Acts to Revelation l Episode 8 | TBN

Acts to Revelation l Episode 8

Watch Acts to Revelation l Episode 8
May 30, 2018
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Drive Thru History: Acts to Revelation

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Acts to Revelation l Episode 8

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  • Da
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  • Dave
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  • Dave S
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  • Dave Sto
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  • Dave Stott
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  • Dave Stotts:
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  • Dave Stotts: P
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  • Dave Stotts: Pau
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul an
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and hi
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his co
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his comp
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his compan
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companio
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion ha
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had ju
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just t
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just tra
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just trave
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just travele
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  • Dave Stotts: Paul and his companion had just traveled
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  • through the regions of Syria, Seleucia, Galatia, and Phrygia
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  • preaching the gospel and strengthening
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  • the new churches there.
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  • According to Luke's account, they ended at Troas on the coast
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  • of the Aegean Sea, where Paul had a vision of a man from
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  • Macedonia, begging, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
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  • What was next for Paul and his fellow travelers?
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  • Dave: According to Acts chapter 16, here's what happened
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  • next: "After Paul had seen the vision we got ready at once to
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  • leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach
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  • the gospel to them.
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  • From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight to Samothrace,
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  • and the next day we went on to Neapolis," Acts 16:9 through 11.
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  • Dave: This is ancient Neapolis, now the beautiful
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  • coastal city of Kavala, and that's our first stop on our
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  • road trip through present-day Greece.
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  • Now, during the Roman period, Neapolis, Greek for "new city,"
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  • was one of the main ports of Macedonia and served as
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  • the harbor town for Philippi, which is just up the road
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  • about 10 miles.
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  • The infamous Brutus and Cassius, who assassinated Julius Caesar,
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  • used Neapolis as their headquarters way back in 42 BC,
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  • before they were defeated in a battle near here by
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  • Roman Emperor to be, Augustus.
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  • Dave: Today, not much can be seen of the Neapolis that
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  • Paul and his team visited in about 49 AD.
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  • There is an impressive aqueduct and part of the main Roman
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  • highway through the area, but that's about it.
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  • There is also a huge acropolis, or elevated ground,
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  • where a temple to Artemis once stood.
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  • Dave: By the way, when I mention Paul and his team, it
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  • appears that Luke joined the group at some point in Troas.
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  • Now, we don't know the circumstances of Luke connecting
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  • with Paul, Silas, and Timothy, but the trip to Macedonia is
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  • definitely written in the first-person perspective
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  • of "we."
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  • As I've mentioned to you before, Luke wasn't just an accurate
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  • historian, but he was an eyewitness to some
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  • of the history himself.
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  • Dave: So, in case you're wondering what I'm driving, I
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  • had to leave my trusty Doblo on the other side of the Aegean Sea
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  • in Turkey, so I've picked up my new ride for my new adventure
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  • here in Greece.
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  • Dave: Nothin' against the Doblo, but this BMW Mini Cooper
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  • is a serious upgrade on the fun-to-drive scale.
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  • Now, Paul and his team didn't stay in Neapolis for
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  • long, as their real destination was nearby Philippi, the major
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  • Roman city in the area.
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  • That's my next destination too, so let's drive 10 miles up the
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  • road to the famous biblical city of Philippi of Macedonia.
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  • Macedonia is a land of mountains, rivers, and forests,
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  • located to the north of ancient Greece.
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  • Its name, possibly meaning "highlands" in Greek, seems to
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  • match its geography.
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  • Dave: In the 4th century BC, the Macedonian region was made
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  • famous by King Philip II and his world-conquering son,
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  • Alexander the Great.
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  • It was Alexander the Great who spread the Greek language and
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  • culture over much of what would become the eastern part
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  • of the Roman Empire.
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  • This had a lasting impact on early Christian history, since
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  • Greek was the common language used for the books and letters
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  • of the New Testament.
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  • Dave: Rome ultimately defeated the Macedonians
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  • and reorganized this entire area into a Roman province.
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  • Today, Macedonia is the largest and second-most populous region
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  • in Greece.
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  • Historical side note, the ancient province of Macedonia
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  • should not be confused with the new European country of
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  • Macedonia just north of us.
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  • Dave: That country, known as the Republic of Macedonia, was
  • 00:05:09.220 --> 00:05:12.160
  • formed in 1991 when it declared independence from Yugoslavia.
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  • Dave: Okay, returning to Luke's account in Acts,
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  • "From Neapolis we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony
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  • and leading city of the first district of Macedonia,
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  • and we stayed there several days," Acts 16:12.
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  • Dave: This is Philippi of Macedonia.
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  • Now, Philippi hit the map in 356 BC, when Philip II,
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  • Alexander the Great's father,
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  • conquered the city and renamed it Philippi
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  • in honor of, well, himself.
