INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES Acts Lesson 19
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 Acts Chapter 19  

Memory verses for this week:   Psa 46:2  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. 

Introduction:     In Chapter 18, Paul went to Corinth where he faced great opposition to the gospel by the Jews.  He did not give up and continued to teach and preach for a long time, about a year and half.  This week, in Chapter 19, we see Paul at Ephesus

 

I.                    Paul at Ephesus  

Acts 19:1  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

Acts 19:2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

 

We saw in Chapter 18 where Apollos had been at Ephesus and did much teaching.  At this time, he had gone to Corinth.  Paul meets these certain disciples and Paul asks them if they had received the Holy Ghost.  During the early days of the church, the Holy Spirit was a very misunderstood topic, and perhaps is still one of the greatest mysteries in churches today.  In our day, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in every believer at the moment we are saved.  These men did not understand at all about the Holy Spirit, and said they had known only of Johnís baptism.   Perhaps Apollos had taught them some on what he knew of baptism, but Paul elaborates on the need for baptism in order to be a member of the local church.  Surely they must have known that the Holy Ghost was coming.

 

Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

Acts 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Acts 19:7  And all the men were about twelve.

 

When these disciples heard Paul concerning Jesus Christ, they were baptized in the name and authority of Christ.  As had been the case several times before in the early days of the church, the Holy Ghost came upon these early Christians when hands were laid upon them.  And for the third time, we see these that received the Holy Ghost speak in tongues.  The other two times were in Acts 2:4 and Acts 10:46.

 

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Acts 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Acts 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Acts 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

 Some other places that the Holy Ghost came upon those who were saved but they did not speak in tongues was in Acts 4:8, 4:31, 8:17, and 9:17.  We believe that tongues had a specific purpose and time, and were only in existence during the apostolic times based upon 1 Cor. 13:8. 

1 Cor 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Cor 13:10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 

II. Paul in the Synagogue and in the school of Tyrannus

 

Acts 19:8  And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:9  But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

Acts 19:10  And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

 

We learn that Paul taught in the synagogue for about three months.  Many were hardened and did not believe.  When this happened, Paul began to teach in the school of Tyrannus each day.   He taught in this school for two years, and had results.   Everyone in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both the Jews and the Greeks.

 

III.   Miracles by Paul

Acts 19:11  And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

Acts 19:12  So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Acts 19:13  Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

 

Since Satan had such a control over this city, it was necessary that God allow Paul to perform some special miracles so that the people might believe.  It seems that our cities are certainly full of control by Satan this week.  As I prepare this lesson, it is September 18, 1999, and I was in Ft. Worth about five miles from the Wedgewood Baptist Church Wednesday before the tragedy where the eight people were killed by the gunman who entered the sanctuary where some young people had gathered to pray and opened fire.   As Governor George Bush said, this was a double tragedy in that it happened in a place of love and hope.  As we see more and more shootings in schools and churches, we realize the power that Satan has over people in our day.   The reports said that the gunman had lost all hope due to his father dying in July.   No one can survive without hope, and our hope is not in man, but the Lord Jesus Christ. What this world needs is not more social programs and man made ideals, but they need Jesus Christ.   Christ is the hope of all who come unto Him.   No matter what we face, Jesus can see us through and we can have hope.

 

Rom 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

 In our lesson, Paul had special powers being one of the apostles.  This was similar to when Elishaís bones were used to bring life to man who touched them. 

2 Ki 13:21  And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

 

I donít understand the exact meaning of the handkerchiefs and their use, but God used great power in order to meet the power of Satan and to wipe out the demons.  It would be great if we could do things like this today, but apostolic powers were but for a season.   We can still pray and if God chooses, people can be healed or demons taken away.  But it is not done by our powers or in the laying on of hands like it was in those early days.

