Visiting Pergamum – The Compromising Church | 7 Churches of Revelation Tour

The church in Pergamum (modern-day Bergama) was the third to receive a letter in the Book of Revelation. While they were commended for staying true to Jesus, they were rebuked for some of them followed false teachings.

Pergamum/Pergamon was a wealthy city that was known for its healing center–the Asclepion, its library–which boasted of 200,000 volumes written on costly parchment (sheep skin) and its temples dedicated to the Emperor Trajan, Athena and Zeus.

 

VISITING THYATIRA – THE TOLERANT CHURCH | 7 CHURCHES OF REVELATION TOUR

The church in Thyatira was commended for good deeds, faith, love, service and perseverance. However, it was rebuked for being tolerant of Jezebel, a false prophetess who led some believers astray. She was given time to repent of her immorality but refused. Jesus warned that she would be cast on a bed of suffering along with those who commit adultery with her.

THESSALONIKI, PHILIPPI AND KAVALA

On with the rest of our Greece tour! In this video we go around Thessaloniki, visit the Baptistery of St. Lydia, the Archaeological Site of Philippi and end our day at Kavala/Neapolis where Paul was said to have first set foot in Europe after a Macedonian man appeared to him in a vision telling him to “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”

Holy Land Photoblog: Caesarea Maritima

Would you believe that this was again founded by Herod the Great? The man was obviously rich, had a penchant for building colossal structures but he was also very paranoid specially when it came to power. He is the king who ordered the killing of male infants, after the visiting Magi asked him about the “one who has been born king of the Jews.” Aside from that, it’s also been recorded that Herod had his wives (Doris and Mariamne I) and two of his sons (Alexander and Aristobolus IV) killed.

Herod started building Caesarea Maritima in 22BC. It was named in honor of Augustus Caesar and became the Roman administrative capital, the military base of Pontius Pilate, Antonius Felix and other Roman officials.

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Harbor

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The remains of the pool. It was said to be filled with fresh water and had a statue in the middle.

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Holy Land Photoblog: Masada

Masada has such a moving historical background as told by Josephus Flavius. Built by Herod between 37-31 BC as his Northern Palace, this desert fortress served as a refuge for some 1000 Jewish zealots and rebels who revolted against the Romans in 66 CE.

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In 73 CE, Flavius Silva led the 10th Roman Legion to conquer Masada. They infiltrated the fortress through a siege tower and fortified camps that can be seen from the viewing deck.

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Before the legion even reached the top, the zealots (as told by Josephus Flavius) decided to take their lives in their hands instead of surrender and become slaves to the Romans. The only ones left to tell the story of Masada were two women and five children who hid in a cistern.

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Holy Week Photoblog: The Garden Tomb

If you haven’t read my previous post, there are two sites in Israel which are believed to have been the tomb of Jesus Christ–The Holy Sepulchre and The Garden Tomb, which is featured in this post. The Holy Sepulchre is located within the walls of Jerusalem while the Garden Tomb is outside the city walls.

Most Protestants believe that this is more likely the location of the rich man’s new tomb, belonging to Joseph of Arimathea who along with Nicodemus, dressed, washed and anointed Jesus’ body for burial. If we look back at the description of the Jesus’ burial place as mentioned in the Bible, it enumerates the following characteristics:

 

 

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At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid (john 19L41). Since it was the Jewish day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, Joseph and Nicodemus laid Jesus there (John 19:42).

 

The Garden Tomb is in Jerusalem but not within the Old City. According to our guide from the Garden Tomb, the location matches the description in the Bible: -Located along a highway -Public execution -At the skull-shaped hill -Near a gate of the city -A garden

The Garden Tomb is in Jerusalem but not within the Old City. According to our guide from the Garden Tomb, the location matches the description in the Bible:
-Located along a highway
-Public execution
-At the skull-shaped hill (Golgotha)
-Near a gate of the city
-A garden

A key characteristic of Golgotha is that it looks like a skull

 

You might be asking, why is there a winepress in the tomb? Remember that the tomb originally belonged to Joseph of Arimathea who was a rich man, a member of the Sanhedrin who was a secret disciple of Jesus. When he found out that Jesus was dead, he asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, took it and prepared it for burial along with Nicodemus (Remember him from John 3?).  The presence of a winepress in the tomb indicates that it was also a

You might be asking, why is there a winepress in the tomb? Remember that the tomb originally belonged to Joseph of Arimathea who was a rich man, a member of the Sanhedrin who was a secret disciple of Jesus. When he found out that Jesus was dead, he asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, took it and prepared it for burial along with Nicodemus (Remember him from John 3?).
The presence of a winepress in the tomb indicates that it was also a “working garden” fit for a rich man.

