As we have observed God’s Temple, we have come upon various pieces of expensive furniture throughout this house.
I would say just by looking at these valuable pieces that God has great taste. We have looked at the golden lampstand. The table of
Shewbread was another piece of furniture in God’s house that would speak to our hearts on a daily basis and say, “come over here where
the table is spread and the feast on the Lord is going on.” The altar of incense, a specially made perfume that spread itself throughout
God’s house where God could inhale the prayers of the saints, and if God inhales eventually he will exhale. I know some of you are waiting
for God to exhale on you. But there is no piece in God’s house that is more admired and sought after and talked about more than, the ark.
The Ark was the most valuable piece of furniture inside of this temple. The Ark of God was a small rectangular box that was made out of
acacia wood. The ark was covered with gold from the inside out. The ark had a covering upon it called the mercy seat, where God would
come and dwell in the midst of his people. I love to say, being that there was a covering upon this box let’s me know that, God got me
covered. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” (Heb. 13:5)
The ark also had rings attached to it just like other pieces of furniture within the temple, and the golden staves, poles, would have
to stay connected to the ark at all times, because this was represented of God always on the move. Have you ever spent one day with God?
I mean if you ever just spend a day with God, just in one day you will find yourself constantly on the move. God is an ever-dynamic
actively progressive God. The bible shows us that Joshua crossed clean over the Jordan River with the ark before him, because God is on the move. (Jos. 3:14-17)
“My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword-
His truth is marching on.”
Components of a Testimony
You know all of us have a testimony. If you woke up this morning and were started upon your way, you have a testimony.
A testimony brings witness to the fact that God has done something good to you. A testimony oftentimes lets people know that the God we
serve is in the blessing business. I love to say that God has to bless somebody, and it might as well be me, because God is in the blessing
business. Think about it. A testimony is a solemn declaration or affirmation made to establish some fact. Listen, if you don’t already have
a testimony, and you keep hanging around God. God is going to do some things and give you some things that will make you Testify.
The bible says, “ that we overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony” (Rev. 12:11). Songwriter stated,
“ I believe I’ll testify, while I have this chance, because I may not have this chance anymore.” Listen, the ark that was in the house of
the Lord was made up of some things whereby people just had to call it, the Ark of the Testimony. Well, let me start this testimony service.
(the ark of safety)
Giving honor to God, to the Pastor, and to all the saints and friends, let me first say that there are at least three arks in the bible, and all
three of them got a testimony. The first ark is “The Ark of Moses.” When Moses was just a little boy, Pharoah was killing all the little Hebrew children
in the land of Egypt. I guess he felt that God was raising up somebody the take his place. Moses mother in order for her son to survive made a little
ark and put Moses in it and pushed it out into the Nile River and allowed the ark to float away with her son in it. But, I believe it was the daughter
of Pharoah that found Moses wrapped up inside of an ark, and she carried him to safety. (Ex. 2:3-10)
Further, there is another ark that I want you to know about, and that is “Noah’s Ark.” God had a dream to destroy all of mankind, so he was going
to send a flood. God invited Noah to get involved in what he was doing. So Noah accepted the invitation and began to make an ark. Noah began to put
some of civilization including his family in the ark. When Noah was finished doing that, although the people may have laughed at him and thought
him to be crazy, the bible says that God came along and closed the door. Immediately after God had enclosed them inside of the ark, it began to
rain for forty days, and forty nights. Well, I hear Moses and Noah’s testifying by saying, “it’s good to be in the ark of safety.”
||There are so many calamities that we as God’s people never face, because we are in the ark of safety.
||I hear Job testifying that the devil could do me no harm, as long as God had his hands around me in the ark of safety.
||I have my only personal testimony that I been running for Jesus for a long time and I ain’t got tried yet, because I am in the ark of safety. The bible says, “ if a man put his hand to the gospel plow and turn back, he is not fit for the kingdom.” (LK. 9:62)
When I saw far in the distance- there a ship it seemed to be,
Then I saw the captain beck-on- Then he called out loud and free
“I have come, my friend, to save you, Step on board and follow me”
Tis the old ship of Zion ‘Tis the old ship of Zion ‘Tis the old ship of Zion
Get on board, get on board”
(use your badge)
Something else that gives us a testimony is that inside of the ark were the tablets, The Ten Commandments. These stone written that were
inside the ark are known as the covenant that God made with his people. These were Words that we all must live by, and standards that we all must abide by.
