THIS WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO EXPLAIN THE ISSUE AT THE HEART OF THE UPSETMENT SURROUNDING PAUL WHEREVER HE WENT.
THE ROMAN EMPIRE HAD A POLICY OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE. IN GENERAL ANYONE COULD WORSHIP THEIR LOCAL DEITIES/IDOLS WITHOUT INTERFERENCE. SO THE JEWS WERE ALSO FREE TO WORSHIP THEIR ALAHIM, TO BUILD SYNAGOGUES, ETC. BUT WHAT NO ONE WAS PERMITTED TO DO WAS CREATE DISTURBANCES OR TO CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF ROMAN LAW OR LOCAL MAGISTRATES, AND ESPECIALLY CHALLENGE THE SUPREMACY OF THE ROMAN EMPEROR.
TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY: WHILE THERE WAS PLENTY OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE THERE WAS NO POLITICAL TOLERANCE.
THE JEWS REPRESENTED A PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME PROBLEM FOR THE ROMANS - THEY WERE UNLIKE ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP IN THAT THEY TENDED TO STAY TRUE TO THEIR RELIGION AND TO THEIR ETHNIC IDENTITY BECAUSE THE JEWS CONSIDERED THOSE TWO ASPECTS OF JEWISH LIFE AS INSEPARABLE.
AND THE JEWS, WHILE APPRECIATIVE OF THE TOLERANCE SHOWN TO THEM, WERE THEMSELVES NOT AT ALL TOLERANT TOWARDS THE PAGAN RELIGIONS THAT REPRESENTED THE MAJORITY OF THE CITIZENS OF THE EMPIRE. THE MORE PIOUS AMONG THE DIASPORA JEWS SHOWED OPEN CONTEMPT FOR THE DEITIES OF THE MANY PAGAN RELIGIONS THAT THEY LIVED AMONG.
THEY ALSO TENDED TO REFUSE PARTICIPATION IN THE NATIONAL FESTIVALS THAT INVARIABLY INVOLVED ROMAN OR GREEK GODS AND GODDESSES, FESTIVALS THAT WERE INTENDED TO UNITE THE SMORGASBORD OF PEOPLES AND NATIONS THAT FORMED THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THE JEWS ALSO FAVOURED CREATING GHETTOS AND BOROUGHS WHERE THEY WOULD PRACTICE THEIR UNIQUE JEWISH LIFESTYLE, SHUNNING THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL TRADITIONS AND OBSERVANCES.
BECAUSE OF THEIR BABYLONIAN EXILE SOME 600 YEARS EARLIER, THE JEWS HAD SCATTERED FAR AND WIDE (MOSTLY OF THEIR OWN ACCORD); BUT MOST OF THEM DID NOT ASSIMILATE INTO THE GENTILE WORLD (ALTHOUGH SOME DID TO VARYING DEGREES). JEWS THEREFORE REMAINED QUITE IDENTIFIABLE, WHICH WAS THEIR INTENT. SO WHILE THE ROMANS WERE BUSILY TRYING TO INSTITUTE A UNIVERSAL HELLENIST (PAGAN GREEK) CULTURE THROUGHOUT THEIR EMPIRE, THE JEWS LED THE WAY IN RESISTING IT. THE JEWS HAD ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MORAL STANDARDS; THEY EDUCATED THEIR CHILDREN DIFFERENTLY AND CONDUCTED THEIR LIVES DIFFERENTLY. THIS MADE THEM VISIBLY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE MANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS.
IT'S SIMILAR TODAY WHERE WE HAVE GROWING IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS OF MUSLIMS WHO WEAR THEIR OWN PECULIAR GARB, MEET AT MOSQUES, EAT ONLY HALAL FOODS, USUALLY PREFER TO SPEAK ARABIC OR FARSI OR SOME OTHER UNFAMILIAR MIDDLE EASTERN DIALECT, AND TEND TO TAKE OVER CERTAIN AREAS OF CITIES IN ORDER TO CLUSTER TOGETHER, GENERALLY REFUSING ASSIMILATION. NATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ALLOWS THEM TO WORSHIP THEIR UNIQUE DIETIES; BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE ENTIRELY COMFORTABLE WITH IT !
