Day 6—Feast of Tabernacles

"There is a way, which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death"

Fred R. Coulter—October 19, 2019

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Day 6 of the Feast of Tabernacles! Today we're going to cover: How is it that people during the Millennium, with everything nearly perfect, will sin and won't repent? How is that going to work?

The nature of the people is going to return to the nature that was before Adam and Eve sinned. However, they are going to have to choose. God has given every human being independent free moral agency, and we must all choose, and consistently choose what is right.

So, the acronym we have for that is IFMA. But isn't it interesting IF because all the things that trip people up are the IFs and there is IFMA, even when they have close contact with God and the saints who are ruling and reigning. It's quite a thing!

Isaiah 65:19: "I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will joy in My people… [that includes all the people of the world, and the world is going to be ruled from Jerusalem] …and the voice of weeping will no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There will not be an infant who lives but a few days… [completely changed kind of situation] …nor an old man that has not filled his days, for the child will die a hundred years old…" (vs 19-20).

That gives a time limit on how long a person is going to live during the Millennium. As we mentioned, there will come a time when at Sabbath services there will be a transformation service. Those who have qualified and are ready to enter into the Kingdom of God will be transformed instantly. That means an instantaneous death and transformation from flesh to spirit.

Perhaps that might be in the 100th year on the Day of Pentecost. Wouldn't that be a magnificent day for that to be? But since we're not told that's speculation.

"…but the sinner who is a hundred years old… and dies] …shall be accursed" (v 20). This shows that there's no chance of salvation!

We saw how that when people sin they are removed and exiled. That began with Adam and Eve. They were removed from the Garden of Eden. Think about this with Adam and Eve for just a minute. They were there with God. They had a perfect language. They could communicate with God and with each other. God was right there! You would think that if you're in a situation right there with God that there would be no chance that you would sin. But remember IFMA.

God commanded them that they could eat of every tree of the Garden, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they were not to eat of it. For in the day that they ate of it, in dying they shall surely die.

Satan comes and convinces them to eat of the fruit, because it's going to make them wise. That will make you have the ability to decide for yourself what is right, what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. They ate the fruit and they were removed from the Garden of Eden.

Along came Cain and Abel. Abel did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. That was when they were about 135-years-old, and they would come before God at the East entrance and bring their sacrifices, there tithes and offerings. Abel would and Cain would.

There must have been a time when Cain was doing well, but something happened with his IFMA and he chose not to do what God said! That's quite a thing! Right in the face of God! God asked him, Why are you angry? Don't get angry over this. If you use your IFMA and you do well, won't you be received? Won't you be accepted? But if not sin lies at the door!'

That's a very good example that even when everything is going good, and when you have contact with God, that that free independent moral agency, when used for self against God, is sin! That's the whole story of the Bible!

Let's see what God told the children of Israel. They were going to go into the 'promised land.' They received the Ten Commandments of God. They had all of their sins and all of the things that they did for 40 years until that generation died out, and a new generation is coming along. There's always a new generation. A new generation brings with it its own thinking! Here's what God told them: they suffered through all these thing so that God would know what was in their heart, and that they would keep the commandments of the Lord!

Deuteronomy 8:6: "And you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to fear Him."

Isn't that the whole thing with everybody every time everywhere down through all ages? Yes!

Verse 7: "For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land in which you shall eat bread without scarceness. You shall not lack any thing in it. It is a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper" (vs 7-9).

Isn't that the way it's going to be in the Millennium? Everything there:

  • perfect land
  • perfect circumstances

the saints of God ruling and reigning

  • teaching and helping all the people
  • every Sabbath from one Sabbath to another
  • from one month to the other
  • all coming before God to worship

Everything is going to be laid out with the minimum amount of sin! But there is always free moral agency!

We can say this of the Millennium, because going into the 'promised land' is a type of going into the Millennium.

Verse 10: "When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land, which He has given you."

They're living in a time of complete freedom of crime, violence, no war, and everything is nearly perfect! The only imperfection is the wrong choices of their IFMA, which is sin! How are they going to respond? Notice that God gives us warning, because this is the way of human nature. When there's everything that you need, then unless you stay close to God you corrupt yourself with your own IFMA.

