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Author Topic: Article on the Ark in Ethiopia  (Read 12122 times) Average Rating: 0
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Eugenio
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« on: December 01, 2007, 08:01:37 PM »

A rather interesting article...

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/ark-covenant-200712.html
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2007, 08:47:44 PM »

To give people a better idea of what the article is about, I'll copy the first few paragraphs here:



"They shall make an ark of acacia wood," God commanded Moses in the Book of Exodus, after delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. And so the Israelites built an ark, or chest, gilding it inside and out. And into this chest Moses placed stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, as given to him on Mount Sinai.

Thus Jews came to revere the ark as an earthly manifestation of God. The Old Testament describes its enormous powers—blazing with fire and light, halting rivers, blasting away armies and bringing down the fabled walls of Jericho. (Steven Spielberg's 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark provides a special-effects approximation.) According to the First Book of Kings, King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem to house the ark. It was venerated there during Solomon's reign (c. 970-930 B.C.) and beyond.

Then it vanished. Much of Jewish tradition holds that it disappeared before or while the Babylonians sacked the temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

But through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the ark rests in a chapel in the small town of Aksum, in their country's northern highlands. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die.
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007, 09:20:41 PM »

To give people a better idea of what the article is about, I'll copy the first few paragraphs here:



"They shall make an ark of acacia wood," God commanded Moses in the Book of Exodus, after delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. And so the Israelites built an ark, or chest, gilding it inside and out. And into this chest Moses placed stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, as given to him on Mount Sinai.

Thus Jews came to revere the ark as an earthly manifestation of God. The Old Testament describes its enormous powers—blazing with fire and light, halting rivers, blasting away armies and bringing down the fabled walls of Jericho. (Steven Spielberg's 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark provides a special-effects approximation.) According to the First Book of Kings, King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem to house the ark. It was venerated there during Solomon's reign (c. 970-930 B.C.) and beyond.

Then it vanished. Much of Jewish tradition holds that it disappeared before or while the Babylonians sacked the temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

But through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the ark rests in a chapel in the small town of Aksum, in their country's northern highlands. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die.


Well at least two things could have happened: 1. The Babylonians made off with it after sacking the city of Jerusalem.  I cant see these Persians overlooking something as valuable as the Ark, or 2. The Ethiopians are correct and the Ark was taken from the city prior to the Persians entering it.

Im surprised someone over these eons hasnt challenged the Ethiopians on this and that someone hadnt actually invaded the Ark's resting place.

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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 06:27:09 PM »

Well, in the article the reporter goes to what is essentially the keeper of the Ark and asks to take a peek. Unsurprisingly, his request is denied.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 03:15:28 PM »

Well at least two things could have happened: 1. The Babylonians made off with it after sacking the city of Jerusalem.  I cant see these Persians overlooking something as valuable as the Ark, or 2. The Ethiopians are correct and the Ark was taken from the city prior to the Persians entering it.

Im surprised someone over these eons hasnt challenged the Ethiopians on this and that someone hadnt actually invaded the Ark's resting place.



Interesting you should say that.

That has not happend as of yet.

Consider this; Ethiopia has never been conquered by any foriegn people or government ...ever. All that has tried has failed. Italy shortly after WW1 invaded and occupied Adawa a large northern province of Ethiopia. Although the Italians had modern weapons and well trained men by the thousands; The Ethiopians completely and thoroughly routed them...the army was crushed. Italy left Africa and became the only European power to fail in colonial efforts on the continent. Italy returned just before WW2 and occupied the same area and the port of Asmara. Not only did Italy fail again in Africa she failed with the help of her fellow European brothers fighting against her. Ethiopians of course faught with all there might as well. Italy also lost the war.

Consider that Ethiopia ahs never been colonized by Europe or Arabia or nay country which sadly befell all other African countries.

Consider that Ethiopia was not included in the Arab exapnsion of islam. Their prophet forbid any attacks or jihad on Ethiopia. Thus Ethiopia is the only trurly Christian Nation in Africa and maybe the world. islam is a small element in the country. Arabs are surprised when I tell them I do not speak Arabic. Arabic is barely used anywhere in the country even though the Arab speaking world ia all around Ethiopia. muslims in Ethiopia speak Ethiopic and pray in Arabic.

Consider that during the dark ages in Europe Ethiopia was building cathedrals what is now Sudan and expanding christian knowlegde throughout her empire. This spawned the European quest for the Ethiopian priest king Prestre John.

The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts Ch. 8 is the bridge which the church crossed from the Jews to the gentiles. The eunuch was not a gentile however. He was a black man from Africa and Hebrew in all his ways of life,faith, heritage and tradition. He even read Hebrew which is noted in Acts Ch. 8 which at that time most Jews only spoke Aramaic. Hebrew was a priestly tongue at that time; just to add to the intrigue.

Today Ethiopia is largest Orthodox community on earth (Russians may argue this point and rightly so).

There is alot more I could add.

But from this it should be clear that Ethiopia certainly has a special blessing.

The Ark of God has been giuding and protecting her for millennia.



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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2007, 03:22:24 PM »

I have this issue at home (the cover shows the detail of a wonderful icon of the Theotokos) but I still have to finish reading the previous issue! 
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2007, 08:40:27 PM »

Interesting you should say that.

That has not happend as of yet.

Consider this; Ethiopia has never been conquered by any foriegn people or government ...ever. All that has tried has failed. Italy shortly after WW1 invaded and occupied Adawa a large northern province of Ethiopia. Although the Italians had modern weapons and well trained men by the thousands; The Ethiopians completely and thoroughly routed them...the army was crushed. Italy left Africa and became the only European power to fail in colonial efforts on the continent. Italy returned just before WW2 and occupied the same area and the port of Asmara. Not only did Italy fail again in Africa she failed with the help of her fellow European brothers fighting against her. Ethiopians of course faught with all there might as well. Italy also lost the war.

Consider that Ethiopia ahs never been colonized by Europe or Arabia or nay country which sadly befell all other African countries.

Consider that Ethiopia was not included in the Arab exapnsion of islam. Their prophet forbid any attacks or jihad on Ethiopia. Thus Ethiopia is the only trurly Christian Nation in Africa and maybe the world. islam is a small element in the country. Arabs are surprised when I tell them I do not speak Arabic. Arabic is barely used anywhere in the country even though the Arab speaking world ia all around Ethiopia. muslims in Ethiopia speak Ethiopic and pray in Arabic.

Consider that during the dark ages in Europe Ethiopia was building cathedrals what is now Sudan and expanding christian knowlegde throughout her empire. This spawned the European quest for the Ethiopian priest king Prestre John.

The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts Ch. 8 is the bridge which the church crossed from the Jews to the gentiles. The eunuch was not a gentile however. He was a black man from Africa and Hebrew in all his ways of life,faith, heritage and tradition. He even read Hebrew which is noted in Acts Ch. 8 which at that time most Jews only spoke Aramaic. Hebrew was a priestly tongue at that time; just to add to the intrigue.

Today Ethiopia is largest Orthodox community on earth (Russians may argue this point and rightly so).

There is alot more I could add.

But from this it should be clear that Ethiopia certainly has a special blessing.

The Ark of God has been giuding and protecting her for millennia.





Could you give some insite as to the reason Eritrea, Somolia waged war with Ethiopia?  Was it a religious war or political?

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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2007, 03:11:48 PM »

Could you give some insite as to the reason Eritrea, Somolia waged war with Ethiopia?  Was it a religious war or political?



Politics.

Both of these countries were part of the Ethiopian Empire a long time ago. Each are still struggling with independence and indenity; Eritrea more than Somolia.

Most people are not aware of the fact that "Ethiopia" was a blanket term which intended to describe all the nations and peoples of what we currently call "Africa". "Africa" as a term is a very recent phrase applied by Europeans in the last few centuries. You may want to look at (or Google) some old colonial era maps. You will see that Africa was first known to Europeans as 'Ethiopia'. Even the South Atlantic was called the 'Ethiopic Ocean'.