IT BOTHERS SOCIETY (IN GENERAL) THAT THEY DON’T SEEM TO WANT TO BE ONE OF US; RATHER THEY WANT TO IMPORT THEIR CULTURE TO OUR NATION OR EVEN TRY TO CHANGE US TO THEIR WAYS. PROVIDED THESE PEOPLE STAY TO THEMSELVES AND DON’T START TROUBLE, WE TOLERATE THEM.
BUT WHEN SOMETHING UNSETTLING HAPPENS INVOLVING MUSLIMS, IT UPS THE LEVEL OF OUR SUSPICION AND LOWERS OUR LEVEL OF ACCEPTANCE OF THEM AS A GROUP. AND THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THE JEWS WERE VIEWED IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE.
NOW AS CONCERNS PAUL AND HIS MERRY BAND OF FOLLOWERS - THEY REPRESENTED A UNIQUE PROBLEM. THEY DIDN’T JUST BOTHER THE LOCAL GENTILES (LIKE THE OTHER JEWS DID), THEY ALSO RILED UP THE LOCAL JEWS TOO. IT IS NOT THAT THE GENTILES UNDERSTOOD WHY PAUL WAS EMBRACED BY SOME OF THE LOCAL JEWS BUT REJECTED BY OTHERS - THEY WEREN’T AT ALL FAMILIAR WITH THE INTRICACIES AND NUANCES OF TORAH. ALL THEY KNEW IS THAT THIS PARTICULAR GROUP OF TRAVELLING JEWS CAUSED UPSETTMENT WHEREVER THEY WENT (YAHUSHA BRINGS A SWORD).
AND WHEN THEY UPSET THE LOCAL JEWS, THE LOCAL JEWS UPSET THE LOCAL GENTILES. AND WHEN THE LOCAL JEWS AND GENTILES TOGETHER BEGAN FORMING A MOB TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST PAUL AND THE LOCAL BELIEVERS, THIS UPSET THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES WHO WERE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR REBELLION. AND WHEN THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES GOT UPSET, THE LOCAL POLITICIANS FEARED FOR THEIR JOBS. AND WHEN THE LOCAL POLITICIANS FEARED FOR THEIR JOBS, THEY LOOKED FOR SOMEONE TO BLAME. AND SO THEY BLAMED THOSE THAT SEEMED TO BE TO THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM: THE JEWS.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR THE GENTILES AND FOR THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES, THIS WASN’T ABOUT RELIGION; THIS WAS ABOUT POLITICAL AND CIVIL UNREST. AND OF COURSE WHEN WE READ THE GENTILES THINK THAT PAUL IS DECLARING YAHUSHA TO BE A KING, WHO IS IN DEFIANCE OF THE EMPEROR OF ROME, THEY CAN’T MAKE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN HIS MEANING THIS IN A DIVINE SENSE VERSUS THEIR PARANOID THINKING THAT HE MEANS IT IN A POLITICAL SENSE.
THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST SERIOUS ALLEGATION OF ALL BECAUSE TO THE AVERAGE CITIZEN THIS SEEMS LIKE SEDITION. SO WHEN THEY HEARD THESE CHARGES THEY JOINED THE MOB IN BEING PERTURBED BECAUSE IF THEY DIDN’T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, THEY COULD BE ACCUSED OF BEING COMPLICIT.
THIS WAS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME CHARGE THAT HAD BEEN LEVELED AT PAUL AND COMPANY AT PHILIPPI; A CHARGE THAT RESULTED IN JAIL. OF COURSE EVERYONE KNEW THAT THIS CHARGE WAS NONSENSE; AFTER ALL THE SUPPOSED RIVAL KING, YAHUSHA, HAD BEEN EXECUTED SOME 15 YEARS EARLIER.
SO IT WAS THE MERE THOUGHT OF SOME JEWS WANTING A KING (THAT MIGHT CHALLENGE THE EMPEROR)... THAT WAS THE ISSUE - IT WAS WORDS AND THOUGHTS THAT SIMPLY COULD NOT BE UTTERED NO MATTER HOW REMOTE OR BENIGN THE REALITY OF IT. IT WAS ESSENTIALLY THE ULTIMATE POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS. BUT FOR THESE TRAVELLING JEWS TO BE THE ONES TO SAY THOSE WORDS? THAT MADE THEM LITTLE MORE THAN TRAVELING TROUBLEMAKERS.
