Ancient Discoveries on Trial

Part 2: Did Ron Wyatt find the Ark of the Covenant?

By Jim Allen

In August of 1978, Ron Wyatt was walking along Gordon's Calvary Escarpment in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, talking with a local authority about Roman antiquities. Without warning, Ron's left hand pointed...and his mouth said, "That's Jeremiah's Grotto and the Ark of the Covenant is in there." Even though these words had come from his own mouth and his own hand had pointed, he had not consciously done these things. The man with him, quite out of character, also reacted strangely. He said, "That's wonderful! We want you to excavate, and we'll grant you your permits, put you up in a place to stay and even furnish your meals!" Ron Wyatt knew that this was a supernatural event but he also knew that not all supernatural events originate from God (Revelation 16:14). [2.1]
Did Wyatt experience a supernatural event? Is this how God speaks today? The apostle Paul was knocked from his horse in Acts 9 and later commissioned by Jesus to go to the gentiles as His chosen vessel (Acts 9:15). Was Wyatt a chosen vessel of God? Did God commission him to find the ark, and if so for what purpose? The problem with such revelations is unscrupulous believers will fake the experience. I am not suggesting Wyatt faked the experience, but the account is nevertheless supernatural and Wyatt admitted not all revelations are from God.
Jesus was the last prophet and in the latter days God spoke through Him, (Hebrews 1:1-2). Prophets of old were to reveal truth from God. That is what the OT prophets did. Jesus revealed truth to us in His personal ministry on earth; and then He, God and the Holy Spirit revealed all truth to us through the bible. There are no new revelations. The end of the Book of Revelation states, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book" (Revelation 22:18).[2.2]
Wyatt claimed the location of the ark is directly below the spot where Jesus spoke his last words, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46)." He claims the blood of Jesus seeped through a crack in the bedrock (caused by the earthquake during the crucifixion (Matthew 27:51) onto the Ark of the Covenant as the official fulfillment of Hebrews 9:22, "Without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin."

Wyatt claimed there are square holes hued from stone (for holding the crosses) and a crack running near one of them. Of this claim, there are no professional photos showing this particular discovery except for a one slightly blurred photograph. From the cave-like cavern located directly below the spot where Jesus died, Wyatt took a sample of dried blood to have it analyzed. But, before he did God told him not to reveal the results until the proper time. Earlier, Wyatt said God had chosen him for this time to reveal these things; and, that only those under satanic influence would reject his words.

Covenant Keepers said about Wyatt's excavation of the ark site:
Continuing to shift aside more rocks and wood, he then found a stone casing. The lid had cracked and had been moved aside. Ron Wyatt shone his flashlight down through the crack and saw a chest of beaten gold. He knew he was looking at the Ark of the Covenant. Overwhelmed with emotion and suffering from pneumonia Ron Wyatt passed out for 45 minutes in that chamber. It was January 6th 1982, when Ron Wyatt made this amazing discovery — exactly 3 and a half years after Ron's left hand pointed to the site and his mouth said, "That's Jeremiah's Grotto and the Ark of the Covenant is in there." Ron Wyatt tried to photograph the ark with a Polaroid, but the photos turned out foggy. He returned with a colonascope, but again the pictures turned out foggy. 2.3
If Wyatt's discovery was true, then why would he let a few foggy photographs stop him from getting a real photographer involved? Surely, photographic evidence of the claim would convince others to investigate further. But, there is no verifiable photographic evidence!

Wyatt went on to claim he also found, "The Table of Shewbread; the Golden Altar of Incense that was in front of the veil; the Golden Censer; the seven-branched Candlestick holder...a very large sword; an Ephod [priestly garment]; a Mitre [head garment] 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." [2.4] Also discovered was an assortment of other artifacts of great value and wealth.

If all the discoveries by Wyatt are true, then the discovery the ark would parallel if not exceed the discovery and excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. In addition to the discovery Covenant Keepers went on to report, "The dried black substance in the ceiling crack was tested and proved to be blood, apparently the blood of Jesus Christ." [2.5]

If this astonishing discovery is true then where are the photographs of the artifacts and laboratory report of the blood analysis to uphold his claim?

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).

2.2 The End Time Blog...Extra-biblical Revelation
2.10 Confession of Ron Wyatt
2.11, 2.12

Published 1-28-14