Posted by: dhkrause | August 22, 2012

The Ark – A Special Carrier of God’s Testimony

By Marla Krause, 9/11/2011
If you were studying the mystery of the Biblical ark, the question that invariably confronts people to ask is, “Where is it?”  And this is an excellent question.  The answer if found in increments: a portion here, and a portion there.  And in each increment a little more light is shown upon the answer.  Why is this important to us?  The times that we are living in seem to fit what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24:

Matthew 24:37-39 (NKJV)
37
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Now eating and marrying might not seem ungodly, but the low moral standards underlying this eating and marrying was so great a corruption that the world was about to go through an immense upheaval:

Genesis 6:5 (NKJV)
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

God has a plan for His people to come through critical times.  It was God who chose an ark.  This originated with Him.  It was an ark that carried Noah and his family from the old world as they knew it into a new world.  God did NOT perform a creative miracle suddenly causing an ark to appear.  No. God gave to the man in right relationship with Him this plan to save his family.  This was a partnership between God and Noah based upon each trusting the other.  The Bible says that “Noah was a just man”, “And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.”

Genesis 6:8-9 (NKJV)
8
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Genesis 7:5 (NKJV)
And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.

It was by faith that Noah and his family prepared and built the ark.  How much faith?

Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

He built a great boat on dry land, a ridiculous sight, and the topic of mocking, finger pointing and jokes.  He predicted a deluge of rain that had never been seen before.  That’s right.  It had never rained.  He preached 120 years and failed to win a single convert.  Who could have believed the old man with his bizarre ideas?  I don’t know how long you’ve been living where you are now, but day in and day out, year in and year out, 120 years of daily building a flat-bottomed, rectangular, three storied boat on the desert sand because you believed God said to, does require amazing faith and commitment.  Peter writes of “the longsuffering of God waiting in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared.”  Ezekiel says that they could not deliver the unrighteous, but only their own souls.  And God Himself shut the door.

1 Peter 3:20 (NKJV)
who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

Ezekiel 14:14
Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 14: 20 (NKJV)
even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Genesis 7:16 (NKJV)
So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

There was only one door into and out of the side of the ark.  Christ Jesus is the only door to the Father’s house, opened up from a pierced wound in His side.  All who call upon His name and receive Him may come to Him.

God made a covenant with Noah:

Genesis 9:11-17 (NKJV)
11
Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Now you might think it strange when I tell you that the word “ark” comes from Egypt.  But then it’s not so strange if you remember that Moses’ own life was saved by an ark.  It was an ark that safely carried Moses down the river to Pharaoh’s daughter.  She adopted Moses, and he was brought up by Pharaoh’s house, the best of Egypt in that day.  Following his upbringing and emancipation from Egypt when the children of Israel miraculously crossed through the Red Sea, it was Moses who called these arks by the name “ark”.  But what had worked for Noah and his family, and for the baby Moses no longer would work for generations after him.  So the ark appears in a new form with only a hint of its earlier pattern.  Now it is a rectangular box made of gopher wood and covered with gold.  The lid was called the Mercy Seat upon which stood two cherubim with outstretched wings.

The box holds precious tokens from the past.  What are they?  When the Lord brought the children of Israel to the foot of Mt. Sinai, He gave them a betrothal agreement.  It was a spiritual marriage contract with the King of Heaven.  It was the bride’s instructions, also called Torah, and it included the Ten Commandments:

1 John 2:3-5 (NKJV)
3
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

And this is what was placed in the ark:

Deuteronomy 31:24-29 (NKJV)
24
So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying: 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; 27 for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more after my death? 28 Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”

Another precious token placed in the Ark of the Covenant was Aaron’s rod, the one the Lord chose from all the others:

Numbers 17:1-10 (NKJV)
1
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses—twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod. 3 And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. 4 Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.”

6 So Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses placed the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
8 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD to all the children of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod.
10 And the LORD said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.”

And one more token was placed in the Ark of the Covenant: a pot of manna reminding His people of how He, and He alone supernaturally fed their fathers in the desert wilderness for 40 years:

Exodus 16:32-34 (NKJV)
32
Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.” 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

After the building of the tabernacle had been completed, the ark was placed within it:

Exodus 40:18-21 (NKJV)
18
So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars. 19 And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 20 He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark. 21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Exodus 40:34-38 (NKJV)
34
Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

The ark was carried by Levite priests into battle and into resting places:

Numbers 10:33-35 (NKJV)
33
So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp.

35 So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said:
“Rise up, O LORD!
Let Your enemies be scattered,
And let those who hate You flee before You.”

The ark insured God’s people of their safety.  As they carried the ark it led them safely from one place to another.  And when they camped, the ark resided in the center of the camp.  Besides the ark, God’s manifest Presence dwelled among them as a perpetual cloud by day and a fire by night.  When the cloud moved, the people pulled up their tent stakes and moved with it:

Exodus 13:21-22 (NKJV)
21
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

Joshua 3:6 (NKJV)
Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.”  So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

Joshua 3:14 (NKJV)
So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,

Joshua 4:7-11 (NKJV)
7
Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
10 So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over. 11 Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the ark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people.

Joshua 4:16-18 (NKJV)
16
“Command the priests who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan.” 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.

David brought the ark to Zion, but it was Solomon who brought the ark into the temple:

2 Samuel 6:12 (NKJV)
… So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.

1 Kings 8:1-11 (NKJV)
1
Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 Then they brought up the ark of the LORD, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 6 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. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 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. 9 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.

10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

During the siege of the Babylonians, when the temple was destroyed and the Israelites were carried off to Babylon, the ark became lost from sight.  The ark bearing the precious tokens from God is sometimes called the Ark of the Lord, the Ark of God, and the Ark of God’s Strength.

In fact, it was Solomon who had prayed this:

2 Chronicles 6:40-42 (NKJV)
40
Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.
41
“Now therefore,

Arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
And let Your saints rejoice in goodness.
42
“O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed;

Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”

 Christ Jesus, Son of God contained the fullness of God’s Word, more than the Ten Commandments.  He contained the Rod of Authority, more than Aaron’s rod.  And He supernaturally fed thousands of people on two different occasions, the customary food at that time, not manna.  Greater even than feeding their bodies, He gave them living words:

John 6:63 (NKJV)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

 Jesus’ own body did rise again.  Christ did take His resurrection body up with Him and presented himself at the throne of God.  And this is where we see the ark reappear in its final resting place with God on His throne.

 Revelation 11:19 (NKJV)
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Henry Morris in his book, The Revelation Record, on page 211, comments on this verse:

     “Men Through the centuries have been almost as intrigued with the search for the ark of the covenant as they have with the search for Noah’s ark.  The ark was not in the restoration temple, nor the temple of Herod, nor in the tribulation temple.  Neither is there any mention of it even in the millennial temple described in Ezekiel 40-48.  People have rumored it is preserved somewhere in a cave in Ethiopia, or in the Arabian desert, or somewhere else.
“But there is no mystery as to where it is.  God showed John, when He revealed to him the Apocalypse, that it was safely stored in the heavenly temple.  No doubt the two tables of the Ten Commandments are there as well.  If God could translate Enoch and Elijah to heaven, and if the resurrected Christ could ascend to heaven, He would be quite able to have an angel remove the ark from Jerusalem before Nebuchadnezzar’s armies sacked the temple, and then have him carry it safely to the true tabernacle in the New Jerusalem under construction in heaven.”

Marla Krause, 9/11/2011


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