... ACCORDING TO ROME !!
LAST WEEK IN ACTS CHAPTER 16 WE SAW THAT PAUL AND SILAS WERE ARRESTED IN THE TOWN OF PHILIPPI AND THROWN IN JAIL - ACCUSED OF STARTING A RIOT. IT TOOK A MIRACULOUS SUPERNATURAL ACTION OF YAHUSHA (AN EARTHQUAKE) TO FREE THEM BEFORE ANY PERMANENT HARM WAS DONE TO THEM.
1Paul and Silas traveled through the cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia. They came to the city of Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2Paul went into the Synagogue to see the Jews as he always did. The next three weeks, on each Shabath Day, he reasoned the Ancient Scriptures with them.
PAUL IMMEDIATELY WENT TO THE LOCAL SYNAGOGUES BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE HE WOULD FIND TORAH-OBEDIENT BROTHERS WHO'D OFFER HOSPITALITY TO HIM. THEY ALREADY BELIEVED IN THE CREATOR, SO HE SHARED WITH THEM THAT YAHUSHA WAS THE PROMISED DELIVERER SPOKEN OF BY ALL THE PROPHETS.
3Paul explained the Scriptures to show them all that the Messiah had to suffer and die, but then rise from the dead. He said, “This YAHUSHA that I’m telling you about is the promised Deliverer and Messiah.”
4Some of the Jews there believed Paul and Silas and decided to join them. Also, a large number of Greeks who were worshipers of the true Alahim YAHUAH and many important women joined them. 5But the Jews who did not believe became jealous and envious, so they got some wicked men from around the city-centre to make trouble.
They formed a mob and caused a riot in the city. They went to Jason’s house, looking for Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring them out before the people. 6When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the other believers to the city leaders. The people shouted, “These men who have turned the whole world upside down, have now come here too! (IT'S REALLY THE POWER OF YAHUSHA’S NAME THROUGH ACTIVE BEHAVIOUR THAT TURNS THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN).7Jason is keeping them in his house. They all do things against the laws of Caesar. They say there is another King called YAHUSHA.”
8When the city leaders and the other people heard this, they became very upset. 9They made Jason and the other believers deposit money to guarantee that there would be no more trouble (A FINE). Then they let them go. 10That same night the believers sent Paul and Silas to another city named Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish Synagogue.
11The people in Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica. They were so glad to hear the message Paul told them. They studied the Scriptures every day to make sure that what they heard was really true. 12The result was that many of them believed, including many important Greek women and men.
13But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was telling people YAHUSHA’S message in Berea, they came there too. They upset the people and made trouble. 14So the believers immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15Those who went with Paul took him to the city of Athens.
They returned with a message for Silas and Timothy to come and join him as soon as they could. 16While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was upset because he saw that the city was full of idols. 17In the Synagogue he talked with the Jews and with the Greeks who were worshipers of the true Alahim YAHUAH. He also went to the public square every day and talked with everyone who came by.
ATHENS WAS A UNIQUE PLACE - IT WAS CONSIDERED AS THE BIRTHPLACE OF DEMOCRACY AND A SEAT OF INTELLECTUALISM; IT IS WHAT TODAY WE MIGHT CALL A COLLEGE TOWN. BUT IT WAS ALSO A GREEK CITY, NOT A ROMAN CITY, AND SO THEY ENJOYED A SPECIAL STATUS THAT EXEMPTED THEM FROM THE ROMAN PROVINCIAL SYSTEM. ALL PAUL SAW WAS THE MYRIAD OF IDOLS PLACED ALL OVER THE CITY AND IT GREATLY OFFENDED HIM, FOR YAHUAH'S 2ND COMMANDMENT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE AND FORBADE HAVING ANYTHING TO DO WITH IDOLS. NOW PAUL HAD SEEN IDOLS IN CITIES SINCE HE WAS A CHILD; HE WAS, AFTER ALL, A DIASPORA JEW WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN TARSUS OF CILICIA. BUT ATHENS WAS A VERITABLE GARDEN OF IDOLS AND PAUL COULD BARELY CONTROL HIS OUTRAGE. DEPENDING ON HOW PIOUS A JEW THOUGHT OF HIMSELF, MANY WOULD NOT EVEN PASS THROUGH THE GATES OF CITIES THAT WERE ADORNED WITH WELCOME IDOLS, AND WOULDN’T CARRY OR EVEN TOUCH A COIN IF IT HAD A LIKENESS OR IMAGE ON IT, AND MOST COINS DID. PAUL MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THIS RADICALLY ZEALOUS, BUT HE WAS GREATLY TROUBLED AND AGITATED BY WHAT HE SAW IN ATHENS.
