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The Three Arches
THE ARCH OF SAFETY-This is the first ark, or, as it is commonly called, the ark of Noah was constructed by Shem, Ham and Japhet, under the direction of Noah, and in obedience to the command of God.
THE ARK OF ALLIANCE-The second Ark, or ark of alliance, was constructed by Moses, Aholiab, and Bezealeel, in accordance with the pattern given by God. It was the first constructed, as it was the first in importance, of all the furniture in the tabernacle. Its chief use seems to have been to contain, inviolate, the Divine autograph of the two table, and to serve as the visible seat of the Divine Presence. It was also a pledge to the people of Israel of the solemn covenant which God had made with his chosen servants.
THE ARK OF IMITATION-Here, we have an allusion to the third ark, which fills so important a place among the relics and symbols of the higher degrees of Freemasonry; and concerning which the Fraternity possess so many interesting traditions. It was an exact copy of the Ark of the Covenant, and, after its recovery, was placed in the sanctuary of the new tabernacle by Joshua, Zerubbabel, and Haggai.
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT, A MOST HOLY VESSEL!!!!!!!!
The ark was made of shittim wood overlaid with gold inside and outside. Shittim wood (sometimes called iron wood) is of the acacia family, of which there are many varieties. The shittim tree, said to reach a maximum height of about 25ft, does produce some valuable timber. It is a hard wood, resistant enough to heat and decay that is has been described as indestructible. Such durability appropriately typifies the incorruptible body of Jesus, prepared for his incarnation (Heb. 10:5). As it is written, "neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27; 13:35).
The Ark, completely overlaid with gold within and without, reminds us that Jesus retained full deity in union with His humanity. Throughout the Tabernacle, wood typifies His humanity and gold with His deity. Though He had voluntarily emptied Himself of some of the unique attributes and prerogatives of Deity (Phil. 2:6-8), "to be like unto His brethren" (Heb. 2: 17), He was nonetheless God, even in the flesh.
To be our Daysman (Job. 9:33) Christ needed to be equally representative of God and man. No one but Jesus ever qualified to thus bring God and man together. He was not a hybrid (half God and half man), but He was fully God and fully Man. In fact, had been less than God, his sacrifice would not have sufficed for the atonement; and He had not been full man, the atonement would not have applied to Him. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels (consequently atonement does not apply to angels); but he took on him the seed
of Abraham" (Heb. 2: 16) "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people".
The Ark especially emphasizes the PERSON of Jesus, while the Mercy Seat emphasizes His PURPOSE. The efficacy and validity of the atonement rest equally upon His Godhood and His Manhood. Both are absolutely essential as a BASE for the Mercy Seat. The crown of gold upon the Ark (Ex. 25: 11) foreshadows ''the man Christ Jesus", promoted and EXALTED AS "KING OS KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Rev. 19:16).
The contents of the Ark and their symbolism are explained as such, the Tablets of Stones (called the Testimony-Ex. 25:16) with the Ten Commandments engraved in stone, represent God's Law. The Golden pot of Manna (Ex. 16:32,33) typifies Christ as the Bread of Life, eight times declared to be the true Bread that came down from the heaven (John. 6:32-35, 48-58). Arron's Rod that budded depicts Resurrection: Life out of death. Violating the Holiness of the Ark was punishable by death (Denying the Deity of Christ may be eternally FATAL!) Two other Arks also typified Christ; Noah's Ark (Gen 6:7) and the Ark of Bulrushses (Ex. 2:3)!!!!
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