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Exploring Revelation
5710
“Revelation 11:19”
by Art Sadlier   
March 8th, 2009

I would remind you that the chapter and verse divisions are not inspired, they were added later, they are very helpful but not inspired. Verse 19 in chapter 11 should really be the first verse in chapter 12. "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail", Rev. 11:19.

We are now entering a new prophecy which continues through chapter 14. This new section deals mainly with Israel. The ark of the covenant has to do with Israel, not with the gentiles or the church. It begins with, "The temple of God was opened in heaven". The book of Revelation is a book of openings or unveilings.

There are seven great openings in the book of Revelation which are not found anywhere else in scripture.

A door is opened in heaven-4:1   The seals are opened-6:1 to 8:1   The abyss is opened-9:2   The temple of God is opened-11:19   The tabernacle of testimony is opened-15:5   The heaven is opened-19:11   The books of judgment are opened-20:12

The temple in Jerusalem was patterned after the true temple which is in heaven, Exod. 25:40.  In Hebrews we read, "patterns of things in the heavens", 9:23. The earthly worship was patterned  after the worship that takes place in heaven. Sin, of course, corrupted the earthly worship. When John saw the holy city coming down out of heaven, Rev. 21:2, he pointedly said, "I saw no temple therein", 21:22. When sin is gone in that glorious age, we will worship God from pure hearts and we will worship Him directly, with no need of a temple. This is true for us today, though we must not neglect corporate worship, Heb. 10:25. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth", John 4:24. That is not yet true for Israel, it will be some day, though the some temple worship will be retained as a memorial. See Jeremiah 3:16, I believe when Christ sits on the throne in Jerusalem, He will be the fulfilment of the temple and worship be consummated in Him. He will replace the temple which was a type of Christ in the first place.

"There was seen in His temple the ark of His testament:", the ark was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. It was the only piece of furniture in the holy of holies. There are five names given to it in the Old Testament. It was called the "ark of the covenant", because the two tables of the O.T. covenant were kept in it.  It was called the "ark of testimony", because it testified of God's holiness and man's sin and of Christ in His deity and humanity as the mediator between God and man, Exod.25:22. It was called the "ark of God", because it was the only visible throne of God, I Sam. 3:3.

Understand that when the instructions were given for the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, God began with the ark and finished with the gate This simply indicating that God began from within himself and worked out toward man. Salvation is of God, man receives it by faith, but he has no part in its provision, salvation is all of God. It is called the "ark of God's strength" because of the miracles and mighty associated with it, Psalm. 132:8. It was called the "holy ark" because it was God's throne, God actually dwelt between the two cherubims, where Moses actually met with Him and communed with Him.

One of the purposes of the ark was to protect and preserve its contents, the same as Noah's ark and the arc that Moses was placed into.  We have a beautiful reminder that we have been placed in Christ, the place of safety.

All of this to remind us that this next section of the book deals with Israel. Next we will begin our study of chapter twelve.

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