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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.
"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.
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.
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.
Fact Finder: What was the lesson about the Bereans? What did they do?
This Day In History, June 18
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.
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.
"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.