Fred R. Coulter—September 29, 2010

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to day seven of the Feast of Tabernacles, which technically, and really is, the last day of the Feast. And like everything else there’s a beginning and there’s and ending, and there’s a meaning for what we’ve been going through. Of course, what we need to learn is how we are going to rule as kings and priests with Christ during the Millennium. And all that’s going to be training ground for what it’s going to be like for all eternity. We need to realize that everything that we do is preparing us for eternal life and that when we become spirit beings we’re constantly going to grow in grace in knowledge and understanding. That’s why we have, as we will see tomorrow, the symbolism of the tree of life and what that is really going to mean.

This is quite a thing, brethren! The Feast of Tabernacles is really an educational forum, educational seminars, on how we are to prepare to rule as kings and priests with Christ. Of course, the thing we need to understand is the purpose in life—where we are going, where we are headed—likewise, with people we’re going to be dealing with in the Millennium. As we come down through the Millennium, we’re going to be confronted more and more of the things of human nature that people are going to assume. They’re born into the society, and when you’re born into a society, everything becomes natural and everything looks like that that’s the way it always has been. Same way with children growing up today in this age. They have cell phones, iPads, iPhones, computers, televisions and all of these things—everybody has them! So, it’s all natural. They could not conceive of a time before any of these things were available. Just to give you two examples:

1.     A girl was asked, ‘Where does milk come from?’ And she said, ‘From a carton.’ Didn’t know it comes from a cow. Didn’t even know anything about goats milk.

2.     Then I remember one time when we first moved up to Hollister, we were right in the middle of a drought. Rachelle was just about two-years-old at that time and we were driving and there were fields out there that they were irrigating them as sprinklers and she had never seen rain, because the drought was so severe that it hadn’t rained in the memory of her little lifetime. But she heard us talk about rain and she knew it was water, so we were driving along and all these sprinklers sprinkling the fields and she said, ‘Look, daddy, it’s raining!’

You grow up into a society and the way the established society is you have no recollection of the things in the past and you don’t understand what the future’s going to be, just like we’ve been learning right here in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2: “‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘vanity of vanities! All is vanity.’ 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 2-4)—and everything functions.

So part of the things that we need to learn in preparing people for entering into the Kingdom of God is to understand how life is viewed when you’re born into the circumstances in which you’re living. Of course, during the Millennium, they’re going to be born into circumstances which are fantastic. They’re going to be born into circumstances which so many things come natural. So, I am sure that one of the books that is going to be very well used during the Millennium is going to be the book of Ecclesiastes. And, I am sure that when it was added to the reading of the Old Testament that it should be read during the Feast of Tabernacles, it was for the very purpose that people understand: Yes, we have all these physical blessings, and that’s wonderful and fine—but what is beyond that? Well, they didn’t have it revealed to them, but we have it revealed to us.

Let’s come to Ecclesiastes, the fourth chapter, and we’re going to finish reviewing some things in Ecclesiastes, and we’re going to see how that fits in to the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles. It will give us some understanding as to why some of the things listed in Rev. 20 and the things that are going to take place, take place. Now, Solomon was experimenting with life and I’m sure that he saw his son Rehoboam growing up. And if you think about it, what Solomon was saying when he said, ‘Who am I going to leave all this to? Will he be wise? or Will he be a fool?’ And he already understood the problems that he was having with Rehoboam, which came out later after Solomon died.

Ecclesiastes 4:1: “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold the tears of the oppressed ones, and they had no comforter! And on the side of those who oppressed them there was power, but they had no comforter.” When we begin the Millennium this is exactly the condition that the people will be in, because they will be oppressed by the world-government and the power will be on their side. Christ is going to intervene at His return and shake the heavens and shake the earth. Everything’s going to be upside down. They won’t know really what to do, and that’s why we’ll be there to help them.

Verse 2: “Wherefore I praised the dead who already have died, more than the living who are yet alive…. [At least their troubles are over.] …Yea, better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun” (vs 2-3). It’s quite an amazing thing! What we’re going to be doing is how to live correctly and Who God is. They’re going to have human nature, but they’re going to have available to them the Holy Spirit. The choices will be laid out before them all the time.

Verse 6: “Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and striving after wind…. [That’s just kind of exactly how it is with people. Striving after this! Striving after that! Striving after the other thing! Well, some of the things that lead to substantive understanding of the Word of God and life are going to become so commonplace that people are going to lose sight.] …And I returned and saw vanity under the sun” (vs 6-7).

This is really quite a discouraging book from the point of view of trying to understand: What is the final outcome of life without God? or What is the final outcome of life with a misunderstanding of God? So all of that is going to be removed.

