|Acts 17 |
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews;
2 And as his custom was, Paul went in to them and reasoned with them from the scriptures for three Sabbath days,
3 Opening and explaining that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and said, "this Jesus, whom I preach to you, is the Christ."
4 And some of the Jews believed and joined with Paul and Silas; and also a great number of the devout Greeks and the prominent women.
5 But the Jews who did not believe, moved with envy, took some of the evil men of the lowest sort, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 And when they did not find them, they drug Jason and others brothers to the rulers of the city, crying, "These men who have turned the world upside down, have come here also,
7 And Jason has welcomed them. They act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus."
8 And the people and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things.
9 And when they had taken a bond from Jason and the other, they let them go.
10 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they came there, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, to see whether these things were true.
12 Therefore many of them believed, and also many of the honorable Greeks women and men.
13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also, and stirred up the people.
14 And then immediately the brothers sent Paul away to the sea; but Silas and Timothy stayed there.
15 And those who escorted Paul took him to Athens; and receiving instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him quickly, they departed.
16 Now while Paul waited for them in Athens, his spirit was stirred in him when he saw that the city was full of idols.
17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout people, and in the market daily with those who were there.
18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him, and some said, "What is this babbler saying?" Others said, "He seems to be proclaiming strange gods;" because he preached Jesus and the resurrection to them.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus [Mars' Hill], saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is, which you proclaim?
20 For you bring certain strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean."
21 (For all the Athenians and the strangers who were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.)
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' Hill, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious.
23 For as I passed by and observed your objects of worship, I found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you ignorantly worship, Him I proclaim to you.
24 God, who made the world and all things in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
25 Neither is he worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, since he gives to all people life and breath and all things.
26 He has made from one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the allotted times and the boundaries of their habitation;
27 So that they should seek the Lord, and perhaps might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from every one of us. [Paul has just told us the single purpose of this life: to reach out and find God. From the Word of the Lord within: "The earth exists for the saints;" the earth exists to produce saints, who are sons of God with his Spirit in control of their thoughts, words, and deeds, thus to bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God. God is not found in sect meetings; God is not found in the Bible, which only testifies of Him. George Fox wrote: "The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."]
28 For in him we live and move, and have our being;1 as certain of your own poets have said, 'For we are his offspring.'
29 Then since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image shaped by man's devising.
30 These times of ignorance God has overlooked; but now he commands all men everywhere to repent,2
31 Because he has appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has appointed. And he has given assurance of this to all men, by raising him from the dead."
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, but others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."
33 So Paul departed from among them.
34 However, certain men joined him and believed; among whom were Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and some others with them.
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1 God .. is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all, Eph 4:6, — but we are not aware of this, because we are in a lower physical dimension. And the Kingdom of God is within and around us. Luke 17:20-21. It is a parallel dimension, sharing the same physical space. We are told to seek this kingdom of God as our first priority in life, which is in us an around us and does not come with sign or observation.
Paul has just told us the single purpose of this life: to reach out and find God. This is the sole reason you are here on earth. If you fail to find God, you will have nothing to show for this life — it will all be burnt away. This is the Lord's garden. He is growing sons of God, for duties that include judging the angels. The sons developed from the earth are "first fruits." The first fruits are those to find total union with God while on earth in this life; men and women to become Sons of God. We find him when the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus appears in our hearts; and when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. As he appears his holy pure light burns away anything unholy, leaving only holiness, leaving only love. Therefore, since the purpose of this life is to find God, and that results in love; then the purpose of this life is to create love. Love creates love. Love loves love.
From the Word of the Lord within: "the earth exists for the saints;" the earth exists to produce saints, who are sons of God with his Spirit in control of their thoughts, words, and deeds. This life is to order the next life; this life is nothing but the birth canal to the next life.
And therefore do not be curious how the ungodly shall be punished, and when; but inquire how the righteous shall be saved, whose the world is, and for whom the world is created. 4 Esdras 9:13
Because for their [the righteous] sakes I made the world; 4 Esdras 7:11
2 God commands all men everywhere to repent, which means to give up our selfish lifestyle of lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life, (our lusts, pleasures, habits, and affections). Christendom thinks they don't have to repent of anything. Christendom doesn't even acknowledge sin any longer. Christendom is not Christian.
This was John the Baptist's simple message of beginning repentance:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14.
Then, go to Christ, listen quietly, hear, and obey his commands. For the Holy Spirit of Christ will show you the sins of your heart, prompting you to repent and change your ways.
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