Chapter 3

Solomon and God’s House

From the booklet The Book of Chronicles
By Gerald Flurry

The first nine chapters of 2 Chronicles are devoted to Solomon’s reign. When you look at it closely, however, it’s not really about Solomon: It is about the throne of David. Solomon built the temple and did a lot to establish David’s throne—but God puts the emphasis on that throne primarily. Solomon was the first king after David to sit on it. The successful kings were those who knew it was God’s throne and acted like it.

There was quite a gap between when the book of Kings was written and when Ezra wrote Chronicles; one Bible dictionary says it was 250 to 300 years.

In writing Chronicles, Ezra concentrated on Solomon’s successes. As he did with King David, Ezra wanted to give the most positive message he could. Solomon’s life certainly contained some very uplifting and inspiring events. In the beginning, he had a wonderful attitude. He had a strong first love. Ezra doesn’t dwell on the mistakes Solomon made later in life.

‘Give Me Wisdom’

The beginning of Solomon’s reign as king of Israel truly was magnificent. “And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly” (2 Chronicles 1:1).

Solomon had a very humble attitude before God, and that made it easy for God to use him. When God asked the king what he desired most, Solomon answered, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?” (verse 10).

God’s Philadelphians today are God’s priests in embryo. We are preparing to rule as priests over the whole world. We must have wisdom and knowledge from God to fulfill such a heavy responsibility!

Solomon ruled over carnal people. Today God is working with people spiritually—eternal lives are at stake. The ministers’ example must help prepare all of God’s very elect to lead people spiritually. Soon, we will be leading thousands, then millions and even billions of people!

We must work feverishly to get ready for such monumental jobs!

All of us have a lot to do in preparing for that weighty responsibility. Pray fervently as Solomon did for wisdom and knowledge! You are going to need it!

Dedicating God’s House

In 2 Chronicles 5, the house of God was finished. Solomon had it filled with all the furnishings that David had assembled.

“Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:1). In many scriptures, the temple is called the house of God, as it is in this verse.

“Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion” (verse 2). The elders brought the ark into God’s house. The ark was a symbol of God’s throne. The Eternal spoke to His chosen people from there.

The ark contained the Ten Commandments written on the two tables of stone, Aaron’s rod (a symbol of God’s government) and manna. Today you will find the spiritual “ark” where you find the Ten Commandments and the government to implement them. These people who do this are fed with spiritual manna from heaven that prepares them to live forever.

The very elect are continually fed with spiritual manna in the form of new revelation, which comes into God’s spiritual and physical house today.

The temple will be in Jerusalem, from where God will rule the world and the universe. But it will still be God’s house.

God directed us to build His house in Edmond, Oklahoma, the headquarters of His Work today. It is not the temple, but it is God’s house! God speaks from here as He did from the temple. God dwells in His house, in spirit.

Clearly, David had told Solomon to make sure to treat that ark with the utmost respect: That was a lesson David had learned the hard way!

Ezra really emphasizes the ark. This symbolized God’s throne and God’s rule over the nation. The ceremony bringing it into the temple had the deepest significance. It wasn’t about David or Solomon—it was about the great God ruling Israel!

The priests, Levites and singers staged a grand musical performance to praise and thank God. And as they did so, “then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God” (verses 13-14). What a wonderful and inspiring event!

2 Chronicles 6 contains Solomon’s prayer dedicating God’s house. Read the whole beautiful chapter!

In this end time we have seen two houses raised up that give this history great meaning for us. In September 2010, we dedicated the house of God on our headquarters campus in Edmond. When Mr. Armstrong dedicated Ambassador Auditorium in 1974, he said it was “one of the greatest occasions in the lives of all of us” (Worldwide News, May 13, 1974; emphasis mine).

In his prayer at that 1974 dedication ceremony, Mr. Armstrong said, “[N]ow we come to the time that I want to dedicate this in the name of the living Jesus Christ to the honor and the glory of the great God. Almighty God, please grant that we will always use this building to your honor and glory; that nothing will happen here that will be displeasing to you. I ask you, Almighty God, to honor prayers that go up to you from this building.”

“I ask you to bless those who come into it,” he continued. “I ask you to bless everyone who will speak in sermons or in Bible studies from this platform. I ask you to bless all the people as they come and to open their ears and their minds to do what will be preached to them in this building. I ask you, Almighty God, to bless it and protect it in every way—to preserve it, because you are the great Creator, and you’re the Creator who preserves that which you create. So we ask you to preserve this immaculate and clean and beautiful, and keep it clean to represent clean and honest, forthright character. May it be an inspiration to all who come in. And we ask every blessing, Father, to people that come, and we give you thanks, as far as we humbly can, for allowing us to have such a beautiful place at your headquarters church to honor you. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

What a beautiful prayer. That building did fulfill just what Mr. Armstrong prayed it would, for as long as the leaders were following God.

But it is important to remember what happened after Mr. Armstrong was gone from the scene. That history is a monumental warning for us today!