Verse 11: "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full and have built goodly houses and lived in them" (vs 11-12). Won't that be true all during the Millennium?

Verse 13: "And when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied."

Didn't God say in Isa. that for iron He's going to bring silver, gold and all of that? They are going to be so rich and have so many things, and everything right there during the Millennium.

Verse 14: "Then you become haughty of heart…"—I know better than God, or I don't care what God says, I know that I'm right.'

What's going to happen with that? They're going to be sent out to a repentance center, and if they don't repent then they're sent out to Gog and Magog. Can they repent from Gog and Magog? I suppose they could, because God always honors repentance!

But here was "…haughty of heart…" and that was the sin of Solomon! The Solomon Syndrome!

"…and you forget the LORD your God Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage" (v 14). There's the parallel there!

Now let's look at some things concerning how people behave and some of the things that will get them trouble.

Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way, which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

In order for there to be sinners who live a hundred years and die accursed means that's exactly what they did in the face of the fact that they were living in the Kingdom of God, and that all the saints were helping, teaching and showing them. The person comes along and get haughty of heart, and we'll see how that takes place with the Solomon Syndrome.

Verse 14—this applies at all times, especially to the Millennium: "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways…"

Because of independent free moral agency, they're going to choose their own ways. If they don't repent, then they're going to have to pay the price. Regardless of how nearly perfect that the Millennium is, with our choices and so forth we still have the choice of choosing good or choosing evil, which then, as we'll see tomorrow, are idols of evil in the mind!

Remember what the human heart is like even though it's not as evil as it is today. God said, as we saw at the beginning, that He's going to give them a new heart, a heart of flesh.

Proverbs 12:20: "Deceit is in the heart of those who imagine evil…" So, if he is imagining evil and thinking it is good, then that is using their free moral agency in a wrong way. They are choosing evil. God says to choose to love God and choose what is right, what is good.

Verse 21: "There shall no harm befall the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truly are His delight" (vs 21-22). An amazing thing!

They're going to have these situations all the time in their lives. Everything is going to be set so they can choose the good, choose the right, love God, love their neighbors, love all in the way that God wants them to love. They will constantly have Sabbath services and Holy Day services year-after-year. So, if they're righteous for a hundred years, they will be transformed and enter into the spiritual Kingdom of God!

Remember that we covered that the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the seas cover the earth! In spite of that, here is the kind of thinking that can come along and spoil it. We will see how Solomon started out.

2-Chron. 28—here it kingship is passing from David to Solomon and David is admonishing Solomon and telling him what he needs to do to be the kind of king, because God said that Solomon would take the place of David.

1-Chronicles 28:6—David is relating this and said: "And He [God] said to me, 'Solomon your son shall build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. And I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues resolute in keeping My commandments and My ordinances, as he is today.' And now in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God, so that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever" (vs 6-8). Sound an awful lot like we read in Isaiah? Yes!

Verse 9: And you, Solomon my son, acknowledge the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart…"

What keeps the heart perfect? Loving God and keeping His commandments, and repenting when you sin and stop sinning!

"…and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts…." (v 9).

That's going to be the key of understanding right and wrong during the Millennium. It's not going to just be the actions. It will be the thoughts first! Then the actions follow.

So, when there becomes that self-willedness, then in spite of everything that is said, a person—man or woman—might say, 'I know that I'm right. How can God be right?' Well, He can be right because He's perfect!

"…If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Take heed now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it" (vs 9-10). That was the charge that was given to Solomon!

1-Kings 3 is a good place to start, because this is also about the same thing, only it exposes a little bit more dramatically some of the things that Solomon did. Now, this is after David had died, was buried and Solomon is installed as king.

1-Kings 3:5: "In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. And God said, 'Ask what I shall give you!' And Solomon said, 'You have shown to Your servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before You in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with You….'" (vs 5-7).

Look at that carefully, righteousness, doing the will of God "…in uprightness of heart…" because all during the Millennium it's all going to be based on the heart!

"…And You have kept this great kindness for him, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. And now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father. And I am a little child…" (vs 6-7).

