Travelogue Asia Minor
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- Published: Friday, 11 August 2017 01:18
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Travelogue – Asia Minor
By Augusto A. Kho
June 9-16, 2017
Updated: June 27, 2017 (Tuesday)
Updated: August 01, 2017 (Tuesday); 2:00 A.M
Istanbul, Turkey. We arrived at Istanbul International Airport at past 8:00 in the evening of the same day, 9th of June. Right after Immigration formalities at the arrival area, we were met by a female tourist guide. "I will be your tour guide. My name is "Meltem," she said.
Left Photo: Hagia Sophia’s at night is the world’s 4th largest church. Middle Photo: From the
Upper Deck of Arcadia Hotel in Istanbul with Sultan Ahmet Mosque on the background.
Right Photo: Bird’s eye view of Istanbul at Night
Meltem, the tourist guide now speaking
Istanbul is largest city in Turkey with 15-M people. Splendid, beautiful, not good city to live on due to traffic … This Friday night is the beginning of celebration due to the last day of school. It is the beginning of summer today till 2nd week September.
We will spend one night in Istanbul. Arcadia Hotel is 4-star, one of the best hotel in the city. We will go the hotel terrace tonight to have the splendid view of the city where you will have your dinner.
The hotel's breakfast is buffet, it is a general rule. Food in Turkey is wonderful. Turkish cuisine is one of the world’s best. The experts say that and that is what the gourmet talks about.
Tap water is safe. But I recommend you to drink bottled water. It is safer. The public toilet is not free. One lira is for toilet fee. Use Turkish rate. 3.7 for one USD. Free wifi to every hotel. The Old Town is where your hotel is. It is located on two continents. You just arrived to European airport.
Asia's Bridge to Europe
Geographically, Istanbul connects Asia and Europe through Bosphorus Sea. It is a vast sea that separates Europe from the west and Asia from the east. There's seaside. The bay is on a shape of horn. Historically it is a peninsula. Amazingly very historical. Tomorrow I will talk about the brief history of Turkey. It is dated 5,000 years old. And the traces of history is everywhere.
The Bosphorus Sea is the 32 km (20-mile)-long north-south strait that joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul, and that separates the continents of Europe and Asia.
Bosphorus Bridge also called "July 15th Martyrs Bridge" is a bridge along Bosphorus Sea that connects the two continents. The bridge glows in various colours at night.
By Tom Brosnahan
Traditionally Bosphorus is called Boğaziçi (boh-AHZ-ee-chee, "Within the Strait"), more recently it's been called the Istanbul Boğazı, Istanbul Strait, perhaps to differentiate it from the Dardanelles (Hellespont), called the Çanakkale Boğazı.
The width of the Bosphorus varies from 500 meters (1640 feet) to 3 km (2 miles), its depth from 50 to 120 meters (164 to 394 feet), averaging about 60 meters (197 feet) deep.
It runs right through the heart of Istanbul, past the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, several Ottoman palaces, at least two fortresses, forested hills, and shore villages with Ottoman architecture. (For self-guided touring, I've divided it into the Southern Bosphorus and Northern Bosphorus.)
It is crossed by three bridges and a rail tunnel: the southernmost Bosphorus Bridge (Boğaziçi Köprüsü), the central Mehmet the Conqueror Bridge (Fatih Köprüsü), by the Marmaray Railroad Tunnel, and by the Yavuz Selim Bridge at the Bosphorus's northern-end confluence with the Black Sea (2016).
The Bosphorus is one of the world's busiest commercial shipping channels, with some 140 cargo vessels making the 90-minute passage each day (at 7 or 8 knots), carefully navigating the seven precise turns necessary to follow the Bosphorus's narrow channels and avoid its treacherous currents.
Even though by law there are two highly experienced local pilots aboard each vessel during passage, and giant radar towers monitoring all maritime movements in the strait, accidents occasionally happen.
The Bosphorus in Legend
The Bosphorus's English name comes from a Greek legend: Zeus had an affair with a beautiful women named Lo. When Hera, his wife, discovered his infidelity, she turned Lo into a cow and created a horsefly to sting her on the rump. Lo jumped clear across the strait. Thus bous = cow, and poros = crossing-place: Bosphorus = "crossing-place of the cow."
Recent marine archaeological research in the chill, deep waters of the Black Sea has revealed sunken cities on the underwater slopes along the Turkish coast.
Geological evidence supports the theory that in ancient times the northern end of the Bosphorus was blocked by earth and rock. The Black Sea had no outlet (like Lake Van today), and its water level was below that of the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus.
However, an earthquake destroyed the Bosphorus blockage, releasing a deluge of water from the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, raising the water level and flooding its coastal communities. So it may well be that the Bosphorus is the source of Noah's flood and the legend of Noah's Ark! (Mount Ararat is also in Turkey.)
The Bosphorus in History
The Bosphorus has been a waterway of the highest importance since ancient times. Ulysses passed through. Byzas, who founded Byzantium (later Constantinople, later Istanbul) sailed up and down looking for the perfect place to found his village.
In 1452, Mehmet the Conqueror ordered the construction of the mighty fortresses of Rumeli Hisarı (Fortress of Europe) and Anadolu Hisarı (Fortress of Anatolia) so he could control the strait and prevent reinforcements from reaching the besieged Byzantine capital of Constantinople.
To the Ottomans it was mostly an obstacle: each spring they had to ship their gigantic armies across the strait from Istanbul for campaigns in Anatolia, Syria and Persia.
During World War I, the Bosphorus was the key to the Black Sea and Russia. The Sultan held the key. The Entente powers wanted it. What they failed to get in battle they got by treaty, and British gunboats anchored outside Dolmabahçe Palace. “
As ancient as King Darius
The idea of a bridge crossing the Bosphorus dates back to antiquity. For Emperor Darius I The Great of Persia (522 BC–485 BC), as recorded by the Greek writer Herodotus in his Histories, Mandrocles of Samos once engineered a pontoon bridge across the Bosphorus, linking Asia to Europe, enabling Darius to pursue the fleeing Scythians as well as position his army in the Balkans to overwhelm Macedon (Reference: Project Gutenberg. The History of Herodotus — Volume 2 – Retrieved on 19 March 2010).
Scythia was a region of Central Eurasia in classical antiquity from 11 BC to 2 AD.
King Darius of Persia (now modern Iran) extended his kingdom from India to East Egypt, Thrace (where Macedonia is which includes Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria). Persia from Hebrew “paras” which means “pure” or “splendid.” The word “paras” has its origin as well from Syriac and Arabic words which means “to break into two or divide.”
Back to Emile Mertem
The historical peninsula is well located. This is the old town. The most desired places to see are churches, mosques, ancient buildings, etc.
Tomorrow we do not heed to take bus but to walk. Easy walk on asphalt road. Take comfortable shoes. It is museum’s visit tomorrow where you stands most of the time.
Weather is cloudy and rainy. 22 degrees. Rain showers and cloudy. Rain showers are expected.