Once you get it clear in your own mind what Ethiopia is in the ancient understanding you can than be clear as to why Ethiopia is so prominantly mentioned in the Bible. The biblically ancient "Ethiopia" was a huge empire; not a country of limited power and influence.

Somolia and Eritrea are remnant cast-aways and will for a long time to come will be in some kind of tit-for-tat with their 'mother'....Ethiopia.

This needs prayer.

Thanks
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 03:22:20 PM »

God bless !

I know the Churches of Lalibela- beautiful !

I also read once a book about Ethiopian Saints and iconograpy.

In CHRIST

Is it true that in Ethiopia heretics are called : the enemy of mary ?
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 05:22:37 PM »

God bless !

I know the Churches of Lalibela- beautiful !

I also read once a book about Ethiopian Saints and iconograpy.

In CHRIST

Is it true that in Ethiopia heretics are called : the enemy of mary ?


I have never heard this before.

Ethiopia is/was called the land of Mary; as to imply Mary the Mother of God.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2008, 09:17:53 PM »

Question about Ethiopia and Ark of the Covenant

According to the Orthodox Liturgical calendar, the Epistle reading for today was from Hebrews 9:1-7

In verse 4 it says the Ark of the Covenant contained three things:

- the golden jar of manna
- Aaron’s staff that had budded
- the stone tablets of the covenant

Before I say anything further, I want to briefly say how much I appreciate the end of verse 5: “But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”  This is one of my favorite instances of scripture pointing outside of itself.  Its one of many examples to bring up in a discussion about sola-scriptura.  I like to see it as a reference to the richness of Tradition.  Smiley

Anyway, here is my main question:
The Ethiopian Orthodox believe/proclaim that the Ark of the Covenant is in a small church in Ethiopia (Axum).  So, do they also believe that all three of the items mentioned in verse 4 (the jar, staff, and tablets) are still in the Ark

I never really thought about the fact that scripture mentions three specific items in the Ark.  The 10 Commandments and Indiana Jones Roll Eyes movies really emphasized the tablets, but there was never any real mention of Aaron’s staff or the golden jar of manna.  I look forward to any feedback.  +God bless
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 04:32:08 PM »

Question about Ethiopia and Ark of the Covenant

According to the Orthodox Liturgical calendar, the Epistle reading for today was from Hebrews 9:1-7

In verse 4 it says the Ark of the Covenant contained three things:

- the golden jar of manna
- Aaron’s staff that had budded
- the stone tablets of the covenant

Before I say anything further, I want to briefly say how much I appreciate the end of verse 5: “But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”  This is one of my favorite instances of scripture pointing outside of itself.  Its one of many examples to bring up in a discussion about sola-scriptura.  I like to see it as a reference to the richness of Tradition.  Smiley

Anyway, here is my main question:
The Ethiopian Orthodox believe/proclaim that the Ark of the Covenant is in a small church in Ethiopia (Axum).  So, do they also believe that all three of the items mentioned in verse 4 (the jar, staff, and tablets) are still in the Ark

I never really thought about the fact that scripture mentions three specific items in the Ark.  The 10 Commandments and Indiana Jones Roll Eyes movies really emphasized the tablets, but there was never any real mention of Aaron’s staff or the golden jar of manna.  I look forward to any feedback.  +God bless


This is a difficult subject for persons who first do not believe in the the Holy Scriptures and Hebrew traditions and or are not interested in considering that anything immensely important is in Africa.

Not that I mean you persay.

If you read the Old Testament or Torah you will find enough information regarding Ethiopia (Africa) and Isreals connection to this continent and its 'indigenous' inhabitants. Even Christ our Lord and the Holy Mother of God has planted foot on the African continent.

This being said should it be any real surprise that the Holy Ark of the Covenant came to Africa and is still on the continent?

Some people disregard this point even in the face of unarguable evidence. These same people are usually also non-believers. NO wonder!

Yes the Ark is in Ethiopia.

If a person needs more confirmation other than faith in the word of God to this fact than the subject is moot anyway since the existance of the Ark was and still a thing of faith and belief. It is not now and never was a thing for the curious and material minded. This type will always be illuded by ALL things that are really relevent to God and faith. These are the "lost" as stated in Holy Scripture.

NO faith NO Ark.

Thus Indiana Jones types are working with blinders on.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 04:59:23 PM »

I have to put in my two cents worth in. Just a month an a half ago, I bought the TV series "Digging for the Truth" . There is an episode in the first season devoted to finding what happened to the Ark.  The host did make a strong case for it being in Ethiopia. The last half of the show, he traveled around Ethiopia going to sites it was historically reputed to at.  I would highly recommend seeing this episode, just to see what is availible on the subject.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 07:40:38 PM »

I first learned of the Ark in Ethiopia after watching the episode of Digging for the Truth actually. I found it fascinating and I believe that the Ark is in Aksum as the Ethiopian church says.

The Digging for the Truth episode about the Ark is actually up on YouTube. It isn't the full episode since it was edited just to show the Ethiopian parts. Some of the places Josh goes in Ethiopia are really fascinating places.

Part 1
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YOqLpT6HKzY
Part 2
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=JgbX0TjY0jA
Part 3
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1tsViR8oSMw
Part 4
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GEayq3iAaS4
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2008, 11:19:22 PM »

I my self believe it is in Ethiopia ,,Thanks  Be to the Most Holy Trinity our great  Lord and God that he's Chosen the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Church as a Guardians of His Holy Ark....... a Great Blessing indeed .......stanislav
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2008, 04:05:51 PM »

I my self believe it is in Ethiopia ,,Thanks  Be to the Most Holy Trinity our great  Lord and God that he's Chosen the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Church as a Guardians of His Holy Ark....... a Great Blessing indeed .......stanislav

The blessing you speak of is yours stashko and all people; particularly thoses who are in the Holy Orthodox Church for which IT (the Ark) belongs.

Please note:

Ethiopia has the single largest group of Orthodox Christians in the world.

Ethiopia has never been conquered by any foriegn power. Her empire has dwindled down to what we call modern Ethiopia today. But this most important part of her has remained protected from the raveges of European slavers, The European "scramble for Africa", Muslim Jihads, crusaders, protestants and so on. Modern Ethiopia (the last frontier of the former empire) has seen and suffered from many things even some of those noted. But these things did not prevail like elsewhere in Africa and the world. You would be hard pressed to find any place in the world that has not been ravaged by the above noted. Ethiopia even was spared the expansion of the the Roman and the previous Greek empires.

Need I mention that the so-called "prophet mohammed" sent his family to be protected by Ethiopia an Ethiopian Christian king of Ethiopia when his family was slated to be killed by the people of Arabia. He said "they (Ethiopians) are rightious".

Heordotus stated "the blameless Ethiopians" and "God dwells at there festivals".

These are some interesting points I touched on in hope that it should help interested persons to see that Ethiopia has had and has great favor from all areas of the world including the ancient Hebrew world.

Starting with the 16th century much damage has been done to mask the truth about Africa and the Hebrew world; the biblical world.





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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2008, 04:56:41 PM »

Thank you Father Deacon Amdetsion...it is a great Blessing for us all......stanislav....Ps..God is truly with Ethiopia and has shown his love for it...also i wanted to ask what happen's to the Holy Ark in the future ,,Does it go back to israel,is the temple rebuild....or does God take it back to heaven,or does it stay on the earth in your country till the second coming of Christ the supreme judge..just curious about it...the only thing i know about it is from the movies and the documentaries i watched on tv ..SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2008, 12:04:43 AM »

So, going back to Seraphim's question about the content of the Ark and Deacon Amde's response, it seems that there is no knowledge of what is currently in the Ark?  I could understand that.  It seems it would probably be unthinkable to examine something so sacred the way a scientist would.  I suppose this is the sort of thing which is in the realm of mystery.

I've heard that there is a monk assigned to care for the Ark and that he never leaves the church where it is located.  Is that true?
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2008, 10:51:27 AM »

So, going back to Seraphim's question about the content of the Ark and Deacon Amde's response, it seems that there is no knowledge of what is currently in the Ark?  I could understand that.  It seems it would probably be unthinkable to examine something so sacred the way a scientist would.  I suppose this is the sort of thing which is in the realm of mystery.


