Participants: Pr. Shawn Boonstra
Series Code: TPR
Program Code: TPR000001
01:09 Good evening everyone, and welcome to "The Presence",
01:12 here with Pastor Shawn Boonstra of the internationally acclaimed
01:16 "It is Written" TV program. I don't know if you know this
01:18 or not, but in 1956 a man by the name of George Vandeman
01:24 began a single TV program out of Fresno, California.
01:28 This year internationally, all over the world,
01:31 the "It is Written" telecast is celebrating their
01:33 50th anniversary, and we are very proud to be able
01:37 to bring to you tonight "The Presence", and I'd like
01:40 for you right now to please welcome Pastor Shawn Boonstra.
01:44 [Audience Claps]
01:53 Thank you so much
01:56 for coming to The Presence, and those of you who are joining
01:59 us by satellite TV around the world tonight,
02:02 I'm so glad that you've joined us for this special
02:05 5 night presentation. For 5 nights we are going
02:09 to unfold some of the most profound mysteries
02:12 of the ancient world, and night by night we're going to build
02:15 on the night that came before, you're going to want to come
02:18 to all 5 nights. I'm going to show you things
02:21 that many people may not have noticed, and I'm going to show
02:24 you things that a lot of the world today has missed
02:27 as they latch on to theories that are very popular
02:31 about the ancient world. In particular, I'm thinking
02:33 of things like the Da Vinci Code phenomenon,
02:36 and other popular movements that are afoot today.
02:40 We're going to open some of the most ancient documents
02:42 in the world together, and look at the truth about the roots
02:46 of the Christian movement, we're going to look at the truth
02:50 about a lot of things that a lot of people have simply
02:52 stopped talking about in recent years.
02:55 Each night we're going to delve a little bit deeper,
02:57 and you're going to want to save your lessons and study them
03:00 so that you'll be ready for the next nights meeting.
03:03 Now, tonight, because I represent "It is Written",
03:07 a Bible based program, and because I believe the Bible,
03:11 personally, to be the very word of God to the human race,
03:14 I always like to have a prayer before I examine
03:17 what it says, so I would invite you here, in the studio audience
03:21 and around the world tonight, to join me by bowing your heads
03:25 for just a moment.
03:27 Father in heaven, tonight we're delighted
03:29 with the opportunity of opening the Bible.
03:32 We believe in our hearts that when we read the Bible
03:35 we hear the voice of God, so it's my prayer tonight
03:39 that not only would we hear Your voice, that You
03:41 would bless me also so the things I say would be
03:45 a fitting representation of what You would have us know.
03:48 Bless our study, I ask in Jesus' name, amen.
03:54 You know, over the years the spade of the archeologist
03:58 has often turned up as many questions as it has answered.
04:02 Every time we find something about ancient civilizations,
04:06 it turns out the more we learn about that civilization,
04:09 the less we actually know about them.
04:12 Let me give you some examples of things that people
04:14 have discovered over the last century that nobody
04:17 has an explanation for. For example, since 1927
04:23 13 crystal skulls have been unearthed, ranging from
04:27 Central America down to the southern tip of South America.
04:32 Nobody knows who made these crystal skulls,
04:35 they are accurate in size, they are actually just like
04:39 a human skull, and they are so finely crafted that one of them
04:43 even has a moving jawbone that moves the way
04:46 an actual human jaw moves. Nobody knows who made these,
04:51 13 have been discovered, nobody knows why they were made,
04:54 were they a religious object? We don't know.
04:57 Were they used as decorations in people's homes
05:00 thousands of years ago? We don't know that either.
05:03 Or were they used in a classroom somewhere in the ancient world
05:06 as a science study for students studying
05:09 human anatomy; the truth is we haven't got a clue.
05:12 We don't know who made them, we don't know why
05:15 they made them, but that's not the only mystery that's come
05:18 to us from the ancient world, there are more.
05:21 In the 1920's, when airplanes started to go over the high
05:25 deserts of Peru, the passengers of the plane started to look
05:29 out of the windows down at the desert, and they noticed
05:32 something interesting: carved into the sands of the desert,
05:35 in a place that doesn't have much wind or rain, so things
05:38 stick around for a very long time, people look out
05:41 the windows and they saw these giant pictures etched
05:44 in the sand, some as big as 900 ft across.
05:49 There are giant spiders etched in the sand, giant birds
05:52 etched in the sand, lizards, monkeys, human hands,
05:57 900 ft across. The only place you can see
06:01 these drawing in the sand is from the air,
06:04 they're that big. Now, scientists have studied
06:07 these things and they've noted as far as they can tell,
06:09 that they were probably created between the years
06:12 200 B.C. and 600 A.D, I'm not sure how they determined that's
06:17 when they were made, but there's one thing they haven't
06:19 determined: who made them? They've discovered
06:22 a city nearby, but that city appears to have been
06:25 empty for the last 2000 years, so who are these people?
06:30 Why did they draw these giant pictures out in the desert?
06:34 Were they religious symbols? Was it just art?
06:37 Why were they so big? Why is it that you can only
06:40 see them from the air? Another giant mystery.
06:43 Nobody has an answer, and again, it's not the only mystery
06:46 from the ancient world. What about the giant stone balls
06:51 of Costa Rica. In the 1940's
06:54 the United Fruit Company, as they were digging
06:56 in the earth, stumbled across these perfect spherical
06:58 stone balls, some of them only 2 ft across, some of them
07:02 as big as 6 ft across. Who made them?
07:05 There's hundreds of them, why did they make them?
