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Friday, June 19, 2015

(87) The Ark of the New Covenant

No one really knows where the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament is today.  Sure there are theories that it is in Ethiopia and others as well.  Yes, Indiana Jones found it and now it sits in a storage room in some US facility before someone thinks they are funny.  But in reality no one really knows.  But it also probably doesn't really matter since we are under a new covenant.  It is neat to see how the Old Testament and the New Testament coincide with each other so much.  The Old Testament though for the New Testament Christian is only symbolic.  That is not to say that the Old Testament doesn't mean anything or nothing in it ever really happen.  On the contrary it is literal historical events, but we are no longer bound to its rules and punishments for we are under grace and forgiveness.  But after all of this has been said there is an ark for the New.  Sure the easy answer is that Jesus is the New Ark.  But there is a deeper connection between Old and New.  There is an actual physical Ark that happened.   And we can almost still see it today.

Before we go on let's look at the word Ark.  There are a couple of words we have for this word.  One is "tebah" and the other is "aron".  Both are similar and mean chest, box, or coffin.  In other words a place where you store something of value or of major importance that you want to remember.  Noah's Ark is an example.  God placed His most valuable possession in His tebah so that it would be remembered and saved. 364 days later the precious item was let out of the tebah.  But the word coffin could also be used for Noah's Ark.  Man died.  He was placed in a coffin.  But see what God did?  He raised man out of the coffin.  Man was resurrected.  An Old Testament historical event that is now symbolic of what will happen to man if he believes in the Son of God!  We will be resurrected.

The Ark of the Covenant is another example of this word.  God placed His valuable possession, His promise, and other items of value in His aron.  This chest or coffin was made of acacia wood, gold, and other items.  It was topped with a lid and on the lid is called the Mercy Seat.  On each side a cherub is sitting with its wings spread out.  Blood for sacrifices was poured out onto the left side of the Mercy Seat (symbolic of where Jesus sits compared to God the Father).  Blood is poured for the forgiveness of all our sins.  It provides the mercy we need to keep our relation with God.  Again, historic event but now symbolic for the Christian.  For Jesus still sits on the mercy seat and our sins our forgiven because of His blood that He poured our for us.

**But there is another symbolic yet real event that makes this even more of a great connection.  When Jesus was laid in the tomb of Joseph there had to be some blood that was left on the shroud that they covered him with.  Then on the day of resurrection Mary was there and saw the place where the shroud was left, empty.  But when she looked up she saw...two angels on both sides of the "coffin" or the ARK!**

The ark of the New Testament is surely Jesus but the symbol behind this is that the Ark of the New Covenant, or promise, is that because of Him we will be resurrected.  His blood was poured on the Mercy Seat once for all and now He sits at God's right hand (on the left).

**Inspired by Joseph Prince Ministries.


No Doubt said...

Good Morning Mr. Tim!

Your comparison of the Ark and its symbolism is good. I like. It reminds me of the Seven Levels of a Perfect Interpretation, where there are different ways to interpret the Word of God for the truth he is trying to convey to us. These truths must not conflict with other truths within the scriptures and must always be tethered to the literal truth. Your blog entry teeters between the symbolic and the figurative. Again, I like.

There are a couple items needing further discussion and/or clarification.

1. For todays believer, the original Ark still holds important and vital significance. It is needed for the fulfillment of the “Tribulation” temple prophecy, because it holds the ashes of the previous Red Heifer among other exciting items.

2. I would like more clarification on what you mean by, “But it also probably doesn't really matter since we are under a new covenant.”

Tim said...

I don't think it matters where it is. It is not for us to discover because for the NT Christian I don't think it bears any importance on how we live our lives. For the Jew is was a sign that God was with them (David bringing in the Ark and rejoicing), it was something to worship in front of and pour our sacrifices. We don't need any of that. Now if it fits into end time prophecy that is a different story. But for this lesson it doesn't change anything.

But it would be nice if Israel still had it or finds it again.

No Doubt said...

"I don't think it matters where it is"

I agree spiritually concerning the actual Ark. However, as to it's importance prophetically, I guess we will have to disagree.

Also, you didn't answer my last request, which is the basic exertion of your whole blog entry.

I would like more clarification on what you mean by, “But it also probably doesn't really matter since we are under a new covenant.”

Where in the Bible, does it say that we are under a new covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-34 prophesied that Mosaic covenant would be "refreshed". Y'shua indicated that the Mosaic Law would not pass away, until all has been fulfilled, or redone, and Shaul indicates the "new" covenant, spoken of by Jeremiah, was a testament, not a covenant. Just curious.

Tim said...

Sorry, I thought the answer went hand in hand with what I said, but I see there is space unfilled.

I would say Matthew 26:28 (Mark 14:24,Luke 22:20 for parallels) and 2 Corinthians 3:6 are two examples. I see the words testament and covenant as the same. In both stated passages the Greek word diathéké is used. And depending on which translation, both words are used in these passages. New does mean "refreshed". When is Mosaic Law going to be fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled does that mean we are still under the Law and grace means nothing?

No Doubt said...

The reason I asked is that there are some that believe in New Covenant Theology or Replacement Theology which teaches that the Old Testament Laws have been abrogated or cancelled with Jesus' crucifixion, and replaced with the Law of Christ of the New Covenant. In this, they use this position to say that God is done with the Jew and the Church is the new Jew, or the new Israel, which is not what the Bible teaches.

In today's christian church vernacular, testament and covenant has become to mean the same. However, that's not the their true meanings. Covenant means a binding agreement, where testament means a statement of facts, or beliefs. As you can see, they are quite different.

