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Thursday, September 22 2011

The Golden Mercy Seat

The LORD gave Moses (see also The Prophets: Moses) the detailed instructions for the construction of the Ark of the Covenant.

"25:10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 25:11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 25:12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 25:13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 25:14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 25:15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 25:16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee." (Exodus 25:10-16 KJV)

The Ark was fitted with "a mercy seat of pure gold," from which the LORD God declared "there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat."

"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. 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 25:19 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. 25:20 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. 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. 25:22 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." (Exodus 25:17-22 KJV)

Who was "the LORD God" of Creation ("the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" Genesis 2:4 KJV) and the Exodus ("9:13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me" Exodus 9:13 KJV)?

"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ [see The First Christian Church]." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

"That Rock was Christ"

What does "mercy seat" mean?

The related Greek words pronounced hil-as-mos and hil-as-tay-ree-on mean to conciliate or atone for. Always used in the Holy Scriptures in reference to Jesus Christ, they are translated in the King James Version three times as "propitiation," which means "the act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing" and once as "mercy seat," referring to the cover of the Ark of the Covenant which contains the stone tablets on which were written The Ten Commandments (see The Way To Salvation: Step 1). Other translations render the original Greek words similarly - where the KJV uses "propitiation," the RSV uses "expiation," while others use "atoning sacrifice" or "sacrifice of atonement."

The Ark Of The Covenant The Holy Bible (see also Holy Bible Reading Plan) has many dualities - objects, people and observances that would be fulfilled in their ultimate meaning or purpose in due time. The Levitical high priest, and the Tabernacle and Temple, were all about the Christ (see Christ The High Priest). In this reference, the same Greek word that is in the other 3 usages translated as "propitiation" is here translated as "mercy seat."

"9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 9:4 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; 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 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." (Hebrews 9:1-12 KJV)

It was the love that God had for His children that He sent His firstborn "to be the propitiation for our sins." The Law that was given was and is forever the basis of that salvation.

"4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 4:9 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. 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:7-10 KJV)

"8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

8:28 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. 8:29 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. 8:30 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." (Romans 8:26-30 KJV)

The one and only Messiah has always been there. Justification is freely given to the just; grace is freely given to the gracious. The "law of faith," as stated in these verses, is explained in the Fact Finder question below.

"3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 3:25 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; 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:21-28 KJV)

It is by no mere coincidence that the mercy seat, which symbolized Christ's atonement for repentant sinners (unrepentant sinners are headed for the lake of fire; see Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff and The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?), was part of the "package" that contained the Ten Commandments. When asked in effect "what must I do to be saved?" the Christ did not answer as many misguided, and misguiding, preachers would today. Christ answered the question with "If you would enter life, keep the Commandments." (Matthew 19:17 KJV)

The apostle John stated it as plainly as it can be stated. Note also that John speaks directly of "the love of God" as mentioned above, again with "propitiation for our sins," but also again with the principle Truth that "hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

"2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1 John 2:1-6 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is meant by the "law of faith" in Christ?
See The Yoke Of Freedom


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This Day In History, September 22

66: Emperor Nero created the Legion I Italica (see also Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?).

1499: The Peace of Basel ended the Swiss (also known as the Swabian War) between the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I and the Swiss Confederation.

1530: The first version of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession was presented to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg after the Emperor had declared that the Confutation (August 3 1530) prepared by the Catholic theologians to refute the Augsburg Confession (June 25 1530) properly presented his Catholic faith. The Emperor demanded that the reformers return to the Catholic church and refused to accept the Apology when it was presented to him. See Emperors and Popes to understand that emperors always (past and yet future) claimed superiority to popes (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1556: Johann Agricola died at age 72. The "protestant" reformer, a friend of Martin Luther (he convinced Luther to study Roman theology instead of medicine) was an advocate of antinomianism (anti = "against", nomos = "law") - a Satanic blasphemy that falsely claims that Christians are "freed by grace" from the need to obey The Ten Commandments (see Antinomianism).

1692: The last official executions for witchcraft in Massachusetts. During the Salem Witch Trials, 8 people who been falsely accused of witchcraft were hung, bringing to a total of 13 women and 7 men who were put to death over the course of the brief witch-hunt era (see also What Does Wicked Mean? to understand how the word for witchcraft, wicca, is the same as the word for those who make false accusations against innocent people).

1784: A Russian colony was established in what is today Alaska. Russia sold the territory to the U.S. in 1867.

1862: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free U.S. slaves. The final proclamation was issued the next January 1.

1896: Queen Victoria surpassed King George III (her grandfather) as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

1918: During World War 1 (1914-1918), British forces in Israel (then known as "Palestine," an English rendering of "Philistine") captured Nazareth and Haifa from the Ottoman (Turkish) forces (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars).

1949: The Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, ending the U.S. monopoly of nations with atomic weapons.

1980: Polish workers won the right to form independent unions, from which came the Solidarity movement with Lech Walesa as its elected leader.

1980: The Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war.

1991: The Dead Sea Scrolls were made available to public viewing for the first time (listen to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).





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