Monday, March 30, 2009

Solomon - The Women of Midian and Baal-Peor

One of the sad stories in the Bible is that of the Israelites at Shittim. Israel was just about to cross over the Jordan River and enter into the experience of taking control of Canaan at the command of Jesus – The Son of God. During this preparation time Israel was slowly infiltrated by the women of Midian at the counsel of Balaam the prophet. Numbers 31:16. Apparently Balaam counseled the women to make friends among the Israelites and then invite them to their worship services. Apparently these invitations seemed innocent enough but the end product was to have them come to their worship services and offer sacrifices to the dead. Psalm 106:28. This act would indicate a violation of the covenant relationship with God and would indicate a change of loyalty to God. In addition this choice would violate the law in the sense of consulting with the dead and would be declared necromancy. Deuteronomy 18:9-14

God had declared to Balaam that as long as there was no iniquity in Israel that no curse would have an effect upon Israel. Numbers 23:7-23. So Balaam concluded that if he could lead Israel to sin against God that he could finally curse Israel at the bequest of Balak – the king of Moab. Balaam initiated this plan which was in harmony with Satan’s historical plan of attack against God’s people – introduce attractive women and lead God’s people to leave their position of loyalty to God. This plan has been very effective over time and has conquored many men of God.

The first example of this is of course in Eden itself when Eve is used by Satan to tempt Adam to be dis-loyal to God. Then in Genesis 6:1-5 we see the Sons of God – men who had chosen God as their Lord and Saviour – turning to the daughters of men – those women who had not chosen God as their Lord and Saviour. To unite with unconverted women, or men, is a violation of the principles expressed in II Corinthians 6:14-18

"14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

This uniting between the men of God and the daughters of men created the atmosphere wickedness continually. When the people would not change after 120 years then God soon commanded Noah to preach the destruction of the then known world, and this was followed by the flood.

This activity was again on display in the marriage of Samson to the woman of the Philistines (Judges 14) and then eventually with Delilah the type of all wicked women. (Judges 16). Thus a mighty judge of Israel was brought down.
Perhaps one of the greatest testimonies of this danger was that of Solomon when he violated the Lord God’s commands not to multiply women unto himself for they would surely turn away his heart from God. Deuteronomy 17:17. This prophecy was fulfilled in Solomon’s 700 wives and 300 concubines. I Kings 11:3. And as the prophecy had stated his wives surely induced Solomon into blasphemous worship services, and eventually turned away his heart after God.
By the time of Christ this same principle was still in effect with Herod wanting his brother’s wife – Herodius, and her daughter Salome. These two women convinced Herod to kill one of the greatest prophets of history.

At this time Israel displayed one of the greatest spiritual apostasies in history by uniting to the Pagan Roman church and claimed Caesar to be their king and officially rejected God as their Lord and King. Not only that but they crucified Jesus under the banner that he was interfering with their relationship with Rome by claiming to be the king of the Jews.

In the Revelation God declares that there would be a great woman at the end of time. She would be covered with sanctuary garments at the end of time but would have no blue garments – a symbol of dedication to the law of God. Numbers 15:37-40. This woman/church would be a symbol of all of the errors that have been brought into the church through fornication – unlawful intimate contact with one whom you were not married to - with the men of the world. This unlawful relationship with the world created the daughters of Babylon who were the harlots of the world. She makes all of the world drunk with the wine of error of fornication that she provides in her golden cup.

The interactions with this woman, and her daughters, are simply the end product of the ages of deception that satan has provided for mankind. Constantly satan seeks to get us caught up with illicit contact with the world and that this contact erodes our relationship with God.
God would warn us that seemingly innocent contact with the worldly churches will erode our understanding with God. Slowly, but surely the world will move the church away from its contact with God and the world will incorporate tradition into the worship services until there is clear contact with the dead and the cycle will have completed again.
This message is to alert all people, and all churches that they must obey every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We as individuals, and we as a church, can not afford to participate in the confusion of the churches for they speak much about Jesus but tend to ignore God’s laws. One of the tests for false prophecy is by comparing a message with the law and the testimony of Isaiah 8:20. Any church, or any individual, that minimizes the law of God, is not of God. God wants strict obedience by faith in His power and His wisdom. It is our privilege to learn the lessons that God has been trying to teach through the history of Israel and through His church in the wilderness. Revelation 13:1-17. We can learn the lesson of not getting involved with doubters and skeptics. God will teach us what to look for and grant us power to not become unequally yoked with non-believers. II Corinthians 6:14. As we obey God He will lead us to the still waters of full surrender to Him.

O that Solomon would have remained steadfast to God what wonderful lessons he could have taught us. But we have the testimony of the Word of God, so let us press forward fully aware of the love, care, and protection of the Lord our Saviour, let us be fully surrendered to God’s wonderful care.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Solomon - The Two Temple Pillars - Jachin and Boaz

Amongst the many brass items that Hiram cast for the temple were the two brass pillars that were placed in the front of the temple. The two pillars were a unique addition to the temple that Solomon built for the Lord that were not in the temple that Moses built in the wilderness. Since Solomon was building the temple in accordance with the instructions that God had given David (I Chronicles 28:11-19; Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5), we have to believe that these pillars were an additional insight into the temple process that could be revealed now that a permanent structure was to be built.

Hiram cast them out of brass and was done in such a way as to get these pillars to the temple and get them set up. These pillars were 18 cubits high, a cubit is approximately 18 inches, or about 27 feet tall, and about 12 cubits in circumference, or about 18 feet around. I Kings 7:15. On top of each pillar was a "chapiter" of molten brass, which was an additional 5 cubits tall, or an additional 7.5 feet higher, for a total of about 34.5 feet tall. I Kings 7:16. Thus the weight of each pillar was about was about 22 tons, as some experts indicate that 34 feet of brass would weigh. So the pillars had to be cast in such a way as to complete the task and to be able to move the pillars to the temple site and then construct them, or to stand them upright, and place them in their proper place in the courtyard of the temple. We know that they were placed in the courtyard because the pillars were made of brass and not of gold. Gold would indicate that they should be placed in the Holy Place or the Most Holy Place.

In religious art the chapiters were seen as either square objects, or in some artists drawings the chapiters were circular. Apparently the Bible instructions are not clear as to the precise shape. However, there was additional instructions that the chapiters were to be covered with some kind of lattice work, or chain work, that was to have 200 pomegranates and lily work on each chapiter. This would leave the impression that the pillars were to communicate the idea that the pillars symbolized some kind of flower bearing quality and some kind of fruit bearing quality. In some of the articles that this writer has read the idea was presented that the pillars were to symbolize some kind of trees. It is this writers opinion that the lattice/chain work connected the top of the two pillars, and ran over the top of the entrance way into the temple. An example of the above picture is presented in the book Early Writings page 17. Here Ellen White presents a word picture of the Tree of Life:

"Here we saw the Tree of Life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the Tree of Life. On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree, and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure, transparent gold. At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again, and saw that they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the Tree of Life on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we stood, and the fruit was glorious; it looked like gold mixed with silver."

It would appear that the pillars, their chapiters, and the lattice work of pomegranates and lilys, would present a picture of the Tree of Life in front of the throne of God and a river of truth running out between the two pillars/trunks.

In this writers research there were many perceptions of what the pillars could symbolize. Some writers speculated that the two pillars could have symbolized the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire that led Israel to Canaan. Some see the two pillars as symbols for the son and moon. Some see the pillars as symbols of the male and female fertility powers. Some see the pillars as copies of heathen architecture and the incorporation of heathen principles due to Hiram’s influence over Solomon. It is this writer’s opinion that the two pillars are symbols that God initiated to communicate a total picture of His love and care for His people. That every symbol in the temple was to tell some portion of the gospel story to help people find a way to God and to accept of His wonderful provisions for salvation. Therefore, the Tree of Life symbols seem to fit the picture of a path to the throne of God better than some other ideas may.

One final significant piece of data is offered for the two pillars. In I Kings 7:21 the pillars are given names. Names in the Bible indicate character traits. Again God is communicating that these character traits are statements about God and His power to care for His people. The pillar on the right side, of the person looking at the temple, is the pillar named Jachin. Jachin means, "He will establish". The name of the pillar on the left-hand side is Boaz. Boaz means, "In Him is strength". So if someone were coming to enter the temple they would be reminded that it is God who will establish the earth and He will establish the seekers spiritual experience. On top of that God also promises that in Him is strength and it is not in the sinner. God will be the provider of all graces for the sinner and that the sinner will be blessed by seeking help in the sanctuary of God.

It is this writer’s hope that all who read this will study out the two pillars that were in the temple that Solomon built for God. All these studies are fruitful in bringing us to the mind of God that we may receive the blessings that He has established for us as we seek him in His Holy Sanctuary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Solomon and Hiram - A Problem of Mingling

In the Bible the issue of mingling is a major doctrinal concept. In the Garden of Eden God told Adam and Eve to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for God said if they were to eat of it they would surely die. Genesis 2:17. Of the Tree of Life, and every other tree in the garden, God told Adam and Eve that they could eat of them freely. Genesis 2:9,16. God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of anything mingled – like the knowledge of good and evil. God wanted them to eat of pure, straightforward truth, no mingling with error.