Being Orthodox, I can definitely appreciate "the realm of mystery."  Smiley   

In regards to the contents of the Ark, I assume that since there is no specific mention either in the Old Testament or in Ethiopian Tradition that the golden jar of manna or budded staff were ever removed, then of course they would still be in the Ark.

I suppose the main reason I was asking is:
I know that Ethiopian parishes have replicas of the Ark in their altar.  I was curious if these arks also contain replicas of the 10 commandments... and, if so, do they also have a golden jar and budded staff

Thanks everyone for your input.
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2008, 10:55:48 AM »

I've heard that there is a monk assigned to care for the Ark and that he never leaves the church where it is located.  Is that true?


True.  He is called the "Keeper."  He rarely ever shows his face, and that is only when he receives food through the tall fence which surrounds the church.  When he reaches the end of his life he looks for a worthy successor and passes the responsibility of "Keeper" onto him.
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2008, 03:25:56 PM »


True.  He is called the "Keeper."  He rarely ever shows his face, and that is only when he receives food through the tall fence which surrounds the church.  When he reaches the end of his life he looks for a worthy successor and passes the responsibility of "Keeper" onto him.

This is correct..

Some writers have claimed that they "talked" to a retired monk who was a keeper at one time and described the contents.

First what is a "retired" monk?

In Ethiopian we have no such thing.

Be sure that any monk who has seen the true Ark has never lived to to desribe it to anyone.

Emperor Hiali Sallassie and all our former kings during there lives nor the patriarchs of Ethiopia has seen it and have no right to.
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2008, 03:38:05 PM »


Being Orthodox, I can definitely appreciate "the realm of mystery."  Smiley   

In regards to the contents of the Ark, I assume that since there is no specific mention either in the Old Testament or in Ethiopian Tradition that the golden jar of manna or budded staff were ever removed, then of course they would still be in the Ark.

I suppose the main reason I was asking is:
I know that Ethiopian parishes have replicas of the Ark in their altar.  I was curious if these arks also contain replicas of the 10 commandments... and, if so, do they also have a golden jar and budded staff


Thanks everyone for your input.

All parish churches worldwide has a consecrated replica of the 'tablets' of Moses on the Alter. These are the means by which a church is consecrated.. Without a 'true' Tabot' (pronounced Tah-bewt) or tablet of Moses then the Church is not holy and thus cannot contain the body of Christ in it.

Of course this is not to say that if all other traditions are without a Tabot than they are not holy. This is the burden of the Ethiopian Church community since we are the keepers and custodians of the true Ark.

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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2008, 03:41:57 PM »

Are all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians required to believe that the Church in Ethiopia has the true Ark?
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2008, 03:48:15 PM »

Thank you Father Deacon Amdetsion...it is a great Blessing for us all......stanislav....Ps..God is truly with Ethiopia and has shown his love for it...also i wanted to ask what happen's to the Holy Ark in the future ,,Does it go back to israel,is the temple rebuild....or does God take it back to heaven,or does it stay on the earth in your country till the second coming of Christ the supreme judge..just curious about it...the only thing i know about it is from the movies and the documentaries i watched on tv ..SmileyCentral.com" border="0

I am sorry I do not know this answer.

TV docu's are in the business of teaching for money not for truth.

Truth is provided free of charge.

God bless you.
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2008, 03:50:18 PM »

Are all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians required to believe that the Church in Ethiopia has the true Ark?

No.

We are all not 'required' to believe in God at all.

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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2008, 04:04:47 PM »

No.

We are all not 'required' to believe in God at all.


I am sorry. I was not trying to be offensive. My question is this. If an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian does not believe that Ethiopia has the true Ark, is that Christian sinning? Is he in good standing in his Church?
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2008, 04:08:30 PM »

The blessing you speak of is yours stashko and all people; particularly thoses who are in the Holy Orthodox Church for which IT (the Ark) belongs.

Please note:

Ethiopia has the single largest group of Orthodox Christians in the world.

Ethiopia has never been conquered by any foriegn power. Her empire has dwindled down to what we call modern Ethiopia today. But this most important part of her has remained protected from the raveges of European slavers, The European "scramble for Africa", Muslim Jihads, crusaders, protestants and so on. Modern Ethiopia (the last frontier of the former empire) has seen and suffered from many things even some of those noted. But these things did not prevail like elsewhere in Africa and the world. You would be hard pressed to find any place in the world that has not been ravaged by the above noted. Ethiopia even was spared the expansion of the the Roman and the previous Greek empires.

Need I mention that the so-called "prophet mohammed" sent his family to be protected by Ethiopia an Ethiopian Christian king of Ethiopia when his family was slated to be killed by the people of Arabia. He said "they (Ethiopians) are rightious".

Heordotus stated "the blameless Ethiopians" and "God dwells at there festivals".

These are some interesting points I touched on in hope that it should help interested persons to see that Ethiopia has had and has great favor from all areas of the world including the ancient Hebrew world.

Starting with the 16th century much damage has been done to mask the truth about Africa and the Hebrew world; the biblical world.







I made this point to show a few reasons that support that the Ark's power is present and real.

Note this:

Italy was the only western power to fail in Africa. Italy attacked Ethiopia twice and failed both times.

Ethiopia as an independent nation was a member of the League of Nations and of the United Nations. Emporer Hiali Selassie of Ethiopia was the only head of state of the previous League of Nations still in power, alive and representing the oldest monarchy on earth in the United Nations.

Somthing to think about.
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2008, 04:17:24 PM »

I am sorry. I was not trying to be offensive. My question is this. If an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian does not believe that Ethiopia has the true Ark, is that Christian sinning? Is he in good standing in his Church?

This is the same as a person in good christian standing who does not believe that the Alter is  really Holy at all. Just the body and blood is. The Alter to people like this is just a fancy box with candles on it. Are such sinful?

I am not trying to run around your question. It is a good question. I want to have you entertain the implication of such a question. The answer is really not a simple yes or no.
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2008, 04:30:04 PM »

This is the same as a person in good christian standing who does not believe that the Alter is  really Holy at all. Just the body and blood is. The Alter to people like this is just a fancy box with candles on it. Are such sinful?

I am not trying to run around your question. It is a good question. I want to have you entertain the implication of such a question. The answer is really not a simple yes or no.

I guess the topic is hard for me to wrap my mind around since I, as a Latin, don't have to deal with where the true Ark of the covenant is because, in our theology, the old has been replaced by the new, the blessed Theotokos. Since I come to the situation from the outside, I suppose I just didn't realize how serious a matter this was to your Church. I certainly apologize if my post came off as offensive in any way.
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2008, 05:12:28 PM »

I, as a Latin
Nobody cares.
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2008, 05:32:29 PM »

I am sorry I do not know this answer.

TV docu's are in the business of teaching for money not for truth.

Truth is provided free of charge.

God bless you.

Fr.Deacon Amdetsion...
It so true there in the business to make money......Does the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Church say that The Most Holy Mother Of God...Holy Mary is the new ark and how would i put it  a fullfilment of the ancient Holy ark God dwelled among us...Forgive me i hope this makes sense in what im trying to ask....Also the ancient Ark was it considered God's earthly dwelling place or was it considered his judgment seat here on earth......stanislav......SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2008, 05:46:49 PM »

The Smithsonian article says that the ark was taken to Ethiopia during the reign of Solomon.  However, II Chronicles 35:1-6 says it was still in Jerusalem during Josiah's time (about 600 BC.)  It could have been taken there after Jerusalem fell, but couldn't have been taken by the queen of Sheba's son.
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2008, 06:12:40 PM »

What do they know there out to make money ... i rather believe the the church.....Ethiopia Has it's ancient oral and written traditions about the ark thats been past down for centurys ....The Holy Orthodox Church the Bride of Christ is not in the business of lying about something they hold very dear and sacred...For the Church is there to save souls not to lead them astray.........my 2 cents worth....stanislav........................SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2008, 06:13:16 PM »

SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2008, 07:06:53 PM »

^ Can I quote  you?
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2008, 07:54:44 PM »

Αριστοκλής, my thoughts exactly!