The Mosaic Covenant is still in effect for all believers. Y'shua came to correct the Jewish Leadership erroneous interpretation of the Law. Just like some christian leaders today, they made it into a works based covenant, not a faith based covenant, as it was designed.

It is true, as Shaul says, in Hebrews 10, that the covenant is passing away, or fulfilled. The key is that the verb here is actively passing away, which means that it is actively being fulfilled with every new believer.

What is not known is that it has been taught by a small remnant, in every generation of Jew, that there are three parts to the law, ceremonial, legal, and moral. Unfortunately, the Jewish leadership has made it practically all legal or works based. It is in the ceremonial, where it pointed to the absurdity of man sacrificing enough animals to sufficiently cover their sins. It's in the absurdity of the ceromony that points to only God being able to supply the sacrifice, capable of satisfying the redemptive requirements, of God.

Your thoughts?

Tim said...

I do not believe in the replacement theology. We were grafted in, adopted if you will, into the family. We have not replaced the children of God.

The English versions of the words are different. But do a study on the word diathéké. It is used for both in many cases. I of course may be wrong. Perhaps within each testament there is a covenant. If that is so then they would be inseparable but not necessarily interchangeable.

When you say Mosaic, are you saying, the Ten Commandments, the Law? Should we still be sacrificing? Stoning people? I don't think that is what you mean because your last paragraph would negate that thought but then it becomes unclear. Could you expand?

The OT would be works-based. Making atonement is how I see the OT as. And yes, if you did it then by faith in God then you would receive. Which probably was distorted by man. Receiving atonement is how I see the NT. Just by accepting righteousness you can receive atonement. Now still being distorted by man saying you have to do this and that still to be saved...by grace.

No Doubt said...

I have done a word study on diathéké, which could mean covenant or testament. However, if you dig into it, you will find that the word diatithēmi actually reflects the type of agreement that you are talking about, a binding agreement, which is what the Mosaic Covenant was and continues to be. However, as in Jeremiah 31, diathéké is a testament, a laying out of the facts as they have happen or how they are supposed to happen.

In modern day christianity, they start the prophecy of a new covenant at Jer 31:33, when in reality, it starts in Jer 31:27, which eliminates the whole misunderstanding. They do the same thing when they quote John 3:16, while ignoring the whole conversation Y'shua had with Nicodemus, but I'm getting off the subject. When can talk about that at another time.

Should we be stoning, sacrificing, etc? No. That was not what is was supposed to be. In Jer 31:32, it says, "...not in the way that your fathers cut it off or made it ineffectual." Look at the Hebrew. How many times did Y'shua show that it was misinterpreted, especially with the subject of the sabbath, stoning, eye for an eye, etc. He then turns around says, "Think not that I've come to do away with the Torah, no, I've come to fulfill, explain, complete your understanding or diathéké, lay out the real facts." He then says, "The Torah will not pass away until is completed, or truly written in the heart of all that would receive."

The Redemptive part of the Torah was not supposed to be work based. It was supposed to be acted out to show the absurdity of man being able to redeem himself. After a while, they became 613 mitzvot, then punishments were assigned to them by the Jews, not God.

Bottom Line is the Torah continues to teach us about Gods Love and Mercy and is applicable today as much as it was when given. If modern christianity is correct about their interpretation of the new convenant and the doing away of the Torah, then why didn't Y'shua or Shaul or one of the apostles tell us which ones were to be done away with? Finally, I feel disregarding the Ark is disregarding it's importance to prophecy. Doesn't Revelation tell us that, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." ?

By the way, I enjoy our discussions.

Tim said...

How can enjoy always being wrong? :)

I believe in studying the Torah, sure as well as the other parts of the OT. What would be the essence of the OT in one word? Prophecy? History? Law? Probably can't do it I would imagine because all 3 are important. Yes, the OT means laying down the facts but its focus is the Law. Because of their history came the Law. And because of the Law came prophecy. Because of Law came the NT and Christ. I believe the Torah, although being complete 100% true and historic, is just symbolic for us. As an example Ishmael and Hagar is an allegory. Not in historic sense but for us. It is for us to learn from. The Torah spells out Christ. We can read and see Him all throughout. So as I said earlier the two are not interchangeable but they are inseparable. The testimony surrounds the covenant. Same way the new testimony surrounds the new covenant of Christ's blood, once for all.

Hebrews also says in chapters chapter 7, 8, and 9 that there is a NEW covenant, there was a "first" covenant. None of which is talking about a "testimony" in context.

There weren't punishments laid out by God? Are you saying Moses added them?

I agree that the ceremonies and sacrifices were made blah by Israel but they were still commanded. Even Jesus did them.

Now back to the actual posting...

I don't disregard the Ark in the way you think. It was important for Israel. It is an allegory (of high importance) for us. It will be part of end time prophecy perhaps. But do we need to have it in front us (or behind a veil) for us to have redemption or to feel God's grace? I would say no. Don't miss the point of the post. Jesus is the new Ark of the Covenant.

Keep it going and pray for your forgiveness of being wrong :)

(all in fun people, all in fun)

No Doubt said...

"Don't miss the point of the post. Jesus is the new Ark of the Covenant."

It happens so rare, but you must have missed where I agreed and supported your supposition in my first comment.

The point that I took issue is where most christians erroneously drink the KoolAid of the false doctrine of the New or different covenant. One day, I will have to take you out to lunch again to explain. :-) LOL I think I paid last time. LOL Love You Brother.

Paul G said...

Hi Tim, well, I missed out on that debate :-(
but that was on 2015.

Tim said...

Still open... but there's nothing to debate :)

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