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Saturday, June 18 2016

Acts 17: Paul's Sermon On The War Rock

"And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest?

Paul's arrival in Greece (see Paul's First Mission To Greece) was a time in which many of the Greek people, Greeks and Jews, accepted the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?): "And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." As was always the case however, some refused to believe.

The Areopagus

"17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. 17:8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. 17:9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go." (Acts 17:1-9 KJV)

Paul's famous encounter with the believers in Berea (see the Fact Finder question below) was next, as the apostle continued his journey southward through the Greek mainland. He was not alone in his travels - some unbelievers actually followed him from their own cities in order to incite opposition against him in other cities: "they came thither also, and stirred up the people."

"17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. 17:14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed." (Acts 17:10-15 KJV)

Athens was the capital of Attica, a region of Greece in ancient times. It was a major city in which great men of learning congregated. When Paul arrived, they were given to hear a man of greater, spiritual learning - Paul. After hearing his introduction, they invited him to speak on "Mars' hill" (verse 22 below), the Roman name for the Areopagus, after Mars, a mythical Roman god of war. "Areopagus" (verse 19 below) is from the Greek words meaning "Ares Rock" - Ares was a mythical Greek god of war.


"17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? 17:20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 17:33 So Paul departed from among them. 17:34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them." (Acts 17:16-34 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the lesson about the Bereans? What did they do?
See The Berean Lesson

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This Day In History, June 18

618: Li Yuan was proclaimed Emperor Gaozu of Tang, beginning three centuries of the Tang Dynasty in China (see also The Origin Of Gog And Magog and End-Time Gog And Magog).

1053: The Battle of Civitate. 3,000 cavalry of Norman Count Humphrey routed the forces of Pope Leo IX.

1155: Frederick I Barbarossa (known as "Red Beard"), a Hohenstaufen, was crowned "Holy Roman Emperor" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) by Pope Adrian IV.

1178: Five Canterbury monks reported seeing an explosion on the moon, the only such observation known. It is believed to have been the result of a collision with a piece of space rock that formed another of the moon's many impact craters (see also The Blood Moon Prophecy).

1264: The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first known session of the Irish legislature.

1633: Charles I was crowned King of Scots at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (see also The Election Of Kings).

1667: The Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames and threatened London.

1757: During the Seven Years' War, the Battle of Kolin was fought between Prussian forces under Frederick the Great and an Austrian army under Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun.

1767: Samuel Wallis, an English explorer who sailed around the world, sighted Tahiti. He and his crew are considered to be the first Europeans to encounter the island.

1784: King George III authorized the division of Nova Scotia (which means New Scotland), establishing the new section as New Brunswick.

1812: U.S. President James Madison signed a declaration of war that began the War of 1812 (1812-1814) against Britain, with the primary publicly-stated objective of annexing Canada and subjecting its people to U.S. military occupation and rule, with the proclamation "surrender or be annihilated" (as an independent nation, the U.S. very quickly became what it claims to have been founded against). At the end of the war, Canada was still Canada, and the borders remained unmoved. It was the last invasion of Canada by any nation.

The War of 1812, as well as the New England Rebellion before it, was actually a relatively minor war for Britain, with only a small fraction of its army and navy involved (the U.S. threw everything it had in its repelled invasions of Canada, while having the White House burned to the ground by British Marines in retaliation for the U.S. burning of the Parliament Building in Toronto a few months earlier), compared to the wars that Britain fought against Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Empire, all across Europe, at the same time - which ended at the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815 (see the entry below). Britain was actually fighting a "world war" in Europe when the North American colonial conflicts were ongoing.

While King George III is known to some merely as the King who "lost" the New England Rebellion of 1776, the British Army, Navy and Marines under the command of George III actually decisively-won the world-scale Seven Years War (1754-1763), the War of 1812 (1812-1814), the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and the Battle of Waterloo (1815), as well as numerous other conflicts.

The Battle of Waterloo

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte's attempt to regain control of France ended when he was defeated at The Battle of Waterloo in Belgium by British and Prussian forces. After escaping from exile in Elba, Napoleon marched north through France for 100 days, gathering men and arms. The Duke of Wellington met him with a mixed allied army in a day-long battle. Napoleon's army suffered massive casualties, losing 40,000 of its 72,000 men.

1953: Egypt was proclaimed a republic.

1975: Prince Faisal Ibn Musaed was publicly beheaded for the murder of his uncle, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

1981: A disease that was later to be known as AIDS, was identified by researchers in San Francisco, California.

1983: Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space - 20 years after the first woman in space, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.
The U.S. often sought to overshadow important dates of Russia's space accomplishments by choosing specific "cover up" dates whenever possible - there are too many for it to have been mere coincidence. Examples: the first U.S. space shuttle launch was deliberately chosen to be on the same date as Russia's putting Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, 20 years earlier and Sally Ride was made the first U.S. woman in space on June 18, 1983 - exactly 20 years to the day after the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on June 16-19 1963.

"3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." (Proverbs 3:27 KJV)


1996 Ted Kaczynski was indicted on charges of being the terrorist "Unabomber" in the U.S. His bombs killed 3 people and injured 23.


Copyright © Wayne Blank