Fred Coulter - October 17, 2000

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Today is day number four of Feast of Tabernacles, the year 2000.  And for all of you tie buffs, you can see I have a different tie on.  I plan to wear a different one every day, so we’ll just see how that turns out.  But I will wear my old one, it’s almost threadbare.  Ok, well here we are halfway through the Feast.  This is the fourth day of the Feast of Tabernacles and it’s just like everything else there’s a beginning, there’s and ending, and in this particular case there’s also a middle.  And this fourth day we’re going to examine what is the main situation that we are going to be dealing with, with people during the millennium.  And I think we’re going to find this most instructive and very informative.

One of the things that God inspired Ezra to do in the reading of the law and the prophets was this: He instructed all the Israelites and Jews to read, during the Feast of Tabernacles, the book of Ecclesiastes, because there are many lessons there for us in the book of Ecclesiastes and we will see then how this applies especially to the millennium.  So let’s go first of all to the book of Ecclesiastes and let’s just begin right there at the very first chapter and we’ll go through and survey certain parts of the book of Ecclesiastes and see the message that we’re going to be teaching the people, helping lead them to understand about salvation.

One of the most important things is that they’re going to have to understand about human nature.  This is going to be very important because every physical thing will be provided.  There will be the physical environment such as there never has been since the creation of the world.  There will be buildings, there will be houses, there will be families, there will be abundance of food, abundance of clothing, abundance wealth.  There will be the right education.  There will be the Sabbath, and Holy Days, and all the saints as the teachers and kings, and priests, and teaching.  And it’s going to be a time where there will be plenty of children.  There will be plenty of activity.  A lot of things going on.  And so one of the things that we’ll be dealing with was exactly the same problem that happened to king Solomon when he came into his glory.

Now let’s read here, beginning in Ecclesiastes 1:1.  “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.”  And that was the only direct son of David who was king in Jerusalem during a time in which this could have happened, so this had to be Solomon.  “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecc. 1:1-2).  And that’s going to be one of the things that we are going to be teaching all during the millennium.

Now this is very important because when it comes to having every physical thing around you, having every physical opportunity, then we need to understand, and we need it for our lives too, we need to show clearly that vanity is purposelessness.  Meaning that the physical things around us cannot be an end to themselves.  It cannot be the goal.  And that all physical things will come to nothing.  And we will have to teach that because at the end of the millennium and at the end of the great white throne period, the 100-year period, God is going to burn up the earth and everything that is there and create a new heaven and a new earth.  So the physical things will lead to nothing.  And if you just look to the physical things then you’re going to be in great trouble.  And of course, because you have physical blessings, and especially during the millennium, does not necessarily mean that you have the approval of God.  So we need to understand that.

So this is going to be the test.  Are the people going to look to the physical things and become all Laodicean because Laodiceanism will be the biggest thing to fight all during the millennium, won’t it?  Because if you think today that we’re rich and increased in goods, think of what it’s going to be in the millennium when they’re rich and increased with goods.  And they will have it.  They will have everything.  And so the book of Ecclesiastes ends up being a very instructive book for the Feast of Tabernacles to be read at this time because it’s the greatest experiment in the history of man of what Solomon did.  And showing that all things that a man does ends up in vanity, and when there is death, that is totally a vain experience.

Now let me ask a question.  What if you lived a thousand years, and as Solomon says a little later “ten thousand times over”, and you die.  Now is that not vanity?  You may have lived longer than we live now, but is that not vanity?  Yes, it is.  And this is the whole lesson that we’re going to have to be teaching.

Now, let’s go to Psalm 39:5 And this is the lesson that David learned.  And of course, he probably passed it on to his son Solomon because Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.  Let’s begin here in verse 1, “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue…” This is also another thing we will be teaching, because the smallest sin during that time is going to be so much more magnified because the greater- greater sins that we see in the world around us today will not be committed at that time.  And if they are then it’s going to be directly to the lake of fire.  “…I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.  I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.  My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am” (Psa. 39:1-4).

And so this is the big lesson that we’re going to be teaching all the physical people: that physical life is frailty, that physical life is going to come to an end, that physical life, even though you can accomplish many things, do many good works, have many wonderful experiences in life, that it is just as David said right here in verse 5.  Let’s read it.  “Behold, Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before Thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.”  And then there’s the word “Selah.”  Now whenever you see the word Selah, it means “stop, meditate, think on this.”

Now let me just interject something here concerning meditation.  The meditation that God wants you to do is to meditate on His laws, on His commandments, His statutes, His judgment, His plan, His purpose, on Christ, on His word.  Whereas the meditation of this world is a Satanic meditation as taught by the eastern mystic religions where you empty your mind and you allow nothing to be in your mind.  And that is conditioning for demon-possession.  So there’s a vast difference between what it says concerning meditation in the Bible and concerning meditation in this world and this worlds religion.  So yes, verily man at this very best state is altogether vanity, selah.

“Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them” (vs. 6).  Now we’re going to see that was the great concern of Solomon.  And so this is really quite a thing that we’re going to be dealing with, and we need to understand it and realize it.

