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Soldier4Christ
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« on: April 17, 2006, 03:26:48 PM »

Ark of the Covenant: Mystical Object or Historical Artifact?
The Ark of the Covenant means different things to different people. For some, the Ark is a mystical object that contains supernatural powers too terrifying to comprehend. For the pop-culture minded, it is the priceless treasure sought after by the fearless Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. To others, it is an ancient artifact that is highly coveted for its "religious" significance, similar to the "holy grail." With all the societal myths surrounding the Ark, it is worthwhile to take a moment to investigate its true origin and purpose. Is the Ark of the Covenant as powerful and terrifying as some have portrayed it to be? Is it merely something dreamt up by Hollywood to lure our movie-going dollars? Or could there be more to this ancient object that has relevance for us today?

Ark of the Covenant: The History Behind it
The Ark of the Covenant is first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 25. Following Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt, God instructs Moses to build a Tabernacle (or tent) in which the Israelites will worship God. Placed in a special area known as "the Holy of Holies," the Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred object in the Tabernacle. Detailed instructions were given by God to construct the Ark. It was to be made with acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Dimensionally, the Ark was to be 2.5 cubits (1 cubit is approximately 18 in.) long and 1.5 cubits wide and high. Atop the Ark were two gold cherubs that stood with their wings covering an area of the Ark known as the "Mercy Seat."

The Ark of the Covenant contained three items of extreme significance to the Israelites. The first was two stone tablets bearing the divine inscription of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments formed the foundation of God's covenant with Israel, commonly referred to as "The Law" (Exodus 31). The second item in the Ark was the rod of Aaron. God miraculously caused Aaron's rod to bud with blossoms to show the rest of the tribes of Israel that it was God's will for Aaron to be in charge of the Priesthood (Numbers 17). The last item was a golden pot of manna. Manna was the starchy food God miraculously provided for the Israelites during their 40 years of desert wanderings (Exodus 16).

The Ark of the Covenant was where God manifested His presence on earth. The Ark went ahead of the Israelites wherever they traveled. Not only was it the center of worship when it resided in the tabernacle, but the Ark also protected the Israelites in battle, supernaturally defeating any adversaries that came before them (Joshua 6:3-4). The Israelites also went to the Ark to seek God's guidance and wisdom for the nation (Numbers 7:89, Exodus 25:22).

Ark of the Covenant: A Temporary Means of ForgivenessThe Ark of the Covenant was more than just a special furnishing with supernatural powers -- It was also the Israelites' means of relating to God. The Ark of the Covenant could only be approached once a year by the high priest on "Yum Kippur"- the Jewish Day of Atonement. On this day, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies with the blood of a sacrificed lamb. It was also only on this day that God's presence manifested between the two Cherubs. The high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the Mercy Seat. Once received by God, the blood of the lamb atoned (covered) for the sins of the high priest and the entire nation of Israel. This ritual was performed continuously, year after year. The Ark of the Covenant played a key role in the forgiveness of sins.

Ark of the Covenant: Foreshadowing the Coming MessiahAt first glance, the blood sacrifices associated with the history of the Ark of the Covenant may seem somewhat disturbing. Slaughtering animals and offering their blood on an altar begs of the occult. It is important to note, however, that these sacrifices were not intended to appease the wrath of a bloodthirsty deity. God does not desire the blood and suffering of helpless lambs (Hebrews 10:Cool. The biblical text repeatedly shows that where there is sin, the unavoidable result is death. The sacrifice of the lamb points to the severity of sin. Sin must always be atoned (paid) for in order for God to be just (Hebrews 9:22). God's compassion enabled the sins of Israel to be transferred upon the lamb. More importantly, these sacrifices were foreshadowing a greater sacrifice yet to take place -- the sacrifice of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. God knew that these continual sacrifices would be insufficient to pay for the sins of Israel, much less the sins of all humanity. Therefore, God provided Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrificial lamb, which became the greatest act of love in all history. A Roman cross became the ark on which Christ was sacrificed. The blood of Christ, once and for all, atoned for the wrongs of all who would accept Him as their Savior (John 3:16).

Ark of the Covenant: Replaced by God's New CovenantThe Ark of the Covenant disappeared from the Jewish Temple somewhere before or during the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 586 BC. In anticipation of the Ark's disappearance, the prophet Jeremiah wrote: "And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more" (Jeremiah 3:16). Even before Jesus, Jeremiah's prophecy revealed that there would be no more need for the Ark of the Covenant in the future. God had a better covenant He would bring to pass -- the new covenant in His Son, Jesus Christ.
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 03:27:24 PM »

Why are archaeologists searching for the Ark of the Covenant?

Why are archaeologists searching for the Ark of the Covenant? Different archaeologists have different reasons. Vendyl Jones for example wants to restore biblical pre-Babylonian-captivity Judaism, which would require rebuilding the temple and reinstituting the temple services which include the Ark of the Covenant. And so he searches for the Ark.

Other archaeologists are in it for the glory. Imagine being the man or woman or a member of the team who discover the lost Ark. You would achieve instant worldwide fame! And not just fame, but wealth too. Book deals, merchandise, interviews, talkshow appearances… the list goes on.