9:15 A.M. by tomorrow we will leave from the hotel. We will have Lunch at the old city. At 3 pm we must be back to hotel. We will meet at the hotel to take our bus on our way to the airport.
We have barely two minutes walk from the hotel to the main road. We have narrow roads. You can take walking shorts, both men and women. However, decent clothing is required at the mosque.
Be ready for the tour tomorrow. Check out at 9am. Then we go out for city tour and go back to hotel in the afternoon to get your luggage then to bring you to the airport to fly to Izmir.
I am from Izmir. While you are booked to a hotel I will be staying in my home. But I am with you for the whole 7 day tour. Wherever you go, I will be with you.
That is aqueduct, a 15th A.D. during the4 Byzantine time. It has 15 km length.
We are driving along the Golden Horn Sea. On your left, it goes to inland which is 2 km away. That is still Europe. It’s a deep, deep bay.
"The Golden Horn (Haliç) is an inlet of the Bosphorus with two rivers draining into it at the far end. It is considered to be the world’s largest natural harbor and separates the European shore of Istanbul into two. The best places to observe the Golden Horn’s activity and grace are the Galata Bridge if you want ringside seats, and the Topkapi Palace or Pierre Loti Café if you prefer a bird’s-eye view."
It is now Ramadan. Month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. This is the lovely bridge.
Sea of Marmara. Too big sea.
"Sea of Marmara, Turkish Marmara Denizi, historically Propontis, inland sea partly separating the Asiatic and European parts of Turkey. It is connected through the Bosporus on the northeast with the Black Sea and through the Dardanelles on the southwest with the Aegean Sea. It is 175 miles (280 km) long from northeast to southwest and nearly 50 miles (80 km) wide at its greatest width. Despite its small area, 4,382 square miles (11,350 square km), its average depth is about 1,620 feet (494 m), reaching a maximum of 4,446 feet (1,355 m) in the centre. It has no strong currents. Salinity, which averages 22 parts per thousand, is greatest at the end nearest the Dardanelles. The sea was formed as a result of crustal movements that occurred about 2.5 million years ago. It is an area of frequent earthquakes."
On your right is a Roman Wall built in 2nd AD. 7 km long. Our hotel is within the wall. Istanbul has largest harbour in Turkey.
We have wall there with 9 gates in this city. The government does not allow us to build high rise buildings. No subway is allowed by the government to preserve its ancient and architectural heritage.
The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet on your left. It is also called "Blue Mosque." Our bus is passing infront Arasta Bazaar. You see Troy Rug Store out. We cruised through Toron Street corner Mimar Mehmetaga Road.
It is one of three ancient monuments in the middle of Hippodrome during Constantinople. It is made for the image of Emperor Constantine and his son Romanos. It is considered the 7th wonder of the world.
(Peps: That night we have a fine dining at the roof top of Arcadia Hotel Blue overlooking Sultan Ahmed Mosque’s mesmerizing city lights extending as far to Hagia Sophia).
NOV 10/ SAT
(Peps:"While most of us have taken rest few of us went outside the hotel for a walk. We won' t be here anymore by tomorrow's night where you can see the city lights so we may as well take advantage of the night.
I sat down at the plaza named Buyuksehir Zabita facing the Obelisk of Theodosius while on my left is the Blue Mosque aka....Sultan Ahmed Mosque.
The plaza is converted as open cafes where tables and chairs strewn down on the cobble stoned pavements (I learned the next day, that his place that I called “plaza” was once an ancient colosseo or a sort of amphitheatre. They call it Hippodrome (Greek hippo horses; drome i.e. square).
Facing the Obelisk is Hagia Sophia, the world’s 4th biggest church built in the 4th century BC. It is considered the 2nd best engineering structure in the whole world. It was taken over by the Muslims during the siege and converted it into mosque.
Why am here for? There must always be answer for everything. Until wee hours at 3:00 A.M., am fully awake typing and editing.
At 4:00 AM. I heard from a loudspeaker that says, "Saleh Aqbar...." The whole city have fallen asleep but not me. From there it reminds of the so-called Last Roman Emperor Justinian during the Byzantine Period. He was branded as the “Emperor who never sleeps.”
.... by 7:00 AM. We took our buffet breakfast. But you’ll find that all of our in a hurry to finish our meal. Why? For picture-taking. The place is absolutely magnetic having a different charm compared to other cities in Europe.
Tourist Guide Meltem now speaking:
Arcadia Lobby is where the pilgrims are. I will give you extra free time to linger around. We will walk together then you'll have your free time. Arcadia Blue Hotel is overlooking the Sea of Phosphorus.
Left Photo: Bosphorus Sea one of the busiest seaport in the world that links Europe to Asia. Right Photo is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Both photos are taken from Arcadia Blue Hotel rooftop
This is the most interesting area (referring to Buyukzehir, a very large rectangular shaped -like open area). Imagine a big stadium, elliptical in shape, how this look like before? A good precise description in the heart of Byzantine. Byzantine is an era, a period or time.. Byzantine is also a name of city or country. So it is Byzantine city and culture. Byzantium before as they call it is an ancient, capital of Byzantine Empire. It has 22 different given-names named to this city - Constantinople, Neururoman and Istanbul and many more.
Neorama (Istanbul) is a Roman Empire. It is divided into two parts - East and West Romans. There is capital city of Rome. While the Eastern Roman Empire as capital city is Neorama or Istanbul.
The Roman Empire is under a Roman emperor named Constantine. He was the one who declared Christianity as the official religion in the whole Roman Empire in 330 A.D. That was 1,700 years ago. That happened right here in ISTANBUL. He made Christianity as a state religion. He was a pagan worshipper. Born as pagan and raised as pagan. But Helena, his mother became a Christian first.
The big influenced on his life and his own decision was when he saw a vision to become Christian. It is said that he asked for a sign if he would win the war, and then he saw a vision of the cross. Then he won the war. From there, Constantine declared Christianity as an official religion. He was baptized before he died. He was a Christian Emperor. Before he passed away as a Roman emperor, he legalized Christian religion.
During that time begins that a new era called Byzantine, an academic or theoretical name.
Years later, same people, same culture had changed with different character. It was the eastern Romans from Italy who came here first hundreds of thousands of years ago. When Romans came here they already found the culture, a combination of new culture - Roman, Latin and Greek languages, then this people became multi-cultured.
That is how Christian faith started here and called Byzantine or Constantinople has something more to go. This is named after "Polis" means" city" or we call this City of Constantine. Constantine the Great he is called that way. All the followers are all called Christians. Then comes another emperor....His name is...
Theodosius, 390 A.D. is also a Christian Emperor. He wanted to build big stadium with horse races, athletic games, wrestling, down there is the original street, elliptical, it can accommodate as much as 50,000 people. They call it Hippodrome.