 

Acts 19:14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

Acts 19:15  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

Acts 19:16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Acts 19:17  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

 

We see that some of the Jews saw the miracles wrought by Paul, and they decide to cast out evil spirits in the name of Jesus.  But these men were imposters, and not saved men who truly knew Jesus Christ.  Note even the evil spirit says ďJesus I know, Paul I know, but who are ye?Ē   Believe me, Satanís demons know Jesus Christ, and they know each of us who are saved.  But the lost man has no power over evil spirits that have come upon him or her.   It says that the man leaped upon them and overcame them.  (these sons of Sceva.)   It says the word of this got around and fear fell upon all those in Ephesus.

 

Acts 19:18  And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.

Acts 19:19  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Acts 19:20  So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

 

The reason that we donít see many come to know Christ as Savior today is that men do not have the fear of God in them as they used to have.  Until a man or woman understands their lost condition, are convicted of their sins and see themselves as hopeless and without any remedy outside of Christ, they will never be saved.  But the lost sinner who is humble, repents of those sins and turns to Christ in faith, that person will be saved and justified.    Because great fear came upon Ephesus, it says that many believed and came confessed their sins and were saved.    And in an act that proved their salvation, they brought their evil arts and books and burned them before the city.   It says that the cost of these books were 50,000 pieces of silver.  But when a person is saved, we donít have a desire to be in the places of the world or take part in things that are against God.   And the results were that they grew in the word of God and prevailed.  Nothing helps us like reading Godís word, and we need to do it everyday.

 

IV.                  The Uproar of the Silversmiths in Ephesus

 

Acts 19:21  After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Acts 19:22  So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Acts 19:23  And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

Acts 19:24  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

Acts 19:25  Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

Acts 19:26  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

Acts 19:27  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

 

We see that when many were saved, Paul purposed in his spirit to go to Rome.  He sent into Macedonia to find Timothy and Erastus.   About this time, the silversmith Demetrius caused a great uproar due to the great loss of business he was having.  When people get saved, they wonít waste their money on false silver idols like their goddess Diana.   And a silversmith makes much money when people buy his wares, so he turned on Paul and those that believe in the name of Christ  Some of the things the silversmith claims are:

           

1.      He says by this craft (making shrines to Diana) that they had gained their wealth.

2.      He declares that Paul had turned many people away, not only in Ephesus but in all of Asia.

3.      He declares that Paul had said that there were no gods made by hands.  (Which of course was true)

4.      He says that this was about to ruin his business.

5.      By bringing in a little religion, Paul was causing the great goddess Diana to be despised.

 

 Acts 19:28  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Acts 19:29  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

Acts 19:30  And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

Acts 19:31  And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

Acts 19:32  Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

Acts 19:33  And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.

Acts 19:34  But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

 

After hearing Demetrius, the various silversmiths cause a great uproar throughout the city.   Some of Paulís companions were taken into the theatre.   Paul determined to go in to their aid, but the disciples would not let him for his own protection.  Note how this was such a typical mob type situation.  Many donít even know why they are gathered, and when Alexander tries to speak in their defence, they all ran about crying ďGreat is Diana of the Ephesians.Ē

 

 

Acts 19:35  And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

Acts 19:36  Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.

Acts 19:37  For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

Acts 19:38  Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.

Acts 19:39  But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.

Acts 19:40  For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.

Acts 19:41  And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

 

We see here the speech of the townclerk.  He quietly showed them that their proceedings were undignified, unlawful, and dangerous.  In verse 35, he declares that e3verybody knows that he city of the Ephesians was a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter.  He rightly points out that the disciples had not robbed the temple.   However, if Paul had been present, I believe with all my heart that he would have spoken against this false god, Diana.   The townclerk points out that they had unlawfully arrested these men, and that if Demetrius had a grievance against Paul under Roman jurisdiction, he should bring it before the proconsul.

 

He further states that if the grievance touched matters over which the Greeks had jurisdiction, he should bring the case before the regular session of that court.   He points out in verse 40 that they were in danger of being called before the Romans to answer for this disturbance.  Calmer minds prevailed, and he dismissed the assembly.   When we do things decently and in order, God is glorified.  We should never ourselves take part in any ďmob typeĒ behaviour.  The bible says to be angry and sin not.

 

Eph 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil.

 

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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

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