THE ARK OF THE COVENANT IS IN HEAVEN?
So is this yet another proof that the old testament law has gone?
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." Revelation 11:19.
Two things sought after with great zeal are the Ark of the Covenant and the so called "Holy Grail" or cup that Christ used in the Last Supper. However there is a very strong arguement the search for the ark of the covenant is entirely in vain, as it seems to say clearly in the sacrosanct Book of Revelation the ark has been transported in someway into heaven, either that or this phrase symbolises some aspect of the new covenant, even perhaps a metaphore for Christ himself as the ark.
If the Ark of the Covenant from the old testament is in heaven, and its presence in the temple was required to perform the old law, its presence in heaven would be seen by many as a refutation of Judaism, and the refutation of the many and various fragmented cults that seek to Judaise the Christian Faith, by trying to take us back to the bondage of the old now anarchronistic Law of Moses. Indeed the very fact that the Jews (and consequently everyone on Earth) have not had a temple for almost 2,000 years is considered proof enough in itself by all Christians, aside from any issue over the ark of the covenant, that the old law of Moses has gone, as it has simply been made impossible to practice, thus replaced by the new law (the Law of Christ Gal 6:2).
It is therefore a very interesting topic as to when and where the Ark of the Covenant was taken into heaven, and if you believe that the reference to this Ark in Revelation 11:19 is indeed the same ark as the Israelites carried in the wilderness. The proselytes of modern Jusaism of course deny this scripture is true (and the whole of the new testament with it) as it would go a long way to disproving their religion. However the Judaising cults that attack the Christian Faith with a resurgence of the Galatians Apostasy (who are called "bewitched" by God through Paul, for returning under the old law) have to of necessity believe that Revelation 11:19 is holy writ, and so the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in heaven is a trouble to them, as all thought then of the
re-establishment of the Temple on earth as it was under the old law, both at any time now, or in the millenium kigdom.
So the BIG question is: at what point in history was the ark either taken up, or materialised into heaven - if this indeed is the old ark?
The theory that the ark in Rev 11:19 is the old physical ark is usually believed by Judaising cults trying to bring the law of Moses back from the dead, but it involves a Catch 22 complicaion for them, that is as the ark was required in the Holy of Holies to perform the law, its presence in heaven would stop its presences on earth in the temple, thus preventing the keeping of the old law.
Here are some of the significant points in history when it can be hypothesised the ark was taken up to heaven:
1) UNTIL JOHN. "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." Matthew 11:13. As John the Baptist was a new kind of prophet (some say a special transition prophet) some might possibly argue (few in my opinion) that it wasat the beginning of his ministry the hidden ark of the covenant was taken into heaven.
2) "IT IS FINISHED!" "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:30. When Jesus said "It is finished!" the price for sin was paid, and some say that at this point the ark was taken up into heaven, as in the new covenant both the temple (lated destroyed) is not required. quote "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;" Matthew 27:52. There is no record the ark was in this temple at the time as it had long since not been made mention of, having been hidden or lost. However it is possible the ark was being taken up at the very precise moment the veil of the temple was being torn.
3) THE RESURRECTION. Though the price for sin was paid for by the blood of Jesus, that washes us clean, "the gospel by which we are saved" (a very specific expression and concept) was not - repeat was not - completed until the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and this is part of salvation itself, as through the resurrection also weare justified or made just in the eyes of God. This good news, or gospel, was preached first by Jesus himself (Luke 24:44-48) and by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). It is therefore possible to believe that the most likely time ark was taken up into heaven, was when Jesuswas risen up from the dead, completing our salvation.
4) THE ASCENTION INTO HEAVEN. It is possible to also say a most likely time the ark was taken up, was when Jesus himself ascended into heaven.
5) THE DAY OF PENTECOST. Pentecostal type believers may prefer to say the ark was taken up when the day of Pentecost arrived and the Holy Spirit began to move in power. This seems an unlikely theory.
Other beliefs might have the ark being taken away into heaven in the old covenant time. Some points in history that might be argued:
6) WHEN THE TEMPLE WAS SACKED BY THE BABYLONIANS. This seem unlikely as the vanishing of the ark would take place in the presence of many witnesses, and is not mentioned in scripture, whereas if the ark is hidden or lost this does not apply.
I do not believe it is necessary to have a doctrine (definite teaching - for which we are held responsible by God) on every subject, one can often merely state the belief or theory you find the most credible.
If pushed for which I think most credible, I would say either that as we are in a new covenant that "the Ark of his testament" is a symbolic reference to something to do with the new covenant (most likely a symbol of Christ himself who was God in the flesh, in a body made without hands)) perhaps the biggest clue being that it refers to the present covenant by saying "the Ark of HIS TESTAMENT" or 2) that when Jesus said "It is finished" around this moment, when the sacrifice for sin is finished, and the temple vail is rent in two, that it was then the old ark was taken up from a secret or unknown location into heaven, to empasize by God that the old law is no longer here. Concerning the possible preservation of the old ark in this way, one has to ask if it is right or plausible for God to allow it to be destroyed at the hands of man? And thus God may wish it to be preserved. Of these two I feel almost sure the more spiritual first interpretation is most likely, that is the ark is Christ.
Views vary on this. One of my friends from Facebook stated her view as this "It is my understanding that the Holy of Holies is where God's throne is and the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat is God's throne. We enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of the Lamb........
Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24 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:
It seems that the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed things in heaven. It must have been that heavenly things were in need of purification after the fall of Lucifer, and only the blood of Jesus Christ could purify them."