Pine Cove Forge Asia Minor Study Tour

December 27 - January 9, 2016

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Do Not Fear

Today we are reliant. Reliant in prayer as we have seen prayers for health answered and reliant in prayer because we are learning to bond with the biting cold weather as we ask God to prepare us for what he has before us every step of the way.

Our first stop, Pergamum (Revelation 2: 12-17)
Matt took us on a different type of adventure today, he challenged us to think about the different candidates for what “satan’s throne” might be in reference to the letter to Pergamum.

  1. An altar built to Zeus (the paternal figure)
  2. Temple to Athena (goddess of reason and victory)
  3. Library of Pergamum (2nd most famous library to Alexandria) Fun fact: This library contributed largely to the writing on parchment
  4. Trajanium (temple to emperor Trajan) – Emperor worship
  5. Symposium (place of great debauchery)
  6. Asklepion (where people receive medical treatment after offering homage to Asklepios)

Pergamum

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Our Second Stop, Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)
Jesus mentions 3 things He has in common with the church in Smyrna:

  1. Poverty
  2. Blasphemy
  3. Tribulation

Expanding on tribulation, we learned about Bishop Polycarp who was an early father of the church, a bishop for 50 years. The Romans tolerated Jews but regarded Christians as athiests and would persecute their intolerance of them. Bishop Polycarp was put on trial and martyred because he refused to worship the emperor. They pressured Polycarp to renounce Christ and he proclaims, “For 86 years he has done me no wrong, how can I renounce the One who saved me?” And Polycarp was the first Martyr burned in the stadium there in Smyrna.

“When the illusion of control disappears, we become men and women of prayer” –Matt Chandler

-The irony of idol worship: The god serves the man, vs the man serving the god. As Christians, our service to God is more as a bond servant- we are bond servants, we have the choice to serve Him but we CHOSE to because He is holy and ultimately because He saved us from the pit of hell that we so deserve.

Friends,
Do not fear, God will deliver you.
How sweet it is to worship a God who is able to tell us ‘Do not fear’ – a phrase that can only mean something if the person who says it has the power to do something about it. Jesus has already delivered us! Praise God.

Taylor Reed – Forge class of 2014

Smyrna

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