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Intro into Philippians

“Philippians- An Exposition

This message is the Introduction to an expository study of the Epistle of Philippians written by the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In this introductory study we will be looking at the ethnic construct and History of the Church in Philippi as a kindred, as well as the known history concerning their present situation in the time of Paul, back through the city’s protectorate- Phillip of Macedon, forbearer of Alexander the great. We’ll go back to the days when Philippi was called

Crenides and was settled by an ‘Athenian’ clan of the same Pelasgian / Dorian extraction as their Macedonian brethren as recorded by Herodotus in his work “The Histories”. We’ll also note the relationship told by Thucydides between this ancient root stock as kin to the Estrucians of Northern Italy, the cofounders of Rome having come from the land of Tyre at a time inhabited by Northern tribes of Israel.

And we will most importantly consider the fulfilment of the words of the Prophets of Israel as seen in Acts 16 as we see the power of the Holy Spirit transform and plant the Philippian Church in the heart of Macedonia, “from the first days, even until now” as the Gospel is preached by Paul to his long-lost kinsmen.

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Delivered on 10-8-2021 / grego. 2-9-2022


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Compiled by JS LOWTHER


An Exposition  


Philippi is a city in eastern Macedon which flourished Situated between two rivers, the city was valued its gold mines, it is likely were it not for the gold that this little city would have not been as it was found by Paul in the 1st century.
It was a Roman city, part of the Imperial republic, to become important as a center of early Christianity.

The history of the land of Philippi and its people is one of ancient tale but recorded, we know that the city and region is accredited in Paul’s time still to the Macedonian’s who merged with a clan of Athenians who held the city named Crenides

It was founded about c. 360 BCE by settlers from nearby Thasos who were led by the Athenian Kallistratos, and so before the Macedonians which we associate with Alexander the Great and His forebear Philip this land was peopled by an Athenian precents.
When Krenides was attacked by Thracians the inhabitants looked to Philip II of Macedon for protection.
Philip, probably had an eye on the wealth of the local gold mines, took care of the city and then renamed it Philippi, after himself, in c. 357 BCE.
After this the Macedonians were inseparable from the city and land of Philippi.
According to the ancient historian Diodorus, the mines near Philippi produced a very respectable 1,000 talents each year.

Philippi continued to flourish in the Hellenistic period as part of the Roman republic.

And after Paul became a center for Christianity around 300-400 AD even after the Roman republic fell the city were still prominent in the rebounding Byzantine empire, maybe even more so due to their Epistle now commonly read in all the churches of the world.

The history of the Athenians and Macedonian people from Herodotus in “The Histories”:
He says that the Athenians and the Macedonians are both of Dorian or Pelasgian stock anciently.
So in affect the Athenians who lived in Philippi, before it was Philippi were distant relatives of the Macedonians, kinsmen. Both being called Dorian or Pelasgian and of this common ancient root according to the Greek histories.
The Pelasgians/ Dorians who peopled the Greek world were originally of an ‘asian’ or ‘oriental’, meaning ‘eastern’ from Greece, extraction.
Thucydides (400 BC) was an Athenian historian, who yet lived in Athens, who also was a military general ) agrees with Herodotus, and goes a step further in identifying them His History of the Pelo-pon-nesian War
with the Tyrrheni.
The people he is referring to as Tyrrheni are more commonly called Etrusc-ani or Etructians by us now.
These people we know from archeologically to be residents of the Po river valley of N. Italy, and the race who co-founded of the Roman civilization of Italy and Europe.
The Etruscans used a Phonetic alphabet similar to the Phoenician and or Hebrew and is considered the direct root of our Latin letters in our English writing system.
These Tyrrheni people seem to emerge in North Italy around 800-700BC and evidence shows they came from the Mediterranean, even Tyre (as their names indicate (Dorian / Thorian and Tyrrheni).
Etruscan history is often divided into three phases which can be easily seen in dove tailing into biblical History and leading us to the book of Acts.

950 BC.

And there is no doubt in the historical record that the Phoenician ship including those of Israelite Tyre was a prominent trading force about the Mediterranean and the world, by the directives of Solomon and Hiram as this is documented in 1Ki_9:26 / 2Ch_8:18, which is dated to have been about 950 BC.




800-750 BC

is the Oriental phase with influence coming from the East Mediterranean – strange beasts appear including lions — which are not normally found in Italy. The same thing was happening in Greece too with oriental influence showing up in Corinthian pottery.

700 BC.
The house of Israel /the Northern tribes of Joseph with its capital in Samaria was conquered by the Assyria empire, about 700 BC.

 580 BC
Is the Centralization phase, and the numerous small villages began to form towns.

474 BC
The last phase is that of the fall of the Etruscan nation before Hellenization.
The date of 474 is a marker point when a major battle took place at Cumae when the Etruscan forces were defeated by the Greek colony of Syracuse. The Greek colonies in Sicily were at their height, and for the Greeks in Sicily, they also hated the Carthaginians, another people from Tyre, in Northern Israel, who were also seeking to expand in the Mediterranean. The Carthaginians and the Etruscans were allied, most likely due to kinship, but in the 480s, they were defeated by the Greeks in this part of the Mediterranean seaboard.

Crenides was founded in this period by settlers from nearby Thasos who were led by the Athenian Kallistratos.

360-50 BCE 

The Macedonians renamed the city of Crenides Philippi, when Crenides was attacked by Thracians the inhabitants looked to Philip II of Macedon for protection.

