Sermon #1710[1]                                                                    Miscellaneous Sermons


            Title:                           The Ark of the Covenant

            Text:                           Hebrews 9:1-5

            Subject:                     Christ Our Ark



Open your Bible to the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9. The purpose of the Holy Spirit in this chapter is threefold:


1.   To show the pre-eminence of Christ over the tabernacle, its furniture, its priesthood and its sacrifices. They were all fulfilled by him.

2.   To show how all ceremonies and services of the Levitical covenant were types and pictures of Christ, our only sin-atoning High Priest and Sacrifice, having no power in themselves to save (Heb. 10:1-4).


Hebrews 10:1-4 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”


3.   To show us that all the Levitical ceremonies, sacrifices and services of the first covenant have come to their appointed end (Heb. 10:9; Rom. 10:4).


Hebrews 10:9 “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”


Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”


Tonight, I want us to look at Hebrews 9:1-5. The Title of my message is The Ark of The Covenant.


Illustration: Raiders Of The Lost Ark


The ark of the covenant was the most sacred of all things in the Jewish worship of the Old Testament. If you could find that ark, what would you find? Read Hebrews 9:1-5.


Hebrews 9:1-5 “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. (2) For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. (3) And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; (4) Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; (5) And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”


Here the Apostle describes the tabernacle, the ark and those things which were in the ark.


  • The Golden Pot that had Manna.
  • Aaron’s Rod that budded.
  • The Tables of the Covenant.
  • The Cherubims of glory.
  • And the Mercy Seat.


Thank God, no one has ever found that ark! If anyone were the find it, foolish men and women would make an idol of it, make pagan pilgrimages to the “holy land” to see it, and worship it. But in its day, under the ceremonial, typical religious service of the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was one of those “ordinances of divine service” which beautifully typified and pictured the Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption by him (Rev. 11:19; 21:22).


Revelation 11:19 “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.”


Revelation 21:22 “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”


Tonight, I want to stir up our hearts to seek him of whom the ark speaks, the Lord Jesus Christ, by showing you what can be found in him.


All the “ordinances of divine service,” all the rites and ceremonies, and the “worldly sanctuary” itself, the tabernacle, were types of Christ. You will never understand the Old Testament Scriptures until you see that everything in the Old Testament Scriptures represents, points to, and pictures Christ, our Substitute (Luke. 24:27; 44-45).


Proposition: In our text this evening, the Holy Spirit uses the tabernacle and the furniture in it to show us the excellence, pre-eminence, and glory of Christ.


1.   The Tabernacle – Christ – Glorious within/Humble without.

2.   The Brazen Altar – Christ’s sufferings and death.

3.   The Laver – Christ our Fountain, opened for cleansing.

4.   The Candlestick – Christ the Light of the World.

5.   The Table of Showbread – Christ the Bread of Life.

6.   The Altar of Incense – Christ our Intercessor.

7.   The Veil – Christ the Door.

8.   The Ark of the Covenant – Christ our Reconciliation.


Tonight we will go into “the Holiest of all”, by the “golden censer” of our Savior’s merits, asking God to show us Christ our Ark, and let us see what can be found in the ark.


The ark of the covenant is a beautiful type of Christ. It was made out of shittim wood, overlaid on the inside and the outside with pure gold, representing both the incorruptible humanity and glorious deity of our Savior. The ark was the symbol of God’s holiness, power and glory. It was carried about from place to place upon the shoulders of the priests by staves, fitted into rings attached to the ark. Even so Christ is carried throughout the world upon the shoulders of chosen men through the preaching of the gospel.


I have preached several sermons, showing how that the ark is a type of Christ. But tonight, I want us to look inside the ark. What can be found in the ark, Christ Jesus?Six Things


God’s Preachers


I. If you could go behind the veil with the High Priest on the day of atonement, into the holy of holies, the very first thing that would strike our eyes would be “the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat.” — Those cherubs represent God’s preachers (Ex. 25:18-20; Ps. 80:1; Isa. 6:1-7).


Exodus 25:18-20 “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. (19) And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. (20) And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.”


Psalms 80:1 “O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.”


Isaiah 6:1-7 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”


We know that these cherubs represent gospel preachers because they are the same as those living creatures before God’s throne which John saw, when he was called up to heaven to behold the throne of God (Rev. 4:6-11).


Revelation 4:6-11 “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. (7) And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (8) And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (9) And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (10) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”


Now hear what I say. — It is not possible for a sinner to find, know, or come to God apart from the instrumentality of a gospel preacher (Rom. 10:14-17; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 1 Cor. 1:23; Heb. 4:12).


Romans 10:14-17 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”


Illustration: Philip and the Eunuch.


