Solomon, Part I
Text: (I Kings 1 -11:13)
Solomon was born of her that had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and although God punishes unto the 3rd and 4th generation of them that hate Him, yet He delights in bestowing mercyí upon all who love Him. So at the end of thousands of generations, His mercy would be as fresh and as replete as "in the beginning."
"The best of men are only men at best," said Thomas Watson, and although a sinner, Davidís heart yearned after His God. And, although God punished David throughout his life because of his sin, yet God appeared unto his son twice.
(I Kings 1,2)
"And ...Israel dwelt safely ...all the days of Solomon." (4:25) Solomon began his reign well. He was zealous for righteousness and began by putting down the rebellion led by Adonijah, his treacherous brother. Solomon put him to death.
Abiathar, the priest who had been so faithful to his father, joined the rebellion of Adonijah possibly because of the circumstance surrounding Solomonís birth. The king divested Abiathar of his priesthood.
Solomon wisely continued to execute capital punishment until all evildoers were subdued, He put Shimei to death, and then turned his attention to Joab and put him to death.
He early displayed a zeal for his God. "Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." (3:3) Someone has said, "The best of men have feet of clay."
(I Kings 3)
"And Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream." (3:15) This is the text that inspired John Bunyan as closed Pilgrimís Progress.
The Lord first appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. In that encounter, the Lord asked the king what he desired. Instead of asking long life, riches, or the lives of his enemies, he asked for wisdom and understanding--a proof the Lord had answered his request before "he" framed it with his mouth. The second time, God reiterated the covenant he made with David.
(I Kings 3)
What wisdom God gave to the son of David! When two harlots disputed over the possession of a child, God who gave the eagle wisdom to fly gave Solomon a plan by which he could discern which of the two possessed the affection of a mother. (3:16-28)
The wisdom God gave to Solomon excelled all the philosophers of the East, and all the wisdom pagan Egypt could produce. He spoke 3000 proverbs (verse 32) and could discourse on trees, animals, birds, insects-Ėeven on the fish of the sea. (Verse 33) He was a songster like his father David. Scripture relates that he wrote 1005 songs. A morsel of his wisdom has been preserved in the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.
The name of Solomon was revealed in "all nations round about." Chapter 10, the Queen of Sheba visited him to establish the validity of his fame.
(I Kings 5-8)
And Solomon was a builder. In chapter 5, he makes preparations for the building of the Temple that his father had so earnestly longed to construct. In chapter 6, the Temple is artfully constructed. Chapter 8 details the dedication of the Temple.
He called for a levy of 30,000 men. Each month 10,000 men worked. There was therefore a rotation every 3 months.
The walls and the ceiling of the "temple were made of Cedar. Gourds, open flowers, cherubims and palm trees were carved into the wood.
The floor was made of fir. The wood was overlaid within and without with gold.
The windows were narrow without and broad within.
The structure was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. According to Merrill Ungerís Bible Handbook, the cubit is equivalent to 18 inches. The Temple therefore measured 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. It was twice the area of the Tabernacle.
Two cherubims were placed within the oracle, i.e. the Holy of Holies. Each stood 15 feet tall, and was made of olivewood overlaid with gold. Each wing measured 7 1/2 feet in length. The left wing of the one touched the wall of Temple, while the right wing of the other cherub touched the opposite wall. With their other wings they touched each other. All was overlaid with gold.
The doors of the oracle were made of olivewood and were carved with cherubims, open flowers and palm trees. The side-posts and lintel made up 1/8 of the wall. All was overlaid with gold.
The doorposts of the Temple likewise were made of olivewood and comprised 1/4 of the wall. The doors themselves were made of fir and each was designed as two folding leaves. Cherubims, palm trees, and open flowers adorned the doors and were overlaid with gold.
In addition, Hiram made Solomon 2 pillars of brass for the House of the Lord. Each was 27 feet high and measured 18 feet in circumference. He fashioned 2 chapiters of brass for the top of the pillars each measuring 7 1/2 feet high and adorned each with nets of checker work and wreaths of chain work. Two rows of 200 pomegranates and lily work was carved into the wood. The pillars were set up in the porch of the Temple and were given names. The one on the right was called "Jachin" meaning "He shall establish." The left pillar was named "Boaz" which means, "In it is strength."
Hiram next made a molten sea of brass. It measured 15 feet in diameter, 7 1/2 feet high and 45 feet in circumference. Under the brim, 10 gourds were carved every 18 inches. It was set upon 12 oxen --3 faced to the north, 3 to the south, 3 to the east, and 3 to the west. Their hind parts were all inward.
The sea of brass was itself 9 inches thick. Its brim was as the brim of a cup and was adorned with lily flowers. The sea contained 2000 baths. If one bath is equivalent to 6.073 gallons, then it had a capacity of 12,146 gallons.
Hiram next fashioned 10 brass bases each of which measured 6 feet in length, 6 feet in width and 4 1/2 feet in height. Lions, oxen and cherubim adorned their ledges. Under the borders were 4 brass wheels the axletrees of which were joined to the base. Each one measured 27 inches high.
Ten brass lavers beautified the Temple. Each had a capacity of 60.7 gallons. Each measured 6 feet in circumference to set upon a brass base.
"In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan." (7:46)
The Altar, the Table of Shewbread, the Candlestick including the bowls, snuffers, basins, spoons, censers --even the hinges on the doors --all were of gold.