Now let’s go to Job 35:13.  Now this is Elihu speaking and telling Job as much that, Job you’re vain.  And Job was, see.  You know, he thought he was really something because he was doing all of these things.  But you see we’re also going to fight Jobites all the way through the millennium, aren’t we?  That it’s going to be difficult for people being born into this environment where everything is good, where everything is right, where there is the right God, the right days, the right teaching, the right education.  All of the right things.  All of the good things according to the way of God.  It’s going to be very difficult for people to understand that it’s not their righteousness, and it’s not how good they are, or how strong they are, or how beautiful they are, or how smart they are.  Because you see, all the curses will be lifted.  And the only curse that will be left will be the vanity of human nature.

Now here, Job 35:13.  “Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.”  So that’s why God is no respecter of persons.  “Although thou sayest thou shalt not see Him, yet judgment is before Him; therefore trust thou in Him.”  Now this is the advise of Elihu to Job.  “But now, because it is not so, He hath visited in His anger; yet He knoweth it not in great extremity…” He’s talking about Job.  Job doesn’t know this even in the great extremity.  “Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge” (Job 35:13-16).  And so that’s what we’re going to have to teach the people during the millennium.  If you don’t love God, if you don’t serve God then all is vanity.  All these things are going to be gone.

Now let’s continue on here.  Let’s go back to Psalm 62 on our way back to the book of Ecclesiastes.  Psalm 62, and here’s how it is in the world today.  And here’s the way we see things.  Psalm 62:9, and this is exactly how David saw it.  He said, “Surely men of low degree are vanity…” Now you can even get some of the greatest vanity and philosophy from the homeless, and from bums, and from lazy ones.  They all have their justifications.  They all have their excuses.  They all have their condemnations of those who have, while we have not.  And then the also talks about those, “…and men of high degree are a lie…” Because most of the things that they have gotten, they have gotten many cases either by wrong economics, by buying and selling incorrectly, and so their reputation that how great they are - it’s a lie.  That’s why in today’s world you have like the Star newspaper and the Inquirer, and what that does it exposes all the lies of the great people and all of the things that they don’t like you to know.  “…To be laid in the balance [that is in judgment], they are altogether lighter than vanity.”  So this is the whole lesson we’re going to be teaching.

Now back to the book of Ecclesiastes, right here in chapter 1.  This is a tremendous book.  Anytime you get a little bit bored, if I could use that term, or anytime that you find that you’re loosing the edge in your relationship with God and you’re view of the world, go get the book of Ecclesiastes and study it.  Anytime you get caught up in your vanity as to how great you are and what you’ve accomplished, and what you have done, go get the book of Ecclesiastes and read it.  Anytime you go through a trial or a difficulty and you think that people are unfair and God is unfair, and why did God do this, go read the book of Job and the book of Ecclesiastes and get your right bearings with God.  Because you see God is putting you through these experiences to teach you, to build your character, to build your love, to build your understanding, to build your faith so that you can be the kind of quality teacher that God will need and want during the millennium to teach the people, and your life experiences in this life will reflect that.

Now let’s continue on here in verse 3.  “What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?”  What is going to be the great profit in it?  “One generation passeth away another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.  The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.  The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits” (Ecc. 1:3-6).  Now when you view on television your latest weather report you’re going to see that is true.  The wind and the weather fronts go in circles, and then they sweep across the continents with high pressures and low pressures.  And these bring good weather, bad weather, storms, snow, drought, flood, all of these things.

Verse 7, “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”  And so it flows out into the ocean, evaporates up into the clouds, the clouds are blown on over to the land, it rains and it snows, and it come right back to the ocean again, just like he says.  So they had understanding of scientific things, and scientific knowledge.  You know part of the problem in today’s age, we think we’re so wise and educated, that all those people back there must have been ignorant and stupid because we’re so smart.  Well I think the truth of the matter is, they were a lot smarter than we give them credit for and maybe perhaps they were a lot smarter than we are today.  Because you stop and think about all the things that we do, it is cut with the sword of good and evil.  And for every good thing that we do there is an evil side to it that comes along.  And so Solomon also saw that.

Now let’s continue on here in verse 8.  “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it…” God intended that we work, that we labor.  Now here’s something that is true.  “…The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.”  And another problem comes along with that which is this: that the emotions and the reactions become callused, and people want a greater experience than what they’ve experience in the past.  Hence we have the progression of violence and evil, and shock with sound in music and in movies, and with special effects because you’re not satisfied with the old mundane hand-grenade.  Now you have to have a car blow up with ten thousand barrels of oil, so that it explodes and fills the screen.  Then when that is done what is the eye going to be satisfied with, or the ear satisfied with?  You see, God made us so that we are never satisfied, because what we need is God’s Spirit and God’s existence and that’s why He created us.  So there’s a good side to this.

Verse 9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be…” And so the millennium is going to be that which has been - the restoration of all things.  Only this time instead of with just Adam and Eve it’s going to be with nations of peoples.  “…And that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”  Now this is especially true concerning false doctrines.  Most of the false doctrines we have to fight are doctrines which have been around for centuries.  Satan can’t invent anything new.  He has to recycle all the old arguments.  Same way with human nature.