Here is another clue that he understood what was going to happen when he died—v 13: “A poor and a wise child is better than an old and foolish king… [Isn’t that something? Solomon started out with wealth and riches—but how did he end up? As an old and foolish king]: …who knows not how to receive admonition any more.” Isn’t that something? Quite prophetic! Sometimes people are quite prophetic about their own life and their own circumstances.

Ecclesiastes 5:1: “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil.” Also, there’s a Proverb which says, ‘Guard the door of your mind diligently, for out of it are the issues of life.’ This is what we’re going to be teaching in the Millennium all the way through. The further we go down into the Millennium, and as we come toward the end of the Millennium, the harder it’s going to be to comprehend the vanity of human behavior without God’s Spirit. Everyone’s going to be raised to a real level of ability and understanding.

Verse 2: “Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to say a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.” That’s going to be reversed during the Millennium. The Father will be in heaven. Christ and the saints will be on the earth. There will be many places of worship, so the thing still applies: “Do not be rash with your mouth…” because there will still be human nature and people are going to have to be overcoming human nature.

Here’s what we’re going to teach, v 6: “Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin… [Everyone’s going to know what sin is! Everyone’s going to know that it starts in the mind! Yet, there’s still the vanity of human nature that when they think they are good they don’t need God. We’ll see how that plays out as we go along here.] …and do not say before the angel that it was an error…. [In other words, the same thing that Jesus taught, ‘Let your yes be yes and your no be no.’] …For why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words vanities abound; but fear God” (vs 6-7). Another way of saying trust in reality:

  • not what you dream up
  • not what you think of
  • not what you imagine

—but in the reality of things the way that they actually are! This is what we’re going to be teaching all during the Millennium.

Verse 13: “There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept by their owners to their own hurt…. [In other words, they become greedy and curmudgeon and don’t share and don’t give and don’t help the ones who really need. So they keep it to their own hurt, but when they die they leave it all.] …But those riches perish through evil use…. [We see that today. How many people think that they are going to solve their problem by going to a gambling casino and win a lot of money? The truth is, it’s set up to lose money. There will be a few winners, but what happens when someone wins? I heard someone bragging, ‘I went to the casino and I won a thousand dollars.’ I said, ‘What did you do with it?’ I played it all back and spent two hundred more! He gained nothing!] …riches perish through evil use. And he begets a son, and there is nothing in his hand” (vs 13-14).

Again, we are looking at life, how it would be without God, or with a knowledge of God but without true conversion. Solomon presents a real difficult problem. We’ll tackle that a little bit later as we go along, and we will see what happened to him.

Ecclesiastes 6:1: “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon men: A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires for his life… [Everything you want!] …yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a stranger eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease” (vs 1-2). We’re seeing that happen right here—aren’t we? The hand of God in correcting the modern day descendants of Israel today; all the wealth, all the things that we have gotten.

I think it’s very interesting and very instructive: What was one of the problems with Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel? He was deceitful—right? Yes! And even his mother helped him in the deceit to get the blessing, though it was going to come to him anyway. So, with his deceit and what he did to take it away from Esau, God repaid him for it—didn’t He? So, he ran off to save his life so Esau wouldn’t kill him. And he ended up working 20-years for Laban. Remember what happened with Laban? ‘Oh yes, you can have my lovely daughter Rachel.’ Oh wonderful! So they had the marriage feast and everybody drunk a lot of wine and everyone was happy. The marriage was consummated and in the morning Jacob woke up and said, ‘Laban what have you done, this is your other daughter. I bargained with you for seven years for Rachel, not Leah.’ And Laban said, ‘What’s a man to do? The oldest daughter must be married first. If you also want Rachel, I’ll give her to you in a week, but you have to work of me another seven years.’ So he got paid back for his deceit—didn’t he? Yes, he did!

Now, the modern descendants of Jacob today: How have they gotten their wealth? Instead of waiting for God to give it the way that He would have given it—what did they do? They set up a debt system of money creation! And look what all that deceitful debt and interest, all heaped up together, is building for the deceitful people that could not wait for God, but wanted to receive all their riches and wealth their way,through their schemes. And guess what’s going to happen? It’s all coming tumbling down—every bit of it! That’s why Solomon says it’s an evil disease!

