This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by
http://www.theseason.org/plough.htm


The

Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 17

"Ministry to Thessalonica and Beraea [1-14], to Athens and Corinth."

 

The Word of God opens our minds to the unknown, and when we know what the future holds, there should be no fear. Man only fears the unknown. Once we know what the unknown is, then it becomes necessary for Christians to prepare for that time of testing that God warned us that shall come in the end times. What we are studing in this Book of Acts is a type of what we shall face, and the obstacles that the early Apostles faced are similar to what we shall face in the days just ahead. By studing the acts of the Apostles, we then know how to react to trials and persecutions that might come upon us.

What we are to learn from this chapter is that when the testing comes that is beyond that which each of us can handle individually, that is the time that God steps in and takes over. This chapter then is a continuation of the last chapter, where Paul and Silas will continue on their missionary journey.

Acts 17:1 "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:"

Thessalonica was a great trade center.

Acts 17:2 "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbaths days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,"

Paul's manner was the way that he did things. He was bold and wherever he went he sought out the synagogues, and the Jews in that city. To understand what Paul was reasoning with them about, you have to understand that the only thing that Paul had in common with them, were the Scriptures, which we call the Old Testament. Paul was an authority on those scriptures, and the law, having studied under the best, Gamaliel in Jerusalem. So Paul and those Jews reasoned out of the Scriptures of the Living God, which they accepted.

This is why it is important for us to take only those Scriptures, and the New Testament when we are reasoning with non-believers, and others giving of their hot air. This you take as fact, and reason the intent of the Word, for any other words injected in the reasoning is just a waste of time. You study under someone that teaches only from the Word of God. Paul stayed in Thessalonica for three weeks, and spent the entire time reasoning with these Jews over the Scriptures of God, for there is the power of God. When you use the Scriptures as your documentation, it becomes God that the others are in contention with, and not you. Then you are not defending yourself, but it is their traditions that are in opposition to the very Word of God.

The more familiar you become with that Scripture, the more solid the ground becomes that you are standing upon.

Acts 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."

Paul is alleging from the Old Testament that this Jesus whom the Jews [Kenites] had crucified, and was resurrected was the Christ spoken of in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Remember in Isaiah 53, where the entire chapter tells us of Christ's journey to toe cross, His hanging there with two malfactors on each side of him, and Jesus body claimed by His rich uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, and buried in Joseph's tomb.

Remember in Psalm 22 where it tells us the very words that Christ spoke on the cross, and that He would be betrayed, and whipped and spat upon. It told us that they would curse Him, and that Jesus would hang on a cross with his arm sockets pulled out of their joints. It told us of how Jesus would even say those words, "I thirst", yet refuse the drink when it was offered. Friend, the Old testament even told the words that the Kenite chief priest would utter, and when he did, he know then that the Holy Spirit had placed those words in his mouth.

Psalm 22 tells us why Jesus came to hang on the cross, and Hebrews goes over that same reason. Why would He hang on the cross? God will ask nothing of flesh man than He would do Himself. He came an lived in the flesh to show us how it should be done, and He lived without sin.

However the reason and purpose that Jesus died on that cross was that He could destroy death, which is the devil. Remember in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel, Satan was also a son of God. Satan was called there "the king of Tyre", tyre meaning "rock", Satan is not our rock, which is God "the Rock", but the fake rock. This fake rock has already been sentenced to death, and that is why the Scriptures calls him, "the son of perdition."

Are you starting to see where Paul got his material for reasoning with these Jews? That is why we also must include the entire Word of God in our studies. When we see that it was those sons of Cain [Kenites], the son of Satan from that sexual union between Satan and Eve in the Garden of Eden, that crucified Christ on the cross. Then we can see where and how there will be no defense for them on that day when they shall walk into the lake of fire on the day of judgment, and there will be no defense for them. It is all in God's plan, and in His compassion that should a Kenite hear the Word and understand, and repent there is also forgiveness for Him under the shed blood of Christ.

Paul would use all the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi to prove his point, and both Jew and Gentile longed to hear Paul speak. However those Kenites were offended, for it showed them for what they were, the sons of Satan. The point for us to remember is to grow skilled in the entire Scriptures, and use only the Scriptures for documentation. Then when others would dispute with you, it over the truth, whereby the Holy Spirit can lead. If they do not accept the Scriptures, then they don't matter anyhow, for they are blind and have not the eyes to see the truth.

