EZEKIEL’S VISION, THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND JOSIAH’S PLEA.

Taken from the book KING OF THE ARK, available for free download here.    By R.Tourniaire

konge, bokrull og to foranThe last book in the Bible, Revelation, incorporates countless terms and phrases from the Old Testament. Understood together, the Old Testament and the book of Revelation reveal future events. For example, in Revelation 9:3 we
learn of an army of locusts. The Old Testament says of these, “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands” (Proverbs 30:27). “Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east… they came as grasshoppers for multitude” (Jude 6:3&5). In Exodus locusts were sent upon those that used force and oppressed God’s chosen people (Exodus 10:4). In 2 Chronicles we learn that God sends locusts upon His own people when they go astray and do wicked things, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land” (2 Chron. 7:13). Thus the Old Testament reveals who, where, why and what are the symbolic expressions used in Revelation. In this way the Bible is being employed to interpret the scripture itself, rather than utilizing personal speculation and one’s own imagination to decide what it could mean. Several symbols from the sanctuary are also used in Revelation, so without any knowledge of God’s law or the Old Testament, these symbols become very difficult to understand. So Revelation is always linked together with the books of the Old Testament. The book of Ezekiel is one of the books which has profound similarities to the book of Revelation. On one
specific point, type and anti-type can clearly be seen. The end of Jerusalem, just before it’s destruction as shown to Ezekiel can be directly compared to the end time before Christ’s second coming. Looking at the two gives us a clue as to why the temple in heaven is filled with smoke. It gives no explanation in Revelation, but in the book of Ezekiel we see it signifying the Lord leaving the temple. Hence the smoke in the temple in Revelation would therefore mean Christ is leaving the temple in heaven. From the book of Hebrews we learn that Jesus is ministering as High Priest in heaven, “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…”  (Heb. 8:1).
ezekielThe day of atonement is when the high priest went into the most holy, and the most holy in the temple was filled with incense. The high priest went all the way to the most holy to make intercession for His people. Likewise, this is what Christ does
in the most holy place in heaven, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17).

When the high priest left the most holy place, it had been determined who had humbled themselves before God and who had not. “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” (Lev. 23:39). This act of cutting off someone from his people, shows that the day of atonement was connected to a close of probation for the unrepentant sinner. So the plagues in Ezekiel consumed those who hadn’t repented of their wicked ways, and God put a seal on those who had repented. Therefore it is not unfair to assume that when the temple is filled with smoke in the book of Revelation it signifies the CLOSE OF PROBATION. Christ is no longer mediating with His atoning blood on behalf of the sinner.

This is just what happened in the type in Ezekiel. The Shekinah leaving the temple signified a close of probation. “Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary?” (Ezek. 8:6). “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” (Ezek. 8:18). It is noted here that although they do
address Him, He will not hearken to them, thus it is a clear close of probation for them. Right before Christ returns and has left the temple in heaven He says, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly…” (Rev. 22:11-12). So if a sinner doesn’t repent, then probation is closed for him. Consequently the time of probation is only there as long as Christ is in the temple, pleading for our lives. But why has the end come? What is it that has made the citizens of Jerusalem go too far, and is there a parallel with the end times, like the book of Revelation has shown us?

BUY AND SELL.
The last one and a half years before the destruction of Jerusalem, the people were besieged by the Babylonians, making it impossible to buy and sell. This strategy was used to force them to surrender. Similarly we see a symbolic “Babylon”
resurface in the book of Revelation that is cooperating with the beast. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev. 13:16-17).
And so those not yielding to the will of Babylon, will in both cases lose the ability to buy and sell.

WORSHIPPING BABYLONIAN
GODS.
Moreover, it is worth noting how the people inside the city of Jerusalem worshiped the Babylonian gods alongside the God of Israel. Thus the nation about to conquer them is the same nation whose gods they had already accepted and worshiped.
The same situation occurs again in the last days, and God is giving His people one final warning, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Rev. 18:4-5).

THE IMAGE AND THE MARK.
The image The greatest sins (except cruelty against the poor, the fatherless, the widows and shedding of blood) that caused God to leave Jerusalem and allow it to be destroyed, are described in Ezekiel. God takes Ezekiel to Jerusalem by vision and shows him two things. The first is an image, “And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.” (Ezek. 8:3). In the book of Revelation we also learn of an image, namely the image of the beast, and that if we follow it, we will be destroyed with the rest of the world. The power behind the image will try to kill those who do not obey it, and thus, God’s people will have to make a dramatic choice. Either stand for God but be persecuted by man, even until death, or suffer
the punishment of God, which is also unto death. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Rev. 13:15).