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  • I guess you can see where young Alex got his humble demeanor.
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  • It was a wealthy city, strategically placed on the
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  • primary trade route between Byzantium and Rome with
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  • a nearby port in Neapolis, which we just visited.
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  • In addition to agriculture, the surrounding areas around
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  • Philippi were known for its gold and gem mines.
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  • Dave: As a city of the Roman Empire, Philippi had many of the
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  • same features we saw at the Roman cities in Asia province.
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  • It had a forum, an agora, or marketplace, aqueduct, baths,
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  • mini gymnasium, library, and a variety of temples
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  • to mythological gods and Roman emperors.
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  • It also had one of these, a public latrine.
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  • Dave: Now, one of the best preserved ancient ruins here
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  • at Philippi is the public restroom.
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  • How public was it?
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  • Well, this one sat about three dozen people at a time,
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  • and they didn't even separate men and women.
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  • What were they thinking?
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  • Advanced civilization?
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  • Ehh.
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  • 00:07:10.030 --> 00:07:14.080
  • Dave: As you can see, toilets in the Roman Empire were just a
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  • series of black holes connected by a sewer channel
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  • running underneath.
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  • Now, as you might imagine, this design did have a few flaws.
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  • Occasionally, rats would crawl up the hole and bite the hiney
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  • of unlucky users.
  • 00:07:28.140 --> 00:07:30.140
  • Sometimes flies were a huge problem, which could spread
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  • diseases, and even a buildup sometimes of methane gas,
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  • which was known on occasion to ignite.
  • 00:07:38.250 --> 00:07:41.070
  • Talk about full exposure.
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  • I can scarcely imagine a more effective way to transmit
  • 00:07:44.010 --> 00:07:46.260
  • diseases in the ancient world, ugh.
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  • Let's just say that I wouldn't have done well with
  • 00:07:50.230 --> 00:07:52.040
  • this entire concept.
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  • Twenty-first century sanitation engineers and plumbers,
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  • you are my unsung heroes.
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  • Dave: After Paul and the team arrived here in Philippi, this
  • 00:08:03.040 --> 00:08:06.160
  • is what happened next.
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  • "On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river,
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  • where we expected to find a place of prayer.
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  • We sat down and began to speak to the women who
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  • had gathered there."
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  • Dave: According to Luke's account, Paul shared the gospel
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  • with a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira over in
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  • Asia province who had relocated here to Philippi.
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  • Now, Lydia had a business of dying and selling
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  • purple fabrics.
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  • The dying of fabrics made from the purple dye of the madder
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  • root was a big part of the economy over in Thyatira, and
  • 00:08:38.280 --> 00:08:42.060
  • bringing the industry here to Macedonia was probably
  • 00:08:42.070 --> 00:08:44.290
  • a very lucrative business decision.
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  • Dave: "The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's
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  • message.
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  • When she and the members of her household were baptized, she
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  • invited us to her home," Acts 16:13 through 15.
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  • Dave: Evidence for a group relocating from Thyatira to here
  • 00:09:01.200 --> 00:09:05.150
  • in Philippi starting a purple dye business like Lydia's was
  • 00:09:05.160 --> 00:09:09.060
  • discovered on a Roman period inscription in Philippi that
  • 00:09:09.070 --> 00:09:13.180
  • translates: "The city honored from among the purples dyers an
  • 00:09:13.190 --> 00:09:17.210
  • outstanding citizen, Antiochus the son of Lukus,
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  • a native of Thyatira."
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  • Although we don't know if this Antiochus had any association
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  • with Lydia, it demonstrates the historical accuracy
  • 00:09:27.110 --> 00:09:31.020
  • of Luke's account.
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  • Dave: This incredible octagon-shaped Byzantine-period
  • 00:09:36.150 --> 00:09:39.150
  • church known as the Basilica of Paul dates to around 343 AD,
  • 00:09:39.160 --> 00:09:45.100
  • based on a mosaic inscription discovered here.
  • 00:09:45.110 --> 00:09:49.060
  • Now, this church was probably established to mark an earlier
  • 00:09:49.070 --> 00:09:52.150
  • church that began meeting in Lydia's home after she converted
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  • to Christianity here in Philippi.
  • 00:09:56.220 --> 00:10:00.090
  • Dave: Sometime later, Paul and Silas faced opposition
  • 00:10:01.000 --> 00:10:03.220
  • from a very weird and diabolical source.
  • 00:10:03.230 --> 00:10:07.010
  • Luke records the following: "Once when we were going to the
  • 00:10:07.020 --> 00:10:10.210
  • place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit
  • 00:10:10.220 --> 00:10:14.090
  • by which she predicted the future.
