Four Greatnesses of Divine Revelation
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 7 - The Greatness of Christ's Enthronement

“Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king” (1 Chronicles 29:23).

“Then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:13,14; ASV).

The words which we have read throw us forward again to our New Testament: “Solomon sat upon the throne of Jehovah as king.”  Of course, that can only be said in a typical, limited, sense.  The throne of David, the throne of the house of Israel, was indeed rightly God’s throne, but comparatively only in a very limited sense. What we come to concerning the Lord Jesus—again in the Letter to the Ephesians, which has so largely interpreted that part of the Old Testament for us—is that God

“raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him That filleth all in all”  (Ephesians 1:20–23).

There we have the non-comparative, the absolute, and that of which Solomon’s throne was but a poor shadow. We can say that Jesus sat, in that full sense, upon the throne of Jehovah as King.

The other fragment about the glory of the Lord filling the house is seen in two ways in the New Testament. Here again in Ephesians, after this vast comprehensive survey of Christ and His Church in the heavenlies according to the eternal counsels of God, the great summing up of the Apostle is in these words:

“Now unto Him That is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20,21; ASV).  “The glory of the Lord filled the house.”

We know that a spiritual beginning of that very thing was made on the Day of Pentecost.  The Lord Jesus having been exalted to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens and having taken His seat on the throne of Jehovah as King, on the Day of Pentecost the glory filled the house.  There we have some indication of the Lord’s intention, both for His Son and for His people.

Now I want to bring all that into a small compass of application.  The all-governing thing is Christ enthroned. Everything takes its rise and flows out from that—Christ enthroned in the very throne of Jehovah.  He comes into the place of God Himself, and there is no room for any other.  Even the priests could not minister, because there was no place for them.  The glory of the Lord filled the house.  When the Lord has His place, there is no place for any other, for He holds it alone.  When the Lord Jesus is really Lord, everything else goes out.  That is what we shall come to more fully later.  That is where we begin, and that is the secret of, and the key to, everything else—Christ in His place, the place of Divine assignment, the place for which God ever intended Him. “That in all things He might have the pre-eminence” (Colossians 1:18).  You never have the secret of spiritual fulness until Christ has the place which God has appointed for Him, and there is no room for us or anything else.

That is simple, but it is the sort of thing that lies beneath all our troubles, and in regard to which there is a great deal of difficulty in making it actual, even with the Lord’s own people.  It is really all a matter of the Lord having His place.  When He does, then we have the secret of the filling of the house of the Lord with the glory of the Lord.  We have the secret of fulness.

The Results of Christ’s Enthronement

(a)  Rest to the People of God

Now, when you look at Solomon and see him taking his place upon the throne of Jehovah as king, and look to see what the issues, consequences and effects of that were, you find several things quite simply indicated.  One is that Israel came into a time of wonderful rest. Solomon sat upon the throne of Jehovah as king, and Israel had rest round about on every side (1 Kings 4:24,25).

Of course (by way of parenthesis) we are remembering that all this points very largely to the future age, but Scripture always has a double aspect, the dispensational and the spiritual.  We have indicated what happened on the day of Pentecost.  But the Church, in an outward, earthly way, did not have rest from the day of Pentecost.  It had anything but rest outwardly—but a wonderful rest entered into the Church.  You cannot fail to see how things changed even for the Apostles, from that time, for there was a wonderful assurance, a wonderful confidence, a wonderful courage and boldness, and wonderful effectiveness in witness, and all because they had come to rest, inward rest, born of the knowledge that Christ was Lord.  ‘Whatever happens, Christ is Lord!’ is their message, their note.  ‘Whatever rulers and people do, Christ is Lord!  However things go, favourably or contrarily, Christ is Lord!’  You see them moving through the Book of the Acts on that basis, and they met not a little difficulty, opposition and trial; but their message all the time was: ‘Christ is Lord!’  And as they affirmed it, so it worked out.  The very things which were against them worked out to prove it; not Satan, not man, not circumstances, not forces, but Christ was Lord! And there was a deep, quiet assurance and confidence and rest.

We know by numerous small experiences, as well as in the great crises of controversy with the will of God, that it is only when we yield to His absolute Lordship, when our wills, our desires, our preferences, our likes have been subjected and submitted to Him and we bow—not rebelliously, not under compulsion, but gladly, willingly, responsively—to His Lordship, then a wonderful rest comes into our hearts; and there can be no glory until there is rest.  That is the word that governs this house.  “Arise, O Jehovah God, into Thy resting-place, Thou, and the ark of Thy strength” (2 Chronicles 6:41). ‘Enter into Thy rest in the house.’  Until there is rest in the house, there is no glory.  They brought the ark in, and they drew out the staves—the staves which always suggested movement, progress, restless going on—and said: ‘This is the end.  We have come to the end of the journey.’  And the glory of the Lord filled the house.