Our hotel must be sitting at the ancient Hippodrome. Here it is. This is where the riots, the celebrations, the social activity are being held, with 11 monuments, sent as gifts to the city, now we have merely three left. You see 15 travellers’ drawing on hippodrome. After that it was lost, if not stolen, or damaged, including an Egyptian obelisk.
Obelisk. This obelisk weighs 2,000 tons and made in granite. This is only a piece from the original obelisk. During that time, it was given to Theodosius in 390 AD. It took them 32 days to erect it. It was brought from Karnak Egypt, 14 century-old. It is inscribed on the obelisk these words, "Fortune bestowed only on Emperor. Theodosius, the courage to erect a pillar of four facades that lay for long years on the earth challenge of succeeding and was able to erect 32 days. "
Left Photo: A smiley, Turkish policeman near Hagia Sophia. Middle Photo : Obelisk from Egypt sent as a gift to a Christian Emperor Theodosius. Right Photo: Family photo at Hippodrome.
2nd pillar a bronze
It is a 3rd statue of Apollo with 3 headed snakes. Snakes-head. We don't know how this snakes looks like. One head was found 3 years ago. It is 3rd B.C. years old. But it was brought during 4th century by boat allegedly from China. We see little of Hippodrome now. Built by Theodosius. Theo in Greek word is " God."
Sultan Ahmet Mosque
We go to Blue Mosque. Sultanahmet. In 1609 was when the mosque was constructed. Ottoman Empire had replaced the Byzantine Empire. In 1453 0ttoman conquered Byzantine. A new era came.
That time of new era is conquering. Conquering but also declining. By 1299 AD, Turks begun. Originally came from China. Turkey ancient name? Anatolia is a geographical description that describes land and people Iin 1924 they called Turkey as a republic. Before was open empire.
Very first Turku is Chinese record during 2nd BC. from Mongolia from the east. There are Buddhist Turks in China today with basic Turkish language. So many Turkish in Soviet Union like Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakh, Urbekistan, Turkisnistan, Kabekiztan, and others. But with Russian influence…
This is for Muslim visitors .The dome is important. Crescent speaks of Islam. This is a unique mosque with 6 minarets which is a pagan symbol.
Minaret, that’s tallest minaret. Imam is a leader. Village imam does everything in one village. Minarets were historically recorded. Now they don’t go up anymore to call worshippers but they have now speakers to call people for prayer. In village mosque they still do it but it is now a dying tradition.
Four beginnings for prosperous royal mosque. Not 3, 4, 5 or 6 has the largest number of minarets.
By 1609 a man called Ahmed or Sultan Ahmed wanted to have the most beautiful mosque. So he did spend so much money for that. He built this Mosque which was later named after him. Inside is covered with blue tiles - around 24,000 blue and green tiles. There is fountain here, oblation meaning washing hands and feet. Three times, certain ritual to do. There is spiritual aspect. Oblation is not functioning inside the mosque but outside. The historical fountain is not functioning now.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque (Photo by Peps)
The mosque was built in 1609. It is the only mosque in the world with 6 minarets. Then next is in Mecca. Ahmed sent money to Mecca so they sent 6 minarets. That money came from Ahmed. Now Mecca has 7 minarets. The windows are now all artificial, it cannot be opened. They are there just to show the architectural features. Our hotel address is also named as Ahmed Street. . So Ahmed speaks of neighbourhood. From this way to the left is entrance.
This is now the traditional washing area not really the oblation area. Hagia Sophia is also called before as Church of Holy Wisdom. The state is feeding poor people once a day.
The 532 A.D. Theodosia Hagia Sophia church built was by Emperor Theodosius ( 408-450). It was destroyed by fire by the Nike Revolt against Emperor Justinian.
Look at the roof. This church was converted to a mosque. Islam is non- iconic religion unlike Christianity. So images of animals or humans were taken out by covering them with white plasters. When the plasters were taken ... That was has happened. And look! It retained its beauty. Until this church was converted into Museum on 1935.
All the mosaic that are left here are original. They are thousands of years old. A Christian, Emperor named Constantine built this first.
Two important emperors were believed as Christians and believed in Christ and to the Virgin Mary. It reads "Justianus, the emperor built this as gift to Christ." Next is Constantine who declared Christianity as an official religion. He is presenting the city, 560 km long, presenting the city as gift to Virgin Mary and Christ.
Look at those images on the roof. Mary and Christ has halo over their head. Why the two emperors are also there painted with halos as well over their heads? Halo represents holiness.
The tunnels are made of semi precious stones, glass, etc . Back in 10 A.D. That was 1000 yrs ago.This door is original wood from Tarsus, a city where Apostle Paul came from.
This is portion was converted as cemetery during Ottoman Empire. . That courtyard was used for storage. See the original jars are still there. Storage for anything. Look at this huge original marble just like a bath tub. This was originally made for water baptism.
(Peps: According to E.J. Brill's “First Encyclopaedia of Islam,” the Ottoman Sultan Murad III had two large alabaster urns transported from the ruins of Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul).
Originally made for baptism. It is a solid original marble. An ancient Byzantine, with full immersion. Adult can only do it for full immersion. This is the Hagia Sofia or called "house of wisdom."
Interior designs are made up of marble here. This is the seat of human activities before it was converted into mosque. The sultan is tolerant to Christians. There are rooms there for the family of the sultan constructed in the 17th century.
This architectural design is a sensitive part in the church with mosaic drawing dated back on the 8th century. As you see the image of Mary holding the infant Jesus.
Turkey is in the major earthquake fault. We also have earthquakes. We have records of them since Ottoman times.
During Ottoman times before this was converted to mosque, men were facing on the east. Can you that ivory tusk with green inscription? That is how it was originally built as a church. But when this church was converted into mosque… Look at the inscriptions why the men there are facing west? They are facing to Mecca. The staircase is where the imam climbs to reach up there.
This dome has 59 meters high. The Statue of Liberty can fit it here. Most intellectuals are struck with on awe on this architectural design. The biggest dome is being supported by smaller domes then supported by other domes. These smaller domes become a pillar to support the larger domes and the biggest dome. More pillars or nothing. It is 16th.Century building. St. Peter Basilica in Rome is built a few meter higher than this. This is called the Jewel in Architecture. Now it is being restored. Stained windows are from Ottoman Empire not Byzantine window.
These are solid marble pillars. There were icons on that time. They are original. Historically it speaks of Crusaders in 1402. The 4th Crusaders passed Istanbul and they damaged the city, and robbed the relics, icons and others and they were brought to the Vatican in Rome. That is true.
Constantine's mother named Helen went to Jerusalem as first pilgrim. She went there and investigated. She found some found the relics, the shrouds and brought them here in the capital in this city. But in this city when the Crusaders came, they took them to Vatican. That is the true story. Crusaders burned and looted this city. Not until Byzantine brought it back. Sophia Irene the only church that is not converted into a mosque. The chandeliers are not original though. The original had candle-stands on them. At 12 pm, we will be meeting at exit please.