DO WE FEEL THIS WAY WHEN WE LOOK AROUND US?
18Some of the Epicurean and some of the Stoic philosophers argued with him, saying, “This ridiculous babbler doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. What’s he trying to say?” Paul was giving them the Good News about YAHUSHA and the resurrection, so they said, “He seems to be telling us about some other deities.”
EPICUREAN AND STOIC PHILOSOPHERS
PAUL ALSO ENCOUNTERED A GROUP OF EPICUREAN AND STOIC PHILOSOPHERS WHO LISTENED TO WHAT HE SAID IN THE STREETS OF ATHENS; BUT BECAUSE THEY CONSIDERED THEMSELVES AS THE INTELLECTUAL ELITE, THEY CONSIDERED HIM BUT A BABBLER. LET’S UNDERSTAND WHAT EPICUREANS AND STOICS WERE AND WHAT THEY BELIEVED BECAUSE IT WILL HELP US TO UNDERSTAND WHY PAUL APPROACHES THEM THE WAY HE DOES. FIRST UNDERSTAND THAT THESE TWO GROUPS WERE RIVALS; SO OUR FIRST CLUE IS THAT WHATEVER PHILOSOPHIES WERE NAMED AFTER THEIR FOUNDER EPICURUS WHO LIVED 3 CENTURIES EARLIER. THEY DENIED THE EXISTENCE OF AN ALL-POWERFUL, PURPOSEFUL CREATOR AND CLAIMED THAT THE UNIVERSE WAS CREATED SPONTANEOUSLY AND ALL THAT EXISTED WAS PURELY THE RESULT OF MATHEMATICAL CHANCE(SOUND FAMILIAR?). IN FACT, THEY HAD NO REGARD FOR THE GREEK AND ROMAN DEITY SYSTEMS AND EXPRESSED CONTEMPT TOWARDS THE IDOLS AND ALL THE TEMPLES AND PRIESTS AND FLOCKS OF FOLLOWERS.
ESSENTIALLY OUTSIDE OF A NEVER ENDING SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE, THERE WAS NOTHING WORTH LIVING FOR. REASON AND ENLIGHTENMENT WERE THE ONLY REASONS TO EXIST; AND SO WHEN A STOIC REACHED A POINT IN WHICH THEY EITHER PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY COULD NOT GAIN MORE KNOWLEDGE, OR THEY HAD LOST ANY INTEREST IN LEARNING MORE, THEN THE ONLY REASONABLE AND LOGICAL SOLUTION WAS SUICIDE. THEIR FOUNDER TOOK THIS PATH AND MANY THOUSANDS OF STOICS DID AS WELL.
BOTH STOICISM AND EPICUREANISM FIND SCRIPTURAL BELIEF-SYSTEMS TO BE A CHILDISH FANTASY AND ILLOGICAL.
SO CAN YOU SEE THIS SCHOLARLY INTELLECTUALISM GOING ON ALL AROUND US TODAY?
THEY DON’T GO BY THE SAMEE NAMES, BUT THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES REMAIN. AND WHAT THESE PRINCIPLES BRING TO HUMANITY IS A HOPELESS EXISTENCE, WITH A HOPELESS FUTURE.
IN THE MODERN ERA THE EUROPEAN ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE 18TH CENTURY ADOPTED THESE SAME BELIEFS (JUST IN NEW PACKAGING) WITH THE GOAL OF ERADICATING RELIGION THAT CONTAINED ANY SORT OF MYSTICISM FROM EUROPEAN SOCIETY. THE MAIN TARGETS WERE CHRISTIANITY AND JUDAISM; IT HAS LARGELY SUCCEEDED. IN CONTEMPORARY 21ST CENTURY TIMES THIS SAME GOAL TO ABOLISH RELIGION IS CALLED SECULARISM; OR WE SPEAK OF IT POLITICALLY AS LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE IDEALS.
