Building for the Future

KEY VERSE: “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” —II Samuel 7:16


GOD’S dealings with ancient Israel were largely typical of “good things to come” (Heb. 10:1)—that is, the substance of which they were but the illustrations. So the ‘house’ of the Lord—first the Tabernacle and later the Temple—represented, for this present age and the ages to come, a spiritual arrangement through which the people of God worship, serve, and find fellowship with him.

The typical house of the Lord was the center of Israel’s worship, while Jerusalem was the seat of their government in civil affairs. Since the Temple was in Jerusalem, we are presented with a double symbolism, emphasizing that the Christ, Head and body, inherits the high position of honor in the divine government that is to rule all nations.

There is a living interest associated with the characters and scenes of God’s ancient people, Israel. The Temple and its arrangements played a very important part in their national life. It was the meeting place between them and their God. The religious rites and ceremonies, as well as the reading of the Law, were carried on within its gates. Israel’s priesthood, as representatives of God, there offered the sacrifices of the people according to their Law. Pilgrimages were made to the Temple yearly from all parts of the land. Not only the people of Israel, but people from other countries, were free to enter its gates and perform their ceremonies and bring their offerings to the God of Israel, under the direction of its priesthood.

There were three temples in Jewish history. These were all constructed on practically the same location, and were in existence at successive points of time. Since all three temples were destroyed, it is obvious that our text does not refer to these physical buildings, but rather to what they typically represented in the everlasting development of God’s arrangements. Solomon’s Temple was the first to be built and it was the most magnificent. The Queen of Sheba had heard much about it and the wisdom of Solomon who constructed it. She declared, “The half was not told me.”—I Kings 10:7; II Chron. 9:6

The materials for this Temple were collected during the reign of David, but he was not permitted to build it because he had been a man of war. (I Chron. 28:3) Solomon’s reign was a peaceful one, so Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in the fourth year of his reign.

The Lord so arranged in the building of this Temple that Solomon had materials in abundance, as well as workmen skilled in all manner of gold, silver, ivory, precious stones, and wood. The timbers and stones were so finished at the quarries that the Temple was brought together without the sound of a hammer.

In all this the Lord was using the Temple as a type of the greater temple, the church, of which Christ is the Head. Its construction has been in progress during this Gospel Age. By and by the true temple will be in readiness and the glory of the Lord will fill the house. Then the new dispensation, having been ushered in, the work of the new age will begin. The trials, chiseling, and polishing of the church, represented in the type by the preparation of the materials, will then have been a thing of the past. Then the church will be complete and ready for the glorious work of the kingdom.

With reference to this the Revelator writes, “I saw no [literal] temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev. 21:22) In other words, what served in the type—the literal Temple being the meeting place between God and man through Israel’s priesthood—will be fulfilled in antitype on a much grander scale. All mankind, the restitution class of earth, will be blessed by and through The Christ. This is God’s arrangement, and it is in this sense that God will have a permanent house in which he will abide—The Christ in glory. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?”—I Cor. 3:16

When the temple of God will be complete in the heavens, and Jesus, the rightful king of David’s house shall establish his government of peace, the increase of which there will be no end, then the prophecy of our text shall have been fulfilled to David.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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