(Peps: While it is true that Hagia Irene is the only church building which is not converted as a mosque during the Ottoman Empire, yet the church was converted as a Concert Building. Is it not the possible that such spirit transcends today in some Christian Churches when the church becomes like Concert-like Church Service minus the Christ Jesus? Someone says “showbiz church?”)
There is active social life here. It is a church building before but now a very good Concert Building.
Why we included this despite with high entrance fee? Because this is a very important church. It is as old as Hagia Sophia built in 14th century by Constantine.
It was first built by Constantine. Then it was destroyed and rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in 32 AD. This is very historical and very beautiful. The first Ecumenical Service was held here that came from the by various Ecumenical Councils. Extremely important place and this has never been changed.
The 310 members from the Christian world gathered here in 7 A.D. and met right here. The Building at Atrium is open area with two equal corridors, with pillars and with a cross. That is during the 7 A.D. It’s original. Some paintings were on those walls before. Can you see the traces where they were mounted? But we never seen those paintings anymore because they were destroyed by an earthquake And these has never been recovered.
By the 6th century A.D. the mosaic there is not fancy stuff or decor. But it speaks of originality and simplicity. They are impressive in fact. Here, you can hear its wonderful acoustic even without microphone and speakers. You can talk or shout and any sound you create will reverberates, echoing like music.
(PEPS: The group requested if we could sing a hymn. The tourist guide asked the Italian Administrator of the said Concert Building and he smiled in agreement. We sung "How Great Thou Art" followed by " Majesty," until the Muslim guard from the rear came forward and had verbal argument with our tourist guide. We presumed the Muslim security forbade her for us to sing. From there we left and we went back to our hotel for 3:00 PM pick up. In other words, this once a Christian Church is converted into a Concert Building but not meant for a Christian Worship Songs).
We will be now heading to the domestic airport. Our flight is short only 45 minute flight to Izmir. From there, a tourist bus is waiting for us. You will use that bus in the next 6 days, so it is safe to leave your things inside the bus. On your left is the old city wall while on your left is the Sea of Marmara.
Tonight when we arrive to Izmir we will take our bus to the hotel and we will take dinner there. After dinner, Prof. Mark Fairchild, an American from Indiana, USA will present to us a brief teaching and a slide show on the "Seven Churches of Asia."
I live in Izmir, my home is there and after dinner I will go home. You will take two days in Izmir No need for you to pack.
Here are some research inputs:
The Council of Nicea took place in AD 325 by order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine. Nicea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine presided over a group of church bishops and other leaders with the purpose of defining the nature of God for all of Christianity and eliminating confusion, controversy, and contention within the church. The Council of Nicea overwhelmingly affirmed the deity and eternality of Jesus Christ and defined the relationship between the Father and the Son as “of one substance.” It also affirmed the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were listed as three co-equal and co-eternal Persons.
I’ve found in research that the Church in Asia Minor was on the turbulent stage in relations with the Lord’s Doctrine. Constantine initiated the 1st Ecumenical Meeting to sort out the indifferences of the churches then. The same thing took place in Acts 2:42, Acts 15:20, 29 when the apostles in Jerusalem intervened in the church affairs in terms of doctrinal issues or concerns.
Is it the Church today in certain municipality, city, province or region, if not national composed of a highly reputable council that can issue a formal letter to verify doctrinal issues to warn the true Church of Christ the proliferation of false teachings?
Medusa? Who is Medusa? What is Medusa's image doing in Hagia Sophia? Is there a spirit of Medusa in the Church today? How this affect the Church of the Last Days
Artemis or Asteroth? What are the roles of Artemis or Asteroth in Hagia Irene's Church in the Last Day's End of Times? Any spiritual significance? In Acts 19:28 the city of Ephesus cried out, “Great is Diana!” and they looked Paul to be crushed to death. Diana in Greek means “Artemis” the sister of Apollo. Is the spirit of Artemis or Diana is responsible in ousting, and worst, “slaughtering” men and women of God in the Church of the Lord?
Why is the Lord directed the IFP to go to Turkey?
June 11, 2017; 7:45 PM….Welcome to Izmir! This is my hometown. I was born and raised up here. I enjoyed my life here a lot. This is Decant, our good driver. We will take this bus in the next 5 days. There is map there so you can study the places where we will be going. And a wifi too.
Izmir is called Smyrna from the Seven Churches of Asia. This is the 3rd largest city all over Turkey, and it has the 3rd largest port as well in the country. It is a thriving city of commerce, trade, tourism economy, and others.
Left Photo: The city street from the ground floor of Movenpick Hotel dining hall in the city of Izmir.
Middle Photo: The buffet breakfast I have had for the day. Right Photo: Residential houses on hillside.
You can enjoy the Mediterranean weather here. Snow does not fall during winter and you can have a good swimming even on such a season. This is a lovely place where retirees prefer to live on.
Konak Square is a busy square at the southern end of Atatürk Avenue in the Konak district of İzmir, Turkey. On your left is huge Clock Tower 180 years old, with great historical value. . It has Konak Pier, with U-Shape Bay. I live there and take ferry every day.
It rains on the winter, it never snow. Pleasant, mild climate. Hotel in Izmir is exceptionally go0d, 5 Star, This hotel called Movenpick Hotel and Resorts, along Cumhuriyet Boulevard, Izmir. It is safe to wander alone. You are surrounded with water. There is good waterfront there and it is nice and safe to walk around.
Suggest you won’t go around alone. This is absolutely safe, lovely cafes and restaurants, and here we are. Tomorrow morning 8:30 A.M. comfortable shoes, ancient ruins, much walking, lots things of see at Pergamum, Thyatira and dinner at the hotel.
After Dinner tonight, Dr. Mark R. Fairchild will be meeting us to talk about the "Seven Churches in Asia" at the 3rd Floor of your hotel.
JUNE 11/ SUN
Our buffet breakfast started at 7 in the morning; It is included in the $970.00 we paid as an extra from Istanbul - Izmir- Istanbul. That fee includes the domestic flights, hotel accommodation, meals, tour bus and the tourist guide and her driver.
The restaurant on the ground floor will give you a splendid view of the waterfront facing the Aegean Sea that connects to the Greek isles.
Since it is Sunday, no traffic and less human activity on the street that faces that glass-wall of the restaurant as you see plenty of seagulls taking their fresh catch from the deep water of the icy Aegean waters.
We left from Movenpick Resort Hotel at 8:45 AM right after our Buffet Breakfast then Ms. Emile Meltem our lady tourist guide joined us when we picked her up on the other side of the lake.
Ms. Emile Meltem speaking now:
As I told you yesterday, Izmir is where I lived but I take ferry everyday on the other side on my way home. This place is called, "karsia." Karsia means " the other side." This is what we call before in the early 60s.
In 1960-70s they came here for swimming only, a bit deserted place, no much buildings and residences. Now due to heavy migration this become a part of the old city. This area is more relaxed in terms of building, residential area, with less traffic with lovely waterfront, waters clear enough; plenty of fishermen fishing on the sea. On your left is a Fish Market which opens at 5-6 every morning where you can buy their daily catch. Am living here since 1974 long enough to call it my hometown.