Some archaeologists searching for the Ark of the Covenant just want to prove the biblical narrative to be true. They want to show the world that the Ark really does exist. Some may even be in it for power. The Ark is thought by some to have supernatural power. If you've seen the movie "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark," you'll remember that Hitler was looking for the Ark for this reason. He wanted to use it as a weapon. And finally, some archaeologists are just good old-fashioned treasure hunters and the Ark would certainly be a priceless artifact.

So why are archaeologists searching for the Ark of the Covenant? Different archaeologists have different reasons. But they all have at least one thing in common: regardless of their reasons for looking for it, no one has found it yet.
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 03:27:54 PM »

What are the contents of the Ark of the Covenant?

What are the contents of the Ark of the Covenant? We don't know. It's been missing for nearly three thousand years. All we know about the Ark and its contents is what the Bible says about it and the last book of the Bible was written nearly two thousand years ago. For all we know the Ark is empty today.

So what were the contents of the Ark of the Covenant according to the Bible? In Hebrews 9:1-5 we read, "Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now."

The writer of Hebrews couldn't discuss the details because by the time the book of Hebrews was written the Ark had already been missing for six centuries. The writer does however mention what the Ark's contents were at one time and he seems to be making reference to certain passages of the Old Testament. In Exodus 16:33-34, 25:10-16 and Numbers 17:10 God tells Moses to put the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant into the Ark. However in 1 Kings 8:9, when Solomon brought the Ark into the Temple which he had built, it only contained the stone tablets. The other contents, the rod and the jar of manna, must have been removed at some point before the Ark was brought into the temple. And that is all the Bible says about the contents of the Ark of the Covenant.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2006, 03:28:37 PM »

When did the Ark of the Covenant disappear?

When did the Ark of the Covenant disappear? The last historical mention of the Ark in Scripture is in Second Chronicles chapter 35, where King Josiah (who reigned in Judah c. 640-609 BC) asked the Levites to return the Ark to the Temple where Solomon had originally housed it after completing and dedicating the Temple sometime in the 10th century BC (Second Chronicles, chapter 5). There is no mention as to why the Levites had removed the Ark in the first place, nor is there any indication as to whether or not the Levites acquiesced to King Josiah's request.

In the apocryphal book (that is, noncanonical book) of Second Maccabees, chapter 2 (verses 1-8), we read that the prophet Jeremiah "following a divine revelation, ordered that the tent [i.e. the tabernacle of meeting] and the ark [i.e. the ark of the covenant] should accompany him and how he went off to the mountain which Moses climbed to see God's inheritance [i.e. Mt. Nebo; see Deuteronomy 31:1-4]. When Jeremiah arrived there, he found a room in a cave in which he put the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense; then he blocked up the entrance." (vv. 4-5) There is some debate as to whether or not this second-hand account (see v. 1) is trustworthy.

So when did the Ark of the Covenant disappear? It seems that it disappeared sometime immediately prior to the Babylonian Captivity in the 6th century BC.

Oftentimes when we ask when did the Ark of the Covenant disappear, we also ask why? Why did God allow the Ark to be removed? We must keep in mind that not only did God allow the Ark to be removed from the Temple but that He also allowed the nation to be removed from the Promised Land and the Temple to be destroyed. This was in fulfillment of the consequences which He had outlined to Moses before the nation had even entered the land.

The nation was allowed to return and the Temple was rebuilt but the Ark was not permitted to return. In Jeremiah chapter 3 we read of a conversation which took place before the Babylonian captivity. God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah saying, "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' declares the LORD; 'I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree [referring here to idol worship], and you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the LORD. 'Return, O faithless sons,' declares the LORD; 'For I am a master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,' declares the LORD, 'they will no longer say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD." And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again'" (Jeremiah 3:12-16).

Here God says that the Ark of the Covenant, which up to that time played a prominent role in orthodox Jewish worship, would no longer play that role, nor would it be missed by the faithful. The Lord made this declaration during the reign of Josiah's reign (v. 6). The only other mention of the Ark of Covenant in Scripture occurs almost 700 years later when it's mentioned briefly in the Book of Hebrews (9:4-5) and in the Book of Revelation (11:19). By this time the Ark had already disappeared (see Hebrews 9:5b).
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2006, 03:29:34 PM »

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Where is the Ark of the Covenant? We don't know. But there is a lot of speculation...

Graham Hancock, a former East African correspondent for the Economist, believes that the Ark may be housed in the Saint Mary of Zion's Church in Axum, Ethiopia. Hancock published The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant in 1992 in which he presented his theory. Robert Cornuke, an investigator with B.A.S.E. Institute, has pursued this theory with multiple expeditions over the last few years.

Rabbis Shlomo Goren and Yehuda Getz believe that the Ark of the Covenant is hidden beneath the Temple Mount and is accessible through a series of underground passages. The Temple Mount is currently home to the Islamic Dome of the Rock Mosque and when the local Muslims discovered that excavations were being conducted beneath the Temple Mount, they threatened to riot. For the sake of peace, the Jewish authorities sealed up the entrance to the underground passageways.