07:08 Were they just decoration?
07:09 Did they serve a religious purpose?
07:11 We're they a scientific experiment?
07:13 We haven't got a clue who made them or why,
07:16 it's just another big mystery, and again, it's not
07:19 the only one. What about Easter Island?
07:23 Here's this little island out in the Pacific Ocean,
07:26 it's 2300 miles from the nearest land,
07:30 it's closest neighbor is South America, and this island
07:33 isn't very big across, to find it on purpose is a hard thing
07:36 to do if you don't have navigational equipment.
07:39 You have to go a long way, 2300 miles in a canoe
07:43 in the ancient world, and land on a little island our there
07:46 just a couple of miles across. Yet in 1772 some sailors
07:50 did land there, and when they got there they discovered
07:53 something remarkable on this barren island:
07:55 somebody had erected giant human head statues
07:59 all around the perimeter of this island, some of them
08:02 as big as 10 tones of stone. Then they discovered
08:06 they had been cut out of a rock quarry in the middle
08:09 of the island. Somebody had cut these stones
08:12 in the middle of the island, there were still some stones
08:15 half carved in this quarry, they had taken these 10 ton
08:18 statues, somehow moved them to the edge of the island
08:22 and set them up. Who did that
08:25 out in the middle of nowhere? How did they do it?
08:27 How did they move 10 ton stones without any tools
08:30 or equipment to the edge of the island, and then set them up?
08:34 And furthermore, why would they do it?
08:36 Were they a religious symbol? Was this something that they
08:39 set up to scare off evil spirits?
08:42 Or was it there to discourage their enemies?
08:44 We haven't a clue. We don't know what
08:48 they are, or why they were put up,
08:50 it's another mystery from the ancient world,
08:51 but it's not the only one.
08:54 What about the the Piri Reis map?
08:57 How many of you have ever heard of the Piri Reis map?
08:59 There's one or 2 of you.
09:00 This is really strange. It's a map that's been painted
09:03 on a piece of gazelle skin, and we discovered it in 1929.
09:09 What's really strange about this map is that it's a map
09:13 that includes Antarctica.
09:16 Not only does it include Antarctica, this map
09:19 of Antarctica is Antarctica as it is without any ice on it.
09:23 Somehow, whoever painted this map knew what Antarctica
09:26 looked like underneath the ice, and tests that have been run
09:30 since reveal that they were completely accurate.
09:34 We've done hydro-sounding or whatever....don't take my
09:38 word for that, there's no such thing as hydro-sounding,
09:41 whatever it is that we've got down, we have seen
09:43 the stone under the ice. This map is entirely accurate.
09:47 We've dug into its history, we know that it was
09:49 composed by a Turkish admiral in 1513.
09:54 When somebody asked him where he got that map he said
09:56 "I compiled it from different sources."
09:59 So let me ask you, in 1513 how did he get a hold
10:02 of maps of Antarctica without any ice on it?
10:05 Where did he get it? In 1953 the US Navy
10:09 Hydrographic Bureau took a look at this map, and they said
10:13 it was absolutely accurate, and more than that,
10:16 the only way you could come up with a map like this
10:20 was through aerial surveillance.
10:22 How did they have that back in 1513?
10:25 It's a giant mystery, but it's not the only one.
10:28 What about the Mayan Calendar? We might want to think
10:31 of the ancients as very simple. primitive people,
10:34 and yet the Mayans composed calendars carved in stone
10:38 that accurately predicted the orbit of the planet Venus,
10:41 and also revealed when the planet Venus
10:44 would be in eclipse. How did they do that
10:46 all those thousands of years ago?
10:48 Who taught them that? Who made this stuff?
10:51 It's a huge mystery, and it seems to me that every time
10:54 we dig into the soil we come up with something else
10:58 we didn't know.
11:00 But you know what's more interesting than stuff we find
11:03 and can't explain? It's stuff we can explain,
11:07 but we can't find. Stuff like one of the biggest
11:11 mysteries of the ancient world - where is
11:15 the Ark of the Covenant? This was the most sacred
11:19 object that the ancient Jewish people had.
11:22 It was so sacred that they kept it inside their temple,
11:25 inside their sanctuary, in their innermost compartment,
11:28 known as the Most Holy Place, where few mortal eyes
11:32 would ever see it, and no human fingers would ever touch it.
11:36 It was just a simple wooden box overlaid with gold.
11:40 It had a pure gold lid on it, and then 2 angels on top
11:44 out of beaten gold, whose wings touched above
11:46 the Ark of the Covenant.
11:48 This item was so sacred that even the priests themselves
11:53 would not touch it. The Israelites had this item
11:57 in their possession for century after century,
12:01 and then all of a sudden it disappears.
12:05 It is absolutely gone, vanished without a trace.
12:09 The most important artifact in the ancient world,
12:11 and today we haven't got a clue where it is.
12:15 How does that happen? The last we hear
12:19 of the Ark of the Covenant is just before the Babylonian
12:23 invasion of Israel about 600 years before Christ.
12:28 Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, marches on Jerusalem,
12:31 he destroys the temple, he sacks it, he takes the Israelite
12:35 people captive, and he marches them some 1500 miles
12:39 back to Babylon, and at the same time
12:44 the Ark of Covenant simply disappears, and nobody says
12:48 a word about it; there is no record, not even in the Bible,
12:51 of where it went, or why it's gone.
12:54 The Bible simply stops talking about it, and you don't see it
12:58 again after the Babylonian invasion of Israel.
13:02 It's just gone.