  • 00:10:14.100 --> 00:10:16.210
  • She earned a great deal of money for her owners
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  • by fortune-telling.
  • 00:10:19.020 --> 00:10:20.160
  • She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, 'These men are
  • 00:10:20.170 --> 00:10:23.290
  • servants of the Most High God, who are telling you
  • 00:10:24.000 --> 00:10:26.130
  • the way to be saved.'
  • 00:10:26.140 --> 00:10:28.060
  • She kept this up for many days.
  • 00:10:28.070 --> 00:10:29.280
  • Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said
  • 00:10:29.290 --> 00:10:33.210
  • to the spirit, 'In the name of Jesus Christ I command you
  • 00:10:33.220 --> 00:10:37.260
  • to come out of her!'
  • 00:10:37.270 --> 00:10:39.240
  • At that moment the spirit left her," Acts 16:16 through 18.
  • 00:10:39.250 --> 00:10:46.290
  • Dave: In the pagan culture of ancient Philippi, diviners
  • 00:10:47.000 --> 00:10:50.010
  • and soothsayers were quite common.
  • 00:10:50.020 --> 00:10:53.070
  • Now, as we've seen throughout the book of Acts, demonic
  • 00:10:53.080 --> 00:10:56.090
  • activity disguised as magic was always in opposition to the
  • 00:10:56.100 --> 00:11:00.230
  • gospel, but conquered time and again by the power of God.
  • 00:11:00.240 --> 00:11:05.060
  • Well, after a few days of the slave girl's annoying shouting,
  • 00:11:05.070 --> 00:11:09.250
  • Paul finally cast out the demon in the name of Jesus.
  • 00:11:09.260 --> 00:11:13.140
  • This angered the slave girl's masters, who had lost their
  • 00:11:13.150 --> 00:11:17.080
  • fortune-telling business.
  • 00:11:17.090 --> 00:11:20.170
  • Dave: "When her owners realized that their hope of
  • 00:11:20.250 --> 00:11:22.120
  • making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas
  • 00:11:22.130 --> 00:11:25.220
  • and dragged them into the marketplace to face
  • 00:11:25.230 --> 00:11:27.220
  • the authorities.
  • 00:11:27.230 --> 00:11:29.060
  • They brought them before the magistrates and said, 'These men
  • 00:11:29.070 --> 00:11:32.140
  • are Jews, and they were throwing our city into an uproar by
  • 00:11:32.150 --> 00:11:35.200
  • advocating customs unlawful for us Romans
  • 00:11:35.210 --> 00:11:38.230
  • to accept or practice.'
  • 00:11:38.240 --> 00:11:40.190
  • The crowd joined in the attack against Paul
  • 00:11:40.200 --> 00:11:43.040
  • and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped
  • 00:11:43.050 --> 00:11:46.060
  • and beaten with rods.
  • 00:11:46.070 --> 00:11:48.060
  • After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into
  • 00:11:48.070 --> 00:11:51.010
  • prison, and the jailer was commanded to
  • 00:11:51.020 --> 00:11:53.230
  • guard them carefully.
  • 00:11:53.240 --> 00:11:55.180
  • When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell
  • 00:11:55.190 --> 00:11:58.280
  • and fastened their feet in the stocks," Acts 16:19 through 24.
  • 00:11:58.290 --> 00:12:05.170
  • Dave: The forum in Philippi was probably the location where
  • 00:12:06.060 --> 00:12:09.060
  • Paul and Silas were dragged before the Roman officials
  • 00:12:09.070 --> 00:12:13.020
  • and beaten.
  • 00:12:13.030 --> 00:12:14.270
  • The two were then thrown into prison and secured in stocks.
  • 00:12:14.280 --> 00:12:20.080
  • This is the traditional location for the Philippian prison
  • 00:12:20.090 --> 00:12:24.240
  • at the time of Paul.
  • 00:12:24.250 --> 00:12:26.100
  • Although there's evidence that during the Roman period this was
  • 00:12:26.110 --> 00:12:29.070
  • used as a water cistern, it's still a powerful visual
  • 00:12:29.080 --> 00:12:32.260
  • for the miracle that happened next.
  • 00:12:32.270 --> 00:12:36.000
  • Dave: "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying
  • 00:12:36.010 --> 00:12:38.070
  • and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners
  • 00:12:38.080 --> 00:12:40.240
  • were listening to them.
  • 00:12:40.250 --> 00:12:42.060
  • Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that
  • 00:12:42.070 --> 00:12:45.020
  • the foundations of the prison were shaken.
  • 00:12:45.030 --> 00:12:47.220
  • At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains
  • 00:12:47.230 --> 00:12:51.210
  • came loose.
  • 00:12:51.220 --> 00:12:53.160
  • The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he
  • 00:12:53.170 --> 00:12:56.200
  • drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought
  • 00:12:56.210 --> 00:13:00.180
  • the prisoners had escaped.