Now, verse 10.  “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, This is new?”  Well God is the only one Who can do that.  Not man.  “…It hath been already of old time, which was before us.  There is no remembrance of former things…” (vs. 10-11).  And isn’t that true?  Though you can read about history, you don’t remember the things in the past.  And though you understand in the future things are going to happen and you understand that if you live through the night there is tomorrow.  And many of the things that you plan to do for tomorrow you can’t necessarily do because of problems or difficulties or different things that come along.  So man is really stuck in an ongoing today, isn’t he?  All through your life it is today.  That’s why James said don’t say tomorrow we will do such and such.  Say if it be God’s will, tomorrow we will do thus and such.  And so that’s really quite a truism in human life, isn’t it?  Here we are today.  Now, yesterday is already past, and tomorrow is not yet been here, and it’s coming.

Verse 12, “I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.”  And the only one who was king over all of Jerusalem, over all of Israel was David and Solomon.  After that the kingdom split and there was no king which ruled over all of Israel.  “And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven…” Now let’s see how he started out.

Let’s come to 1 Kings 10.  Let’s see how he started out.  And Solomon really started out in a grand style.  Let’s begin here in verse 1.  This is after he finished the temple that was completed after he finished the king’s house.  And he built the gardens and everything, and Jerusalem was the most beautiful city in the world.

“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.  And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones…” Now remember what we read that God is going to provide.  He’s going to provide gold, and silver, and precious stones, and carbuncles and things like this.  So Solomon’s kingdom was a very miniscule type of what the millennium is going to be like.  “…And when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in here heart.  And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.  And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her” (I Kings 10:1-5).  It just took her breath literally away.  And of course Solomon drank out of vessels of pure gold.  You think about that compared to our glass and our plastic.  (Chuckle)  That will tell you the difference in the economy.

“And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.  Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth and fame which I heard.  Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.  Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.  And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold…” (vs. 6-10)

Now a talent is 180 pounds, so there was a lot of gold. I mean they had so much gold they really didn’t know what to do with it. Now today gold is very precious.  Back then it was precious too but Solomon got so much gold that it was incredible.  And it was said that silver, during his days, was counted as nothing.  Can you imagine that?  Now during the millennium think of how prosperous everything is going to be.  It’s going to be very similar to this.

Now she also gave “…of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.  And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stone” (vs. 10-11).  All these things just coming and coming and coming to Solomon.  Well you know the story of Solomon, he corrupted himself, and part of the story is contained here in the book of Ecclesiastes.

And part of the lesson that we are going to see… now let’s come back to the book of Ecclesiastes again, and this time let’s go to the very last chapter and let’s look at the summary that Solomon came up with in understanding all the things that he experienced, and then we’ll go back to the first chapter and finish that.  Now back here, Ecclesiastes 12:13.  So here’s the summation.  And here’s the goal.  And here’s what we’re going to be teaching the people.  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God…”,  and we can add to this: fear and love God.  Because we are going to teach people that the greatest satisfaction in life is not the physical things that are here, but to fear and love God and keep His commandments.  And to be loving God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your being is going to be the great work that you are going to be doing.  “…Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”  In other words this is the whole purpose of man.  That’s what he’s talking about.  Verse 14, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Now let’s come back to the first chapter and let’s carry on and let’s see what happened here.  Let’s see what Solomon did when he came to all of this wealth.  And there was a turning point in Solomon’s life.  And I think the turning point is contained here in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Now let’s continue on in verse 13, let’s pick up the first part again.

“And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven…”  Because remember, God gave him wisdom more than any other man that has ever been.  And the wisdom without the Spirit of God, and the wisdom with carnal purposes corrupted him so much so that 1 Kings 11 shows that he departed from God and worshipped other gods.  So that’s really quite a lesson for us.  “…This sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.”  God expects the whole purpose of living to be an exercise in learning character and developing character, and developing love, developing responsibility, developing your talents and all of those things are included in this exercise that we are to go through.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (vs. 14).  Now that is, if it is without an eternal purpose.  And vexation of spirit means it’s frustrating.  Sooner or later after every experience you go through you come to the point that you have experienced everything that there is like Solomon did, and what else is there to experience?  So he says his vexation of spirit.

Verse 15, “That which is crooked cannot be made straight…” And that is true.  And I’ve often drawn this analogy and I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again here: you take wire that has been all crinkled up and you try straightening it out.  You cannot, while that wire is cold, make it perfectly straight again.  The only way you can make it straight is to heat it red hot and then pull it through another forming hole.  And that’s the only way that you can get out all the wrinkles, and you might say that is the process of conversion.  But you look at this life, you look at all the things that they talk about.  All the troubles that there are in this world, and there is never a day when there is not a trouble and they cannot all be solved all the time.  “…And that which is wanting cannot be numbered.”

