The Ark of Apocalypse

 CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

The Ark of the Covenant

After seven years of peace, Philip received a call from one of his Arab friends.  He and a crew of twenty were searching around the Dead Sea for bodies to bury.  On the mountain range of Moab, near where Moses died, they found something.  He insisted that Philip come and see as soon as possible.

Philip, Simon and Merlin flew into Jordan and on to the Dead Sea.  There they were picked up by the Arab and driven to the top of a mountain overlooking the valley of the Dead Sea.  On the top was a church.  Some believed it to be the spot Moses died and was buried. Icons depicted this on the walls. There was a place to walk down on the left of the altar, to a cave but nothing was ever found there.  From the mountain you could see where Lot escaped to the mountains, where Christ was baptized and where Elias hid in a cave.

“What is it that brings me away from my family all the way to this desert?”  Philip was not agitated but simply very tired of being a King.

“Sir, I have something of great interest to show you.  One of the many earth quakes also split this mountain just below this church and just below where we are standing.  It has exposed a cave with interesting contents.  I think only you should see and decide what to do about it.”

“You are making this very mysterious.”

“Not so much so, Philip,” said Merlin.  “I am sure I know what we are about to see.”

“What,” said Simon?

 “Wait and see!”

They climbed down the mountain in the front of the church only twenty feet down.  There was a long split in the mountain going all the way around the base.  In the split was a large opening into a cave at least 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. Through the entrance it was even larger.  Candles were already set up waiting for Philip and two Knights stood by guarding the contents of the cave.  Between the two Knights Philip saw what was so important to bring him all the way from Austria. 

It was The Ark of the Covenant.  Philip just stared at it with a little fear.  He did not move forward, but Father Merlin did.  “At last, at last, it must be the time prophesied.  I thought it was this. Yes, I thought so.”  He turned towards Philip. “That is why I came with you.  I felt this was what he found.”

The two Knights must have cleaned it because it was shinning bright from the candles and the light coming in the entrance to the cave.

The Ark was about four feet long and two feet square.  It had two gold trimmed doors on the front with gold handles facing each other. A gold post separated the two doors by two inches.  The top and bottom extended out two inches past the walls and all trimmed in gold.  Both the top and bottom were about two inches thick.  In the center of the top was an opening at least 18 inches in diameter. 

On both sides of the hole were two Cherub Angels looking like 15 to 16 year old boys with wings.  Each boy (or Angel) knelt on one Knee facing the opening but with his eyes and head turned away from the opening.  Their hands were folded in prayer.  Their back wings covered the back side of the opening and their front wings angled down pointing to the opening.  Both Angels were bowed down in prayer. 

The entire gold trim of the ark was carved into grape vines, grapes, pomegranates, angels and strange writings.  Four large gold rings were on the top four corners of the ark.  Through these rings were two gold poles 12 feet long with gold knobs on the ends.

Philip spoke almost in a whisper.  “This is the Ark of the Covenant.”

“Yes, yes!” said Merlin.  “I knew it was somewhere in these mountains.”

“How did you know this?”  Philip said.

“Oh! You forgot what I taught you.  You will read in 2 Machabees 2:1-8 that Jeremiahs hit the Ark in this mountain not to be found until God gathered the Jews together until Mercy.  Come let us see what is inside.”

“Do not touch it,” shouted Philip.

 “Come, come, Philip, again you forgot what I taught you.  The power of this Ark is in the Holy Grail, but now that the Holy Grail is out of it, the power is gone.  Not completely but mostly.”  Merlin opened the two front doors. 

Inside were two white stone tablets with writings on them but nothing else.  Merlin bowed before the tablets.  “Those writings were made by the finger of God. The first tablet has the first three commandments and the second tablet has the other seven, first how to love God and second how to love one another.”

Philip backed away.  He was still afraid of the Ark.  Merlin reached in and rubbed the lettering on the tablets.  “Come and touch the writings of God.”

“Not on your life.  The last person to touch this ark died.  You are a priest, but I am not.”  Philip backed away even more.

Simon trusted the Priest and knew the Priest would not harm Philip.  Simon reached over and put his hand on top of the Ark.  With his hand still on the Ark he looked back at Philip.  “I am not a Priest.” 

In spite of this Philip did not touch the Ark.  It was because the ark carried the word and power of God that Philip was code named the “Ark”.  Like the true Ark, Philip was to carry the Holy Grail before him to defeat God’s enemies in battle. This Ark was a symbolic outward sign of the true Ark, the Virgin Mary, who carried the real word of God.

They moved the Ark to St. Peter’s Basilica and gave it to the Holy Father to keep.  Benedict placed it on the high main alter like a tabernacle and placed the Body of Christ and the Holy Grail inside of it.

In the same cave Merlin, now almost 100 years of age, expected to find the body of Moses but did not.  He wondered about that from that moment to his death.