I lived on several cities because of the nature of my work. Yet I find this my home. . You find always home for you, and for me this is which is THE OTHER SIDE.
We will travel for 1 and half hour to Pergamum which is going to the north. By afternoon, we will drive to the east going to Thyatira. Not much to see but just few in Thyatira . Excavations are not much allowed there because it is just a small place (city).
We will take our dinner tonight outside overlooking the sea. . Totku Tour’s owner will be there to join us for dinner in a fancy restaurant along Konak Pier overlooking the beautiful serene waters. . He wanted to see you. Did you meet Mark Fairchild? We have 15 copies of his book entitled, "Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor."" Outside it is being sold for $37 per piece. But here you can only buy that for $10.00. And he can sign it for you. We are heading in Pergamum.
Revelation 2:12 -14/ ESV says
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: 'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality."
We are driving north of Izmir. You see plenty of farmlands along the way. Predominantly, the industry here is agriculture. In this Turkish part, it has a nice climate that can grow anything like tomatoes, grapes, olives, etc.
Turkey is largest producer of olive and olive oil. We have over 100- Million olive trees and we are 2nd in the world in terms of inputs and production. 1st is Italy. 3rd and 4th are Greece and Spain. Our olive trees are 100 years old but they still produce olives.
Israel, do you remember olive trees in a court yard of Church? Yes that is in Gethsemane, which is monumental olive trees. The same thing goes here, We have 800 years old monumental olive trees. They never lose the green even in winter. Ever green always. No machinery but traditional handpicking of olives. Because machines for harvesting olives are too expensive.
Green and black olives, what’s the difference? Do they have green or black olive trees? No! Green olive is not ripe yet. Black olives are the ripe ones and it can produce oil. We have 85 types of olives in terms like wine such as cabernet, etc.
In Turkey, we use olive for all kinds of cooking. Black olives once cleansed are placed between two pressing stones until its juice or saps comes out unto the container; That is the 1st pressing. That is where the virgin oil or the best oil comes from. Two kg of ripe olives can produce one liter of oil. Turkey call the virgin oil from first pressing as "liquid gold."
Then you take again the pressed olives unto next pressing stage which is the 2nd stage to take it remaining oil on it. Normally they pour hot water to the pressed olive trees to extract more remaining use. Perhaps you can use that for cooking fish or meat. Water and oil have two layers, they take the oil from the top of water, another quality. Then take another oil still left, use the same process till 4-6 times. But not used for cooking but for frying veggies if not for olive spas or olive soaps.
Other than that, any other crops in Turkey. Because of climate, cotton grows here also. Textile here is a major industry. Also because of tobacco, we are placed as world's No. 4 in terms of production. We are also ranks Number 1 producer of hazelnuts because of the favourable weather from the Red Sea.
Each and every region has different type of crops related to its temperature. Turkey has rich agricultural produce. We are self sufficient in food. Agriculture is important issue in Turkey. We import foods to Middle East and Russia.
Dr. Mark Fairchild speaking:
We are 25 miles away, 30 minutes drive in Pergamma or Pergamum.
Acropolis has this palace. There is cable car that takes place us there to go to the top. Then we will take the lower place with three Roman bridges. In early Christians who passed by there. We will visit the ancient place of worship dedicated to the son of Apollo, chief- healing deity named Asklepion. Melten will speak later historical facts and I will share the biblical information.
Last night we talked on Turkey. Off shore in Izmir, south and west with island of Patmos. Dionysian, he wanted to proclaim himself as deity. The Jews does not heed to Emperor to worship him. Jews is monotheistic. The problem was from the time of Jesus Christ to 2 AD, most Christians are Jews.
When Paul begun his ministry to non- Gentiles, the Jews begun to antagonize and persecute Christians. We discovered that fewer and fewer Jews abreast Christianity that time. As a consequence, by 81 AD during Dionysian reign, most Christians are not Jews that is why Dionysian revoked the "exemption of emperor worship," and from that time one, Christians are then expected to exercise as Dionysian Worship declaring him as " our Lord and god." And God of course, does not like that...
John in Rev. 1:1 and 9 says, " Write.." This refers to the present that day or in the future. When Jesus commanded John to " Write" it refers to past, but at the same time on John's present state and also in future making Revelation so confusing. Proleptic (rhetoric) Prophesy must be read from the past, present and, future.
Example: 666; Where is 666 being referred to ? Yes to Anti-Christ or the beast. But Greek also numbers like Latin numerals and 666 refers also to Emperor Nero. John refers to first anti -Christ who is Nero. Then came the next Dionysian. But prophesy not yet exhausted to Nero or Dionysian but refers to the future, even worst and referring to that of the previous two emperors or leaders - Nero and Hitler.
(Peps: Dionysian, characteristic of the god Dionysus or the cult of worship of Dionysus; specifically, of a sensuous, frenzied, or orgiastic character… Proleptic is the representation or assumption of a future act).).
That is why Revelation is too difficult to interpret. Revelation gives symbols and images which cannot be taken literally. This also applies to colours, numbers, symbols like bowls, of hell such as grasshoppers, or tail of scorpion, etc. What these things represent? But people are demonized or people under the influence of demons. They are symbolic. Our task is to figure them out how they are being communicated.
We have 39 books in Old Testament and 27 is New Testament. And Revelation is the least and most difficult read.
John was given a vision but he did not even understand but he still wrote them down. How would John write the modern word today like how you describe a computer, car, etc?" John is describing them by visualizing them symbolically and explains them as far he can describe them.
How John would describe today's world destruction like atomic or nuclear detonation, such a mushroom- shaped figure? John is describing something he could not even understand.
We are now in outskirt in Pergamum. You see the acropolis, and building. That is the city and the well that were excavated by the Germans. They made too much work on them.
Guide Emile Meytem now speaking:
Inhabitants abandoned this place and moved to the valley until a new city was built like that of Izmir. Like in Izmir, it is impossible to get the remains because they were buried underground.
But here, the people lived down the valley. The city has 3 different settlements - acropolis means city ( polis), acro is highest part. Pergamum a natural hill, used for defense including the temples, palaces, state properties, military camp, then a city on the slope of the hills and lower city which Pergamum is located due to difficult topography.
Fascinating archaeological remains found dated back to 3,000 BC during the Bronze .Formations made also from inscriptions dated back to 6 B.C. from the time of Alexander the Great.
Alexander’s arrival to Turkey is important period. Greek is introduced much especially to local people so they can communicate using the same language. Many local and foreign languages are spoken in ancient Turkey. Alexander came to conquer, when he came. Greek language was introduced. Before the coming of Alexander, Greek language has been used in some other areas.
By 4th Century, Alexander the Great gave a historical name called Hellenistic Era till 2nd century. He was a powerful commander, with large Army from Macedonia to Europe and Asia. Nobody could resist against him and his army. Very skilled, Alexander started conquering.
