THE TEMPLE BUILDING TYPE.
In a previous number, we called attention to what we believe to be a type, viz.: The temple. The church of Christ is repeatedly mentioned under the figure of a temple. Jesus spoke to the Jews concerning the temple of his body, saying, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. We understand of course that he referred to his own resurrection, which would be in three days after death; yet we believe that his words referred also to his body, the church, and were a sort of prophetic forecast. Dividing the 6000 years from Adam to 1873 into large days or periods of 1000 years each, we have six days of a great week. When Jesus uttered the words quoted, 4000 years (4 days) were past and he was in the fifth. Since 1873, we are in the seventh thousand years, or seventh day. Count the fifth, sixth and seventh and we have the third day or epoch from the time Jesus uttered the words.
During these years the church of Christ has been subject to death, and on the third day, the day or period already entered upon, this temple is to be reared up and glorified, to be the place of blessing to the world.
We make a similar application of Luke 13:32,33. "Go ye and tell that fox, behold I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." In fact, Jesus as the head represents the whole Christ so thoroughly, that whatever might be said of him could be applied on a still larger and grander scale, to the body and seed of which he is the head.
Both Peter and Paul refer to this temple type, saying that we as living stones are built up a spiritual house, which building fitly framed together groweth into a holy temple. (1 Pet. 2:5 and Eph. 2:21.) And looking back, we not unreasonably suppose, that as Solomon himself was a type of Christ, so his great temple may have been a type or symbol of the greater temple of living stones which Jesus has been building during this Gospel Age.
As the stones underwent much cutting and polishing and fitting, from the time they left the quarry, so those who are to be of the living stones in the greater temple, must undergo much fitting, shaping, etc., from the time they leave the quarry before they are laid in the temple.
In the typical, there came a time when no more stones were quarried for the temple, though doubtless the quarrying continued, the stones afterward being designed for other buildings; so here there came a time when no more stones were selected for the temple, or highest position. Though God still calls, it is for other than temple stones, for when a temple is complete, it would only mar it to add to perfection.
Since we believe that the living stones for the temple are selected and the temple is nearly or quite finished, we ask ourselves--what next? This was the question which Solomon must have asked as the temple was finished. The next thing was to have Jehovah come into it with his glory; so here we now wait for the glory to be revealed in us.
The fact that the glory did not instantly fill the temple when complete, should teach us that we need not expect the glory as soon as "the door" closes and the antitypical temple is complete.
An account of what was done in the typical temple when it was finished, and before it was glorified, is recorded, in 2 Chron. 5:11,14. The Priests assembled at the door of the temple with trumpets, then came some of the Levites which were singers. The Priests sounded the key note on the trumpets and the Levites joined in to sing in harmony: It took some time before the harmony was perfect, but as soon as they were "as one" (perfectly in harmony) then, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. This we would interpret as teaching that the Priests (the little flock who are to be glorified) will give the key note of our song to a representative part of the great company (Levites) before they, the priests, are glorified.
It is only a part of the Levites who compose the singers, and they are clothed in white robes and have cymbals, and psalteries, and harps (2 Chron. 5:12). So we understand that, for a part of the great company who are already arrayed in white robes of justification through Jesus' merit, and who now have the harp of God (the Word of truth) and are now trying to get harmonious strains of music from it, hearkening diligently unto the trumpet voice of the priest company which daily sounds louder and clearer, for the bringing of these into harmony with the priests, the glory of the Lord waits.
The trumpet should now give no uncertain sound; the white robed company are beginning to tune their harps in harmony with its strains, and soon "as one" we will sound the praises of him "whose mercy endureth forever," and the glory of the Lord will fill the temple.
The character of the song to be taught and learned, is Restitution, if we may judge from the line of it given us viz.:
"For He is good,
For His mercy endureth forever."
This temple type then teaches us that we are to continue our efforts to teach the Restitution Song to all who wear the white robes of Christ's righteousness, and that we may expect a considerable measure of success to attend our efforts before our glorification. This would seem to teach too, that the priests would reach a harmony in their trumpeting before the glory.