Verse 3: If a man beget a hundred children… [Who knows how many children Solomon really had!] …and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his life is not filled with good, and also that he has no burial; I say, a miscarriage is better than he…. [Isn’t that something?] … For he comes in with vanity and goes out in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he has not seen the sun, nor known anything. This one had more rest than the other. Yea, even though he live a thousand years twice, yet he has enjoyed no good. Do not all go to one place?” (vs 3-6). So, we’re also going to see that during the Millennium, when someone has died and is buried, everyone knows they are accursed. They have not taken advantage of the fact that Christ is here, the saints are ruling, the Holy Spirit is available, all the knowledge of God is available. And because God still gives free moral agency—God will never take away free moral agency—everyone has to choose. So, during the Millennium everyone’s going to have to choose. ‘What will I do?’ Look and see how that life is, the way that it is, quite something there—isn’t it?

Verse 11: “For there are many things that increase vanity, but what advantage is that toman?…. [We’ve also seen this too—right? I’ve heard people say, ‘Boy, am I tired of vanity-filled preachers.’ Isn’t that true? That’s the place where there doesn’t need to be vanity. We all need to have the reality and the love of God.] (So then he asks the question): …For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?” (vs 11-12). Now he’s thinking: What is the purpose of life? How’s it going to work out? He goes on and he adds quite a bit more to some of the things that he has said, and we will look at his conclusion here in a couple of other chapters as we go along.

Let’s come over to Ecclesiastes 7:20—here’s a truism. In spite of what people think in their minds, in spite of how they live their lives. “For there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.” And that ties in with what Paul wrote: ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ The hardest kind of repentance to come by and to understand is this: When you have lived a good life, though in error—you haven’t committed adultery; you haven’t murdered; you haven’t told too many lies; you’ve honored your father and your mother—and yet, like so many people in the world today, in modern worldly Christianity, they keep the wrong day, but they think it’s right. They celebrate the holidays, but they accept them as natural because they grew up in it. For someone like that it’s much harder for that person to repent than someone who has really been a gross sinner and has had to suffer things because of their sins. Just like the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee came before God and said, ‘Oh, God, I thank You I’m not like other men. I’m not an extortioner, I’m not an adulterer. I tithe of all that I get. And I’m not like this old, dirty tax collector down here trying to pray to You.’ So the tax collector beat on his chest and looked up to God and said, ‘Be merciful to me, a sinner.’

So what did Jesus say with that parable: ‘I say to you, the one who repented—the tax collector—is righteous before God and not the Pharisee who’s righteous in his own eyes.’ So, we’re going to see this is going to be part of the problem during the Millennium. People are going to come to a point that they’re going to think, yes, ‘I’ve done this. I’ve done the other thing. We’ll see that in a little bit.’

Ecclesiastes 9:1: “For all this I took to heart, even to make all this clear, that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. No man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them. All things come alike to all; there is one event that happens to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner. He who swears is as he who fears an oath. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event that happens to all….” (vs 1-3). Remember, Solomon had all these riches, all this wealth, all of these things. Here he’s lamenting! What’s going to happen? And he knows he can’t take it with him.

Verse 4: “For whoever is among the living, there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten” (vs 4-5). Amazing! Isn’t it, huh?

Let’s see the conclusion of the whole thing, and let’s see what Solomon now has come to understand. He gives especially good advice for young people, just like he did when he gave all of the Proverbs and collected those and wrote those. Those are for children, youth and young people to learn early on:

  • right vs wrong
  • good vs evil
  • wickedness vs righteousness

and to understand that those things are there, and, by all means to choose what is right! Here’s one thing that’s going to be the paramount lesson for everyone to learn: You have to choose what is right, and when you choose what is right, it’s not because you are good. It is because God’s way is good, and God made every human being to go God’s way.

Ecclesiastes 11:8: “But if a man lives many years, and rejoices in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity…. [Here’s his advice to you who are young. This is good advice for anyone, but the older you are the more you understand you cannot go back and undo what already has been done. You can repent of it. Here’s what he says to those who are young. Please pay attention because this is from the Word of God.]: …Rejoice, in your youth, O young man… [or young woman] …and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart… [you’ve got to choose] …and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment” (vs 8-9). Everyone is always under the judgment of God all the time. And he is judged by the laws of God, which are automatic. Because people transgress the laws of God, they become blinded. When people become blinded and don’t know that they’re blinded they don’t understand the consequences of their actions.

So, Solomon gives very good advice here in v 10: “Therefore remove vexation… [frustration and anguish and tribulation] …from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and vigor are vanity.” Isn’t that true? Yes! All the women like to dress up and make themselves beautiful and strut around for everyone to see. ‘Oh, I’m lovely!’ And all the men, the young men, like to get strong and show their power and show that they can do athletic events and things, and that’s so great! But God says, “…youth and vigor are vanity.” Why? Because it’s just spent on self!