After Alexander passed away, the lands he conquered were shared by his four commanders. This location was conquered by one of his commander, Lesimachos, he was busy with Ephesus. He neglected Pergamum. He just gave responsibility to local family named indigenous, who established a kingdom of their own. Two families are Lesimachos and Attalos .It lasted 200 years long. They had remarkable remains at present and in history.
(Peps: Pergamon was a small settlement during the Archaic Period. Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great and who had become the sovereign of Anatolia after 301 B.C., delivered the war expenditures, at the amount of 9000 talents (1 talent is believed to be US$ 7,500 approx.), to Philetarios who was the commander of Pergamon, and the kingdom founded by Philetarios by using this sum of money following Lysimachos's death, flourished and became the most eminent center of culture of the Hellenistic period for 150 years. Eumenes I, Attalos I and Eumenes II were enthroned successively after Philetarios. Eumenes II took acropolis of Athens as an example and had the acropolis of Pergamon adorned with works of art which reflected fine taste, and Pergamon became one of the most graceful cities of the world. Attalos III who succeeded Attalos II, handed over his land to the Romans when he died in 133 B.C. according to Burak Sansal).
On your right are temple made for Egyptian gods, two tallest brick building with marbles. Interesting thing - the inner part is few steps going down with flat form , a huge statue with halo on it, the beast on the temple, secretly goes down the stair, and walks into a halo statue and that man with halo talking to him. Archaeologists say it is Isis and Osiris in 2nd BC, which is 2000 years old.
(Peps: Osiris is the Egyptian god of the underworld and husband and brother of Isis).
When Christianity came, the building was converted into a church. Besides the building was built after John the Beloved. It functioned for quite a time then earthquake came a destroyed it. Then Muslims came and converted this John of Church and it became a Muslim mosque. It is a Red Basilica or Red Court .
(Peps: One pilgrim says " building lang yan." Those old building could be been eroded, destroyed, or partly existed or whatever, but the ruins speaks of culture, past and history. Those who never learned from history will never understand not find the future).
Pergamum is famous for carpet making.
Local family named Aptolus, 200 years ago had a great contribution to the history of Pergamum which is very important. 2nd century BC. This family was quite rich then but locals are illiterates. Yet there was signs, philosophy, arts, research, science, having materials to write them down are important so they could pass the information from one generation to another. What are the materials they needed that time then? Yes papyrus. They used papyrus paper which grows from Nile River of Egypt. So they trade with papyrus. They used this materials for books, scrolls of papyrus and it needs oil to keep safe and strong against humidity.
Pergamum needed a huge library. So they imported papyrus. They put a huge library also. By then, Alexandria in Egypt has the world's largest library. But the library in Pergamum is getting and getting famous and Alexandria does not like that. So they stopped supplying papyrus paper to Pergamum.
So the Pergamum king asked the locals some ideas what are the writing materials they can use. Two shepherds came forward and gave the most brilliant ideas what writing materials to used. They suggested the skins of the goats. The most important is how they can use it, cutting them in rectangular shapes and attach them side by side, etc. until they made the first book using the materials from the animal skins. With that technology, they named this town as "Pergamum" which means "pergamos" in Greek which is called "membrane " in English.
Named after the city Pergamum paper called parchments. Later on they refer it as Pergammese paper. It was invented here. That time, Library in Pergamum was able to collect 200,000 of books.
Pergamum is so proud of their library in the ancient world. But now, the library is in ruins. What happened to the books then? No samples from Alexandria Library, neither in Library in Ephesus, we don't have an samples. We have copies from some of the books but not from originals. Those books were stolen or destroyed by earthquakes, fire, conquest, etc .
In the bible, Paul said " bring my parchment," 2 Timothy 4:13. During Paul time, Pergamum paper is already available. No need for scrolls or papyrus paper. Parchment is more practical that can reach the nobles and to let it (knowledge) pass from one generation to another.
Go out to the cable car with 8 people. Wait for me there. We will stay in Acropolis for one hour only. This is only the half of acropolis - Temple of Zeus and Temple of Athena which is surrounded by city walls. Below is a temple dedicated to god Zeus. During that Pagan time, they worshipped many gods. Each city will honour their major god. Here, the major god is Zeus. The most fanciest god is Zeus in 2nd AD.
During Ottoman Empire, they were careless, they are horrible people. That time European travellers were keen looking for ancient ruins, treasures or remains. No modern archaeology then yet. To they would take their loot back to Europe.
When Germans came they found they found the Temple of Zeus. They excavated this Zeus temple and brought them piece by piece to Germany and even called this "Pergamum Museum." Not only that they put a museum in Germany but they have taken also many of the artefacts to Germany.
(PEPS: Is it possible that a church would rob or loot another church, just like the Germans, not just the church members but also their tithes and offerings? Can we say “illegal transfers of funds and resources?”)
So the Temple of Zeus in Germany had those amazing remains, sculptured things and even named it architectural design as Pergamum Style or Pergammesse Style. Pergamum is very important city that time like the Temple of Dionysus, Temple of Athena or Zeus.
Look at the ancient walls. Which one is older and which one is more recent? The left wall is older it is Hellenistic back in 2nd century. The one is the right is Byzantine period dated 9th Century.
The Temple of Zeus are located between those two pine trees, completely destroyed. They sacrificed animals there. And eat the flesh too. . Each temple have altars for sacrifices and they would set up parties or feasts to consume the flesh. Archaeologists found some letters of invitations in this temple. Mark will tell you not to eat this flesh.
Dr. Mark Fairchild now speaking:
This is altar of Zeus is overlooking the city. This is 8 km away from Aegean Sea. This is the place where the German excavated the area and shipped away what they have found here and brought them all to Germany. This is the Athena Temple with 3 shaped layers of foundations with library. There are arches built by people to create platform to build a huge temple.
Zeus down there is 2 year BC. Athens is built on a higher peak.. You see down there is the steepest theatre all over Turkey. In fact, all over the world during that time.
Dionysus is patron god associated with Jews and Christians. Lion, wine, intoxication, violence, and others are associated with him so he was banned in the city of Rome.
Dionysus is associated with the name of Bacchus. Once you are intoxicated, your sexual morals are loose. It cropped into theatrical production. As a consequence, the traditional Christians discourage theatrical production.
(PEPS: Bacchus was a Roman god of wine and debauchery. However, he is also identified as a fertility god).
Theologians from Africa, Tertullian discouraged theatrical acts as well. Do you see the building on the ridge? It is an amphitheatre. What is the difference between the theatre and the amphitheatre?
No they are not the same. Amphitheatre is round? Theatre is semi circular. Amphitheatre is circular. In Rome they call it Colosseo. Theatre for theatre production is like for music presentation
Amphitheatre is a place for human destruction. There you see the gladiators, the criminals, or the noxy. These people are being used this for entertainment, the noxy or condemned. They are being released out with tigers and lions to tear them apart. It is very degrading.