  • 00:13:00.190 --> 00:13:02.190
  • But Paul shouted, 'Don't harm yourself!
  • 00:13:02.200 --> 00:13:04.290
  • We are all here!'" Acts 16:25 through 28.
  • 00:13:05.000 --> 00:13:10.180
  • Dave: Then the jailer asked the important question,
  • 00:13:11.070 --> 00:13:13.210
  • "What must I do to be saved?"
  • 00:13:13.220 --> 00:13:16.040
  • Paul and Silas answered him, "Believe in the Lord
  • 00:13:16.050 --> 00:13:19.130
  • Jesus Christ and you will be saved," Acts 16:30 and 31.
  • 00:13:19.140 --> 00:13:25.180
  • Perhaps the earthquake was viewed as divine
  • 00:13:25.190 --> 00:13:27.090
  • retribution, or perhaps the magistrates thought that
  • 00:13:27.100 --> 00:13:30.050
  • the beating and the night in the jail was enough.
  • 00:13:30.060 --> 00:13:32.190
  • Nevertheless, Paul and Silas were released from custody after
  • 00:13:32.200 --> 00:13:36.210
  • the Philippian officials learned that they were Roman citizens.
  • 00:13:36.220 --> 00:13:39.240
  • Now, Roman law was not being followed when Paul and Silas
  • 00:13:39.250 --> 00:13:43.130
  • were beaten with rods and thrown into jail without a trial.
  • 00:13:43.140 --> 00:13:46.260
  • As we've learned, Roman citizenship held great benefits
  • 00:13:46.270 --> 00:13:50.120
  • and privileges throughout the Roman Empire.
  • 00:13:50.130 --> 00:13:52.200
  • So the magistrates begged Paul and his team to leave Philippi
  • 00:13:52.210 --> 00:13:56.230
  • in order to avoid further problems with the people.
  • 00:13:56.240 --> 00:13:59.260
  • But before they left town, Paul went to the house of Lydia
  • 00:13:59.270 --> 00:14:03.180
  • to encourage the new believers there.
  • 00:14:03.190 --> 00:14:06.020
  • Then they left Philippi, traveling west on
  • 00:14:06.030 --> 00:14:08.290
  • the Via Egnatia, the main Roman road through Macedonia.
  • 00:14:09.000 --> 00:14:14.270
  • Dave: It seems that Paul held a soft spot in his heart
  • 00:14:20.040 --> 00:14:22.210
  • for the Christians at Philippi.
  • 00:14:22.220 --> 00:14:24.280
  • Later in his life, when he was imprisoned at Rome, he wrote
  • 00:14:24.290 --> 00:14:29.020
  • a very personal letter to them.
  • 00:14:29.030 --> 00:14:31.150
  • Paul was facing some rough circumstances, but he focused on
  • 00:14:31.160 --> 00:14:34.210
  • themes such as triumph, joy, courage, and thanksgiving.
  • 00:14:34.220 --> 00:14:39.160
  • Paul's letter, known as Philippians in
  • 00:14:39.170 --> 00:14:42.090
  • the New Testament, is only four chapters long.
  • 00:14:42.100 --> 00:14:45.010
  • However, it is chock full of joy and encouragement.
  • 00:14:45.020 --> 00:14:49.210
  • Dave: "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again:
  • 00:14:49.220 --> 00:14:53.010
  • Rejoice!
  • 00:14:53.020 --> 00:14:54.170
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by
  • 00:14:54.180 --> 00:14:57.010
  • prayer and petition with thanksgiving present
  • 00:14:57.020 --> 00:14:59.250
  • your requests to God.
  • 00:14:59.260 --> 00:15:01.280
  • And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding
  • 00:15:01.290 --> 00:15:05.020
  • will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • 00:15:05.030 --> 00:15:09.210
  • In all my prayers for all of you I always pray with joy because
  • 00:15:09.220 --> 00:15:13.140
  • of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until
  • 00:15:13.150 --> 00:15:16.220
  • now, being confident of this, that he began a good work in you
  • 00:15:16.230 --> 00:15:21.040
  • will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
  • 00:15:21.050 --> 00:15:26.160
  • Dave: And one of my favorites, "I can do all things
  • 00:15:26.170 --> 00:15:29.000
  • through him who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13.
  • 00:15:29.010 --> 00:15:34.160
  • Dave: When Paul and his crew left Philippi, they traveled
  • 00:15:35.010 --> 00:15:37.070
  • west on the Via Egnatia towards Thessalonica.
  • 00:15:37.080 --> 00:15:40.250
  • According to Acts chapter 17, they made stops at the cities
  • 00:15:40.260 --> 00:15:44.210
  • of Amphipolis and Apollonia along the way.
