Let Us Welcome The Armenian ChristmasJanuary 4 2010 at 8:16 AM
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|Surp Zununt! (no login)|
Surp Zununt! What does it mean to you personally? Most of us have experienced a Christmas without Christ's presence, and it's like celebrating a birthday and arranging a party, gifts and guests, without the person whose birthday it is being present! There's no fun in that.
From the time He was born to the present, there has been a deliberate effort to get rid of Jesus. A percentage of the human race has tried to make Him disappear. After the resurrection, from the time of His birth to the time of His death, there were plots to assassinate Him. King Herod killed all the little boys who were two years of age and under, in an attempt to destroy this new King. While preaching in the synagogue, the people led Him out to a cliff and tried to cast Him off, and at the Feast of the Tabernacle they sought to kill Him. All the while, their reasoning was that this could not possibly be the Christ, however, this was based on their own perspective of what a "Christ" should be like.
Jesus? A king? How could it be? Joseph was a carpenter and Mary a peasant girl. Yet the Magi traveled for days to see and worship the newborn King. The Wise Men, or more correctly, Magi, were Eastern astrologers. Oddly enough, these Magi were more prophetic than those who were living in Israel at the time. Astrology was a sophisticated science in this era, and they were Gentiles who had come to worship with great joy, in contrast to the Jewish hostility at the time. After they had knelt before the young Jesus, the first of the Magi opened the latches of a strongbox, pushed open the lid and there was Gold! "For the King," he said simply, and then prostrated himself before the child. Can you imagine little Jesus as He woke up and sat there watching intently? The second visitor opened his box and the fragrance of exotic spices flooded the room. Can you imagine as Jesus sniffed and peered into the box? The second visitor prostrated himself before the child. Then the final visitor brought his gift in a fragile alabaster box. I can imagine him opening it, and suddenly...the smell of death. Heavy and rich...myrrh, used to anoint the bodies of the dead. This was a strange gift for a baby, even a royal one.
These Wise Men were not ignorant of the plan God had for this young King. They had seen the star in the East, which told them that a great King had been born among the Jews, greater than any on Earth. These Wise Men were, in fact, deeply prophetic and were the first amongst men to recognize and worship the Son of God, the King of the Jews and Savior of the world. As trained students of the stars, the Wise Men observed an unexplained phenomenon in the Heavens, which was somehow interpreted by them as a sign of the birth of the King of the Jews. What a contrast to the lesser knowledgeable King Herod. Instead of guidance from the Heavens, he had to gather all the chief priests and scribes to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. After they had searched the PROPHETS in the Holy Bible, they discovered that from Bethlehem was where the Ruler would arise. Herod sent the Wise Men to bring the child back to him so that he could "worship" Him as well.
I believe that we are seeing a re-occurrence of this event in our day. People are searching the skies for a sign of the manifestation of God's glory, and those who are being led to Christ are ignorant of the devices of religion. We see people searching for God through psychics, fortunetellers, horoscopes, the study of celestial objects, astrophysics, cosmology, clairvoyants and many other celestial avenues, whether divinities or angels, dungeons and dragons or simply the "stars" on the silver screen. While the Church ignores the signs of the times, and only seeks the prophets' insights regarding the whereabouts of God's glory, the "world" is searching the heavenlies for a sign to point them in the right direction. There is a war in the Heavens against the Christ, but this time they are endeavoring to destroy Him through legislation, just like Herod did, and the saddest part of all is that it affects the children. What harm does Christmas do to children? They experience love, warmth, joy and gifts. What a wonderful time to be close together.
The idea of gift giving at Christmas goes back to the scripture in Matthew 2:10-11, which talks about the Magi giving gifts to Jesus, "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."
The Bible gives a wonderful story about the gift God gave us Jesus Christ and we can use it as an opportunity to show love. Does the giving of gifts take away from the true meaning of Christmas? No, it does not. If we focus on the wonderful gift of salvation that God has given us (Isaiah 9:6), then giving to others is a natural expression of that gratitude. The key is our focus. Is your focus on the gift, or on the ultimate gift-giver, our Father in Heaven?
James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..."
Let us pray on Christmas day:
"Be my peace, O Prince of Peace. Let its gentle, joyful blanket comfort my nervous soul, and still the warring of your Earth. Welcome Christ. All my life I needed you. O Child of Promise, this Christmas morning I give to you my heart. Amen."
Enjoy your families, loved ones and especially the children during this beautiful Christmas season. Remember the joys you felt as a child around this holiday and let's all actively attempt to bring that same feeling of joy and glee to the children around us. In fact, I would like to encourage you all to make an effort this year to locate a less-fortunate child around you and take them for hot chocolate or ice skating or even share a gift with them so that they too can feel that wonderful feeling of Christ's love on Christmas.