13:05 And today, we haven't got a clue where it is.
13:10 That doesn't mean that people haven't come up
13:12 with some theories about where the Ark went.
13:14 Some people say that the Ark was destroyed or taken
13:18 away by the Babylonians when they marched back
13:20 to Babylon. This theory isn't very common,
13:23 and it's not very common because it's frankly
13:25 not very likely. The problem with the theory
13:28 is this: if the Babylonians actually had
13:31 the Ark of the Covenant, they would have told the whole world
13:34 about it. In the ancient world
13:36 if you captured a religious relic from your enemy,
13:39 you bragged about it day and night.
13:42 I can think of several examples: in the Bible there was
13:45 an occasion where the tribe of the Philistines
13:48 actually captures the Ark of the Covenant, the Israelites
13:51 had foolishly taken it into battle, and they'd done it
13:55 for the wrong reasons, and the Philistines captured it
13:58 and they were so delighted, they brought it back
14:00 to their own temple to the Pagan god, Dagon.
14:05 Dagon was the fish god. They believed,
14:08 some of the ancient tribes, that when the sun set at night,
14:11 the sun became a giant fish and it swam under the earth,
14:14 came up again in the morning and became the sun.
14:17 Dagon was the fish God, and they were so enamored
14:20 with the fact that they had captured the Ark of the Covenant
14:23 they brought it into the temple of Dagon
14:25 and presented it to their god. They bragged about the fact
14:29 that they had actually captured the Ark of the Covenant.
14:31 Anybody who captured something that valuable would brag
14:34 about it. Another example: the romans.
14:37 The Romans destroyed the temple in 70 A.D. in the city
14:42 of Jerusalem, and they bragged about the fact that they
14:45 did that, in fact, today when you go to the city of Rome
14:49 and you visit the old Roman Forum, the ancient city
14:52 of Rome, over on the edge nearest to the Colosseum
14:56 is an arch built by Titus, the man who conquered Jerusalem
15:00 in 70 A.D. And as you step inside that arch
15:03 you look up over your left shoulder, you see a fresco
15:07 carved into the stone of a bunch of people carring a 7 branched
15:11 candle stick away. Why is it there?
15:14 They're bragging about the fact that they had conquered
15:16 the temple and they were leaving with some of the furniture
15:19 out of the temple. Everybody that caught
15:21 anything that is significant in a battle, bragged about it
15:25 to the whole world. They wanted the world to know
15:28 that their gods were greater than the God of Israel,
15:30 or so they thought. So, if the Babylonians had
15:34 actually captured the Ark of the Covenant they would have
15:37 told the whole world about it. We would have heard no end
15:40 of bragging about the fact that Nebuchadnezzar had the Ark.
15:43 But there's nothing, there's absolute silence in the Bible
15:47 about the Ark of the Covenant, even in Daniel 5 where
15:51 the Babylonian king, Belshazzar, throws a party showing
15:55 how powerful Babylon is, he sends for all the vessels
15:58 and furniture and things that have been taken
16:00 out of the Israelite temple, and he brings them into the party,
16:04 and it tells you what be brought into the party:
16:06 the vessels, the dishes, and so on, but there's absolutely
16:09 no mention of the Ark of the Covenant.
16:12 You can be sure that if the Babylonians had it
16:15 they would have bragged about it.
16:17 Theory #1 - the Babylonians took it or destroyed it:
16:20 probably false. Theory #2:
16:23 a book came out some years ago called "The Sign and The Seal"
16:26 by a man by the name of Graham Hancock.
16:29 He tells the story about how some years ago
16:32 as we explored in the region of Africa, and we went
16:35 into Ethiopia, we discovered a group of people
16:38 who lived the Jewish religion. More so, they lived in ancient
16:42 form of the Jewish religion with all of its holidays
16:45 and customs, they're known as the Felashas.
16:49 Now, the Felashas claim that they have the Ark
16:52 of the Covenant in their possession in Ethiopia,
16:55 and how do they say they got the Ark of the Covenant?
16:59 Very simple. The Bible tells a story
17:01 in 1 Kings 10 of Solomon, King of Israel,
17:05 meeting the Queen of Sheba, from Ethiopia,
17:08 a beautiful woman. That's where the Bible
17:11 leaves us with the story. The Felashas fill in the details
17:14 for us, or what they consider to be the details.
17:17 They say that Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had
17:20 a son together, and the son went back from Israel
17:23 to live in Ethiopia, and because he was leaving
17:26 Solomon had a replica of the Ark of the Covenant
17:29 made for him as a gift so he could take it back
17:31 to Ethiopia. The priests knew what Solomon
17:34 had done, and because they were worried how the Israelites
17:38 were degrading in their moral standards and becoming
17:41 more desperately wicked with each passing year,
17:43 they, at a secret time, switched the real Ark with the replica,
17:48 so that the Israelites had the fake Ark, and the real one
17:51 went to Ethiopia. Today, the Felashas will tell
17:54 you that the Ark is in Ethiopia in a certain building,
17:58 the question is: do they really have it?
18:01 We don't know.
18:03 On occasion, I've seen the old black and white photos,
18:05 they don't do it any more, on occasion they will parade
18:08 something, or used to parade something through the streets
18:11 and claim it was the Ark of the Covenant,
18:13 but it's always under some big blanket so you can't see
18:16 what's underneath, and I suspect there's a good reason
18:19 it's under a blanket so that you can't see what's underneath.
18:22 I suspect it's because they don't have
18:26 the Ark of the Covenant.