This concept is repeated in Genesis 6:1-4. In this Scripture God is speaking about the mingling between the Sons of God and the Daughters of men. God knew that if God’s people, the Sons of God, were to marry non-converted women that the end product of this mingling would be to produce error and evil. This thought is borne out in Genesis 6:5.

God has amplified this thought in Nehemiah 13:23-24 where Nehemiah finds that the Jewish people, those who claimed to serve God, had married heathen wives of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. The results of this union were that the children were so "mingled" that they could not speak the language of the Jews but the language of the people. Thus this union had produced confusion of language, and thought, and of action.

Ezra 9:1-2 enhances the above ideas by stating the following:

1Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

2For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.

Ezra, the prophet of God, believed that this mingling was a trespass against God and caused the people to commit the heathens abominations. Thus all of God’s people should be warned away from anything that mingles truth and error.

Solomon himself bears witness to the problems with mingling. God told Solomon in Deuteronomy 17:17 to not multiply wives unto himself lest they turn away from God. This prophecy was fulfilled in I Kings 11:1-9. Solomon married many heathen wives and attempted to mingle the teachings of Israel with the teachings of the heathen. The end result was his heart turned away from God and Solomon followed after the ways and religious activities of the heathen. The end product was that his heart was turned away from God. This is the inevitable result of mingling truth with error.

Now with the above information I would like to speak about Solomon’s builder of his temple. Hiram was a descendent of a mother of the tribe of Naphtali – one of the twelve tribes of Israel. His father was a man of Tyre, a worker of brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work. I Kings 7:13-14

Apparently Hiram was one of the greatest workers in brass in existence in his time. However, Hiram was a mingled individual. By this I mean that Hiram was a mingling of Jewish belief and of the beliefs of the heathen land of Tyre. Thus Hiram would be an excellent artist but his belief system would be confused and he could do right things for wrong reasons.

In her book Prophets and Kings 62-63 Ellen White states what Solomon should have done is to ask God to raise up Israelites who would be given talents to build God’s temple like God had raised up Bezaleel and Aholiab in Exodus 31 and 35:30-39:43. God raised these men up, gave them spiritual gifts of all manner of workmanship. Exodus 35:30-31. With these men the primary goal of their lives was to provide service for God and His people.

Ellen White states in the same section the following:

"The descendants of these workmen inherited to a large degree the talents conferred on their forefathers. For a time these men of Judah and Dan remained humble and unselfish; but gradually, almost imperceptibly, they lost their hold upon God and their desire to serve Him unselfishly. They asked higher wages for their services, because of their superior skill as workmen in the finer arts. In some instances their request was granted, but more often they found employment in the surrounding nations. In place of the noble spirit of self-sacrifice that had filled the hearts of their illustrious ancestors, they indulged a spirit of covetousness, of grasping for more and more. That their selfish desires might be gratified, they used their God-given skill in the service of heathen kings, and lent their talent to the perfecting of works which were a dishonor to their Maker.

It was among these men that Solomon looked for a master workman to superintend the construction of the temple on Mount Moriah. Minute specifications, in writing, regarding every portion of the sacred structure, had been entrusted to the king; and he could have looked to God in faith for consecrated helpers, to whom would have been granted special skill for doing with exactness the work required. But Solomon lost sight of this opportunity to exercise faith in God. He sent to the king of Tyre for a man, "cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men . . . in Judah and in Jerusalem." 2 Chronicles 2:7." Prophets and Kings 62-63

It is this writers understanding that as the spirit of selfishness was indulged the pure motives of service to God were replaced by the motives of the surrounding nations and a mingling occurred. As we have seen whenever a mingling takes place among the people there is an inevitable turning away from the principles of God. This case turns out the same way.

Again in Prophets and Kings 63-65 we have the following testimony:

"Thus at the head of Solomon's company of workmen there was placed a man whose efforts were not prompted by an unselfish desire to render service to God. He served the god of this world, mammon. The very fibers of his being were inwrought with the principles of selfishness.

Because of his unusual skill, Huram demanded large wages. Gradually the wrong principles that he cherished came to be accepted by his associates. As they labored with him day after day, they yielded to the inclination to compare his wages with their own, and they began to lose sight of the holy character of their work. The spirit of self-denial left them, and in its place came the spirit of covetousness. The result was a demand for higher wages, which was granted.

The baleful influences thus set in operation permeated all branches of the Lord's service, and extended throughout the kingdom. The high wages demanded and received gave to many an opportunity to indulge in luxury and extravagance. The poor were oppressed by the rich; the spirit of self-sacrifice was well-nigh lost. In the far-reaching effects of these influences may be traced one of the principal causes of the terrible apostasy of him who once was numbered among the wisest of mortals.

The sharp contrast between the spirit and motives of the people building the wilderness tabernacle, and of those engaged in erecting Solomon's temple, has a lesson of deep significance. The self-seeking that characterized the workers on the temple finds its counterpart today in the selfishness that rules in the world. The spirit of covetousness, of seeking for the highest position and the highest wage, is rife. The willing service and joyous self-denial of the tabernacle workers is seldom met with. But this is the only spirit that should actuate the followers of Jesus. Our divine Master has given an example of how His disciples are to work. To those whom He bade, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), He offered no stated sum as a reward for their services. They were to share with Him in self-denial and sacrifice.

Not for the wages we receive are we to labor. The motive that prompts us to work for God should have in it nothing akin to self-serving. Unselfish devotion and a spirit of sacrifice have always been and always will be the first requisite of acceptable service. Our Lord and Master designs that not one thread of selfishness shall be woven into His work. Into our efforts we are to bring the tact and skill, the exactitude and wisdom, that the God of perfection required of the builders of the earthly tabernacle; yet in all our labors we are to remember that the greatest talents or the most splendid services are acceptable only when self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice."

Thus Solomon, the wisest of earthly men, made a major mistake and initiated the principles of worldliness in this project meant for devotion to God. If Solomon had listened to God, and properly discerned the issues involved with the building of the Temple of God, he might have saved himself and his kingdom many heartaches and trials. But we, coming along 2500 years later can learn from the mistakes of Solomon. We can decide today to "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And He will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." II Corinthians 6:14-18

Mingling truth and error have never worked in the history of mankind. God only works on purity of truth and love. If we are involved in a relationship with a mingled person or business, let us take these things to God to see how He would have us to handle things. He knows the issues of every heart and mind, and only He can solve the difficult issues of life. God wrote a chapter especially on how to deal with these issues in I Corinthians 7.

If you are not in a mingled relationship please learn from Solomon and do not enter into one. The only safety of mankind is to obey the thoughts of God and to not disobey His wonderful protecting thoughts. May you be blessed by the wisdom of God’s holy Word.

Solomon and Psalm 72

"In the reign of David and Solomon, Israel became strong among the nations and had many opportunities to wield a mighty influence in behalf of truth and the right. The name of Jehovah was exalted and held in honor, and the purpose for which the Israelites had been established in the Land of Promise bade fair of meeting with fulfillment. Barriers were broken down, and seekers after truth from the lands of the heathen were not turned away unsatisfied. Conversions took place, and the church of God on earth was enlarged and prospered.

Solomon was anointed and proclaimed king in the closing years of his father David, who abdicated in his favor. His early life was bright with promise, and it was God's purpose that he should go on from strength to strength, from glory to glory, ever approaching nearer the similitude of the character of God, and thus inspiring His people to fulfill their sacred trust as the depositaries of divine truth. David knew that God's high purpose for Israel could be met only as rulers and people should seek with unceasing vigilance to attain to the standard placed before them. He knew that in order for his son Solomon to fulfill the trust with which God was pleased to honor him, the youthful ruler must be not merely a warrior, a statesman, and a sovereign, but a strong, good man, a teacher of righteousness, an example of fidelity.

With tender earnestness David entreated Solomon to be manly and noble, to show mercy and loving-kindness to his subjects, and in all his dealings with the nations of earth to honor and glorify the name of God and to make manifest the beauty of holiness. The many trying and remarkable experiences through which David had passed during his lifetime had taught him the value of the nobler virtues and led him to declare in his dying charge to Solomon: "He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain." 2 Samuel 23:3, 4.

Oh, what an opportunity was Solomon's! Should he follow the divinely inspired instruction of his father, his reign would be a reign of righteousness, like that described in the seventy-second psalm" Prophets and Kings 25-26:

Psalms 72 – A Psalm for Solomon
1Give the king (David) thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son (Solomon and in His time Christ).

2He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.

3The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

4He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy ( a prophecy of the Investigative Judgment conducted by Solomon with the two harlots of I Kings 3:16-28), and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

5They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

6He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (Solomon, when true to God was a channel for God to pour out the early and latter rains of the gospel of Christ.)

7In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

8He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (Solomon did have dominion over the territory from the Nile River to the Euphrates River. I Kings 4:21 Jesus will end up ruling the entire planet.)

