"THE REIGN OF SOLOMON! & THE STORY OF THE TEMPLE!"
WE'RE CONTINUING THE STUDY OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL; we're beginning the 23rd Chapter: The Reign of Solomon. King Solomon had a very great & wonderful reign!
1. THIS IS A PHOTO OF ANATHOTH. To be king of a country such as David had left was a position to be desired. We are not surprised to read of Adonijah's attempt to cunningly steal Solomon's position. Adonijah was the older brother & was really the first in line for the throne.
BOTH JOAB & ABIATHAR ARE GUILTY OF COMPLICITY IN ADONIJAH'S TREASON. Joab & Adonijah are put to death! The aged High Priest Abiathar was spared on account of his friendship with David. He was exiled to his native city, Anathoth‚ a few miles from Jerusalem. It doesn't look like much of a place to be exiled to, does it!
THIS WAS ALSO THE BIRTH PLACE OF WHAT GREAT PROPHET?—JEREMIAH! Remember, the men of Anathoth, his hometown, tried to kill him—'cause he was getting them in trouble with his prophecies of doom!
2. HERE'S A STREET IN JERUSALEM. Zadok served as priest instead of Abiathar, & the faithful Benaiah got Joab's post as commander-in-chief. Shimei‚ who had cursed David on his way out of town that time‚ violated his oath with Solomon & was at once executed! These troublemakers now out of the way‚ king Solomon was not disturbed by internal disaffections for a long time!
3. NEXT DAMASCUS‚ A VERY BEAUTIFUL & AN EXTREMELY ANCIENT CITY. There was a disturbance at Damascus, where David had placed a garrison. Damascus was up in Syria. It's still called Damascus, & is considered one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world!
IT HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY INHABITED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The garrison here was razed by Rezon, who had made himself master of that city soon after the death of David.
4. THIS IS THE COUNTRY OF EDOM, & a typical Edomite. Edom then too made an attempt to sever their connections from Israel. Hadad was an infant when David had let 400 people escape from Ziklag into Egypt. He was one of those that had escaped.
HADAD HAD GROWN TO MANHOOD & HAD MARRIED INTO THE ROYAL FAMILY OF EGYPT. Upon hearing of the death of David & Joab, he returned to Edom. He secured the throne‚ but it was evidently at the sufferance of Solomon. He only ruled Edom to a limited extent, sort of as tributary to Israel.
5. THE MAP. SOLOMON FORTIFIED HAZOR, which protected the north & Megiddo, which dominated the Plain of Esdraelon. What is Megiddo going to be famous for? For the Battle of Armageddon. Armageddon means the height of Megiddo. There's a big round bald hill right in the middle of the valley. Evidently there's going to be quite a battle there, during the time Revelation describes at the end of the Tribulation.
THE UPPER & LOWER BETH–HORAN & BAALETH WERE ALSO FORTIFIED, which protected the capital against the pass Ajalon from the west. Later Gezer was strongly fortified. Solomon fortified these garrisons & strengthened the kingdom, & the grip of the Israelites on the territory over which they ruled.
6. NOW SOLOMON MARRIES AN EGYPTIAN PRINCESS. He had already attracted the attention of Egypt. Pharoah seemed quite willing to be friendly & gave his daughter to be the king's wife. This was supposed to cement alliances & make peace between the countries.
7. THE PLAIN OF SHARON, NOW CALLED THE GAZA STRIP. Pharoah had conquered a good part of this Plain of Sharon, which stretched down the coast of Israel, along the Mediterranean toward Egypt. He made a present of it to Solomon.
GEZER ON THE PLAIN OF SHARON WAS REBUILT & strongly fortified. It was part of the land of the Philistines: Evidently now the Israelites were dominating the Philistines!
8. HERE IS A PHOTO OF GIBEON. Solomon went to sacrifice on a religious mission to Gibeon. While there the Lord promised him anything he should request. When the young king said,
"GIVE THY SERVANT AN UNDERSTANDING HEART TO JUDGE THY PEOPLE", it pleased the Lord. (1Kings 3:9.) Solomon seemed to have been abundantly supplied with wisdom. Because he didn't ask for riches, but for wisdom, God gave him riches & power & glory also!
9. AN EXAMPLE OF SOLOMON'S JUDGMENT WAS THE FAMOUS STORY CONCERNING THE 2 NEIGHBOUR WOMEN. These were 2 harlots who lived in the same house. Each of them had a child. One of the babies was killed: The mother rolled on it in the night & smothered it.
SHE STOLE THE OTHER'S LIVING BABY, while she was sleeping. Then they had a big argument in the morning over who it belonged to. The true mother knew it was hers & the false mother claimed it was hers! Remember how the story was settled? Solomon proposed that they divide the living child with a sword & give each mother a half.
HE KNEW THAT THE TRUE MOTHER WOULD RATHER HAVE THE WHOLE LIVE BABY GIVEN TO THE FALSE MOTHER THAN TO HAVE IT KILLED! Immediately she so indicated, & the false mother said, "Yes! Go ahead & cut it in two!" So, Solomon knew right away who the real mother was! The effect of Solomon's wisdom was tremendous on all of those about him & even on other kingdoms!
10. HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE TABERNACLE. 480 years before Solomon, Moses had received the Law on Mount Sinai. The tablets of stone were placed in an ark or box of acacia wood. It was placed in a wooden house, covered with leather skins of various colours‚ like a tent.
A WALL OF CANVAS FORMED A SPACIOUS ENCLOSURE FOR THE HOUSE, together with the altar—sort of a courtyard called the Outer Court. This was very beautifully decorated & embellished with gold. It was purposely made of very light material & skins, for Israel was always on the move—they had to carry their meetinghouse with them.
11. HERE WE HAVE A MAP SHOWING THE MOST IMPORTANT STOPPING PLACES OF THE ARK on its famous journeys from Shiloh to Kirjath-jearim. It was in the hands of Philistines for 7 months. 20 years it remained at Kirjath–jearim, after which David brought it to Jerusalem & placed it in a new Tabernacle, which was built by him. At this time, the Ark was still in a house made of skins.
12. UP TO THE TIME THEY CAME TO SETTLE IN ISRAEL‚ ISRAEL HAD HAD NO PERMANENT ABIDING PLACE—no place that they could call home! Gyspy–like‚ they camped wherever they could. They were a travelling nation with a political & religious system & a distinct language.
THEY WERE A BEDOUIN PEOPLE WHO MOVED ABOUT FROM PLACE TO PLACE—much as the Bedouins of that area do to this very day. As you see in the photo, they have mobile houses—because they have to follow the pasture land for their flocks & herds.