SO WHAT PAUL WAS CONFRONTED WITH IN ATHENS (1ST CENTURY A.D), FOLLOWERS OF YAHUSHA TODAY ARE ALSO CONFRONTED WITH !! ... BUT PAUL DID NOT BACK DOWN :
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-18
DO NOT YOKE YOURSELVES TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS. FOR HOW CAN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LAWLESSNESS BE PARTNERS? WHAT FELLOWSHIP DOES LIGHT HAVE WITH DARKNESS? WHAT HARMONY CAN THERE BE BETWEEN THE MESSIAH AND THE DEVIL? WHAT DOES A BELIEVER HAVE IN COMMON WITH AN UNBELIEVER? WHAT AGREEMENT CAN THERE BE BETWEEN THE TEMPLE OF YAHUSHA AND IDOLS? FOR WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING ALAHIM - AS YAHUSHA SAID, "I WILL HOUSE MYSELF IN THEM,... AND I WILL WALK AMONG YOU. I WILL BE THEIR ALAHIM, AND THEY WILL BE MY PEOPLE." THEREFORE YAHUAH SAYS, "'GO OUT FROM THEIR MIDST; SEPARATE YOURSELVES; DON'T EVEN TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN. THEN I MYSELF WILL RECEIVE YOU. IN FACT, I WILL BE YOUR FATHER, AND YOU WILL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS.' SAYS YAHUAH OF HOSTS.”"
19They took Paul to a meeting of the Areopagus council. They said, “Please explain to us this new idea that you have been teaching.20The things you are saying are new to us. We have never heard this teaching before, and we want to know what it means.”21(The people of Athens and the foreigners who lived there spent all their time either telling or listening to all the latest ideas.) 22Then Paul stood up before the meeting of the Areopagus council and said, “Men of Athens, everything I see here tells me you are very religious. 23I was going through your city and I saw the things you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN DEITY.’ You worship a deity that you don’t even know? What's that about? This is the true living Alahim that I want to tell you about. 24He is the mighty Alahim who created the whole world and everything in it. He is the Creator of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands. 25He's the One who gives people life, breath, and everything else they need. He does not need any help from them. He has everything He needs. 26YAHUAH began by making one man, and from him he made all the different people who live everywhere in the world. He decided exactly when and where they would live too.
THEY DIDN’T WANT SOME FOREIGNER BRINGING THEIR BELIEFS INTO GREEK SOCIETY. WE FIND THIS SAME DYNAMIC AT PLAY TODAY AMONG ATHEISTS, WHO ARE BY DEFINITION SECULAR AND LIBERAL; THEY ARE THE STOICS OF OUR DAY. THEY DON’T BELIEVE THAT A CREATOR EXISTS; YET YOU OR I CAN’T WORSHIP YAHUSHA BECAUSE THAT MAKES THEM FEEL THREATENED (THEY SAY). HOW CAN THEY FEEL THREATENED BY YAHUSHA, IF HE’S NO MORE THAN A FANTASY TO THEM? SO JUST AS LIBERAL SECULARISTS TODAY TAKE SCRIPTURE FOLLOWERS TO COURT TO STOP US FROM WORSHIPPING YAHUSHA, SO DID THE STOICS AND EPICUREANS TAKE PAUL TO COURT TO STOP HIM FROM WORSHIPPING YAHUSHA (WHO DOESN’T EXIST THEY SAY).
REMEMBER: PAUL’S GOAL ISN’T TO ARGUE THEIR PHILOSOPHIES AS MUCH AS IT IS TO HAVE A STAGE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL TO THESE PAGANS. AND SO PAUL BEGINS TO EXPLAIN JUST WHO YAHUSHA IS. AT FIRST NOTHING PAUL IS SAYING OFFENDS THE AUDIENCE. THAT IS BECAUSE HE IS BUT IMPARTING NEW AND INTERESTING INFORMATION. THE FIRST THING PAUL DOES IS TO EXPLAIN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF YAHUSHA OVER ALL THINGS AND HE DOES THIS BY MAKING THE LOGICAL ARGUMENT THAT SINCE YAHUSHA CREATED ALL THINGS INCLUDING LIFE ITSELF, HE IS SUPERIOR AND ABOVE ALL THINGS; ESPECIALLY ABOVE MAN-MADE THINGS. THEREFORE IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR YAHUSHA TO LIVE IN TEMPLES FASHIONED BY HUMAN WORKMANSHIP. AND YAHUSHA CAN’T BE CODDLED AND SERVED WITH THE FINEST THINGS OF EARTH, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T NEED HUMANS FOR ANYTHING WHATSOEVER: YAHUSHA IS THE EPITOME OF SELF-RELIANCE.