Now, what does the image in Ezekiel teach us about the image in Revelation? We know that the north gate is where the sheep were brought into the temple, the “Sheep Gate”. But perhaps many are unaware that the gates in biblical times were connected with city administration. The gates usually contained several rooms.Archeology shows us this in the city of Hazor and in the city of Gezer in the time of Solomon, among others. It was also common to have set places outside the gates where traders came to sell their goods to the inhabitants of the cities. “Inside the gateway too, a space was left without buildings, this served as a communal area and public justice area. Just inside the gate at Dan there is a raised dais that had provision for a canopy to be erected. This would have served for the judge’s throne.” (http://www.bible.gen.nz/amos/archaeology/gate.htm) So the gate served as sort of “town hall”. This is confirmed by the prophet Amos who states, “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.” and “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” (Amos 5:10 & 15). Also in the story of Lot and Absalom we see this custom where the administrators and judges sit at the gate. The prophecies of Jeremiah, concurrent with Ezekiel, show the same, “When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house. Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.” (Jer. 26:10-11). Notice how they are declaring that Jeremiah should be killed. Another time he was judged, the sentance was executed at the gate, “Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.” (Jer.20:2). And so when God sent Jeremiah a message to give to the people, He sent Baruch to read it at the same gate, “Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in 257 the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house, in the ears of all the people.” (Jer. 36:10). In Jeremiah 39:3 we learn that even the highest official, the king, sat at this gate, “Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin…” A little before he found the king sitting in the gate, the priests and leaders had come to the king with the following request, “Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus
he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.” (Jer. 38:4-5). So the people appeal to the king (who actually feared them), to execute a death penalty on God’s faithful, in order to silence him. In this way, the religious leaders ask the goverment to persecute on their behalf. It is exactly the same as when Christ was killed, and what the papacy did during the Middle Ages. When the army of Babylon came and took the city, they instantly sat where the judges and rulers of the city were to sit, “And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.” (Jer. 39:3). Once they did this, Zedekiah admitted defeat and fled, “And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate between the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.” (Jer.39:4).
In the time before the destruction of Jerusalem, the tribe of Benjamin lived in the area north of Jerusalem, so the north gate may very well be the gate spoken of. This is strengthened by Ezekiel’s vision, or they could, at the time he saw, have changed the govermental seat to the north gate from another gate. My opinion is that it was the same place. Graven images were everywhere and so this couldn’t be the only sin. However, if the place was an administrative or governmental seat,
it makes it perfectly understandable that God could not longer tolerate it. Especially if this govermental seat was used to persecute His messengers. Up until the this time, the sanctuary service had continued but in a corrupted way, and the animal sacrifices were usually taken through the north gate, and therefore the animal market could also have been there.258 King Of The Ark “To the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.” The seat is a place of authority and an image of jealousy to God. Though Jeremiah He had repeatedly told them to listen to Him at the gates, but they had rejected His authority in favor of another – and thus the word jealosuy. At this time of the close of probation for Jerusalem they had placed their loyalty to the goverment who in return had chosen, by law, to favour a corrupt religious system. We also learn from Ezekiel that an image of Tammuz was at the north gate. Tammuz supposedly went to the underworld and was resurrected, but he was a false messiah, imitating the future mission of the true Messiah and corrupting the true gospel. He was also a shepherd and a king, and in this way, this “god” was stealing God’s titles, right in front of His children, at the very entrance to God’s temple. But Tammuz wasn’t represented himself, only an image of him. The sentence, “where was the seat of the image of jealousy” therefore shows a unification of the governmental seat and the false shepherd. A state taking sides and judging in favor of a corrupt religious system. Tammuz had a similar story as Messiah’s mission (death and resurrection). If we continue with our comparison here, the govermental power which is the beast in Revelation 13 will give their authority to honor a false Christian system. Which might be why they are called “the false prophet” later in Revelation (Rev. 16:13 & 19:20 & 20:10). Jeremiah however, who was a true prophet sent by God, was punished and judged at the gate which again shows govermental persecution against the faithful and loyalty given to the false. The book of Revelation reveals that there will be false prophets in the end time, who will work with the beast and the dragon himself. The Antichrist is someone appearing like Christ or imitating Christ, stealing His titles. For many centuries the leader of the Catholic Church has done just that, claiming to be the vicar of Christ with the authority that comes with it. He claims to be a ‘king’ among Christ’s followers, and their shepherd and high priest. It’s important to note that the image at the north gate was an imitation of Christ. Again, Tammuz was famously portrayed as a Shepherd, the one who guards the flocks. The papacy does the exact same thing. And they too have a shepherds rod in their hands. It’s also worth noticing that God’s people had at this time rejected the pure truth that He had given them directly, as well as their task to represent Him to a corrupted and falsified version of truth that was more accepted in the world. And thus, in a way, God’s people at the close of their probation, had chosen the religion of the masses. They had adjusted their 259 belief to gain economic advantages, popularity and recognition from the world. In the same manner, many people face the same temptations today, letting go of truth for the sake of acknowledgement and recognition in the world, or acceptance in ecumenical gatherings. Thus the first thing shown Ezekiel at the close of probation was unification between the state and a false religious system, leading to the persecution of God’s faithful. The next element is the result of their corrupted worship.

The Mark.
In Revelation the image is found with the mark, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God…” (Rev. 14:9-10). We also learn who will not worship the beast, his image or receive his mark, “here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12). In the same way, in Ezekiel we see the seat of the image placed at the temple entrance complementing the worship inside, just as the mark of the beast follows the image of the beast in Revelation. Do we see obedience to God versus obedience to another power in Ezekiel? Inside the gate with the image of jealousy, Ezekiel was showed the leaders of the people. “And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple
of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.” (Ezek. 8:16). Now notice that while they were worshipping the sun towards the east, at the same time they had to turn their backs on the temple of the Lord. Now what’s inside the temple? The LAW OF GOD. Consequently they turned their backs on God’s law while worshipping the sun. This act also shows what is happening today, only less overtly. In the Bible, worship is intrinsically linked to obedience. This means that in both cases there is a choice. A choice of turning one’s back on God’s law and follow that of a pagan god, or obeying God – and these men of God chose to turn their backs on God’s law. In this context, it’s interesting to note that for example the pope, who has placed himself as ruler over God’s church has altered God’s commandments as they are written in the law. Not only that, but when you look at the papal crest you will see the sun depicted. Should you follow the one ‘claiming’ to represent the Lamb of God, with the sun crest, you will have to turn your back on God’s original law at the same time because the two laws contradict each other.

sungod sceduale

Sunday, that the pope has made Sabbath, instead of sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, was once a day in homage to the sun. It is no coincidence that the pope’s symbol of authority is the sun. Today, the papacy have set up this day as a day of worship, and to come and take part in the symbol of the slain lamb. But you can only sanctify this day if, at the same time, you turn your back on the day God has chosen, the original Sabbath, that is a memorial to God as Creator and Saviour. Part of the reason for the destruction of God’s people was these, “And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgements, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.” (Ezek. 11:12). This can truly be said about the Christian world today. They follow the ways of the heathen. Immorality (in media and traditions), idol worship (not only icons, saints, and worldly religious festivals, but modern ‘superstars’ and ‘heroes’), and they have rejected God’s law as old fashioned. But the warning given in Revelation 18 is that we will perish with the world if we partake in it’s sins.

listKing Josiah, the Ark
and the 35 years.
Approximately 35 years prior to Jerusalem’s destruction, something extraordinary took place which may also be symbolic of the time before the second coming of Christ – and what takes place is related to the Ark of the Covenant. “And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of
the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.” (2 Kings 22:3-6). The Ark wasn’t present in the temple
at this time, in fact it was hidden away, but Josiah had decided to do that which was right and started to renovate the temple. It’s because of his willingness to do this, that the book of the covenant is discovered. This illustrates perfectly how our willingness to go forth and do a work of reformation for God’s church can actually bring forth blessings we didn’t know of.

The king is willing to start a reform, but didn’t know what God really required, so God rewards the king’s zeal with the knowledge he is missing, “And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the
house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. …And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.” (2 Kings 9,10 & 11). King Josiah reacted the best way possible. He realised they had broken the covenant God made with them, and they were in fact in terrible trouble as the punishment written in the book, was to come upon them. He asked God what to do, which is another correct approach. This bought Jerusalem more time. We are told, “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.” (2 Chron. 22:16-20). It seemed like Jerusalem’s end was to come during the king’s reign, but now it had been delayed. King Josiah still wanted to do all he could and he began his reform. He re-established God’s feast days in the kingdom and removed the paganism, doing everything he could to stop idol worship. Then he placed the Ark of the Covenant back into the temple, “And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel.” (2 Chron. 35:3).

King Josiah had been told he could not save Jerusalem from it’s destruction but he knew he could still save a large number of people. The reply from God that we just read, was in response to a message Josiah sent through the high priest to God, “Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.”  (2 Chron. 34:21).

Perhaps because of the work Josiah started, some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem remained loyal to God even when they were taken captive to Babylon. This all took place approximately 35 years before Jerusalem was destroyed, and therefore it less than 35 years before the city was besieged during his son’s reign. The great reformation Josiah accomplished had an effect on many, but not all. Shortly afterwards the idol worship was back in the temple court. Now, I want to make some comparisons to our time. Could the rediscovery of the Ark bear a resemblance to the time before Jerusalem’s destruction, just like it’s destruction resembled the destruction of the world at Christ’s second coming? It’s interesting to note that Ron Wyatt discovered the Ark of the Covenant in January 1982. That is now, in 2014, 32 years ago. That’s close to the same time that those in Jerusalem were denied the ability to buy or sell. If it will be the same time is of course
impossible to say, but the resemblance between the Ark discovery before Christ’s second coming and the Ark surfacing before the destruction of Jerusalem is noteable. Why wasn’t the Ark discovered 100 years ago, or 200 or 1000 years ago? The fact that it was found only about 30 years ago could be a sign that something is about to take place soon, and where else to find the answer to such a discovery than to look at similar reappearances of the Ark in the Bible and what it
meant back then. If we were to continue the comparison, then who ordered the temple to be renovated in the first place? It was the king! What was the result of the king’s plea to God for the sake of the people? It was that the ‘time of trouble’ was pushed further into the future! An additional time of mercy. During this time, God’s people who had become one with the customs of the world, were called upon to repent and reform. They had in large part taken part in the worldly ways, and the Ark with God’s law was ignored by the majority, because they wanted to follow the pleasures of the world. They were not ready. Perhaps most of them really would have been lost if the book of the covenant hadn’t been found, waking them up from their ‘sleep’ and thereby the destruction prolonged. Jesus is our King and our High Priest. And in the story of Josiah, it was the king and the high priest that went to God on behalf of the people. Christ
would have seen the state of the church of Laodicea, their worldly ways and busy lifestyles, partaking of the sins and amusements of the world, as they did before 1982, and wouldn’t He recognise their desperate state as they were about to enter the time of trouble, and make a special plea to God? Could the resurfacing of the book of the covenant and the Ark of the Covenant right before Josiah’s plea, be symbolic of how the Ark of the Covenant would be found at a time when Christ would make a special plea? Could this work our High Priest and King is doing on our behalf, have been given Him by God to be granted a little more time before the destruction comes, and all hope is lost?
Did Christ plead for the world and for His deceived people to gain Him some more time? A time that perhaps was already over? Was the time that the door of mercy was open to His church prolonged? And did His zeal to save and cleanse His people result in God bringing the Ark back into history as a warning, an example, and to lead people back to Him? If we do draw a comparison between this discovery and the only story in the Bible that speaks of such a revelation before
an imminent destruction, then the time we are living in now might have been given because of Christ’s special intercession on our behalf. The people in Judah did not receive atonement if the Ark wasn’t in the sanctuary for the high priest to sprinkle the blood upon it, on the great day of atonement. Therefore, the fact that the Ark was placed back into the temple, meant that the high priest could intercede for the people a little while longer. But just over 30 years later the
ark was removed again because of their sins, and the high priest could no longer visit it with the blood of the sacrifice. So every year from when the Ark was placed back into the temple, they witnessed God’s endurance and patience, but the extra time of mercy and the service of the high priest only lasted for a short period, and the city’s destruction still took place within a relatively short time. If the two stories can be compared then the discovery of the Ark is a sign, and a gift from God to Christ after His plea to help us, right before the end of time. Perhaps the angels warning for us to separate from the sins of the world (Rev. 18:4), is actually given as we speak to people’s hearts to “hurry out” of that which they have partaken of, 266 King Of The Ark and get ready before it is too late. If the time was prolonged, then I am one of those who was called upon as a result of God’s mercy, as would many others be, who came to Christ after the Ark was rediscovered. If these stories are comparable and given by God to reveal that the Ark’s discovery really is by Him, we must see how great a work Christ our King is doing for us every day. Perhaps also see that many of us are saved at the
‘last minute’ so to speak, in a prolonged time of mercy, and give great thanks.
I want to emphasize that I have no way of knowing or saying how much time the world has left. Jesus might make another plea and the world will continue even longer. It’s not been given man to know the date, but those thinking it has been a long time since the Ark was found and still nothing has happened, might realise that it hasn’t been any longer than God took in the story of Josiah, and maybe contemplate that the wait is actually a sign of mercy.

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