Sometime with armed gladiators, its entertainment. Seneca talked it with disgust for human slaughter, thirst for blood.
Constantine was the first Christian who was placed into amphitheatre. He became noxy because he believed in Christ and he has no other crime. . Because he refused to worship an emperor-like worship.
Tiyatroya Gider is downhill from Acropolis. From those groves of trees you find a trace of health center. Asklepion is known as the medical center in Asia.
In ancient time, this place is known to have the best hospital all over Turkey. Pergammum known for hospital, so famous known of Akleopios, son of Apollo. Apollo is also known healing deity. Apollo son carries staff, that has the snake on it. It is the symbol of the American Doctors' Society;
(PEPS: In ancient Macedonia and Rome, an asclepeion or Asklepieion; was a healing deity or god).
Gailan or Gaullen of antiquity can examine bodies who were executed in amphitheatre.
Rev, 2:13, The word, "marturs" came here while gnostic is the opposite who does not believe by the blood of Jesus.
Emile, our tourist guide said:
Restoration is important work in archaeology. . Stones down there are 2,000 years old, and the restorative works are just being done recently and they are exactly the same stone-materials which were used 2,000 years ago. These restorative works are local stones from Pergamon Some are made up of marble.
Dr. Mark Fairchild read what was inscribed in one stone on the Temple of Trajan and it has two inscriptions that reads "autocratar" and "caesare". Autocratar means "tyrant, dictator, omnipotent, one-ruler” Caesare means "Caesar the lord of the earth and the sea." This outstanding claim that brag power. But in another stone inscribed, "demos" dated 1st Century which means "by the people". This is where the word "democracy" came from. Demo and krateein i.e. ruled by the people.
Asklepion is a Medical Center which is named after him. Guillen was raised here. He goes to Rome, became doctor of the emperor and empress. He made medical operation, and his medical book still being used today.
Why the health center is here is not accident. There are plenty of hot and spring waters that can cure rheumatism and joint diseases and other diseases.
On your right is the amphitheatre. Up there where you came from - the temple of Zeus. This place is what it was became famous for because of Asklepius who lives here.
This is the center where you see serpents the symbol being used in the field of medicine. This is the tunnel that connects to the hospital buildings where they were some beds where patients stay overnight. This tunnels are original that connects to the hospital building When patients passes this tunnel, the priests hides themselves would says " you will be healed," 1 AD - 4 AD. So psychology is very important for patients to be healed. There is water cascading with sounds like a music coming from the ground. It is like therapeutic
Inscription is very important just like the word "demo" that is inscribed there in acropolis at Pergamum. This stone reads "Soter" as Asclepius Soteri, meaning saviour and healer . And Christ is into healing ministry as well. Asklepio or Asclepius never exist. He cannot do healing because Jesus healed us.
Example is the paralytic an in Mark 2. Jesus said, "Your sins have forgiven you." The Priests reacted, "only God heals. "
This place is the most important healing center all over Turkey. The whole Pergamum people looked at Asklepion.
Dan Balais led the prayer
“Lord, we pray for Turkey as bastion of Christianity. We pray that you will breathe your church, breathe your new life here in Turkey, from Pergamum, Smyrna, Philadelphia, and to other 7 Churches in Asia.
Once we stepped down on the land in the Middle East to receive your life, these bones lives even to the descendants of Ismail. We redeem it by your blood. These stones are witnesses how and others Christians brought the gospel here (i Asia Minor). We, from the Philippines. We say restore, restore, restore. We say revive, revive for the people in Turkey Lord.”
Emile said that this is the place where Paul and John walked on the streets. Plenty of narrow Ottoman houses here.
Pergamon's library on the Acropolis (the ancient Library of Pergamum) was the second best in the ancient Greek civilization according to the Royal Library of Alexandria.
Peter Green’s “ Alexander to Actium: The historical evolution of the Hellenistic age” page 168 writes, “Pergamon was also a flourishing center for the production of parchment (the word itself, a corruption of pergamenos, meaning "from Pergamon"), which had been used in Asia minor long before the rise of the city. The story about the Pergamene invention of parchment because of Alexandria's papyrus monopoly is a mere legend.”
The library at Pergamom was believed to contain 200,000 volumes, which Mark Antony later gave to Cleopatra as a wedding present according to Kekec (1989) page 30.
(PEPS: We left Pergamum at 3:45 PM and we would like to catch up Thyatira ruins before 5:00 PM. We arrived there at 4:45 PM before it closes down at 5 PM).
By Emile Meltem
4:45 P.M. This is the town of ancient Thyatira. The location, this inland goes to Ankara. In ancient time, the same thing goes like that. This city has grown so much.
The modern name now of this city is Akhisar meaning “white castle,” probably from Lydian language. . It is a village before but now, a bustling metropolis. From the right you see an ancient anchor. That wall is 7 A.D. old during the Byzantine Era.
The reason why this place is being preserved is because of the cemetery here. Paul has been here. Here it is written in Turks , "It is a cemetery saved from destruction. “
(Peps: A city where Thyatira Church existed eventually became a cemetery, that is where the cadavers or dead people are. Church of the Living Dead?)
You see that cobbled stone down there? That is only two meters deep. This is believed to be a major street because you see big blocks of rocks there. These broken fragments, most of them (artefacts) are under the houses or buildings.
This is a Roman street. That ancient finds is during Byzantine period. It is merely two meters below are Roman remains...
Dan Balais praying
We pray and bless the church here in Thyatira, that they may be full and blessed as spoken in Joel 2:28, " "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. "
In Jesus' Name we prophesy restoration even to all. We bless the church, though there is a flickering flame, there will be a movement of the Holy Spirit.
This is the place where Christians were first named, and we from the outermost part of the earth comes here to bless them. We bless even the government, even to this ancient city... Even to this graveyard. Let the Spirit comes, we bless Your church Lord...
THE CITY OF THYATIRA was a Macedonian colony. It was situated in Lydia, in Asia Minor, not far from the river Lycus, and between Sardis and Pergamos. It is still in existence, but is a poor town with a population of 6000, chiefly Turks. The church at Thyatira was one of the seven churches addressed by the Saviour in the revelation of St. John. The principal deity of the city was Apollo, but there was another superstition of an extremely curious nature, which seems to have been brought hither by some of the corrupted Jews of the dispersed tribes. It seems to have been an attempt to amalgamate the religion of Jehovah with that of heathenism. It is believed that the censure and denunciation launched in Rev. 2:18-23, against the Church in Thyatira, was because of the failure of the Church at that place to discountenance and reprove this amalgamation. - Ancient Geography
Thyatira in Easton's Bible Dictionary is a city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its modern name is Ak-hissar, i.e., "white castle." Here was one of the seven churches (Rev. 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this city (Acts 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times (Reference: Easton Bible Dictionary).