So he says, verse 16, “I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate…” Look at all of this that I have.  All of this gold, and I’m getting 660 talents to me every year as tribute in addition to all the other things that the nations are sending me.  And Solomon truly was a world ruling empire with navies going out to the west and navies going out to the east and bringing all of these things.  They understood what is called the new world.  It was part of the world as it existed.  And they had their ships go over there and get gold and silver.  As a matter of fact there’s even a copper mine down in New Mexico which has ancient Hebrew script written on the walls of the mine.  So they were getting things there too.

So he reads this great estate, “…and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart and great experience of wisdom and knowledge.  And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.  For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (vs. 16-18).  And that is also true, especially if you don’t have the Spirit of God.  Especially if you’re just looking to the physical things.  You know man wants to pursue after happiness but how much happiness can he achieve.  Now we’ll talk about happiness a little bit later on when we get to chapter 3 and see the whole cycle of life that we’re going to be preaching and teaching to those in the millennium.

Ok, chapter 2:1.  “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure…” So he went through every pleasurable thing that could possibly be.  “…And, behold, this also is vanity.”  Because at the end of it there is an emptiness which has not been filled though you have every pleasure under the sun.  Because without the Spirit of God and without the purpose of God life has no meaning.  That’s why so many people who are in the entertainment business end up with such miserable an terrible, and horrible lives .  All the pleasure and all the things that they go through ends up in vanity.

Now notice verse 2.  “I said of laughter, It is mad…” I mean you can only have so many comic routines, right?  You can only have so many jokes, correct?  You can only have so many comedy shows, and after a while all it is, is just peat and repeat, and with the carnal mind being as it is they go down, and down, and down, and down, and down, and finally they are so crass and dirty and carnal that there is no humor left in it at all.  So that is vanity.  “…And of mirth, What doeth it?  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine [now let’s just see what it’s like here, I’ll go on a drunken binge], yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom [He says I’m only going to go to far, I’m not going to go over the line]; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.  I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards…” (vs. 2-5), everything that there was.  And I imagine Solomon went out there in chariot every day and had his men drive him out so he could see the vineyards and the orchards and the houses and see them being built.  And all the forts that he had throughout his kingdom.  He even made an alliance with Hiram and sent the navy out of the Gulf of Aqaba to get things.  So there was just so much going on here it was something.

“I made me pools of water…” You can imagine how that would be.  Beautiful pools and running brooks and waterfalls and streams.  “…To water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts” (vs. 6-8).  So he had concerts, he had singing, he had choirs. He had everything.  All the entertainment world laid out here, right?  And did it satisfy him?

Now let me ask you a question.  Have you ever had just a frustrating day, and you just sit down and your mind is kind of zonked out.  You’re just kind of bonkers.  And so you sit there and you waste a whole day in front of the television going from program, to program, to program, to program.  You go to a comedy program, you go to a serious program, you go to a mystery program, you go to a question and answer program, a game program, you go to athletics and you watch a game whether it be baseball, basketball, football, whatever it is, and you spend the whole day and on into the evening, and now it comes time to go to bed.  And how do you feel?  Blaugh! That’s vexation and frustration of spirit and you have just spent a day in vanity.  Now that’s the best way that I can explain it.  Now I’ve done that.  I know you’ve done that.  And you feel empty and hollow and worth nothing.  That’s because you spent the day on vanity.  And really when you get down to it and you analyze the whole thing with perhaps the exception of some of the sports events, everything is staged.  Everything is a lie.  Everything is scripted.  Everything is what they want you to see and what they want you to hear, and you haven’t been uplifted or educated in anything at all, have you?  No.  So that’s how Solomon was.

“So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.  And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.  Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit…:”  Now it was there, it was beautiful, it was fine, and many of us would be very happy to live in those circumstances.  But he says it’s vanity and vexation of spirit, “…and there was no profit under the sun” (vs. 9-11).  What had he really done spiritually for all eternity?  Nothing.  And so this is what we need to be teaching all the people during the millennium.  All the physical things that we have here, all those things that God has given, even though they’re great and marvelous, unless you use them to build the character of God it’s all vanity and frustration and vexation of spirit.

Now verse 12, “And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king [Is there anyone who’s going to do greater than me?]?   even that which hath been already done.”  Can he build greater buildings?  No.  Can he build more buildings?  Yes.  Of what purpose is it going to be?  How about gardens and trees and orchards and vineyards?  And sooner or later you’re going to run into a geographical problem that you can only put so much in so many places.  So that really was something.

Verse 13, “Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.”  So he did learn the lesson.  Wisdom is a very important thing.  And that’s what we need brethren.  See, you have knowledge, and then you have experience.  And with knowledge and experience comes understanding.  And then from knowledge, experience, and understanding comes wisdom.  And that’s what Solomon was able to derive out of this.  Now we need wisdom, those of us today.  There are a lot of us who have knowledge.  There are a lot of us who have had experiences.  But then there are fewer that really have understanding because you never learn from your knowledge, and you never learn from your experience so you don’t have understanding and you don’t have wisdom cause you get caught up in all these silly little vain doctrines that come along.  You have to have wisdom of the word of God, and wisdom from the Spirit of God in order to understand.  So he saw that wisdom excelled folly as far as light excels darkness.

