This information is NOT for those critics who have set their hearts against the truth. No matter how strong the evidence, it would be wasted on them. The battle lines have been drawn and the ranks are becoming clearly defined. The answers in this section are presented for the benefit of the countless honest folks who genuinely want to know the truth concerning the Discoveries claims. This includes many who are sharing the news and need extra information for genuine enquirers.
One important note before we go on…
Due to continuing restrictions by the host government, it is not possible to present all the data that has been collected on this subject. For most people, that which CAN be said in this report will be more than enough. Others will have to watch and wait until that time when the ultimate evidence can be made public.
1) What did the Ark look like?
The Ark is described in the twenty-fifth chapter of Exodus. It was a chest made of wood overlaid with gold. The lid of the Ark, known as the Mercy Seat, was of pure gold. Attached to it and beaten out of the same piece of solid gold, were two angel-like carvings called cherubim. These faced each other, looking down toward the law and the Mercy Seat.
Various ancient accounts describe the cherubim wings as being raised above or level with their heads. Yet the word translated “upward”, “on high” or “above” (Hebrew lema’lah) in Exodus 25:20 and 37:9 actually indicates that the wings were spread horizontally near their heads.
One wing of each cherub is thus outstretched (and shown as such in our sketch below), while the other wing of each is clasped by the side.
The sketch in the circle is a close-up of the crown molding around the edge of the Mercy seat. This is approximately 2 to 2’/2 inches high. It comprises alternating bells and pomegranates. Four rings attached to the base of the Ark were for the insertion of poles, by which to carry the Ark.
2) Since the Bible says the angel have their feet on top of the Mercy Seat, why do you place them beside the two ends with their feet on the ground?
Our portrayal is based on physical eyewitness observation. Also, here is what the Bible says:
“and make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof” Exodus. 25:19.
“And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof” Exodus. 37:7,8.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “on” in Exodus 25:19 (“cherub ON the one end” and “cherub ON the other end”) can most certainly also mean “touching”, “against”, and “beside”. (See Hebrew entry 5921)
A motor vehicle’s rear vision mirror is said to be “on” the car, even though it is not on top, but attached to the side.
Another point to consider is that it is called a mercy SEAT, and it is a symbol of God’s THRONE. If the angels’ feet were on top of the Mercy Seat, the whole object could not present as a seat or throne.
The symbolic representation of the holy angels looking reverently downward toward the Mercy Seat represented all the heavenly angels looking with reverence toward the law of God deposited in the heavenly Ark. But how could such symbolism be correct if the cherubims were actually standing on top of the Mercy Seat which is on top of the Ark containing the law of God? That would show irreverence. It would be incorrect symbolism.
As the record says, the angels are “on the two ends” “at either end of the Ark”, the symbol of God’s Throne. The angels are not standing on top of God’s Throne. They stand beside the Throne.
3) Gold is heavy. If the Ark of the Covenant (with such large cherubim as shown in your picture) was made of solid gold, might it not have been too heavy to carry?
The Ark was merely overlaid with gold. As for the Mercy Seat, this was beaten out of one solid piece of gold, and two cherubim were made, one standing on each end, beaten out of the same piece of gold. From actual examination, the Mercy Seat is about 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) thick. It does look like solid gold, or at least thick gold plate. However, since the craftsmen took one piece of solid gold and beat it into shape to form the Mercy Seat and two cherubim, these are probably hollow. Perhaps, like the Ark, they are composed of wood overlaid with gold. Dr. Leslie Hardinge (With Jesus in the Sanctuary, p.190) concurs that “The lid of the Ark was a slab of acacia wood encased in solid gold” and that the angels were hollow (p.206).
4) What was the Ark’s purpose?
1. The Ark was the special place for the manifesting of God’s presence on earth.
The book of Numbers depicts Moses coming to the Ark and hearing the voice of God speaking from between the cherubim upon the Ark (Numbers 7:89).
The Ark was symbolic of the Great Throne in heaven, the centre of rulership for the universe. Thus two cherubim (representations of angelic beings) were attached to the cover of the Ark.
Cherubim always appear in Scripture as immensely powerful beings who attend the visible presence of God. Various Scripture passages picture the Lord as sitting enthroned between the cherubims (1st Samuel 4:4; 2nd Samuel 6:2; Psalm 80:1) with the Ark as His footstool (1st Chronicles 28:2; Psalm 132:7,8).
2. The Ark’s main purpose was as a repository for the holy law of God.
It was for this reason that this golden chest was named the ARK OF THE COVENANT (or ARK OF THE TESTIMONY). It enshrined “the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments”, also known as “the Testimony” (Exodus 34:28; 32:15, 16).
That law was a transcript of the character and will of God. The tables of the law within the Ark testified to the fact that God’s kingdom is founded on an unchangeable standard of right living (Psalm 97:2).
The location of the TEN COMMANDMENTS below the MERCY SEAT of the Ark taught that God’s government and law isn’t arbitrary, but is based on LOVE. From the Divine Throne emanates not merely “justice and judgement” but also “mercy” (Psalm 89:14).
3. The Ark was a teaching model of God’s great plan to save fallen man.
The message was that God will be gracious to those who come to Him in His appointed way. Firstly, man has sinned. He has broken that law which is the foundation of God’s government. Says John;
“Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1st John 3:4).
But secondly, over this law is the Mercy Seat. The Lord’s mercy is over His law. It is the prerogative of the law-giver to provide mercy. The sacrificial blood placed upon the Mercy Seat over the Ten Commandments was an impressive symbol of the price that our sins have cost and which the Deliverer would be willing to pay.
So in a nutshell, it meant simply this:
The blood of the Coming One shall be shed as a sacrifice and God will grant mercy to all who accept that sacrifice on their behalf and turn from their wrongdoings.
Before we leave this point, something I found interesting was that on the annual Day of Atonement the blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat once and before it 7 times. Just so, the coming Lamb of God, the Messiah, would be offered once for all. Seven is the number of perfection and completeness. (Leviticus 16:14)
5) Was the Ark an electrical conductor, as depicted in some documentaries about the Ark?
As a matter of fact, replicas of the Ark have been made, without any such electrical conductivity resulting. But, more to the point, our original sources of information concerning the Ark – ancient Hebrew texts – refute such an idea. According to the first book of Samuel, Chapter 4, the Ark had no independent power as a super weapon. It was powerless to prevent its own capture by the enemy.
Apparently, there was nothing inherently dangerous about the physical structure of the Ark. If we are to believe the ancient writings, the true power of the Ark rested only in the Divine Presence. It is related that when God’s presence was with the Ark and the Hebrews who possessed it, the Ark was heralded as a wondrous source of divine blessing and protection to the faithful. It brought them victory in battle – and prosperity to the home of a man named Obed-edom while it rested there. But when the Divine Presence departed, in response to Israel’s unfaithlessness, the Ark was as powerless as any man-made object.
6) Why did people drop dead when they touched it?
The Hebrews held that the Creator of the universe was holy and that they were unholy. This entire planet had fallen temporarily under the powers of evil, and in order for the Deity to meet with His chosen people, He had instructed that a special place be kept aside that was not defiled by unholy beings.
The Ark of the Covenant came to be known as God’s earthly “Throne”, so to speak. Since the Holy One could be approached only in holiness, the Ark, which represented God’s Presence, was to be treated as holy.
According to the writings of Moses, “violation of the holy things” that were set apart exclusively for the worship of God was a serious matter (Leviticus. 5:15). The Lord Himself, it was declared, had spoken thus: “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.”Leviticus 10:3. Since the Holy Creator cannot look upon evil, (Habakkuk. 1:13), it meant instant destruction to any human, except the high priest, who came into contact with this earthly “Throne” of the Lord. God would not permit men to defile His earthly “Throne”. This was the one object on earth which they were powerless to defile.
7) Why was Uzzah struck dead merely for trying to keep it falling?
Uzzah’s fate was linked to the violation of a most explicit command. Through Moses, God had given special orders concerning the Ark’s transportation. Firstly, none but the appointed priests, descendants of Aaron, were to look upon it uncovered, much less touch it (Numbers 4:15). After the priests had covered the holy chest, the sons of Kohath must lift it by the poles that were placed in rings on each side.
Secondly, while carts and oxen were used to transport other items belonging to the worship tent, this was not to be the method of transportation for the Ark. It was to be borne upon the shoulders of the sons of Kohath (Numbers 7:9). Thus, on this occasion, there had been a direct and inexcusable violation of the divine command.
Certainly, King David and his subjects were performing a glad and willing act in transporting the Ark to Jerusalem. However, their neglect of the divine instruction was unacceptable. In Uzzah’s case, such neglect had apparently lessened his sense of the sacredness of God’s plain statements. Only a strict heed to His requirements was acceptable.
8) Since in former times people died when they tried to touch the Ark, what would happen if you touched it today? How do you protect yourself?
We all know, don’t we what happened in the long ago if someone tried to touch the Ark.
That was because the Ark was a symbol of God’s Presence. God is holy and unholy man cannot approach into His presence. In those days, the people were forbidden to look upon it. Even in recent times, when it was photographed, the pictures turned out foggy. And one might ask could it be that the Lord even now does not intend that it be seen by the world… at this present time?
Over the years, many unsavory characters have attached themselves to the search – men motivated by greed or self-interest. Suppose that such men were to catch a clear glimpse of the shimmering gold of the Ark, just what might they attempt then?
The Bible states, of course, that once the Lord places His blessing upon something, that blessing remains forever (1st Chronicles 17:27). The Ark of the Covenant is the earthly Throne of God. At this point of time, all of the furnishings of the Temples (both the wilderness Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon) – all of that furniture – is set out in the underground chamber in exactly the same way as it was in those two places. The only difference is there is no veil between the rest of the furnishings and the Ark.
What would happen if one touched the Ark today? My personal feeling would be that unless one was chosen for the job, it would be advisable not to try and find out.
Says Ron, “Before I go in there I ask the Lord, in the Name and Blood of His Son, to forgive me and cleanse me of every sin -the ones I know about and the ones I don’t know about. You see, the Bible says, `Even your righteousness is as filthy rags.’ So there are things we allow and participate in that won’t be allowed in a perfect universe. All the things we have here will be replaced with things that are a whole lot nicer and healthier, and all of that.”
“But anyway, that’s how I protect myself – it is by the blood of Jesus. And for all of us – all the protection we need, is that.”
“I know a lot of people who think they should be able to go in and have a look. Well, God is up there; He is not hard of hearing, or retarded. He understands all languages. And if they ask Him to see it, in the name and blood of His Son, and if He wants them to see it, He can make the arrangements. He can show them where it is,and all else necessary.”
9) Was the Ark in the 2nd Temple?
The Ark was never in the Second Temple. We investigated carefully to determine whether, after the Jewish captivity in Babylon, when the Second Temple was built, the Ark had been placed in that Temple. Indeed, the Most Holy Place remained empty. This was much to the astonishment of Pompey, the Roman general, who in 63 BC forced his way into the inner sanctuary of the Second Temple.
