Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Acts of The Apostles

Acts was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Seventeen

They are now traveling down the coast of Macedonia into Greece on what was called "The Egyptian Way." This was a Roman road from Constantinople ("Byzantium") to Dyrrachium a distance of about 500 miles. "Amphipolis" means "both sides of the city," and "Apollonia" means "place of Apollo," it was located in Macedonia about 35 miles from Thessalonica (vs. 1). Thessalonica, was the capital of the second of the four divisions of Macedonia. It numbered about 70,000 in population.

Vs. 1-4

Everything in the section is clear. Paul "opens the scripture" (vs. 3) "opening" in the sense of making the O.T. passages clear (Lk. 24:45) where they deal with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. "Alleging" (vs. 3) means to bring forth or set forth the evidence which proves that Jesus was the Lord's Christ (Lk. 3:26). Verse (3) indicates that the gospel which Paul defined in (1 Cor. 15:1-4) is the one being preached here, for by this time every apostle, elder, and teacher in the church at Antioch is familiar with (Isa. 53, Ps. 22, and Ex. 12). This is the one gospel of (Gal. 1) and its basic message never changes after (Acts 8). Paul gets results (vs. 4).

Vs. 5

"...moved with ENVY" It is the Jews "which believed not," and now a most remarkable thing appears when we turn to (1 Thess. 2:13) because that verse was written to the converts of the message now being preached in (Acts 17:1-5). Thessalonians says that ENVY motivated the people who refused to believe the Word of God was the Word of God because they thought it was "the word of men." (Note: 1 Thess. 2:14-16) You cannot disassociate ENVY from the motives of unbelievers who see the Bible take a hold of the hearts of men.

Vs. 6-8

The real bone of contention with these people was final authority. The issue brought up was "there is another KING, one Jesus" (vs. 7). You cannot preach the Second Advent of Christ without crossing contemporary politics because every theological, educational, philosophical, military, commercial, and political body on this earth will be affected when He returns.

Vs. 10,11

Berea is about 50 miles Southwest of Thessalonica. The "Bereans" were "more noble than those in Thessalonica," in that they received the word with all readiness of mind (vs. 11), like some at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 2:13) had done. In spite of the opposition at Thessalonica, some real conversions had taken place (Acts 20:4); Aristarchus and Secundus were some of the fruit from these meetings. It is also apparent that a severe persecution had broken out shortly after Paul's exodus from that region (See 1 Thess. 2:14; 3:1-5; 2 Thess. 1:6).

"...they...searched the scriptures" (vs. 11), which indicates they had some scriptures to search. But the context of the verse says that they were in "THE SYNAGOGUE OF THE JEWS" (vs. 10), so the Jewish scriptures there would be in Hebrew. The Greek women and men who "also" (vs. 12) believed, are set in distinction from the Jews in the Synagogue who are "searching the scripture." Now, if there is any possibility that any of the old Testament could have been translated properly into Greek before the time of Christ - and there is certainly an excellent possibility it would have been done by Jewish scribes from the tribe of Levi who were in the synagogues of the dispersion. The tribe of Levi is perfectly traceable in this dispersion, and this is foolproof according to (Acts 4:36), for Barnabas was a LEVITE. Now, the Levites were the priest tribe entrusted with preserving the Old Testament canon (Deut 31:25; 17: 18) , exactly as the Lockman Foundation and the New Scofield Board of Editors wishes God had entrusted them with something - which He did NOT.

Vs. 13-15

All that follows is clear. It is the same record, same speed, on the same turntable. These verses show trouble on the way, persecution and another hasty exit. This was the pattern of (Acts 13:50; 14:6). Silas and Timothy stay at Berea (vs. 15) while Paul goes by shin (vs. 14) to Athens.


Section Two


The text before us clearly shows several things that make it a very volatile passage of scripture:

A. There are only two basic human philosophies from God's point of view, and the four main branches of philosophy (Naturalism, Idealism, Realism and Pragmatism) come from these two basic philosophies.

B. Educated Greek philosophers are all SUPERSTITIOUS (vs. 22).

C. They are AGNOSTIC when it comes to theology, "God's knowledge'' (vs. 23).

D. They are IGNORANT when it comes to real worship (vs. 23).

E. They are basically FEMININE in their approach to life (vs. 21).

F. Above all, they have to have something "NEW" every time they turn around (vs. 21). They can, thereto be spotted in any generation by the constant reoccurrence of the "archaic word."

[1]. The New Morality
[2]. The New Orthodoxy
[3]. The New Age
[4]. The New Scofield Bible
[5]. The New English Bible
[6]. The New ASV & RSV
[7]. The New Deal
[8]. The New Enlightenment - (New World Order)

Vs. 16

This is the first time Paul's spirit was "stirred in him." he most idolatrous place he visited thus far, in more than two stops, has been the home base of Western Education, and idolatry has always been an outstanding characteristic of Western Educational systems.

Vs. 17

Paul throws himself into the work. He is not just preaching the Gospel, but "disputing."

Vs. 18

Epicureans - Epicurus (about 340-272 B.C.) The philosophy reduced to its barest essentials means "eat, drink, and be merry" (Ecc. 2:24) because who know what's after death.

