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Astro­ logy, divination and the use of relig­ ious oracles grew up on the basis of the astral cults in the religion of Ba­ bylon. The legends of the Star of Bethlehem and the seven stars in the Apocalypse are examples of vestiges of astral cults to be found in Chris­ tianity. ASTRAL THEORY. See Naturistic theory. ASTROWGY, the belief in the in­ fluence of celestial luminaries on the life a�d destiny of individuals and peoples; the technique of divining events from astronomical observa­ tions.

The sources for this festival should be sought in the beliefs of the BROTI-IERS ancient Phoenicians, the Jews and other peoples, whose gods ascended into t he heavens. The Christian Church made use of these legends of the ascension in order to accentuate the divine nature of Jesus, so as to convince the faithful that the fact of the Ascension confirms the possi­ bility of resurrection for 'all the righ­ teous after death. Celebration of the Ascension by Christians is first re­ corded in the 4th and 5th centuries.

The Ark of the Covenant had a golden lid and its sides were decorated with cherubim. The lid of the Ark was considered a seat of Yahweh . C. and the Temple was de­ stroyed, the Ark of the Covenant was lost. ARMAGEDDON, the place in which, according to the Revelation of St. John the Divine (16: 16), at the end of the world the last battle be­ tween all the kings of the earth will take place. There arc grounds for the assumption that the word "Ar- 32 ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH mageddon" is a distorted version of the Hebrew words that can be trans­ lated literally as "mountain district of Megiddo" (in North Palestine) where in ancient times many de­ cisive battles took place, as a result of the geographical setting of this area.

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