Isn't it interesting? Just like Samuel told Saul, 'When you were little in your own eyes, you did well.' So, here you have the same thing. Remember, he's very young, but his life went on. How did it turn out? We'll see!

"…I do not know how to go out or come in! And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a numerous people who cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Now, therefore, give to Your servant an understanding heart… [that's the best thing you could ask for] …to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil, for who is able to judge this, Your great people?" (vs 7-9). The best thing he could ask for!

This was so good, notice what God said, v 10: "And the word was good in the eyes of the LORD that Solomon had asked this thing." He did what was pleasing to God!

If Solomon would have stayed that way, just think how history would have been different.

Verse 11: "And God said to him, 'Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life and have not asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to judge justly, behold, I have done according to your words. Lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart, so that there was none like you before you and after you none shall arise like you. And I also have given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you all your days. Therefore, if… [IFMA: choice, what do you choose to do?] …you will walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days'" (vs 11-14).

That's really quite a thing that happened there! 1-Kings 9 is after Solomon built the temple and everything was offered, and his great long prayer. You read that prayer, quite a prayer.

1-King 9:1: "And it came to pass as Solomon finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon" (vs 1-2).

Verse 3: "And the LORD said to him, 'I have heard your prayer and your cry, which you have made before Me. I have made Holy this house which you have built to put My name there forever. And My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. And if you will walk before Me as David your father walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you; and if you will keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever as I promised to David your father, saying, "There shall not be cut off from you a man upon the throne of Israel"'" (vs 3-5).

Verse 6—warning: "If you shall at all turn from following Me… [free choice] …you or your children, and will not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the face of the land, which I have given them. And this house which I have made Holy for My name I will cast out of My sight. And Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people'" (vs 6-7). Notice that God makes it clear:

  • what are the stakes
  • what are the requirements
  • what should be done

Deut. 17—Here is what Solomon did not do! There's a reason why God had this and put this here. This was added in when Saul was made king. Here is the basis for kingship; here is what God said. Originally He didn't want them to have a king, but judges. But the people came to Samuel and said, 'Look, we want a king like all the other nations.' Samuel got all upset and complained to God, and God said, 'They haven't rejected you, they have reject Me! I will give them a king, but you tell them what kind of king it's going to be.' So, he did and you find that in 2-Sam. 8, and in 2-Sam. 10 Saul is made king. Here is what was added by Samuel to the Word of God:

Deuteronomy 17:14: When you come to the land, which the LORD your God gives you, and shall possess it and shall live in it and shall say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me.' You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God shall choose…." (vs 14-15). God chose Saul, God chose David and God chose Solomon!

"…You shall set a king over you from among your brethren. You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother. Only he shall not multiply horses to himself… [notice that] …nor cause the people to return to Egypt… [notice that] …so as to multiply horses because the LORD has said to you, "'You shall not return that way again.'" (vs 15-16).

Notice that all of this is here for Solomon to read!

Verse 17: "Nor shall he multiply wives to himself, so that his heart does not turn away. Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold to himself." Even though God gave it to him, he was not to set his heart on it!

Now, v 18 is the key and this is what Solomon did not do! Even though he prayed that great prayer when the temple was dedicated.

Verse 18: "And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book from that which is in the custody of the priests the Levites." His own copy of the Law!

Now notice what this was to do, v 19[transcriber's correction] : "And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes, to do them… [here's why]: …so that his heart may not be lifted up above his brethren, and that he does not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel" (vs 19-20).

What was one of the first things that Solomon did? He married the daughter of Pharaoh! God didn't come and correct him for that. Here's another lesson: If and when you sin, and God doesn't correct you right away, don't think for a minute that He approves of what you're doing!

What else did Solomon do? We'll see it in just a little bit. All the kings of the earth came and sought after Solomon for his wisdom. They brought gold! He had 666 talents of gold brought to him every year; think about the wealth that was there! It was said of Solomon, like it's said during the Millennium, that silver and gold were just so abundant that the other metals were counted as nothing.

We will see in a little bit how Solomon came to this point of view? Because he didn't make himself a copy of the Law and study it so that he wouldn't be lifted up above his brethren and become haughty of heart!

Remember what it said, 'You shall not multiply to yourself horses, and you shall not multiply to yourself wives.'