And Josephus, familiar with the Temple and present when the Romans destroyed it, states:
“There was nothing at all in the Holy of Holies” (Wars of the Jews 6:555).
We find confirmation in the Jewish Talmud that the Ark was non-existent in Herod’s Temple (the refurbished Second Temple) (Yoma 5:2).
10) How do you account for the other reported discoveries of the Ark in Ethiopia, Jordan or under the Temple Mount?
Since the Hollywood fantasy Raiders of the Lost Ark was first released in 1981 with Harrison Ford in the starring role as Indiana Jones, there has been a proliferation of attempts to find the secret hiding place of this famous treasure.
Certain people have made it their business to investigate reports of searches and alleged finds. And we can assure you without fear of being successfully contradicted in the future, that in none of these places will the real Ark ever be found. Replicas, however, are known to have been made.
A very good book to read is called; ‘The Ark of the Covenant’ by Jonathan Gray, which outlines in some detail why the REAL Ark could not be discovered in these areas
11) Why do you claim that some Temple treasures (such as the 7-branched Lampstand) are still stored in a cave with the Ark, when the Arch of Titus clearly depicts them as booty brought to Rome in 70 AD?
Firstly, because they’re there, in the cave. But secondly, consider this: The First Temple had been destroyed in 586 BC. Later, a Second Temple was built in 515 BC, and this was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, who was present at that second destruction of the Temple, the Roman emperor, Vespasian, erected a “peace sanctuary” after the Jewish War to commemorate the destruction of the Second Temple (Wars of the Jews 7:148-150). Josephus says that captured Temple treasures had been taken to Rome and placed in this building.
On the Arch of Titus in Rome, a 7-branched Candlestick and Table of Shewbread are depicted as objects that had been seized from the doomed Temple and taken to Rome.
However, it is doubtful that these dated from the First Temple of Jeremiah’s time, the Temple that had contained the Ark of the Covenant.
It is known that there were many duplicates of the Table of Shewbread and the Candlestick and other vessels, kept in storage in the Temple treasuries in case the vessels in use were defiled. (Talmud Hag. 26b, 27a).
The 7-branched Candlestick, depicted as booty on the Arch of Titus, can hardly be an original, say many Jewish scholars, because its octagonal base is shown to have graven images. No Jewish Candlestick ever possessed images, since they were considered a form of idolatry (Deuteronomy 4:16-25; 5:8).
And the earliest form of the 7-branched Candlestick (undoubtedly patterned after the Mosaic model) possessed a 3-legged stand, not an octagonal base, according to archaeological evidence.
The Candlestick depicted on the Arch of Titus was very likely a non-Jewish creation made by Herod’s craftsmen as a gift to Rome. One notes Josephus’ statement that priests gave to Titus “two lamp stands similar to those deposited in the Temple” (Wars of the Jews 6:388).
On the Arch of Titus in Rome, where all that was captured is portrayed quite vividly, the Ark of the Covenant is not inscribed. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE ARK WAS TAKEN TO ROME.
12) Wasn’t the Ark taken to heaven?
In support of this idea, some refer to a New Testament book which mentions a Temple in heaven containing “the Ark of his testament” Revelation 11:15-19.
Yet, according to another part of the Scriptures, the Hebrew tabernacle and its furniture were merely replicas of those in heaven (Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:23-24). There is the heavenly original and the earthly copy.
Because the heavenly Ark has always been in heaven, the earthly Ark had no reason to be there.
13) Why hasn’t the Ark been brought out to show to the World?
Just try to ponder the effect this discovery will have on the Jewish people. And the problems that it generates for the political leaders in Israel.
When Ron Wyatt reported to the authorities what he had found, perhaps not able to believe what Ron told them, or perhaps recognizing the problems that could arise were it made known, his superiors told him not to tell anyone about this discovery.
Alas, it was too late for that, since Ron had already told a few people, he confessed.
Realizing that “what is done is done”, they then ordered him not to reveal any more details than he had already revealed.
Evidence handed over
Some time later, Ron was able to present something from the excavation to the authorities. What he presented convinced them that he had indeed found some items from the First Temple.
The Israeli authorities then decided to test public reaction. The result was a bloody clash and many deaths.
Again, some time ago, a permit was granted to some Israelis to undertake an excavation under the Temple mount. After a short while, it was reported that workmen had been seen lugging crates into the excavation tunnel. This aroused the curiosity of the authorities. They sent men in to investigate. It was found that the tunnel penetrated to a spot close under the Dome of the Rock… and high explosives were being set in position, presumably to blow up the place.
If you didn’t know, the A1 Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, together named the Haram alSharif, comprise the third most important place for the Moslem people.
Just think what sabotage of that site could do! It might well provoke an Islamic Jihad, a “holy war”.
The Israeli government desires to maintain good relations with the Arabs. It does not want to disturb the peace with the Arabs.
There are extremists who believe the Dome of the Rock sits illegally on the old Temple Mount. It is reported that these men would feel quite safe in provoking a war just to get the mount – if they knew they had the Ark of the Covenant “on their side”. It is remembered that during the period of the ancient Judges, before Solomon’s Temple was built, the Israelites would take the Ark with them into battle. And they were victorious.
Well, not always. It depended upon their faithfulness to the Lord. There was nothing inherent in the Ark itself that brought them victory. Their help came from the Lord.
Nevertheless, there are some modern religious extremists who would not hesitate to provoke a war in order to secure the old Temple site and build a Third Temple – if they could lay their hands on the Ark, believing its very possession would render them victorious.
So we have Jewish extremists… angry Palestinians… and a third potentially explosive factor… the Ark of the Covenant find.
U.S. News and World Report put it well:
“In a land torn by competing historical claims, archaeology is a weapon” (Oct. 7, 1996, p.45).
While the authorities (and by this I mean a handful of tight-lipped officials) know of the Ark’s location, they have decided that the matter is too politically volatile for them to go public. An official announcement could provoke “premature” action by fringe groups wanting to build a new Temple. Government officials regard this as a critical issue, in which the safety of the people must come first.
When the authorities ordered the crew to seal up the entrance to the excavation tunnel leading to the chamber, we knew that absolute confirmation of our story would be impossible for the present.
Bob Murrell ( a Ron Wyatt associate) was among those who constructed a steel door to close off the entrance. And several feet of earth were piled over it, to disguise the location. The cross-holes also were covered over with timber and gravel since the authorities did not want them revealed.
Meanwhile the government has placed a clamp on some information concerning the discovery. And we shall not go against the host government.
Currently, therefore, we are unable to present all collected data on this subject. We only ask that the reader watch and wait until that time when it will be made public. Certain rabbis may have had some influence in this decision, believing that the secret of the Ark belongs to the future time of redemption and the Messiah’s appearance. They may fear that a premature disclosure of the facts could possibly delay these events.
No matter how wonderful and exciting would be the display of the items in that cave; it seems likely that this will have to wait a while longer.
Again, there are only two reasons why the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant is a hot issue. The first is political! The second is religious!
Just think of the repercussions within Judaism if it were to be officially announced that the Person who was crucified at Skull Hill on that historic Passover day, branded by Jewish church leaders as an imposter, had actually spilt his blood on THEIR Mercy Seat? What would that do to Judaism?
Yes, the Jewish people may be excited about discovering the Ark of the Covenant, since that is the most important piece of furniture for their Temple.
But the last blood to flow onto that Ark was the blood of Jesus Christ, a so-called impostor. Can they take the blood of animals again and sprinkle it on that Mercy Seat? They have a decision to make.
Every Jew will have to examine his or her faith and decide whether Yeshua is the Messiah or not. That has the potential to shake world Judaism.
The Israeli political climate is so volatile that, in the eyes of some, the government’s very survival could depend on maintaining the status quo. And for this reason alone, there are many who would not welcome a further destabilizing of the scene.
One thing is certain: the authorities do not know how to handle this discovery!
14) If you are not allowed to reveal certain things, then why are you talking about them?
Before officially reporting the find to the Israeli authorities, Ron had already told a few people. Realizing that “what is done is done”, they ordered him not to reveal any more details than he had already revealed.
It is new details that have not been told (as well as a few documents) upon which the clamp has been placed – not that which was already public. That’s the difference.
15) What prevents the Israelis from going into the Ark of the Covenant site and taking out the Ark?
Some have already died in an attempt to go in and move it! When it was decided to move it out of occupied territory in to undisputed Israeli territory, this seemed like a noble project. But the men who went in to move it died, before they even got near the chamber. As far as we know there have not been any more attempts.
16) Hasn’t the Israelis denied that they ever issued Ron Wyatt a permit to dig?
In the book Ark of the Covenant (first published in April, 1997 by Jonathan Gray) it reported that Ron Wyatt was granted a permit by Israeli authorities to excavate in Jerusalem. But we also explained that if one should write to the Israel Antiquities Authority, one “would probably receive a letter that went something like this: “We have no record of any archaeological permit having been issued to a Ronald Wyatt, nor does anyone in this office know him. If Mr. Wyatt conducted any excavation in Jerusalem, it would have been done illegally.” (pp. 473, 474)
So, when someone writes to them 19 months later, what is their response? Precisely as what was predicted in the Ark of the Covenant book. They reply: “Ron Wyatt has never received a license from the Israel Antiquities Authority to excavate in Israel. If he says he has excavated in Israel, he has committed an illegal act… “(Letter dated November 30, 1998.)
Now consider. Up to 15 people were working and digging on the site. There was scaffolding, piles of earth, constant use of ropes, hoses, shovels, picks, jack-hammers and drills… for several years. And on a very high profile site.
If the team had been doing all of this without a permit, the authorities would have stopped the operation very smartly.
17) If found, would the Ark be used in a Third Temple built by the Jews?
It is worth mentioning that when the Jews went into captivity in Babylon and the First Temple was destroyed, the prophet Ezekiel wrote that the Lord had issued new instructions regarding the sacrificial system- instructions which no longer included the Ark of the Covenant (Ezekiel 42 to 46).
And so it was that, when the Jews returned from exile, they continued the sacrificial system according to those instructions, without the Ark of the Covenant. During the time of Jesus Christ, they were still performing the sacrificial system – but without the Ark.
There is no reason why the Israelis would need the Ark to perform the sacrificial system. They would need only to build a “table of the Lord” as instructed in the book of Ezekiel 41:22; 44:16.
18) Does the Ark discovery mean that Temple sacrifices will be reinstated?
To that I’ll say `This would not be according to God’s will.’ Jeremiah, who prophesied during the time of the Ark’s disappearance, 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.
This passage indicates that God will never return the Ark of the Covenant to the Jews for this purpose. It is not His will to restore animal sacrifices. Jesus, by his death, has done away with animal sacrifices. He has annulled them. He has abolished them. He has `caused sacrifice and offering to CEASE’ (Daniel 9:27.)
19) What significance does the Ark have for present-day Jews?
