A continuation of chapter 11:19
John sees the temple in heaven (v. 19), with the Ark of the testament inside. The purpose of this vision is to reassure the remnant of God’s faithfulness. They will be able to connect God’s mighty working with the Ark. There are five names given to the ark in the Old Testament.
1. The Ark of the Covenant. It contained the tables of
2. The ark of Testimony. It testified to God’s presence
3. The ark of God. It was a visible reminder of His
4. The ark of God’s Strength. Many mighty works are
connected to it.
5. The Holy Ark. It was where the mercy seat was located, and their God met in holiness with Israel.
The Ark was a box measuring 5 ft. 2 ½ in. long x 37 ½ in. wide x 37 ½ in. high. (See Exodus 25:10.) It was made of acacia wood and overlaid within and without with gold. Inside the box were three items of memorial. The two tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments constituted the “testimony” or evidence of God’s covenant with Israel. The other items were manna, the bread from heaven, and Aaron’s almond-rod that budded.
Some writers erroneously believe that the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was taken up to heaven by visiting cherubim. Ezekiel 11:23 is cited as a departure of the Ark to heaven. Someone has watched Indiana Jones one time too many times.
The teaching that this ark in heaven is the Ark of the Old Testament is pure conjecture. There is not one verse of Scripture that remotely suggests such an idea. In fact, it would be contrary to Scripture. The ark was made of perishable materials, wood and gold. All items in the earthly tabernacle were only copies. This Ark in heaven, seen by John, existed long before Moses ever gave the blueprints to Bezaleel. Shall we assume that the Candlestick and the rod of Moses are in heaven also?
John has already mentioned the throne, the sea of glass, the altar of incense; and now he sees the ark. All these, and much more, are in heaven and are called “the true.” None were taken to heaven by UFO’s or aliens. Hebrews 9:23-24 says, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
Verse 19 takes in chapter 16:1 through 18:24. Chapter 12, 13, and 14 are parenthetical and are necessary to the understanding of the vials.
The voices, the thundering, the lightning, and the earthquake are all mentioned to describe the awful intensity of the seven vials quickly to follow.
A Parenthetical Section
The Fourth Vision
This is the fourth vision in heaven and deals with the age-old conflict between the Dragon and the Woman.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” (Revelation 12:1-2).
his passage is a quick glance back to the beginning of the satanic plan against Israel and her Seed. (See Genesis 3:15.) After a quick overview the writer brings you back to the mid-point of the Tribulation and takes you through the Great Tribulation one more time, with the satanic plan in view. This vision is the Scope of the satanic plan.
The “woman” of this chapter is none other than the nation of Israel and her remnant. Not by any stretch of the imagination is she Mary, the Roman Catholic Church, the protestant church, or Mary Baker Eddy!
She is a “sign” which depicts Israel and her conflict with Satan. The “sign” is clear. (See Genesis 37:9-10.) Joseph had two dreams, which were a prophecy of Christ who was rejected by His brethren, sentenced to death, raised to life, and will be recognized by Israel and reign over them at His Second Advent.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.