The Holy Orthodox Church the Bride of Christ is not in the business of lying about something they hold very dear and sacred... For the Church is there to save souls not to lead them astray.

Quite a nice two-cents, Stashko!  Wink  Thanks!
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« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2008, 08:08:51 PM »

Nobody cares.

No need to be rude, George.    Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2008, 08:13:25 PM »

Nobody cares.
Why are you stalking me. I mean, I would be flattered but its getting weird.
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« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2008, 08:15:45 PM »

No need to be rude, George.    Smiley

To be fair, it seems that his response has to be considered within the wider context of certain other and completely independent discussions taking place elsewhere on the forum.
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« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2008, 08:20:35 PM »

Why are you stalking me. I mean, I would be flattered but its getting weird.

EA has a point.  To be honest, I haven't been keeping up with all of the threads Papist and ozgeorge have been posting in, as I only have so much time.  Let's drop the subject here and keep whatever tensions exist from other threads out of here.

Thank you everyone for your anticipated cooperation.   Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2008, 08:28:43 PM »

I guess the topic is hard for me to wrap my mind around since I, as a Latin, don't have to deal with where the true Ark of the covenant is because, in our theology, the old has been replaced by the new, the blessed Theotokos.

In our theology the old has not been replaced by the new; rather, it has been fulfilled by the new. That the Ark of the Convenant was a true type of the Holy Virgin is certainly no less acknowledged by us. In the Sunday Theotokia of the Midnight Praise (or Vigil service) we chant:

[The Holy Virgin] passed all her life in holiness,
As the True Ark of the Covenant,
Which was made of incorruptible wood,
And overlaid with gold from within and without.
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« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2008, 10:06:54 PM »

All parish churches worldwide has a consecrated replica of the 'tablets' of Moses on the Alter. These are the means by which a church is consecrated.. Without a 'true' Tabot' (pronounced Tah-bewt) or tablet of Moses then the Church is not holy and thus cannot contain the body of Christ in it.

Of course this is not to say that if all other traditions are without a Tabot than they are not holy. This is the burden of the Ethiopian Church community since we are the keepers and custodians of the true Ark.


Thank you, Father Amdetsion.  This was exactly the information I was looking for.  Smiley
As always, it is so helpful to have your input available here.
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« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2008, 10:08:08 PM »

In our theology the old has not been replaced by the new; rather, it has been fulfilled by the new.


Amen.  And thank you for sharing that beautiful hymn!
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« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2008, 03:11:30 PM »

I guess the topic is hard for me to wrap my mind around since I, as a Latin, don't have to deal with where the true Ark of the covenant is because, in our theology, the old has been replaced by the new, the blessed Theotokos. Since I come to the situation from the outside, I suppose I just didn't realize how serious a matter this was to your Church. I certainly apologize if my post came off as offensive in any way.

I understand and thanks.

May I ask:

What is the difference between the True Ark of God and the Theotokos?
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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2008, 03:12:57 PM »

In our theology the old has not been replaced by the new; rather, it has been fulfilled by the new. That the Ark of the Convenant was a true type of the Holy Virgin is certainly no less acknowledged by us. In the Sunday Theotokia of the Midnight Praise (or Vigil service) we chant:

[The Holy Virgin] passed all her life in holiness,
As the True Ark of the Covenant,
Which was made of incorruptible wood,
And overlaid with gold from within and without.


Amen.
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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2008, 03:19:46 PM »

I understand and thanks.

May I ask:

What is the difference between the True Ark of God and the Theotokos?
The True Ark was a box made of wood and gold that prefigured the blessed Theotokos. The Theotokos is flesh and blood, a person, who bore the word incarnate.
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« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2008, 04:22:09 PM »

The True Ark was a box made of wood and gold that prefigured the blessed Theotokos. The Theotokos is flesh and blood, a person, who bore the word incarnate.

Good.

Note that both require faith in the Messiah the Savior of the world.

The Holy Eucharist is the flesh and blood of Christ. Forfilled by God through the Holy Spirit when the blessings are administered by the priest.

The Ark prefigured the Presence of the 'grace' of God that came upon the Holy Virgin Mary.

The same exact grace no difference. Neither were consumed.

Try not to let the "box" itself as a "box" cause confusion.

The fact that we still have the Ark ("box") is the figure of the body of the Theotokos still prevailing among us.
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« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2008, 02:47:05 PM »

I have no problem with venerating the Ark with great veneration, as we venerate any relics or anything that belongs to saints and figures of both the Old and the New Testaments, as they are all celebrated as saints and honored and blessed figures in our Church.  However, in all honesty I have one problem with specifically the Ethiopian veneration of the Ark, and that is the idea that it must be hidden from the rest of the world.  When the altar in the Temple was struck in two and revealed all things in there, it symbolized to me that now the door of separation between God and us is taken down.  To hide the Ark would seem to me be not affirming that fulfillment that Christ has done, and would still keep a door of separation.  It's perplexing to me that even the heirarchs, even the Patriarch himself does not get to see it and take a blessing from it.

God bless.
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« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2008, 07:42:03 AM »

...in all honesty I have one problem with specifically the Ethiopian veneration of the Ark, and that is the idea that it must be hidden from the rest of the world.  When the altar in the Temple was struck in two and revealed all things in there, it symbolized to me that now the door of separation between God and us is taken down.  To hide the Ark would seem to me be not affirming that fulfillment that Christ has done, and would still keep a door of separation.


My thoughts on this:
It was God Who struck the Jerusalem Temple in two and revealed all things in there.  If it had been His will, could not God have also caused the building/tent in Ethiopia which housed the Ark to be struck in two at that same moment?  God chose to rip open the curtain of the Temple in Jerusalem.  And yet, the Ark in Ethiopia was not disturbed... can we not then conclude that this also was God's choice?  Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #49 on: April 24, 2008, 04:32:28 PM »


My thoughts on this:
It was God Who struck the Jerusalem Temple in two and revealed all things in there.  If it had been His will, could not God have also caused the building/tent in Ethiopia which housed the Ark to be struck in two at that same moment?  God chose to rip open the curtain of the Temple in Jerusalem.  And yet, the Ark in Ethiopia was not disturbed... can we not then conclude that this also was God's choice?  Just my thoughts.

I tend to stick with the idea that God does things with a hidden spiritual meaning behind it.  God is consistent, and we should always follow His examples with the same consistency.  Be it the rules of baptism or Eucharist or priesthood, or the ideas that relics don't need to be hidden from all people; in any Apostolic church there should be no "exception" to the rules.  In fact, we sing in our Coptic hymns that the true Ark is the Theotokos.  She was among the laity, among the common people.  Because of her, and because of her Son our God, the curtains are spiritually lifted.  Otherwise, we should put curtains around every picture of the Theotokos that exists.
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« Reply #50 on: April 24, 2008, 06:24:44 PM »

I tend to stick with the idea that God does things with a hidden spiritual meaning behind it.  God is consistent, and we should always follow His examples with the same consistency.  Be it the rules of baptism or Eucharist or priesthood, or the ideas that relics don't need to be hidden from all people; in any Apostolic church there should be no "exception" to the rules.  In fact, we sing in our Coptic hymns that the true Ark is the Theotokos.  She was among the laity, among the common people.  Because of her, and because of her Son our God, the curtains are spiritually lifted.  Otherwise, we should put curtains around every picture of the Theotokos that exists.
Brother maybe you can answer is the ark the seat of judgment that Christ sits on as the supreme judge and judges us at his second coming....may it's more than just a dwelling place on earth......Huh?SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2008, 07:31:56 PM »

Brother maybe you can answer is the ark the seat of judgment that Christ sits on as the supreme judge and judges us at his second coming....may it's more than just a dwelling place on earth......Huh?SmileyCentral.com" border="0