  • 00:15:44.220 --> 00:15:48.200
  • Dave: Amphipolis is about 30 miles west of Philippi.
  • 00:15:48.210 --> 00:15:52.020
  • It was founded all the way back in the 5th century BC as a
  • 00:15:52.030 --> 00:15:56.280
  • strategic military location, and this gate and wall date back to
  • 00:15:56.290 --> 00:16:01.150
  • that time.
  • 00:16:01.160 --> 00:16:02.270
  • Roman period ruins have been excavated here since 1956.
  • 00:16:02.280 --> 00:16:06.250
  • In addition to an aqueduct and tombs, they've also uncovered
  • 00:16:06.260 --> 00:16:10.150
  • walls, a bridge, and a gymnasium.
  • 00:16:10.160 --> 00:16:14.090
  • There are also five ancient churches that have been
  • 00:16:14.100 --> 00:16:18.040
  • uncovered here in Amphipolis.
  • 00:16:18.050 --> 00:16:20.240
  • The highlight of these finds has been the discovery of incredible
  • 00:16:20.250 --> 00:16:24.060
  • mosaic floors, including this one that depicts birds.
  • 00:16:24.070 --> 00:16:29.270
  • Dave: This lion of Amphipolis was erected in the 4th century
  • 00:16:33.080 --> 00:16:36.250
  • BC, possibly in honor of an admiral of Alexander the Great.
  • 00:16:36.260 --> 00:16:42.060
  • Although it was reassembled in the 1930s, it sits in Amphipolis
  • 00:16:42.070 --> 00:16:46.220
  • today just as it did when Paul and his team came through town
  • 00:16:46.230 --> 00:16:50.180
  • in about 49 AD.
  • 00:16:50.190 --> 00:16:53.240
  • Dave: Another 35 miles or so west on the Via Egnatia towards
  • 00:16:53.250 --> 00:16:57.200
  • Thessalonica was the city of Apollonia.
  • 00:16:57.210 --> 00:17:01.090
  • Now, this is the type of place that tour buses tend to skip.
  • 00:17:01.100 --> 00:17:04.240
  • And after seeing it, I guess I can see why.
  • 00:17:04.250 --> 00:17:08.140
  • Dave: Hey, look, Apollonia.
  • 00:17:08.150 --> 00:17:10.230
  • It's in the Bible.
  • 00:17:10.240 --> 00:17:12.280
  • Paul may have stopped here, so I did too, let's bounce.
  • 00:17:12.290 --> 00:17:18.010
  • Dave: According to Acts chapter 17, after Paul and his
  • 00:17:20.030 --> 00:17:23.120
  • companions passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they
  • 00:17:23.130 --> 00:17:26.210
  • arrived in Thessalonica, now called Thessaloniki,
  • 00:17:26.220 --> 00:17:30.110
  • about 35 miles west of Philippi.
  • 00:17:30.120 --> 00:17:33.010
  • Dave: This is Thessaloniki, a modern city of about 1 million
  • 00:17:33.020 --> 00:17:36.180
  • people, considered the second-most important city in
  • 00:17:36.190 --> 00:17:39.250
  • all of Greece after Athens.
  • 00:17:39.260 --> 00:17:42.010
  • The diverse architecture, including here at Aristotle
  • 00:17:42.020 --> 00:17:45.230
  • Square, is a result of the city's central location for
  • 00:17:45.240 --> 00:17:50.050
  • the entire region, considered a primary transportation link
  • 00:17:50.060 --> 00:17:54.110
  • between Europe and the Middle East.
  • 00:17:54.120 --> 00:17:56.290
  • In addition to its commercial importance, Thessaloniki
  • 00:17:57.000 --> 00:18:00.090
  • was also a military and political hub.
  • 00:18:00.100 --> 00:18:03.180
  • Merchants, traders, and refugees from all over the Mediterranean
  • 00:18:03.190 --> 00:18:07.190
  • region have settled in Thessaloniki for millennia.
  • 00:18:07.200 --> 00:18:11.290
  • Dave: When Paul arrived here in about 49 AD, Thessalonica was
  • 00:18:12.170 --> 00:18:15.180
  • the capital and most important city of the Roman province
  • 00:18:15.190 --> 00:18:18.230
  • of Macedonia.
  • 00:18:18.240 --> 00:18:20.040
  • It was strategic and powerful, located at the crossroads
  • 00:18:20.050 --> 00:18:23.230
  • of two major trade routes.
  • 00:18:23.240 --> 00:18:25.200
  • Thessalonica also had its own harbor on the Aegean Sea.
  • 00:18:25.210 --> 00:18:29.160
  • By the way, Thessalonica in our Bibles is the same place
  • 00:18:29.170 --> 00:18:32.280
  • as Thessaloniki today.