13. DAVID DID WHAT MOSES & JOSHUA HAD HOPED TO DO! He cleared the country, which God had said to Abraham: "Unto thee & thy seed will I give it forever." (Gen.17:8.) It's just dawned upon Israel that this promise has been fulfilled. It was being fulfilled to David's seed:
SOLOMON THE KING SAT UPON HIS THRONE IN JERUSALEM‚ from which he governed all the people from the Euphrates to the rivers of Egypt. If Israel would only be true now to the hand that has brought them to this height, they may remain here forever, God's Word promises.
14. AGAIN WE SEE MOUNT MORIAH FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES. Mount Moriah, across the Valley of Jehoshaphat, is where the Temple once stood, where the Mosque of Omar now stands.
NOW THAT THEY ARE TO BE A PERMANENT PEOPLE, THEY MUST HAVE A PERMANENT PLACE OF WORSHIP. They weren't too permanent, however, depending on their sins! God directed that it should be in Jerusalem, over there on Mount Moriah. 2Chronicles Chap.3. On top of that hill had been a threshingfloor, until David bought it from Araunah the Jebusite, one of the former inhabitants of Jerusalem.
DAVID WOULD DOUBTLESS HAVE BUILT THE HOUSE OF GOD HIMSELF, had he not been so busily engaged in war! God told him that he could not build Him a house because he had been a bloody man! (1Chron.28:3.) He was a man of war not a man of peace! Poor David, though he was a great man, a man after God's own heart, he had to fight a lot of wars to try to establish God's people & to bring peace! Now Solomon's going to get to enjoy that peace!
15. HERE WE SEE THE CITY OF TYRE, along the shores of the Mediterranean. Up in the northern part, next door to Israel, is what is now called Lebanon. David, seeing his years were nearly gone, had committed the building of the Temple into the hands of Solomon.
HIRAM KING OF TYRE HAD BEEN A GOOD FRIEND TO DAVID. When Solomon was raised to the throne, he sent his servants to the new king to express their good will.
16. THE TYREANS WERE NOT ONLY SEAMEN & CLEVER TRADERS, but they were skilled craftsmen in many lines: Weavers of fine fabrics‚ metalworkers‚ woodcarvers, stonemasons & so on.
HERE IN HIRAM'S DOMAIN, ON THESE GREAT LEBANON MOUNTAINS, WERE THE FAMOUS CEDARS OF LEBANON. From their slopes, cedars were exported for fine building construction. When Solomon decided to build the Temple, he arranged with Hiram for cedars from Lebanon & for his artisans to assist in the execution of this work.
17. HERE WE SEE AGAIN THE TEMPLE SITE, where now stands the Dome of the Rock, which you see there in the distance. When Abraham started to sacrifice Isaac upon the same hill, it was then merely a barren rock; there wasn't even a city! Then it was just a hill with a big rock on top. That's why they call that the Dome of the Rock.
THE ROCK UPON WHICH ABRAHAM STARTED TO SACRIFICE ISAAC IS STILL PLAINLY VISIBLE, immediately under the centre of that great dome. It was higher than you see it now‚ especially the north end of the enclosure. It was levelled off for the building of the Temple. Little did they think of the happenings, both of joy & sorrow, that would transpire here as centuries carried them on. Here was to be the location of the Temple & the royal palace.
18. HERE'S A BETTER VIEW OF THE DOME OF THE ROCK. It was completed just before the Crusades, in 1022 by Hakim the Arab. In the 7th Century, it was begun by Sultan Omar the Magnificent, who offered the site for the rebuilding of the Temple for the Jews. But they said‚ "No! Only the Messiah was to do it!"—According to their interpretation of prophecy!
WE FIND LATER, THEY WILL CONFUSE THE COMING ANTICHRIST DICTATOR OF THE ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT WITH THEIR MESSIAH. The Jews will accept the Antichrist as their Messiah—this man who becomes very anti-religious, anti-God & anti-Christ!
THEY WILL REBUILD THEIR TEMPLE NEAR THIS SPOT‚ according to God's Word, & resume temple sacrifices & their temple worship. The Antichrist puts a stop to it at the end of 3-1/2 years, in the midst of his 7-year reign! Then he begins the persecution of all religion of all kinds, & causes himself only to be worshipped! He sets up a statue of himself here in the Temple!
THIS IS GOING TO BE THE CENTRE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST WORSHIP SOME DAY, as it has been a centre of Jewish worship. If the Temple were standing there now, it would fit up snugly against the Dome, facing east.
19. HERE IS AN ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH OF THE ROCK UPON WHICH ABRAHAM STARTED TO SACRIFICE HIS SON ISAAC—later the foundation of the Temple altar itself.
20. HERE'S A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE DOME, looking directly downward upon this gigantic rock, which is the summit of Mount Moriah. The cuttings on it were surely done by the masons of Solomon & Hiram, in order to be channels for the blood of the sacrifices.
YOU CAN STILL SEE THE STEPS, which were cut for the priest, to the second altar‚ & the hole cut in the rock intended to carry away the blood of the sacrifices into a subterranean channel, leading to the valley below.
22. HERE WE SEE ANOTHER VIEW OF THE MOSQUE OF OMAR‚ which has stood now for more than 1300 years‚ begun by Omar the Magnificent, & completed by his successor Hakim—they were both Arabs.
23. IN THE 6TH CENTURY, JUSTINIAN BUILT A CHURCH HERE FOR THE CHRISTIANS. He was the Christian Emperor of Rome. During his time, this site was made a Christian Church. Before that, in the 2nd Century, Hadrian's Pagan Temple stood there. It was similar in appearance to this church, that you see a model of in the photo.
25. THIS IS A MODEL OF HEROD'S TEMPLE. They said it looked like a mountain of snow—a gigantic pile of the most gorgeous alabaster. About the time of Christ, Herod's Temple was built on top of the hill; it was the finest of all the Temples.
26. HERE WE HAVE THE ARTIST'S CONCEPTION OF HEROD'S TEMPLE, when Jerusalem was in the height of her glory, as Jesus must have seen it. The project was directed by the Romans & was 47 years in building.
JESUS SAW IT IN ITS GRANDEUR, BUT HE WEPT FOR THE HOLLOWNESS OF THEIR WORSHIP & THE HYPOCRISY! The established Jewish religious system of that day was worshipping God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him!
JESUS HAD TO PRONOUNCE TERRIBLE JUDGMENT & WOE AS A RESULT!—Even like our own beloved nation today: Claiming to be Christian, claiming to be religious‚ claiming to be God's People!—Yet, at heart, not truly worshipping & loving God & their neighbours as themselves! Therefore‚ I believe, that they too are in line for God's judgments!—Just as the Israelites were of that day!
27. HERE YOU SEE A MODEL OF ZERUBBABEL'S TEMPLE. After the Temple of Solomon, was the Temple built by Zerubbabel, the king of Israel after the return from Babylonian captivity.