Acts 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."

When you have the ability to teach the truth from the Word of God, people will listen to you. People in that day were not biblically iliterate, as most are today, even those calling themselves Christians. This is not talking down on anyone, but stating a fact. The men of Israel were taught from their youth, and when they heard the Scriptures come to life from a true teacher, they listened.

They knew who Jesus was, from the many miracles and things that He had done, and the teaching that He gave. They knew about Jesus hanging on the cross, and they witnessed the quakes and sun darkening when God shook the earth. They heard of the veil that rent in two, the moment of Christ's death, and now Paul is making it all come alive, from the pages of the Old Testament, and the people wanted to hear it. It is prophecy that they witnessed, and that is why it was believable by so many.

Friend, Paul was educated to the highest point one could be, he was there as a witness for the other side, and then came face to face with God himself. As Paul stood before them and spoke the words from the scripture, people believed on Jesus Christ and repented for their sins. Even the wives of the leaders, the "chief women" believed and this upset the Jews, for when the wives believed, their area of influence and pressure over the leaders in the community would be reduced. The church grew.

Acts 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."

This word Jews, as it is used here is not in reference to brother Judah, but those Kenites that mixed with them, and took over the duties of the scribes and priests. They were of the origin of Cain, and also called the Kenites. The word is "ioudaius", # 2453 in Strong's Greek dictionary; and means any inhabitants of the land of Judaea. If you have spent any time at all you are aware of the two fig baskets of Jeremiah 24.

They are the good figs, the house of Judah, comprising Judah and Benjamin with some Levites; and the bad figs, those Kenites that mixed with the house of Judah, and gives them a bad name. This is why Christ would tell you to learn the parable of the fig tree. Not maybe, or if you want, but learn it. When you learn this parable, you will understand why these Kenites will be continually in conflict where ever Paul went, and their conflict and disbelief would continue right up to the time of Christ's return.

It was those Kenites, or men "Ioudaious" which will never believe, for they are the serpents Jesus spoke of, lower then a snakes belly; it was they that gathered their mob to contend with Paul. They heard Paul, and they could not reason with him, for God has blinded them to the truth.

There was just one problem with these Kenites, Paul was not at Jason's house.

Acts 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." "

Not much has changed from then to now, for the Kenites still react today as they did then. They drug the innocent out to the courthouse, for all they wanted was blood, and it didn't matter to them whose blood they received. The same insanity that crucified Christ, is in the minds of these Kenites, as they sought to do away with Paul, however Jason is going to be there substitiute.

These Kenites had their little spies that follow Paul and the Apostles around, digging up dirt, and falsehoods, that they could use to falsely accuse. Things haven't changed much in these past two thousand years. The mistake that these Kenites are making here, is that the Apostles are not turning the world up-side down, but right-side up. When Christ came into the world, the world came to the point of being right side up, when they set their lives to the Word that God gave us, and turned their life over to Him.

Acts 17:7 "Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus."

These Kenite Jews are using the charge against Jason that will be dramatical, yet get them stirred up. These Jews are charging that Jason is promoting another king besides Caesar, and His name is Jesus. They know that Jesus was killed, resurrected, and now is ascended to heaven, but truth doesn't matter to the Kenites when they go after a Christian. They know this because they are the ones that killed Jesus, and Judas, as well as the other Prophets. Remember from their other trial against Jesus, Peter, Stephen, and all the rest, they based their conviction on the false witnesses that they [the Kenites] brought forth.

Are you starting to understand the mind of these Kenites? They think and act today just as they did against Christ, and the members of the earily Church. A little twisting of the truth here and there, a false witness that they bring in, and the public has bought their lies, hook line and sinker.

In this case, these Kenite Jews are using the one thing they know will stir these Romans in Thessalonica, the challange to the Caesar himself as being the king. The Roman empire ruled the world at this time, and of course the govermental leaders would also be tied to Rome because to their positions.

Jesus Christ's kingdom at this time is not of this world, but that didn't matter to the Kenites, when what they were after was to stop the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the same charge that was brought against Christ Himself, at His trial. Matthew 26:59-63 tells us that when the charges were brought, Jesus was silent, for these Kenites would have not hear a word that He spoke.

Matthew 26:59 "Now the chief Priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus to put Him to death;"

This is what they are trying to do to Jason, and Paul.