  • Are you going to do this?

or

  • Are you going to go in your life until some great catastrophe comes because you’ve chosen the wrong way?

or

  • Can you not still, in choosing God’s way, still be humble, still be yielded to God and not have to go through all the troubles and vanity and vexation?

Here’s what he says, Ecclesiastes 12:1: “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth… [Remember God! Don’t wait for some catastrophe to come, because lo it will come. And at this day and age, at the time we’re living in, there are going to be many catastrophes, many disasters, many difficulties to come—not only for the population in general, but for people in particular.] …before the evil days come, and the years of old age draw near, when you shall say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’”

I want you to do this: You’ll see in the Church many of us will have gray hair and, indeed, we’re getting up there in age. I want to ask you a question: Have you ever really truly thought about the fact that we were all born as little infants once—huh? And that we have grown up, and that now that we are older, as our bodies get weaker and worn out because we’re all the dust of the earth; we’re all the grass of the field. When Isaiah says, ‘All flesh is grass.’ Think about it: Do you have to eat food? Does it all come out of the ground like grass? Even when we eat meat—what are we eating? We are eating grass or grain processed by an animal—are we not? Yes! All flesh is grass! Just like grass, it gets old quick! So, remember God in your youth rather than in old age. Then he goes on to show that when you get older and your eyes get dim and your teeth get worn out—back then they didn’t have false ‘China-clippers’ like we have now. I like the dental ad which shows the lion, that when he smiles, he’s got a perfect picture of human-like teeth. Then when you get weak and people have to lead you around. Like Christ told Peter, Peter was a macho-man of himself, but Jesus said, ‘When you’re converted, strengthen the brethren.’ And He said, ‘Feed My sheep, feed My lambs.’ Then He said, ‘Peter, when you get old, they’re going to lead you around where you don’t want to go.’

Remember, as long as you have youth and strength, use it rightly. Take care of yourself. Take care your body. Take care of your mind. Because the day is going to come when you get older, you’re going to get old. And you can talk to anyone who’s gone through the process, talk to any woman—especially a woman when she discovers for the very first time gray hair. I’ve talked to men and women who have turned 30, and somehow it’s in this world, when you’re 30 you’re old and over the hill. Really, when you’re 30 your really truly a mature adult and now you’re ready to do fully mature adult things. Then 40 comes and hey, you’re still in pretty good shape. Take care of yourself and exercise and 50 comes and 60 comes and after that, 70 and weakness, needing more sleep, needing to take care of yourself. And then for some people, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95—fewer and fewer—yes, indeed! Some reach 100! All the way along the same process of life always takes place.

So this is why he says, v 6: “Before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern… [In other words, your life brakes down. Your body wears out! And you die!] …And the dust return to the earth as it was… [because dust you are and unto dust you shall return] …and the spirit returns to God who gave it…. [because He’s the Author of life] …‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘all is vanity’” (vs 6-8).

Now, let’s see the conclusion of the whole matter, and we find that he wrote this to his son, v 13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter… [the whole book of Ecclesiastes] …Fear God… [to hold Him in awe and to love Him] …and keep His commandments…. [through the Spirit of God—this is what we’re going to teach all during the Millennium.] …For this is the whole man…. [or whole woman. If you want a whole life, to be a whole person, this is how to do it, and always remember this]: …For God shall bring every work into judgment, concerning every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil” (vs 13-14). So here again, we have all the choices of life set before us. This is what we’re going to bring and teach to all the people during the Millennium: that your life is precious before God; that you are made in the image of God! And now we’re here as rulers and teachers and priests, under Christ, to help you fulfill your purpose in life and your creation. So when you come to the end of your life, you may be able to enter into the Kingdom of God as a spirit being, a son or daughter of God, just like we are. Won’t that be something when we’re able to do that?

Now, let’s look and see what will be the conditions at the end of the Millennium, so we can answer a very perplexing question that we find in studying Revelation 20, which is this: Why is Satan loosed at the end of the Millennium?

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Let’s see the problems we are going to be dealing with toward the end of the Millennium, and how people are going to find themselves in such a fantastic society that we are going to have the greatest case of Laodiceanism in the history of the world.

We have a pretty good case of Laodiceanism with King Solomon. Let’s do a little survey of Solomon, and it’s just exactly like it says there to the Laodiceans—Revelation 3:17: “For you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness… [a type of sex sins] …may not be revealed…” (vs 17-18).

1-Kings 9—so let’s see the life of Solomon and what he did, how it effected his life and what happened. Because the reign of Solomon is the closest time in history where you can come to where it was more like what it will be in the Millennium that at any time in all the history of Israel. We know David sinned; God forgave him, but punishment was upon David’s household all the rest of his life. We also know that God gave David all the plans to build the temple, because God promised that his son would be able to build the temple. David saved up gold and silver and brass and precious stone and iron and copper so that when it came time to build the temple of God—that Solomon would build—that he would have all of these things available to build it—to make it a wonderful and magnificent place to worship God.