9They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

10The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (I Kings 10:1-13)

11Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

12For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

13He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

14He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

15And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. (I Kings 10:1-13)

16There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

17His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. (All of the world sought out the wisdom of Solomon when he was right with God. I Kings 4:29-34 and I Kings 10:23-25. All of the world sought out Jesus when He was on earth for He was greater than Solomon. John 12:19; Matthew 12:42)

18Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

19And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

20The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

All phrases in brackets are by the writer, not by David.

Thus in the infinite wisdom of God, He, through His Spirit, moved upon David to write a Psalm specifically for Solomon, his son. This Psalm was written to encourage and guide Solomon in his decision making. God wanted Solomon to know that He had raised him up, He had named him, and He would support and guide him. God would reprove, and correct Solomon all of the days of his life.

It is our blessing to read the history of this man of God and to learn the frailty of human nature. Let us trust in the great God of Solomon and trust and obey Him in all things.

One last thought before closing this study. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of us had a Psalm that we could read that God had written just for us? It is my belief that God has done just that. In I Corinthians 10:11 God says "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." All of these stories, all of the Psalms, all of the prophecies have been hand selected and written in such a way, that in the providence of God each one of us can read a story, a Psalm, a prophecy, or a parable, or a proverb, and somewhere we will find one so emotionally vivid that we will recognize that that is the section of Scripture that God had written just for you.

May God add His blessings to the reading of His Word, and may you recognize the blessing as Solomon recognized the blessings that God had written for him.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Solomon and What Happens to Us When We Die

Solomon, the second wisest man to have ever lived, learned many things in his life and one of those things is about what happens to us when we die. In his book Ecclesiastes on his repentance for his past sins, Solomon gives us one of the best statements on death and how we function after death. Solomon writes:
Ecclesiastes 9:1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Solomon learned that all of the people of the earth, whether they be wise or foolish, live out their lives, do whatever they are going to do and then at the end they all die. So one event comes to all people, and although there have been a few exceptions, a theme for another study, all of us have to deal with death sooner or later.

Solomon further states:
Ecclesiastes 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Solomon learned that all of the living will learn that when all the dust has settled death comes to all of the living. However, Solomon discovered that the dead do not know anything in the state of death. On top of that Solomon discovered that the dead do not experience any kind of feelings, or thoughts. They do not experience love, hatred, or envy. Not only that but the dead do not participate in anything in life. They do not communicate with the living and they are not concerned with anything for they do not think. This may come as a shock to some people who believe that the dead interact with the living.

God, in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, says the following:
Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

In the above text God states that He does not want His people to get involved with many things but one thing in the list is that of being a Necromancer. A Necromancer is "one who conjures up the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future of influencing the curse of events." Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary on the word Necromancy. God says that the nations that He drove out for Israel practiced this kind of behavior and God did not want His people to do it. The reason He does not want His people to participate in it is because according to Solomon it can’t happen in the first place. God, who created all mankind, knows what happens when you die. Mankind does not know except God tells him what will happen. God says that you don’t know anything about what is going on around you so how can you tell anyone else what to do if you don’t know and you can not communicate with the living.

The next logical question is if people do not communicate what is happening when they are dead then who is doing all of the communicating of information that no one else knows about? The answer is obvious and simple but disconcerting. If a Necromancer is seeking information about someone who is dead and they acquire special knowledge that no one else knows, and the dead are not talking, then the only source left is Satan and his angels.

Satan knows almost everything there is to know about you and he was the only one around that was willing to contradict God in the beginning. God said But of the tree of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17. Satan came along later and said to Eve "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5 So God says one thing and Satan, the serpent (Revelation 12:9), says another. The great issue for us is whom do we believe. God says that you can not communicate with the dead for they don’t know anything. Satan says please do communicate with the dead for they know all things. God knew that Satan would come up with this scheme of thought and He seeks to protect us from an avenue of information that will only lead us to problems, discouragement, and ruin.

We have a case study on the subject in I Samuel 28. King Saul was discouraged and knew that he would be going into battle with his enemies the Philistines on the next morning. He wanted to talk to someone about what would happen the next day and what would happen if one were to die. He had spent the last 20 years ignoring God and when he was desperate, but not so desperate that he was willing to change, and when he went to God, God would not answer him by any normal avenue of communication. I Samuel 28:6. So Saul decided to do something outside of the box and again showed that he was in rebellion against God. Saul decided that he would talk to a witch that practiced Necromancy. He goes to the witch and asks her to call up the prophet Samuel from the dead to speak to him. When Samuel was alive Saul would not cooperate with him and now that Samuel was dead Saul wanted to talk to him, and by seeking to speak to the dead Saul showed that he was willing to disobey God to the very end.

The witch calls up a spirit who informs her that the man speaking to her was King Saul. I Samuel 28:12. The witch is confirmed again that this avenue is a source of valuable information. King Saul does not ever see this spirit but the woman is the channel through whom they communicate. The spirit pretending to be Samuel tells King Saul that he will die on the next day. This statement was fulfilled the next day when Israel is defeated and Saul indeed dies for his sin of disobeying all of the commandments of God and especially of the sin of seeking a witch. II Chronicles 10:13-14.

This brings us back to the question of who was communicating through the witch. God had clearly told His people not to attempt to communicate with the dead for the dead can not communicate with the living. The next question is would God then break His own rule and resurrect His prophet Samuel to talk to a king that did not want to obey Him in the first place? I do not believe that God violates His own laws to cooperate with rebellious hearts. But we already have evidence that Satan can and will do so. Satan is the communicator of rebellion and it is he that uses the belief in the communication with the dead to mislead and misguide us in our relationship with God. So let us get a little more information on this subject.

Solomon’s father, David, stated that when the dead die their thoughts perish. Psalms 146:4. David also states that the dead "praise not the Lord" Psalms 115:117. He also states that "…in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalms 6:5 So again the evidence indicates that the dead can not speak to us. But Satan is constantly trying to get us to go to sources of information that he controls so that he can deceive us and get us to join in his rebellion.

In Isaiah 8:19 we have the following counsel:
"And when they shall say unto you, See unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God, for the living to the dead?"
God counsels us to seek Him, for He has all knowledge. He commands us not to speak to the dead for they do not think at all.

Virtually every religion in the world believes that the dead are not dead and can speak to us. The Bible states that the dead are dead and can not speak to us. In Psalms 106:28, 37 we get a little taste of the religious services of the nations not of Israel. In Psalms 106:28,37-39 we find the following:
"They (Israel) joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead." "Yea, the sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land as polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions."

In this text Israel turns against God and follows the religious practices of the nations living in Canaan – the future home of Israel. In these religious practices human sacrifice was an important part of the religion and gave the people opportunity to communicate with God through the death of the children. Solomon himself followed these practices by assisting his wives in their religious services. I Kings 11:1-8. All of the major names of the gods recorded in Solomon’s story required human sacrifice and also practiced communications with the dead. All of these religions were in the land of Canaan and were one of the many reasons that God drove them out and forbade Israel to follow their practices. Deuteronomy 18:9,14. God counts all of these religious practices as abominations. Deuteronomy 18:12 Since God does not want us to participate in them the only agency that would promote these activities are those in alignment with the doctrines of devils, or of Satan. I Timothy 4:1

Since Satan is seeking to confuse us on the subject of what happens when we die, what is God’s position? God says that when we die we enter into a state of being that the Bible calls a sleep. John 11:1-14; I Corinthians 15:15-18; 20,51. God says that we do not think, praise God, get involved with anything with life until He calls us from our state of sleep, and calls this the resurrection. I Corinthians 15:51-55; John 5:25-29; I Thessalonians 4:13-17. Without the resurrection there is no communication with those who have been dead.

Satan seeks to confuse this issue and says that we can communicate with the dead. Those who believe in this channel of communication have to negate the Bible and the need for the resurrection. If the dead are alive in the "spirit world" and are able to communicate with the living then the Bible is clearly mistaken. On the other hand if the dead can not communicate with the living, as the Bible says, then all agencies that state that the dead can respond to our prayers and entreaties are of Satan for these thoughts are direct contradictions of the Bible. Each person must evaluate these thoughts, study out these concepts, and make a decision as to who we will believe. I pray that you will take these things seriously enough to read the texts in this study. May God deliver us from all evil.

Solomon and the Health Message

Before progressing too far into this chapter’s subject matter I wanted to establish a Bible study principle and then apply it to Solomon and The Health Message. In Matthew 19:3-9 Jesus is discussing the issue of divorce and Jesus is making His case by appealing to the principle of "from the beginning it was not so." V. 8 Jesus appealed to the fact that He, the Creator God, had established the primary facts of life when He laid out the ground rules of everything in the Creation.

In Mark 10:6-12 Jesus also talking about divorce describes the principle of marriage "But from the beginning of the Creation God made them male and female…so then they are not more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder..." Thus again the appeal to the Creation and what God originally did was the key to answering this question.