Joe Tkach Jr. said the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation had nothing to do with the work of the gospel. What a tragic lack of understanding. What God accomplished with Ambassador Auditorium and the other foundation activities was right at the heart of the gospel! Mr. Armstrong preached the gospel around the world as a witness—not to convert people (Matthew 24:14). God’s house, or Ambassador Auditorium, was a powerful part of that witness—it illustrated God’s way of life! It showcased the best of the human spirit, which, when connected to the Holy Spirit, points to the incredible potential God has given to human beings! And the Ambassador foundation also had projects all over the world that showed God’s way of give in action. That foundation helped bring people out of the gutter of this world and gave them an awe-inspiring vision!

Why wasn’t there an outcry from the ministers of God when they heard Mr. Tkach utter such a monstrous lie?

The Philadelphia Church of God and the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation are doing everything possible to resurrect that vision. We have sponsored humanitarian projects overseas. We have youth camps that aim to bring out the very best in our young people. We host world-class concerts to provide positive cultural experiences. All this prepared us to build God’s house, which we are thrilled to now be able to use for God’s purposes. There is a wonderful message going out to the world from that building! We want the whole world to see in a tangible way just how great, how beautiful, of what exquisite character, is the great God of the universe!

This building must honor and glorify the Almighty God. It must give an insight into the way God thinks and lives. It should inspire men to raise their standard and strive to live and grow in God’s mind and character. God wants each one of us to understand our potential to be born into the very Family of God.

That understanding should leave us wonder-stricken and thunderstruck!

God’s Church is God’s spiritual house. God has a vital message for the Laodiceans and for this world—and He communicates that through both His spiritual house and His physical house! That auditorium is a place for God to dwell in spirit at His headquarters, and it empowers this Work in a special way.

Our auditorium—or God’s house—also points us forward to the majestic world headquarters building in Jerusalem during the Millennium, described by Ezekiel (also called God’s house)—and even the new Jerusalem that will exist for eternity! God’s people today need to think about that future.

Today, God’s world headquarters is in Edmond, Oklahoma. God’s Work revolves around that building where God dwells in spirit. His message flows from that house.

Fire From Heaven!

God was clearly very pleased by Solomon’s prayer of dedication. “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house” (2 Chronicles 7:1). What an impression that brilliant display would have made on every witness! What a demonstration of the fact that this was, in fact, God’s temple!

Some of the carnal men who wrote the commentaries do not accept this account. The International Critical Commentary says, “Fire also is said to have fallen from heaven and kindled David’s sacrifice, and also Solomon’s, at the dedication of the temple. This is a mark of the later wonder-seeking theology. … [I]t is clear that the books of Chronicles are a tendency writing of little historical value. The picture which they give of the past is far less accurate or trustworthy than that of the earlier biblical writings.” Why won’t men just accept the Bible as God inspired it? Because the carnal mind is enmity toward God (Romans 8:7). That carnal mind must be converted to Christ’s mind (Philippians 2:5).

This commentary also says, “The religious value of Chronicles lies in the emphasis given to the institutional forms of religion. … The chronicler, it is true, overemphasized their importance and his teachings are vitiated [spoiled or corrupted] by a false doctrine of divine interference without human endeavor, and a false notion of righteousness consisting largely in the observance of legal forms and ceremonies.” Where does this man believe Ezra was off track? Regarding “the legal forms and ceremonies”—or the law! The carnal man hates the law! But we must come to think like the psalmist and say, “O how love I thy law!” (Psalm 119:97).

After that impressive display, God actually appeared to Solomon! After the house was finished and the celebrations were over, Ezra records, “And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice” (2 Chronicles 7:12). Another impressive miracle! Such things should keep a man loyal to God.

After all that Solomon received, God held him to a very high standard. The same is true of us in this end time. We must do all we can to ensure we don’t let down and turn away from God.

God said, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (verses 13-14). How desperately we need to claim that beautiful promise today!

“Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually” (verses 15-16). This is exactly what God will do for us today if we will remain humble and always seek His face.

Blessings and Curses

Look at what God said next, to Solomon personally. If Solomon walked in righteousness as his father had, God would establish his throne—“according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel” (2 Chronicles 7:18). He was talking about David’s throne!

The covenant God made with David keeps God alive in this Church! We need this living God to direct everything we do. God’s spirit-begotten people are God’s greatest royalty on Earth—God’s royal Family. This is all the key of David message.

The key of David message saturates the book of Chronicles. This book is filled with the royal gospel!

What blessings come from obedience to God. But God told Solomon, if he forsook Him, God would remove His people and turn the house of God into “a proverb and a byword among all nations” (verse 20). People don’t want to hear about God’s law—but look what happens when you break that law! The nations of Israel are languishing under a mountain of curses as a result of their lawlessness! And those curses are increasing and will continue to get far worse because of the people’s sins.

“And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them” (verses 21-22).

Look at the tragedy that occurred in God’s Church after Mr. Armstrong died. Just like the authors of the commentaries, the members rejected God’s law, and they would not listen to the man chosen by God to implement that law. And look at the curses that have followed.

Don’t we need Armstrong Auditorium today in order to blot out the terrible history of what happened to God’s house in Pasadena, California? I certainly think we do. What a beautiful opportunity God has given us! How much will that majestic structure help us draw people to God’s Church, and draw Laodiceans back?

That house helps make God more real to all of us. It has built more faith in God’s people.

Continue Reading: Chapter 4: Look to Jerusalem