27“YAHUAH wanted people to look for Him, and perhaps in searching all around for Him, they would find Him. But he is not far from any of us.
28It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are. As your own poets have said, ‘We all come from Him.’ 29That’s right. We all come from YAHUAH. So you must not think that He is like something people imagine or make. He is not made of gold, silver, or stone.
SEVERAL THINGS PAUL SAYS TO THE ATHENIANS ARE TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM A SOURCE THAT THESE GREEKS WOULD RECOGNISE. HE QUOTES FROM EPIMENIDES, THEN ARATUS. SO PAUL IS NOT SO MUCH BUILDING A CASE (YET) AGAINST THE GREEK DEITIES AS HE IS BUILDING A CASE OF HOW YAHUSHA IS TO BE PROPERLY CHARACTERISED AND WORSHIPPED.
30In the past people did not understand YAHUAH, and He overlooked this(MOST OF GENESIS).But now He is telling everyone in the world to change and turn to Him.31For He has decided on a day when He will judge all the people in the world in a way that is fair. To do this He will use a man He chose long ago. And He’s proven to everyone that this is the man to do it, by raising Him from the dead!”
THESE ARE FIGHTING WORDS BECAUSE PAUL IS TELLING THESE HIGHLY EDUCATED ATHENIANS THAT THEIR CENTURIES-OLD IDOL-SYSTEM IS ACTUALLY IGNORANCE AND IT AMOUNTS TO SIN FROM WHICH THEY MUST TURN AWAY. THESE THOUGHTS WERE FOREIGN TO ANY GREEK WAY OF THINKING FOR THE ONLY NATION THAT HAD A TRADITION OF A COMING DAY OF WORLDWIDE JUDGMENT BY AN ALAHIM WAS THE HEBREW NATION. CONSIDERING WHO HE WAS DEALING WITH, THE VERY FIRST THING THAT THE ATHENIANS HAD TO LEARN WAS TO TURN AWAY FROM IDOLS.
AND LUKE SAYS THAT WHAT BROUGHT MANY OF THE CROWD TO THE BOILING POINT WAS THIS ISSUE OF RESURRECTION.
32And when the people heard about YAHUSHA being raised from the dead, some of them laughed. But others said, “We’ll hear more about this from you later.”33So Paul left the council meeting. 34But some of the people joined with Paul and became believers. Among these were Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus council, a woman named Damaris, and some others.
NOTHING IS MADE OF PAUL’S JEWISHNESS. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO ETHNIC BIGOTRY GOING ON HERE. IN FACT PAUL WAS GIVEN A PRETTY FAIR AND RESPECTFUL HEARING. NO DOUBT IT WAS HELPFUL THAT PAUL SPOKE FLUENT GREEK; BUT THEN AGAIN SO DID MOST JEWS IN THAT ERA (JEWS WHO LIVE IN THE DIASPORA).
WE SEE PAUL INTERRACTING AND EXPERIENCING THE WORLD IN THE EXACT SAME WAY THAT WE DO ... SOME CHATS ARE MILDLY PLEASANT (MOST NOT!) ... OTHERS ARE DOWNRIGHT ABUSIVE ... NAVIGATING THE WORLD IS SMOOTHER SOME DAYS THAN OTHERS, BUT THE 3 RULES ARE A GREAT HELP TO NOT GET STUNG ANYDAY... AND PAUL IS AN EXAMPLE TO US IN THE WAY HE TAILORED THE SAME FOUNDATIONAL MESSAGE OF DELIVERANCE AND HEART-OPERATION ... TO ALL DIFFERENT SORTS OF PEOPLE ... HE KNEW WHAT PACKAGE WOULD WORK FOR EACH TYPE AND ESSENTIALLY HE WAS LISTENING TO YAHUSHA ...AND THAT'S THE KEY TO THIS SUPERNATURAL EXPERIENCE !