Sunday, May 31, 2009

Solomon- and the Remnant Church Symbolized by Jeroboam

As we studied in an earlier chapter, Solomon and the Revelation 13, the kingdom of Solomon was very much like the Papacy of the Middle Ages. Ellen White defines the Papacy in the following ways:

"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 sough 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." The Great Controversy 443

As we have also previously studied, Solomon was very much like the beast of Revelation 13. One of the things that the beast did was to persecute the saints. "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Revelation 13:7 This was very similar to that which the Little Horn was accused of in Daniel 7:21 "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." This is again repeated in Daniel 8:10 "And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them."

King Solomon, also practiced this attack against the saints, in his persecution of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. In I Kings 11:26-40 God tells the story of how Jeroboam was a hand picked supervisor by Solomon to manage the activities of the house of Joseph – the father of Ephraim and Manasseh. Apparently Jeroboam was doing a good job for Solomon. One day as Jeroboam was walking outside of Jerusalem, Ahijah the prophet met with Jeroboam and informed him that God had sent a message to him. The message was the God would rend the kingdom from Solomon’s son and give it to Jeroboam. Ahijah took his new garment and tore it into 12 pieces and gave 10 of the pieces to Jeroboam. Ahijah promised to keep two tribes for Solomon – Judah and Benjamin.

Ahijah informed Jeroboam that the reason that God was going to take the kingdom from Solomon was because Solomon had forsaken God and worshipped Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom, imaginary gods of the surrounding kingdoms of the Zidonians, Moabites, and Ammonites. Therefore God was going to address this situation because Israel, and especially Solomon, was not walking in ways that were acceptable to God, nor were they keeping God’s statutes and judgments. Thus God would attempt to correct this by raising up Jeroboam to lead His people in the right way.

God promised Jeroboam that He would not take the kingdom out of Solomon’s hands but out of his son’s hands because He had promised David to watch over Solomon and would keep him as king for David’s sake. It is marvelous to see how important covenant promises are to God, regarding His relationship promises.

When Solomon heard what the prophet of the Lord had said and done with Jeroboam, Solomon tried to kill the rival to his kingdom, Jeroboam. Apparently Solomon had some worries about his kingdom and his behaviors that Ahijah fanned into flame. Solomon was following in the same footsteps of King Saul and was jealous of any who had a true relationship with God.

When Ahijah was talking to Jeroboam, he informed Jeroboam that "…I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that they soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in My ways, and do that it is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as David My servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever." I Kings 11:37-39 Jeroboam was granted the kingdom, under conditions of obedience to God’s ways and will. If he would proceed by faith, and trust in the unchangeableness of God’s promises he could have reigned in a positive manner. If he would walk by faith God would support and protect him.

When Solomon heard of the promises to Jeroboam "Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon." I Kings 11:40. Thus Solomon manifested the ways of the Papacy – anyone who preached, or believed, outside of the ways of the Papacy was subject to a death sentence.
Solomon eventually dies and God’s prophecy for Jeroboam was fulfilled. Jeroboam is chosen by the northern tribes to lead them after seceding from Solomon’s son Rehoboam in I Kings 12:1-20. Jeroboam has all of the potential and if he stays steady with God, God will confirm the kingdom and assist Jeroboam in maintaining the kingdom.

Thus we see, literally, that God would address the defects of the kingdom of Solomon, and his successor Rehoboam. This is a type of the Remnant church. God’s church has steadily continued over these long years and has stayed steady to the Word of God. Many of the people in the Remnant church have turned away from God, but God, and His people, have remained on the field of battle steadily accomplishing the purposes of God. As long as God’s people maintain a faith relationship with God, and obey Him He will bless and keep them. Every church, and every individual, must testify as to whether they will trust and obey God or find a way to care for their fears by themselves.

But sad to say Jeroboam’s reign was not what God desired of His chosen man. Jeroboam ended up becoming just like Solomon. Jeroboam consulted with is fear, rather than with his faith, and introduced idol worship as a way of keeping Israel from going to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple that God had built through Solomon. God’s prophetic voice spoke through Ellen White in Prophets and Kings 99-100. She says the following:

"…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 the 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." Prophets and Kings 99-100

To keep the people from returning to worship at Jerusalem, Jeroboam introduced the worship of the golden calves that Israel had worshipped in the wilderness when coming out of Egypt. I Kings 12:26-33 Jeroboam turned from a trusting relationship with God and decided to take matters into his own hands. He introduced false worship as a way of controlling the people lest they turn against him. This is one of the basic principles of the Papacy but not of the Remnant.

The Remnant peoples are what Jeroboam was originally intended by God to be. They are to show aptitude and sound judgment; they are to bring about wise reforms in both civil and religious affairs, like Jeroboam was intended to do. And most importantly, they are to make God their trust.

God describes the Remnant in the following terms "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus." "Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 God’s Remnant people have the following criteria applied to them:

They keep the commandments of God. All of them including the Sabbath.

They have the testimony of Jesus. They have and believe in the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev 19:10) and they have the testimony of Jesus that there is nothing in them that responds to the call of Satan. John 14:30 They can also testify that they obey the Father’s will. John 8:29

They have the patience of the saints. They have been through trial and they have learned patience.

They keep the faith of Jesus. Jesus had an unshakable faith in His Father’s care and He would not be turned away from Him. God’s Remnant has the same kind of faith that Jesus has.

Jeroboam had been called by God through the prophetic messenger Ahijah. He had the opportunity to rest his life and future on the care of God. He could have been a wonderful ruler and had all of the opportunity to do so. God promised to be with him if he would obey His commandments and to have faith in God. Jeroboam eventually was found to be unfaithful to God, to God’s commandments, and to the faith of Jesus. Jeroboam also turned against the prophetic message of Ahijah. Thus Jeroboam, by his free choice, turned away from God and lost his opportunity to be a type of the Remnant of God.

Revelation 14:1-5 testifies that God will have a Remnant people who will learn the lessons of Solomon, and of Rehoboam. They will have the Father’s name in their forehead; they will have His character in their thoughts and in their actions. They will harp with their harps but praising God in Truth. Psalms 71:22. They will sing a new song of their experience in these last troublesome days. They did not follow in the footsteps of Solomon and did not submit to the ecumenical movement and get into any adulterous relationships with the false doctrines of false churches. This Remnant are those people who are so focused on Jesus that they follow, and imitate the example of Jesus, wherever He goes. And in their experience they have no guile in their mouths, they will teach truth in word, and act, and fruit.

God will have a Remnant that will stand for Him and they will bring honor and glory to Him for they are the final testimony of what God can do to the willing heart. Today we can decide to be a part of this wonderful group of people. Choose ye this day Whom you will serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment