The ark and the Ten Commandments will be discovered and displayed to the world.
King Solomon stood upon a brazen scaffold before the altar, and blessed the people. He then knelt down, and, with his hands raised upward, poured forth earnest and solemn prayer to God, while the congregation were bowed with their faces to the ground. After Solomon had ended his prayer, a miraculous fire came from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice. 1SP 414.1
Because of the sins of Israel, the calamity which God said should come upon the temple if his people departed from him, was fulfilled some hundreds of years after the temple was built. God promised Solomon, if he would remain faithful, and his people would obey all his commandments, that that glorious temple should stand forever in all its splendor, as an evidence of the prosperity and exalted blessings resting upon Israel for their obedience. 1SP 414.2
Because of Israel’s transgression of the commandments of God, and their wicked acts, God suffered them to go into captivity, to humble and punish them. Before the temple was destroyed, God made known to a few of his faithful servants the fate of the temple, which was the pride of Israel, and which they regarded with idolatry, while they were sinning against God. He also revealed to them the captivity of Israel. These righteous men, just before the destruction of the temple, removed the sacred ark containing the tables of stone, and, with mourning and sadness, secreted it in a cave where it was to be hid from the people of Israel, because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hid. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted. 1SP 414.3
The set of tables of the Decalogue which was kept in the earthly sanctuary was in the ark when it was hidden by righteous men in a cave shortly before the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians in the time of Jeremiah. However, the following statements from the Spirit of Prophecy do not mention Jeremiah as personally having had a part in hiding the ark:
“Before the temple was destroyed, God made known to a few of His faithful servants the fate of the temple, which was the pride of Israel, and which they regarded with idolatry, while they were sinning against God. He also revealed to them the captivity of Israel. These righteous men, just before the destruction of the temple, removed the sacred ark containing the tables of stone, and with mourning and sadness, secreted it in a cave where it was to be hid from the people of Israel, because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hid. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted.”—4SG 114, 115 (1864); The Spirit of Prophecy 1:414 (1870); The Story of Redemption, 195.
“Among the righteous still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted.”—Prophets and Kings, 453 (published in 1917); emphasis supplied.
Note particularly that Ellen White stated that the ark “has never been disturbed since it was secreted.”
The prophet’s fearful answer was that the Chaldeans would return and destroy the city. The fiat had gone forth; no longer could the impenitent nation avert the divine judgments. “Deceive not yourselves,” the Lord warned His people. “The Chaldeans … shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.” Jeremiah 37:9, 10. The remnant of Judah were to go into captivity, to learn through adversity the lessons they had refused to learn under circumstances more favorable. From this decree of the holy Watcher there could be no appeal. PK 453.1
Among the righteous still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted. PK 453.2
For many years Jeremiah had stood before the people as a faithful witness for God; and now, as the fated city was about to pass into the hands of the heathen, he considered his work done and attempted to leave, but was prevented by a son of one of the false prophets, who reported that Jeremiah was about to join the Babylonians, to whom he had repeatedly urged the men of Judah to submit. The prophet denied the lying charge, but nevertheless “the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison.” Verse 15.
18. Original Law in Heavenly Ark—I warn you, Do not place your influence against God’s commandments. That law is just as Jehovah wrote it in the temple of heaven. Man may trample upon its copy here below, but the original is kept in the ark of God in heaven; and on the cover of this ark, right above that law, is the mercy seat. Jesus stands right there before that ark to mediate for man (Manuscript 6a, 1886).
Law Preserved in Ark—“And He [Christ] gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communicating with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written by the finger of God.” Nothing written on those tables could be blotted out. The precious record of the law was placed in the ark of the testament and is still there, safely hidden from the human family. But in God’s appointed time He will bring forth these tables of stone to be a testimony to all the world against the disregard of His commandments and against the idolatrous worship of a counterfeit Sabbath (Manuscript 122, 1901).