Rabbis have various opinions about that. One considered that the discovery would promote the building of a Third Temple. Another that it would signal the end of the Diaspora, the dispersion of the Jewish people. Another said it would be a clear signal that we are nearing the end of this age and the beginning of the messianic kingdom. Certain rabbis have believed that the Ark of the Covenant would be exposed at the time when the Messiah is to appear. Indeed, there is growing expectation that the Messiah will soon appear.
Of course, the true Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus Christ) already appeared some 2,000 years ago. And there is an expectation today, among Christians that He is soon to return. This is based on some 300 New Testament prophecies of the event.
We firmly believe that when the Jewish people learn that Yeshua’s blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat of the Ark, to many Jews this will be a powerful revelation. As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of the Lord’s eternal purpose, this will be to many Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul. As they see the Christ of the gospel portrayed in the pages of their scriptures and perceives how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused and they will recognize Jesus Christ, Yeshua, as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith receive him as their Deliverer.
20) Why did the photographs of the Ark turn out to be foggy?
The photos were taken looking over the shoulder of the first cherub, toward the other one. But in each case, after development, a strange effect was noticed. In front of the cherub (which he could see clearly) there was, as it were, a golden mist obscuring the view. So Ron concluded that he simply wasn’t supposed to take any photographs.
As Ron’s wife, Mary Nell, puts it, “He later understood why: at that time, he was much freer with sharing his information and this could have caused a lot of serious problems if some of the `unsavory characters’ he came in contact with over the years had seen evidence that this solid gold object really existed. Remember how Noah’s wife’s grave was plundered?” (See The Ark Conspiracy, pp. 146-151.)
Since this time, every item in the cave has been successfully videotaped. These pictures will be released at the time when the tablets of the Ten Commandments are finally brought out for the world to see.
Josephine Gray, the wife of the explorer & author James Gray, has a suggestion worth considering: that “fogginess” is evidence of the Divine Presence. That was how the Lord showed His approval in ancient times. In the cave, Ron approached the Ark from the left hand side and the photographs were taken looking toward the cherub on the right hand side. This side turned out foggy on the film.
“Above the mercy-seat was the shekinah, the manifestation of the divine presence and from between the cherubim, God made known his will. Divine messages were sometimes communicated to the high priest by a voice from the cloud. Sometimes a light fell upon the angel at the right, to signify approval or acceptance, or a shadow or cloud rested upon the one at the left to reveal disapproval or rejection.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.349)
Before the excavation began, you will recall, Ron had been walking with that Israeli official when suddenly his left arm shot out and out of his mouth came words that had not been in his head: “There’s Jeremiah’s Grotto and the Ark of the Covenant is in there” – which shocked Ron as well as the official -and he was offered a permit to dig. (Ark of the Covenant, pp. 228-231)
It’s just like God – what He started that day, He now finished in love. The light shone on the right hand angel, as evidence of God’s approval.
That’s how He showed His approval in the ancient times. And that’s how He showed His approval in the modern time. And God did it because He wants the world to know it: the divine approval of the discovery, and the divine approval of the man He has used.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRIST’S BURIAL SITE
21) Why do you suggest the Garden Tomb as the likely burial site of Christ?
According to John, Matthew and Luke, the tomb of Joseph had special characteristics:
1. – It was near the place of crucifixion (John 19:42).
2. – It was in a garden (v.41).
3. – It was carved out of the rock (Matt. 27:60).
4. – It was a rich man’s tomb (v.57).
5. – The disciples could look into the tomb from outside (John 20:5).
6. – There was standing room for a number of persons (Luke 24:1-4.
7. – It was a new tomb and not an old tomb renewed (John 19:41).
According to John, Matthew and Luke, the tomb of Joseph had special characteristics:
In every one of these particulars, the tomb discovered in 1867 matches the biblical description. It fits like a glove.
1. Skull Hill execution site
Firstly, this “Garden Tomb” is very close to a place known as “Skull Hill”.
We are informed in the New Testament writings that Jesus was crucified “outside the city” (Hebrews 13:12) at a place called “the Skull” (John 19:17-20). That word “skull” translates to “Calvary” in Latin, or “Golgotha” in Hebrew.
There is only one place around Jerusalem which has borne, and still bears, the name Skull Hill. It is just outside the North Wall, about 250 yards north-east of the Damascus Gate. A portion of this hill bears a striking resemblance to a human skull.
It is also the traditional site of burials for Moslems, Jews and Christians. And it was here, according to local tradition, that criminals were stoned to death. In the Mishna, this place is called Beth ha Sekelah, literally, “House of Stoning”.
Nearby is St. Stephen’s church, built over an old basilica that was erected to commemorate the stoning of Stephen, who became the first Christian martyr here, in 34 AD.
This was the recognized place of public execution for Jewish criminals. As late as the beginning of the 20th century, Jews would spit at the hill, throw stones and curse the “destroyer of their nation”. It is such a site that the Roman authorities would have selected for executions.
We noted that the crucifixion of Yeshua occurred outside the city. Skull Hill is just outside the Damascus Gate, the only direct exit from the castle of Antonine (alleged place of trial).
Recent archaeological opinion also holds that the Damascus Gate, which today marks the northern boundary of the Old City, likewise marks the northern boundary of Jerusalem in the the time of Yeshua’s crucifixion. All this tends to add weight to the feasibility of Skull Hill, outside the wall, advocated by Otto Thenius (1842), Colonel Couder (1875) and General Gordon (1883), being the actual site.
2. A garden
Evidence that a garden once surrounded this tomb is in the ancient cistern and also the winepress uncovered here.
3. Carved out of the rock
The Garden Tomb was carved out of the quarry face of rocky outcrop which is hundreds of feet long and includes “the skull”.
4-6. A rich man’s tomb
Entering the tomb, one is impressed with the size. Certainly, only a rich man could have afforded a tomb such as this. Inside the tomb, to the right, was a spot for the owner of the tomb to be laid – and close to that, another spot, possibly for his wife. To the left, a large room was cut out for mourners to stand.
7. A new or uncompleted tomb
The existence of the cavity in the receptacle at the tomb’s north-east comer, and the absence of this cavity in the south-east receptacle, as well as the unfinished groove toward the north end of the west wall, show clearly that the tomb was never completed.
8. A “great stone”
Immediately in front of the tomb is a stone trench, or trough. This was for the rolling of a stone to seal the doorway. At the left end is an incline. The stone was rolled onto the trough at this end.
Late in 1995, Jonathan Gray took another archaeological team to Jerusalem. They measured this trough which was built to channel the rolling stone. They found this trough to be about two feet wide.
At the right hand end of the trough is a large stone block, positioned to prevent further movement of the seal-stone toward the right. Above that, on the right hand face of the tomb itself, a ridge was cut in the rock, which would block the stone from rolling further in that direction.
In the face of the tomb were two evidences which showed that a very, very large seal-stone was once used to seal this tomb.
In the right side of the tomb face, team member Dr. Nathan Meyer had on an earlier visit pointed out a hole which was pierced into the cliff face. The hole held the oxidized remains of an iron shaft. This has since been removed, but the hole remains.
On the left hand side of the tomb face, another hole had been pierced into the rock for the insertion of a metal shaft, to prevent the seal-stone from being rolled to the left and the tomb being opened.
On Friday, October 20, at 4 pm, team members Dr. David Wagner and Peter Mutton measured across the tomb face from the shaft hole on the left to the ridge at the right. The distance was discovered to be 13 feet 2 inches.
This shows that the seal-stone was “a very great stone” – over twice the diameter of any other seal-stone found! To our knowledge, the largest seal-stone previously found was 5 feet 6 inches. This clue, that it was a GREAT stone, is another evidence that the owner of the tomb was a rich man.
9. Used by a different person
This tomb was not used by the person or persons for whom it had been cut out. Inside the tomb, one section carved out of the rock to fit one man, has clearly been enlarged for somebody else – someone who was taller than the man for whom the tomb had been measured. This enlarged section indicates that not the owner, but some other person, was laid in this rich man’s tomb.
The ancient record states that Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, took the body of Yeshua and “laid it in his own new tomb”, “wherein was never man yet laid” (Matthew. 27:59, 60; John 19:41). Is this spot in the tomb that was enlarged for someone’s feet, another link in the evidence?
10. Frequented by early Christians
In front of this tomb, there appears to have been cut out of the bedrock a font for baptism by immersion (a 1st century Christian practice), as well as a squarish foot bath (foot-washing was another early Christian ceremony).
Such evidence suggests that the early Christians revered this particular tomb site as special.
22) Isn’t the door of the Garden Tomb too high, compared to the Biblical Tomb of Christ? What do you say about John 20:5, 11?- That they stooped down?
The doorway, now enlarged, was originally lower, requiring that one stoop in order to enter.
23) Isn’t the Church of the Holy Sepulcher the true place of Christ’s burial?
Jesus was crucified and buried “outside the city” (John 19:17, 20; Hebrews. 13:12).
The traditional sepulchre site over which a church has been built was selected some 300 years after Christ by Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Two main points have frequently been raised in its favour:
1. It has often been asserted that there was an unbroken chain of apostolic primacy in Jerusalem from Herod to Constantine and that therefore the tomb of Christ was never lost, until Helena simply confirmed it. Plausible? Perhaps. However, 300 years is quite a time. And when one studies the history of that period, the notion that the identity of biblical sites was accurately established, is doubtful. The Christians evacuated Jerusalem before it was destroyed in AD 70. The city remained in rubble for 65 years, until Hadrian gave orders in AD 135 for it to be rebuilt under a Roman name, as a completely Roman city.
From the accounts of Alexander Monachus in the 6th century (who wrote De inventione Sanctoe), as well as Eusebius, a contemporary of Constantine (who in 336 wrote Life of the Empress Helena – refer pp. 2830), it is evident that there was NO CLAIM FOR A CONTINUING TRADITION when Constantine’s mother selected her site for the Church of the Resurrection. Rather, the discovery was `contrary to expectation’.
2. Many scholars have asserted that this site of the Holy Sepulcher church could have been outside the city wall in Jesus’ time. It is INSIDE the wall today.
Bill White (A Special Place, p.61) points out that if it was outside the wall at that time, “then – from a military point of view – the location of the Jerusalem `second wall’ to the west of the Tyropoean valley would have been indefensible.” It is now known that a wall excavated in 1962 adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher is not from the time of Christ, but part of a building from the time of Hadrian (AD 135).
Again, if the Holy Sepulcher site was outside the city wall in the first century, then Jerusalem at the greatest of Herodian expansion was smaller than it is today. “The demographic implications of that are very significant,” observes White. (Professor W.S. McBirnie’s book, The Search for the Tomb of Jesus, is very persuasive on these points – see chapters 7 and 8.)
Prevailing archaeological opinion is that the wall is now just where it was in Jesus’ day, and that the actual place of Jesus’ crucifixion was the “Skull Hill” north of that present/past wall.