484- 364 BC In this general time frame Herodotus writes (born about 484 BC).

Herodotus also tells us that it is known that the Pelasgian peoples anciently offered sacrifices to a god or the god’s and only used the Name ‘Theoi’ and had no other names for the deity / deities. The word Theoi, means ‘disposer’ literally translated, but more commonly we just simply understand this word as ‘God’ or ‘god’s’ in translation.
In other words, this people were thought to have original worship the divine ignorantly by the religious proto-Greeks; And in the next lines Herodotus records that the Pelasgian, the ancestors of the Philippians fell into idolatry, by use of oracles and so adopted the pagan pantheon by name and rite.

These are the People of Philippi, the kindred of the Philippian Church.


“The First days”

The Book of Acts

Paul and his travel companions had been making their way through modern day Turkey, with the Spirit limiting their options – Act_16:6-8
Paul has a vision of a man of Macedonian pleading, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” – Act_16:9
Taking the vision as a sign that the Lord wanted them to go there, they travel to Philippi (a chief city of Macedonia) – Act_16:10-12
As the gospel spread to Philippi
With the conversion of Lydia – Act_16:11-15
It was Paul’s custom to find a synagogue and on the Sabbath to reason with Jews about Christ –  Act_9:20, Act_13:5, Act_14:1,Act_17:1-3
But rather Paul and his companions go down to the riverside on the Sabbath – Act_16:13
Evidently there was no synagogue, But they met at the river to pray, and the worship was devoid of men.
Paul speaks to them, and Lydia hears the word – Act_16:14
She one who worshipped God, a Sabbatarian from Thyatira, and a seller of purple dye, a common trade item of Phoenicia.
The Lord “opened her heart” and afterward Lydia and her household are baptized – Act_16:15
She had “heard” what Paul was speaking ( Act_16:13c,14a),
“faith comes by hearing the word of God” – Ro 10:17

Lydia constrained the apostles.
Act_16:16  A certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination, a witch of sooth saying, which brought her masters gain by soothsaying:
Act_16:20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Act_16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

The conversion of the Philippian Jailer – Act_16:25-40
Act_16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
A suiciadal soldier saved in and instant by the Power of the Gospel of Salvation
Act_16:40  And they went out of the prison and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.



The Epistle

Php_1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Php 1:2  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is amazing how God took two believers independent of each other and gave faith to them and their house, and just years later, with in the life of Paul, we here read of to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.

These Saints have already in less than 40 years multiplied to a point where doth Bishops or overseers (plural) and deacons, ministers (plural) exist. From a strictly biblical Church Government, followed from the Law, we then have at least 2 units of 10 to have Overseer’s plural, 20 men of war age, and to have Ministers with them to serve the congregations needs as a church community.

The Church government here mentioned is more than informative to us in our study, it should be inspiring as we see the proper order and organization of a tiny church.


And if presumptions be correct and these Philippians be Asherites and Danites Come full circle back to the faith of their fathers, we see a fulfillment of the prophets in such scriptures as:

Isa_49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Isa_60:17  And for brass I will bring thee gold, and for iron I will bring thee silver, and instead of wood I will bring thee brass, and instead of stones, iron; and I will make thy princes peaceable, and thine overseers righteous.

Php_1:3  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Php 1:4  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
Php 1:5  For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
So small a number of believers at the first day Lydia heard the Word of truth and was converted, recieved Baptism on that fateful Sabbath day by one of the great the Rivers of Philippi.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Php 1:7  Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Php 1:8  For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.




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About JS Lowther

Foremost I know that I am a chief sinner saved by Grace. I am a servant of YHWH Almighty the one true God Who is Father, Son and Spirit. I believe in God's only begotten and perfect Son Jesu(s) Christ whose redemption power of my soul I have Faith in and testify of. Having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, I wish to no longer spend my time in the lusts of the flesh and of this world, but to promote the Gospel of the Kingdom by means of the knowledge of the New Covenant, a reNewal of the Covenant God made with his people Israel in the blood of Christ (Jer 31:31 and Heb 8:8) whereby He writes His Law upon the Heart and Mind beside the forgiveness of sin and transgressions. I believe Christ Jesus is the incarnate Son of God as the WORD made flesh, and the son of man born of the virgin Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit: I believe Christ Jesus Lived a perfect life for us as a living sacrifice as well as a pattern of the Sanctified newness of life a believer has in Him, I believe Christ Jesus died a cursed death on the Cross for His people of Covenant who are sinners, and I believe in Christ Jesus who Resurrected with power from Death from the grave to Justify the offenders. This is the same Jesus who is indeed the Son of David and king of Israel, who is both LORD and Christ over all the kings and dominions of the earth! In the fullness of time YHWH will regather his people under the Head of the Church, Jesu(s) Christ to affect his will according to the Lord's prayer, Psalm 2, 8 and 110 as well as Genesis 1:26. The focus of my administration of the Gospel is like unto my Lord's who said "I have come not but for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.."(Mathew 15:24), and so I have come to my European kinsman according to the flesh. It is my mission to show the Israel of God the Salvation which is taught by Scripture Alone and offered in all ages by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in the work of Christ Alone to the Glory of GOD Alone. As a modern day Puritan separatist it is my goal to purify the church of Christ with Faith heretofore stated. I am studying to show my self approved, if you have any questions just ask!

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