Exodus 25:18-22 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 11

Exodus 25:18-22

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.

The cherubim were to be made as a part of the mercy seat, not made separately and soldered onto it. The idea is that this lid would be made with the cherubim as one piece so that they were inexplicably linked together.

They were to be placed on each end of the mercy seat with their wings covering the lid while they faced each other but directing their attention towards the middle of the mercy seat.

The use of and meaning for the cherubim is debated and there are roughly three main views.

1. They symbolically represent the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit)

2. They represent all of redeemed humanity (Jew and Gentile)

3. They represent actual angels as those who guard the tree of life(Genesis 3:24) and those created in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:23-28).

These angels were also some form of divine chariot. (Psalms 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:11, Ezekiel 10:15-20)

You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

The Testimony or the two tablets was to be placed inside the ark before the ark was sealed by the mercy seat.

The implication of this is that the Testimony was for Israel. It not only was a testimony concerning their duty to live by its standards as God’s chosen people but also a testimony against them when they violated its standards.

This was not something to be taken lightly. The God of the universe, the one true God, had chosen these people as His. He had reached out of eternity and specified how He wanted them to live and interact in His government.

This testimony was placed inside the ark and this lid was its covering. This also tells us that what is inside the ark and under the mercy seat requires mercy. This testimony that blesses and can curse was sealed inside the ark and under the mercy seat. It also implies that this testimony will be broken.

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

The word for “meet,” is “yaad” and it means “to appoint, to designate.” This was the designated point of meeting between God and not all of Israel. The use of the word “you” is singular. This was the meeting place of God and one chosen to meet with Him. Moses at first, then eventually the High Priest.

Gods presence would be above the mercy seat, in between the cherubim wings and the spot where they were looking. This is the very place where He would speak. The place where His Word would go out.

As we have seen before, the ark is a picture of Jesus. We get an even more complete picture now that we see the Testimony being placed within the ark.

In this we see that the ark is also a picture of His death. Jesus died even though He was incorruptible and fully God.

The tablets represent the entire Law being placed inside the ark.

This pictures Christ embodying the Law. He is the fulfillment of the Law.

Yet, without His death, the Law couldn’t be considered fulfilled.

In His death we see a new covenant coming into place where the Law was fulfilled for us as we are granted mercy from the Law. He is the place where propitiation is restored with God and man

Jesus fully answers each demand of the Law

His blood covers us from the curse of the Law and from sin.

Galatians 3:13

For Israel, once a year a priest would enter the Holy of Hollies and sprinkle blood from a sacrificed animal, usually a lamb, to atone for the sins of Israel.

This Day of Atonement continued as an instrument of God’s covenant with Israel all the way to the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

The most telling picture of Christ as our meeting place with the Father and for His work in grace and mercy is captured in John as we see the representation of the outcome of the sprinkling of the mercy seat once and for all.

John 20:1-18

(Matt. 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12)

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

We see three things here.

1. Jesus as the Lamb of God

The sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat was required yearly for Israel as atonement for sin. This was a pictorial lesson that the earthly sacrifice was not what man needed. The blood of animals as well as the earthly priesthood was temporary and limited.

Jesus is the Lamb of God whose shed blood was a complete atonement for sin. He died physically once and for all for not only Israel but for all mankind.

2. Jesus as the Person and presence of God in earth.

When Mary looked into the tomb, she saw the two angels sitting at the head and feet area where Jesus had been laid to rest, just as we see in the mercy seat. Yet Jesus was not there.

In Matthew 28 it tells us that three angels were there and that one tells the two Marys that Jesus is not there. He had risen.

Here in John Mary weeps because she doesn’t know where the body of Jesus is.

She is very much like Ezekiel and Israel as eventually God’s presence would be gone out of the Temple.

Ezekiel 10:18-19

Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

This was the result of the nation and it’s leaders idolatry.

After the exile in Babylon, those returning under the leadership of Ezra endeavored to rebuild the Temple and restore it to its former glory.

Sadly nowhere is it mentioned that God’s presence and glory return when they finished.

Now we almost see the same thing as Jesus is nowhere to be found.

Yet Mary sees and speaks with the risen Jesus, then later the disciples see and touch our Lord and Savior.

He is present and His presence is no longer in one physical place. He meets with us through the Holy Spirit.

His presence meets with us in our hearts and mind as we are now His temple.

3. He has ascended yet He will return.

When the disciples look into the tomb, they see the face cloth used to cover the face of Jesus, rolled up or folded by itself. The prominent story for what this represents has been the this:

When a master is eating in his house and he stops for some reason (a visitor comes to the door) he will do one of two things to let his servant know where he is with his food.

