Ancient Discoveries on Trial
Part 2: Did Ron Wyatt find the Ark of the Covenant?
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Covenant Keepers went on to say, "Ron Wyatt returned to the cave 3 more times, and since his first visit, to his absolute surprise, the cave had been completely tidied up. Four angels stood before him and he was told that the time is not yet for the world to see this discovery with their own eyes..." [2.6] Why would four angels be needed to convey this message? And if true, then why would God commission Wyatt to search for it? The angelic visit sounds suspicious and a stern reminder of Joseph Smith's encounter with an angelic being resulting in Mormonism (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Had Wyatt discovered the ark, Jerusalem authorities including representatives from the Israel Museum would have gone to and secured the site, confirmed the findings, and then excavated the site for their own national purposes. This would have been the discovery of all discoveries. It would have been world news. While everything Wyatt claimed is within the realm of possibility, there are no artifacts or reliable photographic evidence to suggest any of it is true; and, foggy photos do not count as documented evidence.
More ironically, during a Good Friday Miracle Service* Benny Hinn asked a Jewish Rabbi to share with the audience what he knew about the lost ark being found. The Rabbi said the ark was never lost and its location has always been known. Is this a true statement by the Rabbi or is it now true because Wyatt found it?
While Wyatt won a devoted following from some fundamentalist Christians, he was not considered credible by professional archaeologists and biblical scholars. The Garden Tomb Association of Jerusalem stated in a letter: "The Council of the Garden Tomb Association (London) totally refutes the claim of Mr. Wyatt to have discovered the original Ark of the Covenant or any other biblical artifacts within the boundaries of the area known as the Garden Tomb Jerusalem. Though Mr. Wyatt was allowed to dig within this privately owned garden on a number of occasions...staff members of the Association observed his progress and entered his excavated shaft. As far as we are aware nothing was ever discovered to support his claims nor have we seen any evidence of biblical artifacts or temple treasures." [2.7]Nevertheless, the discrediting statement by the Association about Wyatt's discovery needs to be balanced with a statement by Dr. David Reagan who pointed out:
Currently, there is no desire among Jews to build a third temple. The average Israeli is very secular. He knows that any attempt to build a third temple would result in immediate war with the Muslims. Only a handful of ultra-Orthodox Jews have a passion for the Third Temple. They are the ones who have made all the preparations. But they have no popular support. Something will have to happen to create a surge of nationalistic pride that will demand a new temple. This catalytic event could be the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. [2.8]In flow with the previous statements from the Rabi, the Association and Reagan, a disclosure now appears on the Wyatt Archeological Research homepage that says, "At this time, Wyatt Archaeological Research can provided no conclusive evidence regarding the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant." [2.9] In fact, Wyatt openly admitted in one of his videos they have not found enough evidence to convince anybody. Was Wyatt forced under political pressure to admit this?
In a 1999 death bed interview, "Wyatt told WorldNet Daily by phone just before his death...more of his evidence and findings will soon be made public." [2.10] Now fifteen years later, WorldNet Daily is still waiting and the mystery continues.
Wyatt stands by his claim but has provided no believable evidence to support his claim and herein lies the unanswerable question resulting in unending debate. As a result, there is one of three possibilities: The ark was never found, the ark was never lost, or the ark was found and the Association made a political decision to silence Wyatt's discovery.
In this world, evidence is proof and will always rule absolute in the affairs of men. Jesus knew this about men. He knew they would doubt and reject his claim to divinity. This is why Jesus performed wonders and miracles and spoke great words as evidence to his claim as the Messiah (Acts 2:22-24). And still most did not believe.
Ron Wyatt is said to have believed Ellen G. White was a true prophet of God. Covenant Keepers said on one of their web pages, "...the video material relies heavily on the writings of Ellen G. White. Ron Wyatt believed that Ellen White was a true prophet of God in the fullest sense of the word...." [2.11] Covenant Keepers continued on the same webpage by sharing an Ellen White prophecy that said, "... the Ark of the Covenant was hidden in a cave in Jerusalem, is still there at the time of writing in the early 1900s, and will be rediscovered and the Tables of Stone brought out and put on public display. The quote clearly says she is referring to the earthly Ark, and not the heavenly." [2.12]
To Ellen G. White's discredit, most of her prophecies failed to come true (1 John 4:1); and to Wyatt's discredit, his ark discovery produced no convincing evidence.
So then, did Wyatt find the Ark of the Covenant? I am moved by the possibility but left unpersuaded, although I like the theory and his enduring conviction. On the flipside of Wyatt's story is a truth worth noting: "The lack of evidence does not mean something is untrue." While politics may be at work to discredit Wyatt's story, it does not end here. In the minds of skeptics the ark remains lost and was never found. To the devoted few, Wyatt found the ark and they are at peace with the lack of evidence.
As for the undecided, the Ark of the Covenant has spiritual significance as an earthly depiction of a greater truth, and herein our true peace (Mark 14:23-24).
*Kemper Arena...Kansas City, Missouri - 2004
2.10 Wordpress.com — Deathbed Confession of Ron Wyatt
2.11, 2.12 http://www.covenantkeepers.co.uk/videos.html
Image credit: James Jacques Joseph Tissot, "Moses and Joshua in the Tabernacle," c. 1896-1902; Wikipedia Commons; public domain
Ancient Discoveries on Trial: The SeriesPart 1: Are the ancient discoveries by Ron Wyatt true or religious fraud?
Part 2: Did Ron Wyatt find the Ark of the Covenant?
Part 3: Did Ron Wyatt find Noah's Ark?
Part 4: Did Ron Wyatt find the Red Sea crossing? — Coming Soon
Tags: Controversial-Issues | History-Apologetics
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