18:28 Theory #3 - this one is the most likely one.
18:33 Some people say that Jeremiah the Prophet took the Ark
18:36 and hid it on a mountain, probably Mount Nebo,
18:40 which is the place that Moses climbed to look
18:42 at the Promised Land that he was about to inherit,
18:46 along with the children of Israel.
18:47 Of course, we known that Moses himself didn't inherit that.
18:50 Mount Nebo; Jeremiah takes the Ark, he hides it
18:53 on Mount Nebo. Some people say
18:55 "No, not Mount Nebo, he hid it under the temple mount",
18:58 the place where the Dome of the Rock is today.
19:01 Other people say "No, it's not the temple mount,"
19:03 "it's hidden underneath Mount Calvary."
19:06 Now, this theory that it was hidden in a cave in a mountain
19:09 is probably the most likely, and it's the story
19:14 that Jewish history actually substantiates.
19:18 We have a record of this event in the old historical
19:21 Jewish book of the Maccabees. The Maccabees, these books
19:25 are not Scripture, they are what some people call
19:28 the deuterocanonical books, and other call the Apocrypha books,
19:32 and they give us a fairly reliable history
19:35 of the Jewish people. Here's what they say
19:38 in 2 Maccabees 2, here's what it says happened
19:41 to the Ark of the Covenant. [text on screen]
20:36 That's the most likely theory.
20:37 Jeremiah hides the Ark in a mountain, his friends try
20:41 to mark the way to the mountain and he says:
20:43 "Nobody makes a note of where we hid this thing,"
20:46 "it stays hidden until God chooses to bring it back"
20:49 "out of hiding."
20:51 This is the most likely theory, but you want to know
20:56 the truth? We haven't got a clue
21:01 where the Ark of the Covenant is.
21:03 We don't know anything for sure, and that's because frankly,
21:07 nobody has ever found it. Would it be nice to find it?
21:13 Yes, it would be very nice to find it.
21:16 But you know, the question that worries me more tonight
21:18 is not where it the Ark? The question I want you
21:21 to think about tonight is this one: why is it so important?
21:26 Why do so many people want to find the Ark?
21:29 What's so special about this piece of furniture?
21:32 Are those who are looking for it looking for it because
21:34 of all the gold on it? Probably not because it would
21:38 cost you more to mount an expedition to find
21:41 the Ark of the Covenant than the gold itself on it
21:44 would be worth. It's not just about the gold.
21:47 It's not just about its antique value.
21:50 There is something about the Ark that makes it very special.
21:54 People are fascinated by it. What is so special
21:59 about the Ark? What exactly was this piece
22:02 of furniture? Over the years a lot of people
22:06 have tried to explain what the Ark of the Covenant is,
22:09 and I have seen some of the goofiest, whackiest theories
22:12 in the world about what the Ark of the Covenant was.
22:15 Let me show you some of those theories.
22:18 In the 1960's this book came out called: [text on screen]
22:23 by Erich Von Daniken, anyone ever heard
22:25 of the "Chariots of the Gods"? You don't want to admit it
22:27 in front of all your friends, but you read, didn't you?
22:30 I read this book when I was a kid.
22:32 I found it in a used book pile and I snuck it home,
22:35 and unbeknownst to my parents I read this book.
22:37 I discovered that he had an interesting premise.
22:39 He said we are not the product of creation, human beings,
22:43 he also said we're not exactly the product of evolution either,
22:46 do you know what he said? He said that we are
22:49 the product of alien experimentation thousands
22:52 of years ago, where UFOs came down to this earth
22:55 and made human beings as a genetic experiment.
22:58 Now, I took that book to school, I had the good fortune
23:01 of going to a Christian school as a boy,
23:02 and I waved it around on time in show and tell:
23:04 "Teacher", I said, "guess what I discovered: we're all aliens."
23:08 [Audience laughs]
23:10 Now, knowing me, she believed it.
23:13 "We're all aliens teacher, you know that flying saucer"
23:15 "in Ezekiel, that wheel within a wheel..."
23:17 The teacher said: "What did you call it?"
23:19 I said: "A flying saucer, and it had eyes on it,"
23:21 "those were the landing lights." I spent the whole afternoon
23:24 writing on the chalk board: "I will not doubt"
23:26 "the book of Ezekiel. I will not doubt the book of Ezekiel."
23:30 And I haven't doubted it since, she made me write it out
23:32 500 times. Now, in this book,
23:35 Eric Von Daniken, with his theory that we're all
23:37 the product of alien experimentation said this
23:40 about the Ark of the Covenant, page 40: [text on screen]
24:21 That's good advice, he tells people "why don't you"
24:23 "check the Bible to see how it was built", then notice
24:26 what he says: [text on screen]
24:38 He tells us "go check the Bible" but at the same time
24:41 he says "I haven't actually read what the Bible says,"
24:43 "but it was a 2 way radio for Moses to communicate"
24:46 "with aliens." Well, that's 1 theory.
24:50 Another theory came out in the 1980s that, fortunately,
24:52 not a lot of people took seriously because it was just
24:54 done in fun, there was a movie that came out in the 1980s
24:56 by Steven Spielberg called: [text on screen]
25:00 And he said that the Ark was a mysterious power generator
25:03 that the Nazis were after to help them win World War II,
25:07 and at the end of that film somebody foolishly
25:09 opens the Ark and a bunch of demons come out,
25:11 and there's this great big nuclear type explosion.