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Of course, worth noting are the beautiful flowers scattered around the garden

Now let’s get to the tomb

The entrance to the tomb

The entrance to the tomb.

The fact that it was a new tomb is crucial–once corpses have already been laid to rest in a tomb, tomb toxins cultivate, therefore making it easier to decompose any new corpse that would be laid in there. Jesus’ body was laid in A NEW TOMB, meaning there was still no existence of tomb toxins/decomposing bacteria that could have easily made his physical body decay.

His tomb was cut out of solid rock, with a large weeping chamber, and a channel for a rolling stone. It is remarkable that all the features mentioned in the biblical account of Joseph’s tomb can be seen at the Garden Tomb.P1140022-001

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Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, a member of the Sanhedrin but a secret disciple of Jesus Christ (John 19:38, Matthew 27:57). This was his own new tomb, cut out from a rock (Matthew 27:60).

Indeed! My Savior is RISEN! Despite the debate regarding the exact location of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, the most important truth is that Jesus conquered death and made salvation possible for all who come to Him and believe.

Indeed! My Savior is RISEN! Despite the debate regarding the exact location of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the most important truth is that Jesus conquered death and made salvation possible for all who come to Him and believe.

I hope you enjoyed my Holy Week photoblog. 🙂 Looking forward to sharing more of my Holy Land journey and Bible insights with you.

Holy Week Photoblog: Holy Sepulchre

The Holy Sepulchre is believed by a lot of Christians as the place where Jesus Christ was crucified (Golgotha) and where He rose from the dead.  

THE MAIN ENTRANCE: It took a while for us to get through those doors as it was very crowded inside. I find it interesting that different Christian denominations share control of the church but Muslims are said to have the keys to the main door.

THE MAIN ENTRANCE:
It took a while for us to get through those doors as it was very crowded inside. I find it interesting that different Christian denominations share control of the church but Muslims are said to have the keys to the main door.

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Lines and lines of tourists flocked towards this huge structure--the entrance to the tomb of Jesus Christ.

Lines and lines of tourists flocked towards this huge structure–the entrance to the tomb of Jesus Christ.

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The Stone of Anointing is where Jesus is believed to have been laid after he was taken off the cross

The Stone of Anointing is where Jesus is believed to have been laid after he was taken off the cross

A lot of people bow, kiss and pray at the Stone of Anointing

A lot of people bow, kiss and pray at the Stone of Anointing

At the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre. It was nice to be able to move about freely after staying in line.

At the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre. It was nice to be able to move about freely after moving like ants inside. 🙂

Later, we’ll look at the Garden Tomb which is the alternate site believed to be where Jesus was really buried. Researchers looked into the historical and geographical facts in the Bible and found that the location fit the descriptions of Golgotha (The Skull Hill) and the tomb which was originally owned by Joseph of Arimathea and “lent” to Jesus Christ.

Holy Week Photoblog: The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu

Peter Disowns Jesus 69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:69-75 Peter Disowns Jesus
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Following Jesus’ agony at the Garden of Gethsemane, we now find ourselves in the place where Peter denied Jesus Christ. It was a panic-filled evening; their master and teacher has just been arrested. Imagine yourselves in the place of John and Peter. Despite the obvious danger, the two still wanted to find out what would happen so they followed all the way to the high priest’s place. Since John was known by the high priest, he was able to get in. He persuaded the servant girl to let Peter in and it was then that two servant girls recognised him as having been with Jesus. Like a deer caught in headlights, Peter outrightly denied association but his Galilean accent gave him away. After denying Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed and Jesus looked straight into Peter’s eyes. This compelled the latter to get out and weep bitterly, remembering the Master’s words (Matthew 26:75).

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