Trip to Turkey 22. Roman road from Paul’s time

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This square section of land was in the middle of Tarsus and is completely fenced off.

This is a road that dates from the time of Paul.  I could only get a picture pushing my camera in between some chain link fence.

Its exciting to think the man who brought the gospel to Europe and beyond has a journey that began from this exact spot.

This archaeological discovery was found in 1993.

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A Mormon abandons LDS for real relationship with Christ

Read this story today.   From the uninitiated, Mormonism appears close to Christianity but actually its very different.

This story this family escapes from the LDS movement

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/december/how-i-escaped-mormon-lds-temple.html

I was surprised that the article says 85% of Mormons come from a evangelical background.  One of the most difficult articles I wrote recently was on what I call “Hyper Hebrew Roots” which is a legalistic cult to gradually gets people to deny grace, their church and the New Testament in favour of law keeping.   This is why I love Israel and ministry to the Jewish people, but the number of religious weirdos popping up on the web who say they are “Hebrew Roots” or “Torah experts” horrifies me.  These don’t bring Yeshua to Jewish people, but look at bringing Judaic practices to gentile Christians in a mixed up confused way.

These cult groups I wrote a few months ago couldn’t be any further away from real Messianic Jews and traditional Jews in Israel which I love and respect.

The fact that some Christians get off track into weird teaching isn’t a surprise as the bible warns this would happen here. 1 Timothy 4 : 1

France finds out the hard way of trying to divide God’s land

Back in May, I saw this:

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Apparently the French think they can fix the Middle East crisis themselves without consulting Israel.

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Then this happened….

Joel 3:2 I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

Zechariah 12:3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

Any nation that intends to interfere with God’s holy nation Israel will not be tolerated.

It genuinely frightens me in my beloved UK with leaders like Jeremy Corbyn that also want to tamper with Israel’s security and harm trade with businesses there.

 

Trip to Turkey 21. Signs of unrest in Tarsus

Turkey is meant to be the most secular Islamic country in the middle east, but there are signs of it becoming less stable and more observant.

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This military vehicle which looks almost like a tank was outside a police station, on my way from my hotel to the city centre.

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There were two new mosques on this 2km or so street.   Both look almost finished, I’m guess there is some kind of rendering over the concrete face not yet completed.    This looks like your average novelty box of crayola type mosque, not like some of the more outlandish buildings I saw in Morocco.

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This hastily painted over graffiti was close to my hotel and the waterfall.  You can see there is mention of the PKK, the extreme Kurdish groups that did some bomb attacks recently.

I’m not sure how stable Tarsus and much of Turkey is currently, I checked all the news before I cam here, and I didn’t want to go to Istanbul or Ankara which have had fatal bombing in recent times.   So far as as far as I have Google searched there is never been a terrorist attack in Tarsus.

Part of the reason for doing this trip now (April 2016) is things could turn out very different if the always unstable middle east charges tides this direction.   I wanted to see these place while I can.

I feel that peace between the Kurds and Turks can only happen through Christ.

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Burley. The New Forest’s dark secret

A couple of years ago, I was looking at taking a weekend break and visit my brother who lived in the New Forest.

Lyndhurst.  A quaint English village with ponies, deer, tea rooms, antiques shop and a Ferrari dealership!

I love the New Forest, in 2008 I had the chance to work for the New Forest NHS trust fixing computers in hospitals and clinics in places like Ashurst, Lyndhurst, Tatchbury Mount, Beauliu, and Lymington.   This jobs was a dream for me, as I have spent times hiking and camping there, and this job let me do some brief walking around during.

I was talking about trying to book a youth hostel in the New Forest, and found a listing for just one, in a village called Burley.   My mum overheard me and told me not to got there, it has a reputation for having a history in witchcraft.

So I thought my mum was joking until I looked it up on Google Streetmap view.  Who would know a sleepy English village would be based around the occult?

http://www.new-forest-national-park.com/burley.html

Witchcraft, occult and spiritual warfare is not just something of curiosity horror films and goth meet up parties, its very real.   Certain places I have visited you can sense it.  I’ve seen a friend delivered from an evil spirit, (who immediately accepted Christ and threw out loads of New Age stuff she previously had)  I’ve seen grown men had nervous breakdowns whilst working in the Holy Land and need to get a family member to escort them home on a plane.   I’ve seen things move around the room at 3am in my friend’s flat in a town in the Galilee, which I realised in the morning what it was later.  Actually thinking about it historically and biblically, Jesus dealt with casting out demons all the time in and around the Galilee area.

I’d still like to visit the New Forest, but not Burley.:)  I’m really glad I heard my mum’s advice now!

Finally I’ve used this passage lots of times regarding the occult, new age and spiritual warfare but it deserves a mention again.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Trip to Turkey 20. Pauls Well

This well is part of a archeological site containing ruins of a house that’s meant to date from the time of Paul.

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Its just 5TL to get into this site.  From the historical signs;

When Paul was born in Tarsus during the reign of Emperor Augustus circa 5-AD, the region of Cilicia whose capital was Tarsus was ruled by the stole philosopher Atendoruis.

pauls well 2 1024At those times Tarsus was famous for its textile industry. They would produce strong clothes made of goat bred on the Taurus Mountains. Paul has learned to weave there. The people of Tarsus had a cosmopolitan structure. Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Jews and people of many nationalities had lived here together. The arrival and settling of Jews of Tarsus occurred during the reign of Antiochus III, in between BC 223-187, during the Seleucids period.