I don't follow.  Are you saying that the ark is typified as the judgment seat of Christ?  I'm not sure.  I never heard of that interpretation before.
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« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2008, 08:14:26 PM »

I heard some one say it was a throne ,, a mercy seat..were judgement was dispensed ...maybe when the endtimes arrive...i hope this makes some sense in what im trying to ask..i really don't know much about the holy ark....it was a Protestant minister that mention this a while back on tv.......im confused what the holy ark is...is it the lords temple his dwelling place on earth..God dwelles among us...other than being a symbol of the Holy Virgin..as the Holy Ark......what else is the Holy Ark. other than storing the ten commandments ,, manna.or the rod of moses....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2008, 11:30:33 PM »

I heard some one say it was a throne ,, a mercy seat..were judgement was dispensed ...maybe when the endtimes arrive...i hope this makes some sense in what im trying to ask..i really don't know much about the holy ark....it was a Protestant minister that mention this a while back on tv.......im confused what the holy ark is...is it the lords temple his dwelling place on earth..God dwelles among us...other than being a symbol of the Holy Virgin..as the Holy Ark......what else is the Holy Ark. other than storing the ten commandments ,, manna.or the rod of moses....SmileyCentral.com" border="0

Maybe it was a mercy seat...I'm not really sure.  I don't really remember.  What I can assume is that on Judgment Day, whatever "mercy seat" one is reading into Christ's second coming does not have to be something literal.  It could be taken allegorical.  In fact, Revelations seem to be filled with lots of allegory.

Certainly though, I do question the sources.  Most Protestants tend to take a very simplistic/literalistic view of Revelations, like the milleniast view, that Christ will rule Earth 1000 years.  That view is rejected I believe in the Orthodox Church.

God bless.
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« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2008, 02:12:57 PM »

I have no problem with venerating the Ark with great veneration, as we venerate any relics or anything that belongs to saints and figures of both the Old and the New Testaments, as they are all celebrated as saints and honored and blessed figures in our Church.  However, in all honesty I have one problem with specifically the Ethiopian veneration of the Ark, and that is the idea that it must be hidden from the rest of the world.  When the altar in the Temple was struck in two and revealed all things in there, it symbolized to me that now the door of separation between God and us is taken down.  To hide the Ark would seem to me be not affirming that fulfillment that Christ has done, and would still keep a door of separation.  It's perplexing to me that even the heirarchs, even the Patriarch himself does not get to see it and take a blessing from it.

God bless.

Previous posts seems to clearly demonstertate the fact that the power of the Ark which is God himself is Christ in the flesh of the Holy Virgin Mary mother of God in her past and current state which is the living Ark which held the true Word.

That which was prefigured in the Ark has been fulfilled.

Each time you see the vail opened during the liturgy and see the priest raising his hands above the Eucharist you are seeing the mystery of the Ark of the covenant...its significance....its glory being revealed to all. This is revelaed to all the world through the Eucharist which includes the flesh of the Holy Virgin Mary mother of God.

We see and partake of the the Ark of God in His Holy Body and prescious Blood.

The actual Ark in Ethiopia is significant for the Orthodox Church. The Ark is the power of the first and second temple which is the same power that raised the third temple which of course is the Body of Christ.

It (The Ark) will and shall eternally remain hidden by the light of its Glory but is revealed by faith ONLY to those which has the true faith in God in His Son Jesus Christ.

You can see it I hope?

I can....Halleluyah!

God bless us all..Amen
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« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2008, 02:35:09 PM »



It (The Ark) will and shall eternally remain hidden by the light of its Glory but is revealed by faith ONLY to those which has the true faith in God in His Son Jesus Christ.

You can see it I hope?


Are you suggesting that if one does not believe that the Ark of the covenant resides in Ethiopia, that such a person does not have true faith?
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« Reply #56 on: April 30, 2008, 03:16:55 PM »

Are you suggesting that if one does not believe that the Ark of the covenant resides in Ethiopia, that such a person does not have true faith?
Please read Deacon Amde's post again in it's entirety. Anyone would think you were trolling.....
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« Reply #57 on: April 30, 2008, 03:59:59 PM »


It (The Ark) will and shall eternally remain hidden by the light of its Glory but is revealed by faith ONLY to those which has the true faith in God in His Son Jesus Christ.

You can see it I hope?

I can....Halleluyah!

God bless us all..Amen


Fr. Dn Amde,

That is a beautiful contemplation, and I understand, or at least I hope I understood everything you have written.  My question is that since we partake and even see, smell, taste, and touch with our lips the True Ark, that is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, why specifically the Old Testament Ark should be hidden even to the bishops and patriarchs of the Ethiopian Church?  I would hope that anyone with the true faith in Christ can and may be able to see it, such as His Holiness Abune Paulos.

Christ is Risen! Xristos Anesti!
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« Reply #58 on: April 30, 2008, 04:00:20 PM »

Are you suggesting that if one does not believe that the Ark of the covenant resides in Ethiopia, that such a person does not have true faith?

No I am not making this assertion at all.

This would be quite silly if I did in my opinion.
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« Reply #59 on: April 30, 2008, 04:42:12 PM »

Fr. Dn Amde,

That is a beautiful contemplation, and I understand, or at least I hope I understood everything you have written.  My question is that since we partake and even see, smell, taste, and touch with our lips the True Ark, that is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, why specifically the Old Testament Ark should be hidden even to the bishops and patriarchs of the Ethiopian Church?  I would hope that anyone with the true faith in Christ can and may be able to see it, such as His Holiness Abune Paulos.

Christ is Risen! Xristos Anesti!

I thought that I said enough to clear up this issue some.

I may have confused it more.

Forgive me!

It is a not an easy subject to put to words.

May I suggest to try not to think that the "golden box" is of any significance. The "Raiders of the Lost Ark" crowd are looking for the "golden box" as the single significant proof of the Arks existance.  People in this situation are lost and so whatever they think and intend with regard to the Ark is lost. The power of God is not a 'golden box' made with the hands of man. When God appears within it than the golden box is significant due to Gods presence in it only...This is the true Ark of the Covenant.

I suggest that we keep in mind that only the high priest of the temple during the early through the temple era could "see" the "golden box" (the Ark). The people never saw it at all...ever! The people were the faithful believers in Arks true power. They saw it by faith. They were blessed.

Without faith we can not know God.

The 'golden box' is for ogling and gloating about and at like some kind of frivilous curiosity. Such a box is fit for the treasure hunters and heritage seekers. Maybe they will find it one day. Ethiopia does not have this treasure chest.

But the 'golden box' filled with the power of God is a thing of great power it is not a side show or a museum piece. It is covered in light. Ethiopia has been blessed to be the keepers of this Holy vessel.

God reveals Himself in His creation and for us it is in Jesus Christ which is the Ark of the NEW covenant of Salvation to all who believe.

So to see Christ is our only means to truely see the Ark of God. And we  do not see Christ by His face but by His body and blood.

As our Lord Jesus Christ admonished: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe"

I have no other words that I can add.

I will say this:

Do you need to see the 'cold virus' before you "know you have a 'cold'?
Or
Are the facts of your bodily symptoms enough to be sure that you are sick with this virus?
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« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2008, 05:03:05 PM »


The actual Ark in Ethiopia is significant for the Orthodox Church. The Ark is the power of the first and second temple which is the same power that raised the third temple which of course is the Body of Christ.

It (The Ark) will and shall eternally remain hidden by the light of its Glory but is revealed by faith ONLY to those which has the true faith in God in His Son Jesus Christ.

You can see it I hope?

I can....Halleluyah!

God bless us all..Amen


I want to be clear as possible.

I mean from this statement that the Holy Universal Apostolic and Orthodox Church is enriched with the power and blessing of the Ark of the Covenant not just Ethiopia. As the true and Holy Church we do not make any claims to having golden boxes or other worldy glories. But quite contrary; we posess Gods love and His eternal truth within us. Of course this would include the Ark of the Covenant of Israel.

We have all been blessed by the Ark without having seen the 'golden box'.

