The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark

The disappointment of 1844 was a bitter experience. The error led them back to study to ascertain the truth of the matter. See Great Controversy page 432.

The passing of the time in 1844 was followed by a period of great trial to those who still held the advent faith. Their only relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. Some renounced their faith in their former reckoning of the prophetic periods and ascribed to human or satanic agencies the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which had attended the advent movement. Another class firmly held that the Lord had led them in their past experience; and as they waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration, and, following Him by faith, they were led to see also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the first and second angels’ messages, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14. {GC 431.3}

The third angel’s messages has to do with the judgement and the cleansing of the sanctuary, the Sabbath truth and the disregard of God’s Commandments. To look at the discovery of the earthly ark seems to be linked to the three angel’s messages.

The ark in the tabernacle on earth contained the two tables of stone, upon which were inscribed the precepts of the law of God. The ark was merely a receptacle for the tables of the law, and the presence of these divine precepts gave to it its value and sacredness. When the temple of God was opened in heaven, the ark of His testament was seen. GC page 435.

Perhaps not so important to God’s people, but as a witness to the world. God’s people are looking to the heavenly sanctuary.

Those living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. Great Controversy page 425.

Statements on the Ark of the Covenant & Comments

The secret seems to lie with the statement in Prophets and Kings page 453 but first notice in 1 Kings:

1 Kings 8:6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, in to the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim’s. 9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Isreal, when they came out of Egypt.

  1. When Solomon brought the ark to the temple it contained only the two tables of stone.
  2. The ark was put under the wings of the cherubim’s. Solomon had made two angels which stood either side of the ark.

In addition to the cherubim on the top of the ark, Solomon made two other angels of larger size, standing at each end of the ark, representing the heavenly angels always guarding the law of God. SR page 194.

Solomon had also made ten single candlesticks, five to stand each side of the seven branched candlestick.

1 Kings 7:9 All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.

The description of the ark is in Exodus 25 and in the following statement.

God gave a pattern of the ark to Moses, with special directions how to make it. The ark was made to contain the tables of stone, on which God engraved, with His own finger, the Ten Commandments. It was in form like a chest, and was overlaid and inlaid with pure gold. It was ornamented with crowns of gold round about the top. The cover of this sacred chest was the mercy seat, made of solid gold. On each end of the mercy seat was fixed a cherub of pure, solid gold. Their faces were turned toward each other and were looking reverentially downward toward the mercy seat, which represented all the heavenly angels looking with interest and reverence upon the law of God deposited in the ark in the heavenly sanctuary. These cherubs had wings. One wing of each angel was stretched forth on high, while the other wing of each angel covered his form. The ark of the earthly sanctuary was the pattern of the true ark in heaven. There, beside the heavenly ark, stand living angels, at either end of the ark, each with one wing overshadowing the mercy seat, and stretching forth on high, while the other wings are folded over their forms in token of reverence and humility. {SR 153.3}

The ark of the earthly sanctuary was the pattern of the true ark in heaven. There beside the heavenly ark stand living angels at either end of the ark each with one wing overshadowing the mercy seat, and stretching forth on high, while the other wings are folded over their forms in token of reverence and humility.

In the earthly ark Moses was require to place the tables of stone. These were called the tables of the testimony and the ark was called the ark of the Testimony because they contained God’s testimony in the Ten Commandments.

It is interesting to note that Sr White says:

An Instance of Poor Illustration.–“The Ark Standing in the Midst of Jordan:” see the cherubim on either end of the ark. What a misrepresentation of the heavenly angels looking with reverence upon the mercy seat, the cover of the ark. A child might take the representation as a bird hunched up. But when the ark was removed from the sanctuary, the cherubim were never exposed to view. That sacred ark, which represented Jehovah amid His people, was always covered, that no curious eye might look upon it. Let it ever be covered.–Letter 28a, 1897. {CW 171.4}

Exodus 25:20 And the cherubim’s shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings.

Among the righteous still in Jerusalem to whom had been made plain the divine purpose were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted. Prophets & Kings page 453.

Ellen White wrote Prophets & Kings in the early 1900’s. It was the last of the Conflict of the Ages series written. Up until then, the commandments were still in the ark – it has never been disturbed. The earthly ark was not taken to heaven, or not when Sr White wrote this statement.