“The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even tome…” He was talking about the day he was going to die.  He knew he was going to die.  “…And why was I then more wise?  Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity” (vs. 14-15).  So here, even though he has all of this wisdom, how much of it except what we have recorded here do we really have and understand?  Not very much, do we?

Now notice the next verse.   “For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten.”  And that’s what happens.  How many remember the soldiers of the Civil War?  Nobody.  He may have a monument to this one who was so called great, or to this General who did this, or to this troop of soldiers who did this or that.  And we also have the tomb to the Unknown Soldier.  So that also proves a point, doesn’t it.  And he says, “And how dieth the wise man?  as the fool” (vs. 16).  His breath goes out and it’s over.  And his temperature goes down and he’s cold, and he’s ready for the tomb.

Verse 17, “Therefore I hated life…” Now you see he was looking at it strictly from the physical things.  And it is true, if you just look at the physical things you’re going to end up hating life, especially the older you get because you have no hope, because there is no God, there is no purpose, you’re days are coming to an end and you know it, and it’s over with.  And that’s what Solomon was look at.  And of course especially after he went through the things as recorded in 1 Kings 11, where he had 300 wives and 700 concubines, and went after other gods.  It was vain, it was empty.  And he turned out to be foolish though God gave him all this wisdom.  So in a sense this is kind of a prophecy of his foolish end when you understand it.

Verse 18, “Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun…”  Looked out at everything he had done and he hated it.  “…Because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.”  And he knew that Rehoboam was a bum cause he was his son, so he’s looking at this and saying now, “When I die I gotta leave this to my son, Rehoboam. Oh, oh, painful vexation of spirit, vanity.”  And you know what happened?  Just exactly what Solomon was afraid of.  Rehoboam said when the Israelites came to him and said, “Look, your father laid us down with taxes.  Now you make the load a little lighter and we will be your servants forever.”  And Rehoboam came back and said, “My little finger is going to be heavier upon you than my father’s thigh.”  Rehoboam was a fool.  So here he was lamenting it.  Yes, “Because I should leave it unto the man that should be after me.”  Now isn’t that something.

Part 2

Now let’s continue on with the next verse, verse 19.  “And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?”  Well we’ve already covered that, he was a fool.  “…Yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun.  This is also vanity.”  Because it’s all fleeting and it all comes to nothing, and it comes to evil.  “Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.”  Now he’s going to put himself into depression.  “For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion.  This also is vanity and a great evil.”  In other words he’s saying, “Look, whoever inherits this didn’t even work for it.  So that all my labor I’m going to leave to him and I don’t know what he’s going to do with it.”  So he goes into a great depression.  “For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief, yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night.  This is also vanity” (vs. 19-23).  Just going along and letting everything go into depression, be upset and everything at night.

There is nothing better for a man, than he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.  This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”  So he did get a little balance out of this.  But what he really went through to try and find the extremes at both ends in order to have the wisdom to understand that God’s way is the only way.  “For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?”  In other words no one can do more than I have done.  “For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner He giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that He may give to him that is good before God.”  In other words God is going to take from the wicked and give to the righteous.  And he also saw this and this is what we’re going to teach the people in the millennium.  You need to heap up the things which are good.  You need to enjoy the life that God has given you.  And you need to look to the spiritual things beyond and the whole meaning of the plan and purpose of God because God has a great purpose for you.  And we need to constantly keep this vision before the people, and constantly show them and teach them that only God’s way will succeed.  He said, “This also is vanity and vexation of spirit” (vs. 24-26).  That is if it isn’t handled rightly.

Now chapter 3, and verse 1.  This is another very important thing that we are going to be teaching during the millennium.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  And we’re going to make sure that this is so.  That babies will learn while they’re babies.  As children are growing up they are going to learn that there is a time and there is a place for them as they prepare for adulthood.  They are not going to be thrown into adult situations while they are adolescents or teenagers.  They will grow in this.  They will be taught the proper way, a proper time.

Now notice verse 2.  “A time to be born, and a time to die…”  And that’s what we will teach.  We will say there is coming a time when your life is going to end and God’s judgment is going to be upon you for what you do between this time and the time that you come to the end of your life. Whether you die as a sinner or accursed or whether you die instantly and are instantly changed and brought into the Kingdom of God.

“…A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (vs. 2-8).  And we’ll be teaching them all during the millennium it is a time of peace.  We’re going to teach them the lessons of what happens with war.  And I hope God will have plenty of what I like to refer to as video tapes so when we have history lessons and we begin teaching about human nature, we are going to have to show them all the things that human nature has done down through history.  So there will be no doubt, there will be no way that they can say that they have not have had the object lessons of these things.  So they will know, so that they will understand.