25:14 Now, there's not a stitch of truth to that,
25:16 that's just fantasy and nobody really believed it,
25:19 and yet it tells me something: people were fascinated
25:21 with the movie because somewhere in our heart we know
25:24 there's something important about that Ark of the Covenant.
25:28 Another theory came out a couple of years ago, you find it
25:30 in Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code".
25:33 Dan Brown says that the Ark of the Covenant was this
25:36 mysterious place where ancient Pagan fertility rituals
25:40 were carried out, where ancient Pagan male gods
25:43 and female gods met and you can put together what happened
25:47 after that. He made that up in its entirety,
25:50 there is no basis in history whatsoever for that theory,
25:54 and yet, the sad thing is thousands upon thousands
25:58 of people are reading the book and they're believing
26:00 what he says, even though he doesn't have a scrap of ancient
26:02 evidence to back up any of it.
26:05 So, if all these whacky theories about the Ark of the Covenant
26:09 aren't true, what is the truth?
26:12 What was the ancient Ark of the Covenant?
26:15 This is easy to piece together because the Bible
26:18 is crystal clear about what the Ark of the Covenant was.
26:22 According to the pages of the Bible, God told Moses
26:25 to build the Ark, Exodus 25:10: [text on screen]
26:35 A cubit's about 18 inches. [continues to read text]
26:41 So it's about 3' 9" long, it's about 27" high,
26:46 and about 27" deep, [continues to read]
26:59 "...the Testimony" - that's another name for
27:01 the 10 commandments, God's moral law. [continues to read]
27:10 This is the lid that goes on top of the Ark, [continues to read]
27:33 It was must have been stunning, absolutely beautiful.
27:36 A wooden box overlaid with gold, think about this:
27:39 it's a perishable substance mixed with an imperishable
27:44 substance, and that will prove important was me move on
27:46 night by night.
27:47 It's a wooden box overlaid with gold, a pure gold lid on top,
27:52 and then angels of beaten gold on top.
27:55 Absolutely stunning.
27:57 So, why did God have Moses make it?
28:02 Was it just decoration? Absolutely not!
28:06 It was a powerful object and you find it showing up
28:09 all over the place in the ancient Biblical record.
28:13 For example, as the Israelites are about to go into
28:16 the Promised Land, the priests carry the Ark of the Covenant
28:19 down into the Jordan River, and as they step into the river
28:24 the water dries up and creates a land bridge, pure dry land,
28:27 for the Israelites to cross on, you read about it
28:29 in Joshua 3.
28:31 Then in Joshua 6 you discover the Israelites took
28:35 the Ark of the Covenant on a march each day.
28:38 Every day, once a day, they went around the city
28:40 of Jericho carrying the Ark of the Covenant.
28:43 On the 7th day they went around 7 times, blew their trumpets,
28:47 and the Bible tells us the walls of Jericho fell down.
28:51 Today, archeology proves beyond a shadow of a doubt
28:54 that the walls of Jericho really were there, and something
28:57 really did knock down those walls.
28:59 Why was the Ark of the Covenant there?
29:02 Then there's that story I told you about a moment ago
29:04 where the Philistines stole the Ark of the Covenant
29:06 in battle, they brought it back to their own Pagan temple,
29:09 and put it in front of the god Dagon.
29:12 In the morning Dagon had fallen over, so they put him back up,
29:15 and put the Ark there again, and the next day
29:17 Dagon had fallen over an smashed into pieces
29:20 and they thought "this is bad news, let's get rid"
29:22 "of the Ark of the Covenant." And they started sending it
29:25 from town to town, and as they sent it from town to town
29:27 people got sick and they got tumors, and finally they said
29:30 "this is it, we don't want the Ark of the Covenant,"
29:33 "let's send it back to Israel."
29:34 So they put it on an ox cart and with 2 cows pulling this cart,
29:39 cows that had calves, why? Because they knew those cows
29:42 would want to go home to their calves, and if it was
29:45 really something from God, this Ark of the Covenant,
29:48 they would go to Israel instead of going to their calves.
29:51 They load the Ark onto the cart, they cross their fingers:
29:54 "Oh, please go home, we don't want this thing any more",
29:57 and they watch with one eye open as the cows head down
30:01 the road and take that Ark all the way to Israel.
30:05 The sad part of the story is when it gets back to Israel
30:07 in a place called Bethshemesh, the Israelites get so excited
30:11 they drop their tools in the field, they run over
30:13 and they touch and open the Ark of the Covenant,
30:15 and start dropping dead. Which is what always happened
30:18 if somebody touched the Ark of the Covenant.
30:21 Years later as they were moving it from that place
30:24 to a more permanent home, there were great festivities
30:26 going on, they were singing and dancing and leading the Ark
30:29 as it was in another ox cart, and then the oxen stumbled
30:33 and the cart wobbled, and a guy named Uzzah reaches out
30:36 and touches the Ark of the Covenant just to make it stable,
30:40 and the Bible says in 1 Chronicles 13:10:
30:43 [text on screen]
30:53 The question is: why? Doesn't it seem just a little
30:59 bit severe?
31:01 Why is it when Uzzah reaches out and touches the Ark,
31:04 all he's trying to do is stabilize it, why is it
31:07 that he drops dead for touching it?
31:10 It happened because of what the Ark of the Covenant represented.
31:16 This was not just a piece of furniture, I want you to notice
31:19 very carefully what the Bible says about the role
31:23 the Ark of the Covenant played in the lives of the children
31:26 of Israel; look at what the Bible says in Exodus 25,
31:30 God speaking with Moses says: [text on screen]
31:37 "mercy seat" - that's the lid on the Ark, [continues to read]
31:40 "cherubim" - the angels, [continues to read]
31:45 The spot above the Ark of the Covenant was actually the spot
31:49 that God Himself would manifest Himself among the Israelites.