So David, before his death, said to Solomon: ‘I charge you before God and all these people, fear God and keep His commandments, and seek Him always.’ Well, as we’re going to see, Solomon started out great. We know that when he started he asked God for wisdom. God says, ‘I’ll give you whatever you want.’ And Solomon said, ‘Give me wisdom that I may judge these, Your people, Israel.’ And God said, ‘Because you asked for that, and not wealth, power and riches, I’m going to give you wisdom and I’m going to give you wealth, because your heart was tender before Me.’

Here’s another vital lesson for us to always learn: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish! Think about that in your life. How are you finishing, if you’re older? How you are starting, if you are younger. And with the choices that God sets before us, what are you going to do with your life? How are you going to live your life? Well, let’s see what Solomon did and let this be an object lesson for us, because as far as the Scriptures are concerned, Solomon was the greatest Laodicean. Toward the end of the Millennium, we’re going to have a greater case of Laodiceanism with a lot of other people. And also, let’s understanding something that is true: As does the king so do the people!

Let’s see what happened here, 1-Kings 9:25: “And three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he had built to the LORD, and he burned incense upon the altar which was before the LORD. And he finished the house. And King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion Geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom…. [That’s called Eloth today. They sailed around the world. They now know that they sailed all the way around the world—circumnavigated. They also know that the land of Ophir is the land that we call Peru today, where gold is in abundance all the time.] …And Hiram sent with the navy his servants, shipmen who had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon…. [a joint project] …And they came to Ophir, and brought gold from there, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to King Solomon” (vs 25-28). So, here comes all this wealth, all this gold. You talk about a golden age that surpassed any other age of human existence on the earth; this was it!

In 1-Kings 10:1: “And the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame concerning the name of the LORD, and she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices and very much gold and precious stones. And she came to Solomon, and she told him all that was in her heart. And Solomon answered all her questions for her.… [Isn’t that something!?] (v 4): …And when the queen of Sheba had seen all of Solomon’s wisdom, and the house which he had built… [and everything that he had, it took her breath away.] …there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, ‘It was a true report which I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom’” (vs 1-6). Then she said, ‘Seeing is believing, I really believe it now. And happy are those men who serve you’ (vs 7-8 paraphrased).

Verse 9: “‘Blessed is the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel. Because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king to do judgment and justice.’ And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold… [You talk about an economy—right? Remember where we read before that during the Millennium gold and silver are going to be like iron and brass. So we have the same parallel here. All this gold!—isn’t that something?] …a very great store of spices, and precious stones. No spices like that ever came again in such abundance that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon” (vs 9-10). So, not only did he have the navy with Hiram going over to Ophir, it made regular trips over there to get more gold.

Verse 11: “And also the navy of Hiram which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great abundance of almug trees and precious stones…. [Isn’t that something?] …And the king made of the almug trees supports for the house of the LORD… [In other words, they were such strong trees] …and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for singers. No such almug wood has come or been seen to this day…. [How perfect for all of that. God sent him the best; gave him the best!] …And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants. And the weight of gold which came to Solomon in one year… [every single year] …was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold” (vs 11-14). Every talent being 189 lbs.—you break that down; you figure it out. I’ll bet the bankers today would love to have some of that gold. The question is: Where did it all go?

Verse 15: “In addition to that which came from the merchant men and from the traffic of the traders and from all the kings of Arabia and from the governors of the lands.” Then it showed what he did with it. All the vessels that he drank out of at King Solomon’s table were of gold. Can you image drinking water out of a gold cup, and another bigger gold cup you drink you wine, and another gold cup you have your hot drink or tea. They probably ate on golden plates with gold silverware. Today we have plastic. This summer when I was traveling, I stopped to get something to eat at the airport and they gave me a spoon and it was a silver spoon. And I thought, hey, a real, real spoon! But when I stopped to eat, I picked it up and guess what it was? Silver colored plastic! Shows you the difference of our wealth and this debt society. I thought that was fitting. Solomon gathered more and more and he was the riches man that has ever been; more in wisdom than any man; all the kings of the earth sought out his wisdom. And just like Ecclesiastes, that he wrote, everything he did was vanity!

Notice what got him into trouble. He did what God said NOT to do. Isn’t that amazing! Come back to Deuteronomy 17—let’s see the instructions that God gave in His law concerning what a king would do. Apparently, this was added to the Scriptures when Samuel received the instructions from God. If Solomon had done this, because God gave these instruction—God gave them to Samuel—and Samuel added them to the collection of Scriptures. So, when Ezra canonized, he put it into the Scriptures here.

