History Maker (Roman Bath Ruins-bath, Somerset England)


Friday November 1, 2019


KINGDOM ADVENTURE
By: GILDA PINEDA DIONELA

The Roman Empire remains the most enduring empire in history. Its influences are still evident in many great cities of the world. One place in England where there was Roman occupation, their artefacts and way of life, and where you can experience this reality, is: “The Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath”. The place is archaic and one of the most visited sites in the United Kingdom. The Bath springs have health-giving and healing qualities. The “Roman Baths-Ruin” has steaming spring water reaching 46°C every day. It was constructed in 70 AD. It was an ecstatic feeling for me to touch and smell how it was in 70AD, or about 2000 years ago, in a place a thousand miles away from Israel. Today, most people visiting the site are convinced that the Romans invaded England, whether they read British history or not, and this is one archaeological evidence. On the other hand, most British people think that the Bible is full of myths, despite the fact that countless edifices, monuments, tablets and manuscripts are available to see in the streets and museums around this great nation. With the rise of atheism and other “isms”, the British conclude this, without even sparing the time to read and study the Bible. A survey released two years ago, by ComRes for the Church of England, showed that 51% of adults in Britain identified themselves as Christian but only 6% of those read the Bible, go to church regularly and pray. I regard the Bible as the authentic record of the history of the world and human beings. Let us take a glimpse at the era the Roman Bath ruins belong to.

GOD CONTROLS THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD

The history of man was duly recorded by the scriptures, the Holy Bible. The Bible records the facts from the creation of the heavens and earth up to “a new heaven and a new earth”. It describes the journey in life of those who received God’s mercy and grace and the people who interacted with them. They are not only their stories but our stories too. The Bible is our guide as to how to reach the new heaven and new earth. The empires that impacted Britain were the Greek and Roman Empires. Early Greek writers recorded the history of a group of tribes called “Celtics”. They described “strange peoples” living on the northern extremity of the Greek world. When their population started to grow, they migrated South, and that caused wars. These stories of violent interactions gave the classical world the impression that Celts were “warlike and barbaric people”. Before the Roman occupation, Britain was inhabited by Celtic tribes. According to Gildas, who lived during the 6th Century, the arrival of the Gospel here in Britain was in the last years of Tiberius Caesar, who reigned from AD 14-37. The Christian Gospel arrived in Britain just a few years after the Resurrection. Julius Caesar was the first one who tried to conquer Britain, but failed. In AD 43 the Romans again invaded Britain, led by Aulus Plautius, under Emperor Claudius. His wife Pomponia Graecina was one of the first Christians in Britain, according to Tacitus. A noble woman of power and influence, she risked everything at the time when believing in Jesus meant severe persecution that led to death.

The culture propagated by the Greeks and Romans was adopted from many other cultures, such as: Jewish, Iranian, Levantine and Egyptian, to name a few. The Greek Empire is known for arts, philosophy and politics; it also introduced the pagan religion described in “Greek Mythology”. One of the Greek gods was Asclepius. With the divine Apollo as his father and a human mother, Asclepius lived around 1200 BC. He was known as the demigod of medicine with the power of prophecy. His statue showed that he was holding a staff with a snake coiled around it.

The Roman Empire succeeded the Greek Empire. The long-lasting memorials of the Roman Empire are roads, city buildings, aqueducts and public baths, among others. That is how the healing baths originated, such as the Roman Bath in Somerset, England. Many of the “classical world” and its features can be found in the Bible. Few of which are as follows:

1) Daniel and his friends were captured by the Babylonians who wanted to assimilate them into the pagan way of life, but they maintained their integrity and honour, and gave glory to God. They went into exile in 605 BC. At a time of great shame and oppression, God showed Daniel a vision for the future. In Daniel chapter 10, under King Cyrus of the Persian Empire, a heavenly being appeared to Daniel. The angel revealed how the prince of the kingdom of Persia prevented him from coming to tell him his prayers had been answered, until Michael, the chief of princes, helped him. He also announced the coming of the prince of Greece. The Greek Empire, under Alexander the Great, conquered the Persian Empire in 334 BC. Daniel knew about the Greek Empire 200 years before it happened. There is archaeological evidence that the Book of Daniel was an actual event. For example, in the British Museum there is a clay tablet with the words “Rab-Saris” inscribed on it, a title found in the book of Daniel. And, we also have Daniel confirmed in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

2) The Roman bath-ruins display pools of water similar to those we read about in the New Testament. Two of these are the pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed the blind, discovered in 2005, and the pool of Bethesda. In John 5:2-9, Jesus healed someone who had been a paralytic for 38 years, while he was at the Pool of Bethesda. The pool is described here as having five roofed colonnades. The description of a pool having “five roofed colonnades”, or “five porches”, couldn’t be found anywhere in Jerusalem, so that some Bible scholars believed that the apostle John invented the story. But eventually, in a 19th Century excavation, a pool that matched the description given was unearthed.

3) Medical Symbol of the rod of Asclepius: For me, the demi-god Asclepius is an example of how people have tried to distort what is in the scriptures. The staff with a snake coiled around it, in the hands of Asclepius, a medical healer and a prophet, was clearly borrowed, then corrupted, from the story of Moses. Numbers 21:9 reads: “So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” Asclepius was believed to have been born around 1200 BC, while Bible scholars believe that the Exodus happened around 1446 BC. The life of Moses happened earlier than Asclepius. Today there is no need to go to the museum to see the symbol of the rod with a snake coiled around it. Many countries, including the Philippines, as well as the World Health Organization, have been using it as a symbol of medicine.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and He said that His creation was good. Because of the Fall, the Creation and human beings need healing. Today people try to suppress the truth. They promote their own gods. But just like in ancient times, no matter how people twist the truth, as with Asclepius, or the pool of Bethesda being hidden beneath the ground for thousands of years, God is God and His truth shall prevail. The Roman baths, the pool of Siloam and the pool of Bethesda, signify physical healing. But the Creator sent His only begotten Son, not only to heal physical, emotional and mental sickness, but also spiritual blindness. We need to come to the realization that the flesh counts for nothing, and the Spirit is the real life. Only through Jesus can we have that kind of life. Jesus rose from the dead to demonstrate that life on earth is not all there is. He is alive sitting at the right hand of the Father. A simple prayer that comes from your heart will do to connect to Him. He is compassionate and will listen, touch and heal you. He laid down His own life on earth for the most important healing of all, the spiritual healing that leads to eternal life. And to know Him deeper after that first step, you need the living history, facts about life in the future, and the best-selling book of all time, His book, the Bible.



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