Joseph Prince - Christ Revealed In The Ark Of The Covenant
I wanna tell you this, the ark is God's best holy furniture in the tabernacle to portray the person and the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, some of you are asking, "Why is it so important for us to see Jesus? What has that got to do with my marriage? What has seeing Jesus gotta do with my financial life? What has that gotta do with career, my ministry, my calling? What has that got do with me parenting as a parent"? It's got everything to do and more, not only for this life but for the life to come, amen. It gives you a perspective. Doesn't mean that God does something or gives you a miracle all the time, but sometime God gives you wisdom to see what is going on in the world, for example, so that you do not despair like people of the world.
So, the ark of the covenant of the Lord, once again for the benefit of those who are just introduced to this, you know what? Let's watch this video of how it's made, the wood and the gold and we'll see this acacia wood, incorruptible wood, a picture of Jesus's humanity overlaid with gold, his deity, Jesus's person, hundred percent God, gold, hundred percent man, wood. The staves also wood and gold. And then the lid is made of one solid slab of gold beaten and this is the work of Jesus because every year during Yom Kippur, blood is put on the mercy seat, all right?
This is the mercy seat. Say, "mercy seat". The crown represents the kingly work of our Lord Jesus Christ. There's a crown around the mercy seat. The two cherubim represents God's judicial righteousness because the first time cherubim is mentioned, it says that they stood guard, all right, over God's holiness and righteousness and forbade Adam and Eve or any other person from then on to come in, into paradise. So, they are guardians of God's righteousness. But once a year when blood is placed here, amen, notice the gaze of the cherubim. They look at the blood. So, what's inside of the chest inside the ark? We all wanna know every since "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Harrison Ford, okay? I mean, at least he knows enough not to look into the ark but it's not as horrible as they make it out to be. It is glorious, amen?
These are the three items that came out of the ark. I'm gonna show you a video right now and before you ask me why it is this color, I'll explain later, okay? So, first you have golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two stones, all right, sapphire stone. Now, all these three items represent men's rebellion and God says put them all in the ark. And once a year, the high priest enters the Holy of Holies, the Kodesh HaKodashim, in Hebrew, the Holy of Holies and sprinkles blood, and when he sprinkles blood notice the gaze of the cherubim. The cherubim's gaze is fixed on the blood. So, this time, they're not fixed on man's rebellion against God where they have to produce judgment like in the Garden of Eden they hold a sword, all right?
Now their eyes are fixed, transfixed on the blood. In other words, they represent God's judicial righteousness. When God's eyes sees blood, innocent blood, his son's blood, God cannot see beyond the blood to your sin. There's one thing God's eyes cannot penetrate, only one thing, his Son's blood. And God gave his Son for this purpose. So, God's holiness is maintained because Jesus died. His blood was shed. We cannot say that God says, "You know, never mind, you know, man has sinned but I love my Son too much". And he loved Jesus dearly. So, think about how much God loves you that God would give up his Son, amen? But God did not say that, "you know, I'll try another way to fix man's problem". No, there's no other way, amen? An angel cannot die for you, amen? An angel is no good. He might die for maybe one person but only an eternal person can die for all men if he becomes a man. He must have blood in his veins so that's why he became a baby, the story of Christmas, for the purpose of dying for us, amen?
So, God says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins". So, our eyes today must be fixed, not on the Ten Commandments, not on the elements of rebellion, but our eyes must be transfixed where the eyes of the cherubim that represent God's eyes are fixed. God looks at the blood, we look at the blood. When we come to God in worship, in praise, we look at the blood. The devil wants you to look at your faults. The devil wants you to look at your thoughts. Look at your thoughts just now. Look at what you thought to yourself just now about this person, that person. When you came in, you saw this person and you had this thought, this bad thought. Look at your emotions. How can you feel this way during praise and worship? He was always pointing you to yourself but God wants you to look at the blood. Let your eyes see what God's sees, the blood of Jesus, amen?
The more you look at the blood of Jesus, the more you confess, "Because he was made sin, I am made the righteousness of God in him". That's not pride. In order for you to say that, you are giving glory to Jesus. You are saying, "I cannot have my own righteousness from my own performance, from my own hands, from my own head, my own brilliance. All my righteousness is in Jesus. I'm righteous in him". Can I have a good amen? And that's why I'm saying this teaching of grace, proud people don't like it. I want to give you an instance right now when you push grace aside. Galatians chapter 5 says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace".