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.’” They weren’t content with the judges. God wanted to deal directly with the judges and they would deal directly with the people. Not a big hierarchy of a kingship and everything that goes with the absolute rule of the king. But the people had to have it, so God gave it to them. Always remember this: Be careful what you ask for, because God may give it to you. And not everything that you may think may be a blessing, if it’s contrary to what God says, it may end up being a big problem. And that’s exactly what happened here, because Solomon did not follow through and do what is commanded.

Verse 15: “You shall surely set a king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose. You shall set a king over you from among your brethren. You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother…. [Now here are the instructions from God so that the king would not be lifted up in power and grasping and greeding and taking.] …Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt… [How could he cause people to return to Egypt? By worshiping other gods! What did Solomon do? He married the daughter of Pharaoh right off and built her a house! He didn’t listen.] …so as to multiply horses because the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’…. [He went directly against the commands of God for a king, yet, he started out fine. God appeared to him twice. But we’re going to see how he ended up. And we’re going to learn a lesson from that, because as we get toward the end of the Millennium, this kind of behavior is going to repeat itself again. This is the way that human nature is.] …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” (vs 15-17). And God said He was going to give it. Yes, he knew he was going to get it, but he never disciplined himself to handle it correctly. When anyone sits as a human being in absolute authority and does not yield to God every day of his life, and study the Word of God, and understand the Word of God, and realize—just like Solomon wrote, ‘All is vanity.’

Let’s see what else he was to do, v 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…. [So, he was to go up to the temple, go to the king’s room, have the priests bring a copy of the law that they were custodians of, give it to the king, and the king was to make his own personal copy. For what purpose?] …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” (vs 18-19). How many times, brethren, have we heard it: prayer and study, relationship with God—right? Yes! That is the key! So we’re seeing the fundamental things that Solomon did were diametrically opposed to the instructions of God.

Notice what else this was to do to him, v 20: “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.”

Let’s come back to 1-Kings 11, and let’s see what Solomon did, and then we will see what happened to Solomon, and to Judah, and to the ten tribes of Israel. Then we will apply this to the Millennium as a lesson for us to understand that there are going to be people who are really going to choose not to go God’s way at the end of the Millennium, because they’re ‘rich and increased with goods.’

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, and they shall not go in to you; surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.’ But Solomon clung to these in love…. [Notice the vanity and extremes that he went to. Yes, he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, but he didn’t listen to his own words. He didn’t follow his own advice.] (here’s what happened): …And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. And his wives turned away his heart… [from the Lord! And it happened step-by-step-by-step. That’s a lot of women to take care of.] …for it came to pass when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods…. [Not only away from God, but toward the 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 and did not go fully after the LORD like his father David” (vs 1-6).

What was the result of this? Because of his sin, the kingdom was split. When he died, Rehoboam his son took over in Jerusalem. He refused to lower the taxes. So, Jeroboam was one of the generals of Solomon, came with all the children of Israel to demand, ‘Lower the taxes and we’ll stay with you.’ But Rehoboam didn’t listen to the wisdom of the older advisors that he father had had, but listen to the young smart-alecks that grew up in his age. They said, ‘Haha, lay more taxes on them.’ Sound a little bit like what we’re going through here in America? So he did. He said, ‘No, my little finger is going to be heavier and thicker than my father’s thigh.’ And the kingdom split. So, see what happened when he sinned? What eventually happened to both. The ten tribes of the north: Jeroboam wasn’t willing to follow God, though God promised if he would He would set up a dynasty for him just like He had promised David; but he refused to listen. No, Jeroboam went out and set up the ‘golden calf.’ Remember Jeroboam, the son of Nebat? Yes, that’s him! What eventually happened because of their sins? They were sent off into captivity! Then the southern portion—the Jews or the tribe of Judah, the kingdom of Judah—what happened to them? Some kings were faithful and some were not. They also went into captivity after King Nebuchadnezzar came in three invasions and destroyed the city and the temple.

So, what happens when people sin? And it continues? They are exiled! That’s their punishment. Stop and think:

  • Did it happen to Adam and Eve? Yes, they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden!
  • Did it happen to Cain? Yes, he was kicked out to the ‘land of wandering’ or the ‘land of Nod.’
  • Has it happened with many nations over and over again when they sin grievously before God? Yes, indeed!
  • What happened to the Babylonian kingdom after it rose in power? It was taken over by the Medes and the Persians!
  • What happened to the Medes and Persians? They were taken over by the Greeks!
  • What happened to the Greeks? They were taken over by the Roman Empire!