“What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?”  What profit is it?  We’ll see that in just a minute.  “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also He hath set the world in their heart…”  And what we want to do is to have not the world set into their heart, but we want the Kingdom of God to be set in their heart.  And we want the Spirit of God in their hearts.  And we will want the commandments of God and the laws of God written in their hearts and in their minds.  “…So that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (vs. 9-11).  Well then, in the millennium will be different.  They will know from the beginning to the end.  Can you imagine what kind of classes that Noah can teach us concerning how the world was before the flood?  Now that’s going to be something, isn’t it?  Can you imagine what David is going to teach us concerning how he was inspired with all the Psalms and all of the writings that he did and how he loved God and was a man after God’s heart?  That’s going to be something.  Just think of all those things.  Think of what it’s going to be like when the apostles teach.  Think of what it’s going to be like with Christ teaching.  And He’ll be teaching us and then we will be teaching the people.  Think what it’s going to be like when we’re able to see God the Father and then He teaches us.  Now that’s really going to be a time.  So this is something.  So there’s a time.

Now let’s continue on here, verse 12, “I know that there is no good in them [that is the evil and in the world], but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.”  And that’s what we’re going to teach: to do good in your life.  “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him” (vs. 12-14).  And so one of the purposes that we’re going to show the people is how to live their lives so that it will produce happiness and contentment.  Not the dissatisfaction that Solomon went through, because he abandoned the wisdom that God gave him and just used his own natural wisdom, and he came out a frustrated, sinful old man.

Now let’s look at what we’re going to teach them.  Let’s look at an example from the Bible.  We’re going to teach them what true happiness really is.  That it’s not going to be from the abundance of the physical things around them, but it’s going to be with the relationship that they have with God.  And it’s going to be with how they love God and serve God.  So let’s look at what the Bible teaches us concerning true happiness, because you see without fulfilling your life in the right way and having true happiness, which might be really described as true contentment rather than just this bubbly effervesce and the vanity of human nature of everything is happiness, happiness, happiness, happiness, you see.  The true happiness that comes with satisfaction, that comes with God’s Spirit, that comes in the way that God wants us to have.  So let’s look at this now.

Number one:  As far as the key to true happiness is, you have to fear and love God.  That is the beginning real key.  You have to fear and love God.  Let’s look at Psalm 128:1.  And this is what we’ll be teaching the people.  You know today we have the pursuit of happiness, and how many people are totally miserable while they’re trying to pursue happiness because they’re going about it exactly in the same way that Solomon did, through their own human experience, you see.  No, it’s going to be different.  We’re going to teach them true happiness.

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His ways.  For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psa. 128:1-2).  And then we’re going to teach them the happiness in marriage.  And there is the beginning of the true love between a husband and wife, which then becomes the foundation of loving God.

Now let’s come to Psalm 112:1.  “Praise ye the LORD.  Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.”  And what is the first commandment of all?  The first commandment of all is “Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD.  And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  And that is the source of true happiness.  That’s why so many people are unhappy today.  That’s why they’re living their lives in vanity and frustration of spirit as Solomon said.  They don’t understand it.  They are seeking the wrong thing.  They are doing the wrong thing.  They are not fearing God and loving Him and keeping His commandments, and that’s the first key to having the happiness which comes from God.

Now here, Proverbs 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth always:…”  Now this fear is great awe toward God.  And that great awe then develops into the love of God.  “…But he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”  And boy, that’s sure true.  Anyone who hardens his heart during the millennium, that’s it.  That is it, they will loose out on salvation.  No question about it.

Number two: Happy are you if you keep the law.  That’s what we have right here, that fears always.  Now that keeps the law.  You must keep the laws of God to be happy.  You cannot have true happiness because sin is the penalty for breaking the laws.  And if you are sinning you are miserable. You are rotten.  You are vexed.  Vanity and frustration of spirit.

Here, Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” And that was part of what we covered with the Feast of Tabernacles last year - to have the vision, to catch that vision.  And we’re always going to be holding out to the people in the millennium the truth of the vision of the reality of their lives and the purpose in life and what God is doing, and what God wants to do with them.  “…But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  Why?  Because you know you’re doing the right thing and God is blessing you in it, and God gives you strength in it. And true contentment and happiness comes from that.  Now a person can have a totally negative and carnal attitude toward the laws and commandments of God because they don’t love God first.  And so these things become restrictive.  And in being restrictive they’re not happy because these things “God has forced upon us.”  Well, God hasn’t forced anything upon anyone.  You have to choose.  And so happy is he that keeps the law.  There it is right there.  Remember what was said of king Solomon and all of that was there.  “Happy are your men, happy are those that serve you”, and so forth.

Number three:  There’s another little thing that comes along with this.  And that is there is correction.  And that’s one of the main things we are going to be doing in the millennium.  We are going to be correcting, teaching. And part of the way that the correction will come, as we saw yesterday, your teacher will be behind you and say, “Here is the way, walk in it”, when you go to the left hand or you go to the right hand.

Now let’s go to Job 5:17.  Now Job really went through the trial here, and when he said this, or I think it was one of his friends brought this out to him.  Yes, this is Job speaking.  “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth…” Now, if you don’t understand the correction that is coming, like Job didn’t for a long time, then you may be most miserable.  So that’s why when there is correction that is coming, that you need to ask God for the understanding of it.  Why is this coming?  Help me to learn, Oh God.  And likewise in the millennium we’re going to be teaching people.  We’re going to be correcting them, see.  “…Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hand make whole.  He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.”  Now that’s something, isn’t it?