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” These tablets of stone represented Power and Authority, and they also represented the Word
of God. “The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
When you see a police officer, you will always see that police officer with his uniform on, and wearing his badge. We don’t have to assume that he is a
police officer. We don’t have to ask him if he or she is a police officer. We can see by the wearing of the badge, on his uniform that he is a police officer.
Besides that, his badge upon his uniform gives him authority to arrest people, write tickets, and to make peace in a trouble land. By the same token, we have a badge.
My testimony is that, The Word of God is our badge, and we need to “use our badge” and put the Devil under arrest.
||I think about Daniel being thrown in a lion’s den. When the lions were about to ramp, roar, and pounce upon him, Daniel used his badge. One lion became his footstool and the other became his pillow. My I suggest that you, “use your badge.” (Dan. 6:10-28)
I remember once when I was at my grandmother’s house that she was in the kitchen making something, and that something was smelling real good.
I walked into the kitchen and looked at what she was making and didn’t recognize it as a familiar dish. So I ask my grandmother, “what is this?” she replied by
saying, “dud-lo-jo.” One of the best dishes that I have ever eaten in all of my life was “dud-lo-jo.” Well, what is “dud-lo-jo?” Dud-lo-jo, I soon learned was
just a little this and a little that. I have told this story many a times but I tell it again because I know that all of you at one time or another have had to
live on “dud-lo-jo.” Jesse Jackson a leading spokesman in the civil rights movement will tell you that as he was growing up in Mississippi that the only way
they made it was by, dud-lo-jo. Senator Robert Byrd the leadingest Senator and one of the most eloquent and fighter of our Constitution, if you study his life
he will tell you that he had some humble beginnings that started out on, “dud-lo-jo.” I hear my wife say when she was in college studying to one day become a
nutritionist and a school teacher, that as a student of meager means, there was a many day that her and her respected room-mate made it on a pot of beans and
corn bread, “dud-lo-jo.” Well this is another component of my testimony that, I have had to a many day eat dud-lo-joe.
I want you to know inside of the most valuable and most sought after and inside of the most respected pieces of furniture in the house of God, the ark, was
dud-lo-jo. The story goes that while God was leading Israel through the wilderness they ran out of water and food. They began to murmur and complain and so
Moses began to pray and God answered his prayer by slowing down quail to about 2 miles and hour in order for his people to stanch there blessing out of the
air, and he also sent “Manna” from on high. Well they kept this food source in the ark of the testimony at all times just as a reminder that, God will provide. (Ex.16:11-31)
||It might not be what you want, but it is what you need, because God will provide.
||You might not know where your next resource or provision is coming from, but don’t worry about it, God will provide.
||You might not have enough money to pay your rent or any of your bills, but just have faith that God will provide.
“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide..”(Gen. 22:8).
“Like a ship that’s toss’d and driven, battered by an angry sea
When the storms of life are raging and the fury falls on me
I wonder what I have done, to make this race so hard to run
Then I say to my soul, don’t worry,The Lord will make away some how”
(bloom and blossom)
But the last component that made up this testimony or what was inside of the ark of God, was “Aaron’s rod that budded.” The background of this story
begins when some of the leaders of Israel desired to be in Moses position. They began to see Moses prosper in his position that God had chosen for him. These leaders in
the church began to rebel and cause a great rebellion amongst God’s people. God told Moses don’t worry about a thing, for his was going to get rid of all of them, in a
moment. Listen, some folk see that God is blessing you and they get jealous of the blessings of the Lord on your life and desire to move you out of your “position.”
But don’t worry about a thing; God is going to deal with them in a moment. It is sad how others will try to destroy the character of others in order to make themselves
look good. But God says, don’t do anything, cause I am going to deal with them in a moment. Don’t you remember when you were having some trouble and you yelled at momma
and daddy and told them to come over here quick because you needed some help. What did they say, “ I will be there in a moment.” When God showed up to deal with those
who were trying to move Moses out of his position, God open up the earth and the earth swallowed them up and then God closed the earth right back up again. All of the
trouble that Moses was dealing with in his life was gone in a moment. (Num. 16:31-33)
For Israel’s constant murmuring and complaining, God told Moses to have the tribes of Israel to give him rods of each tribe and also put Aaron’s rod along with them.