In Mark 2:23-28 Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees over His Sabbath activities. Again Jesus appeals to the Creation "And He said unto them, the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." Vs. 27-28 So again the principle is that what was established from the beginning is the rule by which all things should be compared, and if they do not square up the issue is probably a tradition. See Matthew 15:1-9
One last example of this principle is in II Peter 3:1-12. Here Peter is discussing the fact that scoffers will come to try to discourage people from waiting for the Second Coming of Christ. In II Peter 3:4 Peter, under the influence of the Holy Spirit states that even the scoffers appeal to the Creation as a standard of comparing the true things of God. He says "And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep (from the death of Adam) all things continue as they were from the beginning of the Creation." Even the scoffers recognize that the Creation is the starting point of discussing all issues and needs to have its role to play in determining whether something will happen.

With the above in place I would now like to discuss Solomon and his views of The Health Message. In Deuteronomy 17:18-20 the king of Israel is commanded to read the Bible all the days of his life so that his heart is not lifted up above his brethren and that his days may be prolonged. To read the Bible frequently one would have to expose ones thinking to the principles, which established the kingdom of God in the beginning. This would include Jesus’ view of health and diet. So by reading the Bible Solomon should have known about what God’s health message was and how it should be applied to his life.

In I Kings 4:7-23 the Bible discusses his diet and the people who have the responsibility of providing the monthly allotments of food. In verses 22-23 we find that Solomon has not compared his dietary lifestyle to that of the beginning. In verses 22-23 we find that Solomon’s diet consisted of bread and flesh. This is significantly different from that which Jesus had directed in the beginning. In the beginning Jesus had commanded that man’s food should be "…every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29 This command would be for all foods that come from trees – nuts and fruit – and all things that bear seed in itself – thus grains. Or bread, nuts and fruit. In the beginning there was to be no killing of animals to feed mankind. There was to be no killing or hurting in the kingdom of God. Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25. Not until sin had entered the world was there to be a death for sin brings death, not God.

After the flood was the first time that God explicitly gives permission to eat a dead animal, and that only because there was not God ordained food to eat because of the flood. But even the permission to eat animal flesh was to be guided by the clean and unclean laws of Genesis 7:2,8; 8:20; Leviticus 11; and Deuteronomy 14. In addition the fat and the blood were never to be eaten. Leviticus 17:10-14. All through Scripture the dietary laws are present and the righteous accept the commandments of God and the wicked choose to go contrary to the laws of God.
Solomon, in all of his wisdom, did not appear to find The Health Message to be a primary area of focus. However, Jesus, in His training of Israel, and His provisions for Israel saw these things differently. He withheld the giving of animal flesh to His people. It was no more difficult for God to give Israel animal flesh, as we see in Numbers 11, as it was to give manna. But God in His infinite wisdom felt that manna and water was better than manna, water, and animal flesh. Israel clamored for dead animal flesh and two times in the wilderness God gave them what their appetite asked for. Numbers 11 and Exodus 16:11-13. When they ate of the quail in Numbers 11 it was a sign of their rebellion and the people were punished by the loss of many people in the plague that came with the flesh. Numbers 11:33-35.

God’s purpose of giving The Health Message is what it always is, God wants us to be healthy and in our health to permit a closer understanding of God. III John 2; II Peter 1:6 – temperance; Exodus 15:26 no disease; Deuteronomy 8:1-4 miraculous preservation by God; and to be healthier and wiser than the people around them Daniel 1:8-20.

Solomon could have presented these truths about health to the people and they would have been blessed even more abundantly. But it appears that Solomon had other things on his mind. Oh, that Solomon would have read the Word of God and focused on the things from the beginning. It would have protected him from the errors he made during his reign. If he would have surrendered to these truths – if he had read the Word of God every day, if he would have not gone back to Egypt, if he had not married many wives, and if he had not accumulated gold and silver what a kingdom he would have had and how many more people he could have brought to a saving relationship with Jesus. Oh, that we might learn the lessons from Solomon’s life and be obedient to the truths from the beginning.

A Study on Once Saved Always Saved in the Life of Solomon

In the life of Solomon Jesus has revealed almost every significant principle in the Bible. In this chapter I want to study the issue of whether one can come to Jesus and then be lost. There are several stories around the life of Solomon that reveal what Jesus thinks about people who commit to Him and then turn away from Him. Solomon’s story will answer this question.

King Solomon was the third king in the lineage of Israel’s kings. Kings Saul was first, then King David, and then Solomon, and the books of Chronicles and Kings lists out the rest of the many kings of Israel and of Judah. For this chapter I want to use just four kings – Saul, David, Solomon, and Jeroboam the son of Nebat. These four kings will be used to illustrate the principles mentioned before.

In the life of King Saul God has chosen to reveal many hard principles. Just prior to the anointing of King Saul Israel officially rejects Jesus from being their King. See I Samuel 8:1-9 "1And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.
3And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
7And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them."

As a result of rejecting Jesus as their King, Jesus was willing to pick a king that was after their heart and He would bless that king and assist him in any way that He could. God directs Samuel to anoint King Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin (I Samuel 10:1) and then gives King Saul a new heart and turned him into another man. I Samuel 10:9,6. All who read the Bible know what happened after this. Saul rebelled against the requirements of Jesus and committed acts of rebellion and witchcraft and then Jesus officially rejected Saul from being king. I Samuel 15:22-23. After his rejection Jesus took His Spirit from the heart of Saul as well. I Samuel 16:14

Although Saul had been officially rejected from being King he continued in that position for many more years. During these years he persecuted God’s appointed King, David, mercilessly and attempted to murder David many times. In the end Saul would not listen to the prophets of God, nor U rim or Thummin (I Samuel 28:5-6) and he ended up consulting with a witch. I Samuel 28:7-25. This final act of rebellion led to the destruction of King Saul for the sins that he had committed against Jesus. I Chronicles 10:13-14.

In the example of King Saul, a wonderful start turned into a tragic affair, with Saul trying to kill God’s anointed King – David. Saul would not obey God but constantly was trying to do things in accordance to the wisdom of the King. Saul eventually sank to the point of attempted murder, and then sought out Satan to speak to rather than to God, and God allowed King Saul to die.
In the next case we see God selecting and anointing a king after the heart of Jesus. I Samuel 16:1-13; Acts 13:22. God allowed Saul to persecute David and this severe discipline developed a remarkable character in Jesus. For many years Jesus allowed this persecution to continue. In the process of time Jesus elevates David to be His King on the throne provided by the providence of God. David is very focused on obeying Jesus in all that He asks and David becomes a great king.

But even David, when in the height of his kingdom sins against Jesus and he is punished for his many sins. II Samuel 11-12 But David repents and is forgiven of his sins and God maintains David on His throne. Psalms 51; II Samuel 12:13-14. God shows that a mighty man of God can sin, and He shows that that many can repent and be forgiven.

In Solomon’s case God chooses him from his birth and gives him a new name signifying that Solomon is beloved of the Lord by calling him Jedidiah. II Samuel 12:24-25. When Solomon is grown up Jesus meets with Solomon, after being crowned king, and grants him the gifts of wisdom, a discerning heart, length of life, and great riches and honor. I Kings 3:5-15. Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived and yet even with all of these precious gifts Solomon turned away from Jesus and his heart was not settled with Jesus as was David his father. I Kings 11:4-13. Because of his sinful ways Jesus confronted Solomon and told him that He would take away Solomon’s kingdom and Solomon awoke as from a dream –
"At last the Lord, through a prophet, delivered to Solomon the startling message: "Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son." Verses 11, 12.

Awakened as from a dream by this sentence of judgment pronounced against him and his house, Solomon with quickened conscience began to see his folly in its true light. Chastened in spirit, with mind and body enfeebled, he turned wearied and thirsting from earth's broken cisterns, to drink once more at the fountain of life. For him at last the discipline of suffering had accomplished its work. Long had he been harassed by the fear of utter ruin because of inability to turn from folly; but now he discerned in the message given him a ray of hope. God had not utterly cut him off, but stood ready to deliver him from a bondage more cruel than the grave, and from which he had had no power to free himself.

In gratitude Solomon acknowledged the power and the loving-kindness of the One who is "higher than the highest" (Ecclesiastes 5:8); in penitence he began to retrace his steps toward the exalted plane of purity and holiness from whence he had fallen so far. He could never hope to escape the blasting results of sin, he could never free his mind from all remembrance of the self-indulgent course he had been pursuing, but he would endeavor earnestly to dissuade others from following after folly. He would humbly confess the error of his ways and lift his voice in warning lest others be lost irretrievably because of the influences for evil he had been setting in operation." PK 77-78

Solomon ends his life having returned to Jesus and willing to accept the forgiveness always offered by our Lord and Master, and Redeemer. In his confessional book Ecclesiastes Solomon says "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Our final story is about Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Jeroboam is the king appointed by Jesus’ prophet Ahijah in I Kings 11:26—39. Jesus instructs Jeroboam that if he will be true to God’s laws He will keep Jeroboam and build for him a secure house as He had built for David. I Kings 11:37-38. Jesus Himself promised to be with Jeroboam to care for him and build him up. Oh what a blessed privilege to receive such promises from Jesus through His prophets. I Peter 1:9-12.