Matthew 26:60 "But found none: yea, thoughmany false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witness," That is all these Kenites ever use, false witnesses.

Matthew 26:61 "And said, "This fellow said, `I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days.' "

Matthew 26:62 "And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, "Answerest Thou nothing? what is it which these witness against Thee?" "

Matthew 26:63 "But Jesus held His peace...."

Acts 17:8 "And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things."

They stirred the people into a mob.

Acts 17:9 "And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go."

The city rulers took money from Jason and let him go. Jason had posted bail. Money always seems to pacify them, for that is what their life is built around.

Acts 17:10 "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagague of the Jews."

"Berea" in the Hebrew tongue means "well watered". It seems that wherever Paul and Silas had gone in Macedonia the people were not receptive to them. So now they have left that area and come to Beara. So when they arrive in this place called "well watered" Paul and Silas again head right for the synagogue to start their teaching.

Acts 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."

Unlike Thessalonica, these people in Beara were open minded. Paul preached to them from the Scriptures, the Old Testament, and these men and women in the synagogue searched the Scriptures and checked out what Paul and Silas had said to them.

Paul didn't give a verse and stand up and rave on about family, friends, and experiences of the past; Paul quoted Scriptures to them, and explained those Scriptures with understanding. Paul taught the Words of God, and not the traditions and doctrines of men, and that is why we must study chapter by chapter, and verse by verse to understand the flow of the meaning of those precious Words that God gave to us. If you refuse to do this, you will never have the true Word of God come to life for you.

The Word as given from God will flow like honey over the buds of your mind, when you study it for understanding. Let God do the speaking, and you do the listening and the studing. This is how these men and women of Beara were, as Paul and Silas were teaching.

Acts 17:12 "Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."

So Beara became well watered with the Word of God, and many of them came to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Word is taught as it should be, the Holy Spirit changes the lives of people.

Acts 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."

Just like the Kenites, they are a bunch of troublemakers. One of the lessons that Christians must come to understand, is that the Kenites simply can not help being that way. They are filled with the spirit of their father, Satan, and that spirit of Satan is what drives them. That is why Jesus told us in Matthew 24:32 "Now learn the parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:" That parable allows you to know the Kenite that has mixed with brother Judah, and how to identify them when they come into your midst with dissension, and try to stir up trouble for you.

The Kenites can not hurt you if you will not allow it, and that is why it is important for you to understand who they are, and why they do what they do. This is why you must become a good student of God's Word, because they are experts in taking God's Word and twisting it. They are Scripture lawyers, and they enjoy doing your interpretation for you, if you allow it.

When the honorable men and women of Baera studied without the Kenites around, they understood, and believed, but now the Kenites are bearing down upon them and causing great trouble. Satan used Scripture to argue with Christ Himself, and most Christian pastors could not tell you what, where or how Satan made the Scripture a lie. For the lie was not in what was said, but what was left out, and how it was taken out of context. Friend, we have to be wiser then the serpent, and that includes Satan and his little offspring from the Garden of Eden, the Kenites. It is important that we stay in His Word, and try to understand, for then the Holy Spirit can use that knowledge in our mind to direct us in our lives.

Acts 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."

When those that had accepted Christ in Baera saw the trouble that these Kenites from Thessalonia were trying to stir, they took Paul, Silas, and Timothy went down to the sea, and Paul boarded a ship to sail for Athens, while Silas and Timothy stayed in Baera. Paul was the expert in the languages, and in the Scripture, and he was the focal point of these trouble-makers, the Kenites.

So as Paul is moving on in his missionary journey, and Silas and Timothy will stay in Baera to finish the work that was started there with the ones that came to believe on the Lord.

Acts 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."

Paul wanted to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit is pointing him to Europe. Where did those ten tribes go when they went north, and through the Caucasus mountains, they went to Europe. When Paul arrived in Athens, he surveyed the situation and he knew that he needed help immediately.

Acts 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."

Athens was a great place of trade and commerce, art, and religious freedoms.

Acts 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."

Paul went to the synagogue and reasoned [disputed] with them. Where ever Paul went the Jews and Gentiles alike liked to hear and question him about the Scriptures.

Acts 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."

The Epicureans were the followers of Epicurus, the Greek philosopher who lived from 342 to 279 B. C., who held that pleasure was the highest good for mankind. The Stoics were the disciples of Zeno, who lived about 270 B. C. Zeno held that the supreme good for mankind was virtue, and man should be free from passion and moved neither by joy nor grief, or from pleasure nor pain. These men were Fatalists and Pantheists, and received their name from the porch or place where they met.