So, to be fallen from that means grace is a higher place! Christ becomes of no effect until whoever of you are justified by the law, by the Ten Commandments. Look at this, the law is in the chest. The mercy seat, grace, is higher. For you to go back to the law, you fall. "Remember from where you fell," Jesus said. That means you are in a higher ground. The enemy tricked you, deceived you and you fell. He enticed you by saying, "You can be holy, yeah, teach the Ten Commandments, teach a series". And the Bible says, "A ministry of death written and engraved on stones". You cannot say the law here is referring to the ceremonial killing of animals because the ceremonial killings of animals was never engraved on stones.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3, "The ministry of death engraved on stones". God calls it the ministry of death. If you teach a series every Sunday on it, you are killing your people slowly. And if you feel condemned, you feel condemned, you are killing your body even slowly. No friend, grace produces a holiness that is higher than that which man attempts by the law, hmm? Christ becomes of no effect. That's a terrible thing if you are sick and Christ becomes of no effect. You have a bad habit and Christ becomes of no effect. You are depressed and Christ becomes of no effect. He's in you, he's your Savior, but it becomes of no effect, why? Because at that moment, you are trusting your own efforts. You are trusting your own labor. You are trusting your law keeping.
You know I studied on this. And the Lord showed me this in the gospel of John there's one time they pushed the mercy seat, you know where? Look up here, John chapter 8. "Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say"? Who said that? The Pharisees. They brought a woman caught in adultery. Showed that woman unceremoniously in front of Jesus while Jesus was teaching the temple and they said, "Moses in the law, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stone. But what do you say"? So, they sounded like they are, they are what? They are fighters for the law, they are defenders of the law. Am I right?
It sounds like that, isn't it? Pretension, no they're pretending because if you really, really care, you will care for Jesus and his glory. What they are doing right now is Jesus at the mercy seat. You know what they're trying to do by this? They are trying to bring back the law. They are pushing Jesus. They are trying to push Jesus away at the mercy seat. They are, they're bringing back the law, hmm? "This they said, testing Him," not because they cared for her or they care for the law. "This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him".
You know something? Their generation is still around. There are people waiting to accuse me. Bring it on, amen? I know I'm in good company, and you are in another company. So, they want to accuse him, that's the whole purpose. It's not that they care for the law. But nonetheless, to bring the law means they push aside the mercy seat. Literally, they're pushing Jesus, but Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger as though he did not hear. Jesus stooped down, say, "Stooped down," and wrote on the ground. He didn't just write on the ground, he stopped down and wrote on the ground, okay, as though he did not hear. Verse 7, "So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.'"
So, did he break the law? No. In fact, he magnified the law, he upheld the law. Yeah, stone her, but only the one without sin throw the first stone. Did he love her? Yes. No one spoke like this man. "And again, he stooped down". Whoa, whoa, two stooping down and wrote on the ground, second time. Am I right? Am I right? Question, how many times did God write the Ten Commandments? Twice. God came down the mountain and wrote one time, then Moses came down the mountain before he can reach at the end of the mountain, the foot of the mountain, the people were worshiping the golden calf, and Moses knew better than to bring the law, all right, unhindered, okay, into the camp because it would destroy all those people.
So, he broke the Ten Commandments, and God did not, you know punish him. In fact, God sanctioned that. God saw that as protecting the people. They are not worthy, and then God said to Moses another time God says after that, you know, there was, there was judgment on those who worship the golden calf and all that, then come back to the mountain God says, "I'll give you another set. But this time, put these two tablets of stone in the ark".
So, the second time when he stooped down, first time he stooped down, it's pure law. Second time when he stooped down, it is grace, hallelujah, hallelujah. They tried to push aside the mercy seat so that the law can act upon that woman. And by the way, he did it in such a way, you know, they tried to put the law on the woman, Jesus put the law on them. "You want to boast about the law, I'll give you the full light of the law," amen. He say that, "He that's without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first". He shone the light on them. And the Bible says, "Those who heard it," verse 9, "being convicted by their conscience, went out," the light, they can't take it anymore, all right? They felt like, "Okay, it's time, I think my wife is cooking for me. I just forgot about it".
And, you know, they went out one by one beginning with the oldest, even to the last. And Jesus was left alone and the woman standing in the midst. Verse 10, "When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, Lord.'" You know, the Lord needs for you, why would he want to ask the woman a question? Because you must confess there's no condemnation, you understand? The Lord wants you to confess. It's obvious, isn't it? He looks around, there's no one, right, but he wants you to confess. "No one, Lord," she said. Notice she called him, she called him what? Lord. And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more".
So, the power to go and sin no more comes from, "Neither do I condemn you. There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus," Romans 8:1 and the whole chapter is full of victory ends with no separation from the love of God. It's only when we know there's no condemnation, we can go and sin no more. Then Jesus obviously walk out, all right, from that place to where the Pharisees all were. "Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world'", you must connect verse 12 with verse 11. It is a continuation. It says "then," whenever you find a "then," it's always a connection. That means he has something else to say to the Pharisees.