He will either place his napkin over the food indicating that he done.

Or he will fold his napkin by his plate indicating that he is not done and he will return.

While this works out well in this scenario and gives a great illustration for us that our Master Jesus Christ is coming back; I must admit that there is nothing that confirms this tradition.

Another story is that of a carpenter. A rolled up handkerchief was a sign to a client that the work was done and the carpenter was coming back to settle the account.

Sadly we can’t be for sure that either of these was true but I believe that this incident was placed there and mentioned by the Spirit for a reason.

Even if it is simply a sign for us that what had happened was orderly, voluntary, and finished at the moment.

Either way we have a perfect picture of the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ

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Exodus 25:18 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 10

The Seraphim and the Cherubim

Exodus 25:18

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

We get a detailed description of the Cherubim in Ezekiel 1:4-25

Ezekiel also gives another description of the same living creatures in chapter 10.

In Isaiah 6:1-10 Isaiah describes creatures he calls Seraphim.

In Revelation 4:6-8, John gives us a description of the same creatures as Isaiah, but each having only one of the four faces described in Ezekiel.

Most agree that Ezekiel is describing a completely different being than the creatures described by Isaiah and John.

These beings are considered Seraphim. Seraph means “Burning One.”

Interestingly enough, the term “Seraph/Seraphim occurs four times in the book of Isaiah. In chapter 6 it is used to describe the beings who surround God’s throne and praise Him continually.

The word appears again in Isaiah chapter 14 and 30

Isaiah 14:29

“Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,

Because the rod that struck you is broken;

For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,

And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.

Isaiah 30:6

The burden against the beasts of the South.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,

From which came the lioness and lion,

The viper and fiery flying serpent,

They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,

And their treasures on the humps of camels,

To a people who shall not profit;

This term is also used in the Torah

Numbers 21:6-8

So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”

Deuteronomy 8:15

who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;

In each of these instances, it describes a fiery serpent.

The following may just be the difference between these two types of beings

In all traditional beliefs, the Seraphim are higher in order than the Cherubim.

Not only were the Cherubim considered guardians but they had other roles as well

They are depicted as transporting Yahweh’s throne.

Psalms 18:10

Ezekiel 1 and 10

and as the very vehicle on which Yahweh moves upon.

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Exodus 25:18 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 9

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

When we think of cherubs what mainly comes to mind are the Putto, little chubby babies with wings. These images eventually also represented Cupid.

Ezekiel gives us a vivid description of these heavenly beings and they are anything but little flying babies.

Ezekiel 1:10-11

As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies.

Ezekiel give us their description again in chapter 10

Ezekiel 10:14

Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

We don’t know if the beings mentioned in Exodus reflected what Ezekiel describes but they are designated as Cherubs.

Cherubs are a special class of beings first mentioned in Genesis 3 as guardians in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:24

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Notice the difference in the Cherubs faces.

Ezekiel 1:

Man

Lion

Ox

Eagle

Ezekiel 10

Cherub

Man

Lion

Eagle

Why the difference?

Some older commentators claimed that perhaps Ezekiel in his second vision merely saw the cherubs faces all at once in some strange way.

Hebrew sages say that the Hebrew word for Cherub is “Kruv,” This word comes to us from Aramaic and means “As a baby.”

Others claimed it meant “Formless matter that can assume any form whatsoever,” as a baby’s face changes form as it matures.

Through Jewish tradition we can see that the faces coincide with the standard of the children of Israel

1. The Lion – Judah

In Genesis 49:9 Judah is prophesied to be a lions whelp, originally prey, but becomes an old powerful lion. His standard is associated with a lion.

Genesis 49:9

Judah is a lion’s whelp;

From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He bows down, he lies down as a lion;

And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

2. The Man – Reuben

His name means “Behold a son,” he is the firstborn of strength. His symbol was that of a man.

Genesis 49:3

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,

My might and the beginning of my strength,

The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

3. The Ox – Ephraim

Ephraim was blessed under Joseph to be full of strength. His traditional standard was an ox or a unicorn

Genesis 49:24

But his bow remained in strength,

And the arms of his hands were made strong

By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob

(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),

Deuteronomy 33:17

His glory is like a firstborn bull,

And his horns like the horns of the wild ox;

Together with them

He shall push the peoples

To the ends of the earth;

They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,

And they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

4. The Eagle – Dan

Dan means “Judge,” and his original standard would have been that of a serpent biting the heels of those around him.