It has been suggested that the tables of stone were taken to heaven:

The tables of stone with which the ark had been secreted in a cave, evidently had at some time later been rescued and divinely transported to the most holy place in heaven. She also suggests the tales of stone may have been a blue colored precious stone. Path to the Throne of God written by Sara Peck, page 227

Obviously these suggestions are not right and supported by the following quote:

Original law in heavenly ark – I warn you. Do not place your influence against God’s commandments. That law is just as Jehovah wrote it in the temple of heaven. Man may trample upon its copy, here below, but the original is kept in the ark of God in heaven, and on the cover of this ark right above that law, is the mercy seat. Jesus stands right there before th eark to mediate for man. 1BC page 1109

Christ gave unto Moses when he had made an end of communicating with him upon Mt Sinai, tow tables of testimony, tables of stone, written by the finger of God. Nothing written on those tables could be blotted out. The precious record of the law was placed in the ark of the testament and is still there, safely hidden from the human family. But in God’s appointed time He will bring forth these tables of stone to be a testimony to all the world against the disregard of his commandments and against that idolatrous worship of a counterfeit Sabbath. 1BC page 1109.

The stones that Moses hewed out of the rock were not left to be written on by man but God himself wrote the law on them – A perfect copy of the perfect original in the heavenly ark. It will not surprise us to see the commandments which God gave to Moses brought out at the time that the Sunday laws will be put into effect.

Earthly copy

But it will not be these tables of stone that we view in the heavens just before Jesus comes.

While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds sweep back, and the starry heavens are seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side. The glory of the celestial city streams from the gates ajar. Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet: The heaven shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself Psalm 50:6. That holy law, God’s righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgement. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind and God’s ten words, brief, comprehensive and authoritative are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth. GC page 639.

Jesus began His work before the ark as our high priest in the Most Holy Place in 1844. Right above that law is the mercy seat.

Jesus stands right there before that ark to mediate for man.–Manuscript 6a, 1886 (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1109).

But in the early 1900’s we see the earthly ark was still hidden from the time Jeremiah had hidden it and it hadn’t even been disturbed.

Original & Copy

The earthly sanctuary in all its parts was a PATTERN of the heavenly, a greater and more perfect tabernacle. Not having angels carved or embroided or statues of beaten gold. The earthly was a SHADOW of the true.

Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 

Again, “the temple of God was opened,” [Revelation 11:19.] and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament,” REPRESENTED by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God.  {GC88 414.1}

As has been stated, the earthly sanctuary was built by Moses according to the pattern shown him in the mount. It was “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;” its two holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” Christ, our great High Priest, is “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:2. As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” He saw an angel “having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 4:5; 8:3. Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the “seven lamps of fire” and the “golden altar” represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth. Again, “the temple of God was opened” (Revelation 11:19), and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament” (Revelation 11:19), represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God.  {PP 356.1}

     Moses made the earthly sanctuary, “according to the fashion that he had seen.” Paul declares that “the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry,” when completed, were “the patterns of things in the heavens.” Acts 7:44; Hebrews 9:21, 23. And John says that he saw the sanctuary in heaven. That sanctuary, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy.  {PP 357.1} 

He would have changed the writing of the Sabbath Commandment written on the tables of stone which are now in the ark in the Most Holy Place of the temple in heaven: — But I saw that it read the same as when written on the tables of stone by the finger of God and delivered to Moses on Sinai. Early Writings page 33.

So the copy is the same as the original. No change has been made.  We know the ark is never to be restored to Israel. [The earthly ark.]

The precious record of the law was placed in the ark of the testament and is still there, safely hidden from the human family. But in God’s appointed time He will bring forth these tables of stone to be a testimony to all the world against the disregard of His commandments and against the idolatrous worship of a counterfeit Sabbath.–Ms 122, 1901, pp. 1-4. (“The Law,” November 23, 1901.

The ones Christ gave to Moses.

Christ died on Passover and not the Day of Atonement — John the Baptist had called out, Behold the Lamb of God.

1 Corinthians 5:7 For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

When Israel left Egypt the death angel had passed over causing the death of the first born unless a lamb had been slain and its blood painted on the door posts. So Christ died on Passover that we, members of the church of the Firstborn, might live. [Heb 12:23.]

We are saved because of the Passover lamb.

The Day of Atonement began in 1844 when Jesus our High Priest moved into The Most Holy Place to begin a work of judgement, a work of atonement, — the application of His blood – the blotting out of sin.