Also that faith in Christ is our view of the Ark in this age. We are not justified in our faith by believing in the Ark (the golden box alone) but by believing in its awesome power which is in Christ Jesus which gives the 'golden box' its significance and purpose.
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« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2008, 05:07:58 PM »


I will say this:

Do you need to see the 'cold virus' before you "know you have a 'cold'?
Or
Are the facts of your bodily symptoms enough to be sure that you are sick with this virus?

Fr. Dn. Amde, I appreciate the response.  Before I answer your questions, I will say this.  I am only saying that just as we reveal other relics for people to partake of its blessings, I would wish the same would be for the Ark.  We touch, we pray in front of them, we kiss them.  I would have expected the same consistency.  However, if the idea was to concentrate our faith on actual faith and not sight, perhaps I can come in terms to accept this as a personal lesson.

As to your questions, we really did not know there was a "cold virus" before the dawn of the microscope (or to be specific electron microscope).  In fact, once we were sure of the structure of the Rhinovirus (the cold virus), we were then sure to say that indeed this caused the symptoms of the "cold."  Before then, we hypothesized about it, we tested it, we turned it into theory based on experiments.  And then, by the electron microscope, the veil was lifted.  Behold, we can finally make the conclusion that it was this thing, the Rhinovirus, that caused the cold.  Before that, we didn't even know if it was a virus or not.  We just knew that if you do certain things or expose yourself to others, you would get what they had.

God bless.
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« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2008, 05:18:57 PM »

Fr. Dn. Amde, I appreciate the response.  Before I answer your questions, I will say this.  I am only saying that just as we reveal other relics for people to partake of its blessings, I would wish the same would be for the Ark.  We touch, we pray in front of them, we kiss them.  I would have expected the same consistency.  However, if the idea was to concentrate our faith on actual faith and not sight, perhaps I can come in terms to accept this as a personal lesson.

As to your questions, we really did not know there was a "cold virus" before the dawn of the microscope (or to be specific electron microscope).  In fact, once we were sure of the structure of the Rhinovirus (the cold virus), we were then sure to say that indeed this caused the symptoms of the "cold."  Before then, we hypothesized about it, we tested it, we turned it into theory based on experiments.  And then, by the electron microscope, the veil was lifted.  Behold, we can finally make the conclusion that it was this thing, the Rhinovirus, that caused the cold.  Before that, we didn't even know if it was a virus or not.  We just knew that if you do certain things or expose yourself to others, you would get what they had.

God bless.

My question was meant to be Rhetorical. But your answer is interesting.

Seems that even though we found the 'Rhino virus' did not chnage our fate at all. We all still get colds and we always will.

Seeing the virus gave us no real advantage.

So if we are blessed by virtue lets us not trouble oursleves from putting 'virtue' under a microscope.
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« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2008, 05:25:55 PM »

To all:

The true Ark of the Covenant of God is not a relic in any sense or use of the term.

It is Holy and full of the living power of God.

I know we use terms not to lower the importance but to share an idea. I understand that.

I just want to share my undertstanding.

The Ark is living in the here and now just as the Holy Communion we partake of. And I know we would not use the term 'relic' to describe the Holy Communion.
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« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2008, 05:49:53 PM »

My question was meant to be Rhetorical. But your answer is interesting.

Seems that even though we found the 'Rhino virus' did not chnage our fate at all. We all still get colds and we always will.

Seeing the virus gave us no real advantage.

So if we are blessed by virtue lets us not trouble oursleves from putting 'virtue' under a microscope.


With all due respect, and I really do not mean to be condescending.  If you feel that there really is no advantage in seeing or knowing the virus, then perhaps wouldn't this mean that there is no advantage in hiding the virus either, that it makes no difference either way?  (I would also tend to disagree that there was no real advantage in seeing the virus, scientifically speaking.)

As for my use of the word relic, I do not intend to call the Eucharist a "relic," but the Ark of the Old Testament to me is such.

God bless.
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« Reply #65 on: May 01, 2008, 01:30:13 PM »


As for my use of the word relic, I do not intend to call the Eucharist a "relic," but the Ark of the Old Testament to me is such.

God bless.

Maybe one day you will see this "relic" you are seeking.

God bless you.

Christ has Risen...Amen

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« Reply #66 on: May 01, 2008, 02:25:06 PM »

I was compelled to offer the following readings of Gods word:

St. John Chapter 14 Verses 8-12

8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.


St. John Chapter 20 Verse 25

25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.


...


It appears that in one case St. Pillip "sees" and still does not believe and St. Thomas will not believe until he "sees". Interestingly although St. Thomas finally "sees" and "believes" the Lord provides by His word not a blessing for such "seeing" and "beleiving" but blesses instead those who have NOT seen and yet believed:

St. John Chapter 20 Verse 29

29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.[/i]

We also see that each Saint has questionable faith.

People say and think that "Seeing is beleiving".

Maybe? ...... Maybe not!

It seems true however that 'believing' yet NOT seeing is the true blessing since faith carries.

God Bless.

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« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2008, 04:06:13 PM »

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”

by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev [/b]

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe”. That is how the apostle Thomas answered the Saviour’s disciples when they told him that they saw the risen Lord (Jn. 20:25).
“Unless I see I will not believe”. This is how people who demand from us logical, tangible proof of the Christian faith often answer us, the faithful. But there are not and cannot be such proof, for the Christian faith is beyond the grasp of rational thought, being super-rational. Nothing in the Christian faith, be it the existence of God, the resurrection of Christ or other truths, can be proven logically: one can only accept them or reject them on the basis of faith.
“No one has seen God at any time”, writes John the Evangelist (Jn. 1:18). Nobody has ever proved the existence of God. And nobody has ever born witness to the resurrection of Christ in such a way that it might become an obvious fact for all of mankind. Nevertheless, regardless of the seeming lack of proofs of the Christian faith, millions of people came, still come and will come to Christ; they believed, believe and will believe in His resurrection; they accepted, accept and will accept the existence of God. Why? Because they encountered God in their lives, and no additional proofs were necessary for them.
How does this encounter with God take place? It is different for each person. For some it occurs as an unexpected revelation and vision, when people suddenly realize that God is right next to them, that He sees and hears them, and they see and hear Him. For others it happens as a gradual acknowledging of the risen Christ, when the sense of God’s presence grows in them to such an extent that they come to believe. Christ also reaches out to people and knocks on the doors of their hearts, but sometimes they do not realize this or only later do they begin to understand that what they had experienced was an encounter with God. This is exactly what happened to the two disciples returning from Jerusalem to Emmaus, who did not recognize Jesus in the traveler they had met on the way since His appearance after the resurrection had changed. The Lord conversed with them during their entire journey, entered the house with them, and only when He was breaking bread did they recognize Him. But immediately He became invisible. The disciples then said: “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the way?” (Lk. 24:32). With joy they went and told the disciples of their encounter with the risen Lord.
It is striking that the disciples did not recognize Christ when He was next to them. Their physical eyes did not help them to see the risen God. But with the inner eyes of their soul they recognized Him. As soon as they knew this, He became invisible to them, for physical sight is not necessary when the heart is alive with faith.
That is what happened and happens to Christians when they come to believe in God. They have not seen Him, but their hearts are aflame with love for Him. Christ spoke about such people when He said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn. 20:29). They are blessed, for they did not seek logical proofs, but the fire which God places in people’s hearts.

We believe in the resurrection of Christ


...................................................................................

I found this wonderful homoli most apropo and thought it worthy enough to trouble this thread with it.

Our father is clear about much of what I am trying to say.

The true Ark of Gods Covenent is a thing of great fire the light. Only a contrite and beleiving heart will feel its truth. We are challenged to experience It; and more than 'see' it with our eyes; but witness It in the prescious Body and Blood of Christ. It is the faith that we all must obtain to truely be WITH God...NOT just believe or "know" or Follow God.

This is not a Relic which has great power and significance for us who believe. Ethiopia has many blessed Relics which any person may see and receive blessing. But the Ark of God It is all that any blessed relic is combined and more...much much more.

