June 2011 eNewsletter
I again greet you all in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, for by Him, through Him and for Him were all things created—heaven, earth and sea—plus all things in them. And I again thank you for your continued faithfulness to this ministry—please don’t let these words become idle or mundane because without You CTF cannot accomplish her mission. God bless you.
Diane and I were recently blessed (May 10 through May 21) to be the guests of two dear Friends of the Foundation that have moved to Istanbul, Turkey. Our purpose for going there was first to visit, to fellowship and to enjoy time with these dear people, but also to take advantage of the location of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor and to visit these sites.
Of course, I was a little hesitant to go to Turkey because of all the fear mongering about this country, and, of course, after we arrived we found many people in deep spiritual dilemma, but not due to the national religion, because Turkey doesn’t have a national religion. In fact, since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and the Presidency and forward leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the country of Turkey has become more and more secular and modern. There are Christian churches there! I did not know this.
Then, I became astonished by the fact that most all gentile church development mentioned in the book of Acts from chapter 13 to the end of the chapter, plus Paul’s epistles and even Peter’s, took place in Turkey. Notwithstanding the fact that the geographical location, and probably the prophetic location, of ancient places like Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah are also in Turkey. Modern Turkey is the place of ancient Asia Minor, the of locations Cappadocia, Galatia, Bithynia, Pontus—to name a few. The cities of Colossae, Miletus, Lystra, Derbe, Tarsus, plus all of the cities of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 and the Isles of Patmos and Samos are there (plus many, many more locations mentioned in Scripture).
Now, to put this in context, I have for some time had the desire (I believe “a godly desire”) to lead a trip to Israel with many of the “Friends of the Foundation.” Then I discovered that there are already many available tours to Israel, many of which are hosted by my own ministerial colleagues that made this desire a little anticlimactic. I was puzzled about this for a period of time, that is, until this recent trip to Turkey. Now, please understand, I still think a pilgrimage to Israel is a vital journey for all Christian believers because Judaism is the roots of our faith and Israel is the matrix of Christianity. (Romans 11:17-18)
In His Name,G. Thomas Sharp Founder/President