31:54 The Bible tells us as the Israelites were in journey
31:57 from Egypt to the land of Canaan a cloud led them,
32:02 a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day.
32:05 The presence of God, we are told, was in that cloud.
32:08 And when the cloud stopped they would set up camp,
32:11 put up the travelling Tabernacle,
32:14 the one that was a tent that could be easily taken down
32:17 and put back up, they would set it up,
32:20 and after they set it up the very presence of God would
32:22 come down out of the cloud into the innermost chamber
32:25 of the Tabernacle, the Most Holy Place, and God would
32:29 manifest His very presence above the Ark of the Covenant.
32:36 Why there above the Ark of the Covenant?
32:38 It's because the Ark of the Covenant is a symbol
32:42 of God's throne in heaven. There are several verses
32:46 in the Bible where people are talking about where God exists
32:49 in the courts of heaven, and it's very interesting
32:52 how they talk about God. In Psalm 80:1 we read
32:56 about God in the second part of this verse: [text on screen]
33:03 Where does God dwell in heaven? The Bible says:
33:05 "between the cherubim". In Psalm 99:1 it says it again:
33:09 [text on screen]
33:14 And again in the prayer of Hezekiah in Isaiah 37.
33:18 [text on screen]
33:22 Again and again and again the Bible describes God
33:25 as the one who dwells between the Cherubim, the angels.
33:29 It describes God's throne in heaven as being between
33:33 2 cherubim.
33:35 Here's something even more interesting: the Bible also says
33:38 that the fallen angel, Lucifer, used to be one of those cherubim
33:43 by the throne of God, Ezekiel 28, speaking to Lucifer
33:47 it says: [text on screen]
33:57 There is a description of God's throne in heaven
34:00 as being between the 2 cherubim. Is it possible that
34:05 the Ark of the Covenant on earth was a picture of God's throne
34:08 in heaven? Absolutely.
34:11 That's why you weren't allowed to touch it.
34:14 It was a symbol of God's throne.
34:17 Look at this carefully, Hebrews 8:5 [text on screen],
34:22 "tabernacle" - that's that portable sanctuary in the desert
34:26 [continues to read]
34:33 How did Moses make the Ark of the Covenant, along with
34:37 everything else on the Old Testament sanctuary.
34:40 How did he do it? He followed a pattern
34:42 that God showed him, and what was that pattern?
34:46 God's own throne in the courts of heaven.
34:49 God gives Moses a glimpse of His throne room in heaven,
34:52 and says to Moses: "build something that looks like this."
34:58 Let's review everything that we've gathered so far,
35:01 all of the evidence, and look at what we've got.
35:03 We have studied that: [text on screen]
35:09 ...of the Tabernacle, when they pitched camp.
35:11 His presence would come down and dwell above the mercy seat
35:15 of the Ark of the Covenant between the angels.
35:17 We read that He: [text on screen]
35:34 So gathering the evidence, what conclusion do we come to?
35:39 [text on screen]
35:46 Now how can that be?
35:48 The entire Old Testament sanctuary, we are told,
35:52 was a picture of something in heaven.
35:55 Notice what the Bible says in the book of Hebrews 8:2,
35:59 it speaks of: [text on screen]
36:05 The true Tabernacle that who erected?
36:08 The Lord built. The Bible shows us there was
36:11 a sanctuary on earth with an Ark of the Covenant
36:14 that Moses and the Israelites built, but it also tells us
36:17 that there is a true tabernacle, a true sanctuary,
36:21 that God himself built and, in fact, the Bible shows us
36:24 that even that one in heaven had an Ark of the Covenant
36:27 and still does.
36:29 In the book of Revelation 11, John the Prophet sees into
36:33 the temple in heaven and he sees something interesting.
36:36 Revelation 11:19 says: [text on screen]
36:42 "covenant" - another word for testament, [continues to read]
36:48 Where is this temple? Is it on earth folks?
36:51 No, it's in heaven and there's an Ark of the Covenant there.
36:55 It is the very throne of God, Moses built a replica,
37:01 a duplicate of it, and that, by studying it,
37:04 will give us information about what God is like.
37:07 If it's His throne, it tells us something about who He is.
37:11 We know the 10 commandments were kept inside it,
37:14 so we know that God is an entirely fair God.
37:17 He rules by law and you can count on Him to stick
37:21 to His law no matter what. "Thou shalt no kill"."
37:23 "Thou shalt not steal." "Thou shalt not bear"
37:26 "false witness"; it tells us something about what God is like
37:30 It also creates a problem for us because the Bible says
37:33 that sin is the transgression of God's moral law,
37:36 and it says that all of sin, and it says the wages of sin
37:39 is death. Now, "sin" today is not a very
37:42 popular word, but the throne of God, the Ark of the Covenant,
37:46 teaches us how serious our transgression of God's law is.
37:51 We have been separated from God because we broke His law,
37:54 and the wages of sin, the Bible says, is death,
37:57 and that makes sense, we've cut ourselves off
38:00 from the Creator, we can no longer step right into His
38:03 holy presence any more because we have sinned.
38:07 We're not even allowed to look at God's face.
38:09 Isaiah 59:2: [text on screen]
38:22 We've been separated from God by our sins.