This teaching that Paul was given these philosophers was very strange to them. And when they heard Paul, they called him a "babbler", which was a little bird that is not chosey what he eats. He goes around and takes in what ever seed he sees. The babbler is one that is not selective, but will accept what ever teaching he hears and tries to make it part of him. When a religious man is called this, it means that he is willing to accept traditions and doctrines from all sorts of "strange gods", which means evil spirits.

These old philosophers were also bad about that when they were near Mars hill, because they had idols there for every strange god that they knew about, and they even had an extra idol for an god that they might have overlooked, and were ignorant of. So the two extremes of thought were the Epicureans and the Stoics, and Paul liked to work one extreme against the other to get his point across.

The Epicureans sect is close to what the Sadducees believed, that there was one time through this life, and when it was over, there was no life after. You lived for what you could get out of life this first time through.

The stoics felt that through virtue that a person lived in his or her life, and that virtue would set you fee from passion or pain. This gets to what we call "mind over matter" today. Your emotions gave you control over all parts of your life, and by simply stating something, it had to come to pass by the very reason that you stated it. This is similar to the thinking of many today. They think that because the state something, God is forced to make it come true, even when they do not meet the conditions that God has set forth. They make God their slave in their highmindedness.

Between these two religious thoughts, you have the scope of all religious thought. What you must come to understand is that Christianity is not a religion, but it is a reality. You must believe it and live it, or you have something trying to copy it. It is not a set of conditions of do this, and don't do that, but God's way is a natural way of living your life. Supernatural is more natural in the life of a Christian. God created man the way he is, and he has many flaws in him, and thanks be to God we have the cross where we can repent of our sins.

So here in Athens Paul is seeing all the religious forms from one extreme to the other, and in this one place on Mars hill you can meet and talk with any one of those religious people that you would like. This is where the "seed pickers", those "babblers" come and pick up their teachings.

Acts 17:19 "And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest is?"

With all these different religious forms in Athens, here comes Paul with an new doctrine that they haven't heard of before. They want to know what Christianity is all about.

Acts 17:20 "For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean."

These men were students of philosophy and liked to discuss all forms of thought.

Acts 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 things.)"

That is all these men had to do was to sit around and discuss religious ideas. Does it sound like something you have heard of today? Today many so called churches like to try out new ideas that have been part of other religions, and make it part of their worship form. They feel if they can change the names and wording of something, and adopt it to a verse in the Bible, and find something similar in the Bible, that it is acceptable to God.

Friend this is what is called "traditions", and "doctrines of demons". Are you able to spot them when you see them? Many say they can, however they practice their Christian form of psychology, when those principles are all from the twelve precepts of Buddha. There are many practices in most all churches that modern Christians follow in ignorance, because they do not know the Word of God because they do not study it for themselves. Most of the new movements that people call "revivals" breed off of exactly what Paul is facing here on Athens Mars hill. It could be the "babblers of tongues", the injection of TM [transcendental meditation] which comes from the Hindu oriental form of religion, and places your mind in the abstract.

To some people they require body movement in their worship, and to others it is the seperation of their body from their mind, while to others spirituallity is the contacting of spirits, even though they can not tell the difference between evil spirits from the Holy Spirit. The dominating tradition being accepted today is called the "rapture doctrine", developed from a vision from a mentally ill woman in 1830, Margeret McDonald who lived in Scotland. From that vision came the idea which contradicts Jesus own words, that the final generation would face Satan, the Antichrist, and these babblers have created an escape hatch, or fairy-tale in which Christians would fly away, and not face the one world system of the end times.

Friend, that system is closing around you, and placing a grip on the entire world, and shortly you will be faced by Satan, the instead of Christ himself, and you will not be prepared for the spiritual testing he will put you through, if you are placing your faith in that traditional fairy-tale. It is a lie, and the Christian world is placing their faith in a lie.

So just like most Christians today like to play religion, so also these men on Mars hill in Athens found pleasure in their religious forms. If there is any one thing that any student of God's Word must come to understand, as it is written in the book of Ecclesiastes by king Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun. God is the same yesterday, as He is today, and that He will be tomorrow, it is just that man seems to lose touch with Him.

Acts 17:22 "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceived that in all things ye are too superstitious."