It is all a picture of the rest of faith, of which the Letter to the Hebrews speaks so much; and that rest of faith comes from a real heart apprehension of Him as in the throne, both as King and High Priest.

We must not stay too long with each fragment.  The first thing, then, resultant from Solomon’s exaltation was rest unto the people of God.

(b)  Enemies reduced to Helplessness

The next thing—and a part of the former—was that all the enemies who had been asserting themselves for so long, and whom David had been continuously fighting, were helpless.  It seems that this exaltation of Solomon set up a mighty, paralyzing awe over all those enemies so that they were helpless, and that also has a spiritual counterpart.  The New Testament shows perfectly well that the enemies were actively working, and doing all in their power to assail and destroy, but what was the result?  Well, they were helpless in bringing this thing to a standstill, and absolutely incapable of destroying the glory.  They were helpless in a very real sense.  That is the story of the Book of the Acts.  There were plenty of enemies, and they did not cease to exist, but how helpless they were against this Name and this testimony, and against this Christ!  What they did not only turned upon themselves, but was made to serve the Lord’s purpose, so in that double sense they were helpless.  When Christ really is in His place there may be enemies and they may be active and seem to be doing a lot of harm, and having much their own way; but when Christ is Lord His sovereignty opposes them and renders them incapable of accomplishing their purpose and carrying through their designs.  “ them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28; ASV), and the “all things” cover very largely the enemy’s activities—they are turned to good by the sovereign activity of the Lord and the enemy is unable to triumph.

(c)  Abundant Wealth for the People of God

The next thing which resulted from Solomon’s enthronement was the abundance of wealth for God’s people.  We have said in earlier chapters that the wealth of Solomon given to him by God was great.  “Jehovah magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel” (1 Chronicles 29:25). We have said that it was not for himself, and not to be spent on himself for his own gratification.  It was for Israel, and Israel came into the good of Solomon’s wealth when he was enthroned.

We are told here in this Ephesian letter, and its companion letter to the Colossians, that God has filled the Lord Jesus; God has caused that in Him all fulness should dwell.  “It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). There is a favourite passage of ours in Philippians—“My God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  Well, He is filled full, and the wealth is for you.  Israel came into the good of God’s lavish hand upon Solomon, for when Solomon was in his place Israel shared the good.  Oh, I am not just using language! I am not trying to be eloquent!  I believe it is of such practical moment that we know the riches of Christ, and that the people of God everywhere should know how full Christ is for them. How the people of God today need to be saved from this awful tragedy of going about in starvation, looking for spiritual food and finding none, and, by their weakness, ineffectiveness and the lack of an impact of God through them upon the world, showing that they have not enough and to spare, are not a people with a competence!  That is how it is very largely today, and it should not be.  It is God’s thought that His people should be in the good of the wealth that He has stored up in His Son for them. When Christ is in His place we begin to know what we inherit in Him.

(d)  The Enlargement of the Kingdom

The next thing resulting from Solomon’s being enthroned was the enlargement of the kingdom.  God had promised that, and you find that Solomon began to expand, take in and build.  His kingdom increased.  And we do not need to argue that out so far as the New Testament is concerned.  When the Lord Jesus was enthroned, the enlargement of His kingdom commenced immediately and it was that spiritual kingdom into which we have been translated, the kingdom of the Son of God’s love.

Now my point is this.  What is the key to—what shall we call it?—the growth of the Church, the expansion and enlargement of the work of God?  What is the key to increase, world increase, of that which is of Christ?  It is Christ being apprehended in His glory, in His Lordship, in His enthronement in the throne of Jehovah.  It is along these lines: firstly that He is Lord and He is in His place, and then, as the result, that we are a people who have rest.  If we go about with haggard faces and worried looks, as people who carry an awful burden of sorrow and trouble and bear it before the world, there will not be much increase, growth or spiritual expansion.  When we can carry with us the testimony of a heart that has found rest on the ground that Jesus is Lord, the world watches. Here is a Christian going through deep trial.  Things have all gone wrong for that life, for they are hard and difficult, and no one has greater reason to question the love, the power and the sovereignty of God.  The world watches, and what do they see and hear?  ‘Save, Lord, we perish!’? or: ‘It is all right!  The Lord is on the throne, and things are not as they appear.  We are coming out, and we are coming out triumphantly.  This is not the end!’  A quiet, restful assurance through stress and strain, trial, adversity and contradiction is how the kingdom increases.  The rest of faith is a mighty power of testimony unto increase.  When others know that we have, not only enough to get on with, but plenty: that we are not all the time having to go down to Egypt—the world—to find something to make up what is lacking in our Christianity, but we have enough: that we have not only as much as the world has, but a very great deal more: that we are completely independent of this world for our satisfaction and have a new source of complete satisfaction: then there is a testimony that counts.  I am afraid that so many of us have given the other impression—that to be a Christian is almost to lose everything, and we give that impression not only by our looks and ways and influence, but by what we do.  We hunger after this and that and the other: we must have this, and we must have that, because the Lord has not filled everything.  But when He is really in His place there is that moving into His wealth which will result in others wanting to know the secret.

