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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 24

"A House of Prayer for all People"

2 Chronicles 6; Isaiah 56:6, 7; Mark 11:17; Ephesians 6:18

My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

The sixth chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles is a magnificent example and illustration of these words of the Prophet. In the dedication of the House by Solomon, prayer of a universal kind inaugurated the ministry of the House, introducing its function. The characteristic words of that chapter are: "This house" and "Thy name." "When they shall pray toward this house, because of Thy name which is upon it ..."

You will remember the words of the Apostle concerning certain people, that they "blasphemed that holy name which was called upon you." The House is a link between the two passages historically and spiritually, and the Name called upon the House.

What was true of the temple of Solomon, as the House with the name called upon it, is true of the Church, the Church of Christ, with the Lord's Name upon it. We have no difficulty in identifying the antitype of Solomon's temple as being the Church. You are no doubt sufficiently acquainted with the Word to make it unnecessary to quote Scripture in this connection. Many passages will come to your mind which bear out that statement. The Church is God's House; "whose house are we," says the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews; "a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices," says Peter. The identification is not at all difficult. And that the Name is upon the House is also quite clear. It was because of the Name which they bore at the beginning that the Church was so mighty in its going forth. The power of the Name was ever manifesting itself in their ministry. That is all very simple and needs no laboring. Then there are those other factors.

Sonship Marking the House of the Lord

The temple of Solomon was really the temple of David. It came in in revelation through David, and in realization in sonship, David's son. We know that in the Word both David and Solomon are types of the Lord Jesus, that He is great David's greater Son, and that He combines all that is spiritually represented by David and Solomon of sovereignty, kingship, exaltation, universal triumph and glory. You will remember how the Lord sent Nathan to David, to tell him that though he himself should not build the House, he was nevertheless to be the one to gather all that was necessary for it, and so be the instrument of making it possible. This so satisfied David that in the inspiration of it, and the tremendous stimulus of it, he went out and subdued all those nations which had been historic thorns in the side of Israel. And when he had subdued all the nations round about, and a universal triumph had been established, then the House came into being through Solomon.

We carry that forward into the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ by His Cross. He possesses the universal victory. He is exalted, enthroned, in virtue of all His enemies being overthrown by His Cross, and on resurrection ground the declaration is made: "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." A fresh declaration of sonship is made, by reason of resurrection, and in resurrection, and in that sonship He builds the House, and the Spirit of sonship enters into every member of that House, and it becomes a 'sonship House' (Acts 13:33; Galatians 4:6).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 25 - (The Ministry and Vocation of the House)

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