Under the present Damascus Gate at the North Wall, remains found include those from Herod’s time. Excavations of 1980-85 revealed tremendous stones, remnants of walls built by Herod – the city walls and gates.
A glance at these excavations and the great Herodian stones built into the portals makes it plain that there had been a city Wall on this spot prior to the destruction by Titus (AD 70).
The Holy Sepulcher site was inside the wall. And without doubt the Garden Tomb was outside the city wall at the time of the crucifixion!
Jesus was crucified “outside the city” (John 19:17, 20; Hebrews 13:12), at a place called “the Skull” (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17). “Calvary” is Latin; “Golgotha” is Hebrew, for “skull”. There is only one place around Jerusalem which has borne, and still bears, the name “Skull Hill”. It is just outside the North Wall, near the Damascus Gate. It is a hill with a striking resemblance to a human skull.
In 1883 when General Gordon was convinced that the skull face was the true Golgotha, he sought a tomb that was “nigh at hand” as the Bible indicated (John 19:41, 42). Just a few hundred feet away was this tomb we now call the Garden Tomb.
Although many have tried to discredit the tomb, Dame Kathleen Kenyon, the famous British archaeologist, said in 1970, “It is a typical tomb of about the first century AD” – the time of Christ.The pictures below, show the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is NOT the actual site, but is based on Tradition.
24) At the Skull Hill crucifixion site, there were three cross-holes plus Jesus higher cross-hole. Why the extra one (there being only two thieves)?
We do not have a definite answer for this. But here’s a possibility. In John 19:31-37, an eyewitness apostle documents the interference of the Jewish leaders in the crucifixion of Jesus. We have several examples of such interference. Firstly, they didn’t want the condemned men hanging on the cross over the Sabbath (thus, to their mind, defiling it). At their instigation (according to some writings) “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side.” Actually this fulfilled the prophecy “they shall look on him whom they pierced” (v.37).
Secondly, the Jewish leaders again interfered in demanding that the tomb of Jesus be “made sure”, sealing the stone and setting a watch (Matthew 27:62-66).
So, it is more than likely that the three lower cross-holes were already dug out, but that through the Jewish leaders’ insistence or interference a higher cross-hole was dug. In their hatred for Jesus they wanted Him to be lifted up as a star attraction onto a higher cross-hole. So a new hole was dug to display His death more prominently. Hence a prophecy was again fulfilled: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).
THE TABLES OF STONE
25) What language are the tablets written in?
Proto-Aramaic. It is a script that scholars cart read easily. It does not have vowels or punctuation. Did you know that the Ten Commandments are called “God’s ten words”? Each of the commandments is jammed together like one long word, with no punctuation or vowels.
26) What do the letters look like?
They are burned in. If you can picture a tray of butter, and someone with perfect handwriting in the butter, and then it turns to stone, the letters etched as with fire, melted into the stone – then you can understand it.
27) How big are the tablets of stone?
According to Encyclopedia Judaica, they weighed 40 se’ah (selah) which equaled 913 grams, ie about 2 pounds. This means they were quite small. Exodus 32:15-16 says that when Moses brought them down the mountain, “the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.” Notice, Moses held them both in his hand (one hand, singular); and they were engraved front and back. That clears up two popular misconceptions.
THE BLOOD OF JESUS
28 ) How do you know that the blood found on the Mercy Seat of the Ark is human, not animal, blood?
The blood went straight down into the crack at the base of the crucifixion cross-hole. It went down through that crack and splashed onto the stone lid of the case in the cave containing the Ark of the Covenant, as well as onto the Mercy Seat.
The crack has been closely examined – and it shows copious amounts of blood having flowed down into it. It is still there. And it is human blood. Samples have been taken and laboratory tested.
29) But surely there would be lots & lots of animal blood on the Mercy Seat, after hundreds of years of animal blood being sprinkled ontop of it?
In regard to the crtics assertion that there would be lots and lots of blood on the Mercy Seat because they sprinkled it there for hundreds and hundreds of years, how do critics know how blood reacts to the presence of the Shekinah Glory? The blood may have been irradiated away shortly after the high priest put it there; after all, there are no reports in the Jewish writings of how “dirty” and “caked up” with blood the Mercy Seat was getting over the years! Do critics think they “know it all” in regard to God’s things?
Geneticist Eugene Dunkley, confirmed the following:
… The presence of the dead blood of bulls and goats would have no effect on the culturing [and testing] of live cells. If we take it as fact that the blood of Christ is ALIVE then the only cells that could be cultured after 2,000 years would be those of Jesus Christ. It is like isolating antibiotic-resistant bacteria; only those cells capable of living in the presence of the antibiotic will survive. So it is here, that only cells capable of living would be culturable ..”
30) Could blood really last that long?
In 1993, Professor Steve Jones published a book called The Language of Genes, in which he stated: “In the infancy of human genetics, 20 years ago [that is, about 1972], biologists had a childish .view of what the world looks like”. (p.44)
How recent, indeed, is our ability to test the chromosomal content of blood!
Again he says: “Paternity can be tested beyond the grave. DNA is tough stuff, which can persist long after the death of its owner”. (Ibid., p.21)
He continues: “The Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun was buried about the same time as another mummy, Smenkhare. Their blood groups can still be identified. The pattern of gene sharing suggests that the two Pharaohs were brothers”. (Ibid., p.24)
How amazing, to be able to make such analyses, so long after the death of the individuals! Such tissue analyses were once thought impossible. In the light of this, who should dare pour scorn on the blood analysis that Ron had done in the laboratory?
It has been known for some time that Siberian mammoths died from suffocation by gases or drowning- A conclusion that is possible because after thousands of years their skin still remains congested with blood corpuscles.
A geneticist assured me that under certain conditions, such as freezing, blood could be preserved indefinitely. So, could blood survive 2,000 years? We have been informed that the ancient Egyptians used “bullock’s blood” as mortar – and it kept for centuries -and is still there today!
In the book Ark of the Covenant, pp. 479-483, we reassured critics that blood spilt 2,000 years ago COULD be analyzed. This has now been further confirmed by Tom Loy, Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Queensland.
“The major emphasis of my research is in protein biochemical and molecular genetic approaches to the analysis of prehistoric tool use-residues, human remains and the bones of extinct megafauna. Biochemical, molecular genetic, microscopic and forensic methods have many applications in molecular archaeology. Molecular information from ancient residues can be used to reconstruct subsistence and related cultural activities with accuracy not possible using standard archaeological methods. It has revealed past human actions ranging from individual moments in time such as the direct dating rock paintings by purifying the organic constituents including human blood to broad generalizations about such topics as the relation between human hunting and the extinction of Australian and North American megafauna.
…Stone artifacts often contain mixed blood residues. Satellite analysis, because it is specific at least to sub-Family, could be used to indicate mixed blood samples. A combination of satellite and VNTR analysis can also be used to differentiate species in mixed samples. Hemoglobin crystallization can resolve the presence of two or more species blood mixed on a tool.”
Loy, T H. (1983) Prehistoric blood residues: detection on tool surfaces and identification of species of origin.Science 220:1269-1271.
Loy, TH. and K.1. Matthaei (1994) Species of origin determination from prehistoric blood residues using ancient genomic DNA. Australasian Biotechnology 4: 161-162.
Loy, TH. and B.G. Hardy (1992) Blood residue analysis of 90, 000 year old stone tools from Tabun Cave, Israel. Antiquity 66: 24-35.
Some critics have suggested that the blood of the Son of God has been eaten by cockroaches or whatever, let’s be clear on this:
At the crucifixion site, we are speaking of a cool chamber in the bowels of the earth suddenly linked to the cross-hole by a brand-new sterile crack in the rock, which receives the blood and is then sealed tight with a stone plug. A home for cockroaches? Let’s get real!
The critics objects that it is not feasible that blood from the cross could have survived 2,000 years. One might agree and add also that “it just is absolutely not feasible” that the Israelites’ shoes would survive without wearing out for 40 years. But remember how the Hebrews wandered in the desert all that time, their shoes not wearing out? The Bible called it one of `those great miracles’.
One could say that “scientifically it’s impossible.” Yes, science does have its limitations. But God has no limitations. Cannot He preserve something if He chooses?
I recall the statement of Jesus that “things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). It is fashionable to believe that current scientific opinion is the last word.
Yet one is reminded that in the cavern, in the back “side” of the Ark, sit four leather scrolls of the law, as fresh and supple as the day they were written upon. They show no deterioration. Amazing indeed. The blood on the Mercy Seat, and the scrolls of the law, in perfect condition. On the other hand the wooden beams and the skins which the Jews used to cover the other furniture have rotted away, degraded almost to the point of being mere dust.
The important things – precious items so valuable to the Lord – He has preserved intact.
The blood of Jesus “incorruptible”
The book of Leviticus states that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Then Psalm 16:10 says concerning the coming Messiah, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” This implies the WHOLE person – whether His soul, His flesh, His bones, or His blood. Then in 1st Peter 1:18,19 we read, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were NOT redeemed with CORRUPTIBLE things, as silver and gold,… But with the precious BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
The blood of Jesus, therefore, is NOT CORRUPTIBLE, else were the Father’s promise in Psalm 16:10 broken, which it cannot be.
This is plain Scripture: Christ’s blood CANNOT be corrupted; it CANNOT DECAY. In his book The Chemistry of the Blood, M.R. Dettaan, M.D., speaking of Jesus’ blood asks: “Reader, do you know that blood is as fresh today as it ever was and always will be? It cannot perish. ” (p.40) Cannot the Lord preserve His Son’s INCORRUPTIBLE blood, not to be devoured by insects?
Jesus’ Blood “Holy”
Something else. Even though Jesus received his flesh, the body, from a sinful race (descended from Adam), His blood was never poisoned, because He never sinned. It is blood that LIVES FOREVER.
Whether the Lord preserved this blood by freezing or simply by His WILL for 2 minutes or for 2,000 years…In any case, from visual inspection, we now know that this blood HAS been preserved. That is a physical, historical fact.
During the microscope inspection of the blood from the cavern, there was movement in it. It was living blood. The Messiah’s body was changed into the glorious body on the third day, and his blood has remained in an uncorrupted state ever since.
The blood of the Son of God “eaten by cockroaches”? Is this speaking disrespectfully concerning blood which is holy? If so, then Hebrews 10:29 is pertinent:
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the spirit of grace?”
It’s worth thinking about. Aaron Sen received an e-mail from Eugene Dunkley, a Ph.D. in genetics at Oxford University, England. Aaron reported to Jonathan: “I asked him if it is sound scientifically, that the blood cells were still alive/dividing when the lab analyzed them.”
Dr. Dunkley, in an e-mail, dated July 27, 1999, responded:
“White blood cells retain the ability to divide because they do not lose their DNA. In fact, they divide more rapidly under conditions of infection and obviously leukemia.
“Cells in culture divide a limited number of times before dying. They undergo a programmed cell death called apoptosis. Otherwise, there is no reason for them to die.
