The ark, a relic from the past, which Moses’ craftsmen – anointed by the Spirit for the task – created for the tabernacle in the wilderness, will soon be discovered. What a celebration for Israel and what a testimony to the world this discovery will be! This will testify to every nation on earth that the Jewish people are indeed a chosen company. But, more than what it says about Israel will be what it says about the true and living God of the Bible. This ark dates back to the exodus out of Egypt and the beginning of both the sacrificial system of the law and the preparation to enter the Promised Land as the nation of Israel.
The ark both represented and signified the presence of Jehovah God. It was not Moses’ idea; but, it was commanded by God. “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. 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” “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat” “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. 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 25:10-11,18,21-22).
God said that this would be His meeting place with His nation, Israel. God’s literal presence would rest upon the ark. No one could touch it, but they would be responsible to carry it with the staves that they slipped through the rings at each corner. The High Priest, who offered the sacrifice at this ark that was placed behind a great veil, was sanctified carefully before he could go inside the veil. If he failed to purify himself, he was smitten with immediate death.
After many years Solomon built the great temple in Jerusalem to be the dwelling place of this ark. God’s Shekinah glory did not inhabit the temple alone, but dwelt with the ark. Because the glory of God was manifest with this ark, it became the source of great fear both to God-fearing Jews and often to their enemies. It’s thrilling to read the Biblical stories of victory associated with this physical expression of God’s wonderful presence.
This great representation of the Jewish faith apparently disappeared before the army of Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 586 B.C. This means that it is not likely that anyone has seen this awesome relic for 2,594 years. Of course, there are a host of people who do not believe it still exists. Some believe that Nebuchadnezzar’s army either destroyed it for its gold content or carried it away to Babylon never to be returned. There are several other possible answers as to why they believe it does not exist.
Among those that believe it does exist, there are also different opinions as to its present hidden place. One man, who I personally met, says he discovered the ark, looked at it, and knows exactly where it is located. He says it is under Mount Calvary where Jesus Christ was crucified. He claims that he dug from 1979 until 1982 before he finally reached the ark. Since it was covered over in a stone case, he used a colonoscope to identify the contents.
It is his opinion that when Jesus Christ was crucified, the blood ran down through the fissures caused by the earthquake and actually fell on the mercy seat of the ark. I remember hearing him tell this story on a television program on which he was a guest. I knew very little about this man, Ron Wyatt, but the story sure sounded exciting. I was skeptical and later decided that it was only Ron’s dream story.
There is also a report that says the ark is in the possession of the Vatican in Rome. A Benedictine monk, named Nelson Canode, claims that he had the following experience while he was serving at a monastery about 30 miles from Rome, “Mr. Canode testified that he once served as a Benedictine monk at the monastery at Subiaco, Italy, located 30 miles from Rome. While there, Canode says that he was taken to a room in a cave about four stories under the monastery. Here in this room were deposited ancient artifacts that he helped to move back and forth between Subiaco and the underground vaults of the Vatican. When he asked his superiors what these items were, he was told they included the disassembled Tabernacle and the Ark.” (In Search of Temple Treasures, Randall Price, p. 99).
I have read about efforts being made by Jewish representatives to persuade the Vatican to return items that were taken from the Jerusalem temple in 70 A.D. Whether they have the actual ark or other sacred items, it is without a doubt that there are Jewish treasures in Rome. The Roman church would have inherited anything that had not been destroyed for its content, gold, or other valuables from the Roman authorities.
The search for the ark exists all the way to Ethiopia. It is claimed by the Ethiopians that the ark is hidden in the sanctuary chapel of Saint Mary of Zion Church in Axum, Ethiopia. Here is an account from the Ethiopian royal chronicles called Kebra Nagast or “Glory of the Kings” that was printed in Price’s book, “This work says the original Ark was transferred from Jerusalem to Ethiopia by Menelik I, the alleged son of the Queen of Sheba (an Ethiopian ruler) and King Solomon. A Zadokite priest who left with Menelik I took the original Ark from the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple and left a replica in its place. When Menelik I discovered that his entourage possessed the Ark, he surmised that they must have had divine approval, since God c ertainly would have prevented the removal of the Ark had He not willed it. “The account further states that the Ark was taken from Jerusalem to protect it from Manasseh, who would later defile the Temple with idolatrous images. Other traditions say that the Ark was taken first to a local temple in Elephantine, an island in Upper Egypt that had a Jewish community.” (Ibid, pp. 131-132).
Bypassing an almost endless list of persons and locations that lay claim to the ark’s existence, I believe there is only one possible location. I believe that the ark is somewhere under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant is the single most sacred relic of Jewish history and proof of God’s hand upon them. Personally, I believe that this part of temple worship must be preserved and found to complete the Tribulation temple. It will be powerfully used to prepare Jewish people for the transition to the faith of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.
There are a great number of Jewish rabbis, Christian leaders, and even archaeologists that believe the ark is beneath the Temple Mount. After the war of 1967, rabbis led an effort to dig beneath the Temple Mount in an effort to find the treasures of the temple. Here is a quote from Rabbi Goren, one of the leaders, “We were very close to the place on the Temple Mount where the Holy of Holies was located. We were very close, beneath the Holy of Holies. We believe that the holy Ark made by Moses, and the table from the Temple, and the candelabra made by Moses, along with other very important items, are hidden very deep underneath the Holy of Holies, We started digging and we came close to the place; we were not more than 30 or 40 yards away.” (Ibid, p. 166).
Their effort was stopped when the news leaked and an uproar was created by the Arabs who were connected to the Muslim sites. The Israeli police were directed by the Israeli government to intervene, the digging was stopped, and a wall was built to close off the area. All the searching for the ark was over until the appointed time.
Soon, when the war of Gog and Magog is finished and the world knows that there is a true and supernatural God, the time will arrive. The third and last Jewish temple cannot be authentic without the Ark of the Covenant. Any respect for the Muslim religion will end with the war of Gog and Magog. As a result, the Temple Mount will be swept clean and the Temple will be rebuilt. Very likely, the great fire from God on the Russia and Muslim hordes will also touch the mount and obliterate every semblance of the false religion of Allah.
It will only be days after the peace treaty between Israel and what is left of the Arab world, along with the Antichrist from Babylon, that the ark will be located. Then, the world will know.