Updated: Nov 10
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD, 1st Kings 6:1.
One of the principal problems with most theology books on the market today is that they follow Darby, Larkin and Scofield in dividing time as they perceive how God has dealt with man, and they ignore how God divides time. The Lord waves his hat at us in 1st Kings 6:1 and wants us to note the time. God is about to change how he dwells with men.
For 480 years, God had been dwelling between the cherubims, both in heaven and simultaneously at the Mercy Seat from where he spoke. He is about to move and he wants you to know it. We often mark time by where and when we dwelt somewhere. I was 5 years old when my family moved from Fair Oak Street in Little Valley, NY. It became a marker in my life for how I counted events. I spent thirty months in the 1970s living on top of Mount Parnis in Greece. It is a clear marker in my mind for keeping track of time.
Men may not see enough significance in where and how God dwells with men to mark time, but God does. For anyone who has ever taken the time to make their own timelines of the Book of Genesis, Noah was still alive during a portion of Abraham's life. It is to Noah that Stephen refers when he said; when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell, Acts 7:4. Terah, Abraham's immediate father was still alive. Abraham would not go live among the Canaanites who Noah had cursed while Noah was still alive. Stephen uses that as another proof of Israel's track record for rebellion.
God moved his center of operations to the Land of Canaan. His heart and promise was on Abraham, but his countdown was on the Amorites. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full, Genesis15:16. Consider the Amorites. In Abraham's day, not all Gentiles were lost without God. You can be sure that Noah's little family huddled around the first campfire kindled after the flood knew who God was. You can be sure that for a time, everyone knew who God was and what he required of man. Slowly, the lights went out as family after family, tribe after tribe, nation after nation went their own way. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened, Romans 1:21.
There were still righteous nations in Abraham's day. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?, Genesis 20:4. The Lord didn't mock Abimelech and say that there is none righteous, no not one. He accepted the statement that they were a righteous nation. They remembered the precepts and promises from Adam through Noah and kept them by faith. God put Abraham's seed into bondage in Egypt until the last lights among the Amorites flickered and died.
It appears that the last flickering light was in Jethro, father-in-law to Moses and the high priest of Midian. Though the Midianites were descended from Abraham it's pretty clear that they were on the ropes. We can see this in Jethro's reaction to Israel's deliverance. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, Exodus 18:11. Until then, he had ranked the God of Israel right along side of the other gods. The lights had gone out all over the world. The iniquity of the Amorites was full.
There was a light, but it was only seen by one man. It was a burning bush on Mount Sinai. Moses took the light of God's word into Egypt and when the Devil rejoiced because the last lights had been put out all over the world, the Red Sea parted and Israel marched forth. Trumpets sounded in the wilderness, a law was given, a priesthood was established and a church was formed (Acts 7:38). A tabernacle was made. An ark was made and a mercy seat was made. God chose to dwell in that ark. Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle, 2nd Samuel 7:6.
God highlighted that time in which he dwelt in a tent. In 2nd Chronicles he started a new phase in where he dwelt. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever, 2nd Chronicles 6:2. God's glory filled the house.
2nd Chronicles 7:1 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.
2nd Chronicles 7:2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.
For those who note such things, that is a perfect picture of the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two when the Holy Ghost manifested himself in the upper room. There was no room for the levitical priesthood. 2nd Chronicles 7 is to Israel what Acts chapter 2 is to the church. Yet, God departs. He warned of that in Jeremiah 6:8, Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. Did the soul of God depart? You had better believe it.
Ezekiel 10:17 When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
Ezekiel 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.
Ezekiel 10:19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
This is, if you can receive it, the rapture of the glory of God and of the vessel wherein he dwelt. Never again will the ark or the mercy seat be seen on earth until the BRANCH (Zechariah 6:12) builds his temple. Nebuchadnezzar carefully catalogued every vessel that he took from the temple and from Jerusalem. Cyrus catalogued what was returned. Surely there was nothing more valuable than the ark, but it is not mentioned. It is heaven; And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament, Revelation 11:19.
Just as the day of the rapture of the glory of God was a reversal of the indwelling of the glory of God in the temple, so will be the rapture of all of those who are indwelt by the Holy Ghost. It will be a reversal of Acts Chapter 2, and the vessels wherein the Holy Ghost dwells will go up just as the ark disappeared into heaven. That does not mean that the glory of God was confined to just the days of the temple. The glory of God's appearances were spotty and individualized. So has been the Holy Ghost prior to Acts Chapter 2 and so will he be in the time of Jacobs trouble.
God comforted Israel over the loss of the ark. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more, Jeremiah 3:16. Israel rebuilt their temple, but it had no ark. That temple was to receive a greater glory than the first.
Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
The glory of the latter house is more glorious than the first house because the desire of the nations, a ruddy Jew by the name of Jesus Christ who had no form nor comeliness to make him desired came into that house.
When we begin to divide the bible as God divides it and pay attention to the times that he highlights, we learn a lot.