Sadly, Jeroboam did not live up to the promises that God gave him. Jeroboam feared in his heart that Israel would return to the king of Judah and he planned to protect his kingdom from such a crisis. He did not trust in Jesus to fulfill His promises and Jeroboam turned to the wisdom of his own thinking to solve the problem. Jeroboam did the following:
"Placed on the throne by the ten tribes of Israel who had rebelled against the house of David, Jeroboam, the former servant of Solomon, was in a position to bring about wise reforms in both civil and religious affairs. Under the rulership of Solomon he had shown aptitude and sound judgment; and the knowledge he had gained during years of faithful service fitted him to rule with discretion. But Jeroboam failed to make God his trust.
Jeroboam's greatest fear was that at some future time the hearts of his subjects might be won over by the ruler occupying the throne of David. He reasoned that if the ten tribes should be permitted to visit often the ancient seat of the Jewish monarchy, where the services of the temple were still conducted as in the years of Solomon's reign, many might feel inclined to renew their allegiance to the government centering at Jerusalem. Taking counsel with His advisers, Jeroboam determined by one bold stroke to lessen, so far as possible, the probability of a revolt from his rule. He would bring this about by creating within the borders of his newly formed kingdom two centers of worship, one at Bethel and the other at Dan. In these places the ten tribes should be invited to assemble, instead of at Jerusalem, to worship God.
In arranging this transfer, Jeroboam thought to appeal to the imagination of the Israelites by setting before them some visible representation to symbolize the presence of the invisible God. Accordingly he caused to be made two calves of gold, and these were placed within shrines at the appointed centers of worship. In this effort to represent the Deity, Jeroboam violated the plain command of Jehovah: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." Exodus 20:4

So strong was Jeroboam's desire to keep the ten tribes away from Jerusalem that he lost sight of the fundamental weakness of his plan. He failed to take into consideration the great peril to which he was exposing the Israelites by setting before them the idolatrous symbol of the deity with which their ancestors had been so familiar during the centuries of Egyptian bondage.

Jeroboam's recent residence in Egypt should have taught him the folly of placing before the people such heathen representations. But his set purpose of inducing the northern tribes to discontinue their annual visits to the Holy City led him to adopt the most imprudent of measures. "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem," he urged; "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." 1 Kings 12:28. Thus they were invited to bow down before the golden images and adopt strange forms of worship. PK 99-100

Thus Jeroboam ended up doing the exact same things that Solomon did in his rebellion. Finally the Bible records the following about Jeroboam:
"And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:
Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger." I Kings 15:29-30

Jeroboam had turned away from God and had provoked God to anger for the sins that Jeroboam had done, and had led Israel to do. We have no record of Jeroboam ever repenting for these sins. In fact Baasha, the King who had removed Jeroboam’s son Nadab (I Kings 15:27), has the following said about him by God:
"Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,
Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins;
Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.
Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead.
And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him." I Kings 16:1-7

In conclusion, after reviewing these four kings we can draw the following conclusions:
God raises up kings and brings them down. Daniel 2:21
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
God will forgive kings who rebel against Him. II Samuel 12:13
Not all kings repent and thus are cast off from the favor of God. I Samuel 28:6; I Chronicles 10:13-14
Because we are once saved, if we turn away from God we will die in our sins unless we repent. Ezekiel 33:11-19

Solomon and the Yarn of Egypt

In our various studies about Solomon we have reported about his rebellion against God in accumulating horses, women, and gold. We have briefly touched on one other thing that Solomon accumulated and that was linen yarn. "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price." I Kings 10:28. Along with the horses and chariots from Egypt Solomon purchased linen.

God had told Israel specifically that they were not to go back to Egypt. He said: "But he (the king) shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way." Deuteronomy 17:16. The reason was that Egypt is symbolized in the Bible as a nation of people who do not recognize God. Exodus 5:2 Thus they are not willing to follow His ways and His commands. So for Israel to go back to Egypt to get anything from them would indicate that God was not able to provide for them and that their ways would be better for Israel that God’s ways. God had promised, and His promises are forever, that He would supply all of Israel’s needs. Israel, while dependent upon God would not need Egypt’s horses, their gold, their chariots, and not their linen yarn.

Yarn is what one makes garments of clothing out of. Garments are a symbol in the Bible of relationship to God and relationship of philosophy to God. For example, in Psalms 109:17-18 the wicked man is clothed in garments of cursing. Conversely God’s people are clothed in garments that reveal God’s qualities and His perfection. Ezekiel 16:10-14. So all through the Bible there is a constant discussion of clothing, or coverings, and what the clothing represents. So how a person is dressed is an important concept to the Bible.

Before we move on let us discuss the prototype of clothing story in the Garden of Eden – in the beginning. In Psalms 104:1-2 God is clothed with garments of light. His angels are clothed in shining garments, one could presume of light as well. Luke 24:4. In Patriarchs and Prophets Ellen White states that Adam and Eve were clothed in garments of light as well. "The sinless pair (Adam and Eve) wore not artificial garments; they were clothed in a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them." Patriarchs and Prophets 45. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they "knew that they were naked…" Genesis 3:7.They sensed that something had changed about them and they immediately focused on taking care of their own needs. They made garments out of fig leaves. Genesis 3:7. When out of obedience they lost their garments of light and could sense the cool of the atmosphere and the feeling of being separated from God, for sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 So to make up for this loss they did not seek out God for His help but devised a plan of their own and made their own clothing.

When God came seeking them that day Adam and Eve ran away from God, indicating again that a separation had occurred. After confronting them about their sins God offered them a solution to their problem. If they would choose to do He would make clothing for them and He would cover them with garments of His own making. Genesis 3:21 indicates that Adam and Eve accepted this gift from God. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make oats of skins, and clothed them." Genesis 3:21 Thus we have the prototype of clothing, and garments that is held up all through Scripture. God will make clothing for us, He will cleanse us, He will remove the old clothing, and He will clothe us. All of this indicates a dependence upon and a relationship with God. See Zechariah 3:1-5 and Ezekiel 36 for further amplifications on this subject.

Conversely, any attempt to clothe oneself is a sign or symbol of independence from, or alienation from, God. So garments, or yarn from Israel would be good, garments, or materials from any other nation would indicate rebellion from God. Let us get two other examples of this. In Proverbs 7 we have a connecting link to Solomon since he wrote the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 7:6-23 tells the story of a foolish young man enticed by a strange woman to enter into an illicit sexual relationship. In the story we find that part of her enticement is that she has been involved in the sanctuary service, has paid her vows, and even her bed is like the very sanctuary of God. She says "I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen, of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon." Proverbs 7:16-17. She is using words and imagery that is applied to the sanctuary of God to communicate the idea that she is right with God while she is trying to seduce the young man into doing what is wrong with God. In the end this young man acquires the strange woman but gets a proverbial dart through his liver. Proverbs 7:23 So in this story the evil woman is using linen and coverings to communicate an evil intent. The Bible describes this as a she wolf in sheep’s clothing, Matthew 7:15 or a beast that looks like a lamb but speaks as a dragon. Revelation 13:11

Another story in the Bible about clothing is that of Achan. Achan was an Israelite who after crossing the Jordan River by faith was tempted to acquire gold and clothing from Jericho when God had specifically warned everyone not to take anything out of Jericho. Joshua 6:17-19. When Achan is found out that he had sinned against God, he states the following: "And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto Him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hit it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done; When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold they are hid in the earth in the midst of my ten, and the silver under it." Joshua 7:19-21. Notice that in the list of things that Achan had done, he lusted after a "goodly Babylonish garment". This concept is similar to that of Egyptian linen. To seek to acquire what God has told us not to acquire indicates a separation from God. In this case Achan dies for his desires. This is a warning to all that to acquire linen, or coverings apart from God, or anything that God has forbidden us to do, is dangerous business.

Two other stories before we seek to draw this study to a close. In II Kings 5 we have a story of a Syrian general by the name of Naaman. He has the disease of leprosy and through a number of unusual events he ends up coming to the Jewish prophet Elisha for healing. Naaman comes to the prophet hoping to be healed and if healed he even plans to pay for it with ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. When healed Elisha refuses to be paid for the gifts of healing are free through the mercies of God. Isaiah 55:1. After the healing is accomplished Elisha’s servant steals away to lie to Naaman and get some of the money and possessions. Gehazi, the servant, asks Naaman for some silver and some garments. Naaman gives Gehazi two talents of silver and two changes of garments. When Gehazi comes back and hides the goods, he returns to the side of Elisha and Elisha asks Gehazi where he has been. Gehazi lies to the prophet and tells him he has been nowhere. Elisha then states to Gehazi that Elisha had watched the whole interchange between Gehazi and Naaman. II Kings 5:25-27. Elisha confronts Gehazi and states since he wanted the things of Naaman so bad that he should have it all and Gehazi acquires that element from Syria that he did not anticipate and that was he received not only the silver and the raiment, but also the disease that Naaman had, he receive the leprosy of Naaman – or another way of saying this is that he received the garment of sin.