It is power of which will consecrate the eyes at once. The eyes which set on the Ark will not be blinded but quite the contrary...they will see but cease to see the world. The eye will see light of the true Light. Such eyes will see nothing but darkness when trained on the world.
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« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2008, 08:07:33 PM »

Amen!  I believe in Christ simply because my heart burns when He is in me and I feel His presence many times.  He guides me and helps me achieve holiness and righteousness.

I also believe that just as Christ was revealed to many by the use of His believers ("they shall know me by your love"), I also am willing not to hide the True Ark of the New Covenant in my heart, but to open my heart for others to see.  I am not going to expect someone to believe if I am not acting like a Christian.  Otherwise, I have closed the curtains on myself for others to see, and I am to blame for others' unbelief.

As we pray to the Theotokos who we also call the True Ark that bore God in the flesh, we first pray to the Christ, "Whenever we stand in Your holy sanctuary, we are considered standing in heaven." and then to the Theotokos, "O Theotokos, you are the gate of heaven; open for us the gate of mercy."  For she truly strengthens our faith whenever there are times of need, doubt, distress, etc.

God bless.
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« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2008, 06:03:47 PM »

Here is the 1st and opening prayer in the 1000 year old Armenian prayer book of Armenian monk St. Grigor Narekatsi:

The voice of a sighing heart, it sobs and
mournful cries, I offer up to you O Seer of Secrets,
placing the fruits of my wavering mind as a savory
sacrifice on the fire of my greiving soul
to be delivered to you in the censer of my will.

Compassionate Lord, breathe in this offering and look
more favorably on it than upon a more sumptuous sacrifice
offered with rich smoke. Please find this simple
string of words acceptable. Do not turn in disdain.

May this unsolicited gift reach you, this sacrifice of words from
this deep mystery-filled chamber of my feelings, consumed in flames
fueled by whatever grace I may have within me.

As I pray, do not let these pleas annoy you, Almighty, like the
of raised hands Jacob, whose irreverence was rebuked
by Isaiah, nor let them seem like the impudence of Babylon
criticized in the 72nd Psalm.

But let these words be acceptable as were the fragrant offerings
in the tabernacle at Shiloh raised again by David
on his return from
captivity as the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant,
a symbol for the restoration of my lost soul.

Amen+++


..........................................

Our father St. Grigor the Armenian has opened his most revered and loved book of prayers among the Armenian people for more than 1000 years with this prayer. You noticed I am sure the powerful essence of the Holy of Holies of ancient Israel which is the entire fabric and frame work of this wonderful, humble and simple prayer to God; made most evident in the last sentence of the prayer.

Our father has embraced the essence of pure truth and used it as the means for God to hear him and his supplications to him. He used that which no man can inspect with his eyes but can see in his heart.

There may still be some confusion about "seeing" the Ark of God for some people on this thread.

It is of note that this Armenian is not confused about the Ark at all; and even more so is happy to reflect on the true Ark of the Covenant and call on its power to heal him and bring him into oneness with God.

As the prayer concluded "for the restoration of my lost soul". Only The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ can "restore" the soul. This can happen no other way

It is clear that our father St. Grigor Narekatsi has seen a n d experienced the Ark of the Covenant.

You may all find peace in his book of prayers. Please look for it.

I was compelled to visit an Armenian Church today. Not knowing why ('specifically' I mean; since I am always eager to visit and pray in the churches) and just followed ny instincts and came across this prayer book in the church book store.



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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2008, 07:14:10 PM »

That prayer book is awesome.  I'm so glad you found it and appreciate it.
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« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2008, 09:20:44 PM »

Fr. Dn. Amde,

Pray that I find satisfaction in your answers.  All I receive is beautiful spiritual allegories on how the Ark of the Covenant relates to our relationship with Christ.  I enjoy reading these very much and they're very beneficial on the side of spirituality.  But when answering the specific question I asked, I feel we'll just be going in circles.  So I'm going to stop bothering you with my questions.

However, please continue sharing with us more of the spirituality of the Ark.

Pray for me.

Mina
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« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2008, 01:46:48 AM »

I must say though that other than the spiritual nature of the Ark (even though I don't feel my answers were really directly answered), another good came out of this that brought me to enlightenment.

Recently, in my skepticism to miracles, I would insist upon a spiritual meaning or purpose of any miracle that occurred that spoke to me.  Because I recognize how much the role of the Theotokos is involved in increasing the faith of a believer, I seem to now find comfort in turning the Zeitoun miracle that I previously denied to a miracle that speaks to me as well.

So thank you for this discussion nevertheless.  Smiley

God bless.
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« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2008, 02:00:44 PM »


the Ark of the Covenant relates to our relationship with Christ. 


OK!

That is exactly correct.

What else do you need to see?

You want to see the actual gold encrusted box with the the carrying poles and the angels afixed on top with wings spread ......  right?

You and many of the worlds treasure hunters and heritage seekers who are not interested in God at all wants the same thing. They are busy now looking under Mount Nebo and various other ancient dump sites. These people speak of the Ark as "lost". It is actually the other way around.

There is some mystical group in Europe (Scotland) that some claim found it in Jerusalem during the crusades or stole it from Ethiopia during Robert the Bruces sojourn in Ethiopia. Who knows.

There are of course some of todays Jews who are certain that it is hidden under the temple mount under the muslim temple. Maybe, Maybe not.

The ideas are endless.

Maybe one of these groups will find this golden box; "The Ark". Then we all can look at it with amazement as we would some weird side show or twisted circus act.

Try to imagine that.

Feel free to ask more questions if you are compelled to. I will answer where I can.

But I think you already see.

It does not seem like it most times but the forest and the trees are the same thing. Not to be condescending.
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« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2008, 02:20:25 PM »

Well, my interest is first and foremost to God and nothing else.  Nothing else in this world matters.  Not even the gold encrusted box with poles and angels.

While I am at heart always fascinated by artifacts and treasure hunting, I don't think it's fair to generalize and say that those who do are not interested in God.  If anything, as an Orthodox Christian, just as keep body parts of saints as blessings, I see this gold encrusted box no differently.  When St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine sought out the Cross that Christ was crucified on, was she a treasure hunter who was spiritually lost by not being interested in God?

However, you seem to be open to the possibility that the Ark may not be in Ethiopia at all.  This is pleasing to hear, to say the least.  The whole idea then, if it doesn't matter whether one has THE gold-encrusted box or not, why hide it at all?
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« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2008, 12:19:32 PM »

When St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine sought out the Cross that Christ was crucified on, was she a treasure hunter who was spiritually lost by not being interested in God?

However, you seem to be open to the possibility that the Ark may not be in Ethiopia at all.

St. Helena was a true believer and was as such guided by the Holy Spirit. That is why her finding of the cross is substantial.

She was not a treasure seeker; seeking and hording relics.

She was not acting out of glib curiosity.

If she was any of the above she never would have found It.

Have you actually seen the true cross St Helena found?

I have absolutely no dought that the true Ark of the Covenant of Israel is physically in Ethiopia. I am unwavering on this point.

The point I think you have which has fueled this thread and my responses up to now is "why can't it be seen".

I have been trying to tell you that you can see it. We all can see it. More so! we can consume its fire without us being burned.

You are just not trusting your own faith.

You keep thinking the Ark must be seen the way you think it should which is with human eyes or touched with human hands in order to know its real and be blessed by it no different that any other Holy relic. Such thinking is exactly why it remians a mystery to you and others and fuels the various quests, treasure hunts and the like.

I hope you come to a comfortable and faithful resolve according to the truth and not dwell in the mainstream of treasure seekers who are truely blind and lost having no hope . Of course the people I speak of would say I am lost.

I am lost!

That is why I trust in the love of Christ with ALL things and ALL matters. By Him I know the truth and thus seek after no other sign. God guides! for all things are fulfilled in Him in the name Jesus who is the Messiah or the "Christ". He is my protection. By Him I have hope. And when I am weak His mother the Theotokos helps me. I see her love for me and all mankind all the times.