It would seem that no-one can fail to understand the nature of the cleansing of the sanctuary. It is accomplished with blood. It is a part of Christ’s work as priest, not as King. It is the ministration performed in the Most Holy Place to complete the round of service and end the work. When His work is finished, it will have been decided who have availed themselves of His mediation, and have thus become His people. It is the putting away of sin that determines this, but this is the very work that Christ performs in the Most Holy Place in the conclusion of His ministry. He here puts away the sins of His people, and this is the cleansing of the sanctuary. Looking unto Jesus page 222.

What is the nature of this cleansing, and how is it accomplished? According to the language of Paul, just quoted, it is performed by means of blood. The cleansing is not therefore, a cleansing from physical uncleanness or impurity; for blood is not the agent used in such a work. And this consideration should satisfy the objector’s mind in regard to the cleansing of the heavenly things. The fact that Paul speaks of heavenly things to be cleansed, does not prove that there is any physical impurity in heaven; for that is not the kind of cleansing of which he speaks. The reasons Paul assigns why this cleansing of which he speaks. The reason Paul assigns why this cleansing is performed with blood, is because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Uriah Smith in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation page 177. [1891 edition]

Remission then, that is, the putting away of sin, is the work to be done. The cleansing is performed with blood, is because without the shedding of blood there is no remission. The cleansing, therefore, is not physical cleansing, but a cleansing from sin. Whether Christ ministers for us in the heavenly holy places with His own blood literally, or only by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to inquire. Suffice it to say, that His blood has been shed, and through that blood remission of sins is secured. Ibid.

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

They knew that He was presenting before God the merit of His blood, showing His wounded hands and feet as a remembrance— Acts of the Apostles page 65.

Passover lamb, antitypical – DA 571 3SG 225

Blood of Passover lamb prefigured Christ’s atoning blood. 3SG 225, 228.

Leviticus 17:8-11 And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

There will be three showings of God’s law:

  1. After the 1,000 years.

As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tables of the divine law, the statutes which they have despised and transgressed— GC page 668.

  1. Just before Jesus returns – (after the close of probation).

 While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds sweep back, and the starry heavens are seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side. The glory of the celestial city streams from the gates ajar. Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet: The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself. Psalm 50:6. That holy law, God’s righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgement. GC page 639.

  1. Before the close of probation (The earthly copy).

When the judgement shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death. 1 BC page 1109.

In the Great Day of God

We are living in the great Day of Atonement. Time to confess sin.

The coming of Christ here described is not his second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of days in Heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, which will be given him at the close of his work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not his second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days, in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies, and there appears in the presence of God, to engage in the last acts of his ministration in behalf of man,—to perform the work of investigative Judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.  {GC88 479.3}

The Pot of Manna and Aarons Rod were taken to heaven. But why would the earthly commandments be taken to heaven when God has the great originals in the ark in heaven under the mercy seat? His Ten words, the foundation of His government.

Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

When Gods temple in heaven is opened – what a triumphant time that will be for all who have been faithful and true. In the temple will be seen the ark of the testament in which were placed the two tables of stone on which are written God’s law. These tables of stone will be brought forth from their hiding place and on them will be seen the Ten Commandments engraved by the finger of God. The tables of stone now lying in the ark of the testament will be a convincing testimony to the truth and binding claims of God’s law. BC 7 page 973 1902.

Sacrilegious minds and hearts have thought they are mighty enough to change the times and laws of Jehovah; but safe in the archives in heaven, in the ark of God are the original commandments written upon two tables of stone. No potentate of earth has power to draw forth these tables from their sacred hiding place beneath the mercy seat. There in the tabernacle on earth contained the two tables of stone upon which were inscribed the precepts of the law of God. The ark was merely a receptacle for the tables of the law, and the presence of these divine precepts gave to it its value and sacredness. When the temple of God was opened in heaven the ark of Hi testament was seen. Within the holy of holies, in the sanctuary in heaven, the divine law is sacredly enshrined – the law that was spoken by God Himself amid the thunders of Sinai and written with His own finger on the tables of stone.  The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. Mercy and earnest were the efforts made to overthrow their faith. None could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in heaven. GC pages 433-435.

The law that was placed in the ark on earth was a copy of the law that is contained in the ark of the testament in heaven. Signs of the Times 1894.

Posted on December 4, 2010, in Short Studies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Haten HisReturn

    Where is the place to comment on “depise the Love of GOD”?
    thx

  1. Pingback: Weekly Sabbath Sermons on Video/Audio | INQUISITION NEWS

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