  • 00:18:32.290 --> 00:18:35.040
  • It was just spelled differently during the Roman period, when K
  • 00:18:35.050 --> 00:18:38.210
  • was hardly ever used.
  • 00:18:38.220 --> 00:18:40.220
  • After years of protesting by loyal fans of the letter K,
  • 00:18:40.230 --> 00:18:45.140
  • the once proud member of the alphabet was eventually restored
  • 00:18:45.150 --> 00:18:48.230
  • to a place of prominence, and thus modern-day Thessaloniki
  • 00:18:48.240 --> 00:18:52.190
  • was born.
  • 00:18:52.200 --> 00:18:54.150
  • Today, the city bustles like any large urban area, full of
  • 00:18:54.160 --> 00:18:57.290
  • industry, shopping, families, restaurants, and pigeons.
  • 00:18:58.000 --> 00:19:03.000
  • Disgusting creatures, really, literally covered in
  • 00:19:03.010 --> 00:19:06.030
  • germs and bacteria.
  • 00:19:06.040 --> 00:19:08.080
  • Not exactly sure what possessed me to befriend them with
  • 00:19:08.090 --> 00:19:10.230
  • birdseed, but it was a decision I soon regretted,
  • 00:19:10.240 --> 00:19:14.140
  • as the vile winged beasts began to swarm.
  • 00:19:14.150 --> 00:19:17.250
  • Luckily, I found some locals to pawn off the rest
  • 00:19:17.260 --> 00:19:20.290
  • of my germ bait.
  • 00:19:21.000 --> 00:19:23.090
  • I will happily let these unsuspecting kids deal
  • 00:19:23.100 --> 00:19:26.110
  • with the sewer rats with wings.
  • 00:19:26.120 --> 00:19:28.100
  • Now for the hand sanitizer.
  • 00:19:28.110 --> 00:19:31.210
  • Dave: Remains of the ancient harbor are now here, under these
  • 00:19:35.290 --> 00:19:39.010
  • neighborhoods by the shore.
  • 00:19:39.020 --> 00:19:41.110
  • As we've seen at other Mediterranean harbors, silt
  • 00:19:41.120 --> 00:19:44.030
  • caused the shoreline to recede over the centuries.
  • 00:19:44.040 --> 00:19:48.160
  • Dave: Anyway, like many cities of ancient Macedonia,
  • 00:19:48.170 --> 00:19:51.020
  • Thessalonica was a walled city.
  • 00:19:51.030 --> 00:19:53.200
  • During the Roman period, it also had the typical forum, bath
  • 00:19:53.210 --> 00:19:56.290
  • complex, temple to the imperial cult, gymnasium, stadium,
  • 00:19:57.000 --> 00:20:01.130
  • an acropolis for defense, and monumental city gates.
  • 00:20:01.140 --> 00:20:07.020
  • Dave: This awesome tower by the seaside is a fortification
  • 00:20:07.030 --> 00:20:10.010
  • that goes back to the 12th century.
  • 00:20:10.020 --> 00:20:12.100
  • It was captured and reconstructed by the Ottomans in
  • 00:20:12.110 --> 00:20:15.270
  • 1430, becoming a notorious prison and scene
  • 00:20:15.280 --> 00:20:19.170
  • of mass executions.
  • 00:20:19.180 --> 00:20:21.190
  • Now, the Greeks recaptured Thessaloniki in 1912 and
  • 00:20:21.200 --> 00:20:25.220
  • renovated the tower, giving it a full whitewash on the exterior.
  • 00:20:25.230 --> 00:20:29.250
  • Now known as the White Tower, it's been adopted as the symbol
  • 00:20:29.260 --> 00:20:33.190
  • for Thessaloniki.
  • 00:20:33.200 --> 00:20:36.060
  • Dave: The ancient ruins of Thessalonica from the time of
  • 00:20:36.070 --> 00:20:38.290
  • Paul mostly lie under this modern city.
  • 00:20:39.000 --> 00:20:43.020
  • Now, the forum visible to us today was rebuilt in
  • 00:20:43.030 --> 00:20:46.140
  • the 2nd century AD, but probably directly over the forum
  • 00:20:46.150 --> 00:20:51.000
  • from the time of Paul.
  • 00:20:51.010 --> 00:20:52.250
  • Now, this odeon, or small theater, also dates to
  • 00:20:52.260 --> 00:20:56.100
  • the 2nd century AD.
  • 00:20:56.110 --> 00:20:59.050
  • Dave: Since there was a Jewish synagogue here in ancient
  • 00:20:59.060 --> 00:21:02.030
  • Thessalonica, Paul followed his normal custom of visiting
  • 00:21:02.040 --> 00:21:05.050
  • the Jewish congregation here.