IT WAS A RATHER DEPRESSINGLY INSIGNIFICANT STRUCTURE BY COMPARISON WITH SOLOMON'S TEMPLE, which embarrassed the aged Jews who had seen Solomon's Temple. It's said that they sat down & they wept because it lacked the glory & the luster of the great Temple that Solomon had built!
WHEN THEY RETURNED FROM THEIR BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, THE JEWS WERE KIND OF POOR compared to the way they were during Solomon's reign! They were the people of God & had sinned & turned against Him, & were cavorting in all wickedness & iniquity!
GOD ALLOWED THE ENEMIES OF THEIR DAY TO DESCEND UPON THEM & TAKE THEM OVER & CARRY THEM AWAY PRISONERS, make slaves of them—as very likely He may allow us, if we do not repent of our wickedness! When they came back from their Babylonian captivity of 70 years, although they returned, they were still a subject people‚ much robbed of their great riches!
SO, THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO BUILD AS BEAUTIFUL A TEMPLE as had been built by Solomon. At least, those people who returned, no doubt, had a little more sincere worship than they did before they had all their troubles!
28. HERE IS THE FAMOUS SCHECK MODEL OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE‚ which was built about 1000 years before Christ. Here you see the other structures, of which it was a part: The outer courts & the administration buildings, & the stalls & stables for the sacrificial cattle.
29. HERE IS ANOTHER MODEL, SOMEONE ELSE'S CONCEPTION OF THE TEMPLE. It is very similar in likeness to the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake, Utah. The actual Temple building was not a very large building‚ but very small compared to the rest of the buildings all around it. Take a close look, see it right there.
ALL THE BUILDINGS AROUND IT WERE QUARTERS FOR THE PRIESTS & the High Priest & administrative offices. This was the Court of the Temple‚ & around this were the stables, granaries, storehouses & so on. The Mormon Temple is built on this style, similar to this man's conception of the Temple.
THE TEMPLE BUILDING WAS ONLY ABOUT 90 FEET LONG BY ABOUT 30 FEET WIDE & 30 FEET HIGH. It was not as insignificant as it looks, for it was embellished with most exquisite designs & gold & silver. It was literally lined with solid gold! The pillars & the furniture & the draperies must have drawn the dignitaries from far & wide, all over the world‚ to see this very beautiful Temple.—Even as the Mormon Temple does in Utah to this day.
30. THIS IS ANOTHER GENERAL VIEW OF WHAT THE TEMPLE AREA & THE TEMPLE ITSELF LOOKED LIKE in bygone days. Bear in mind, the Temple building itself was not a meetinghouse as such, it was a place in which the priests alone officiated.
THE COURTYARD & AROUND THE TEMPLE WAS A MEETINGPLACE FOR THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL; but the actual building itself, that you see here, had the Holy Place & then the Holy of Holies in the back. Only the priests were allowed to go inside the actual building itself! The people could stand in the courtyard around the building or in the Outer Court‚ but they could not go into the Temple!
SOME OF OUR MODERN CHURCHES ARE ALMOST GETTING THAT BAD!: They still let the people come in, but the priests certainly do have full sway! It amounts to a dictatorship & is nothing like the Early Christian Church at all!
OUR MODERN CHURCHES OF TODAY HAVE LAPSED BACK INTO THE SAME TYPE OF JUDAISTIC TEMPLE WORSHIP of the ancient Jewish days!—As well as the pagan temple practices of the Romans! The Jews themselves met on the outside in various courts, & there were also courts for the Gentiles. Besides this, there was the king's palace, the queen's palace, the armoury, the throne room & the bazaars.
THOSE ARE THE PLACES OF MERCHANDISE THAT CHRIST GOT ANGRY ABOUT, & whipped the men that were selling things & drove them out! There was a tremendous amount of buildings & goings on surrounding the Temple itself, connected with the Jewish worship! It reminds you of how these great temples of today‚ so-called Christian temples, gradually grow in size & costliness‚ additional structures, educational buildings & social buildings, etc.!
WE'RE REVERTING RIGHT BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE—TO TEMPLE WORSHIP AGAIN! Worship of a place, instead of God! Worship of a day & a time, instead of worship in the heart & of the Spirit! Jesus said‚ "The day shall come when ye shall worship neither in this place, nor in Jerusalem; but they that worship Me must worship Me in Spirit & in Truth!" (John 4:21-24.) In Spirit & in Truth!
IN FACT‚ THE LORD SAW TO IT THAT THE TEMPLE BUILDING ITSELF WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED, after His crucifixion, in order to completely break all of God's people from this kind of place worship—the worship of a building instead of God!
JESUS PREDICTED THAT IT WOULD BE TORN STONE FROM STONE, & not one single stone would be left standing upon another! (Mat.24:2; Mk.13:2 & Lk.21:6.) A prediction which was completely fulfilled by the Roman soldiers about 70 AD, in the invasion by Titus, under Vespasian the Emperor. He attacked the Jews for their rebellion, & sacked & burned Jerusalem, & crucified 100,000 Jews on crosses around the city!
THEY GOT EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAD GIVEN JESUS! The Romans then burned the Temple building itself. Remember, it was largely composed of wood. They burned the wooden portions‚ which were embellished with the gold & the silver. The melted gold & silver ran down within the cracks between the great stones of its foundation.
THEY EVEN TORE THE FOUNDATION STONES APART TO GET AT THE GOLD & SILVER! So, there wasn't one single stone left standing upon another!—In literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus Christ! In fulfillment of the Lord's desire evidently to completely destroy that Temple—so that they would no longer try to connect any building with God's worship, but would worship Him in Spirit & in Truth! My God help us!
WHAT A FAR CRY THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF TODAY HAS GOTTEN FROM THE EARLY BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIANITY!: When they worshipped Him in homes, in upper rooms, in basements, in the market place, beside the river & in the forest under the trees—wherever they happened to be! They were thankful that they had any kind of a building to worship in! They managed to borrow a synagogue‚ but they usually got kicked out! For a while, they did use the Temple; but they soon got run out of there too!
CHRISTIAN WORSHIP IN THE EARLY DAYS WAS NOT CONNECTED WITH BUILDINGS TO ANY GREAT EXTENT! The earliest Christian Church building dated over 200 years after Jesus Christ! The Early Church was well on its way before they had one single building of their own! 240-some AD a heathen Roman pagan temple was converted into use as a Christian church building. I qualify the "church building" because the Church is not the building!
THE CHURCH IS THE PEOPLE! IT COMES FROM THE GREEK WORD ECCLESIA, MEANING THE CALLED-OUT ONES, or the separated ones!—The people! A church is a body of people, it is not a building! It is an absolute misnomer to call any building on any street corner or anywhere else in the world a church!
THERE ARE NO CHURCHES THAT YOU CAN SEE, EXCEPT THE LIVING CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, the Body of Christ‚ the human beings!—Who are the only temples which God inhabits! He says He does not inhabit temples built with hands! (Ax.7:48.)
