The Ark of the Testimony

Oh man, why are you here on this earth? What a question. This was the question that was posed to me in this message last night. Why are you here on this earth, for you or for the Lord?

In the Old Testament, the children of Israel had one function as they were wandering through the wilderness: They carried around the tabernacle. That was it, traveling around, wanderers. The main item in that tabernacle was the Ark of the Testimony. As we know, the Old Testament is a book of pictures, what is the reality of the Ark? The Ark represents Jesus Christ as the embodiment and presence of the Triune God.

The Ark was made of acacia wood, showing the strong, amazing, beautiful humanity of the Lord. It was overlaid with gold, which signifies the precious, shining divinity of the Lord. Within this Ark were the two tablets of the testimony. The ten commandments (check out my other post if you need a refresher on what those are all about) were a picture of what God is: Love, Light, Holiness, Righteousness. Christ is also the testimony of God, not a picture, but rather a living portrait. Within the Ark there was also Aaron’s rod that budded. This signifies Christ as the resurrection life to carry out a serving life that buds, blossoms, and bears fruit and fulfills God’s purpose. Finally, within the Ark, there was also the manna within the gold pot. This was precious to me. The manna, within the golden pot, within the ark, within the Holy of Holies. What is this?!?

Let’s take a look at this. The Holy of Holies is the deepest place within the tabernacle, where God’s Shekinah glory dwelt. Where is this place today? It is our regenerated human spirit! When we turn to our spirit, we can access the hidden manna, this personal, intimate, portion of Christ that can be assimilated by us to become our life and life supply.

How do we do this you say? Good question. Love. That’s the key. As this hymn states:

What e’er thou lovest, man/ that too become thou must;/ God if thou lovest God,/ Dust, if thou loves dust./ Go out, God will come in;/ Die thou and let Him live;/ Be not and He will be.

I found that the key to this message lay in the word “distance.” There must be no distance between us and the Lord. We must separate ourselves from everything else. When we draw near to the Lord, draw near to this wonderful Christ represented in the Ark of the Testimony, then we can partake of this life and live a life that fulfills God’s purpose. We can be a reproduction of the life that He lived on earth. A life in which there was nothing of Himself (Jn. 5:19), in which He did not do His own work (Jn 14:34, 17:4), in which He did not speak His own word (Jn 14:10, 24), which was not by His own will (Jn 5:30), and in which He did not seek His own glory (Jn 7:18). We must let this same life be our Christian work and service, our Christian life.

This, is the purpose of my Christian life and the reason for which I am here on this earth.

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The Center of the Universe

At an indeterminate point in a relatively distant past in what we can call null space there was an infinitesimally minute, invisible, pregnant dot. In it was contained every particle that has ever been, is, and ever will be of the matter that today makes up our universe.

At a time referred to by scientists as T=0, this pregnant dot began to expand in all directions at a rate so mind-bogglingly fast that in a fraction of a fraction of a second it was hundreds of thousands of light years across and exponentially heading faster and faster toward infinity.

Today, we don’t know too much about the mysteries hidden within the crevices of outer space, but we do know that it continues to expand, continually, constantly and forever. Meaning what? That the universe has no end. It is not a lot of stars and planets and floating matter clothed in darkness “hanging” in some “closet” called space. You cannot, no matter how many googles of light years you travel, somehow make it to the end and “peak” through the curtains to see what’s in the great beyond.

So, now that you are thinking about the extreme and utter unendingness of the universe we so egocentrically call our own, let me push your mind just a little further. Do you realize that, though it may have no end, the universe does have a center and absolute focal point?

There is one thing which is the center, meaning, and reality of the universe.

Maybe you’d think that I, like the non-scientists of yesteryear would consider the earth as the holding center of the universe. Or maybe you’d consider me to be more anthropocentric; but, let me declare to you that man, himself, alone is but an empty vessel, his life devoid of meaning, his labor and work but a vanity of vanities and a chasing after wind.

What, then, is the center of the universe?

It is our human spirit.

Zechariah 12:1 states, “Thus declares Jehovah who stretches forth the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.”

Our human spirit is the meeting point between God and man. It is the point of contact. It is the way to not only touch and know God but also to receive and contain Him.

It is through man’s contacting and receiving God by the exercise of his human spirit that man, the clay vessel becomes a clay vessel containing a marvelous, precious, invaluable treasure. This gives man’s life meaning and what’s more this gives meaning to the entire, expansive universe.

Man was created to contain and express God, to express Him in all His divine attributes, particularly in His love, light, holiness, and righteousness but also in all those that derive from them among them: kindness, justice, tenderness, responsibility, sympathy, empathy, joy, magnanimity, forbearance, fineness, longsuffering…the list has the potential of being as long as the universe is big. This kind of man is the expression of God, the testimony of God to his fellow-man, to all of creation, to the principalities and powers in the spiritual realm, and to the entire universe. Such a man gives God the standing to declare to the far reaches of the universe His wisdom, sovereignty, and greatness.