God’s preachers are not priests. We detest idolatrous priestcraft, be it Roman, Anglican, or Mormon. But God’s preachers are his angels, his messengers of mercy and grace to his people in this world. And they ought to be treated as such (Isa. 52:7).


Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”


·      Their eyes are always toward the Mercy-Seat!

·      Their message is the message of sins forgiven by blood atonement!

·      The glory of God is revealed by the message they proclaim!


God’s Propitiation


II. But, if we could step into the holy of holies, we would not look long at the cherubim. Their eyes, their faces, their wings direct your attention away from themselves to the mercy-seat. That mercy-seat represents Christ, God’s Propitiation (Ex. 25:17, 21-22; 1 John 4:9-10; Rom. 3:24-26). — In fact, the word translated “mercy-seat” is the same word that is commonly translated “propitiation.


Exodus 25:17 “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.”


Exodus 25:21-22 “And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. (22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”


Romans 3:24-26 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


1 John 4:9-10 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”


Illustrations:      Aaron on the Day of Atonement.

                                    The Publican.

                                                                  The One Room School

That is Propitiation.


The Mercy-Seat is the place of…(Heb. 9:12).

  • Substitution!
  • Sacrifice!
  • Satisfaction!


Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”


God’s Presence


III. Standing in the holiest of all with Christ, our Aaron, our great High Priest, suddenly, we realize that we are standing before the mercy-seat, the symbol of God’s presence.


With blood upon the mercy-seat, covering the broken tables of the law there we see the glory of God in the pardon of sin by the sacrifice of Christ (Lev. 9:23-24; Isa. 6:1-6; Ps. 85:9-11).


Leviticus 9:23-24 “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. (24) And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”


Psalms 85:9-11 “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. (10) Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (11) Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”


Isaiah 6:1-6 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:”


God not only meets us upon the mercy-seat In Christ, God abides with us. No matter where you are, if you are in Christ, the name of the place is Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there. Your life is hid with Christ in God! (Isa. 43:1-5).


Isaiah 43:1-5 “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;”


God’s Purpose.


IV. Now, let’s do by faith what no mortal man could ever do, let’s lift up the mercy-seat and look inside the ark. Remember now, I am talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. What do you see? I see the two tables of the law of God, which we have broken. The broken law, our sins, is under the mercy-seat, under the blood. This broken law, under the blood, represents God’s purpose.


·      The Law was written upon tables of stone, representing both the hardness of our hearts and the inflexibility of God’s law.

·      The law represents our curse and condemnation by reason of sin.

·      This law was always kept in the ark, under the mercy-seat (Ecc. 25:16, 21), representing perfect redemption by Christ.


Exodus 25:16 “And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.”


Exodus 25:21 “And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.”


·      And that perfect redemption of his elect is the purpose of God (Rom. 8:28-31).


Romans 8:28-31 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”


NOTE: The law of God, being perfectly satisfied by Christ, cries as strongly for our salvation as the grace of God. We are, in Christ, free from the law!


God’s Power.


V. Look again, there is something else inside the ark. There is Aaron’s rod that budded. That rod represents God’s power. Aaron’s rod that budded is the gospel of Christ, the Man whom God has chosen (Num. 17:10).


Numbers 17:10 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.”


  • Christ was smitten by Moses’ rod – The Law – The Rock.
  • The water of life flows out to sinners by Aaron’s rod – the Gospel.
  • The gospel of Christ is the power of God, before which Dagon must fall! (Rom. 1:16-17).


Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”


God’s Provision


VI. I see one more thing inside the ark, the golden pot which had manna. That golden pot of manna is a picture of Christ God’s provision. (Ex. 16:33-34).


Exodus 16:33-34 “And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. (34) As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.”

  • It was a golden pot.
  • It was a big pot – holding an omer of manna.
  • It had manna – The Bread of Heaven.


All God’s provision for sinners is in Christ Jesus. His name is Jehovah-jireh – The Lord will provide (Gen. 22:14; Eph. 1:3).

  • Provisions of Grace!
  • Provisions of Providence!
  • Provisions of Eternity!


Genesis 22:7-14 “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? (8) And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (9) And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. (10) And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. (11) And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. (12) And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. (13) And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. (14) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”


Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”


Application: Come to the Ark Christ Jesus!


1.   The way is open.

2.   All who come to God by Christ are forever saved!

3.   All you need, all God requires, all that heaven can bestow is in Christ, the Ark.






Don Fortner



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[1] Date:            Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Harrodsburg, KY – (11/17/07)

                        Danville (Sunday PM — 11/18/07)

Readings:   Darvin Pruitt and Ron Wood

Tape #Z-40b