PAUL TELLS US VERY PLAINLY THAT OUR BODIES ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST, the temple of the Spirit of God, & that He has no other temple than you! (1Cor.6:19) Is that clear! "Ye," God's Word says, "are the temple of the Holy Spirit of God!" (1Cor.3:16.)
THERE IS NO OTHER TEMPLE OF GOD! Any other building which claims to be His temple is a lie, a farce, a fake & an abomination in the sight of God! "Ye are the temple of God! (1Cor.3:16.) We may have convenient meetinghouses for the Church, the true temple, to meet in; & thank God for them. But I think most of them are much more elaborate, much more costly & much more expensive than they need be!
THEY HAVE WASTED LITERALLY MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS‚ yea billions of dollars, of church funds—which could have been better spent to evangelise the World & the heathen! Perhaps we wouldn't be having the trouble we're having now with the pagan heathen nations of the world if, instead of building costly temples made of brick & stone & mortar & gold, we had built the true temple of Jesus Christ! The living body of the people of Jesus Christ, instead of these abominable temples made of brick & mortar & stone!—An abomination in the sight of God!
THEY HAVE LITERALLY ROBBED THE HEATHEN OF THE GOSPEL! They have damned souls to hell; & they are robbing the children of God of their time, their money & even their worship—connecting their worship with a building instead of with God Himself! May God forgive & have mercy!
NO DOUBT THESE TEMPLES WILL BE DESTROYED & BURNED, because God's Word says that the False Church riding upon the political Red Beast, which I believe is communism, shall eventually be turned upon—that False Whore & Mother of Harlots!
THE FALSE CHRISTIANITY, THE FALSE BRIDE OF CHRIST, WILL BE TURNED UPON & DESTROYED & BURNED WITH FIRE, God's Word says, by the Red Beast! If you want to get a good picture of it‚ just read the 18th Chapter of the Book of Revelation.
GOD WINKED AT THEIR IGNORANCE IN TIMES PAST. Because they had come out of heathen darkness & were familiar with the temple worship of the pagans, He allowed them to have a building to symbolise His presence.
ALL OF IT, HOWEVER, WAS VERY SYMBOLIC & VERY TYPICAL OF THE TRUE TEMPLE, your body, & of His habitation of your body—the Spirit of God inhabiting you! God permitted it for a time, to be an illustration, a type, of what was the true temple to come: The temple of your body, the true temple of Jesus Christ, His only Church! Praise God!
31. THE SITE NOW SELECTED & THE PLANS DRAWN‚ THE WORK BEGINS in earnest on the Temple. Lebanon rang with the sound of 10,000 axes, wielded by the servants of king Hiram, who furnished Solomon with these gigantic cedars, to build himself a house & also the Temple of the Lord.
THE TEMPLE WAS PARTLY CONSTRUCTED OF STONE. The lower walls were of stone; but the interior &, of course, the roof were all made of wood. That's why later on Nebuchadnezzar was able to burn it to the ground! Later on, the Romans burned Herod's Temple to the ground, as Jesus said.
THE DISCIPLES WERE SHOWING HIM THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL TEMPLE OF HEROD. They were as good as bragging about this gorgeous building. He said‚ "Know ye not, not one stone of this shall be left standing upon another!" (Mat.24:2.) And exactly in fulfillment‚ eventually even all the stones were carted away! Most of the Temple, including the beautiful pillars, was used in building the Church of Calvary, the big church built by the Crusaders.
SOLOMON GOT THE CEDARS OF LEBANON FROM THE HILLS OF LEBANON, that you see here. They were cut exactly to fit, before they were even shipped. How they got these great big logs & beams down there nobody seems to know.
ACCORDING TO JOSEPHUS, THEY WERE FLOATED DOWN IN THE MEDITERRANEAN FROM LEBANON. From the ports of Tyre & Sidon, they were bound into rafts & floated down to the port of Joppa, & then hauled up into the mountains.
THEY HAD TO BE HAULED ALL THE WAY FROM THE COAST, ABOUT 50 MILES INLAND, UP INTO THE MOUNTAINS, 3000 FEET HIGH!—Those huge tremendous logs & beams out of which they made the Temple. It was a monumental task! Considering the poor type of machinery & equipment & power they had in those days, it was nothing short of colossal that they ever accomplished it!
YOU KNOW WHAT CEDAR IS LIKE: IT'S ALMOST INDESTRUCTIBLE, like California Redwood. It's impervious to germs, to termites—nothing will touch it—it resists rot! So, it was very good wood to use for the purpose. Those cedars once literally covered those mountains. Now the mountains, as you can see‚ are almost stripped bare—there's just a few of them left!
32. A LITTLE IDEA HOW TREMENDOUS THOSE CEDARS WERE. They have a lot more limbs, it seems, than cedars in this country.
33. THIS IS A GROUP OF SIDONIANS. The skilful men, who did the hewing of these beams, were the Sidonians—some of the citizens of the kingdom of Hiram, king of Tyre & Sidon. King Solomon declares that there were none who used such skill in hewing timbers as these men of Sidon. (1Kings 5:6.)
34. HERE YOU GET A LITTLE IDEA OF HOW THEY MUST HAVE MANAGED TO CART THOSE TREMENDOUS CEDARS: By making huge wooden wheels, like ox-cart wheels, & suspending these cedars on the axles of those wheels.
THEN THEY DREW THEM BY A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF HORSE- & MAN-POWER up into the mountains of Israel. Remember‚ most of the central part of Israel, & especially where Jerusalem is, is very mountainous. The Temple was built on the top of Mount Moriah, nearly 3000 feet above sea level!
35. THE CEDARS WERE RAFTED ABOUT 100 MILES. These timbers were assembled into rafts at the foot of the mountains of Lebanon, here at the ports of Tyre & Sidon. They set them afloat on the Mediterranean Sea, which is ordinarily a good deal more calm, like a lake, than big oceans. They were floated down then to the nearest port to Jerusalem, which was Joppa.
36. THEY WERE FLOATED SOUTHWARD ALONG THE SHORE, CLOSE BY WHAT IS NOW BEIRUT. Beirut is the capital of what country today? Lebanon. Lebanon is what used to be the land of king Hiram.—Tyre was the capital city; Sidon was the next largest city. It's strange that the land of Hiram, king of Tyre‚ who helped Solomon build the Temple, is today the only Christian country in all the Near East.
37. ALL OF THESE LOGS WERE FLOATED PAST SIDON, where these expert woodcarvers lived that carved them into shape.
38. HERE'S TYRE, where king Hiram looked with pride upon the work he was helping his friend Solomon to accomplish. This is a part of the ruins of Tyre. This happens to be Hiram's tomb‚ where king Hiram was buried—one of the few remaining ruins in all the city of Tyre. Why? Does anybody know?