Vendyl Jones believes that the mysterious Copper Scroll, discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran Cave 3, is a treasure map which leads to the exact location of the Ark of the Covenant. According to Vendyl, the Ark is hidden somewhere in a "cave with two columns, near the River of the Dome."

Ron Wyatt claims to have actually seen the Ark of the Covenant, hidden beneath Calvary where Christ was crucified. But that's not all. Wyatt also claims to have found every site of archaeological interest to Christians, including Noah's Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Red Sea crossing site and the real Mt Sinai, to name but a few. It should be noted that Wyatt isn't actually a qualified archaeologist. He's a nurse anesthetist. He supposedly made all of these discoveries while on vacation! Where's the proof? Wyatt hasn't been able to produce any.

Some people believe that the Ark is hidden somewhere in or around Mt. Nebo on the Jordan River's east bank. In the apocryphal Second Maccabees, chapter 2, verses 1-8, we read how the prophet Jeremiah "following a divine revelation, ordered that the tent [i.e. the tabernacle of meeting] and the ark [i.e. the ark of the covenant] should accompany him and how he went off to the mountain which Moses climbed to see God's inheritance [i.e. Mt. Nebo; see Deuteronomy 31:1-4]. When Jeremiah arrived there, he found a room in a cave in which he put the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense; then he blocked up the entrance." (vv. 4-5) There is some debate as to whether or not this second-hand account (see v. 1) is trustworthy. Nevertheless, Tom Crotser claims to have actually seen the Ark in the Mt. Nebo region. He claims to have followed a passage way which he discovered on Mt. Pisgah (near Nebo). Croster, like Wyatt, has been unable to produce any proof whatsoever.

There is even an Irish tradition which says that the Ark is buried under the Hill of Tara in Ireland and is the source of the Irish pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow legend. But where is the Ark of the Covenant really? We don't know. It's that simple. The Ark of the Covenant remains a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 03:37:23 PM »

Another non-canonical source of the whereabouts of the ark can be found in II Maccabees 2:4-8.

Here we find that Jeremiah "being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him." He did not take it to Egypt. On the contrary, "went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God" (Mount Pisgah/Nebo). When Jeremiah reached the mountain, "he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door" (II Maccabees 2:4-6). Here is solid documentary evidence of where the Ark was placed. Several of Jeremiah's followers returned to mark the site but could not find it, but 'when Jeremiah learned of this he reprimanded them. "it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.  Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses".



According to yet another theory circulating among scholars and archaeologists, the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred vessels of the Tabernacle may be hidden in a secret tunnel between the Temple Mount and Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Military aircraft with state-of-the-art sensors flew over this 12 square mile area and examined it with radiographic equipment. The examination revealed an anomaly — something is there that is not indigenous to the topography. Could it be the Ark and sacred vessels?

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 02:19:14 AM »

When God is ready, he will reveal thel Ark of the Covenant.
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006, 02:43:21 AM »

When God is ready, he will reveal thel Ark of the Covenant.

Amen brother and not a second before.

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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 02:46:28 AM »

Amen brother and not a second before.


AMEN and sing Praises in His name, brother!!
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2006, 03:24:17 AM »

AMEN and sing Praises in His name, brother!!
Wink
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2006, 12:22:27 PM »

The Ark of the Covenant is in Heaven - it has been there at least 2,000 years because John saw it there in Revelation:

Rev 11:19 And the temple of God in Heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple, and lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and a great hail occurred.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2006, 01:35:54 PM »

Hi milchamahel,

Welcome to Christians Unite. I'm glad to see you here.

Much of what John saw and wrote about in Revelations was about things to come and not about what was at that time. So this does not prove the location of the Ark of the Covenant although that could be a very good possibility.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2006, 03:00:15 PM »

Hi milchamahel,

Welcome to Christians Unite. I'm glad to see you here.

Much of what John saw and wrote about in Revelations was about things to come and not about what was at that time. So this does not prove the location of the Ark of the Covenant although that could be a very good possibility.

thanx for the welcome  Smiley

certainly it is up for one's own interp, but Heaven is timeless.  If John saw it there in 95 AD, I choose to believe his witness.

let's just say that it is a reasonable "assumption".  When Jesus said "It is Finished" - the OC was satisfied and fulfilled.  The Ark of the Covenant was the "residence" of that covenant and was no longer needed.  The drastic events that occurred at the time of Christ's death pointed to the end of the Law and the OC when darkness fell, the earth opened, and the veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom.  I would say this is a good indicator that the Ark made it's permanent place in Heaven.
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2006, 10:18:04 PM »

It is just nice to be on a forum where someone isn't telling us it is a "type of Mary" Smiley


Good article ..
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2006, 10:20:18 PM »

Hello milchamahel,

I've been on a trip, so this is a late welcome, but WELCOME!


I look forward to reading your posts and having fellowship with you. Reading this thread really made me happy and I could only concentrate on one thing:  I give thanks that the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD lives in my heart. That's only possible because of the finished work of JESUS CHRIST on the CROSS!

Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 1:1-4 NASB  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
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