A lot of people when they share this story, they stop in verse 11, all right? I go to verse 12 because it's connection. He goes out and he tells them again saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life". Listen to what I'm saying, when he says that, oh, hallelujah, he's saying, "The light that I shine is not a light that makes you afraid to come into the Holy of Holies, that exposes your sins. No, the light that I shine, the one that follows me is not afraid to come near, you know why? Because the light will show how perfect my work is and how wonderfully clean you are that my blood has washed you with. I'm gonna show you my perfect work, all right, by you being in the light".
Many of us, we're afraid to come into the light because we are still Old Testament mentality. You know, we want to be like the people of Beth-shemesh. When people died, you know what they did? They called the people of Kiriath-Jearim to come and they said that, Beth-shemesh people say that, "You know, why don't you take the ark"? Like the Pharisees, the Philistines, excuse me, take the ark. And Abinadab, all right, a priest to the are to the hill and he was there for 20 years.
So people, they want to bring it back to the Philistines. They want the ark in their land. People want God's favor and blessing yet, they don't want to get close to God. Don't be that kind of Christian. What are you afraid of? What you're believing is a lie. You're not having a New Testament mentality. You think that the closer I come to God, you know, some don't even want to talk to God when they're sitting on their white throne, whatever color yours is. They are scared, what, "Very irreverent talk to God like that, or read my Bible when I'm in the toilet". Who told you that? It's the best time, man, amen. Come on, let go of the crap in your life. Pour out to God, amen, every which way, man. I mean, we have all kind of funny ideas.
Now, some people are very angry that I said that just now, right? I can sense it. Somebody said, "How dare he? Martha, did you hear what the boy said"? Amen, that's a boy, man, hallelujah. "Martha, do you hear what he said just now, hmm, hmm? Blasphemy, blasphemy. Stone him. Stone him. Stone him". No, come on. You think God wants you to feel spiritual once, once a week, and then come to church and then you worship him, and then you go back? Where do you think he is? This is not the church, you are the church. Hey, you know where he is on Monday? He's with you. He's with you in that HDB, wherever you are living in, he's there. Now, how do you feel now? It it there, but can I when I watch my Korean drama, can I ask him to just go to another room"?
We gotta learn to practice his presence and know there is no condemnation, but when he's with you, you know something? Sometimes he will talk to you about the show. Do you love him? And know this, the light of the world says, "He that follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life". I just want to tell you this, 1 John 1:7, a lot of people misconstrue that verse and I'll close this final verse. He says that, he that walks in the light as he is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. A lot of people say that, "Well, you see, we gotta walk in the light," as if walking in the light means you're fully obedient. But it doesn't say that. It says if you walk in the light as he is in the light. Can you ever be as fully obedient as him if that's your reasoning?
Another thing, if you say walking in the light means you are fully obedient, then why is the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us from all sin when we're walking in the light? So, it is not, listen, it is not walking in the light is not walking according to the light. Read carefully, the Greek word is in, walking in the light. That means if you're a Christian, he says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me, the believer shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life". You cannot walk in darkness you're a believer. Somebody can do darkness, but you're still in the light. Are you listening, people? You're not in darkness. You're not in darkness. You're always in the light, and the light that shines on you is to show how perfect his work is. Don't be afraid to come to him. Don't have an Old Testament mentality. "He's gonna show up my sins". Have a New Testament mentality. He has you on his breast, on his heart.
You know how the high priest carries all of you? Like diamonds, like gems, like sapphire, like ruby, you shine. When the light shines on precious stones, guess what. The stones reflect back. Am I right? The stones reflect back. So, think of yourself and those 12 tribes are inscribed on the high priest's heart. What is that a picture of, our high priest today? Our Lord Jesus has you on his heart. So, every time you talk about coming to God, see yourself reflecting his glory, amen, not exposing your sin, but reflecting his glory. The more you come, the more you live. Today's a new and living way. Under law, the more they come, chances are they might die because God Holy of Holiness, only a high priests can go in with great trepidation and great preparation. But now, the less you come, the more you die outside. It's a new and living way.
And the word "new" in the Greek is a freshly killed, it's like an animal that's freshly killed for the altar. It's our Lord Jesus, his blood has been freshly shed. The word new and living way, the word new is freshly killed. You must come to God as if Jesus died just now. You must come to God as if the sacrifice is so fresh and God sees you with favor now. And God sees the blood and God says, "What have you come for? How can I restrain from you, what my Son died to give you"? You must see, how will he not with him freely, free, freely give us all things if God gave us Jesus? Can I have a good amen. Give him praise. Come on, church. Praise the Lord, hallelujah.