The Temple was dedicated in chapter 8 of I Kings. Here Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in peace offerings to the Lord. His dedicatory prayer is nearly unparalleled among the prayers in Holy Writ. But sandwiched between chapter 6 --the building of the Temple, and chapter 8-- the dedication of the Temple is chapter 7 which describes Solomonís other building feats. We are told the son of David was 7 years in building a House for the Lord, "but Solomon was building his own house 13 years." (7:1)
-To Be Continued In Next Issue
Text: Revelation 13:11-18
I believe the Bible is to be literally interpreted except where it is obviously to be taken in the language of allegory. Consequently, I believe that while there have been many in history who were antichrist, there is nevertheless a prevailing spirit of today that is preparing the way for one whom the Apostle Paul foretold as "The Anti-Christ" or "The Man of Sin." (II Thessalonians 2:3-12) While there have been many throughout history who were wicked sinners before the Lord, this man is identified as "The Man of Sin." There has never been a man so blasphemous, so rebellious as he will be.
I believe the Apostle John meant what he wrote when he prophecied that this "Beast" will cause all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead, and that no man might buy or sell, except he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. "It is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six." (text)
I further believe the Apostleís prophecy is to be literally understood when he wrote that all who receive the mark will then seal their damnation, and give up all hope of forgiveness of sin and of salvation. (Revelation 14:9-11; 19:20)
The most obvious proof that such a number as the Social Security number is not the "Mark of the Beast" is the fact that to receive such a number at this time does not bar a person from salvation. But consider the following alarming trend.
If you go to obtain a driverís license, you are asked for your Social Security number.
If you purchase a hunting or fishing license, you are asked for your Social Security number.
If you open a bank account, they want your Social Security number.
If you go to the grocery store and write a check or attempt to cash one, they want your Social Security number.
If you go to the hospital admitting office, they ask for your Social Security number.
If you apply for admittance into a college, they ask for your Social Security number. Every Bible College I know wants that number! And, a former student at the University of Georgia tells me that when she took an examination, she was not asked to put her name on her paper --just her Social Security
If you apply for power, the electric company wants your Social Security number.
If you apply for service at the gas company, they want your Social Security number.
If you request telephone service, the telephone company asks for your Social Security Number.
If you apply for water service, the water works ask for your Social Security number.
If you go to the bus station to purchase a ticket, the ticket agent will ask you for your Social Security number.
If you go to the local advertising agency to place an ad, you will be asked for your Social Security number.
"What Is A Person To Do?"
What can a person do? First, you can refuse to give your Social Security number to the bank teller, the grocery clerk, and the utility employee. If their lip curls and a cloud comes over their brow, you have a second option: ask them to give you a copy of the law that states you must give them your Social Security number. Third, if they positively refuse to give you service unless you provide them with your Social Security number, tell them you will see them in court! You will be amazed how they will condescend to you and render you service replete with an affectatious spirit.
The "Tax Reform Bill"
I was amused at first by the recent news of the Tax Reform bill. Americans were told it would greatly benefit the poor, but after a few days, word came that the Social Security tax would be increased! The purported benefit to the taxpayer is a farce. The purpose of the "Tax Reform" bill has another purpose.
As I perused the Augusta Chronicle for the upcoming changes in the tax system, I discovered a by-line on page 4E of the Augusta Chronicle-Herald for August 24, 1986. Guess how it readsó"Numbers for Children." It reads as follows:
Children who are at least 5 years old will be required to have Social Security numbers. Parents claiming dependency exemptions will need to list the numbers on their tax returns beginning for returns filed in 1988.
I will not allow my children to have a Social Security number because I believe that if the Social Security number is not to become the "mark of the Beast" yet it most certainly is the presager of it.
If I file a tax return in 1988, am I to be punished on account of my religious convictions? So be it, but just how close is the kingdom of the Antichrist? Will this mean my children will be denied an education? --even in a Bible school? Will our family be refused drivers licenses? Hunting and fishing licenses? Will we be denied the freedom to obtain a job? Will we be denied entrance into a hospital? Are we to be denied the right to purchase groceries?
The Social Security card, which I carry with me, reads Ė
"For Social Security and Tax Purposes -- not for Identification."
Yet hospitals are aspiring to tattoo a Social Security number on the foot of every newborn! And, because of the innumerable children that turn up missing each year, it has been proposed that dentists could place a Social Security number on a childís tooth using indelible ink!
A Godless System
The entire Social Security system is godless, Women are "rewarded" according to the number of illegitimate children they bring into the world. Couples are "rewarded" if they live together, but lose their benefits if they marry according to Godís ordinance.
Does the Almighty approve when "Christians" knowingly support such wickedness with their taxes? Will He excuse us because we gear what man can do unto us? Can we drink the "cup of the Lord and the cup of devils?"
Within two years of entering the Gospel ministry, I signed a Social Security waver. Instead of being the option of everyone, it is an option open only to ministers. I signed it because I did not believe it was the duty of Uncle Sam to care for me or for my family.
My wife teaches 3rd grade in a Christian school, yet government will not recognize the family unit. The school, therefore, deducts Social Security from her salary. My wife is not a "Ms" but a "Mrs." She and I are not individuals pursuing individual lives. We are one, and as such, our family should be exempt. If you have the same convictions, your family should be exempt.
Antichrist will refuse to allow anyone the right to buy or sell unless they receive his mark. The kingdom of Antichrist is at our very doors, yet the pulpits of America are silent!
Syndicated columnist Walter Williams has written,
"Hitlerís maniacal racism was not as successful as he would have liked because the state machinery was not without its defects. Jews changed their names and otherwise disappeared. But if Hitler had an agency like our Internal Revenue Service with its massive detailed information on all of us, Jewish extermination might have been complete."