Pastor Melissa Scott tells us the temple was a museum, a bank, and an asylum for criminals. All of the kings stored their money and their treasures and a lot of stuff in the temple because it was the common thought no one would attack the Great Temple all great works of art in the temple. And anyone who was a criminal, more than a city of refuge, anyone who was a criminal of any kind, if you could make it to the temple it’s like “New York: if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” if you could make it to the temple, you’d be okay, you would have asylum. One fellow who wanted to make a note of his name, claim to fame, he burned the temple down.

Now it gets rebuilt one time and then gets rebuilt a second time. And through this, there’s the property, the land, is going to change hands many times. It’s Greek, then it’s Persian, and how did the Romans get involved? Want to know about the dumbest thing in history?

This king of Pergamum who controlled Ephesus, he wrote in his will “Upon my death I bequeath my kingdom to the Roman Empire.” So in 133 when he died, the Romans came in and it was officially under Roman control, though they really didn’t want anything to do with it, they controlled it from a distance. The consul sat and judged the people at a distance.

All this is important because when you read about Paul’s time, you will see by the time Paul evangelized, not only did he. If he would’ve just come there at the time that it was strictly this virgin goddess, probably it wouldn’t have been as difficult. But by the time Paul gets there, what is in the temple is so ugly and disgusting. At least Apollo’s sister was the picture of a virgin.

This Cybele, the multi-breasted goddess they worshipped, goddess of fertility, just an ugly thing, and the inside of the temple, just a hodgepodge, whatever went, people would just go in there and it was just, it was disgusting. What a task Paul had to go in there and preach the Gospel.

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