Paul’s address at the Areopagus – aka Mars Hill.
“Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:”
“TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.“
“Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” So, Paul departed from among them. However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” (Acts 17:22-34)
How many know that God is outside of time, space, and transportation? The cylinder called time was created by God for man and so God is not limited to it. So, that God lives in all times at the same time. So much so that when the Lamb of God was slain, or when Christ died 2,000 years ago on the cross there was nobody under the cross that was with a gold chalice to catch every precious drop of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even his own disciples were not there for they had all been scattered for they had not fully understood the reality and Kingdom dynamics of His blood.
When He was on that cross, and as His Blood fell to the earth there was nobody there to scoop up the sand that had become mud with His Crimson Blood. The very ground had become saturated, and into the earth was that very same earth that you and I were made out of. It was the very same earth that when God reached into the freshly made soil that He pulled forth a handful of dust, that same dust which now had been saturated with His blood, because He is not limited by time, space, and transportation. This is why the Bible says in the book of Acts here that all nations were made with one blood.
I could go 15 million places with this but I am going to go to this one place here, in the hopes that some would catch this revelation and run with it.
I was wrestling with whether or not I should share this, but it is something that God has laid on my heart. Although this is an exert from a book I am writing, it is however, important at this time that it at least get placed i the wind for God to use to bring His Body into an alignment that if do not have ears to hear what the spirit is saying, that we will miss this opportunity and not be true to our obedience in Him.
The Scripture says that, “…He has made from one blood every nation of men…” speaking of God. This was Paul that is speaking here, and listen to what I am about to say. He was speaking to a bunch of folks that were the leaders of a city that was full of every form of idolatry possible. So much so, that thy even had an idol to a god that they may have missed, so not to upset whoever that deity may be.
First off, notice who these cats were. In Paul’s address he stated saying, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious.”
Paul said that he perceived. This was not just being nice, Paul had an inkling that they were not just religious, but very religious. These prominent city leaders were very religious, but they were not Christian! How many would agree that you can be religious, and never know Christ? Paul didn’t have a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom, he was simply as he said, “for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship.”
How many can say that you can go to certain parts of our cities and SEE the objects of some’s worship? How many steeples point a finger to a God that they do not really know, or choose to know? How many practice their religion and their worship of their cathedrals, their sanctuaries, or they practice, and even some almost worship the one who’s name is pasted on the billboard out front? Paul said that he noticed all their objects of their worship. These things are things that man erects and creates, that entice their well-wishes, or satisfies their image of God. One day, when it’s all over, how many of those things will survive the passing away of the earth we stand upon now?
In fact, their idolatry knew no bounds. They even had one to an “UNKNOWN GOD”. They were not going to make a mistake and cause their world to be destroyed and apple carts upset because one god they missed got mad and angry and would choose to do something against them. So, let’s just be safe. Let’s not offend. I mean, what do you identify yourself as? We do not want to leave anyone out? I’ve never heard of that gender before; but that is ok, we will include it, just to be safe. Sound familiar?
Now, since they let that door open, God pointed Paul in the direction of these city leaders (government) to point the way to what or WHO was THE RIGHT!
Paul now unveils just Who this “UNKNOWN GOD” truly is! Paul said, “the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:”
However, the way by which he does so is so deep, that even though those guys were taught by probably the greatest of philosophers of their day, Paul makes a statement that is so astoundingly deep. In fact, to read what he states here in this interaction and conversation has such grand Kingdom communication to behold, that if you do not have ears to hear, you will miss it.
Paul starts out where they are in their understanding of what they can see around them, by saying, “God, who made the world and everything in it.” He then states, “since He is Lord of heaven and earth.” Now, these officials who were intelligent to be sure, are now going to get a lesson regarding the greatest of them all! Paul lets them in on a truth of His Lordship, which is over Heaven and Earth. Well, that is pretty much everything. Paul continues, saying,
“…Does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything.” In order to define God, finding that it’s impossible to define what is non-definable, defines him by telling other people what God is NOT! In other words, and I know that it’s very paradoxical to say in order to describe Him, we define Him by what He is not. Let me ask, is it easier for us to say that God is not male or female? Is it easier to say that He is beyond all that? See, God transcends those things!
Listen folks, He’s not good or bad He’s just God. And He’s not even right or wrong, it’s just God! Moreover, He’s none of those things, because Gd is beyond definition. So, sometimes in trying to understand the mysteries of God we find out that mysteries only produce more questions. Paul is about to say a mystery to those idolatrous unholy people. He is about to share such spiritual wealth that even to this day we are still digging into it.
Paul just told them where God lives by telling them where that temple is not! That to individuals such as these surely this was so out there! But Paul isn’t done yet! Paul will now drop a spiritual nugget right here and right now saying, “Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything.” In other words, God doesn’t need man to be God to put it bluntly. Since, by the way, “since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” as Paul stated. By the way, here is one of those three’s we find in the Bible. God gives to all (outside all is nothing) 1 – life, 2 – breath, and 3 – all things. Notice life is not breath, and neither are all things. The depths here speak to us as God’s children first because Paul mentions “LIFE”. We know that LIFE is in the Blood. Then Paul makes mention of “breath”. By the way, breath speaks to us in Christ as to our worship. The Psalmist said, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6).