1-Kings 11:1: "And King Solomon loved many foreign women, even the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, Hittites; of the nations which the LORD had said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not go in to them…'"—that is marry and produce children!

Why did he do this? He gave into all the kings of the earth who wanted to make an alliance with Solomon. The way you make an alliance with the king is that he takes the daughter of the king of the other country to himself as a wife. So, this tells you how many people were seeking after Solomon and his favor.

"'…and they shall not go in to you; surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.'…." (v 2).

That happened to Solomon, the Solomon Syndrome. He was given everything and even more than he even asked for, but he turned his back on God!

"…But Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. And his wives turned away his heart" (vs 2-3). Imagine that!

God appeared to him twice, giving him specific instructions and warning him not to do these things!

Verse 4: "For it came to pass when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods. And his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God as was the heart of David his father, for Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites; and Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD…" (vs 4-6)—and didn't repent! Think about that; that's going to happen in the Millennium. People will have everything there:

  • they will be told
  • they will be taught
  • they will understand

But the independent free moral agency is going to work! If they decide to become haughty of heart and to sin, then they're going to suffer the consequences. And the consequences will be exile! If they don't repent, permanent exile!

Verse 7: "Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill, which is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon."

This is the stretch of land on which the temple sat; the Valley of Kidron on the east side, and the Tironian Valley on the other side. On this hill across from the temple is where Solomon built all these shrines and altars of incense and everything. The wives said, 'Look, you've got your God, and you do all of these things. You married me and I've got this god. Why don't you build something for my god.' You can almost hear it!

Verse 8: "And likewise he did for all his foreign wives… [the whole hillside was full of incense altars and sacrificial altars and little temples] …and burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; and he did not keep that which the LORD commanded" (vs 8-10).

Think about it! Think about the parallel that is going to be in the Millennium. It says, 'The sinner shall die a hundred years old accursed'—meaning sinning, going against God, not repenting. Accursed forever, meaning that they will be in the resurrection to the Lake of Fire for the second death!

Notice that God warns him, and he could have repented if he would have chosen, but he did not. Where he's going to be in the Kingdom of God, I don't know. God said that He wouldn't take away His mercy from Solomon as He took away His mercy from Saul!

Verse 11: "And the LORD said to Solomon, 'Since this has been done by you, and since you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. But I will not do it in your days, for David your father's sake, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son'" (vs 11-12). So, it came to pass!

Now then, when there is not repentance, God sends the adversary.

Verse 14: "And it came to pass the LORD stirred up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite…. [Sound a little like to today's Middle East?] …He was of the king's seed in Edom."

He fled to Egypt and came back an then they had these raids by these terrorists. Same thing we have today. What do you think is happening to America? and why it's coming upon us? and that we have so many troubles? Same thing!

That's why that during the Millennium when they won't repent… When they sin and repent right there, fine, everything is good. If they don't repent, then they will be sent to a rehab or a repentance center. They will be given a chance to study, to pray, to understand. If they repent there they can come back. But if are still haughty of heart and still think that they are right and still think that God is wrong, then they will be exiled to Gog and Magog.

We will see how was it that Solomon—after all God did and said, and Solomon did and said—turned from God! That's quite a story!

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We're going to cover the main way that Solomon apostatized!

Psa. 72—a Psalm of Solomon, which he undoubtedly wrote before he got involved with so many wives and concubines, that his mind was removed from God. We will see a complete difference in attitude from this than when we get to the book of Ecclesiastes.

Psalm 72:1: "Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king's son… [referring to himself] …that he may judge Your people in righteousness and Your poor with justice" (vs 1-2).

Maybe he wrote this Psalm right after God appeared to him the first time and told him that He would give him all that he didn't ask for, as well as the judgment that he desired.

Verse 3: "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people; He shall save the children of the needy and shall crush in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure throughout all generations" (vs 3-5)—complete devotion to God!

Then Solomon turned aside to all the abominations of the heathen.

Verse 6: "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish and abundance of peace until the moon be no more" (vs 6-7).

Think about how wonderfully he was praising God with this! This was before he turned aside.