And back and forth down to our day!

Now, let’s think about this in terms of the Millennium. Here we are now right toward the end of the Millennium, and there are people—because they have a Laodicean attitude—that they want to choose their own way. We’re going to see, God is going to let them do it.

Let’s come to Isaiah 65—let’s look at the time of the Millennium, the setting of the Millennium. We can apply this both to the Millennium and to the 100-year period or the Great White Throne Judgment as well. Let’s look at it. Let’s see what’s going to be. We will understand the problem that happens at the end of the Millennium.

Isaiah 65:17: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…. [Isn’t that what is going to have to happen when the Millennium starts. Is there going to be a new heaven? a new earth? Yes! Not the final one that we see in Rev. 21-22, but He has to rebuild the whole earth. Remember what it was like after all the wars and all the plagues and everything that took place, and how when we begin the Millennium we’re going to have to make it all new again? Yes, this is talking about that!] …And the former things will not be remembered, nor come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will joy in My people; and the voice of weeping will no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (vs 17-19). And Jerusalem is going to be what? The capital of the world!

Here’s what it’s going to be like all during the Millennium—v 20: “There will not be an infant who lives but a few days, nor an old man that has not filled his days… [So, everyone’s going to live!] (Now let’s see something here if we can properly put it together): …for the child will die a hundred years old… [That gives us the length of time that they will live.] …but the sinner who is a hundred years old shall be accursed.”

So, everyone is going to live a hundred years during the Millennium. We will talk about what’s going to happen to those who are faithful to the end, yet, they still have to die. How is God going to facilitate that? We’ll see! The sinner who is accursed, is buried. Let’s understand this: Every sinner has to die twice! The first death and then the death in the Lake of Fired—which is called what? The second death! So all during the Millennium, everyone will know when there is a funeral and a person is buried in the ground—guess what? He’s going to wait for the resurrection for the Lake of Fire!

Now, let’s see what else it tells us here that they’re going to do all during the Millennium—and we know this to be true. Verse 21: “‘And they will build houses and live in them; and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build, and another live in them; they will not plant, and another eat; for like the days of a tree areso will be the days of My people, and My elect will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for calamity. For they are the seed of the beloved of the LORD, and their offspring with them…. [Here’s how it’s going to be all during the Millennium. That’s why there’s going to be such a great Laodicean attitude at the end, and we’re going to see that there are going to be people who will not want to follow God’s way. What will happen to them?] …And it shall come to pass, before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the food of the serpent. They will not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy mountain,’ says the LORD” (vs 21-25). That’s all during the Millennium! Also that will have to apply to the Great White Throne Judgment.

Let’s ask a question and see if we can answer it, and see if this makes sense: When the Millennium begins and people live to be a hundred—and they have qualified through loving God, serving God, growing in grace and knowledge—they are ready to enter into the Kingdom of God. Let’s put a couple of Scriptures together, and let’s understand something concerning death. Let’s come to Hebrews 9—this still has to be fulfilled. There has to be the death and we will see how then do these people inherit eternal life. Hebrews 9:27: “And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment.”

Let’s go to 1-Thessalonians 4 and let’s see what Paul says concerning those are Christians when Christ returns. What’s going to happen to them, and we’ll tie that in with 1-Cor. 15. 1-Thessalonians 4:15: “For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep… [Those who are already dead. Here you have people right at the end who are still alive. What’s going to happen to them. They’re not going to be in the resurrection ahead of those who have already died.] …because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord” (vs 15-17). What’s going to happen for those who are still alive? How’s that going to take place?

1-Corinthians 15—I think we can answer the question and find out that, yes, there is going to be a death, but that death is going to be so quick that it’s going to be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. It’s given to everyone to die in Adam. 1-Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die… [Everyone has to die, but the question is for those who are still alive when Christ returns—how long does that death have to be? Obviously, there’s not time for them to die and be buried and put in the ground. And that’s not God’s determination to do so at that time.] …so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ’s at His coming” (vs 22-23).

From this we are going to learn what’s going to happen to those who are faithful for the hundred years—what’s going to happen to them? We know the sinner’s going to die and be buried and be accursed—that is facing the Lake of Fire in his resurrection. Verse 49: “And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible… [they go first] …and we shall be changed” (vs 49-52). How’s that going to happen? We who are alive have to be changed!

So, you put it all together and what we have is this: We all die in Adam. It’s given to every man once to die—that’s all inclusive. So therefore, at the return of Christ, those who are still alive their death will be instant in transformation as a spirit being. Just like Paul wrote that Christ is going to transform our bodies to be made like His. So it’s instantaneous death and resurrection—no time to be buried and be put in the grave. BAM! One moment to the next; one moment you’re a spirit being after the last moment you were a fleshly being. So there you are.