Here let’s go to the book of Hebrews and let’s see in our day today we are going to have times and circumstances and people.  That we are going to have life, we’re going to have death, we’re going to have all kinds of circumstances confront us, and all of these things form some kind of correction that is coming from God.  Because God wants us to have the character that comes from Him.  And human nature being as it is, and God made us to have human nature, then we need the correction.  And we need the correction then, so that we can have faith in God.  And the best way to have the correction is this:  let the correction come from God’s Spirit to your conscience.  That’s the first and easiest way.  If you’re conscience pricks you and God’s Spirit is leading you to correct you, then make that repentance and change.  That’s the easiest correction.  The next easiest correction is you read the word of God, and let the word of God correct you where you find you’re not doing what you should.  Well then conform you’re behavior and you life to the words of God.  Let that correction be there for you.  Then it begins to get more difficult from there.  Then other people correct you.  See, if the first three don’t work then other people begin to correct you.  And if that doesn’t work then God brings circumstances to correct you.  Now in the case of Job it got down to the point that even all these circumstances didn’t correct him and so God had to correct him personally.

Now notice, let’s pick it up here Hebrews 12:1, and let’s just understand that this is going to be very much part of our lives as we go down in time unto the end.  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Heb.12:1-2).  Always be looking to Jesus.  Look at His life.  Look at His example.  Look at what He went through.  Look at what He took upon Himself so that we can be saved, so that we can also be partakers of the correction that comes from God through his Spirit, through His word, through other people and through circumstances in our lives.

Now notice, notice how Jesus looked at it.  “…Who for the joy that was set before Him…” Now you see He always kept His mind on God.  Always kept His focus on the purpose as to why He was here.  And the whole purpose of the creation of human kind.  So there was joy because He knew the end result that this was the best.  “…For the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (vs. 2-4).  No, none of us have.  So you see in this life, in order for us to teach the people in the millennium how to have true happiness and to bring the right and proper correction to them, we have to yield and be corrected now of God.  And there are a lot of things in our lives that need to be changed.  There are a lot of things that maybe even during this Feast of Tabernacles you can make up your mind and think, “Yes, I need to change this, I need to change that, I need to correct this.  I need to do that.”  And go before God in repentance and repent and accept the correction and go ahead with the plan of action to make it right.  God will bless you in it.  You haven’t striven against blood.  I have not anointed one person in all my ministry for striving against sin and they were wounded or bloodied because of it.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the LORD, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him” (vs. 5).  Now we’re going to have chastening that we’re going to do for the people of the millennium.  Correction that we’re going to do.  Now also through this we learn then mercy, we learn then love, we learn then understanding.  So we will let the correction be in that way.

Now notice verse 6.  “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”  And especially for us because we are going to be in the Church of the Firstborn, and we are going to be the kings and the priests in teaching and helping.  And so God wants to now, through the circumstances that we are going through, let those things teach us and correct us and lead us by His Holy Spirit.

Now notice verse 7, a promise.  “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?”  And so we’re going to be happy with that correction.  I look back and I see all the things that I have gone through…

Now in verse 7 we read if you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons.  And so that’s what we’re going to teach the people then.  But also understand it today.  Whatever trial, whatever difficulty you are going through.  Whatever the circumstances are God is dealing with you as a son and He wants you in His Kingdom.  And a trial is not a sign of lack of faith.  A trial is something so you can build faith and receive the correction that comes from God.

Now notice, “…for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”  In other words you’re a counterfeit.  “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”  And so this is a whole thing that we are going to go through and we will be teaching the people in the millennium.  “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” Now when we’re going through a trial, I have yet to see anyone go through a trial who is really, really happy while the trial is going on.  Happiness afterward, not during.  “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (vs. 7-11).  So part of the things that we need to learn which we’re also going to teach the people in the millennium is that this correction is for our good, for our benefit, that we can be partakers of the holiness of God.

Number four key to happiness is that in this life we have to suffer reproach. And that’s just all a part of it.  Here, 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you…” (1 Peter 4:12-14).  And so think of that.  We’re coming to a time when people will be speaking evil of us and reproaching us.  I’ve already lived through that.  I’m sure you’ve lived through that.  But remember, the spirit and glory of God rests upon you because it’s for Christ’s sake that it is done.  Now, during the millennium there won’t be very much reproach at all.  There will be quite a bit of correction.

Number five:  You are happy when you trust in God.  Let’s go all the way back to Psalm 32.  You are happy when you are trusting in God.  And of course we’ll be teaching them to trust in God, to trust in what we teach them, to trust in the things that come from God and every thing about it.  So in a sense they’re going to have to live by faith, but their faith will be a different kind of faith than ours today.  Our faith is we trust and believe and don’t see.  Their faith will be they trust and believe because they see.  So as the blessing was greater that Christ said to Thomas when He said, “Well, I won’t believe it until I see it.”  Christ said to him, “You are blessed because you’ve seen and believe, but blessed are those [meaning they are blessed even more] who have not seen but believe.”  So that’s going to be the difference in faith that they will have.  So they will have to trust in God, and trusting in God will be faith.