I'LL TELL YOU THE STORY OF WHAT HAPPENED TO TYRE. Eventually it was completely destroyed! First of all, Nebuchadnezzar tore it down. Then, remember, Alexander the Great scraped the ruins, the timbers & the dust into the midst of the sea, according to Bible prophecy, & built a causeway out to the new island city, in order to conquer it. (Ezk.26.)
SO, TYRE TODAY IS AS BARE AS THE TOP OF A ROCK!—Except for a few things, like this sepulchre here of king Hiram.
39. MOUNT CARMEL STANDS TODAY JUST AS IT DID WHEN THESE RAFTS PASSED BY. Mount Carmel stands aloft above the port of Haifa. Today Haifa's the largest port & Joppa's the next largest.
HAIFA WAS NOT A PORT AT ALL IN THOSE DAYS, because it was a very shallow bay. Ships could not come in at all; they had to use dories to go back & forth to ships there—so it made a very poor port.
GOD PROPHESIED THAT SOME DAY HAIFA WOULD BECOME A PORT. It was predicted by dear old Jacob, in the last few chapters of Genesis, that this land of Zebulun would become "a haven for ships." (Gen.49:13.) It had never been a haven for ships all those thousands of years!
WHEN THE BRITISH MOVED IN & TOOK OVER ISRAEL, THEY DUG A SHIP CANAL, deepened the harbour & made it the primary harbour of all Israel. It's there on the right, at the foot of the mountain. The mountain is very faint, you can't see it too clearly.
40. FINALLY THE CEDARS WERE LANDED HERE AT JOPPA, just as Hiram had promised Solomon. From there he carried them then 50 miles overland, up into the mountains to Jerusalem.
41. THAT WAS QUITE A JOB, AS YOU CAN SEE BY THE MAP. There's Tyre, probably one of the ports out of which they were shipped. The mountains of Lebanon were between the Waters of Merom & those little lakes.
NOTICE MOUNT HERMON, ONE OF THE GREAT LEBANESE MOUNTAINS, over toward Damascus. The Jordan River has its source there in the snow–capped Mount Hermon. Between Mount Hermon & Tyre lay most of the Lebanon mountains, from where they shipped these gigantic logs.
THEY WERE FLOATED DOWN PAST CARMEL TO JOPPA‚ about 100 miles down the coast. Then from Joppa up to Jerusalem. That was quite a big job!: First of all, about 25 or 30 miles out of the mountains, 100 miles by water, & then 50 miles overland up into the mountains, to build the Temple. A big job, but they did it!
42. HERE'S A PHOTO OF SOLOMON'S QUARRIES, STILL EXISTENT TODAY. Much stone was imported from the Siniatic Peninsula—already cut to fit into place! Besides this, much of the stone was quarried underneath the city of Jerusalem itself. Why was it cut in advance? Does anybody remember something in the Bible about that?
THE LORD DIDN'T WANT THE SOUND OF THE HAMMERING OF SPIKES or the sound of the hewing of stone. (1Kings 6:7.) Can you give me any idea why? Someone has interpreted that to mean that it caused Him to think of the nails that were going to be driven through Christ's hands, into the beams that were to lift Him aloft on the cross. Perhaps‚ for that reason He didn't, or because the Temple was to become so sacred. The Temple itself is a type of the Body of Christ.
MUCH OF THE STONE WAS QUARRIED DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH THE CITY OF JERUSALEM ITSELF. These quarries were later used for the stables of Solomon‚ for all the thousands of horses that he had. These quarries were entered from the north side of the city.
THE ENTRANCE IS THROUGH A NATURAL CAVE DIRECTLY UNDER THE WALL. Underneath the top of Mount Moriah, is this great quarry, where they got a lot of the stone for the Temple.
43. HERE'S ANOTHER PHOTO INSIDE THE QUARRY. They hollowed it out & carved out these stones that they used in the building of the Temple. We are now several hundred feet from the surface, & Jerusalem is just over our heads.
HERE YOU CAN SEE‚ FROM AN UNFINISHED STONE, HOW IT WAS CUT AWAY ON 4 SIDES. They cut grooves around the shape of the rock that they wanted. Then they drove these wooden wedges into those grooves tight-fast, & poured water on them. They swelled up & broke the rock away from the earth. The expansion of the wedges broke away the great stone‚ & then they were whittled down to size & hewn into shape.
44. HERE IS EVIDENTLY A REJECTED STONE, because you notice it's still there in the wall of the quarry. Here is what would have been the keystone of an arch.
WHEN AN IMPERFECTION WAS FOUND IN IT, THE STONE WAS REJECTED. You can almost imagine the conference held here when the master workmen, after discussing the imperfection of the stone, marked it: "Rejected!" What does that remind you of?
GOD'S WORD SAYS, "THE STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED OF THE BUILDERS IS BECOME THE HEAD OF THE CORNER"—the cornerstone or the keystone. (Mk.12.10.) What is the keystone? It's the final capstone that they put into a curved arch, which holds all the stones in place. If you take the capstone out, the whole thing falls down! This evidently was for that purpose, but it was rejected—like Jesus was! But, God's Word tells us, Jesus became the Head of the corner!
45. HERE'S THE ARTIST'S DRAWING OF THE GREAT STRUCTURE. The stone was pure milk-white—this picture doesn't show that too clearly. Josephus, who had seen the buildings which crowned the hills, said that it "presented the appearance of a mountain of snow."
46. HERE'S WHERE THE PILLARS & THE VESSELS WERE CAST. Two grand brass pillars, called Jachin & Boaz, stood directly at the main entrance of the Temple. A molten sea, supported by the backs of 12 brazen oxen, the laver, stood to the left of the door—big enough for almost an indoor swimming pool! I've forgotten how many baths of water it held. It was terrific!
IT WAS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE A SWIM IN! It was the place where the priests were to wash‚ to prepare themselves for the sacrifices. Hundreds of vessels & implements, for the use of the priests in their service, were all cast of brass.
THE CLAY HILLS IN THE JORDAN VALLEY NEARBY LENDED THEMSELVES TO MOULDS FOR THIS PURPOSE. It was here that all of this brass work was done by Hiram king of Tyre. Why were these Tyreans such experts in all this sort of thing? The people at that time were not called Lebanese, but they were called what?
THEY WERE ORIGINALLY CALLED PHOENICIANS‚ WHO WERE GREAT CRAFTSMEN, ARTISANS & MERCHANTS. They were one of the greatest civilisations of ancient times, in the days preceding Israel. The kingdom of Hiram was a part of the remaining Phoenician Empire.
47. NOW WE HAVE THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE. This is an artist's conception of the High Priest coming into the Holy of Holies. The dedication was a very grand affair! Jews from everywhere were there. It was estimated that more than a million were there for the dedication of the Temple, plus thousands of animals, which were offered as sacrifices.
