Tri-Dimensional Truth Part II
ne of the great ironies in Bible prophecy is found when men and nations believe they are in the process of fulfilling the LORD's will and, in what appears to be an important move towards the LORD, they instead end up in direct opposition to God's amazing plan. Perhaps the classic example is found in the person of Solomon who, as we all know, starts out in perfect accord with God but concludes his existence in great dishonor and apostasy.
In fact, Solomon may very well be the quintessential prototype for the office of Antichrist. The reader will remember that God had promised King David that his son would build the temple, or "house" of the LORD, and that son would sit on the throne of the house of Israel forever:
"And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired, that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever" (I Chronicles 17:11,12).
When Solomon rose to power in the glory days of the kingdom of Israel, his position was unmatched among the nations, and it is certain that he reasoned that he would be the "son" of David who would fulfill this prophecy. Indeed, Solomon built a temple for the LORD that was without peer.
Part of the secret of Solomon's political success occurred through his many arranged marriages, but this is what led to his downfall as well. Thus, his ingenuity in utilizing the practice of politically expedient marriages could hardly be said to be the vehicle the LORD intended to utilize, in order to fulfill the prediction that David's son would sit on the throne of Israel forever.
Long after the building of the temple was completed, and Solomon continued to age, there is little doubt the great king began to doubt his own ability to live forever, and to remain on the throne. The historical record shows that Solomon migrated to a universalist view, and began to believe that each of the deities his many wives followed, were simply ethnic, or regional variants of his own family's religion.
Few realize that Solomon had a positively unique perspective, for no ancient king had ever had hundreds of wives from so many adjacent royal families. Furthermore, in encountering such a broad cross-section of belief structures, Solomon could see the common themes of heathen religion. Virtually every system had a mystical mother figure with a divine son, usually thought to be the offspring of the unseen deity, the sun god.
Married to the daughter of Pharaoh, Isis and Horus, the latter the alleged offspring of Osiris, would have been familiar to Solomon. Those from Babylon called the son figure Tammuz, while the Moabites hadShamash, the sun god as the father figure. Ashteroth the star goddess had a dozen variants in Astarte, Ishtar, and so forth.
"…Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. The did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh [Shamash], the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon" (I Kings 11:5,7).
The proverbial connecting of the dots shows us this was all related to Solomon's pursuit of the fulfillment of the prophecy to his father David, that he would build the great temple and, in doing so, Solomon thought that he would personally realize the prophecy, and he would become the son who would reign forever.
With the benefit of hindsight, we look at the prophecy to David and recognize it speaks of Jesus Christ who, as a son of David, would build the everlasting house of the LORD, which was engineered through Christ's divine effort, as directed by the Father in heaven.
"For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we…." (Hebrews 3:3,6).
After Solomon turned towards the host of heaven, thinking he was fulfilling the promise of God that the son of David would build an everlasting house, the LORD's blessing was removed, and Solomon became demonized. That's hardly the end of the story for, long after Solomon's temple was destroyed, the political advantage of being associated with a temple building project would later motivate King Herod to lavishly refurbish the temple of Christ's time. Herod was also ambitious, for he believed his actions would cause him to be supernaturally elevated in the next life (for more on Herod's religion, see the new book The Hero of Bethlehem).
Seeking to strengthen his illegitimate claim to the throne of Judaea, the Edomite king sought to curry favor with the corrupt Jewish religionists of his time through spending on the temple – the very temple which would be destroyed by the Romans shortly after Christ's ascension into heaven.
Thus, through the efforts of men like Solomon and Herod, seeking to serve the desires of their own heart, while presenting their actions as those inspired by God, we see they both end up as vessels of dishonor manifested in sharp contrast to the true work of the LORD.
The fact is, the New Testament plainly tells us JESUS CHRIST, and those who are in Him, are the third temple seen in Scripture – and this is yet another example of the Tri-Dimensional Truth seen in the profoundly significant formula of two parts finite, one part eternal – a systemic understanding which is revealed throughout the Scriptures.
Christ the eternal God is crucified between two mortal thieves, even as His transfiguration shows Him flanked by two Old Covenant servants of God,Moses and Elijah. The two disciples of John the Baptist, moving in doubt and fear, ask Jesus the third, two questions which indicate they are unsure of just who He is.
The aforementioned Elijah is accosted by two successive companies of troops – military units which are burned up with fire from on high, even as the third company is preserved, as seen in II Kings 1:13.Two madmen of Gadara encounter the single Christ, and are healed, and there are literally hundreds more examples of this formula wherein two parts are seen as finite, or created, and the third is the eternal.
Thus, the two earthly temples, which were built with human hands, were constructed in order to juxtapose them against the eternal third temple, the house of Israel which Jesus built, for the everlasting temple of God was constructed by the Son of David:
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (I Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:6).
Unfortunately, the contemporary "Christian" church has failed to learn from the saga of Solomon (to say nothing of the horrific Herod), and the process of such moving in their own self interest, even as they clothe themselves in the garments of righteous fervor, continues to manifest the same set of errors. Furthermore, the ultimate example of this apostasy, in which vast numbers of "believers" inadvertently embrace a worldview which is actually inhabited by the Spirit of Antichrist, is even at the door.
But that account will have to wait for another day.
--- James Lloyd
(To Be Continued)
The new James Lloyd book, which examines how King Herod believed that his deeds in this life would qualify him for elevation to a supernatural state, in which he could continue to influence the affairs of men after his earthly death, is examined in THE HERO OF BETHLEHEM.