According to tradition, Ahiezer, a chief of the tribe of Dan, changed the standard to depict an eagle clutching a serpent in order to dismay any association with the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 49:16-18

“Dan shall judge his people

As one of the tribes of Israel.

Dan shall be a serpent by the way,

A viper by the path,

That bites the horse’s heels

So that its rider shall fall backward.

I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

Their flags were probably arrayed with their tribe names, their coinciding depiction, and their color based on the stones of the High Priest breastplate.

Each of these 4 tribes were camped around the Tabernacle and were positioned just as the faces of the Cherubim.

Numbers 2

To look down upon the tribes of Israel encampments surroundings the Tabernacle, one would see what looks like a cross and just as the Tabernacle and the Ark, the Spirit points us to Christ

As followers of Jesus Christ we see the same four aspects of the cherubs faces in the Gospels of Jesus.

1. The Lion – Matthew

Jesus Christ, son of David is King.

Matthew is aimed towards a Jewish audience and starts with the genealogy of Jesus to show His rightful place as Messiah and King of the Jews. Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah.

2. The Ox – Mark

Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Suffering Servant

Mark is aimed more towards the Gentile Christians in Rome. His Gospel narrative seems to be written to encourage those who were feeling the effects of tribulation in the cause of following Christ. He focuses more on the deeds of Jesus as the Servant Who came to do the Fathers will.

3. The Man – Luke

Jesus Christ, son of man, the God-Man

Luke’s account was aimed at a Greek audience. The Greeks were preoccupied with the consideration of man and Luke portrays Jesus as the perfect example of humanity. First by tracing His lineage all the way back to Adam, accounts of His prayers, and by giving us the most on His birth and childhood

4. The Eagle – John

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word became flesh.

John’s Gospel is aimed at new believers and gives us an up-close and personal look at the identity of Jesus Christ.

Though fully God, Jesus came in the flesh to reveal God to mankind. He shows us that Jesus is the source of eternal life to all who believe in Him.

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Revelation 1:1-11 The Problem We Face Part 4: A Slightly Quick Review

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

It’s been a while since we looked at the book of Revelation and after having the opportunity to think about this wonderful book and listening to and reading the teachings of those who different views made me think we ought to review the first couple of verses to begin again.

This book is mesmerizing and quite puzzling. It causes more questions than it gives answers but it also promises a special blessing for those who read it, understand it, and apply it.

This gives us the opportunity to look at this book with a whole new set of eyes if we can. This also causes us to ask some hard questions as well. Questions that might not get truly answered when we are done.

My only hope is that we can truly set aside preconceived notions and doctrine as we try to truly understand what Jesus through Revelation is telling us. I don’t begin to believe that I am in any way an expert on this book and what it teaches. I just decided that I had some questions and I thought they were decent enough to share.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.

Lets look at the obvious first.

1. This book is the Revelation (Unveiling) of Jesus Christ. In some bibles it is called “The Revelation of St. John,” but the very first verse tells us the subject.

Another thing we often overlook is just Who this revelation came from.

It comes straight from God. This message was given from God to Jesus for us. It comes from Jesus in the form of His messengers in dreams and visions to John, then to us.

So we are the fifth in line to get this message of “things which must shortly take place.”

Before we attempt a look at the Godhead, let’s look at the author:

A man named John.

While we don’t know for sure, most agree that this is the Apostle John who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry.

The most telling evidence comes from an early church father named Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a discipline of Polycarp, who knew John personally as his student. Irenaeus records that Polycarp confirmed that it was the Apostle John Who was the author of this book.

Most of the 2nd and 3rd Century Church Fathers attested to the same.

This his name would have carried weight when distributed among the assemblies.

One of the most debated questions about the book of Revelation is “When did John write it?”

Some argue for a date prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. mainly because John does not mention it.

Preterists claim John possibly wrote Revelation around 64 or 65 A.D. and he either predicted the destruction of the Temple or he wrote it after the fact in order to make it look as though he predicts it.

Another argument for the pre destruction date is that the persecution of Christians is mentioned with John as a witness to and victim of persecution. John tells us himself “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

So those with an earlier date in mind marry this with the persecution of Christians by Nero in 64 -65 A.D.

Yet once again, Irenaeus comes to the rescue of the truth by recording Polycarp, who stated that John wrote Revelation during the reign of Domitian in 81-96 A.D.

Nero’s persecution was more localized while Domitian had a more empire wide reach.

At the same time there seem to be differing accounts as to the degree of his persecutions. Some historians claimed that his persecution only consisted of John’s banishment to Patmos and the exile of other Christians to the island of Pontia.