Stoics - This school of thought was founded by Zeno of Citium (360-260 B.C.). This is essentially a belief in Pantheistic Materialism exactly like every logical POSITIVIST and Existentialist in the 20th century. Zeno taught time and motion were relative to him, exactly as they were relative to Einstein. Consequently man was left to "tough it out" on his own.

Vs. 19-21

The Gospel was "babbling" to them (vs. 18) because "the Greeks seek after wisdom" (1 Cor. 1:22), and Paul was preaching the "foolishness of 'God" which "is wiser than men" (1 Cor. 1:25). But babbler or not, and educated Athenian would rather have a new babbler than an old truth, so they take Paul up to Mars Hill and ask him to expound on his "New Doctrine" (vs. 19).

Vs. 22

All Greek philosophers and scholars were superstitious. The greatest of them (Socrates, Aristotle-, Plato, etc.) believed things that nobody -but a superstitious pagan-would believe, or could possibly believe.

For example:

[1]. They taught that men came from animals? You see, Darwin and Huxley were late comers.

[2]. Some of them believed that man could bring in a "Golden Age" of perfect peace if he let the government of the future take over the function of parents, and then let the educated class run the country? And many of them actually believed - although this is asking a lot from your credulity! - that the Universe was eternal and yet it was evolving and progressing! It's almost like going back to the pretty Greek buildings on campus where the boys and girls belong to - let me see, what is it - Sigma Nu, Pi Beta Kappa, Kappa Kappa, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Epsilon, and Pi Beta Phi.

Vs. 23

The Greeks worshipped the "Unknown God" in ignorance, in the sense that they left room for him in case he was there. And this, of course, is the "leeway" that is given by modern educated liberals when religious discussions get heated. Thus, Western Education usually admits that there is some God somewhere who started things, but he has no name, no revelation, no Book, no Son, or any plan for saving of sinners. The Greeks threw a kiss in the right direction - and then went on with the philosophers.

Vs. 24

There verses are self-explanatory, especially in the light of Stephen's message in Acts 7.

Vs. 26

This verse is a gut-buster to the National Council of Churches, United Nations and a thousand other like organizations. You see, God has set boundaries, and the purpose of the race mixers is to prepare the world for an International Dictator who will rule the United Nations (Rev. 12-13).

Vs. 27

"That they should seek the Lord..."! Oops! This means that God's purpose in segregating the sons of Adam (Duet. 32:7,8) was so they could get saved (Isa. 5:8)! Then woe be to the man who "removes the bounds" (Ex. 19:12; Hos. 5:8) to help form the coming Ten Federated World Council of the Roman Catholic Nations (Dan. 2, Rev. 12,13,17,18).

Vs. 28

"For in him we live, and move, and have our being..." Now, this is the only Biblical pantheism the Holy Spirit is aware of. Notice that although the Christian walks "in the flesh" (2 Cor. 10:3) he is not "in the flesh" (Rom. 8:9). The unsaved man is loin his sins" (Eph. 2:1-3), which the Christian is not. The unsaved man lives, moves, and has his "being" in God, as God's "offspring."

Vs. 29

The proof that the Godhead is not like gold, silver, etc. is that these objects cannot create anything physical because they have no blood - and with this Paul lands right in the middle of the resurrection.

Vs. 30-34

You see, the problem with Athenians is PHYSICAL. What a philosopher can't stand is the conclusion reached by the greatest philosopher who ever lived (Solomon, a JEW!) not Paul. Solomon sailed through Existentialism, Pragmatism, Realism, Idealism, Skepticism, Agnosticism, Theism, Deism, Pantheism, Hedonism, Stoicism, Logical Positivism, Neo-Aristotelianism, and Pessimism in the time it took Plato to write one chapter of the "Republic. Solomon came to the conclusion (Ecc. 12:13) which Paul now preaches: "He will JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness by that MAN whom HE hath ordained ...He hath RAISED HIM from the dead" (vs. 31). Now, THAT is what "hurts!"

I don't remember anything about the , White Throne Judgment in the writings of Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripedes, Aristophanes, Bertrand Russell, Plutos, Diphilus, Meander, Protagoras, Gorg s, John Dewey, Thales; Tillich, Anaximenest Empedocles, Pythagoras, Albert Einstein, Xenophanes or Anaxagoras. If you were a homosexual like Socrates, would you enjoy facing a judgment "IN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (vs. 31)? If you were a Fascist snob like Plato, would you enjoy giving account to God who set up a Theocracy (Ex. 19,20)? If you were a conceited hambone like Aristotle, who taught that happiness by the "Golden Mean" was more important than righteousness, would you relish being judged by a sinless Man who never considered His own personal happiness to be an issue-anytime in His life? (You see, that's how "the cookie crumbles.") And all of this "scrambling in the pocket" - this theological philosophical twisting, ducking, dodging, feinting, sidestepping and running is just the frantic effort of an ordinary defiled sinner trying to escape what God has ordained (vs.- 31) and determined to be done (Rev. 20:11-14) and WILL be done. "Hyeah come de Judge!"

Three reactions to the Gospel (Vs. 32-34) -

[1]. Some Mocked

[2]. Some procrastinated

[3]. Some believed

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