Many Ethiopians believe like this and as such our eyes are clear.

So regarding the Ark of the Covenant we sing the follwing national song:

Wiste'tah Orit
be wiste'tah Tabot, be wiste'tah
Yekedeneh'wah be worqeh; Yekedeneh'wah


General meaning:
"We see the Ark covered with Gold; it leads us in its covenant"

Ethiopia beleives this way and as such has been protected from and have been praying for the help of God for the severe abuses and persecutions that many others in our faith around the world has had to endure.

This is not to say we have not felt the sting of suffering, and religious persecution over the last 2000 years. WE have as many already know. WE are all sinners and are humbled by God; for suffering is required for the true believers. Inspite of our suffering God saw fit that Ethiopia regardless of the insurmountable onslaughts form Arab expansionism to European colonialism (and all of its untold horrors), various religious persecutions and natural disasters be and remain an 'orthodox' and 'independant' nation. This was to all of us a victory for Orthodoxy and a miracle of God to be witnessed by the world at large of Gods greatness and love.

Even in a sea of Islam in the heart of Africa Ethiopia is still today the single largest Orthodox Christian community on earth.

You would even be hard pressed to find an Ethiopian that can speak Arabic in Ethiopia even today although this language is the lingua-franca of all the nations which border the country. Arabic speakers who live in Ethiopia learn to speak Ethiopic. This not to say that Arabic is a bad language. It is clearly one of the worlds key language families. I am currently studying the langauge. But I note it to make a point that even with such a large influnence Ethiopia has still remained in her own nature by and large.

Ethiopia is also the one African country that is truely the keeper of ancient African civilisation as well and as such is today the symbol and the embodiment of African unity for indigenous African peoples and our descendents worldwide. This was of vital importants to the "black world" that was emerging out of the grip of western imperialism during the 60's and 70's and needed to have a connection with Africa for heritage and identity. Ethiopia is today the lead country in the African Union and the organizations capital.

Ethiopia is a miracle of God!

Our eyes are clear.

We (and all Orthodox) can see; not just for oursleves but for the whole world.

So if I can 'see' what you (my fellow Orthodox) can't than I'll be the guide on your behalf.

For the Ark of the Covenant of God and its existance on earth Ethiopia is that guide. She is its keeper. She 'sees' the Ark of the covenant for all of us.
 
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« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2008, 11:35:05 PM »

A discussion about the Apparition of the Mother of God in Zeitoun was split off and can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15846.html#lastPost
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« Reply #77 on: May 06, 2008, 01:23:28 PM »

No, I have not seen the physical wooden Cross that St. Helena found.  By if by "see" you mean faith, then yes!  One does not need St. Helena to "see" the Cross.

Again, we're going in circles.  So, I'm going to leave this discussion simply because I feel we're beating a dead horse.  I've explained my faith in my previous posts, and I think those are sufficient enough both on understanding what I believe and what answer I expect from the questions I asked.  I understand what you mean by "seeing the Ark" in a spiritual sense, and you even acknowledged this that "now I understand."  My question lies simply on the why should a physical box remain hidden from the rest of the world.

If I understand you correctly, the answer seems to lie in a spiritual focus to teach the Orthodox faithful that it should not matter.  You should "see" the Ark without the use of your physical eyes, and this is done by faith.  Perhaps, the one person who guards the Ark is the type of person who have reached such high faith as those of the desert fathers that only His physical eyes were entrusted in a manner that He won't lose focus of the True Ark as all others might be inclined to do.

HOWEVER, and I'm sorry to put this bluntly, and I do not mean to offend.  If this golden encrusted box does not exist in Ethiopia, that will NOT change my faith one bit.  I will be sad that at all this time, all they were hiding possibly was a lie, but my faith in the True Ark remains strong, not in a gold encrusted box or the belief that it exists in Ethiopia.  And I don't feel seeing or not seeing the Ark should lose our focus in our Christian faith as you seem to imply.  If it does, then I don't feel the Ark is to blame, but the people themselves who have such weakness in their own hearts.

Forgive me for any weaknesses that I do not see in myself on this regard.  Forgive me if I sinned or offended.

Remember me in your prayers.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 01:25:37 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2008, 03:05:38 PM »

minasoliman

Keristos Anesti!

I am sorry for the confusion and back and forth.

You are entitled to giev your honest opinion without my getting offended.

The "horse we are beating" is not dead at all. We are just running around in circles.

I take the blame because I am have not been able to give you the answer you want and or need.

I found this book.

Please buy it and read it. It may help you with certain things if not all of what you are seeking to understand. This book is not an Orthodox book nor approved by me or the Ethiopian Church for study or reading regarding the Holy Ark of God.

In fact the writter is not a believer at all but a a scholar primarily.

I was allowed to read this book some years ago before I was ordained. I read the book about 10 or more times. It is a very, very difficult book to put down once you start reading it. You will find yourself up until the birds start cherping saying "one more paragraph" for the 10th time. Very, Very well written. Absolutely enjoyable and entertaining way of writting without loosing the serious and important nature of the work.

This book is designed to grasp those who are very interested in the most tangible, unarguable, imperical physical evidence available that relates to the movement from the Temple in Jerusalem and current ware-abouts of the Holy Ark of the Covenant and where such evidence must also have biblical grounding without conflict with the known, available physical record.

Reading this book may not make you a believer in God nor understand what the Ark is and why it is where it is but may permit you to become comfortable with the path.

Enjoy...

Selaam


 
The Sign and the Seal : The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant 
Graham Hancock
The dramatic story of the discovery of the most important archaeological find since the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb. On a quest for the ark, archaeologist Hancock journeyed to a remote corner of Ethiopia, where he located the sacred ark in a small church. Photos.
The fact of the Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the grant historical mysteries of all time. To believers, the Ark is the legendary vessel holding the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Bible contains hundreds of references to the Ark's power to level mountains, destroy armies, and lay waste to cities. The Ark itself, however, mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon.
After ten years of searching through the dusty archives of Europe and the Middle East, as well as braving the real-life dangers of a bloody civil war in Ethiopia, Graham Hancock has succeeded where scores of others have failed. This intrepid journalist has tracked down the true story behind the myths and legends -- revealing where the Ark is today, how it got there, and why it remains hidden.
Part fascinating scholarship and part entertaining adventure yarn, tying together some of the most intriguing tales of all time this book will appeal to anyone fascinated by the revelation of hidden truths, the discovery of secret mysteries.[/i]

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"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2008, 07:46:07 PM »

Fr. Dn. Amde,

Thank you for your patience and kindness in this discussion.  I will consider finding the book and reading it during the coming summer.  In the meantime, I hope you don't misunderstand me.  I am still a believer in God (I never showed any doubt before you that I am a non-believer and I thought I was clear on that).  I don't think reading this book will make me less of a believer or more of a believer because I'm a believer already.  I believe in the dogmas of the Orthodox Church.  My discussion with you is based solely on the physical Ark, not my personal faith.

Remember me in your prayers.
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« Reply #80 on: May 14, 2008, 02:14:15 PM »

Fr. Dn. Amde,

Thank you for your patience and kindness in this discussion.  I will consider finding the book and reading it during the coming summer.  In the meantime, I hope you don't misunderstand me.  I am still a believer in God (I never showed any doubt before you that I am a non-believer and I thought I was clear on that).  I don't think reading this book will make me less of a believer or more of a believer because I'm a believer already.  I believe in the dogmas of the Orthodox Church.  My discussion with you is based solely on the physical Ark, not my personal faith.

Remember me in your prayers.

I never thought you had a problem with your faith in God.

I re-read my last post.

When I stated "may not make you a believer" I was being completely general. My saying "you" meant people or persons who are maybe not in the faith yet.

This does not apply to you.

You are already a believer my good brother!

I am happy that you are so diligent in building on your love of God...God bless you (and me as well)to continue.

This book is good for serious people who are believers like you; but are interested in the 'physical' movement and current location of the "physical Ark".

It is the best book I have read on the subject.

I will always remember you in my prayers as long as God permits me to do so.

Selaam
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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