The final story is told in Luke 15:11-32. A young man feeling his energy decides to receive his inheritance from his father and goes to a far distant land to try his hand at making money. In the process of time and circumstances, he loses all of his money and sinks to the point that he ends up feeding pigs. When he is about ready to eat the pig’s food he comes to his senses and decides to go home and admit his failures to his father and to seek a place as a servant. When the father sees the son coming from a far distance the father prepares a special welcome. After listening to his son confess his foolishness and make the offer of no longer being the father’s son, the father offers the son an alternative avenue, a different way. The father offers to clothe the son with the best robe, to put the household ring on his son’s hand, and put on the shoes of ownership again. The son accepts this offer and is restored to his position as son through the grace of the father.

All of these stories tell us about how God sees clothing and covering. Solomon chose to receive the linen of Egypt. The clothing that he ended up weaving for himself was to depart from God and to practice all manner of heathen worship – thus signifying that the Egyptian thread led to Egyptian worship and an alienation from God. The bad news was that Solomon’s behaviors set in motion the division of the kingdom, and the loss of thousands of people’s lives. The good news was that Solomon, the prodigal son, repented and came back to God and accepted God’s gracious offer of forgiveness. Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to testify of his experience with the things of the world. Let us learn the lesson of Solomon and of Adam and Eve, and all of the other people in the Bible. Let us not go to Egypt to receive her linen, or her garments. Let us go to God and receive the clothing He has made for us.

Solomon and 666

As we have seen before Jesus gave us the prophecy of Deuteronomy 17:14-20 to warn the kings of Israel what they should be concerned about and what to avoid. We to can profit by these instructions especially when seen in the light that Solomon, and his experiences are for us upon who the ends of the world are come. I Corinthians 10:11

An area of God’s counsel, and Solomon’s experience, upon which we have not spent any time is the counsel "…neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." Deuteronomy 17:17. We find in the Bible records that Solomon again violated, and ignored the counsel of his God. We are told in I Kings 10:23 "So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom." It is not surprising for this because God had promised Solomon in I Kings 3:13 "And I have also given the that which thou has not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days." Yet we have the counsel that Solomon should not multiply silver and gold to himself. If so much money came in that silver was accounted as stones (I Kings 10:27) then what should have happened to all of this money?

In Prophets and Kings 55 we are told the following: "…The money which should have been held in sacred trust for the benefit of the worthy poor and for the extension of principles of holy living throughout the world, was selfishly absorbed in ambitious projects." So it would appear that God wanted lots of money to come into Israel but that money should not be for self-exaltation but for the glory of God in both ministry to needy people inside the kingdom and for evangelical projects throughout the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Solomon to use the money God gave him in a manner that we could have learned from? What a wonderful testimony that would have been to the glory of God.

Yet there is more to the story. In I Kings 10:14 we find "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold." That appears to be a lot of gold. Not only that but the number assigned to the amount of gold was unique. This number 666 is used only one other place in the Bible and that is in reference to the false worship assigned to the image to the beast in Revelation 13:17-18. Now it could be that this number, 666, is just a random number assigned to a literal, and unique amount of gold that came to Solomon. It is this writer’s belief that that is not the case. This writer believes that God is purposely connecting the two numbers to give an example of what rebellion against God looks like. God gave instruction to Solomon to not accumulate gold to himself. Solomon violated this commandment and did accumulate gold – 666 talents of gold.

Now another question comes up and that is what did Solomon do with the gold? Again God has blessed us with an answer to the question. In Prophets and Kings 54-55 we have the following information:
"The king's alliances and commercial relations with heathen nations brought him renown, honor, and the riches of this world. He was enabled to bring gold from Ophir and silver from Tarshish in great abundance. "The king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance." 2 Chronicles 1:15. Wealth, with all its attendant temptations, came in Solomon's day to an increasingly large number of people; but the fine gold of character was dimmed and marred.

So gradual was Solomon's apostasy that before he was aware of it; he had wandered far from God. Almost imperceptibly he began to trust less and less in divine guidance and blessing, and to put confidence in his own strength. Little by little he withheld from God that unswerving obedience which was to make Israel a peculiar people, and he conformed more and more closely to the customs of the surrounding nations. Yielding to the temptations incident to his success and his honored position, he forgot the Source of his prosperity. An ambition to excel all other nations in power and grandeur led him to pervert for selfish purposes the heavenly gifts hitherto employed for the glory of God. The money, which should have been held in sacred trust for the benefit of the worthy poor and for the extension of principles of holy living throughout the world, was selfishly absorbed in ambitious projects.

Engrossed in an overmastering desire to surpass other nations in outward display, the king overlooked the need of acquiring beauty and perfection of character. In seeking to glorify himself before the world, he sold his honor and integrity. The enormous revenues acquired through commerce with many lands were supplemented by heavy taxes. Thus pride, ambition, prodigality, and indulgence bore fruit in cruelty and exaction. The conscientious, considerate spirit that had marked his dealings with the people during the early part of his reign, was now changed. From the wisest and most merciful of rulers, he degenerated into a tyrant. Once the compassionate, God-fearing guardian of the people, he became oppressive and despotic. Tax after tax was levied upon the people, that means might be forthcoming to support the luxurious court."

According to this counsel Solomon used the money from God to support his own person
al building projects and his desire to surpass other nations in outward display. This is very similar to what King Hezekiah did to Babylon in Isaiah 39 by showing off his gold to the Babylonian representatives but neglected to tell them about the love of Jesus.

So the issue of 666 tells a lot about the man. God blessed Solomon with an abundance of riches but Solomon focused on the money and forgot to obey the Giver of the money. Apparently Solomon had no love response to the gifts of Jesus and focused on a selfish response to the gifts and did not use the gifts to bring honor and glory to God.

So in conclusion, 666 symbolizes the spiritual state of an individual who has had the opportunity to know God and appreciate His generosity and benevolence. This individual takes the gifts of God but does not render an appropriate response to God. All of the responses generated by the individual who is in a 666 spiritual state is to turn people away from the true worship of God. Solomon, who should have known better, symbolizes this 666 state. He knew the counsel of God and chose to ignore it. He gathered the gifts of God but did not render the gift of loving obedience in response to the gifts. Solomon chose to use the gifts in specific acts of selfishness to influence others around him to turn away from God as well. Solomon also used the monies to build the temples of paganism to turn the worship of God’s people away from Him. All of these things show that Solomon, in his rebellious state was a type of the people who receive the number 666 in the Revelation 13:17-18.

I pray that we may learn from these truths and learn how to apply them to our lives that we may be protected from evil and have victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name. Revelation 15:2

Mount Moriah versus the Mount of Olives - a Type of Armageddon

In Revelation 16:12-16 we have a series of interesting events. The great river Euphrates is dried up, that the way of he kings of the East might be prepared. Then we have an interlude in which three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet to work miracles to bring the kings of the earth and the whole world to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Then Jesus warns all that He will come as a thief to the non-believers so keep your garments lest you be naked and see your shame. And the place where all of the above participants are gathered is to the place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.
We know that the great river Euphrates is either the literal river which ran through ancient Babylon and through its waters supported the sworn enemy of Israel. Or the river Euphrates is the spiritual supporter of spiritual Babylon, Revelation 17:5, with people who believe in the ideology that Babylon promotes.

We know that the Cyrus was the king of the East who was called by God to accomplish His judgments upon Babylon, who dried up the river Euphrates, and sacked the great city of Babylon. Isaiah 46:11; 44:27-28. Cyrus was the deliverer of Israel and a type of Christ the Anointed One. Isaiah 44:28-45:1. Cyrus was the king who allowed Israel to be freed from it’s captivity to Babylon and who gave the decree to return to Israel to rebuild the temple and the city. God used Cyrus to give the call for God’s people to come home. All of these things were types of what Jesus wants to do for His people today. Jesus is the king of the East today. He comes from the East to deliver His people. Malachi 4:2 – He is the Sun of righteousness that comes up from the East and He is the Day Spring of Luke 1:78. Jesus is the Originator of the tidings from the North and the East of Daniel 11:44; and the message of the seal of the living God, from the East Revelation 7:2. And when Jesus comes from the East to deliver us He brings His armies to fight this last battle on earth. Revelation 19:11-19. As He comes He sounds His battle cry from the Sun for He knows that as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He will be victorious over all who are gathered together against Him. Revelation 19:17-19.

The place where the wicked are gathered together against God, and His people who are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6), is at the place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. This word, Armageddon, can be rendered the Mount of the Congregation. So all of the kings and people of the world are gathered together against the Mount of the Congregation of God and there God will meet to deliver His people Joel 3:1-21. At this mountain God will conduct judicial review (He will plead with them) and He will pronounce them unjust and filthy and worthy of destruction. Revelation 22:11-12; Revelation 16:15,17. Then God will deliver His people and they will be slain with the sword in the mouth of Jesus and through the brightness of His coming. Revelation 19:21; II Thessalonians 2:8.