The Way to Christ’s Enthronement

I must gather up and close, and for the final word I come to this.  How is all this really made possible and brought into experience?  We want this rest, we want this wealth, we want this spiritual fulness, we want the enemy to be rendered incapable of finally achieving his end, and we want the enlargement of what is the Lord’s on this earth, but how is it to be?  We say—and it is the inclusive truth—it is when Christ is Lord and He is on the Throne.  Yes, but how is He to get there?  This is not something official and objective—that God has chosen Jesus Christ and put Him on the Throne, and that is the sovereign, official act of God.  This is something spiritual, and has an immediate application and meaning inside of us.  This enthronement of Christ has to have an inward meaning, and that cannot be until other inward things are dealt with; so that the realization of Christ’s enthronement, with all that it means for us of victory, of rest, of wealth, and of expansion, or enlargement, rests upon the altar, the Cross.  We have tried to see how great that Cross is, but here you can see its greatness inasmuch as the practical results of the exaltation of Christ depend upon it.  What I mean is this: Christ cannot be Lord, with all the beneficent results thereof, until all other lordships are subdued under Him, and by that I mean the lordships within the kingdom of our own hearts.  You can work that out, and see that is what is being applied in every letter of the New Testament. What is brought into view is the rightful place of Jesus as Lord; and then the Apostle gets down to this business and says, for example to the Corinthians: ‘You are spoiling your testimony.  You are not knowing spiritual wealth, and you know nothing about real rest. Everything is limited and marred because you are not a crucified people and your natural life is in the way of Jesus Christ.  He cannot be Lord because you, in the strength of your natural life, are lord, and that has to come to the Cross, you Corinthians.’  ‘You Galatians, you are allowing an Old Testament, typical régime to come in again and dominate you; the law has returned and you have got on to another basis altogether.  You have put Christ, Who has fulfilled all the law, out of His place, and you have fallen from grace and gone back to the law.’ Galatians 2:20, in its immediate sense, must be an actuality: “I have been crucified with Christ.”  You notice the connection.  The immediate context is with regard to the law, the reign of the law.  Paul is saying how he was under the law, how the law had dominion over him, how it brought him under bondage and limited his whole life. Then he says: ‘I got out of it by being crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ.  The law was in the way; I was in the way in the sense of this legalism in my life.’  Any Christian who is bound by legalism is an obstruction to the Lord Jesus, and will limit the expression of His power.

You find the same note in principle in every letter. Something of the old natural life is in the way, and it is limiting, spoiling, and causing everything to come into a state of contradiction; and whatever it is it must all come to the Cross.

You and I, in all that we are by nature, have to come under the power of that Cross.  The Cross has to get us out of the way in order that Christ may fill all things. That is the meaning here.  I see that the altar, the great altar, was set up by Solomon, and a mighty, all-inclusive sacrifice to God’s satisfaction was offered in type, and then the king had his place and all these blessed results followed.

Dear friends, we are in the way, we are our own plague and our own limitation.  It is this natural life that is the real bane—but there is a mighty Cross.  It is still possible for us to say: “I have been crucified with Christ.” It is still possible to enter into the meaning of that and to know that fundamental breaking of self-life, self-strength, self-centredness, that real breaking of the very backbone of our natural life—even our religious natural life, our devoted natural life, or whatever it is that is the natural life—so that its strength is gone and there is room for the King and for Him to fill all things. In the practical outworking, we know, by a very little spiritual history, that not until that spiritual life, at some point or other, is dealt with, brought down and broken can we enter upon a life of spiritual rest, spiritual growth and spiritual wealth.  The Cross governs it, for it is the Cross that leads to the Throne—from the altar to the Throne, and from the Throne to the glories of Christ.

May the Lord Himself apply the word and speak through it, and may the result be that He gets His full place, His unquestioned place, and we come into all the blessings of Christ in His place.

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