Put all 12 or 13 of those rods next to the “testimony” which is the ark of God. The next day when Moses went to check on the rods, he noticed that out of all of those
rods, Aaron’s rod had budded. (Num. 17:1-10)
A story is told of a rose that was in a smelly dump yard, and the rose was blooming and blossoming. Every day a trash man would go there and dump trash, and
noticed a red rose blooming and blossoming in this smelly dump yard. One day he went up to the rose and ask the rose, how could you bloom and blossom in a
dump yard? The rose replied, well I had two chooses. I could bloom or blossom or I could have withered and died. So I chose to bloom and blossom, instead of
withering and dieing in this dump yard. Well my last testimony is that out of all the people that God could have chosen, God chose me to bloom and blossom.
The bible says, “ I once was young, but now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” The bible says, “Beloved,
I wish above all things that you mayest prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospereth.”
(Ps. 37:25)(3 Jn. 1:2)
Living behind a veil
We have come this far by faith. We have passed by the golden lampstand. Whereby we have learned to keep oil in our lamps. We have passed by the
table of Shewbread. Where we have observed that God wants us to fellowship with one another. “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms.”
We have also passed by the altar of incense. Where God has a special formula of incense we must use in order to get His attention. But now we literally have to stop
because we cannot go any further unless God says so.
The veil of the temple is a multi-colored heavy piece of fine Egyptian material that divide the holy place from the holy of holies. As to put it were you and I can
understand, the veil separated, the pew from the pulpit. The veil was made out of intertwined material with colors of purple, blue, and scarlet. It also was a very
heavy curtain that hung in God’s Temple. It is said that the veil was so heavy that it took about 300 priests just to hang it up. Also interwoven in the material
were angels. As to say, stop, you cannot go any further than this because of these guardian angels. I have observed that anytime God doesn’t want us to touch
something or if he wants to keep us away from something or keep something away from us, God will always use guardian angels. The bible says, “the angel of the
Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and deliverth them.”
All day, all night
Keep a watching over me”
There’s a place in you where many have not gone,
An intimacy that comes from time alone, beyond the natural mind,
Leaving this earthly realm behind, we can only go
Behind the veil
In the outer courts carnal minds can live,
And l need something more than the inner courts can give,
An experience with you, one so real and true, that’s only found behind the veil”
#1 More for you
After following the regimen of the church in order to be saved (Rom. 10:9), oftentimes we walk around thinking within ourselves that something is missing. But, Living behind a veil there is more; the ark of the testimony and the mercy seat. (I Cor. 2:9)(Jn. 14:17)(Acts. 19:1-6)
#2 Access Denied
As firemen began to sort through the rubble in New York City on September 11, 2001, they came upon something interesting. What America discovered were so many women in Afghanistan had been “living behind a veil.” Just like in Afghanistan we here have so many people in America that are living behind a veil. To live behind a veil is to be denied opportunities and to be denied access.
||People have been denied access to affordable housing.
||People have been denied access to good health care.
||People have been denied access to a good job.
||People have been denied access to capital.
Prior to Jesus Christ coming upon the scene, we had been denied access to God for a long time. There was only a privileged few that could go before God and that was every once in awhile. But Jesus Christ seeing that the veil that was hanging in the Temple was stamped access denied, told God to prepare him a body and he would go down and die for the sins of all mankind. As Jesus hung on Calvary’s cross and as he cried out with a loud voice, the bible says that the veil in the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. As to say, “Whosoever will let him come.”
(Jos. 6:1-20)(Matt. 27:50-51)
#3 Peak your head in, and “YOU” won't come out.
The priests in the temple would go behind the veil once a year to atone for the sins of mankind. It’s mentioned that they would tie a rope around their ankles because if he had any sin in his life as he went behind the veil, he would immediately fall down and die. This is the message behind the veil that if you just peak your head in, “YOU” will not come out.
(Gal. 2:20)(Ex. 34:28-35)(Jn. 12:1-3)(Lev. 16:1-2)