Yet there are others who claim that he was just as cruel as Nero.
He demanded that Christians practice Emperor worship. A practice required of all Roman citizens, but something he knew Christians would refuse.

Just before this era, Gentiles who joined the Jewish led Messianic movement were seen as converts to Judaism. Jewish citizens had been given special exemption from Emperor worship as long as they prayed for the well-being of the Emperor and Gentiles rested under this exemption for some time.

But this all changed by the time Domitian came to power. Gentiles had essentially wrestled the Messianic movement from the Jews and while Jewish believers and leaders were still involved, Christians let it be known that they were not Jewish and strangely enough opened them up to persecution for refusing Emperor worship.

This leads us to where John finds himself. In exile at the island of Patmos. One legend claims that John had been boiled in oil and when he did not die, they sent him to the island.

Here are two things we know about this book.

1. This book calls itself prophecy.

John tells us that he was in the spirit on the Lords day. There are two different approaches as to what this means. Some claim that he meant he was “in the Spirit,” as in the Holy Spirit on the Lord’s Day, or Sunday, but why would he go through the trouble of just telling what day it was?

Others claim he was “in the spirit,” small “s” as so many Old Testament prophets had experienced when receiving a vision from the Lord. “The Lord’s Day” to some is looking to a future event, known by all believers, Jewish and Gentile, as “The Day of the Lord.”

So is this book speaking of only things that will happen in the indefinite future?

Is it a twofold prophecy in the near future for the seven assemblies and then an even further prophecy for the end times?

Was it all allegory?

Has all this prophecy already happened?

If so then who does it effect?

2. This book promises a blessing for those who read, hear, understand, and obey what is taught through it.

Many believe that this book essentially stands alone in the New Testament with no connection to the Old Testament.

At the time of the writing of this book, no idea of the New Testament existed. While Paul’s letters were probably circulated, and some of the Gospels, The only Scripture known to believers, especially Jewish believers, was The Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.

John was not like Paul. Paul quoted Scripture in his letters. John wrote this book with the idea that his audience knew Scripture and although he didn’t quote it verbatim, he calls to mind Scripture through his wording.

This is something we need to keep in mind as we study this book. Reading it and having a passing understanding is not what we need.

We need to comprehend what Jesus is telling us through this wonderful book in order to receive the blessing it promises.

With that said, here are a few of the attempts man has created to understand Revelation.

The futurist sees the prophecy in this book taking place in the future before the second coming.

The historical views the prophecy in this book to be concerning Church history from the first advent up to the second coming.

The preterist see the prophecy in Revelation as completely fulfilled after John wrote this book.

The idealist or symbolic approach does not believe that the prophecy in this book points to any real event but as symbols of the struggle between good and evil.

Evidently there is a new approach called the eclectic approach. In this view, one allows the preterist, futurist, and idealist approaches to interact in a way that maximizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.

Of course this doesn’t even begin to crack the surface of the sub divisions of extra doctrine contained in some of these approaches and it seems that most only circulate around a more western Christian viewpoint leaving out the Eastern branch.

We will do our best to look at each view in its context as well as understanding what John meant through his words in that day, at that time, in his culture.

understand what those words meant to John in that day, at that place, in his culture and his language.

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Exodus 25:17 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 8

Exodus 25:17

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.

The mercy seat is known as “Kapporeth.”

This is the first of 27 times it is used and it is always speaking of this very item.

The meaning of this word is the same as “Kopher,” and indicates “a cover” but in these instances indicates “a satisfaction” which comes from the word “Kaphar,” meaning “to appease or satisfy.”

In Greek the word is translated as “hilastérion,” meaning “propitiation.”

The mercy seat was to be made of pure gold which meant no defilement. It was also made in the exact same measurements as the ark so that it served as a lid and as the place where the High Priest would atone for the sins of Israel. The area in the Temple known as the Holy of Holies was where the ark was contained was known as “Bayith ha’kapporeth,” or “House of the mercy seat, or expiation.”

1 Chronicles 28:11

Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat;

It would be from this very instrument where propitiation of the people’s sins would come and mercy would be granted.

On the day of atonement (Yom Kippur), when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, it was necessary that this highest place of atonement should be enveloped in a cloud of incense. The blood of the sin-offering of the atonement was then sprinkled on the face of and seven times before it.

The ark and the lid were made from shittim wood. This represents the humanity of Jesus. He was born into the world just as we are.

This wood is an incorruptible material. In this we see His incorruptible nature. Although He was born a man, He never sinned.