Verse 8: "He shall also have the rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him, and His enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before Him; all nations shall serve Him" (vs 8-11). That is the God of heaven!

Was that not the reason that God gave all of these things to Solomon, so that verse 11 could be fulfilled? That's something to really think about. It also brings to mind something very important: How important are our choices? When we vary from the way of God, how important it is to repent and not get carried away and drift away from God, forget God (Deut. 8) and become haughty of heart! That's what happened to Solomon.

Verse 12: "For He shall deliver the needy when he cries, and the poor with the one who has no helper. He shall have compassion upon the weak and needy, and shall save the lives of the needy. He shall redeem their life from oppression and violence; and their blood shall be precious in His sight" (vs 12-14). That's in God's sight!

That would be under the administration of Solomon. What he was saying was that he would serve the people of God and turn them to God. He would do the will of God to help these people. Amazing, isn't it?

Verse 15: "And he shall live, and to him shall be given the gold of Sheba, and they may pray continually for him; also daily he shall be praised." That is the people would praise Solomon!

Verse 16: "May there be an abundance of grain in the earth upon the top of the mountains; may its fruit wave like Lebanon, and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth." That's what it was during the days of Solomon!

But as he got older and the sins came in, then they started to get really terrible. The people were looking at Solomon with contempt, with hatred, and so much despising what he was doing. That's how the kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel were taken away.

Yet, when it was taken, God offered to Jeroboam that if he would keep His commandments, that He would be with him. But Jeroboam decided on the two calves in Dan and Bethel so that the people of the northern ten tribes went completely pagan. They looked at the example of Solomon and said, 'Well, Solomon did it!'

Verse 17: "His name shall endure forever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed." This is a prophecy of the coming Millennium! But it should have been fulfilled in type during Solomon's reign, but it wasn't!

Verse 18: "Blessed is the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone does wondrous things…. [keep that in mind] …And blessed be His glorious name forever; and all the earth is filled with His glory! Amen and Amen" (vs 18-19).

But notice that this Psalm was so important that it was included in the Psalms of David; v 20: The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."

The book of Ecclesiastes is quite an insightful book. Sometime ago I gave a message—Progression of Evil Through Philosophy—on how philosophy and reason are looked upon by the Catholics and the 'great men' of the world as important things to lead them to the Truth, rather than the Word of God.

They believe that with philosophy they can come to a greater understanding of Truth. We will see that's exactly what Solomon did.

Ecclesiastes 1:1: The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem…. [that's Solomon, couldn't be anyone else] …'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher, 'vanity of vanities! All is vanity'" (vs 1-2).

He forgot to say, 'Without God!' If you have God it's forever; it's not vanity.

Verse 3: "What profit does a man have in all his labor, which he labors under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever" (vs 3-4).

He's getting very philosophical here, think that through some of his experiences he's going to discover more truth than what God has given!

Verse 5: "The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it arose. The wind goes toward the south, and it turns around to the north; it whirls around continually; and the wind returns on its circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet, the sea is not full…" (vs 5-7).

Philosophically looking at everything, instead of saying that God made all of this. Isn't this a wonderful thing?

We're going to see that God is only mentioned once in the first two chapters. That's how far Solomon got away from God. That's how much he got involved in the vanity of philosophy.

Verse 8: "All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun" (vs 8-9).

Let's see how this starts out, because in Ecc. 1 & 2 the I, me and mine are 45 times, and only one mention of God in the last verse.

Verse 12: "I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem." If he would have done it the way God would have had him do it, he would have said:

God chose me to be king in Jerusalem. God in His mercy gave me wisdom and judgment, and He also gave me riches and wealth. Here I am the richest man in the world because of God. Everything I have comes from Him.

But he didn't say it! This is recorded to show that what he did here was not right. When you leave God and you're all wrapped up in your own mind you have the idols that are in your mind, which are your own thoughts of your own greatness.

Verse 13: "And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom… [experimenting] …concerning all things that are done under the heavens. It is a grievous task [#1]God has given to the sons of men to be exercised by it." Yes, if you leave God it is grievous!

Verse 14: "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and striving after wind." He could have said:

Look at this beautiful temple that God had me build for Him. Did you know that all of these plans came from God Himself to my father David? And God chose me to build this beautiful house for Him.

