Revelation Chapter 11
The Seventh Trumpet
As explained by Brother Frank Shallieu in The Keys of Revelation
VERSE 19 continued “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, thundering’s, an earthquake, and great hail.”
The Journeying Ark and the House of Rest
The Ark of the Covenant or “Ark of the Testimony” was the only article of furniture in the Most Holy (Heb. 9:2–4). Its name suggests that it illustrated the embodiment of Jehovah’s plan, which He had purposed in Himself before the beginning of His creation—before even the minutest development of His plan had taken place. In other words, the ark is a miniature representation of the eternal purpose of God—His foreordained arrangement of riches of grace for mankind in The Christ (head and body)— “the hidden mystery.” The ark is the world’s hope chest, in which all the good things of God are stored up.
The receptacle or treasure chest itself represents the true Church, and its propitiatory cover or lid symbolizes Christ, the head of that Church, which is his body. Just as the Ark of the Covenant led the nation of Israel into the Promised Land (Num. 10:33–36), so a secondary application of its spiritual counterpart will lead the world into an earthly paradise.
But the first and primary symbolism pertains to the Gospel Age. The ark has not yet entered the Most Holy, and it will not symbolically do so until the last members of the Very Elect have passed beyond the veil of human experience.
On the Chart of the Ages, the ark (to the far right) is pictured as already being in the Most Holy because that is the objective, the finished picture. At present, however, the ark is still in the journeying process. It is being borne along and will enter the temple condition when the last of the feet members of The Christ finish their earthly course, when the blood of the second offering of the Day of Atonement is applied to the mercy seat (Lev. 16:15).
(See “The Great Day of Atonement, Part 3)
In a practical manner of speaking, the true Church is temporarily in a fleshly “tent” or “tabernacling” condition.
Therefore, when Paul states, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God” (1 Cor. 3:16), he is reminding the brotherhood of their holy calling to be God’s future temple.
Similarly, when Peter declares, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9), he is far from stating that the Church is currently reigning; rather, he is referring to the hope of their calling. It is in this sense that certain Scriptures give the temple illustration a present application. Whether individuals are faithful or not, God will have a qualified holy priesthood.
Although the temple and the ark both picture the Church, the symbols are used in an accommodated sense. The work or coming judgment that God has determined is being held in abeyance. It cannot be executed because the ark is not in His holy temple yet. When it is, much turbulence will ensue. To differentiate between the temple and the Ark of the Testament, both of which picture the Church: The temple is more the fixed structure and organizational authority that God has purposed for the future, whereas the ark pictures the progressive nature of the fulfillment of that purpose.
Verse 19 informs the Lord’s people that after the temple of God is opened in heaven and the ark is seen within, then will come the trouble. Thus, a relationship exists between the exposed ark and the events that immediately follow. When the journeying ark enters its haven of rest, then will come the “lightnings, and voices, and thundering’s, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
The “Testament” of the Ark of the Covenant
A testament is related to a covenant, and yet there is a distinction, for a testament implies there are a testator and a death. A testament or will is read after the death of the testator, who is usually, but not always, the writer of the will. It is true that sometimes a will or testament is called a covenant, but a covenant can also be a promise, which would not necessarily involve the thought of death.
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His testament was seen in His temple…”
The word “testament” is most appropriate in Verse 19 because it signifies the necessity of the death of the testator, the death of The Christ, before the New Covenant can go into operation. But since “covenant” and “testament” in the scriptural sense are somewhat synonymous and interchangeable, another picture is brought to mind; namely, Verse 19 also alludes to Exodus 19; 20:18.
At the inauguration of the Law Covenant (a prototype of the New Covenant), there were darkness (a thick cloud); fire; a long and continuous trumpet sound, not blown by man, that waxed louder and louder; an earthquake; and lightnings. When the New Covenant is made with the house of Israel (Jer. 31:31–34), not only will it be preceded by miraculous manifestations, but also it will be inaugurated with blood atonement. In other words, when The Testator dies, the blood will be applied and sprinkled on behalf of the people—but trouble will precede this blessing.
Continued with next post.
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