Now, could we not also apply this to people who live one hundred years and are faithful? Very likely so! Just think of this on Sabbath services: At a certain time we’re going to have a going-out party. ‘So and So has been faithful all of these years, come forward, and now we’re going to have a going-out party.’ BANG! They instantly die and they’re transformed, and it happens so fast that it’s almost like there’s no death at all. But there is a death, because everyone has to die in Christ. Now then, at the end of the Millennium, we have a problem. In the last generation during the Millennium, there’s not going to be time for those who are sinners to live a hundred years and be buried. So what’s going to happen to them? What happens to sinners? Well, in this case it’s not time for them to die. We have this great Laodicean attitude, and there are going to be people who are going to say, ‘Hey, I want to choose my way.’ What’s going to happen to them? They don’t want to be converted. How’s God going to handle this? How has God always handled sinners that do not repent? He has sent them into exile! And we will see from what we have here in Rev. 20, that is undoubtedly what is going to happen. Let’s see to start out the Millennium, Satan is removed, because the truth is, as we learned on Atonement, whenever Satan is around there’s always sin. He’s the author of sin. He’s a liar and murderer from the beginning. So we know that the strong angel came and took him:

Revelation 20:3: “Then he cast him into the abyss, and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time.’ Why is that? He’s going to serve one more, last deceptive purpose—because if we understand the Scriptures correctly, and if we can put it together and see that God is the ‘same yesterday, today and forever’—then all of those who reject salvation in the last generation are exiled—to where? And why is Satan used one more time by God?

Verse 7: “Now when the thousand years have been completed, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison; and he shall go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, of whom the number is as the sand of the sea, to gather them together for war” (vs 7-8). As soon as he gets out, sin is multiplied! Who are these people in Gog and Magog? Are they the people of Gog and Magog? or Is this an area of exile? If it were the people of God and Magog, then some people have been predetermined not to receive salvation and that makes God a respecter of persons. And God is no respecter of persons! So, therefore, what do we have? We have a problem to solve and that is: How are all of those people that have been exiled going to die their first death when the Millennium comes to an end and none of them have reached to be a hundred years, yet? Here’s how He’s going to do it: He’s going to release Satan out of prison. He’s going to go to those people who are exiled to Gog and Magog, “…to gather them together for war.”

Verse 9: “Then I saw them go up upon the breadth of the earth and encircle the camp of the saints, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven and consumed them.” If these people will have to have died—right? These had to be fleshly people—correct? Yes, indeed! So the purpose was: Satan is released out of his prison, he goes to those who are in exile—Gog and Magog—and I can almost hear it: ‘Oh boy! I’ve been captive for a thousand years and I’m really the true God and I’m here to show you that you have been right in rejecting Jerusalem and in rejecting those people who say that they are saints. And now we have an opportunity, the first opportunity, in a thousand years.’ And these people have no implements of war. ‘We’re going to go ahead and makes implements of war and we’re going to get together in an army and we’re going to come and surround Jerusalem and if we can capture—which we will—Jerusalem, we will control the world, and then WE will have eternal life, my way!’ You can almost hear the propaganda.

What happens? God uses this to gather them together for war, so that they will all declare by their actions that they have refused salvation, and now their first death comes all at once—BAM! They’ll be resurrected to the second resurrection for the second death! We’ll talk a little bit about that tomorrow. But the final thing that ends the Millennium before the Great White Throne Judgment begins is the final judgment of Satan the devil. He is cast into the Lake of Fire. All the demons are cast in there with him.

Verse 10: “And the Devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet had been cast; and they, Satan and the demons, shall be tormented day and night into the ages of eternity.” Later the Lake of Fire will consume the whole earth in preparation for the New Jerusalem and the new heavens and the new earth.

So, if you come back tomorrow, we’ll learn the lesson of the Last Great Day!


Scriptural References:

  • Ecclesiastes 1:2-4
  • Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, 6-7, 13
  • Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, 6-7, 13-14
  • Ecclesiastes 6:1-6, 11-12
  • Ecclesiastes 7:20
  • Ecclesiastes 9:1-5
  • Ecclesiastes 11:8-10
  • Ecclesiastes 12:1, 6-8, 13-14
  • Revelation 3:17-18
  • 1 Kings 9:25-28
  • 1 Kings 10:1-15
  • Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • 1 Kings 11:1-6
  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Hebrews 9:27
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • 1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 49-52
  • Revelation 20:3, 7-10

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