“Taking the premise that Jesus’ blood was divine, and therefore immortal, the cells would not degrade outside the body, but simply lie dormant. This is seen already in nature with bacteria such as Bacillus which will go into a spore stage and lie dormant until the environment around them is favorable for growth. In fact, normal cells have a cell cycle in which they can be arrested under certain conditions.”
Once the cells were re-hydrated in the PBS solution that Ron provided, then in culture they would be able to divide with the conditions of growth now favourable. The DNA from the new cultures could then be studied once the cell density was optimal.
31) Why hasn’t rain washed away the blood in the cleft of the rock before now?
Inserted into the top of the cross-hole was found a stone plug – tightly fitting, large and squarish. It had become coated in travertine. There were finger handles on the two sides where one could place fingers to lift it up. This stone plug was 13 inches by 14 inches in width and about 4 inches thick. The intent of the plug was probably to prevent horses or people from tripping into the hole. But it would also prevent debris from falling in when the holes were not in use.
However, the ultimate result of this sealing of the holes – all of them – was that when the team removed the plugs, the holes were found to be empty. So the plug in the cross-hole obviously helped to preserve anything that was under it. And the plug itself was in position under several feet of debris. Underneath that plug, everything was well protected.
32) How do you know the cross-hole was not used for later crucifixions – and that this is not the blood of someone else?
Let’s tie all the strands of evidence together. For starters, the big earthquake split in the rock. This may well have rendered that particular cross-hole quite unsuitable for any further crucifixions. In any case, there are writings which state that soon after Jesus’ crucifixion, the method of death by crucifixion in Jerusalem was abolished.
You see, it resulted from the scenes which took place at His death. The inhuman conduct of the mob, the unexplained darkness which veiled the earth, and the agony of nature displayed in the tearing of the rocks, the lightning flashes and so on. It struck those people with such remorse and terror, that the cross, as an instrument of death, soon fell into disuse.
There was a brief, bloody interlude in AD 70, when the Romans besieged Jerusalem – a brief time when mob power seized control and crucifixion was revived. But more crucifixions on that site? I think not!
Consider also another factor – Joseph of Arimathea.
Just think about it. He had been a secret follower of Jesus and never openly supported Jesus. But now suddenly Jesus had gone… He was a rich man. Wouldn’t he do everything in his power to safeguard the site… the crucifixion site? After all, he took the body and placed Jesus in his own nearby tomb! Then, now that the Lord had risen, wouldn’t Joseph try to secure the site with the only remaining evidence of his beloved Lord – the cross-hole with the blood? Wouldn’t it be most precious to him? A precious reminder of that awesome event?
If I were Joseph, I certainly would keep a bold and jealous protection over that crucifixion site. And we know now that some first century Christians did just that. They enclosed that very site with a stone building. It would be natural to do something like that.
Apart from that, anyone who is knowledgeable of how particular God was concerning the way the Ark of the Covenant was treated, will know that the Lord would not permit the blood of a random individual to sprinkle in such a remarkable way onto the Mercy Seat.
But there is better evidence. Real, tangible. A DNA analysis has been conducted on that blood in the crack…the blood of the last person to spill his blood at that site. It shows that the last blood that flowed down into that split rock was most unusual blood. It was not the blood of your ordinary man.
Ron Wyatt, in his tests, was able to find the chromosomal content of the blood. The blood was found to be human, but very peculiar.
Normal human blood has a total of 46 chromosomes. When a child is conceived, 23 chromosomes come from the mother and 23 come from the father.
One of these pairs is the gender determinant. For this pair, the mother always provides an “X” chromosome (so-called on account that its shape somewhat resembles the letter “X”). And if the father provides an “X”, the child will contain the chromosomes “XX” – and will always be a female. But if the father provides a “Y” chromosome (shaped to some extent like the letter “Y”), the child will have a chromosome combination of “XY”- and will be male. The other 44 chromosomes (comprising 22 pairs) are known as autosomes.
All eggs produced by the female organism will be identical, containing “X” only. For her to produce a male offspring, the addition of a “Y” is necessary.
The blood analysis from the Ark chamber showed a total of only 24 chromosomes. Of these, 23 were derived from the mother. And there was one “Y” chromosome. This indicated that the blood belonged to a male.
No human blood like this had ever been known to exist. Nowhere on the earth! The scientific term for this is “ploidy”, or “haploidy”. There have been known examples of females born with only half the normal chromosome count of 23, instead of 46, but never a male child. For a male to be produced, the father HAS to provide that distinctive “Y” chromosome!
33) Where has the blood been tested, and how did the laboratory staff react?
Ron took samples of the blood from the crack in the ceiling of the cave to an Israeli laboratory and they tested it for him.
The Israelis at first would not do this since, as they said, the blood was too old and dried out. Ron asked, “Just for me.” They did it to please him.
The blood was re-hydrated with a normal saline solution (0.099 per cent) at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 37 degrees Centigrade) and underwent a gentle swirling for 72 hours.
After this, it was placed in a growth medium for 48 hours. During this period it was warmed to body temperature. Subsequently a sample was taken of white blood corpuscles. After 24 hours there was movement. The white blood cells began reproducing. It was possible, therefore, to get a chromosome count.
The laboratory technician looked astonished. “This blood has 24 chromosomes!” he reported. Ron replied, “Are you able to tell what the blood came from – animal or human?” The answer came back: “Human blood.” The lab staff faced Ron. “Where did you get this blood!” they exclaimed.
Then, without waiting for the answers, followed up with a flood of questions. “Whose blood is this?”
Ron, with deep emotion, told them, “This is the blood of your Messiah!”
What followed was unforgettable. Ron never saw anyone react as they did. They “lost it”. They turned white, and began to tear at their hair and cry out, beating on things in the room. They went utterly wild.
It brings to mind the prophecy made by Jesus that one day, faced with the truth, “they shall wail because of him” (Revelation. 1:7).
When the men calmed down, one of them asked: “Who is the Messiah?” And Ron said: “Jesus Christ… and I got the blood from the crucifixion site.”
34) Why don’t you show the certificate of the blood test? What is the name of the lab?
Ron’s arrangement is with Israeli authorities. They supervised the excavation –and when the blood was found they told him where to go to have it tested.
It is their strict orders that the above requested information cannot presently be revealed. Certain people may have to return to Israel to work in the future and we shall not jeopardize that. We do not go against the wishes of the host government.
Should you believe what you cannot see?
Here is Ron’s observation: “When I speak about the Ark of the Covenant, I am limited in what I am presently at liberty to show and say. The Lord, in His providential wisdom, has a reason for my not being able to provide you with photographs and videos at this time. Should you believe the things I tell you I’ve seen? There is but one answer – pray for guidance and understanding. The Holy Spirit alone can convince the hearer of Truth, or reveal that which is not Truth.”
Concerning the blood test evidence, the same standard must apply for now.
35) Why won’t you release the name of the lab that did the blood tests?
In this instance we are dealing with something that is not ordinary – the very blood of Christ the Messiah. The other labs tested just “things”.
The political and religious volatility within the land of Israel and the implications and possible repercussions of this discovery need to be understood in regard to the decision – which is by request of the authority – for now.
Each event has its own circumstance. Each situation is unique.
36) What about the claim that Ron could not have counted the chromosomes using an electron microscope?
Here is the text of an e-mail sent by Dr. Dunkley, geneticist, from Oxford University, on August 11, 1999:
Re Ron’s findings – you must remember that Ron was NOT a scientist, he was an anaesthetist. This is not to excuse mistakes in his details but to understand more accurately where he was coming from.
I sat with Ron and Derek at D’s house in Oxford and Ron explained to me what was done. I filled in the details in my own mind, knowing that there were holes in what he said but not done to deceive, just a lack of knowledge.
Karyotypes are performed all the time. It is a technique in which the chromosomes are arrested in metaphase by a drug and then stained with either Giemsa or a reverse stain, and then in this stage are separated and counted and characterized. There is also a banding pattern associated with each chromosome pair so that identification of the chromosome is unmistakable.
White blood cells are the only blood cells that can be used for such an “experiment”. Russell’s criticism is inaccurate because he omitted what would have had to happen for the experiment to take place. First, the blood sample was scraped from the altar. The cells were re-suspended in PBS (a buffer), which allowed the cells to re-hydrate. Then, the cells were cultured. Only cells with DNA(see What is DNA in Appendix 18) would be able to grow in culture, so there is no need to “separate” red blood cells, platelets, etc. because they simply wouldn’t be present in a freshly growing culture. These cells were simply white blood cells in culture (a routine procedure).
Next, the cells (or some of them) would be taken, arrested when the cells were in metaphase (when the chromosomes condense and are visible by microscopy) and stained. Some of the stains allow light microscopy, but others allow fluorescent microscopy. I imagine that Ron didn’t know one type of microscope from another; he could use an electron microscope to see the chromosomes but certainly not to count them or characterize them. However, that would not detract from the finding.
The karyotype would have been made, and the chromosomes placed in their proper pairs. Ron was convinced that the blood of the altar was in fact the divine blood of Jesus because the chromosome count was 24.
If Jesus was ONLY human we would expect 46. In fact, if he found 46 chromosomes I would have my doubts because the argument would be that it was simply the blood of a human being (except of course that the white blood cells were re-vitalized after almost 2000 years; this is similar to the finding about the Shroud of Turin which evidence to me supports what Ron found, but that is for another e-mail). Russell is wrong about the frequency of chromosomal diseases in humans: a number of conditions involving either 47 or 45 chromosomes have been well characterized, besides Turner’s, such as Klinefelters, Down’s syndrome, Pateau’s syndrome, Cri-de-Chat syndrome, XYY, XXY, etc. and in fact there was a case in which a young man was found alive with only 24 chromosomes.
In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females. Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.
The 22 autosomes are numbered by size. The other two chromosomes, X and Y, are the sex chromosomes. This picture of the human chromosomes lined up in pairs is called a karyotype.
[A scanning electron microscope image of normal circulating human blood. In addition to the irregularly shaped leukocytes, both red blood cells and many small disc-shaped platelets are visible.]
You must remember that Ron’s inaccuracies in describing this finding are due to the fact that he did not personally do the experiments or prepare the cells, because it is not his field of expertise. He simply got the data and presented it with the understanding that he had. Russell may be correct about other aspects of the research (I am not an archaeologist) but he himself is not accurate about the cells and the chromosomes, and his critique suggests that he is being subjective.
Of course, I only have the description of what Ron said to me, so I too have no hard data. However, if there is a need to explain this data I would be happy to do so in defense of the findings. In fact, there are several more experiments that could be done to further prove what Ron stated. However, I do not believe that they would be necessary and in fact would cause a few problems (especially in this age of cloning one would conceivably want to clone the divine chromosome and modify themselves).