SOLOMON HIMSELF, TAKING THE LEAD AT THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERINGS, OFFICIATED AT THE SACRIFICING. He made the great oration; he led the prayer! It was the first great house of worship that they had ever had. They'd had the Tabernacle before this, but what was the Tabernacle? Just a tent!—A very fancy tent; but it was only a tent, because they had to move around.
THE GREAT TEMPLE WAS THEIR FIRST PERMANENT BUILDING OF WORSHIP. It was only a type of what? A type of His present temple. What is His present temple? Us! It was the greatest festival occasion ever witnessed in Israel for all time. Men & women laughed & cried & shouted for joy!
THE CEREMONIES LASTED FOR 14 DAYS. When at the end of the 14 days Solomon sent them away, "they blessed the king‚ & went unto their tents joyful & glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David His servant, & for Israel His people." (1Kings 8:66.)
47A. ANOTHER ARTIST'S CONCEPTION OF THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE. Solomon's glory grew, his fame grew‚ his wisdom grew, his wealth grew, his power grew & the Lord was really with him—because he honoured God!
48. AFTER THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE, SOLOMON'S FAME IS BROADCAST & HE ATTRACTED RULERS FROM VARIOUS LANDS. The Queen of Sheba, not being able to give credence to the stories she'd heard of the grandeur of Solomon's accomplishments, came in person to see for herself.
BEFORE SHE HAD BEHELD IT ALL, SHE CRIED OUT TO SOLOMON: "BEHOLD, THE HALF WAS NOT TOLD ME! Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighteth in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel!" (1Kings 10:7-9.) She made the king a present of gold, spices & precious stones.
49. NOW HIS KINGDOM BROADENED. The map here shows more of the Siniatic Peninsula than it does of Israel. Solomon had pleasant connections with Pharoah in Egypt. His ships plied the Mediterranean Sea. They came out of Joppa & Tyre.
HE BUILT A HIGHWAY ALSO TO EZION–GEBER, & maintained ships on the Gulf of Aqaba & the Red Sea. There's a wedge of the new Israel that runs from the Mediterranean, clear down to a point at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba, & then runs back up this way to the Dead Sea, called the Negev. It's a desert area, almost on the Siniatic Peninsula.
ELATH, WHICH WAS ONCE A HARBOUR OF SOLOMON, HAS NOW BECOME A GREAT PORT CITY for the restored nation of Israel. The main caravan route between Egypt & the East crossed Palestine—so Solomon not only came in contact with great personages, but profited very much through trade.
50. HERE WE SEE SOLOMON'S STABLES. Aside from his large army, he maintained 4000 chariots & 12,000 horses—his cavalry divisions. Many chariot horses are said to have occupied these stalls, which are located under the south edge of the Temple site. The Crusaders are said also to have used Solomon's famous Stables.
51. HERE WE HAVE SOLOMON'S POOLS, SOME 10 MILES SOUTH OF JERUSALEM. These very great colossal pools are much larger than any modern swimming pools! By means of an aqueduct, water was carried from here to Jerusalem, & supplied the Temple‚ as well as the population of the city. As far as is known, this was the first aqueduct project ever known to man.
52. THE POOLS HAVE BEEN RESTORED. After centuries of disuse, the British, during their reign in Israel, put these pools back in repair. Through a conduit, Jerusalem is again being supplied by water from these same pools of Solomon.
IT MIGHT ALSO INTEREST YOU TO KNOW THAT THESE POOLS HAVE NOW BEEN OVERFLOWING AGAIN, for the first time in years.—Fulfilled Bible prophecy that God was going to restore Israel: Restore the land, restore the rain & make it blossom as the rose. (Is.35:1+2.)
JUST IN OUR LIFETIMES, GOD IS BRINGING BACK THE RAIN‚ which He had cursed: "I will make the rain of thy land powder & dust"—because of your sins! (Deut.28:24.) Now He's making the powder & dust to bring forth abundant fruit, by a wonderful rain!
53. HERE WE SEE AN ARTIST'S CONCEPTION OF THE BRIDGE TO THE UPPER CITY, as it used to be. In Solomon's day, this bridge led from the Temple hill to the Upper City—a considerable span over the Tyropean Valley, which was then about 60 feet deep.
54. HERE YOU HAVE AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY OF A SPRING OF ONE OF THE ARCHES OF THAT BRIDGE, discovered by Dr. Robinson, the famous archaeologist. All that's left of the bridge today is what they have uncovered in archaeological discovery.
55. THE TYROPEAN VALLEY TODAY IS WELL FILLED IN BY THE DEBRIS OF CENTURIES, & the bridge is no longer needed.
56. THE SINGLE, DOUBLE & TRIPLE GATES, through which multitudes once came up to the Temple from the Lower City, Ophal‚ are closed long since. The joyous character of voices is heard no more in this gate. The gates were gathering places.
THE GATES WERE THE CENTRE OF ACTIVITY: Because they did not have newspapers, the people stood at the gate to hear what the travellers, coming from far countries‚ had to say. These gates have been closed.
THERE'S NO LONGER ANY LOWER CITY, THE CITY OF DAVID, MOUNT ZION. The City of David‚ which was once the most important part of Jerusalem, built by David outside the original city walls, is now nothing but a plowed field! That is another fulfillment of Bible prophecy, in which God's Word says, "Zion shall become as a plowed field." (Micah 3:12.)
WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO RESTORE ZION? Jesus! According to God's Word, it will be restored again when the Lord comes as the great King & Messiah.
57. HERE IS A PHOTO OF THE GOLDEN GATE. A very important Bible prophecy is mentioned about this Golden Gate. The Golden Gate is now sealed, as you can see. There is not a passageway to the Temple site from the outside now.
THIS IS THE GATE THROUGH WHICH JESUS PASSED ON HIS TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM on that famous Palm Sunday. Remember, He was hailed as the King: "Hosanna, Hosanna! To the Son of David!" (Mat.21:9.) They hailed Him as a king, so much so that the Scribes & the Pharisees tried to put a stop to it! He was a King & His Kingship was being proclaimed by the people! He said, "If I would stop them, the very rocks would cry out!" (Luke 19:40.)
EZEKIEL PREDICTED THAT THIS GATE WOULD BE CLOSED, because "the God of Israel passed through it!" Because He had passed through these gates‚ "this gate shall be shut & shall not be opened!" (Ezk.44:2.) That prophecy was yet to be fulfilled for many years.
ONE OF THE MOHAMMEDAN RULERS OF ISRAEL CLOSED IT UP. There is a Moslem tradition that Jesus will come again as a Mighty King & Ruler, through this gate, to take over the city of Jerusalem.