Re: Let Us Welcome The Armenian ChristmasNo score for this post
|January 4 2010, 4:17 PM |
They gave frankincense and myrrh to baby King Jesus as gifts...
Frankincense is an odorous resin imported from Arabia, yet also growing in Palestine. It was one of the ingredients in the incense/ perfume of the sanctuary; ...sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight and thou shalt make of it incense... And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small... (Ex. 30:34-36). When burned it emitted a cloud of fragrant odour that provided an atmosphere for the presence of the Lord to dwell. ...and he shall put the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy-seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not. (Leviticus 16:13)
The incense is also symbolic of the Name of God, and symbolic of prayer. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My Name, and a pure offering: for My Name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11) Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense... (Psalms 141:2) ...golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8) ...and there was given unto him much incense, that he should add it unto the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (Revelation 8:3)
Notice that the incense was made after the art of the apothecary. An apothecary grinds all the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle. In the grinding process the individual ingredients mingle together to form a new substance. So it is for US, as this is really the essence of corporate anointing. As our lives are mingled together and we enter the baptism of fire, we become a cloud of fragrant odour that provides an atmosphere for the presence of the Lord to dwell. This is one of the primary attributes of this impartation of authority and wisdom from the Magi- WE become the atmosphere for the presence of the Lord to dwell; you yourselves also are being built up WITH THE REST, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in the SPIRIT. (Ephesians 2:22 Amplified Bible)
It is important to note that there were some restrictions for the use of frankincense; ...neither shall he put any frankincense thereon; for it is a SIN-offering. (Leviticus 5:11), ...he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is a meal-offering of jealousy, a meal-offering of memorial, bringing INIQUITY to remembrance... (Numbers 5:15) The frankincense was NOT to be used in any connection with offerings for sin and iniquity. Even so for us, we must move beyond the brazen altar, where the emphasis is on dealing with sin. We must move on to the golden altar of incense, where the emphasis is on BECOMING an atmosphere for the presence of the Lord to dwell. Certainly, where there is an atmosphere for the presence of the Lord to dwell there is authority and wisdom to rule in the Light of this New Day.
Frankincense was also used on the Showbread in the tabernacle; And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof... And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before Jehovah. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial... (Leviticus 24:5-7)
As we mentioned earlier, the incense is also symbolic of the Name of God, and symbolic of prayer. We have been given a new name (Revelation 2:17). The family name denotes heritage and blood-line. We must understand that when we come to Christ we are now of a different heritage, we are sons of God, of the blood-line of the King of kings. THIS is the identity that allows us to enter into our destiny as a habitation for God. Concerning incense being symbolic of prayer, let us remember that the golden altar of incense was the only piece of furniture in the tabernacle that transitioned from the Holy Place (Second Day mentality) into the Holy of Holies (Third Day mentality); And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies; having a golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was a golden pot holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant and above it cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat... (Hebrews 9:3-5)
Myrrh is first mentioned as a principal ingredient in the anointing oil of the tabernacle. Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh. And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. (Exodus 30:23-28) Anointing oil obviously speaks of the anointing, and the anointing only comes through the Anointed One! The anointing is not a feeling, a goose-bump, or an atmosphere. The anointing is a Person, the Person of Christ! How befitting that the myrrh is referred to as a principal spice. The word translated as principal is rosh in Hebrew, its meanings include head, beginning, captain, chief, first. Indeed, Christ is our Head, our Beginning, our Captain, our Chief, our Firstborn among many brethren.
Notice that EVERYTHING in the tabernacle was anointed with this oil, everything in the Holy of Holies, everything in the Holy Place, everything in the Outer Court. Even so it is for us, whether our Christianity is based in sacrifice and dealing with sin (Outer Court experience), or based in the gifts and revelatory ministry of the Holy Spirit (Holy Place experience), or based in His Glory (Holy of Holies experience), it is the SAME oil, the SAME Christ who anoints us all with Himself. What a beautiful picture of corporate anointing! Its the SAME Christ who anoints us all with Himself. Psalms 133:2 speaks of this also, ...precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. Once again, it is the SAME Christ that anoints the whole body. However, I believe it is important to note that the first place the anointing flows to from the Head, is the beard. Jesus Christ is our Head and the first place His anointing flows to is the Beard, which is symbolic of those who are moving into maturity. I believe that part of His anointing upon a company of mature believers is authority and wisdom to rule in the Light of this New Day.
Myrrh was also used as an intimate perfume and used in embalming. ...six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women; Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house. (Esther 2:12-13) Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee... I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning. (Proverbs 7:15-18) A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts. (Song of Solomon 1:13)
Re: Let Us Welcome The Armenian ChristmasNo score for this post
|January 5 2010, 9:55 AM |
Listen in Armenian language about the Armenian Christmas and Bible reading,
Click on the link:
Then when the page comes click on the line in orange color saying Gandzasar, in the next poping page click on the red colored line saying "click to listen"
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