Thyatira in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (Lydia, the probable agent of carrying the gospel to her native town.) (See LYDIA.) Thyatira lay a little to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis (Strabo 13:4, who calls it "a Macedonian colony"); on the Lycus, a little to the South of the Hyllus, at the North end of the valley between Mount Tmolus and the southern ridge of Tetanus. Founded by Seleucus Nicator. On the confines of Mysia and Ionia. A corporate guild of dyers is mentioned in three inscriptions of the times of the Roman empire between Vespasian and Caracalla. To it probably belonged Lydia, the seller of purple (i.e. scarlet, for the ancients called many bright red colors "purple") stuffs (Acts 16:14). The waters are so suited for dyeing that nowhere is the scarlet of fezzes thought to be so brilliant and permanent as that made here. Modern Thyatira contains a population of 17,000. In Revelation 2:18-25, "the Son of God who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass," stands in contrast to the sun god. Tyrimnas, the tutelary god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass. Christ commends Thyatira's works, charity, service, faith, and patience. Thyatira's "last works were more than the first," realizing 1 Thessalonians 4:1, instead of retrograding from "first love and first works" as Ephesus (Revelation 2:4-5); the converse of Matthew 12:45; 2 Peter 2:20. Yet Thyatira "suffered that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (See JEZEBEL.) Some self-styled prophetess, or collection of prophets (the feminine in Hebrew idiom expressing a multitude), closely attached to and influencing the Thyatira church and its presiding bishop or "angel" (the Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts read "thy wife" for "that woman") as Jezebel did her weak husband Ahab. The presiding angel ought to have exercised his authority over the prophetess or prophets so-called, who seduced many into the libertinism of the Balaamites and Nicolaitans of Thyatira's more powerful neighbour Pergamos (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:16). (See BALAAMITES; NICOLAITANS.) The Lord encourages the faithful section at Thyatira. "Unto you (omit 'and' with the Alexandrinus and the Vaticanus manuscripts, the Sinaiticus manuscript reads: 'among ') the rest in Thyatira I say, ... I will put upon you none other burden (save abstinence from and protestation against these abominations: this the seducers regarded as an intolerable burden, see Matthew 11:30); but that which ye have hold fast until I come." A shrine outside Thyatira walls was sacred to the sibyl Sambatha, a Jewess or Chaldaean, in an enclosure called "the Chaldaean court."
Cradle of Christianity
Thyateira is the Cradle of Christianity writes from the brochure published by Akhisar Municipal Corporation (2017). Also refer www.akhisar.com
As stated in the Apocalypse, one of the 7 churches of Christianity, built in Asia mInor was in Thateira (Rev. 2:18-19; Acts 16:14). Other churches in Ephesos (Efes) are Pergamon (Bergama)l; Sardeisw (Sart), Smyrna (Izmir), Laodecia (Denizli) and Philadelphia (Alasehir).
Akhisar is a country and its town centre located in Aegean (western Anatolia),region in Turkiye (Turkey). With its 152,582 people (2000) and 1,750 sq.km. land, is the largest country in the its region and a city centre even bigger that many province capital in Turkiye.
With archaeological findings proving settlements going back to 3,000 B.C. Akhisar has been a busy trade centre with its strategic location on the intersection of important roads since ancient ages. It was one of the cities where “money” was first used.
Akhisar (Thyateira, Thyatira) hosted one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. It is mentionedse4vveral times in the Holy Bible. Akhisar maintained its importance as a regional trade center during 600 years of Ottoman Empire.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, Akhisar had also become home of a sizeable Jewish community.
Today Akhisar is stll the trade and business center in its region. Akhisar name is internationally recalled along with oriental tobacco as fertile Akhisar Plain alone provides nearly 10% of Turkish tobacco production.
It’s high quality olives and olive oils are also famous throughout the country and in parts of the world.
Thyateira as the Cradle of Christianity
In 1st and 2nd centuries AD, when Christian started gaining popularity, Roman Empersos were ruthless against the first Christians.
The churches were ruined and Christianity was prohibited. Despite of all these counter-reactions, Christianity was spreading in Western Anatolia by the help and leadership of apostles like St.Jean and St. Paul.
The name “Thyateira” appears several times in the Holy Bible. First in a letter to sevenchurches in Asia Minor, St. Jean mentioned a Thyateiran woman named “Lydia who helped St. Paul in Macedonia is mentioned. This woman had been to Macendoni on the purpose of selling Thyatteiran clothes. This is a helpful evidence for the importance of cloth manufacturing and trade in ancient Akhisar.
There was a rather big Christian community in Thyateira around 100 A.D. The town is in a region where Christianity was born and emerged and it is very important in the History of Christianity.
Lydian, Persian and Helenistic Eras
Akhisar (Thyateira) wa sth emost important centre in the North ancient Lydia. Considering the invention of money by Lydians, Thyateira was one of the first towns on earth where money was actually used. Thyateir coin findings shows the double-sided battle axe along with an illustration of mother goddess Kybebe (Kybele).
Roman Emperor Caracalla had been to Thyateira in 214 AD and announced the town as a regional and administrative centre with the power of adjudication (=A Conventus). Caracalla stayed at town for several months and become a beloved personality. Thyateira people returned the emperor’s favour with dedicated coins printed in his memory. Thyateria flourished in Roman Era and became a large metropol with 3 gymnasiums, though none of these gymnasiums have been unearthed yet.
Arabs were at the doors of Constantinopolis (Istanbul)and Thyateira went under Arabic rule for some period in 8th century AD. Akhisar plain witnessed many battles between Byzantine and Arabs and during the Crusades.
Emile Meltem: Thank you so much for such a good prayer
Revelation 2:18-21 (ESV)
"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality."
(Peps: This is once an ancient city with the Church of Jesus Christ and now only graveyard remains? Will this be the future of our church? A Zombie-Church? Or can we call a Church of the living dead? )
This is our last night in Izmir. We leave tomorrow at 9 A.M.. Your luggage must be at lobby at 8am. If you come down point your luggage to our driver only then he will bring in your luggage to the bus. We will go to Agora in Izmir. Then Polycarp Church at 11am but it has a rich historical value even tough, it is Catholic church. After that we will drive to farther east to Sardis. Then at noon, we will take our lunch near Sardis.
Then we will drive farther east to Philadelphia which is an ancient city like Thyatira. There are just few remains of that ancient city. Then we will take another 2 hours drive to Pamukkale. with thermal waters. Turkish bath is famous there. We will just have one night at Pamukkale
We took our dinner at Mezzakuna Restaurant along Konak Pier overlooking the Aegean Sea. The restaurant is an affiliate with Tutku Tours. Levant, the Tutku Tour owner joined us,
Who is Walid Shoebat?
"The Mark of the beast" He talks about Bible Prophecy and the Islamic Anti-Christ . Is he suggesting that it will be arising from former Babylonian Empire, which is in Turkey, where Constantine was a former Emperor in this Romans Province an Islamic Caliphate will be coming from this region as well? What is the connection of IFP Team praying for this region which is hailed as the Cradle of Christianity?