Briefly let us go back to Armageddon. This is the place that God has allowed the frog like beasts to bring all of the people who are fighting against God, through His people, since they can not get directly at God they attempt to persecute His people. In the Bible the center of God’s people is Mount Zion, Jerusalem, a symbol of God’s people. Joel 3:11-17; Daniel 9:16; Jeremiah 6:2-Isaiah 51:16. In Joel 3 God calls the heathen together against Mt. Zion and they gather in the valley of Jehoshaphat. In the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal it as at Mt. Carmel. In the battle between Israel and Egypt it happens in the middle of the Red Sea where God dries up the waters to deliver His people. Exodus 14-15. In the crossing of the Jordan God meets with Israel by drying up the Jordan to allow Israel to engage the Canaanites at Jericho. Joshua 3-4. In the battle between Israel and Babylon it was Mt Zion versus the Mount of Babylon. Jeremiah 51:24-25. All of these examples symbolize the same thing – God meeting with His people to deliver them from the heathen and to win a battle for righteousness sake.

But there is another example of this battle of that great day of God Almighty which takes place at a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon. Another type of this battle is between the two mountains in Israel. On Mt Moriah God had His temple built by King Solomon. When Solomon had the temple built on Mt Moriah he was a type of Christ. Sadly, Solomon was also the builder of the heathen temples on the Mount of Olives. II Kings 23:13 and the site was called the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon built for Satan. In this process Solomon symbolized Satan. These two mountains stood in direct contrast with each other. Ellen White describes it as follows "On the summit of the Mount of Olives, confronting the temple of Jehovah, were erected gigantic images and altars for the service of heathen deities." Education 49, see also Prophets and Kings 57. This conflict between the two systems of worship was a type of the Battle of Armageddon. Mount Zion versus the Mount of Corruption. Praise God, our Lord and Saviour will win this battle as He has won every other battle between Satan and Jesus.

I pray that God will allow you to study these texts and to be able to see the things that Jesus has placed in His Word for those of us upon whom the ends of the world are come. I Corinthians 10:11; I Peter 1:10-12. I pray that these things will grant you hope and a trust in God that is never failing.

Solomon and The Ecumenical Movement

In the Creation of mankind Jesus knew the value of the intimate relationship between husband and wife. In fact Jesus Himself uses this intimacy to describe the relationship between Himself and His church. Ephesians 5:23-32. Jesus also uses the type of how He made Adam’s wife (Genesis 2:20-22) to illustrate how He would have His side opened up in His "sleep" and use that material to make a "help meet" for Him. John 19:32-33.

Jesus also used the wife of Adam as an example of how He would fight the war on earth between Himself and Satan. In Genesis 3:15 Jesus predicts that He would put enmity between the woman and the serpent, that there would be war between her seed and the seed of the serpent, that her seed would bruise the head of the serpent. This is our first type of using the literal woman to typify the church as a body.

We have other examples of God using the type of a woman to describe His church. God uses Sarah and Hagar as examples of the covenant churches in Galatians 4:21-31 Paul claims that all of God’s children are children of the free woman in Galatians 4:31

God also uses the example of a woman to symbolize the new testament church in II Corinthians 11:2 and He uses a woman to describe his old testament church in Jeremiah 6:2 where He describes Zion as a comely and delicate woman. He further describes Zion as His people in Isaiah 51:16. Jesus uses woman to describe a pure church in Revelation 12:1,2,5 and to describe a harlot church in Revelation 17:1-5. He uses similar typology to describe Jerusalem and Samaria in Ezekiel 16:1-3, 44-59. In Jeremiah 3 God describes His relationship with Judah and Israel as relationships with harlot women with whom He had been married to and divorced. Thus God is deeply aware of human relationships, and all the joy, and the suffering and pain that goes with them. God has chosen to use these relationship patterns to discuss the things of God and to inform His people of how events would unfold. We must always remember that God wrote these Bible stories not only for the people who initially experienced them but were for the people upon whom the ends of the world are come. I Corinthians 10:11; I Peter 1:10-12.

With these principles in mind I would like to return briefly to the experience of Solomon. Solomon, as described in our last chapter, had rejected the counsel of God and had chosen to ally himself with many heathen nations and seal these alliances with marriages to heather princesses. We know that these marriages ended in turning the heart of Solomon away from Jesus and while in this state Solomon entered into heathen worship ceremonies with his wives. All of this pagan worship created a counter religion in the heart of the nation of Israel and ended up with Solomon building temples to pagan gods: "On the summit of the Mount of Olives, confronting the temple of Jehovah, were erected gigantic images and altars for the service of heathen deities." Education 49 It is this writers belief that this series of acts by Solomon was a type of the ecumenical movement of these last days.

To give us an example of the ecumenical process I am addressing I would like to share with you a random sampling of thinking from off the internet about the Catholic and Evangelicals uniting:
"On March 29, 1994, leading evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd. Millennium." Contained within the document, which attempts to bring ecumenical unity, are some seriously compromising agreements regarding proselytizing and doctrinal distinctions. The 25-page document, originated by Chuck Colson and Catholic social critic Richard John Neuhaus, was signed by 40 noted evangelical and Catholic leaders including Pat Robertson, heads of the Home Mission Board and Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bill Bright - founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Mark Noll of Wheaton University, Os Guinness, Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God), Richard Mauw (President, Fuller Seminary), J.I. Packer and Herbert Schlossberg. It called for Catholic and evangelical cooperation on social and cultural issues where both traditions share common goals, one example being the fight against abortion. The accord also stressed mutual allegiance to the Apostles' Creed, world evangelism, justification "by grace through faith because of Christ," and encouraged "civil" discourse over doctrinal differences. Chuck Colson has been fervently criticized for his part in this accord and in his defense I can only say he has a desire to see Christ's high priestly prayer (John 17) maintained. He said in his publication, Jubilee, "All true Christians are one in Christ. That has to be. That isn't just a theological proposition. That is a statment of ultimate reality, because God has created us all, and those He has regenerated and called to Himself all belong to the same, one God. Disunity is a condition that God does not want; it defies what God has done. Therefore it is an affirmative duty on the part of every Christian to work for unity among true believers, never compromising truth, of course, but always to work for unity. The challenge, as I see it, for Mr. Colson and others working toward true Biblical unity of the church is the dillution of their own faith. While I believe there are most likely "born-again" saved people in the Catholic Church whose faith in Christ transcends the teachings and doctrines of the Church, there is a danger of losing sight of the fact that the Catholic Church promises salvation apart from the finished work of Christ on the cross. The distinction is not in the common words they use, but in the definitions of those same words. While Catholics and non-Catholics may agree with the Apostles' Creed, they don't necessarily share the meaning. While Catholics may say they agree with justification "by grace through faith because of Christ," their actions sometimes show otherwise. While "civil" discourse over doctrinal differences may be good, if that civility reduces the impact of world evangelism and bringing the lost to Christ (including non-saved Catholics), it does nothing to advance Christ's prayer for unity and hinders the responsibility of believers to spread the gospel throughout the world.

Subsequent Developments Colson and other signers later agreed to a five-point statement clarifying Protestant distinctives that were not clear in ECT. Critics claimed that the statement blurs doctrinal lines on key issues, including salvation by faith alone. John MacArthur, pastor of the independent Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, told "Christianity Today" magazine his greatest concern was the apparent disregard for "evangelical doctrinal distinctives." The new statement says cooperation between evangelicals and "evangelically committed Roman Catholics" on common concerns is no endorsement of the Roman Catholic "church system" or "doctrinal distinctives." It affirms the Protestant understanding of salvation and legitimate evangelism efforts."

The above clip was taken from the following website:
Ellen White in the book Great Controversy has the following to say:
"The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed--however important they might be from a Bible standpoint--must necessarily be waived.

Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of "the evangelical Protestant denominations" is "not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world's convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!"--Sermon on "The Bible a Sufficient Creed," delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.

"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." GC 445.1
Ellen White is writing this in explanation of Revelation 13:12-15 where there will be an effort to unite all of the world in a worship of the image to the beast. It is not the focus of this article to determine a definition of the beast but it is an attempt to focus on the worship issue of Revelation 13. Worship, as defined in the Bible, is something that should be given to God alone and given to Him in such a manner that is reveals a submission to God’s will and His wisdom. This worship process is to be taught and developed in the church of God and in accordance with His holy principles. Anything that attempts to deviate from this to secure allegiance to the principles of man is a violation of the worship of God and nullifies the worship that should go to God. Matthew 15:1-9; Ezekiel 36.

We have seen how Solomon, a man dedicated and anointed by God slowly turned away from his true worship of God and ended up worshipping Satan by uniting in fellowship with pagan "strange" women. I Kings 11:1-8. We find that Solomon ended up building pagan temples of worship on the Mount of Olives across from God’s true temple after uniting with his pagan wives. II Kings 23:13. We have also seen that in the Bible that women are a type of churches – pure church is of God, false church is of Satan. We have also read the Scriptures that say that all of the Bible stories were written for the end times. I Corinthians 10:11.

I have incorporated a few quotations from three different sources indicating that the Protestant churches are attempting to unite together to fulfill a Bible concept of true unity without compromise of truth. Solomon had this same goal but in the end whenever one attempts to compromise on truth it turns into error. We have seen that these articles indicate that there will be an attempt by Protestants and Catholics to reach an accord where they can unite on the points of doctrine that they feel are essential to fulfill Christ’s desire to have a united church. When this attempt at unity reaches the point that it compromises truth then it is no longer of God.