There are abundant evidences of the immutability of God’s law. It was written with the finger of God, never to be obliterated, never to be destroyed. The tables of stone are hidden by God, to be produced in the great judgment-day, just as He wrote them (The Review and Herald, March 26, 1908).
When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death (The Review and Herald, January 28, 1909).
1, 2. Aaron’s Sin, Pacifying—We repeat the sin of Aaron, pacifying, when the eyesight should be clear to discern evil and state it plainly, even if it places us in an unpleasant position, because our motives may be misapprehended. We must not suffer wrong upon a brother or any soul with whom we are connected. This neglect to stand up firmly for truth was the sin of Aaron. Had he spoken the truth plainly, that golden calf would never have been made. The same spirit that led him to shun to declare the whole truth for fear of offending, led him to act a falsehood in pointing to the golden calf as a representation of the One who brought them from Egypt. Thus one unfaithfulness leads to another (Letter 10, 1896).
4, 5. Idol Proclaimed God—The result of their murmuring and unbelief was that Aaron made them a golden calf to represent God. He proclaimed this idol to be God, and a great deal of enthusiasm was created over this false God (The Review and Herald, September 6, 1906).
19. Tables of Law Purposely Broken—In utter discouragement and wrath because of their great sin, he [Moses] threw down the tables of stone by divine direction purposely to break them in the sight of the people, and thus signify that they had broken the covenant so recently made with God (The Signs of the Times, May 20, 1880).
28 (Matthew 4:1-11). No Pangs of Hunger—Moses had, on special occasions, been thus long [forty days] without food. But he felt not the pangs of hunger. He was not harassed and tormented by a vile yet powerful foe. Moses was elevated above the human, and was enshrouded in the glory of God, and was especially sustained of God. The excellent glory inclosed him (Redemption: or the First Advent of Christ, pages 47, 48).
29. Christ Is the Glory of the Law—The glory that shone on the face of Moses was a reflection of the righteousness of Christ in the law. The law itself would have no glory, only that in it Christ is embodied. It has no power to save. It is lusterless only as in it Christ is represented as full of righteousness and truth (The Review and Herald, April 22, 1902).
1 (Revelation 20:12, 13; 1 Peter 4:17; 2 Peter 1:10, 11). Measuring the Church of God—The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate….
Here is the work going on, measuring the temple and its worshipers to see who will stand in the last day. Those who stand fast shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we are doing our work remember there is One that is watching the spirit in which we are doing it. Shall we not bring the Saviour into our everyday lives, into our secular work and domestic duties? Then in the name of God we want to leave behind everything that is not necessary, all gossiping or unprofitable visiting, and present ourselves as servants of the living God (Manuscript 4, 1888).
19 (see EGW comment on Exodus 31:18; Isaiah 6:1-7; 58:12-14). Tables of Stone a Convincing Testimony—When God’s temple in heaven is opened, what a triumphant time that will be for all who have been faithful and true! In the temple will be seen the ark of the testament in which were placed the two tables of stone, on which are written God’s law. These tables of stone will be brought forth from their hiding place, and on them will be seen the Ten Commandments engraved by the finger of God. These tables of stone now lying in the ark of the testament will be a convincing testimony to the truth and binding claims of God’s law (Letter 47, 1902).
Ark in Heaven Contains Commandments—Sacrilegious minds and hearts have thought they were mighty enough to change the times and laws of Jehovah; but, safe in the archives of heaven, in the ark of God, are the original commandments, written upon the two tables of stone. No potentate of earth has power to draw forth those tables from their sacred hiding place beneath the mercy seat (The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1878).
3-6, 13-17 (Revelation 13:1, 2, 11). God’s People in the Minority—Under the symbols of a great red dragon, a leopardlike beast, and a beast with lamblike horns, the earthly governments which would especially engage in trampling upon God’s law and persecuting His people, were presented to John. The war is carried on till the close of time. The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (The Signs of the Times, November 1, 1899).
7. War in Heaven—Opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven, with Lucifer, the covering cherub. Satan determined to be first in the councils of heaven, and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, representing that it was the desire of the angels that he occupy the position that Christ held.