  • 00:21:05.060 --> 00:21:08.020
  • Now, the 1st-century synagogue has yet to be unearthed, but an
  • 00:21:08.030 --> 00:21:12.090
  • ancient inscribed synagogue plaque with lines in both Greek
  • 00:21:12.100 --> 00:21:16.150
  • and Samaritan Hebrew has been discovered here.
  • 00:21:16.160 --> 00:21:20.090
  • Now, this plaque dates to about the 4th century AD, but
  • 00:21:20.100 --> 00:21:23.160
  • throughout the Roman Empire, new synagogues were built directly
  • 00:21:23.170 --> 00:21:27.010
  • over older synagogues, so it's still pretty
  • 00:21:27.020 --> 00:21:30.000
  • impressive evidence.
  • 00:21:30.010 --> 00:21:33.150
  • Dave: Through the reasoning of Paul, some of the Jews, many
  • 00:21:34.280 --> 00:21:37.120
  • of the God fearers, and even certain women of the elite
  • 00:21:37.130 --> 00:21:40.290
  • believed in the truth of the gospel.
  • 00:21:41.000 --> 00:21:43.190
  • Unfortunately, many of the Jews rejected Paul's message and
  • 00:21:43.200 --> 00:21:47.230
  • sparked an opposition like he had experienced in other cities.
  • 00:21:47.240 --> 00:21:52.090
  • Now, according to Acts chapter 17, the Jews formed a mob,
  • 00:21:52.100 --> 00:21:56.150
  • started a riot, and stormed the house of Jason, a recent convert
  • 00:21:56.160 --> 00:22:01.240
  • to Christianity.
  • 00:22:01.250 --> 00:22:03.130
  • Since they couldn't find Paul and his team, they dragged Jason
  • 00:22:03.140 --> 00:22:07.070
  • and some fellow Christians before the city officials and
  • 00:22:07.080 --> 00:22:10.220
  • accused them of breaking the laws of Rome, including swearing
  • 00:22:10.230 --> 00:22:14.230
  • allegiance to another king.
  • 00:22:14.240 --> 00:22:17.010
  • According to Luke, these city officials were known
  • 00:22:17.020 --> 00:22:19.180
  • as politarchs.
  • 00:22:19.190 --> 00:22:21.090
  • Now, in the 1800s, an inscription was discovered in
  • 00:22:21.100 --> 00:22:24.280
  • ancient Thessalonica revealing the exact same thing, that
  • 00:22:24.290 --> 00:22:28.270
  • 1st-century leaders here in Thessalonica were known as
  • 00:22:28.280 --> 00:22:32.090
  • politarchs, just like Luke said.
  • 00:22:32.100 --> 00:22:35.110
  • Dave: "As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue,
  • 00:22:35.120 --> 00:22:38.020
  • and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from
  • 00:22:38.030 --> 00:22:41.030
  • the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah
  • 00:22:41.040 --> 00:22:43.270
  • had to suffer and rise from the dead.
  • 00:22:43.280 --> 00:22:46.220
  • 'This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,' he said.
  • 00:22:46.230 --> 00:22:51.020
  • Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,
  • 00:22:51.030 --> 00:22:54.210
  • as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a
  • 00:22:54.220 --> 00:22:58.030
  • few prominent women," Acts 17:2 through 4.
  • 00:22:58.040 --> 00:23:05.020
  • Acts continues: "'These men who have caused trouble all over the
  • 00:23:05.030 --> 00:23:09.220
  • world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them
  • 00:23:09.230 --> 00:23:12.280
  • into his house.
  • 00:23:12.290 --> 00:23:14.100
  • They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is
  • 00:23:14.110 --> 00:23:18.070
  • another King, one called Jesus.'
  • 00:23:18.080 --> 00:23:21.020
  • When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials
  • 00:23:21.030 --> 00:23:23.160
  • were thrown into turmoil.
  • 00:23:23.170 --> 00:23:26.070
  • Then they made Jason and the others post bond
  • 00:23:26.080 --> 00:23:28.130
  • and let them go," Acts 17:6 through 9.
  • 00:23:28.140 --> 00:23:33.010
  • Dave: As in other cities before, things were getting
  • 00:23:33.020 --> 00:23:35.100
  • dangerous for Paul and his team, so the believers here in
  • 00:23:35.110 --> 00:23:39.080
  • Thessalonica spirited Paul and Silas out of town and sent them
  • 00:23:39.090 --> 00:23:44.100
  • on their way.
  • 00:23:44.110 --> 00:23:46.080
  • Dave: As with other churches that Paul was forced to leave,
  • 00:23:46.090 --> 00:23:49.100
  • he wrote a letter back to the church here at Thessalonica.