38:27 Now think about this: this is why God's throne had to be
38:30 hidden inside the tabernacle, this is why no sinful human
38:33 being could touch it, it was a symbol of God's
38:35 perfect, holy throne, and we are not allowed in the presence
38:39 of God as sinners. It tells us God is perfectly
38:43 just, He lives by law, He rules by law,
38:48 but it not only tells us that God is perfectly just,
38:53 the lid on the Ark is called the mercy seat.
38:58 Not only is God fair, He's also merciful.
39:04 He covers His law, He covers our sins, He dispenses mercy,
39:09 He forgives us.
39:12 Does that mean God just sweeps our little mistakes
39:14 under the rug and just ignores it?
39:16 Not at all. Leviticus 16:14 says
39:21 that in that Old Testament sanctuary they would sacrifice
39:24 animals and they would: [text on screen]
39:34 The Bible says the wages of sin is death,
39:38 it also says that without the shedding of blood
39:41 there can be no remission of sin, no forgiveness,
39:43 sin is very serious, and yet in the Old Testament sanctuary
39:49 they would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat,
39:52 telling us that one day somebody would die in our place.
39:59 Somebody would stand in for us, and pay the wages of sin for us
40:03 so that we could be again in the presence of God.
40:07 What is the Ark of the Covenant telling us?
40:09 It is telling us that no matter how dark our life gets,
40:13 God's face is always turned our way.
40:16 Even though God's throne had to be shielded from people
40:19 inside the tabernacle, you'll notice that He still placed it
40:22 right there in the center of the camp of Israel,
40:24 He wanted to be with His people.
40:26 The Ark of the Covenant tells us something about God:
40:29 in the darkest moments of our lives He is still with us.
40:34 A little girl was forced to spend a night
40:36 in an air raid shelter, it was World War II,
40:38 she was terribly frightened, she couldn't sleep.
40:41 "Daddy" she called out in the shelter, "Daddy! Are you there?"
40:45 "Yes honey, I'm here." She tried to be brave
40:48 for a few more minutes... "Daddy! Please, are you there?"
40:52 "Yes, I'm here, get some sleep honey."
40:56 "But daddy, is your face still turned my way?"
41:03 "Yes honey, it is." And she fell completely asleep.
41:08 The Ark of the Covenant tells us that no matter how dark
41:11 your life gets, God desires to place His presence near you.
41:17 Even though, because of sin, He's behind a veil,
41:20 His face is still turned your way.
41:55 Those of you who are watching from a location somewhere else
42:00 in the world tonight, welcome, we're glad that you're here.
42:03 We're going to be going down through, and going to start
42:04 with question 1: [text on screen]
42:16 Exodus 25:10-11, we're going to just right to that:
42:21 [text on screen]
42:25 Okay, acacia wood. I want to talk about acacia wood
42:28 for just a moment: a friend of mine where I live
42:30 in Southern California, has a lot of very large, old trees.
42:36 Several years ago he was out and had a crew come in
42:38 and do some trimming of those trees
42:41 and they were beautiful when they were all trimmed up,
42:43 and they were nice, but he had a big pile of wood.
42:47 Well, one of the trees that he was trimming was acacia wood
42:52 and I was very fascinated because I hadn't connected
42:55 the fact that it was an acacia tree with what the Bible said,
42:59 but when I came and saw the wood pile there,
43:01 I was amazed because it looked like that wood that had
43:05 just been cut was bleeding. I was astounded to learn
43:10 that acacia wood has a sap that runs red
43:14 and looks like blood being shed, I said isn't that something,
43:18 even down to the little detail of telling Moses
43:22 what kind of wood to make that out of, He made it out of wood,
43:26 acacia wood, specifically, and gold.
43:29 You want to write that down under 1(a) in your lesson.
43:34 [text on screen]
43:46 We're going to go to Exodus 25:18: [text on screen]
43:58 Okay, notice what it says: "at the 2 ends"
44:01 "of the mercy seat", so you want to write down 1(b),
44:06 [text on screen]
44:12 I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad to know
44:15 that the place of God's presence is called the mercy seat.
44:20 [text on screen]
44:27 Exodus 25:18-21: [text on screen]
45:00 So what is the answer to 1(c)? [text on screen]
45:06 Question 2 in your lesson: [text on screen]
45:13 You know, you can't create something beautiful like this
45:16 and just have it sit in the living room.
45:18 This has got to be kept in a very special place.
45:21 Hebrews 9:3,4, this is talking about the temple,
45:27 the sanctuary that was created there in the desert
45:30 [text on screen]
45:58 Question 3: [text on screen]
46:02 There's 3 texts we're going to look up, and we want
46:04 to look at each one of these, Psalm 80:1: [text on screen]
46:18 Notice, dwelling between the cherubim.
46:23 Alright, I want to go to the next one, Psalm 99:1:
46:27 [text on screen]
46:35 Again, the second passage of scripture telling us
46:37 He dwells between the Cherubim, okay, our last text
46:41 in this series, Isaiah 37:16: [text on screen]
46:56 The Creator, God, wants to be with His people
46:59 and He sets up the mercy seat, the Ark of the Covenant,
47:04 between the cherubim.
47:07 Question 3, what's the answer? [text on screen]
47:13 Symbolically on this earth, on the Ark of the Covenant
47:17 that was made here, but that is only a representation
47:21 of the true that is in heaven, where He dwells, His throne.
47:24 Okay, our next question, #4: [text on screen]
47:30 We have 2 Bible verse we're going to look at on this.
47:33 This first one is Exodus 25:40: [text on screen]
47:44 I want to go to the next one, Hebrews 8:5: [text on screen]
48:02 So, question 4, the answer is: [text on screen]
48:09 There is no guesswork, this was not something that...