Psalm 32:1, it says, “Blessed [it means happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed [or happy] is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psa. 32:1-2).

Now let’s come to Psalm 144:15 where that you are happy when you trust in God.  And of course in trusting in God, that means in His word, in His truth, in trusting God for your health, trusting God for your protection, trusting God in everything that you do, trusting God in belief with your prayers and how you live your life, trusting God to help open your mind to understand the word of God.

Now let’s pick it up here in Psalm 144:12.  Now this is going to be part of what will happen during the millennium.  “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: that our garners may be full affording all manner of store [of course that will be during the millennium, won’t it?]: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: that our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.  Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” (Psa. 144:12-15).  And so that’s what we’re going to be teaching them.  How to have true happiness, and it begins with the fear and the love of God as we saw.

Now let’s go to Proverbs 16:20.  “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and who so trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.”  Now, even when the trials and difficulties are coming, if you are trusting in God knowing that in the end good is going to come.  Now we have to experience that in our lives, which all of us have been going through.  We will have to help them experience it in their lives during the millennium so they will be able to trust in God.

Number six:  You are happy when you come to true wisdom.  Now Solomon understood that, but he went overboard and went on beyond into sin and foolishness while he was trying to retain his wisdom, and he skirted beyond the bounds.  And that’s why when he was old he became a fool.

Now let’s go to Proverbs 3:13, talking about wisdom.  And wisdom in this case is referred to in the feminine case because that’s how it is in the Hebrew.  It doesn’t mean that wisdom is a she, and wisdom is another sophia, or the goddess Sophia.  “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom…”  Now we might put there—who uses it properly.  “…And the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold” (Prov. 3:13-14).  Why?  Because it leads to eternal life, that’s why.  And so even though there will be all the riches and all the wealth, and all the physical things around them throughout all the whole millennium, they are going to have to learn that these are the things which bring happiness.  And these are the things that lead to eternal life.

Now let’s continue on.  “She [wisdom] is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”  Notice what it’s going to do.  “Length of days is in her right hand [and the final end of that is eternal life]; and in her left hand riches and honour [which everyone in the millennium will be able to have].  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life [and they are going to be eating of the tree of life] to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her” Not throws her away.  That’s why Solomon became so unhappy and so discontented (vs. 15-18)..

Number seven:  Endurance.  Let’s go to James 5.  Now we have to endure to the end.  And trust me, when we endure to the end and the resurrection comes there’s going to be great happiness in that, you see.  Great happiness.

Let’s come here to James 5:7.  “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.”  If there are any words that are more true than that, that is for today, brethren we are closer to the coming of the Lord than when we wrote this, so this is prophetic.  “Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 5:7) Now that’s a type of the Holy Spirit.  And of course this applies to the millennium because this will be the latter rain.

“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the LORD draweth nigh.  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience [or endurance].  Behold, we count them happy which endure”  (vs. 8-11).  And so there is happiness in endurance when it is over, not during.  And endurance is that thing which then when you have trials and difficulties or corrections that come along to you, that you endure, that you grow, and remember what it says there, what Jesus said, “He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.”  And that’s why we are happy if we have endurance.  Because we know that salvation is coming.

And then James writes about, “…You have heard of the patience of Job, and you’ve seen the end of the Lord [that is the end of what the Lord did with Job, not that the Lord ended]; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (vs. 11)  And so we have to have this endurance.

Number eight:  We have to give.  The keys to happiness number eight is we have to give. Let’s go to Acts 20.  Giving is what we are going to be doing all during the millennium.  We are going to give of our lives and time now.  We are going to give of our lives and time then.  We are going to be serving just as Jesus said.  We are going to serve.  The greatest among you, He said, is going to be your servant.  And of course Christ will be the greatest of all then, won’t He.  Yes, He will be.  And even God the Father beyond that, correct?  And what do they do?  They have given.  God the Father gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him may not perish but have everlasting life.  And God gave that with great happiness and joy, but it had to involve all the other things.  Don’t you think that was a trial for God?  Don’t you think that God had to endure while these things were going on, while Christ was here on the earth and all the things that He went through and suffered.  So you look at it from Christ’s perspective.  You look at it from His way.

Now let’s pick it up here in Acts 20:35.  “I have shewed you all things [Paul is saying], how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  And so brethren, these eight keys of happiness we need to learn and apply to ourselves.  But we also need to understand that these are part of the things that we’re going to be teaching during the millennium, and it will have a greater effect because we have lived through these things, we have grown in these things, and we’ve come to the wisdom and the understanding of it. And we have learned the lesson of Solomon, that there is a time for every purpose under the heaven.  And now brethren, is the time to really learn these things and to know and to grow into grace and knowledge so we can be prepared to be the teachers as kings and priests, as Christ wants us to be in the millennium for that thousand years and then on into all eternity.

 

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