I do remember that Ron was reluctant to say anything about the finding but he felt moved during his talk at our church, having met with me earlier, to say what he had found. He knew that I would have some knowledge of the field, and if in fact he thought it was dodgy he would NOT have said anything because he knew that I would be one of the few people able to pick it apart. He said it in his sermon knowing that I would understand it, and I feel to this day that God moved on him to do so that the finding would be spoken of and would stand the test. This, and the findings of the Shroud, convince me that Ron is right (he knew very little or nothing about the molecular and biological evidence of the blood of Jesus from the Shroud).
When Colin Standish (A Religious Teacher) joined his brother in denouncing Ron concerning the chromosome count, geneticist Dr.Dunkley issued a second e-mail, dated August 25:
Dr. Lejeune used a broken light microscope to discover Downs syndrome in 1957! He saw 47 chromosomes. Certainly, with the much improved technology and staining techniques we have now, it is no problem to see how Ron could observe a karyotype in the 90’s.
I don’t believe that he used an electron microscope to see it but he may not have known the difference between an electron microscope and a fluorescent microscope, because he wasn’t a scientist. He could certainly see chromosomes but would not be able to do a karyotype from it. But that is a technical point which is easily rectifiable. The complexity of the technique, however, is not the issue. The geneticists would have prepared the cells for karyotyping. All Ron would have to do is simply observe them by microscopy, i.e. look down the microscope.
Colin is however very mistaken about culturing of blood cells. It was never stated (I hope!) that the blood cells were dividing in the blood system. The blood contains red blood cells and white blood cells. Now, mature RBCs (red blood cells) are enucleated (no chromosomes) but WBCs (white blood cells) have active nuclei and divide. The culturing of monocytes, macrophages, leukocytes, etc. is very well documented and doubling times are easily calculated. I find it incredulous that Colin would object to this point!
Colin objected to the isolation of enough WBCs to do a culture, and stated that the blood was “dead” and couldn’t be separated from the blood of bulls and goats. However, again he has missed several important scientific points.
First, the blood spilled at the cross was spilled from the spear in the side of Christ which ruptured the SPLEEN, not the arteries and veins. A high concentration of WBCs are in the spleen; in fact the origin of several types of WBCs is the spleen. These cells are nucleated and capable of cell division.
Second, the presence of the dead blood of bulls and goats would have no effect on the culturing of live cells.
If we take it as fact that the blood of Christ is ALIVE, then the only cells that could be cultured after 2,000 years would be those of Jesus Christ. It is like isolating antibiotic-resistant bacteria; only those cells capable of living in the presence of the antibiotic will survive. So it is here, that only cells capable of living would be culturable.
* karyotype: the classifying of a set of chromosomes by their arrangement, number, size, shape, etc.
37) Surely no laboratory could resist instant fame through publishing such a momentous discovery, if it were true?
It is easy to overlook the fact that our country, so free and safe, is not Israel. In Israel, every minute there is danger in the air. For survival, one is obliged to respect the wishes of the authorities. And laboratories know this also.
Having said that, this is God’s project and He controls and decides how it comes out. The facts have already been presented verbally. Let’s not philosophize. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1st Corinthians. 3:19).
38) Isn’t it impossible for a healthy man to survive with a greatly depleted chromosome count?
In the New Scientist for October 7, 1995, Philip Cohen quoted an article by David Bonthron and his colleagues at Edinburgh University in Nature Genetics (Volume ll, page 164), which reported that a certain three-year old boy had been found whose white blood cells contained two “X” chromosomes, the signal for a female.
To cut a long story short, they went on to explain that the probable cause was a self-activating unfertilized ovum which had subsequently (after a short time) become fertilized in the normal way. The sperm would then have entered only a PART of the divided ovum, thereby creating this most unusual effect.
Bonthron believed that the boy’s remarkable genetics depended on a number of highly unusual circumstances combining together, and occurring within a very short time window. “I don’t expect we’ll ever see another one,” he said.
This was an incredibly rare condition. Such male chromosomal depletion for a boy was something which, until this case, would be considered scientifically impossible.
For three years this child was there with “impossible” blood and science did not know it. If the child had never come to the hospital, we would never have learned it was “scientifically possible”.
The child’s blood cells were totally without any male chromosomal input. Of course, his chromosomal complement was very different from that of the Man who died on Skull Hill, but it did present what Cohen called “partial parthenogenesis” (the biologist’s term for Virgin Birth).
What was its significance? The similarity was such that it proved the possibility of a man existing with a total depletion in his male-derived chromosomal blood count.
Medical science, with all its wonderful advances, is unable to comprehend the way in which the Creator works. Often, if men cannot understand, they will say it is not true. In such matters we come face to face with a Creator’s ability to do anything – and man’s inability to comprehend.
We can theorize, argue and, quibble about this, but it will not alter one whit what has been discovered in that cavern. The most learned geneticist would be hard pressed to predict the chromosomal composition of the blood of the Son of God.
We are considering here the reality of a God devised plan for His Son to walk the planet, born of a virgin and whose blood cells would comprise a total of only 24 chromosomes… 23 from an earthly mother, and one “Y” chromosome from God.
Impossible? Then answer me: WHICH IS OMNIPOTENT – NATURAL LAW, OR THE GOD WHO CREATED NATURAL LAW and can override it to His purpose?
To this would Jesus himself reply, “Ye do err, not knowing… the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). There will be rejection from some “learned” men, not because it’s not true. But because they can’t comprehend it they will not believe.
39) According to Scripture (Hebrews 2:14), doesn’t Jesus blood have to be the same as ours?
The expression “took part of the same” means simply “took part of these” (flesh and blood). Just as we are flesh and blood (meaning, real, living human beings), so Jesus took part of our physical nature. But was His blood identical in all respects to the blood of every other person? That is not what the text says.
Consider a very obvious example – His blood group. In this respect, which of us was He like… or unlike? There have been children born with fewer chromosomes than you and I, but Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus Christ was “the same” as they, too.
This text cannot be saying that Jesus must have a set of chromosomes from an earthly father as we do, because He did not have an earthly father. That would be impossible. Imagine the implications if the blood did have chromosomes from an earthly father, perhaps Joseph. Surely the Jewish leaders would feel justified in their assessment of Mary!
The only other option God would have had would be to give Jesus a set of chromosomes from the Holy Spirit. Whether this is possible or not, this would give a message compatible with erring New Theology, that Jesus never inherited sinful flesh, & thus having an unfair advantage over us, in the conquering of sin.
But this sample of blood proves that Jesus had no genetic make-up from the Holy Spirit, and therefore no advantage over us in conquering sin. All His genetic make-up, and therefore the weaknesses and tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, came from Mary. He “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans. I :3). The Holy Spirit did have to contribute the “Y” chromosome (the sex determinant), otherwise Jesus would have been female.
It will help our understanding of the above passage if we dig a little deeper into this subject of the blood. It is the blood that gives life to the cells of the body.
Since “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11), then the flesh dies when the blood is poisoned. The eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by our ancestor Adam caused `blood poisoning’ and resulted in death (Read Genesis. 2:16,17).
Because the blood of all men partakes of the sin of Adam, it can be cleansed only by the application of sinless blood. As the first Adam’s sin corrupted the blood of the entire human family, so the pure, sinless blood of the `last Adam’ makes atonement for the sin of `the world’.
Even though He received His flesh, the body, from a sinful race (descended from Adam), yet Jesus’ blood was sinless (1st Peter. 2:22).
But how could Jesus’ blood be sinless?
It is scientifically known that the blood which flows in an unborn babe’s arteries and veins is not derived from the mother but is produced within the body of the fetus. There is already life in an embryo, namely, the presence of blood. It is unnecessary that a single drop of blood be given to the developing embryo in the womb of the mother. The mother provides the fetus with the nutritive elements for the building of that little body in her womb, but all the blood which forms in it is formed in the embryo itself.
From the time of conception to the time of birth of the infant not one single drop of blood ever passes from the mother to child. All the blood which is in that child is produced within the child itself. The mother contributes NO BLOOD AT ALL.
TESTIMONY OF SCIENCE
Now for the sake of some of the skeptics who may doubt these statements let me quote from a few reliable authorities. In Howell’s Textbook of Physiology, Second Edition, pages 885 and 886, it reads:
“For the purpose of understanding its general functions it is sufficient to recall that the placenta consists essentially of vascular chorionic papillae from the foetus (the unborn child) bathed in the large blood spaces of the decidual membrane of the mother. The fetal and maternal blood DO NOT COME INTO ACTUAL CONTACT. THEY ARE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER by the walls of the fetal blood vessels and the epithelial layers of the chorionic villae.”
Or let me quote from Williams’ Practice of Obstetrics, Third Edition, page 133. Here I quote,
“The fetal blood in the vessels of the chorionic villae AT NO TIME GAINS ACCESS TO THE MATERNAL BLOOD in the intervillous space, BEING SEPARATED FROM ONE ANOTHER by the double layer of chorionic epithelium.”
And from page 136 of the same recognized textbook I quote,
“Normally there is no communication between the fetal blood and the maternal blood.”
Now for the benefit of those of you who may be nurses, let me quote from a textbook which is familiar to you. Quoting from “Nurse’s Handbook of Obstetrics” by Louise Zabriskie, R.N., Fifth Edition, page 75:
“When the circulation of the blood begins in the embryo, it remains separate and distinct from that of the mother. All food and waste material which are interchanged between the embryo and the mother must pass through the blood vessel walls from one circulation to the other.”
And from page 82 of the same book:
“The foetus receives its nourishment and oxygen from the mothers blood into its own through the medium of the placenta. The fetal heart pumps blood through the arteries of the umbilical cord into the placental vessels, which, looping in and out of the uterine tissue and lying in close contact with the uterine vessels, permit a diffusion, through their walls, of waste products from child to mother and of nourishment and oxygen from mother to child. As has been said, this interchange is effected by the process of osmosis, and there is no direct mingling of the two blood currents. In other words, no maternal blood actually flows to the foetus, nor is there any direct fetal blood flow to the mother.”
The Encyclopedia Britannica, (1966 edition) notes that:
“Embryonic blood … is separated from the maternal blood only by the thin walls of the embryonic capillaries and the thin layer of covering cells of the villi. Oxygen, nutritive chemical substances (carbohydrates, nitrogenous foods and mineral salts) in the mother’s blood can readily pass by filtration into the embryonic blood circulation, and the waste products of the embryo (carbon dioxide, urea, etc.) can pass outward into the mother’s blood to be carried away and disposed of through the mother’s lungs and kidneys. The placenta is thus an organ of respiration, nutrition and excretion for the developing infant. ” (Vol. 8, p.330)
“Since both fetal and maternal blood are being circulated constantly, and since the living tissue separating the fetal blood in the capillaries from the maternal blood bathing the villi is very thin, there is provided a mechanism for efficient interchange of blood constituents between the maternal and fetal bloodstreams without (normally) allowing any opportunity for the blood of one to pour across into the blood vessels of the other. Such a mixing of the two bloods is physiologically highly undesirable; it may result in death of the baby and enlargement of the placenta.
