The two aspects of God's house
The house may be looked at
in two waysas a type of the Father's house, and as
in fact the habitation of God on the earth when Jesus
reigns. In the latter aspect I only look for the grand
thoughts and character of the government revealed in it.
In the former, as a typical house, two circumstances give
it its character. It is, first of all, God's house, His
dwelling; and then there are chambers all around it . God surrounded Himself with
dwellings, in the very place where He had fixed His
As the dwelling-place of
God at that time in the midst of His people, the presence
of God in the temple depended on the faithfulness of
That which characterised
the house in general is that nothing except gold was to
be seen in it. All was bright with the glory of divine
righteousness that distinguished the throne of God which
was placed there. But it is not transparent as glass.
Beauty and holiness are not what characterise the earthly
throne, but righteousness and judgment. Nor are there
In the Revelation we have
the seraphic character added to the cherubim, and the
gold is transparent as glass. Emblems, as we have seen,
of judicial power, the cherubim had a new position (those
belonging to the ark remained the same); the wing of one
of these new cherubim touched the wall of the house on
one side, and on the other the wing of the other cherub.
Their wings extended from one side of the house to the
other. They looked not towards the ark, but outwards . At this time, righteousness
reigning and being established, these symbols of God's
power can look outwards in blessing, instead of having
their eyes fixed on the covenant alone. During the time
that there was nothing but the covenant, they gazed upon
it; but when God has established His throne in
righteousness, He can turn towards the world to bless it
according to that righteousness.
 It is to this, I
doubt not, that the Lord alludes, when He says, "In
my Father's house are many dwellings"at any
rate, to the fact that other priests besides the high
priest dwell there.
 The word in
Hebrew is "towards the house," which is used as
a preposition for inwards; but here, being at the bottom
of the most holy place, "towards the house "was
I anticipate the
Chronicles here a little. This circumstance of their
looking outwards, which is not brought in here by the
Holy Ghost, refers to the aspect of this history given in
the Chronicles, that is, to the glorious reign of the Son
of David. Here, the typical character of the heavenly
house and glory being the object, the veil is not seen,
nor the circumstance as to the cherubim which gave its
character to the governmental blessing of the earth. Both
are in Chronicles. Here, while the veil is not mentioned,
in its place are folding doors. I make this allusion to
that which is written in the Chronicles, in order to give
a general idea of the whole, and to link the two accounts
I will give here something
more definite, as to the contents of chapters 6 and 7 of
the book that occupies us.
There are three parts in
this description: the temple itself; the different houses
of cedar; and, lastly, the brazen vessels.
1. The temple. The idea
which it presents has been already pointed out. It is the
dwelling-place, the house of God: there are chambers all
around; but it is the house of God. Within, all is gold.
Nothing is said about the veil. Dwelling, not drawing
near, is the idea. But there are folding doors which open.
2. After this comes the
royal connection of Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter with
the world without, but with a view to the glory and
elevation of this position. It is not the dwelling-place
of God, but the royal position of the king, the judge,
and of his bride. It is Christ in His glorious
administration. All is solidity, magnificence, and
grandeur, within and without.
3. Then comes the
manifestation, according to the power of the Spirit of
God, and in a glorious manner, of all that belonged to
His reign here below. All was of brass, the pillars and
the sea. Nothing is said of the altar, because drawing
near to God is not the question; but the manifestation of
God in Christ who reigns in sight of the worlddivine
righteousness in respect of man's responsibility, not of
approach to God Himself.
Thus we behold the
dwelling-place of God where all is gold, the glory of
divine righteousness; the house as the dwelling of the
king, and the porch of judgment: the house of his bride.
It is the sovereign glory of Christ in manifestation
according to the dispensation of glory; and then the
development, in this world, by the power of the Spirit,
of what Christ is, of what God Himself is. There is no
mention of silverthe type of the immutable
stedfastness of God's purposes and ways in the wilderness.
It is gold; the house of cedar; brass.
In the description given
by the Book of Chronicles there are an altar and a veil,
because there the positive administration of the things
and circumstances of the true Solomon's reign is much
more the question; the state of things which will in fact
exist upon earth, rather than the abstract idea, and the
type of that which is manifested of God Himself, as well
as of the king's glory; and this, whether in the dwelling-place
of God, or on the earth, as the sphere where He will
unfold that which He is according to the Spirit.