During that time, Christianity was newly spread after the crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem and those who were Christians were being tormented. Saint Stephen was stoned to death because he believed in Jesus Christ. The people stoned him laid down their clothes at Paul’s feet. Paul too consented to Stephen’s death. After this event Saul entered house after house of the believers of Christ and oppressed them. He then went to the High Priest and asked for a letter to be sent to the synagogues in Damascus. Saul intended to imprison any who believed in Jesus and bring them to Jerusalem.

Following his baptising, Paul devoted his life to spread Christianity and then he journeyed three times for this mission, and this mission took ten year. In one of his journeys he was arrested and presented himself t a Roman commander with these words: “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cillicia, a citizen of no mean city.” Acts 21 : 39. In his journeys, he has survived through many hardships, and traveled to Anatolia, Greece and Rome and spread Christianity. Finally in Rome he was arrested during the reign of Emperor Nero, and was beheaded. His tomb rests in the church built after his name, the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

A well maintained garden, not dissimilar to Jerusalem’s garden tomb, this is a good place to contemplate on how to gospel was spread

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My friend Mazzen Arab evangelist who loves Jews and Israel

Here is a great testimony of my good friend Mazzen Warra, he is an Arab believer from Palestinian city of Ramallah, but lives in the US, we met at King of Kings Church in Jerusalem through another Arab friend of mine, where he has a deep love of Jewish and Arab people.

mazzenMy name is Mazzen. I was born in Israel in 1971. born in the west bank town called Ramallah. I came to America in 1973. my mother and father were separated. I was raised by my Grandmother. I was abused by my family and at the age of 11 i started to smoke marijuana which led me to cocaine.. which led me to crack. and was addicted to pornography. I was going through anxiety and depression. I Thought about committing suicide. and I also had hate in my heart toward Jewish people. because I was brainwashed into believing that the Jews were the ones who took my land. this way thinking led me to go to Palestinian protests against Israel. Than 20 years ago at the age of 20 I was at the Israeli Embassy shouting. ”Death To Israel”. I’ve been to Israel many times and there i was part of the Palestinian uprising called “Intifada” there I threw stones at the Israeli soldiers and had been shot at many times.

Than in 2006 something happened in my life. after a bad relationship with a woman. i was left empty and depressed. and had no hope.. At that point an uncle of mine, told me. would you like to go to Virginia with me, than at that point in time my uncle who is a believer in Jesus.. told me that Yeshua Jesus can give me hope, peace, joy. and is able to fill me up with his presence.. As we were going and returning from Virginia, the Holy Spirit began to touch me.. than as I returned to NJ. i was driving my car. and for the very first time I said ”Jesus if you are real. change my life and I will walk with you the rest of my life and never go back to the world” Than the Lord led me to a church called Faith Fellowship in Sayerville NJ.  I went there on a Thursday night and they had a play on the Birth of Jesus showing.. At the end of the play, they made an alter call for salvation. At that time i raised my hand to receive Jesus. In that moment i saw people cheering and clapping for me. and all of Heaven opened up in that place with a Beautiful light.. I was given a CD and a Bible. and in the weeks to come the lord continually brought me back to the church. In the 2 months that i was going to Church. God healed all my suffering all my brokenness and all the pain i was feeling including the emotions I was feeling from the broken relationship.. I started to serve as an usher at Faith Fellowship, than began to work in the prison ministry that went to Middlesix county Jail. And than I fell in love with reaching through street evangelism and preaching the gospel on the streets all over NJ with fire, zeal, and passion.. after 3 years i moved on from Faith Fellowship.

 One day I was driving and put the radio on to 570 am christian radio, and heard a broadcast of “The Two Nice Jewish boys” with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn and Gary Seldman.  The Lord at that moment told me to call in to the show and speak with Rabbi Jonathan. I felt the anointing and spoke with passion and fire to Jonathan about my personal testimony and he invited me to Beth Israel. on a Friday. and when i went he came up to me without knowing my face and asked me if I was Mazzen, than he told me to come and sit in the front area,. at the end of the service he asked me if i would be able to pray the Aaronic blessings in Arabic after he says it in Hebrew. so i was blessed to do it. I returned the following Sunday, and continued to return thereafter. and eventually became a member. I’m now an Usher at Beth Israel Messianic Congregation,and also a commissioned minister here in the church,I work on the building, and am a missionary with the Spanish Ministry to South America. It was here I began to build a Love for the Jewish people and there culture. And realized that the Jews and the Arabs are not enemies because they are the seed of Abraham through Issac and Ishmael.

Fast forward 20 years from the time i was persecuting the Israel and her people. I found myself in the same place praying and blessing Israel with my Shofar with brothers and sisters in Christ with great love.

More on this video too: https://kehilanews.com/2016/05/01/the-testimony-of-mazzen-warra/

Trip to Turkey 19. Grapes of Tarsus

tarsus municipality

What do you think of with Paul’s home town of Tarsus? actually this place is famous for grapes as you can see on the logo outside the municipality buildings.

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It seems almost every other house in Tarsus has a frame for vines.

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Even on top of this really tiny little office.   Every spare bit of roof space can be used.

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DSCF9162 1024With every  Turkish man and his dog growing grapes you expect to be lots of wine for sale right?

Well, I looked in various small corner stores and even a big western style supermarket and I couldn’t find anyone with locally made stuff.  So this bottle I got which is actually made in the eastern city of Izimir.

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