“The placenta functions by allowing passage of nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide and wastes through extremely thin placental membrane separating fetal blood in capillaries of villi from maternal blood in intervillous sinuses. ” (Vol. 17, pp. 1148, 1149)
How wonderfully God prepared for the birth of His Son by Mary who was a virgin! When He created woman He made her so that no blood would be able to pass from her to her offspring.
Now please look closer at Hebrews 2:14 cited by our questioner:
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers (Greek: Ikoinoneo’) of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part (Greek: `metecho’) of the same.”
The author of this passage, writing in Greek, uses two different words. In the Greek language these words carry a subtle difference of meaning.
Greek: `koinoneo’ means: “to have common share in, to be associated with, to share with others, to become a sharer, to come into communion or fellowship “.
Greek: `metecho’ means: “to be or become partaker of, to share of, to partake of, take part”.
`Koinoneo’ has the meaning “to share fully; to have common share in”, so that Adam’s children share fully in Adam’s flesh and blood.
And when we read the other word, that “Jesus took part of the same”, in Greek, ‘metecho’, it means, “to take part but not all”. The children take both flesh and blood of Adam, but Jesus Christ (because He had no earthly father) took only part, that is, the “flesh” part, whereas the blood was the result of supernatural or heavenly conception.
Jesus took flesh and blood, but He was unique: “the only begotten of the Father”, born of the Father. In order for someone to say that the analysis of the blood is definitely wrong, he must say that he fully understands Divinity combined in humanity in the incarnation of Christ – something that the Bible says we cannot understand.
We cannot explain the great mystery of the plan of redemption. Jesus took upon Himself humanity that He might reach humanity; but we cannot explain.
HOW divinity was clothed with humanity. In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery that the human mind cannot understand. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where on thou standest is holy ground.” We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart.
As the Bible says, everything about this whole event is a “mystery” (1st Timothy. 3:16). Who can say that any aspect of the blood provided by God the Father is impossible?
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
We are indebted to Hans Jurgen Ossa for some of the research which follows. The blood is the most “mysterious” of all tissues. Even in our advanced time, medical science has not yet fully discovered all the “secrets” within the blood and its system.
The blood reaches and nourishes every single cell of the body. From its many functions, let me mention just the main ones:
– nutrition and respiration of tissues;
– transportation of waste from the tissues to the excretory organs;
– chemical and thermal regulation, and co-ordination of the body;
– defense against infection caused by bacteria and viruses.
Each living cell of the body carries within its own substance all the chemical processes necessary to its existence. This duty is done throughout our bodies by the blood vascular system.
The Bible simply states, “The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).
Further, in Acts 17:25,26 we read as follows:
… he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and bath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.”
All men (mankind) have a common origin in Adam; all men are blood relatives of Adam, whether of white, brown, or yellow colour, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether pagan or cultured.
Since “the life of the flesh is in the blood”, then the flesh dies when the blood is poisoned.
The blood carries the sentence of death because of Adam’s sin or transgression of God’s commandment, and, consequently, all men (mankind) die a common death because there is death in the blood. The eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of God’s Garden caused `blood poisoning’ and resulted in death. (Read Genesis. 2:16,17.)
The man sinned, and died spiritually on that “same day”; and later he died physically. Sin separates man from God; and result of this separation is death.
This `poison’ was so potent that all mankind have to die by carrying the `poison’ of Adam’s sin in the blood. As one sinned, all have sinned. (Read Romans 5:12; 6:23.)
This very fact that sin affected the blood of man necessitated the virgin birth of the Messiah if He was to be a son of Adam (“Son of Man”), and yet a sinless man (“Son of God”).
Because the blood of all men partakes of the sin of Adam, it can be cleansed only by the application of sinless blood.
A thorough study of the Scriptures makes this point as clear as day. We read as follows:
“The new covenant in his blood” (Matthew. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1st Corinthians. 11:25).
“Being justified by his blood” (Romans 5:9).
” .. through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
“…..are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
… having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20).
“the blood of Christ … purge your conscience from dead works…. ” (Hebrews 9:14).
” .. and without shedding of blood is no remission [of sins]. ” (Hebrews 9:22).
“Having……boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
“….Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood……” (Hebrews 13:12).
“ … the precious blood of Christ” (1st Peter 1:19).
“the blood of Jesus Christ … cleanseth us from all sin” (1st John 1:7).
“Jesus Christ…….washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5).
“Thou…… didst redeem us to God with thy blood” [You bought us for God] (Revelation 5:9).
“… and they overcame him by the blood of the lamb” (Revelation. 12:11).
Reading chapters 9 and 10 of Hebrews, we learn that the blood of the Messiah is different from our blood. There was only one remedy for sin, namely, sinless blood.
As the first Adam’s sin corrupted the blood of the entire human family, so the pure, sinless blood of the `last Adam’ makes atonement for the sin of `the world’.
Even though He received His flesh, the body, from a sinful race (descended from Adam), yet Jesus’ blood was sinless (1st Peter 2:22). “The innocent blood” (Matthew. 27:4) = “the sinless blood”.
God provided a way whereby Jesus could be perfectly human according to the flesh and yet not have “sinful” blood. That was made possible by the virgin birth. (Read the inspired account in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38.)
Jesus was GOD. He was born of a woman by the HOLY SPIRIT. His Father was not a descendant of Adam.
As we have learnt, there are two systems and separately functioning, the fetus’ and the mother’s. How wonderfully God prepared for the birth of His Son by Mary who was a virgin! When He created woman He made her so that no blood would be able to pass from her to her offspring. In order to produce a sinless man who would yet be the “son of Adam”, God provided a way whereby that man would have a human body derived from Adam but have blood from a separate source. The question of how Jesus was sinless is plainly answered in the Scriptures that He partook of human flesh without partaking of the effect of Adam’s blood.
Jesus humbled Himself to man’s nature (Philippians 2:6-8). Jesus inherited a human nature from His mother, and there was nothing from the Holy Spirit to override what He inherited! Jesus had our weakened nature (Hebrews 2:16-18) – and still beat the devil in it. That’s why He is an example of living a sinless life in our flesh (1st Peter 2:21,22; 1st John 2:6; Revelation 3:21). How could it be any other way?
• MR. Dettaan, The Chemistry of the Blood
• Encyclopedia Britannica, 1966 edition
• Black’s Medical Dictionary
• Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
THE TABLES OF STONE
40) Didn’t Jesus take His blood to be sprinkled in Heaven?
In heaven, Jesus does not spill His blood but He is our Advocate there. He pleads our case. He still bears the memorial wounds of His death for us on earth. It is the effectiveness of His blood shed for us on earth that qualifies Him to be our Intercessor in heaven. The blood was spilt on earth. The mediation is in heaven. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews. 9:24).
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1st Timothy 2:5).
It is the fact of His blood shed for us on earth “once for all” that qualifies Him to represent us in heaven. The blood bears “witness on earth” (1st John 5:8).
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God,,-… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Now where remission of these [sins] is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:12, 14, 18). No blood spilt in heaven.
41) Since, in the earthly sanctuary type, blood was sprinkled on the Ark only on the Day of Atonement (September/October), wouldn’t Jesus’ sprinkling of His blood on the Ark on Passover day (March/April) have violated the type/antitype fulfillment?
The core purpose of the Ark (with its law, Mercy Seat and blood on the Mercy Seat) was to summarize the divine plan of salvation. The Ark is the Gospel in a nutshell. It teaches us that:
1. We have broken God’s law (the foundation of His Throne). We need mercy.
2. The blood of God’s Son was to be shed to provide mercy.
At Calvary, God arranged for the blood of His Son to fall onto the Mercy Seat of that Ark, over that law that everyone had broken. God did that, so that even the simplest minded person could understand who it was died on that Cross that day and why He died.
“On the day of atonement the high priest, having taken an offering for the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, above the law. Thus the claims of the law, which demanded the life of the sinner were satisfied.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.356)
This fulfilling of the claims of the law was done when Jesus died, spilling His blood! The blood on the Mercy Seat symbolized that!
In our theological cleverness, it is possible for us to build a neat, complex scenario of types and antitypes that closes our minds to the fact that God can do the unexpected. In our minds, we limit God’s ability – and His freedom – to act outside our parameters. But it is just like our Lord to do something we don’t expect. At His death, Jesus Christ, in one simple physical act, demonstrated the very core of that message embodied in all the sanctuary ceremonies. Jesus’ blood, shed for every sinner, spilled onto the Mercy Seat, which covered the law of God. In fact, Jesus blood was spilt on the Westside of the Mercy seat. For hundreds of centuries, the Priest used to sprinkle the animal sacrifice blood on the Eastside (Leviticus 16:14) of the Mercy seat. Can you see the fulfilment?
The Ark of the Covenant contained elements which represent the full story of the atonement, beginning to end. The outer court ministry, the holy place ministry, and the most holy place ministry – in fact, the whole atonement story, bleeding lamb to ministering priest, shed blood to sprinkled blood – all this was summarized in the Ark of the Covenant symbol.
Blood on the altar of sacrifice; blood on the altar of incense; blood on the veil; blood on the Mercy Seat over the Ten Commandments.
Yes, the Ark of the Covenant was a composite symbol of the entire sanctuary system. It symbolized all of salvation.
As Dr- L. Hardinge puts it:
“All the sanctuary ceremonies reached their consummation at the Ark. It thus stood for Him who is `the end of our faith’ (1 Peter 1:9), the center of our devotions, and the object of our search… The blood soaked Mercy Seat was the central Throne of the Shekinah, or presence of the gracious and merciful God, and the goal and focus of His saving activity…On the many stages of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the promised land `the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them…’ (Numbers 10:33-36). The Lord provided food and water, rest and a safe haven, as long as His people cherished the Ark as the heart of their encampment. ” (With Jesus in His Sanctuary, pp. 185,186, 190-192)
Now, would the types (symbols) be violated if Jesus’ blood, at the time of the Passover, flowed onto the Mercy Seat of this Ark? It is true that the various feast days all had their own individual significance representing different prophetic events.
Yet they all had one thing in common: sacrifices were made on each of them. The priests shed blood in sacrifices many times. But Jesus did it “ONCE” (Hebrews 7:27). The one death of Jesus once and for all embraced within itself the deaths of every sacrifice slain in the entire Hebrew religious year.
In the symbol, sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense and also on the Ark of the Covenant. But all these were fulfilled once for all when Jesus’ blood was sprinkled on just one place – only once – the Mercy Seat.
The time of the year that Jesus’ blood went onto the earthly Mercy Seat is not crucial here. Jesus was not required to spill it on the calendar Day of Atonement. The symbols of the animal blood that had been shed on all these days of the year, he had to fulfill in ONE act. It says “Christ was ONCE offered” (Hebrews 9:28).
All the detailed prophecies concerning the Saviour’s death had to be accomplished IN THAT ONE ACT!