Instead of having in the Tironian Valley all the shrines for all the gods. And Solomon left the temple of God to go over there to offer sacrifices.

Verse 16: "I spoke within my own heart, saying, 'Lo, I have become great and have gathered more wisdom than all that have been before me in Jerusalem; yea, my heart has experienced great wisdom and knowledge.'"

  • Who gave it to you? God did!
  • Why didn't you acknowledge that?

See how incrementally he was leaving God through his own wisdom!

Verse 17: "And I gave my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I perceived that this also is striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow" (vs 17-18)—especially if you leave God!

Ecclesiastes 2:1: "I said in my heart… [instead of praying to God] …'Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.'…. [the Word of God tells us what is good] …And, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, 'It is madness,' and of mirth, 'What does it accomplish?' I sought in my heart to give myself unto wine, yet, conducting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was good for the sons of men, what they should do under the heaven the few days of their life. I made great works for myself…" (vs 1-4). Nothing like a little vanity here!

"…I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself" (v 4)—instead of saying:

God gave me all of these wonderful things and He let me build this great house. All of that is from God. All of these vineyards with the most wonderful grapes for the greatest wine that has ever been. He gave me the privilege of planting those.

Verse 5: "I made gardens and orchards for myself, and I planted trees in them, of all fruit. I made pools of water for myself, to irrigate groves of growing trees. I bought men slaves and women slaves, and servants were born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem" (vs 5-7).

Who gave it to him? God did! He was not thankful! Yes, at the end he said, 'Here's the end of the matter, fear God and keep His commandments.' But, that was said by rote rather than by really sincere belief in it.

Verse 8: "I also gathered silver and gold to myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got men singers and women singers for myself, even the sensual delights of the sons of men, and many women." Oh yes, did he ever do that!

Verse 9: "So, I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me." But you perverted it!

Whenever you turn your back on God and go against God, your wisdom will be perverted! You may be very intelligent, but you will fail when you rely on yourself.

Verse 10: "And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them…"—did whatever he wanted! A lot of sin involved in that—don't you think?

"…I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion of all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind; and there is no profit under the sun" (vs 10-11).

Why? Because in doing these works, he was leaving God and looking to himself! This is going to be very easy during the Millennium. People are going to say:

Look at me, I'm strong, I'm handsome, I'm young. The women will say, 'I'm beautiful and I want to choose for myself. I am being tired of being told what to do.'

God is the One Who gives us the choice. God is the One Who sets before us life and good, death and evil. The evil during the Millennium is not going to be gods all over the place like it is today. It's going to start in the mind!

Verse 12: "And I turned to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly; for what can the man do who comes after the king? Only that which has been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness" (vs 12-13).

Yes, but what kind of wisdom? Self-wisdom, after God gave you a great mind and all of that!

Verse 14: "The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness; and I myself also perceived that one event happens to all of them. Then I said in my heart, 'As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise?' And I said in my heart that this also is vanity" (vs 14-15)—accusing God of giving him vanity!

God gave him wisdom, but he also still had foolishness of heart. So, in his foolishness Solomon did what God said not to do. And he couldn't understand why it didn't work out and said that "…this also is vanity."

Verse 16: "For there is no memory of the wise more than of the fool forever, since that which is now shall all be forgotten in the days to come. And how does the wise die? Even as the fool!"

He breathes out his last and no one takes anything. We will see that Solomon didn't like that.

Verse 17: "Therefore, I hated life…" Think about that statement!

After all that God had done for him; blessed him and gave him and appeared to him twice. He talked to him. But he let his wives and his own vanity get involved. He got involved with these other gods and his life began to be miserable. He couldn't find satisfaction because he didn't repent!

Remember that God always honors repentance!

But he said, v 17: "Therefore, I hated life… [that's quite a statement] …because the work that is done under the sun is grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after wind." Why should it be grievous to you? He had every blessing! He had:

  • all the servants
  • all the slaves
  • all the workman
  • all the army
  • all of the people

Just think how great that would have been if he would have stayed faithful to God. That was what David told him right at first. He said, 'Son, IF you keep the commandments of God and follow Him, He will bless you.'

