "the ruler [prince] of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me".
That is the secret of His power and His victory; the full triumph of God over death in Him.
This is something which may not be new to us, but to have our attention drawn afresh to it is very important if we really are to be vessels of the testimony of God concerning His Son.
This applies to us as individuals, as individual believers, as children of God, but oh, how it applies to us and concerns us if we are responsible in any larger way than that of personal Christian life.
How important it is for us to be alive to this fact, and to always bear it in mind, that as believers and as servants of God the maintenance of the testimony in life with all that that means of the impact of an indestructible all-conquering power over Satan, has to be upheld and maintained.
We must have a very clear perception as to corrupting elements, defiling elements and mixture.
Mixture is one of the devil's master strokes to nullify what is of God.
This letter of John touches upon quite a number of things by which the enemy pursues this course of nullifying of the testimony.
In the first place it speaks of inconsistency and contradiction in the life of the believer.
Take note of one little clause only which is very revealing in that matter: "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth" (1 John 1:6).
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (verse 8);
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (verse 10);
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. (1 John 2:9).
Here are contradictions in believers saying one thing, but in the background contradicting the thing we say.
We need not dwell with that very much. It is perfectly patent that here you have two things at work, contradicting one another.
That is the devil's work.
~T. Austin Sparks~