The ark was not very large, in fact, one could call it humble and lowly.

Through this we can see Jesus in His humbled and lowly state as He ministered on this earth. He didn’t come as a larger than life figure, but rather He came to a poor family and led a rather small existence by the world’s standards.

The ark was overlaid with pure gold both inside and out. In this we see three things:

1. His deity

Gold was and is still the most precious metal. The gold, which overlaid the wood, pictures His deity overlaying His humanity as fully God and fully man.

2. His Status as preeminent

Gold is the standard by which the value of all other things is measured. In this way He is the perfect standard by which all others are compared too.

3. His purity

The gold of the ark is described by the word “Tahor,” which means “pure.” In every way. It is completely undefiled.

The wood that is beneath the gold is an incorruptible wood. Both together represent His undefiled purity in every way as well as His incorruptible human/divine nature.

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Exodus 25:12-16 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 7

Exodus 25:12-16

You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.

You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them.

Some versions use “four feet” instead of “four corners,” because the word “pa’amoth” means “times or occurrences,” as in striking something or a persons feet striking the ground as they stepped.

One interesting aspect of the Ark is how the poles were attached to it’s corners.

Almost every drawing of the ark shows the poles on the long side of its frame or what could be considered the sides. It would be carried like a coffin

Yet there are some who believe that the poles were attached on the short sides of the ark and carried in a way similar to a throne.

Many favor the throne scenario. It keeps the Ark elevated and it would keep any part of your body from touching the ark in any way.

In 1Kings we can get an idea as to how it was carried

1 Kings 8:6-9

Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

The ark rested length-wise in the Temple with the cherubim on each side, to the left and right as one walked in and so the poles were on the short side and could be visible in the Holy place. They were not taken completely out from under the ark and symbolized that the ark had finally reached its place of rest.

From this, we can know that unlike the pictures we commonly see, the ark was carried by the priests as a throne. The ark would face forward with the cherubim on each side as it was carried.

The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.

The Law was given that the poles were to never be removed from the ark even before it was constructed. This was to ensure that it would never be touched by man A steep penalty had been given for anyone who had presumed to do so.

Numbers 4:15

And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.

“These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

2 Samuel 6 shows us how immediate the penalty was

2 Samuel 6:6-7

And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.

And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.

Once the construction of ark was completed, the Lord directs that the Testimony, meaning the two tablets of stone which are the basis of the law, were to be put inside of the ark itself. As the basis of the law, they represented the entirety of the law.

Deuteronomy 31:26

“Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you;

The ark was to go first when the Israelites journeyed and it was to be carried by the priesthood. It was to be present and preeminent in their lives and in their walk. It was first even in battle.

The one time they carried it differently than prescribed someone died.

Another time they did not carry it into battle they were utterly defeated.

Why?

Because the ark was representing the very presence of God among man. They had failed to put Him first and in doing so had failed.

It’s the same for us today. Jesus, God in flesh, just like the ark, is present in our lives, our walk, our trials, and tribulations.

We must learn to put Him first. He is not only present in our lives, He is not only prominent in our walk but must be preeminent in our hearts and minds.

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Exodus 25:10-11 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 6

Out of all of the articles used in the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Ark of the Testimony, other than the Menorah, is the most widely known part of Israel’s worship. People who have no idea of the history of Israel recognize the Ark. It has been the object of many movies, documentaries, books, and speculation.

If it truly exists on this earth then we know that the story of Israel is true and thus many have searched for it. Many groups have claimed to have it and there exists a long legend of groups claiming to have moved it around the earth.

Regardless of its existence and location, one thing remains true. It is a picture or type of Jesus Christ.

He is the fulfillment of this marvelous piece of furniture where God once met with man.

Exodus 25:10-11

“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around.

1. Details of the Ark

“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around.

This word “Aron” or ark has only been used once thus far in Scripture and it gives us an idea of its purpose and its look.

Genesis 50:26

So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

This word describes a box or chest used for storage or to house something specific.

It is made using Acacia wood. This wood is similar to cypress and it is considered an incorruptible wood because of its resistance to insects and moisture.

We see Jesus in just it’s shape and in it’s material.

He came to earth and in all appearances He looked like any other man on this earth. Yet He is more. He is fully God and fully man. He emptied Himself. He did not give up His deity, that would make Him just a man. Rather He gave up the glory of God in order to die for our sins.

Philippians 2:5-11

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The incorruptible acacia wood that is overlaid with gold inside and out represents the incorruptible nature of His humanity and the indisputable nature of His deity.

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