Verse 18: "Yea, I hated all my labor, which I had done…"

  • See what happens when you leave God?
  • See what happens when you trust in your own thinking?
  • See how this can be during the Millennium?

People will begin trusting in themselves rather than trusting in God! That's how, if they don't repent, they're going to end up in Gog and Magog. When they get there, they're going to think and 'know' that they are right and God is wrong. This is important for us to understand.

"…under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who shall be after me. And who knows whether he shall be wise or a fool? Yet, he shall have rule over all my labor in which I have labored, and have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity" (vs 18-19).

Look at how things could have been totally different if he would have been righteous. David learned the lesson after Bathsheba and numbering the children of Israel. He repented! He turned himself to God with all his heart, mind, soul and being! Then God chose Solomon. Look at Solomon! Talk about becoming ungrateful and unthankful and nearly accusing God!

Verse 20: "And I turned to cause my heart to despair of all the labor, which I had done under the sun."

Think of that! Deliberately making himself depressed and thinking, 'I've done all of this and who knows what the one who is going to come after me is going to do. I did it all and it's going to be all in vain. Boo-Hoo!' If you hadn't left God it would have been entirely different!

Verse 21: "For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and with skill; yet, to a man who has not labored in it, he shall leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil." That's true and that's what was coming!

Verse 22: "For what has man from all his labor, and from the striving of his heart, in which he has labored under the sun? For all his days are sorrows…" (vs 22-23).

Solomon should have been happy, but he wasn't because he went against God! If it gets that way in the Millennium then they'll go in the local area where the Church is and we'll help them to see if they can come to repentance. Other people in the Church will help and encourage and want to bring the person around so that they can change and overcome.

If they don't repent with that kind of care, then they're sent to the repentance center so they can get more intense with prayer, fasting and studying the Word of God.

If after that they are so hard-hearted and so self-willed that they will not listen, then they will be sent to Gog and Magog. You read that when the Millennium is over what's it going to be? We'll see tomorrow!

"…and his labor vexation; yea, so his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity" (v 23). Solomon's life was getting to be terrible and miserable!

Verse 24: "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his labor? This I also saw, [#2]that it was from the hand of God. For who can eat, or who can enjoy it, more than I?…. [nobody] …[#3]For God gives wisdom… [that's an inset] …and knowledge, and joy to a man who is good in His sight. But to the sinner He gives labor, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who is good before [#4]God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind" (vs 24-26).

Here Solomon was judging himself! Quite a thing turning away from God! So, the whole book of Ecclesiastes is there are some sound proverbs here, but it is showing—the first two chapters—how Solomon left God. He didn't repent.

Think about the worst king that there ever was—Manasseh—and all that he did, all the sins, all the other gods. God punished him by invading Judah and having the king of Assyria take him off to Babylon, because the Assyrians ruled Babylon at that time.

In prison Manasseh repented! Manasseh came back and cleaned up the house of God, tore out all the idols that he put in there, tore down the things that were sin all around the house of God, and worshipped God!

That shows that if there would have been repentance by Solomon, that he would have been able to correct everything and come back and see that everything that he has written here in Ecc. 1 & 2 all came from God. What a blessing that would have been.

Let's think about how that's going to be in the Millennium. They're not going to be able to build idols. They're not going to be able to have false gods. But we will see that what it is that's going to come upon them, the other thing, which will be that they will think of themselves as being perfect. That will be the perfection syndrome!

Come back tomorrow and we will look at the second great cause of sin in the Millennium.

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 65:19-20
  • Deuteronomy 8:6-14
  • Proverbs 14:12, 14
  • Proverbs 12:20-22
  • 1 Chronicles 28:6-10
  • 1 Kings 3:5-14
  • 1 Kings 9:1-7
  • Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • 1 Kings 11:1-12, 14
  • Psalm 72:1-20
  • Ecclesiastes 1:1-9, 12-14, 16
  • Ecclesiastes 2:1-26

Scriptures referenced, not quoted: 2-Samuel 8, 10

Also referenced: Sermon: Progression of Evil Through Philosophy

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 7/29/19

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