The translation of "superstitious" would be better translated "religious" from the Greek. The Greek word is "deisidaimonesteros". Paul is trying to use some tact in his approach to these learned men, and not be rude in offending his audience. It is what is called using common sense. Those men would not have listened to Paul if he called them superstitious, but they understood what to much religion meant. Again, Christianity was not a religion to Paul, it was a reality.

Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld you devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you."

As I was passing by, I notices your customs of worship on this hill, I notices that you had an altar, and on it was written, "to the unknown God". From that Paul knew that these men just did not want to leave any religion or god out of their worship. Paul is telling them that it is obvious that you do not know God, and I am here to declare that God unto you. They accepted both the Epicureans and the Stoics, and had all forms of mixtures in between. They were always searching for new ideas, and now Paul is going to help them understand this "unknown God" that they were ignorant of. Paul is declaring that this is the true God, and He is only unknown because you have not been introduced to Him.

Acts 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;"

The God that Paul is introducing to these Greeks, their unknown God, was the creator of all things, and it is He that controls both the heaven and what happens on the earth. Man has always wanted to make God a house, where they can confine him, and then they can try to control Him to be subject to them. How can you make God a House, when He is everywhere. Paul is telling these men that God does not dwell in buildings that are made with men's hands.

Acts 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;"

God owns everything and he there is nothing that God needs. God controls everything, and He gives life where He wants that life to be.

Acts 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;"

It is time to sharpen up, and pay attention to Paul. First of all, the word "blood" as used here is not in any of the original manuscripts, and even some of the more liberal translators caught this Kenite translation. The Word "one" is in reference to the dust of the earth that Adam was formed from. In the Greek it is "heis" and sometimes translators use the form "tis" which changes the meaning completely. This word blood is just not there, for God created all the races just as they are, kind after their kind. God created all the races on the sixth day, and on the seventh day, He rested.

In Genesis 1:26 it was on the sixth day; "And God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." "

Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them." This is all the races, except Adam, meaning "ruddy complected".

Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

Then after God rested on the seventh day, on the eight day God created, as it is written in the Hebrew, " `eth-`Ha`adham" which is to say "the man". That man is who we call "Adam". Adam was created for a purpose, even though all the other races did exist before him.

Genesis 2:5 "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground." So we see that the Adamic race, was set aside to till the ground, and be the farmers.

After God created "the Adam" He created more animals, and brought those animals to Adam and had him name the animals and use them for his use. Genesis 2:19, 20 "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name there of ." [19] "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him." [20]

The idea that all the races came from one blood just doesn't catch it. Four thousand years is a short time for that to happen when there is not one example ever that any species has produced anything but its own species. What the eveloutionist has ended up with is a bag full of chain links, with not one link connected, and we are suppose to buy his bag. The ignorant of the Scriptures are buying the bag, just as they have bought the bag of the rapture theory.

The King James translators didn't even put the word "blood" in italics to warn the reader that it was added, and it is for this reason that I encourage you to have a "Companion study Bible" and a numbered Strongs concordance that is numbered to a Greek and Hebrew dictionary. It is up to you to seek out the truth, and check out what others say, and that you do not let others do your interpretation for you. With these tools of the Scriptures you can brake the Word of God back to the original text, and understand exactly what God has said through these writers. God created each race seperate from the others, and He looked and all of them were good, and God was proud of each. So lets look at what the true translation should be of this verse.

"And have made of one dust, of the same soil, made He all nations [This word "Nations" in the Greek is Ethnos] of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation."

In the Greek is "ethnos", meaning tribes and races. It is the ethonic peoples of today, the Asian, the African, the Caucasian, and so on. He made us all from the same soil, meaning our flesh bodies are from the dust of the earth. It is God that has set the kings and empires up to rule, and given the seasons and times for them to fall, and be done away with. It is also God that determines what what bounderies each of those peoples and nations will live within.

Acts 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:"

Paul is telling those Greeks that they need to get out there and seek for Him. God is out there and He is not far from your reaching Him at any time.

Acts 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.' "

In that unknown God do we live, Paul is saying, in that Living God, the one that created all things including you and I. This can also be translated "By Him do we all live." Notice that Paul even refers to one of their poets, Aratus, and his writings, where Aratus said that mankind are the offspring of God. The word "offspring" in the Greek is "genos" and translated means "kind, race, nation, or kindred. We are God's kind because He is our Father, and He created us in His image.