48:12 "well, should it be this length? Should it be this height?"
48:14 It was exactly according to the pattern that Moses was shown
48:18 on the mountain.
48:19 We'll go to question 5: [text on screen]
48:25 We're going to go to Revelation 11:19:
48:29 [text on screen]
48:40 So where was the temple of God?
48:42 [text on screen]
48:49 Question 6: [text on screen]
48:55 Exodus 25:22: [text on screen]
49:13 So what was the answer to this question? [text on screen]
49:32 Sin separated the human family from God.
49:37 This is a place where God is saying: "We can reconnect"
49:41 "in this symbolic place where My presence is."
49:45 Question 7: [text on screen]
49:50 You heard Pastor Boonstra talk about that a moment ago,
49:53 there were several instances in scriptures where we see
49:56 that people casually, carelessly, coming up
50:00 and touching, or in other words, disrespecting the throne
50:06 of God, actually had a fairly rough sentence to deal with.
50:12 Let's look at 2 Samuel 6:6-7: [text on screen]
50:33 The second passage of scripture, Isaiah 59:2: [text on screen]
50:45 There's a really little, interesting nuance
50:47 to this story; you see, God had given them very specific
50:52 instructions: the Levites, the priests, were to carry that Ark
50:57 on their shoulders, 4 Levites, one on each corner
51:00 of the poles that went through. You'll see that if you read
51:02 in the book of Exodus.
51:05 They were moving it on an ox cart, they weren't following
51:08 God's directions, they were not honoring what He
51:10 had asked them to do.
51:12 Therefore, whenever you separate yourself from God
51:16 by your iniquities there is a price to pay.
51:19 So the answer to this question is: [text on screen]
51:24 As a result of that, we die, maybe not instantaneously
51:29 as it happened there, but if, even today, our sins
51:33 separating us from God will cause us ultimately
51:35 to be separated from Him. I don't know about you,
51:38 but I don't want that to happen.
51:40 I want to be at that mercy seat confessing my sins.
51:43 Question 8: [text on screen]
51:51 This is one of the most profound passages in scripture for me.
51:56 Isaiah 6:1-5, I'm going to read this and it just brings
52:01 a pathos in me when I think about it, to imagine Isaiah
52:05 as a young man being taken in vision, and actually getting
52:08 a chance to see the throne room of God: [text on screen]
52:59 When brought into the presence of God in a sinful condition,
53:03 what is it that happens to us? Our answer: [text on screen]
53:16 Being in the presence of God reminds us of how far
53:18 we are away from Him.
53:22 Question 9: [text on screen]
53:28 We're going to look at several passages of scripture,
53:30 so stay with me on this, Leviticus 16:15,16,
53:34 so that you get a feel for how God was instructing His people
53:38 because we can learn from that tonight: [text on screen]
54:12 God says: "I want to come and be in the midst of you"
54:15 "even though you are sinful, even though you've got"
54:19 "all these problems of listening to me, and wanting to do things"
54:22 "your own way, instead of wanting to do it the way"
54:24 "that I have created you to do it."
54:27 Because of that uncleanness we have a situation where God
54:32 is creating the blood, we're starting to see that blood
54:35 plays a part in this, we're going to expand on that
54:37 a little bit more with our next text, Hebrews 9:22:
54:40 [text on screen]
54:49 What does the word "remission" mean?
54:52 Forgiveness. Without the shedding of blood
54:54 there's no way to bring reconciliation, to put us back
54:59 into harmony with our God. The next text, Romans 6:23:
55:04 [text on screen]
55:13 Even though we see the very specific penalties played out,
55:18 we see what some people would say are "kind of harsh" of God,
55:25 isn't it beautiful to know that Jesus Christ came and shed
55:30 His blood; we see the blood coming in there.
55:35 [text on screen]
55:44 Question 10: [text on screen]
55:49 We're going to go to Romans 3:23-25.
55:54 [text on screen]
56:22 Can you say amen to that? [Audience replies] Amen.
56:25 God has passed over the sins that you and I have committed,
56:29 that all of humanity has committed because of the blood
56:32 of Jesus Christ. The blood of those sacrifices,
56:35 the blood of that goat that we read about a minute ago
56:38 could not cleanse anyone of sin.
56:41 It was a symbol pointing forward to what Jesus Christ
56:45 would do on Calvary's cross, but just like that blood
56:49 was sprinkled on the mercy seat, our answer
56:51 to this question: [text on screen]
57:01 It's the blood of Christ that is symbolized.
57:04 [text on screen]
57:16 Psalm 85:9-10: [text on screen]
57:29 The answer to this question is very simple: [text on screen]
57:43 Our last question: [text on screen]
57:56 Jeremiah 9:23-24: [text on screen]
58:24 So what is your personal response?
58:27 [text on screen]
58:29 Wouldn't you like to get to know him a little bit better
58:31 than maybe you do tonight?
58:34 I want to invite you while I pray, if you would like
58:37 to say I want to get just a little bit better acquainted
58:40 with this God, I'd like you to just lift your hand with me
58:43 as I pray.
58:45 Holy Father in heaven I thank you for this incredible picture
58:51 that you have presented to us in Scripture.
58:54 I pray that each one of us right now
58:56 would chose to accept this beautiful gift
58:59 that you've given to us, that you've shown us
59:00 all through Scripture. Thank You Lord
59:04 for that incredible gift, I pray in Jesus' name, amen.