  • 00:23:49.110 --> 00:23:53.140
  • In 51 AD, Paul joined with Silas and Timothy and wrote the first
  • 00:23:53.150 --> 00:23:58.140
  • letter to the Thessalonians, who were struggling with persecution
  • 00:23:58.150 --> 00:24:03.010
  • and suffering, and the concept of what happens to Christians
  • 00:24:03.020 --> 00:24:07.100
  • who die before Jesus returns.
  • 00:24:07.110 --> 00:24:10.050
  • Suffice it to say that Paul confirmed that those who die as
  • 00:24:10.060 --> 00:24:13.220
  • believers and those who are living as believers when Jesus
  • 00:24:13.230 --> 00:24:17.210
  • returns will all be rejoined together in heaven.
  • 00:24:17.220 --> 00:24:21.230
  • Dave: Later, when Paul was in Corinth, it seems the
  • 00:24:22.120 --> 00:24:25.000
  • Thessalonian church continued to struggle with issues related to
  • 00:24:25.010 --> 00:24:27.290
  • the so-called "end times."
  • 00:24:28.000 --> 00:24:30.180
  • In fact, many Christians in Thessalonica believed that Jesus
  • 00:24:30.190 --> 00:24:34.050
  • had already returned, so many seemed to have stopped working
  • 00:24:34.060 --> 00:24:37.270
  • and doing ministry.
  • 00:24:37.280 --> 00:24:39.100
  • They were also being persecuted badly.
  • 00:24:39.110 --> 00:24:42.050
  • Paul and his companions wrote another letter to help clear up
  • 00:24:42.060 --> 00:24:45.150
  • these misconceptions and comfort them in their distress.
  • 00:24:45.160 --> 00:24:49.090
  • Paul refers to several Old Testament passages in his
  • 00:24:49.100 --> 00:24:53.040
  • discourse on the end times, and reconfirms some
  • 00:24:53.050 --> 00:24:56.050
  • Old Testament prophets.
  • 00:24:56.060 --> 00:24:58.040
  • Rather than attempting to try to summarize Paul's writings, let
  • 00:24:58.050 --> 00:25:01.290
  • me encourage you to read Paul's two short letters for yourself.
  • 00:25:02.000 --> 00:25:06.010
  • They're referred to as 1 Thessalonians and
  • 00:25:06.020 --> 00:25:08.050
  • 2 Thessalonians in the New Testament.
  • 00:25:08.060 --> 00:25:10.290
  • Now, one of the passages that has meant a lot to me in my life
  • 00:25:11.000 --> 00:25:13.240
  • comes near the end of 1 Thessalonians when Paul says:
  • 00:25:13.250 --> 00:25:16.230
  • "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all
  • 00:25:16.240 --> 00:25:21.210
  • circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus,"
  • 00:25:21.220 --> 00:25:26.090
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16 through 18.
  • 00:25:26.100 --> 00:25:30.190
  • Dave: The church here in Thessalonica endured initial
  • 00:25:30.200 --> 00:25:33.050
  • persecution, but over the years, more and more of the people
  • 00:25:33.060 --> 00:25:36.130
  • became Christians.
  • 00:25:36.140 --> 00:25:37.260
  • The many Byzantine-period churches in Thessalonica, some
  • 00:25:37.270 --> 00:25:41.040
  • of which are still standing, demonstrate the positive
  • 00:25:41.050 --> 00:25:44.000
  • response to the gospel that Paul and his companions brought here.
  • 00:25:44.010 --> 00:25:47.210
  • In particular, the very ancient Church of St. George from around
  • 00:25:47.220 --> 00:25:51.170
  • 311 AD attests to how the early Christian community not only
  • 00:25:51.180 --> 00:25:57.040
  • survived, but thrived, even before the legalization of
  • 00:25:57.050 --> 00:26:01.070
  • Christianity in the Roman Empire.
  • 00:26:01.080 --> 00:26:03.130
  • During the Byzantine Empire that followed for the next 1.000
  • 00:26:03.140 --> 00:26:07.120
  • years, Thessalonica went on to be the second-most important
  • 00:26:07.130 --> 00:26:11.060
  • city after Constantinople.
  • 00:26:11.070 --> 00:26:13.260
  • I'll never forget ancient Thessalonica,
  • 00:26:13.270 --> 00:26:16.220
  • or present-day Thessaloniki.
  • 00:26:16.230 --> 00:26:19.110
  • What an incredible place to visit in the history of the
  • 00:26:19.120 --> 00:26:22.120
  • early Christian church.
  • 00:26:22.130 --> 00:26:26.070
  • 00:26:26.160 --> 00:26:36.160
  • 00:26:38.200 --> 00:26:48.200
  • 00:26:50.210 --> 00:27:00.210
  • 00:27:02.280 --> 00:27:09.030