THE MIDDLE-EASTERN
RELIGION:  CHRISTIANITY
PRESENT AT THE VERY FIRST INJIL SERMON, THEN BAPTIZED AD 30 (Acts of the Apostles 2:7-12):
Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

Parthians
Medes and
Elamites
Residents of Mesopotamia
Judea and
Cappadocia
Pontus and
Asia
Phrygia and
Pamphylia
Egypt and the parts of
Libya near Cyrene
visitors from Rome
Cretans
Arabs

—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” ....   [Peter's sermon, then his conclusion]

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for
you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three
thousand were added to their number that day.

==========

PHILIP BAPTIZED AN ETHIOPIAN ON HIS WAY TO GAZA (Acts of the Apostles 8:26-39)
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on
his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This
man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.  The Spirit told Philip,
“Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit
with him.

This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water.
What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you
may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch
went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the
eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

==========

TERRORIST PAUL BECAME A CHRISTIAN IN DAMASCUS, SYRIA (Acts of the Apostles 9:1-25)
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he
found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven
flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told
what you must do.”

7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up
from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into
Damascus.
9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10 In
Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for
he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your
holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on
your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles
and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—
Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be
filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He
got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in
Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus
is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to
take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in
Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill
him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.  

==========

APOSTLE PETER PREACHED IN LYDDA & JAFFA (Acts 9:32-43_
As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man
named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus
Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in
Lydda and
Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In
Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and
helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs
room. 38
Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and
urged him, “Please come at once!”

39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him,
crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman,
he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped
her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This
became known all over
Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a
tanner named Simon.

==========

FUTURE APOSTLE PAUL SPENT THREE YEARS IN ARABIA MEDITATING ON HIS NEW RELIGION ~ CHRISTIANITY
(Galatians 1:11-17)
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not
receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God
and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and
was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my
mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach
him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I went into Arabia.
Later I returned to Damascus. 8 Then after three years....

==========

CENTURION BECAME A CHRISTIAN IN CAESAREA (Acts 10:1-48)

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in
need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before
God. 5 Now send men to
Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying
with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier
who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to
Joppa.

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man,
who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that
he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from
Joppa went along. 24 The
following day he arrived in
Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives
and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26
But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them:
“You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has
shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without
raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has
heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to
Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent
for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know
the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of
Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing
all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and
caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He
commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who
believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the
Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

==========

APOSTLE PAUL'S HOME CONGREGATION WAS ANTIOCH, SYRIA (Acts of the Apostles
13:1-3;  14:26-28
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger,
Lucius of
Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While
they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their
hands on them and sent them off....

[Acts of the Apostles 13:4 - 14:25:  Preached all over Turkey, converting people from idolatry to
Christianity everywhere they went.]

....26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God
for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and
reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

==========

THE CHURCH WAS STRONG IN TYRE, LEBANON (Acts of the Apostles 21:3-6)
We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. 4 We sought out the disciples there and stayed
with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 When it was time
to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out
of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. 6 After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard
the ship, and they returned home.

==========

THE CHURCH BECAME STRONG IN CAESAREA (Acts of the Apostles 21:8-14)
Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.
9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11
Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says,
‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the
Gentiles.’”

12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my
heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said,
“The Lord’s will be done.”

==========

JESUS WAS HONORED AS A BABY BY MAGI FROM PERSIA (IRAN), BABYLON (IRAQ) & INDIA (where the original priestly magi tribe was)
(Matthew 2:1-12)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during
the time of King Herod,
Magi from the East came to
Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has
been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when
it rose and have come to worship him.”   

7 Then Herod called the
Magi secretly and found out
from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He
sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search
carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report
to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their
way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were
overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures
and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by
another route.

==========

JESUS' MOTHER & STEP-FATHER TOOK HIM TO EGYPT WHERE THEY LIVED AT LEAST 3 YEARS (Matthew 2:13-20)
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for
Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of
Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of
Egypt I called my son.”[c]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in
Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled.... 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared
in a dream to Joseph in
Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those
who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was
reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew
to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the
prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

==========

MANY FROM SYRIA AND THE DECAPOLIS (IN SYRIA AND JORDAN) FOLLOWED JESUS.  HE CAST OUT A DEMON FROM A MAN, MADE A
BLIND MAN SEE, AND FED 4000 FROM 7 BREAD ROLLS (Matthew 4:24-25; Mark 5:1-8,18-20; Mark 7:31-35; Mark 8:1-9)

News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those
suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.
25 Large crowds from Galilee, the
Decapolis....and the region across the Jordan followed him....

1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an
impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him
anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart
and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of
his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”
8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done
for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the
Decapolis how

much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed....

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region
of the
Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they
begged Jesus to place his hand on him.   33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his
fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with
a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened,
his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.
37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak....”

1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been
with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”

4 His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”  5 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.   “Seven,” they replied.

6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did
so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven
basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present.

==========

JESUS WENT TO TYRE IN LEBANON AND HEALED A WIDOW'S DAUGHTER (Matthew 15:21-28)
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came
to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying
out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at
that moment.

==========

JESUS HID IN LEBANON FROM THE JEWISH LEADERS TRYING TO KILL HIM, INCLUDING CESAREA, PHILIPPI.  (Matthew 16:13-16;
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my
Father in heaven....

THEN HE WENT INTO "A HIGH MOUNTAIN" WHERE HE WAS TRANSFORMED TO LOOK LIKE THE SUN
(Matthew 17:1-8):
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by
themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as
the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for
Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I
love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them.
“Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

THEN HE RETURNED TO CAESAREA, PHILIPPI, IN LEBANON AND HEALED A BOY OF EPILEPSY Mark 9:20-27):
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the
ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do
anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute
spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said,
“He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

==========

JESUS SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN JORDAN (KNOWN THEN AS PEREA) (Matthew 19:1-20:34)  HE ALSO WENT THERE TO ESCAPE THE JEWS
WHO WERE TRYING TO KILL HIM  John 10:36-11:54):
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other
side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there....

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.
But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven
belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there....

36 Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me
unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the
works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they
tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days.
There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign,
all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus....

53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim,
where he stayed with his disciples.



EIGHT BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WERE WRITTEN TO CHURCHES IN TURKEY:  Galatians,
Ephesians,   Colossians,   I Timothy,   II Timothy,   Philemon,   I Peter and   Revelation.

CHRISTIANITY DID NOT REACH NORTH AMERICA UNTIL ABOUT 1500 AD ~ ONLY 500 YEARS AGO.