THE MOHAMMEDAN RULER‚ WHO BELIEVED THAT MOHAMMEDAN PROPHECY, WALLED UP THE GATE TO TRY TO KEEP JESUS FROM COMING BACK! Now it sounds kind of ridiculous to us, as though they could keep Jesus from coming back; but people took things pretty literally! He figured maybe he could keep Him out! I don't think the walls are going to stop the Lord, do you?
THAT'S A VERY FAMOUS PROPHECY, & most people are familiar with its fulfillment. We get a little Bible prophecy as we go along, as well as history!
58. HERE IS A PHOTO OF ONE OF THE OLD AQUEDUCTS. The pools went into disuse centuries ago, & the course of the aqueduct has been forgotten. Only fragments of it crop out here & there.
THESE ARE ALL LITTLE SAMPLES OF THE GLORY OF THE REIGN OF KING SOLOMON, & his development of the great city of Jerusalem & his kingdom.
59. HERE WE SEE THE INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY. The Temple has long since perished; but fragments of the ancient Temple are today found built into the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem, 5 miles away from the original site.
60. HERE WE SEE THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE IN JERUSALEM, which was supposed to have covered the site of the sepulchre. By Gordon's new Calvary, we find a new sepulchre which is now considered to be a little more reliable archaeologically, as the tomb where perhaps Jesus was laid.
NOW, BECAUSE OF THE LOCATION OF THE MOUNT OF OLIVES & THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, on its slopes‚ they have located this tomb, which they think is, at least, one near where Jesus may have been laid. So this church is not considered‚ except by the Catholics, as reliably covering the spot.
61. HERE'S THE TEMPLE SITE ITSELF. As we've told you before, the Mosque of Omar or the Dome of the Rock covers that, on top of Mount Moriah.
62. NOTICE THE JEWS AT THE WAILING WALL HERE. This is the only remaining part of the Temple grounds—just a large stone retaining wall that shored up the earth, to make a level top on Mount Moriah for the building of the Temple. Today the Jews go there to wail & to weep for the coming of the Messiah.
63. THE TEMPLE WAS THE CROWNING EVENT OF SOLOMON'S REIGN. Some time elapsed afterward‚ of which there is no record; & we next glimpse him in his old age.
HE HAS IN THE MEANTIME MARRIED WIVES OF MOAB & AMMON & SIDON & even taken Hittite wives—many heathen women, who worshipped other gods!
IN HIS OLD AGE, GOD'S WORD SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT HIS WIVES TURNED HIS HEART FROM THE LORD! God predicted that the kingdom would be divided as a result of his sins in building altars to other gods—the gods of his wives! (1Kings 11:4,11.)
64. HERE'S A PHOTO OF THE MOUNT OF OFFENSE. In this mountain, Solomon erected temples & equipped them with the idols for his heathen wives. It is called the Mount of Offense, because
IT WAS IN PLAIN VIEW OF HIS OWN TEMPLE THAT THESE HEATHEN SHRINES WERE REARED. Evidently he served his conscience by figuring: "They're outside the Holy City walls." They were outside of the city & therefore didn't desecrate the city. But they certainly desecrated his heart, & were an offense to his people!
65. HERE'S A VERY GOOD IDEA OF THE ANCIENT LOCATION OF THE OLD CITY & the old city walls. From the Hill of Offense, the Mount of Olives, the priests of Solomon's wives, no doubt‚ took keen delight in looking down upon the Holy Temple.
HIS WIVES'S PRIESTS OFFICIATED IN THEIR OWN EMPTY SERVICES IN THE HILL OF OFFENSE. The women were no less gratified in this insult to the Temple of God! The Hill of Offense is the southern end of the Mount of Olives, which stands across from the Temple. There used to be a bridge across there. Solomon's palace was located here. Then David's tomb down here. The ancient city, the City of David, is today a plowed field.
66. HERE YOU SEE AN ARTIST'S CONCEPTION OF ONE OF THE HORRIBLE GODS THAT THESE HEATHEN WIVES WORSHIPPED—THE GOD MOLOCH‚ the god of fire! It was a method of so-called birth control. It was a method of abortion of that day—a way to get rid of the little babies that the selfishly—living women didn't want! They simply offered them to their god‚ Moloch!
THE MOUTH OF THE GOD WAS A GREAT YAWNING CHASM, & there was a tremendous fire within the belly of the idol. The baby would be placed on the hands of the idol. The priest would operate the machinery, which had hinged elbows, & the arms would rise up. They would operate swiftly, as though the idol itself was moving & putting the baby in its mouth!
IT WOULD CAST THE TINY BABY RIGHT INTO THE YAWNING MOUTH OF THE IDOL & INTO THE FIRE! That's why it was such an abomination—because they caused their children to pass through the fire! They actually allowed their children to be cast into this horrible fire in the belly of this idol! That was one of the leading religions of some of the wives of King Solomon.
THE MOST GRUESOME IDOL WORSHIP WAS THIS WORSHIP OF MOLOCH!—To whom human sacrifices were made! It was a terrible thing! This was the god of the Ammonites, the sons of Lot, who lived east of the Dead Sea.
67. THIS IS THE VALLEY OF HINNOM, where this hideous god was located by Solomon, south of the Holy City. The valley was called Gehenna or Hell—as it is sometimes translated in our Scripture.
THIS VALLEY WAS A TYPE OF HELL ITSELF! In the mind of God, this horrible worship, this casting of human sacrifices into the flames of fire, was a type of Hell itself! He sometimes calls Hell Gehenna. Frequent references are made to it throughout the Scriptures, including references by Christ.
68. THE CLIFFS OF HINNOM IS ALSO CALLED THE VALLEY OF DRUMS. It's related that the shrieks of the sorrowing mothers, & the children's shrieks as they were cast into the fire, were so nerve-racking that drums were beaten to drown out the horrible screams of the helpless victims!—That the services might go on undisturbed in the worship of this horrible god of hellfire—like the Devil himself!
69. THIS IS ANOTHER VIEW OF THE VALLEY OF HINNOM. It can scarcely be imagined that Solomon participated in these services, but many believed that he did‚ according to 1Kings 11:5,33.
IT WAS CERTAIN THAT AHAZ WORSHIPPED IN THIS WAY & SACRIFICED HIS OWN CHILDREN‚ more than 200 years later, according to 2 Chronicles 28:2-4. That terrible system was totally abolished, however, by good king Josiah in 624 BC, according to 2 Kings 23:13.
NOTICE IT WAS THIS SPOT THAT JUDAS CHOSE IN WHICH TO HANG HIMSELF.—Certainly a very appropriate spot for the suicide of the man who betrayed his own Lord & Master!
70. THIS IS A PHOTO OF EGYPT. Retribution for this terrible sin, in worshipping other gods, was brought upon the kingdom of Solomon by the scourge of Hadad & Rezon.