Revelation 13:3 makes it’s prophetic statement that all the world will wonder after the beast. Revelation 13:12 says that there will be another government (kingdom equals a beast Daniel 7:15-17) who "causeth the earth and them which dwell there to worship the first beast..." In Revelation 13:15 it says the following regarding worship "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." It would seem that the worship issue is one of the strongest concepts in Revelation 13. It is paramount for us to know whom we worship and it is paramount that we worship in a manner that God approves of. We know that worship is important because Revelation 14:9-10 says the following: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God…" So who we worship, and why we worship is important, very important.

It is the hope of this writer that as you ponder the things of this study, as you pray over the idea of whether or not a church is symbolized by a woman in Scripture, as you meditate on the fact that a man of God like Solomon could unite with pagan women in direct opposition to the revealed Word of God, that pagan worship could be introduced into Jerusalem, the heart of Israel, by this man dedicated to the service of God, that your hear will be open to the things that God would like to share with you. Allow these things to be weighed deeply and discuss them fervently with God. Learn from Solomon and worship God in accordance with His holy will.

Solomon - A Type of the Beast of Revelation 13

In Revelation 13:1 we find a beast coming up out of the sea, this statement is virtually identical to Daniel 7:2-3 where four beasts come up out of the sea. Daniel 7:15-17 defines beasts as kings or kingdoms and Revelation 17:15 defines waters as peoples or nations. So the beast of Revelation 13:1 is a kingdom arising out of the nations, or peoples.

Revelation 13:1 also says that the beast that comes up out of the sea has 7 heads and 10 horns, with crowns on the horns and upon the heads names of blasphemy. This set of data indicates that the beast is a perfectly evil kingdom and it is worldwide due to the use of the number 10 horns. (See 10 commandments in Exodus 20; the ten men who take hold of all languages of the nations Zechariah 8:23). The fact that the beast has blasphemous names on its heads indicates that this kingdom makes religious claims that reject Bible principles for example Matthew 9:1-8 defines blasphemy as one who claims to offer forgiveness of sins through a system different from God’s system of forgiveness. John 10:30-38 indicates that another form of blasphemy is for a man to claim to be divine. Another facet of blasphemy is for one to specifically break one of the commandments of God. An example of this behavior is the man in Leviticus 24:11-16 who cursed the name of the Lord. So to speak against God, and His truths, would be a form of blasphemy. So the Beast is a kingdom, or government, that makes spiritual claims yet violates various principles of God’s government.

In Revelation 13:2 God states that the beast who came up out of the sea was like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and had a mouth like a lion, and the dragon gave him his power, seat, and authority. Again, let us go back to Daniel 7 to get clues about this unusual looking beast. In Daniel 7:2-7 we find that the Lord reveals that 4 beasts, or kingdoms, would rise up out of the sea, or out of the nations. These 4 beasts/kingdoms would be a Lion, a Bear, a Leopard, and a beast the likes of which Daniel did not recognize but which John sees as a Dragon. The beast of Revelation 13 appears to be a composite of the 4 beasts of Daniel 7 stated in reverse order. In Daniel 2-8 the 4 kingdoms spoken of in the various visions are generally seen as Babylon, as the head of gold and the lion, Medo-Persia as the chest of silver and the bear, and the ram, Greece would be the third kingdom symbolized by the leopard, and the waist of bronze and the he goat of Daniel 8, and the 4th kingdom is perceived as the kingdom that replaced Greece – Rome.

So with the information from above the beast of Revelation 13:1-2 would be a summary of the 4 kingdoms listed in Daniel 2,7, and 8. In Revelation 13:5-7 we find additional information about this beast in that it speaks great things and blasphemies, it has sufficient life to live 42 months, and it opened its mouth in blasphemy against God, blasphemed His name, His tabernacle, and then that dwell in heaven. God says in Revelation 13:7 that the beast makes war against the saints and overcomes them, and power was given this government over all kindreds, tongues, and nations, and then the Bible says that all that dwell upon it will worship this beast, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. All of the above statements are very similar to the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and its little horn.

In Daniel 7:7-8 the dragon beast was different in that it stamped, and devoured nations, and that it had ten horns. From among the ten horns a little horn came up that plucked up three horns, and it had a mouth speaking great things. In Daniel 7: 15-27 Daniel was wondering what the little horn meant and what did it mean. In Verses 24-25 the little horn, not so much the beast it is attached to, is described as speaking great words against the Most High, attacking the saints of the Most High, thinking to change times and laws, and the people of God would be given into the hands of the little horn for a time, times, and half a time (or 1260 days). These very same thoughts are amplified again in Daniel 8:9-12 where the little horn waxes great against the host of heaven, magnifies himself against the Prince of the host (Jesus Christ), against the daily, against the sanctuary of God, against the truth. These lists are very much similar to what the beast of Revelation 13 does, indicating that the two descriptions are talking about the same kingdom.

One last group of data and then we will see if we can identify this government. Revelation 13:3-4 says that this government received a death wound to one of its heads and then the wound was healed. Then as a result of this healing, all of the world wondered after the beast. And the world worshipped the dragon, which helped the beast, and they worshipped the beast. So again there is great evidence that this is a religious government for it accepts worship, and blasphemous worship at that.

So let us go down the list and see if we can identify the little horn of Daniel 7-8 and the beast of Revelation 13. We know the following: The little horn of Daniel 7-8 is attached to the fourth kingdom – Rome.

The little horn comes up after the period of time of the 10 horns or kingdoms. When pagan Rome divided up into 10 areas this was about 476 AD. Pagan Rome gave this little horn kingdom. The Roman Catholic church was granted control over the Western Roman empire by Emperor Justinian in approximately 530 AD.

The little horn persecuted God’s people for about 1260 years from 538 to about 1798. The Roman Catholic Church claims to have been protecting Christianity by chastizing heretics and this ended shortly before 1798.

The little horn claims powers that belong to God alone especially in its claims to be able to forgive sins and that its leader claims divine powers. The Roman Catholic Church claims these things through the confessional and through the Pope’s claims to be God on earth.

The little horn claims to have the authority to change the law of God. The Roman Catholic Church claims to have the authority to state that we can venerate images of things made with hands. It also has claimed the authority of changing the Sabbath commandment to Sunday worship without a Bible commandment.

The little horn plucked up 3 horns in order for it to be firmly established. This came to pass when the kings of the Heruli were conquered in 493 AD; Vandals in 534 AD and the Ostrogoths in 538 AD at the request of the Roman Catholic Church to Justinian Emperor of Rome.

The little horn/beast wants to be worshipped by all.

The beast of Revelation 13 received a death wound and then it was healed. Napoleon Bonaparte attacked the Roman Catholic Church when Napoleon sent his General Berthier to capture the Pope in 1798. For the next 100 years it looked as if the Roman Catholic Church would die and cease to function as a church. Yet in 1929 Mussolini gave Vatican City back to the Pope and its status as an independent nation was granted and it began to be a political power. Today it is the most sought after political power in the world.

It is this writer’s opinion that the Little Horn of Daniel 8-9 and the Beast of Revelation 13:1-11 is the Roman Catholic Church, from the information provided by the Bible and verified by history. Assuming that the Beast of Revelation 13 is the Roman Catholic Church I would like to present one more piece of information and then attempt to show how Solomon fits into the story. One of the names of the Roman Catholic Church is "the Papacy". Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary says the following regarding the definition of the Papacy – the office of the Pope; a succession or line of the Popes; the term of the Pope’s reign; the system of government of the Roman Catholic Church of which the Pope is the supreme head. Thus the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church are describing the same entity.

To further clarify the idea of the Papacy Ellen White, as the prophet of God defines the Papacy as the following: "When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of heresy." Great Controversy 443. The Roman Catholic Church fits this description as well. She was part of the early church, she became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel, and she accepted heathen rites and customs, and she sough the support of the state to control the consciences of men.

With these thoughts in mind let us see if Solomon did the very same thing. Solomon was involved in establishing the church in Israel. He was directed of God to build the temple to the glory of God. He sought the glory of God and sought to share these truths with the entire world. However, Solomon, through associations with heathen churches he slowly departed from the simplicity of the gospel. He began to incorporate heathen rites and customs into his worship system and built up an opposing worship system in Israel, even to the point of offering human sacrifices. Solomon attempted to change the principles of the worship of God by incorporating heathen principles. He changed the laws of God by not obeying them or encouraging others to obey them, especially the laws of Deuteronomy 17:14-20. He lost the power of God in his life by deviating from holy principles. He attempted to control the lives of his people by force. And Solomon even attempted to persecute those who had been appointed by God to do service for Him when he tried to kill Jeroboam the Son of Nebat in I Kings 11:28-40. All of these issues indicate that when Solomon’s heart was turned from God, he conducted his religious experiences in the same way that Ellen White described the Papacy.

Again, it is my hope that these short studies will give you food for thought as you evaluate the role of Solomon in the history of the church. That you will be able to see that Solomon was a type of both good and evil issues in the Bible. I pray that your study will guide you into a deeper relationship with God and that He will help you learn the lessons of Solomon and that you will turn to He that is greater than Solomon – Jesus.