Jesus died ‘once for all’, to fulfill all of the sacrificial symbols (including those of Passover and the Day of Atonement).
Because our Lord knew that we might forget this, it is emphasized time and again in Scripture: “ONCE” (Hebrews 7:27) “ONCE” (Hebrews 9:26) “ONCE” (Hebrews 9:28) “ONCE” (1st Peter 3:18) “ONCE FOR ALL”(Hebrews 10:10) So it is that our High priest in heaven today can plead our case at the heavenly Mercy Seat by virtue of His blood spilt ONCE on earth.
42) Shouldn’t the things that Jesus Christ did on the cross – shouldn’t it all have to fit the symbol of the event perfectly?
The perfection is in Christ – not in the image (symbol).
You cannot make Jesus fit every detail of the image. But you must interpret the image (symbol) according to what Jesus Himself did. The symbolism is not perfect. It is merely a “shadow” of what was to come (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1).
An exact correspondence between the ancient symbol and the reality was not physically possible. For one thing, it took two separate entities – both a lamb and a priest – to symbolize the one Messiah, first as the dying One, then as our resurrected Mediator in heaven.
Jesus could serve both as our Lamb and as our High Priest, because he returned to life after his death.
No lamb or other sacrificial animal could illustrate the resurrection. For that reason, both an animal and a human priest were required – one to symbolize his death, and the other his post-resurrection work as our Advocate.
Something else. The earthly priests were many in number, but Jesus ministers on our behalf continually, since he lives forever.
The contrast of the symbol and the fulfillment is greater than the likeness. The only way it can be made congruent is to recognize that the earthly symbol was “an example”, however imperfect, of the heavenly (Hebrews 8:5). It would be an error, and unscriptural, to try to make every detail correspond precisely.
One obvious observation between what is revealed of the heavenly Most Holy Place where “the judgment was set and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9,10) and the Most Holy Place of the earthly type is that a structural comparison is incongruent. In the earthly Tabernacle the high priest entered, on the Day of Atonement, the Most Holy Place which was but 10 cubits square. (The Most Holy Place of Solomon’s Temple was a 20 cubit cubicle.)
A vision given to Daniel reveals a judgment set in a vast Temple room capable of accommodating the entire angelic host. In the earthly, while the curtains of the Tabernacle were embroidered with the symbolism of cherubs, the emphasis on the service of the high priest on the Day of Atonement was that he should enter that sacred enclosure alone (see Leviticus 16:17).
THE CONTRAST OF THE TYPE AND ANTITYPE IS GREATER THAN THE LIKENESS and can only be made congruent if we accept the dictum of Hebrews 8:5 that the priests served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.”
“Many times” versus “once”: the Scripture tells us that in this detail the ‘type’ or symbol cannot fit; it is `not the very image’ of the real event it signified (Hebrews 10:1).
In the symbol, the many sacrifices of lambs, goats and bullocks all prefigured the ONE sacrifice of ONE Person, the Messiah, ONCE FOR ALL.
In the symbol, sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense and also on the Ark of the Covenant’s Mercy Seat. But all these were fulfilled ONCE FOR ALL when Jesus’ blood was sprinkled on just ONE place, ONCE – the Mercy Seat.
We must not juggle (or deny) the positioning of the cross hole, the Ark and the blood, etc., to fit in with our own theological preconceptions. Our theology has to fit in with what Christ actually did!
The ceremonial law is only “a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things” (Hebrews10:1). Therefore you do not exalt the law above Jesus.
In apostolic times Satan led the Jews to exalt the ceremonial law, and to reject Christ. Let’s not be guilty of exalting the ceremonial shadows above Christ, saying that He MUST fit in with them.
We are in the same error as those Jews if we say, “Jesus couldn’t sprinkle His blood on the Mercy Seat when He died, BECAUSE THE CEREMONIES WOULD NOT LET THAT HAPPEN.” Now, wouldn’t it be silly to say that!
43) Doesn’t Daniel 9:24 (“anoint the most Holy”) apply to Jesus Himself being anointed at His baptism?
Refering to the messianic prophecy of Daniel, which we shall here quote:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).
The Hebrew phrase qodesh qadashim, here translated to read “most Holy”, is the very same phrase as “Most Holy Place”.
Variant readings of this passage say “anoint a most holy place” (RSV) or “consecrate a most holy place” (Moffatt).
The term is also used many times to denote objects in the Most Holy Place. It is a term used freely through the book of Leviticus to characterize things and places, but is NOWHERE applied to PERSONS.
Now here are the components of our text again:
• “to finish the transgression”
• “to make an end of sin ”
• “to make reconciliation for iniquity”
• “to bring in everlasting righteousness ”
• “to seal up the vision”
• “and to anoint the most Holy”
By His death, the Messiah paid the penalty to potentially bring an end to “transgression”, “sin” and “iniquity” – the first three items listed in this prophecy. His death would be the basis for making us right in God’s eyes (“righteousness” – the fourth item in this prophecy). His death as long promised for mankind, when fulfilled, would authenticate (ratify) the prophecy.
So it will be seen that the first five particulars were FULFILLED AT JESUS’ DEATH.
So why not the sixth – “anoint the most Holy”?
Anointing was symbolic of the cleansing and covering accomplished by Christ’s blood. And when did He spill His blood to provide mercy for us? At His death.
Read the more complete explanation in the excellent book Ark of the Covenant, pp. 430-433 by Jonathan Gray.
OTHER FAQ’S YOU SHOULD KNOW
44) Was other items found in the cave, or was it just the Ark of the Covenant?
During his several visits to the chamber, Ron tried to thoroughly explore the contents. He measured the chamber and found it to be 22 feet long by 12 feet on 2 sides, while the other 2 sides followed the line of the cliff-face, forming a chamber that narrowed down in one corner.
The objects he saw in that chamber that he feels confident in identifying are: the Ark of the Covenant in the Stone case; the Table of Shewbread; the Golden Altar of Incense that was in front of the veil; the Golden Censer; the seven-branched Candlestick holder, (which didn’t have candles but had tiny, bowl-like golden oil lamps which are built into the tips of the candlestick); a very large sword; an Ephod; a Miter with an ivory pomegranate on the tip; a brass shekel weight; numerous oil lamps; and a brass ring which appeared to be for hanging a curtain or something similar.
There are more objects, but these are all Ron could positively identify. All of these objects were covered by the dry-rotted dark-colored animal skins, then dry-rotten wooden timbers on top of the skins, and finally the large rocks piled over everything.
On the back of the Ark is a small open cubicle which still contains the “Book of the Law” and is presumably the one Moses, himself, wrote. Ron found the Scrolls, written on animal skins, to be in perfect condition.
45) When will the Ten Commandments be brought out?
The Bible predicts that shortly before Jesus Christ returns, there will emerge a New World Order, in which national boundaries will mean little.
The prophecies of Revelation state that this New World Order will draw together the nations of the world under one common dictatorship.
And even now, a unified global system is being put into place by a group of powerful men working behind the scenes; men with almost unlimited financial resources, who want a global government. And we’re being raced into it, whether we like it or not. There will emerge an one-world economy.
David Rockefeller, the powerful leader of the Council for Foreign Relations, said, “All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” And all food supplies will be under their control. Living in the cities will be hazardous. Perhaps it is time you considered moving out.
And there is an one-world religion being planned. Are you aware of that? It’s coming. It’s coming rapidly. When the world is reduced to chaos by an economic collapse, I believe there will be a tremendous move to come back to religious laws.
It will be argued, “Look what’s happening. God’s not blessing us. We need these laws to force people to do it our way.” Religious laws will be issued which, although seemingly “good and moral”, will be contrary to the original commands of God.
The Bible says that eventually economic sanctions will be imposed against people who will not keep these laws – so that they cannot buy and sell. Everybody will receive a number. And there’ll be something called the Mark of the Beast. This will be in contra-distinction to what prophecy calls the Seal of God.
God has placed His seal in His law. He says, “Seal the law among my disciples” (Isaiah. 8:16).
There are two sets of laws: God’s laws – and man’s laws. The latter being the one which will be enforced by the New World Order. Right now, the governments of the world are in league to regulate peace efforts and environmental and trading practices. But behind the scenes the foundation is already being laid to present a set of “universal spiritual laws”.
An attempt will be made to enforce the conscience. It will be decreed that everyone on earth keep these man-made laws which will, however, be contrary to the law of God as given in the Ten Commandments.
The ARK OF THE COVENANT was so called because it contained “the WORDS OF THE COVENANT, the Ten Commandments” (Exodus. 34:28). The Scripture says, “He hath commanded His covenant forever” (Psalm. 111:9).
I believe that when the time comes that the “spiritual laws” are being debated and about to become the law of the land, that the tablets of God’s Ten Commandments written with His own finger, will come out as a witness to the world – before the fury breaks.
In God’s perfect time, the Ark of the Covenant will be a witness. He says: “My covenant will I not break” (Psalm 89:34). Did you know that the ONLY time God spoke audibly and publicly to millions of people was when He spoke His Ten Commandments? He says, “I will not alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34).
Jesus Himself said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle [that’s one dot of an “i” or one cross of a “t”] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).
I ask you, have heaven and earth passed? Not yet!
And when the entire world can see that very Ark of God’s own Presence, then they will see for themselves that His Law is real, that His Law remains. This will go like shock waves across the world, challenging each person to come to a decision either to serve the Lord, or obey man.
In the Revelation prophecy of events just before Jesus’ return, when human laws enforce the “mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:16, 17), God’s faithful people are described as those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation14:12).
This is a showdown. There will be no compromise!
46) Why hasn’t the Ark been found before this?
Why discovered now? The prophet John saw a vision of the future, concerning…
The time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that (God) should give reward to… small and great; and should destroy them who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18).
That’s clearly speaking of the end times, when God is about to interrupt mankind’s rule and take over this planet (vv. 15-17).- And in that context the prophet saw something else, as well:
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament” (v.19).
That’s the Ark of the Covenant – the original in heaven.
Cause and effect
Well, right through the book of Revelation a connection is shown between events in heaven and those on earth. And it does make sense. After all, if God has a rescue plan for His faithful ones on this planet, and if it is from His Throne in heaven that the plan emanates, then why shouldn’t events planned in heaven have their effect on earth?
The mention of the heavenly Ark in the end times – could that be hinting at the importance of the earthly Ark… that it might yet have a role to play in the divine purpose?
According to this prophecy, the heavenly Ark -the original – has something to do with an end times judgement period of planet earth.
The Scriptures repeatedly tell of judgment to come; that God has appointed a day when He will judge the world and every person will receive according to his works (Acts 17:31; Matthew 16:27); that we must all appear before the Judgment Seat (Romans 14:10; 2nd Corinthians 5:10; 1st Peter 4:17).
And what is the standard by which all will be judged? The law of God (James 2:10-12).
Would it not be perfect timing for the earthly Ark of the Covenant, containing the transcript of that same law, to be brought to the notice of earth’s inhabitants at this very time?