Acts 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."

Paul is telling those men on Mars hill that they can create any form they want to with their hands, and it still will not be like God, for His is not made of gold, or silver or made of any matter from the hands of man. God is a living being like us, and to look at what God is like we must look at ourselves for we are His offspring. Friend, God is not a imaginary force off in some distant place, but a person with emotions, and jealousy just like man has. God is also a loving God, and with the gentle persuation that Paul is presenting, many of those men and women will come to repentance in Jesus name, and be saved.

Acts 17:30 "And the times of the ignorance God winked at; but now commandeeth all men every where to repent:"

There was a time of the ignorance, before He sent His Son to be born of worman [Mary], and suffer the cross, but now there is a different time. Upon Christ death and resurrection that time that God winked at, or pardon and excused is in the past because the price has been paid, and those that refuse the pardon, and refuse to repent, God will condemn. We repent to have all of our sins forgiven, so that we can live with peace of mind.

Acts 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."

Friend, Paul is telling them as he is telling us that there is a time coming when each of us will be judged for each act and deed that we have done in this life. That man who was ordained by the Father was Jesus Christ, and it is Jesus Christ that will be the Judge. In other words; from the Father came the Son to live in the flesh on the earth. Jesus was that Son, and He was born in the flesh, and given life just like man, and He walked and talked with men. Then Christ suffered and paid the price with His blood, that you would not have to have our souls perish for those sins committed in the flesh. He suffered for us, for He had no price to pay for Himself, for He was perfect, completely righteous and innocent.

Friend, after repentance, we become like unto Him, for we take on His perfection before the Father, and that is where it matters. That is where the eternal books are kept, and when you repent your name is entered into the Lambs book of life, and that is the book that records those that have eternal salvation. When we fall after repenting, we are to ask for repentance immediately, and it will be forgiven, because that is God's promise to you.

Acts 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."

Just for your knowledge, both the Epicureans, and the Stoics thought that any one could live after death was a mad man, and that is why they mocked Paul. The Epicureans were the ones that felt that the only life man had was the here and now, and thus they lived in pleasures for the moment. The Stoics were the ones that sought virtue as a life style, and through virtue they could be free from passion grief and pain. So we can see here why so few would come to understand Paul, and follow Christ.

Acts 17:33 "So Paul departed from among them."

Acts 17:33 "Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them."

However there were certain men that did hear and understand what Paul was saying, and they could feel the Spirit of God moving upon them, and they wanted that, rather then what they had in their sticks, and philosophy, and pleasures that their present life style had to offer.

Mars Hill was the lowest place in the world, religiously speaking, where anything goes. What ever you want to speak of, they would listen, and if it sounded good, there would be followers. Even in that lowest place when Paul planted the seeds and told of our Heavenly Father's love for them, they listened, and some believed and wanted to hear more about Jesus Christ, and the salvation offered to them through repentance.

When you plant a seed of truth about the love of God, the Holy Spirit will nurture that seed, and some will seek the truth and repent. It is not for you to know many times what happens to that seed you plant, for our duty is telling others of Jesus Christ, and the salvation, and peace of ind that they can have when the believe and repent of their sins. There is no one that is to low that God's love can't reach down and touch their life, and make a change, when they repent to the Father in His Son's name. You may never know the influence that you have had in a persons life, but God does, and He will reveal it to you after this life in the flesh is over.

The moral to this chapter is that there are Mars hills everywhere, there are people that would rather deal in all sorts of religious forms rather then God's Word. Mankind takes God's Word and transforms it into what ever they want, when they do not understand it's meanings, but when that Word comes to light and understanding, it changes lives. God's Word is truth, even though many so called higher critics don't believe it, in their ignorance, but when the Holy Spirit sheds the light of understanding in a persons heart and mind, it causes a changed life, and repentance in that soul. Your duty is to plant that seed, and let the Holy Spirit get to work in that man or woman's mind.

There will always be those that criticize the Word of God, and would rather be like that little babbler bird, the seed picker that takes any seed that it can find for their nourishment, and that type of person will always find conflict with the Word of God, and that is why we should not listen to their babblings and just move on. They are like the higher critic who makes a occupation out of finding reasons that the Scriptures won't work, rather then searching the Scriptures for the truths that do work. The Scriptures document itself, and it lives in the hearts of those that study it.

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