Then Paul makes reference to “ALL THINGS”. To those guys they may make assumption as so many carnal Christians and non-Christians do refer to this as being stuff! Yet, listen to Matthew 11:27 tell us where Jesus said that, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Now, to truly understand this passage of Scripture, we need to correct a word in English that is not correct in the sense that causes a false assumption. It is the word translated as “and”. It is the Greek word “kai”. It is best translated as a different word. We think when we hear that English word as the word meaning this AND that, as if we are to add something to something else. When in fact, this word isn’t to add, but to point or direct to something. Therefore, that word is better translated “namely”. Now let’s re-read that verse with that insight?
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, NAMELY no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, NAMELY the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Therefore, the pressing question then is what is all things? Listen again to our King Jesus explain it, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.” (Matthew 17:11)
When God speaks of ALL THINGS, He is not referencing your stuff! He is not referring to everything that you want, need, or must have! God is speaking from His location, and that means that all things are referring to WHAT HE HAD ORIGINALLY DESTINED THIS ALL TO BE!
Now, listen to Paul make that statement from where I get the title to this message, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men.”
The next questions are why? For what reason? And, how by the way did He do it? Sounds like it happened in the past. Now, I am sure you are thinking ahead saying, “Well, duh John! his is talking about the Cross! DUH!” And you would be correct. However, one of the questions I did not propose was WHEN did that happen? You will be surprised to know this answer. Allow me to repeat something that I said earlier.
God is outside of time, space, and transportation? The cylinder called time was created by God for man and so God is not limited to it. So, that God lives in all times at the same time. So much so that when the Lamb of God was slain, or when Christ died 2,000 years ago on the cross there was nobody under the cross that was with a gold chalice to catch every precious drop of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even his own disciples were not there for they had all been scattered for they had not fully understood the reality and Kingdom dynamics of His blood.
And, yet, Christ may have died 2,000 years ago in our dimensional aspect of time, but not according to God. It wasn’t 2,000 years ago that Calvary took place. No, no, no! The Bible declares that, Revelation 13:8 declares, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Whether you believe it or not, know it or not, accept it or not, Christ was slain before God ever made anything we now see around us. Before God spoke that word that caused light to pierce from out of nothing, Calvary took place! Want to go deeper?
I forgot to ask another question, WHO? Before I go there, let me answer the other questions. Why did God make every nation of men from ONE BLOOD? Listen to Paul explain saying, “to dwell on all the face of the earth…” Ok, that answers the why, and for WHAT reason? Hey Paul? Can you help us here? Paul said that God, “…has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord…” Ok, so what about the HOW? Paul continues saying that God held mankind, “in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…”
Now, we come to a deep point and yet a point that holds hope like a carrot dangling over the head of a rabbit. Paul tells these upended high haughty heathenry a way to discover and find this “UNKNOWN DEITY” in saying, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
The essence of God’s Presence was being manifested to these folks, making things that hinder their coming to know Him, by introducing some of the things above. Now, let’s get to the WHO! After all that is who Paul is introducing them to. We have answered each question, and the one that is amazing, but not the most amazing was the WHEN! We could also add to that WHEN by saying that WE were chosen IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS of the world. Paul told the Ephesian church saying, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). But can we answer the WHO? YES!
Paul just said that GOD chose us IN HIM! Wait a minute! IN HIM! Yes! Because we were IN HIM before there was ever anything! Open your ears to hear the Spirit talk and describe to you the reality of the WHO now!
If Christ was slain BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS of the world, before there was ever a world to speak of in creation, there was this place of the skull! Interesting that it was the place known as the skull! Before, we became into our being, before we were in our mother’s womb, we were in God’s mind. Where was God’s mind BEFORE the foundation of the world? It was right there where that cross crucified the Christ. And just WHO is Christ? Hmmm… Hey Paul? Do you have an answer to this?
Why yes I do, Paul says, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
WHO WAS CHRIST? GOD!
Before anything, God Himself went to Calvary! Before there was any dirt for man to be made from God had shed His Blood for the remission of a sin that had not even taken place yet. Before any man woman or child ever breathed or lived, God had already intended ALL THINGS in HIS GREAT PURPOSE AND PLAN to come true! When God’s Blood spilt on the dust that would become mud by His Blood, every man was already touched by the redemptive power of God’s own payment for the expense that man was about to make. Before mankind ever became a thing, redemption had already made all things prepared, predestined, and ready All that needs to happen next is for mankind to accept what God did in his stead. God removed our sin and healed our hurt.
Notice what happened after this powerful message came. “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” So, Paul departed from among them. However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”
Our hearts are yielded to God, and so what are we waiting on? We need not wait any more, Spirit of the Lord Divine!
This is how Paul was able to state saying such a grand amazing and awe-inspiring deep word that, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men.”
Grace & Peace
Dr. John Roberts THD