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Showing posts from May 5, 2014

Pergamum, Bursa and Nicea

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Pergamum was an ancient city of power and worship. 4th century bc fortress walls remain upon which was built subsequent victors, including Trajan. A temple to Zeus where sacrifices were made and incense burned from the altar. This is the altar John wrote about in Revelation 2 "where Satan lives."  Chapter eight tells of the golden altar where the prayers of believers rise, like incense--a superior picture of worship. Trajan built the temple to Athena, goddess of war to credit her for his victories. He built himself a super-sized temple where the emperor was worshiped as Lord and Savior.

Here's the choice for the early church: worship Caesar who is all powerful, provides roads and services, defends against great armies and is here in this awesome temple. Or worship Jesus who is no longer here on earth, is represented by Christians who fear persecution and alienation from the marketplace, who seems powerless against the power of Rome. This temple was perched on the hill and s…