THE PROPHET AHIJAH SANCTIONED THE REBELLION OF JEROBOAM AGAINST THE KINGDOM. He had been the king's trusted friend. Jeroboam fled to Egypt; but it was the beginning of the end of the united kingdom, as will soon be seen. 1Kings 11:26-40.
71. SOLOMON WAS A WONDERFUL MAN‚ A VERY WISE MAN IN MANY WAYS; BUT WOMEN TURNED HIS HEART FROM GOD & FROM HIS WISDOM! He seemed to lose a lot of his wisdom over women—that always seemed to be his weak spot! After living a very glorious reign of 40 years, in spite of his sins & his catering to his wives‚ he died about 975 BC.
DESPITE HIS MANY BACKSLIDINGS, HE NEVERTHELESS LEFT TO HIS PEOPLE A GREAT HERITAGE OF THE AGES—PARTICULARLY HIS WRITINGS! What did Solomon write? What do we have in the Bible by Solomon? We have "Proverbs", most of which are, at least, recorded by Solomon; "The Song of Solomon", & also "Ecclesiastes"—3 Books in the Bible whose author is said to be Solomon.
OF COURSE, PART OF THE "PROVERBS" ARE PROVERBS OF OTHER KINGS & OTHER MEN, as it says in the Bible. But most of it is by Solomon. Of course in many of those proverbs‚ he was repeating the wisdom of the ages, which had been given by God to men down through the ages. He was simply recording them & making a list of them. They were very famous & already popular in his day, but he added much to them which was advantageous.
ANOTHER GREAT HERITAGE THAT SOLOMON LEFT TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WAS WHAT? THE TEMPLE‚ which was a magnet which held the Jews intact, until the fulfillment of days. It helped to unite & standardise their worship until the Messiah, Jesus, appeared. At which time, they were supposed to have had enough sense to wake up & quit worshipping buildings & places & all that sort of thing‚ & worship God in Spirit & in Truth!
JESUS SAID‚ "NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, BUT IN SPIRIT & IN TRUTH!" (John 4:21-24.) But people continued in the Old Testament. In fact, when missionaries got to Japan, guess what they asked them? The Japanese, in their simple way of understanding things, having read the Bible, asked some missionaries:
"ARE YOU OLD TESTAMENT CHRISTIANS OR ARE YOU NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANS?" In other words, is your religion manifested by your buildings & your ceremonies or are you real New Testament Christians, manifested by your lives & your evangelism & your soul-winning! The Lord did away with that old Temple worship long ago!
IT WAS NECESSARY, IT SEEMS, THAT THE LORD ALLOWED THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL TO HAVE THIS SORT OF THING FOR A WHILE—to lead them gradually‚ step-by–step, away from idolatry, & away from the worship of places & temples & idols!
THE CHURCH OF TODAY IS GETTING RIGHT BACK INTO THE SAME THING! The Catholic Church has gotten right back into worshipping idols again. To hear some Protestant preachers preach, you would think their church was the very Door of Heaven!—Because if you didn't come to church on Sunday, you were going straight to Hell!
WE KNOW THAT OUR SALVATION DOESN'T DEPEND ON OUR GOING TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY! It depends on our trusting Jesus Christ as our Saviour! We're the very temple of God ourselves!—You & me!—His children, living day by day, our own hearts as His place of worship, needing no building, no great temples built with hands of men—which cannot contain God anyhow!
HE DWELLS WITHIN THE HUMAN HEART! Buildings cannot contain Him, but your heart contains the Lord Jesus Christ if you love Him!
THAT'S THE WONDERFUL MYSTERY & MIRACLE OF GOD! The churches are lapsing back again into temple worship & into place worship & formalistic worship—Old Testament Christianity! We are supposed to be living in the New Testament dispensation!
JESUS SAID, "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD, & PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE!" (Mark 16:15.) He never said any word in this world about building buildings!—But just to scatter the Gospel & get it out!
WHEN THE CHURCH BEGAN BUILDING BUILDINGS & ARGUING OVER DOCTRINE, WHY, THEN THEY QUIT EVANGELISING THE WORLD! And they still haven't gotten the job of worldwide evangelisation finished!
WHEN THE MESSIAH APPEARED‚ THE TEMPLE VEIL WAS RENT IN TWAIN. The building was totally destroyed in 70 AD—never again rebuilt! Christianity came to cover the earth—because the Apostles obeyed & went out!
INSTEAD OF BUILDING BUILDINGS, THEY WENT OUT & BUILT THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE HEARTS OF MEN!—"The living stones," as Peter calls us! (1Peter 2:5.)
SOLOMON WAS BURIED IN THE CITY OF DAVID, near his father in front of that same hill that it's said that Peter preached on the first Christian Pentecost—when 3000 converts‚ the first great harvest, came to the new faith in Christ, the Messiah, as their Saviour.
LET'S KEEP THOSE LESSONS IN MIND as we study this Bible history! That is the end of Chapter 23.
Review Questions for Chapter 23.
1. Did Adonijah continue to conspire against Solomon?
2. What became of him?
3. Who was slain at the altar in the Tabernacle?
4. To where was Abiathar exiled?
5. Who became priest in his stead?
6. Who became commander instead of Joab?
7. What became of Shimei?
8. To what did Solomon now give his attention?
9. What was the attitude of Pharaoh?
10. Where did Solomon go on a religious mission?
11. What promise did the Lord make him?
12. What favour did Solomon ask of the Lord?
13. What is said of Solomon's judgment?
14. Tell the story of the 2 women & the baby.
15. Where was the Ark of the Covenant now?
16. Explain the status of the Jewish people at this time.
17. Where had David purchased a temple site?
18. Why did David not build a temple?
19. Who had been a good friend of David's?
20. What was king Hiram's attitude toward Solomon?
21. Who built the Temple?
22. Who furnished craftsmen for the work & what else did he supply?
23. What incident occurred on Moriah in Abraham's time?
24. Who were the skilled wood carvers?
25. How were the timbers conveyed to Solomon?
26. Where were they landed & how far was it from Jerusalem?
27. Where was the stone for the temple quarried?
28. What were the names of the pillars at the temple entrance?
29. Upon what was the molten sea supported?
30. Where were the pillars & vessels cast?
31. Who led the ceremonies at the dedication?
32. How many people are said to have been there?
33. What queen came to see Solomon's glory?
34. What is said of Solomon's ships?
35. What stimulated trade in Solomon's kingdom?
36. Did Solomon maintain a large army?
37. How many chariots did he have?
38. How did he supply Jerusalem with water?
39. Are the Pools of Solomon still in existence?
40. What remains of Solomon's Temple?
41. What is the "Wailing Wall"?
42. Where did Solomon build temples for his heathen wives?
43. To what false god was human sacrifice made?
44. Did Solomon sanction this hideous worship?
45. How long did Solomon reign, & where was he buried?